There are diverse issues and concerns that need to be addressed regarding union leadership. There are issues regarding four (4) forms of political action, inclusion of women in top leadership position, and assistance provided by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. The current discourse hereby aims to provide responses to requirements shown in the following sections.
Statement of Petition to Union Leader
In one’s personal capacity as enabled by one’s educational background and work experiences, in conjunction with genuine interests, abilities, and competencies, it is hereby proposed that I should render volunteer work in political campaigns. As learned, political action takes four (4) forms, to wit: “(1) financial support to candidates favoring union positions, (2) volunteer work by union members in campaigns, (3) endorsement of candidates and get-out-the-vote efforts, (4) and lobbying” . One’s education contained courses on human resources management which includes theoretical frameworks on maintenance and development of personnel, conflict negotiation and resolution, group management, as well as the management of change. Moreover, several work experiences, on a part-time basis, assisted in the development of the following skills set: teambuilding, customer service, problem-solving and decision-making in one’s assigned scope of responsibilities, as well as communication skills. Likewise, one had the chance to actively participate in volunteer works in the local community through donating solicited resources to the disaster-stricken families, assisting in educational programs to the disadvantaged youth, as well as providing needed assistance to the elderly.
In addition, in the course of reading various discourses on volunteerism and social action, one shares similar contentions that volunteering “promotes social change by contributing to personal transformation, whereby individuals change their beliefs, perspectives and day-to-day behaviours once they have developed a new awareness or understanding about a particular situation” . Since your organization has commitment to support political action committees (PACs), the organization’s core values on honesty, integrity, corporate social responsibility, and environmental protection are aligned with one’s personal values and belief system. One is hereby genuinely interested to provide volunteer work in political campaigns that your organization signified support to. One is open to undertake tasks and endeavors that matches one’s personal, work, and volunteering experiences. The time frame and schedule for volunteer work could be arranged according to one’s free time. A total of 15 hours of volunteer work could be accorded per week for political campaigns. An approval of one’s petition is appreciated to enable scheduling of the volunteer work as deemed needed.
Women in Leadership Position in Unions
In response to the question, ‘how can the inclusion of women in top leadership position in local and national unions be increased?’, one asserts that research studies affirmed that a gap exists in terms of women leaders in various positions in different organizations. There had been observed gaps in leadership positions among men and women in various organizations on a global sphere. As asserted, women “still hold fewer leadership positions than men in labor unions, business, government, and nonprofit organizations (Eagly & Carli, 2007, Kaminski & Yakura, 2008) and still do not receive pay that is equal to that of men for the same work” (Riccucci, 2008; cited in Kaminski & Pauly, n.d., p. 3). The condition was observed to be evident in unions where past and current statistics revealed that women, especially in top leadership positions in unions are still wanting .
Research on the subject of obstacles facing women in leadership positions revealed that
there have been varied reasons which allegedly influence the lack of female leadership in unions. As noted, “it is common for female union members to be less active in the union while their children are young, and to become noticeably more active when their children have grown” . Other reasons include: lesser pay, differences in perspectives, as well as variances in leadership style. As revealed, “women’s earnings are still significantly less than men’s (and) unionized women earn 85 percent of what men do (U.S. Department of Labor 2007)” . Further, disparities in perspectives could influence politial issues and concerns that would be advocated. As affirmed, “an increased focus on dignity and respect on the job and pay equity are just two examples of how the priorities of women leaders might be different than men’s” . Finally, women were observed to be less competitive as well as less hierarchical when compared to male counterparts .
Concurrently, the inclusion of women in top leadership position in local and national unions could be increased through the application of mutliple strategies . As explicitly revealed, there were four (4) stages in leadership development which could assist in bridging the gap between males and females in unions. The first stage is to acknowledge the relevance of women’s participation through advocating women’s voice . The second stage was noted to be the development of women’s skills which are essential in unions, such as technical skills for contracting pertinent labor laws, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, as well as “public speaking, one-on-one mobilization, and general organizational skills” . The third stage in the leadership development model is the development of enhanced understanding of the power structure and union’s organizational context; while the fourth stage entails strategies that would assist in supporting as well as sustaining positions held by women in higher positions in the union, such as “reducing tokenism and institutional changes” . From these recommendations, it could be deduced that, despite the gender gap, if and when policies and procedures are appropriately put in place, women could eventually sustain leadership in top positions in various organizations including local and national unions.
Summary and Learning from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.
The provided link led the way to the official website of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. From the website, the organization’s overview provided details of its incorporation in 1968 as a non-profit and charitable institution. Likewise, the mission of the organization was explicitly stated as follows: “to eliminate coercive union power and compulsory unionism abuses through strategic litigation, public information, and education
The home page provides links to access the following portals: information about the organization in general, your rights, free legal aid, newsletter, blog, news and press, search, and donate . By clicking on the ‘your rights’ portal, for instance, users would be accorded with the opportunity to learn about various rights such as right to work where details could be read in a matter of three (3) minutes. Moreover, for users who need to search on legal rights, the portal recommends clicking on various accessible links depending on the category of employment one belongs to, such as:
“Federal Government Employee, Private Sector Employee, Public School Teacher or College Professor, Airline/Railway Employee, (or) State or Local Government Employee” . Concurrently, the free legal aid portal requires users to input some personal details prior to the subject of inquiry.
Navigating through the website has enabled one to learn that the organization provides ample assistance to users through the information on the rights of workers and how their work-related problems or issues could be legally assisted. The provision to access various related links could further provide knowledge and information on subjects of inquiry, especially on abuses that were perpetuated in various work settings. The website is therefore a useful informational and assistance medium that would help workers in asserting their legal rights and ensuring that abuses are eliminated and not virtually tolerated.
The current discourse effectively addressed concerns regarding the petition for political action, bridging the gap of women in leadership positions in unions, as well as learning from the
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. The lessons affirmed that union leadership is relevant and essential in adhering to the legal rights of workers, as needed.
Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. (2007). Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Fossum, J. A. (2009). Labor Relations, Development, Structure, Process. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Kaminski, M., & Pauly, J. (n.d.). Union leadership and gender: obstacles for women. Retrieved from msu.edu: http://hrlr.msu.edu/faculty/documents/union_leadership_gender_kaminski_pauly.pdf
Kaminski, M., & Yakura, E. (2008). Women’s union leadership: Closing the gender gap. Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, 11(4), 459-475.
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. (2015). About the Foundation. Retrieved from nrtw.org: http://www.nrtw.org/en/about
Riccucci, N. (2008). A major setback for pay equality: The Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 28, 91-96.
UN Volunteers. (n.d.). Volunteering and Social Activism. Retrieved from unv.org: http://www.unv.org/fileadmin/img/wvw/Volunteerism-FINAL.pdf