What is Unionization?

Definition: Unionization is the process of gathering enough employees to form a labor union to represent them in front of certain company, government or trade associations. It is a common practice for workers to demand more benefits to companies by grouping themselves in large associations with enough leverage to influence decisions.

What Does Unionization Mean?

Unions started to appear in the 18th century as a result of the development of many industries throughout Europe. They have experienced many attempts to be disappeared or silenced by governments and business owners since unions have a lot of leverage into the population as a whole and they have the potential to create social unrest. This is the reason why in modern times most of the countries allow unions to be freely formed but they also have to comply with many regulations to reduce their influence and power to make them more manageable society participants.

Unionization on the other hand, is a tendency created as a result of unequal wealth distribution normally promoted by capitalists systems. In this economic environments, workers tend to fill under-compensated since they do the “hard work” and get only a small portion of the company’s profits. In order to balance this situation, workers push trough unions to increase their benefits, grasping a bigger portion of the profits along the way.

Example

Paul is a Press Operator in a plastic manufacturing plant. Along with his co-workers he is currently unhappy with the work conditions offered by the company. They don’t offer an HMO, the company is constantly failing to provide proper safety equipment for the job and their wages are 20% lower than the industry average of their state.

For this reason Paul decided to preside a unionization. This process will allow the workers to press the company towards more adequate work conditions and fairer wages. The company’s Board of Directors is fighting the creation of the union but it seems inevitable due to the lack of attention the workers have received in the last two years.