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Labour Last Updated: Jan 17, 2014 - 8:14:09 AM

Trade Unions & Syndicates
By Mohammad S. Moussalli, Middle East Tribune 15/1/14
Jan 17, 2014 - 8:13:10 AM

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Syndicalism, which syndicate derived from, is a French originated term similar to unionism, while revolutionary trade unionism is known as Revolutionary Syndicalism. Revolutionary syndicalism opinions were first expressed in London in the 1860s by Karl Marx and presented to the first conference of the international workingmen’s association in Geneva 1866.

However, revolutionary syndicalism foresees a stateless society in which a federation of self-governing unions administers production to satisfy the needs of the community. In fact, true syndicalism appeared in France later in the 1870s. It was strongly influenced by the writings of Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Georges Sorel. At that time, syndicates were considered simply as instruments for improving the conditions of workers within an existing social organization.

A trade  union, or syndicate, is the unification of employees or workers founded to protect and promote their social and financial interests.  It is an  association acting collectively in representing its members, determining salaries and labor conditions throughout a collective bargaining process. In the event that fundamental accords are unattainable, a syndicate may deliver a strike or conduct other negative commercial actions against the employer. In some nations, unions act as the economic nerves of a large labor movement that may embody a political party and/or a social association. Syndicates or unions are of three main categories:

- Craft unions composed of those who perform a specific kind of personal work, such as electricians, carpenters, etc…

-  Industrial unions consisted of those who work in a special industry, such as car workers, steelworkers, etc…

-  Professional unions composed of those performing a distinctive occupation or profession, such as nurses, Flight Attendants, pilots, etc…

Collective bargaining typically refers to the negotiation process between employers and employees (represented by a syndicate or a union) about conditions of employment. In addition to union representatives and administration executives, government official envoys usually engage when a major company or important business is concerned.

Collective agreement is the most significant utility of unions in modern and democratic countries. The topics overlaid in coexisting contracts are expanded to enclose wages, working conditions, safety regulations, health insurance, increased allowances, lengthened holidays, maternity leave, and the most important complaint procedures to protect workers and employees against unfair actions.

- Closed Shop Agreement is a part of the collective bargaining agreement. The employer adapts a requirement in which all employees in a company should be union members as a condition of employment, and that they must remain settled in the union as a requirement of prolonged employment.

- Open Shop Agreement is the contrary of the closed shop arrangement. It is when employees and workers are employed irrelative to their membership in a union.

-  Union-Shop Agreement is another formation of the collective bargaining agreement whereby the employer can hire people inattentive of their membership in the union, provided that they obtain their union membership within certain defined period.

In reality, unions were brought into existence by its members to represent their interests, preserve their rights, and to protect them from future uncertainties. Syndicates that have the legitimacy and stamina to endanger constant services of employers have assisted to dignify and elevate the living standard of its members. However, the real winning policy was, and still is, the combination of negotiations with direct negative actions (strikes, boycotts, and propaganda), along with political mediation.

After all, solidarity and unity ahead with a thoughtful planning and skillful tactics are the reasonable elements of genuine success. Yet, the existence of straightforward and rational relations between the working force and the employer is one of the key factors to a flourishing and profitable business for all.

Source:Ocnus.net 2014

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