A trade-off is a situation in which for one to gain something, one must forego something else. In the case of trade unions, the union members always have to pay those working for them in the union for them to receive the expected services. This trade off by the union members is of great benefit to all the involved parties. Unions are an important sector of an economy as all workers cannot entrust their welfare to the hands of their employers (Tillman and Cummings, 1999).
The trade-offs by the workers are of great importance to, not only the workers, but also the firm. The fact that the union fights for improved working conditions influences the firm productivity. While working under better conditions, workers become more productive. In return, the firm’s profitability increases which results to increased competitiveness in the market. Some people might, however, feel uncomfortable in the union and wish to leave. Being in a union is never obligatory.
As others leave, others will find the pastures greener in the trade union. Some factors that may cause them not to leave include the ability to have their voices heard with ease. In a union, it is easier to come together and compel the employers to do as the union wishes. Participating in union movements, and more so being part of a union, makes one feel safe that their rights will not be violated. This is because the employers do not want workers taking matters into their own hands in unison ( Tillman and Cummings, 1999)
In a nonunionized environment, on the other hand, workers are free to do whatever they wish to do. They are not answerable to anyone. This may sound as a pretty deal as despite what a worker does, he is not subject to anyone else’s approval rather than the employer.. In the case that a union stages a strike, which is later declared illegal and all striking workers laid off, the nonunionized workers will have nothing to lose.
Tillman M. Ray, Cummings S. Michael. 1999. The Transformation of U.S. Unions: Voices, Visions, and Strategies from the Grassroots (transformations in politics and the society). Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.