No two workplaces are the same, and the needs of workers change. For this reason, unions play a crucial role in the creation of a healthy work environment. Unions allow the voice of the labor force to be heard, leading to the development of safe and fair workplaces.
For example, the Financial Services Union protects the workers of financial institutions in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. The union supports thousands of people by helping them build their future in the financial industry (source).
Unions have an incredibly positive impact on the functioning of the economy and society. Thanks to unions, the market is kept fair and people’s rights are respected. According to the Economic Policy Institute (source), unions help lower inequality, support families, fight discrimination and boost public sector participation, in addition to raising wages. Even non-union workers benefit from trade union practices.
The societal benefits of unions include :
- Union wages are higher, increasing consumer demand and the purchasing power of the population.
- Income inequality and the social inefficiencies associated with it are reduced by labor unions.
- Union members are less likely to require government assistance.
- The income tax contributions of union members are higher.
- The productivity of several fields including construction, manufacturing, and education can be enhanced by unions.
- Employee turnover rates can be improved if workers belong to a union.
- Unions stand against all forms of discrimination.
- Unions fight for better public education and against child labor.
- Unionizing allows workers to fight against monopsonies, allowing worker wages to reflect their productivity.
- Unions can bargain collectively for more efficient contracts, better health insurance, and other benefits.
How to increase efficiency for your union
1. Invest in a digital voting platform
A digital voting platform is an online system designed to use the Internet for elections. Online voting software offers a comfortable and enjoyable voting experience for both voters and election organizers.
Thanks to online voting, organizations can efficiently elect new leaders, admit new members, gather valuable data, and improve the functionality of the voting process. Online voting systems can be adapted to work with organizations of all types and sizes. This allows for quick and easy private and public sector union elections.
Properly implemented online voting has the potential to reduce the resources and man-hours required to handle elections, efficiently raising the cost effectiveness of the voting process. Hidden election costs like the printing of paper ballots and fuel for transportation can be avoided by allowing workers to vote from the comfort of their homes.
Essential features of every online voting platform include:
- Support for multiple methods of voting: An ideal online voting system is able to adapt to the needs of the organization that implements it. Therefore, when choosing an online voting platform, union organizers should expect to have multiple methods of voting to choose from. Voting should be accessible from any device capable of connecting to the Internet, including smartphones and tablets.
- Automation capabilities: To be worth its implementation, an online voting solution must be able to perform several tasks automatically and at the same time. Thanks to data management and analysis tools, the best online voting systems can instantaneously transmit information about ballots, while also providing union organizers with the tools to monitor critical information about the voting process.
- Intuitive systems and interfaces: To operate at maximum efficiency, an online voting platform must be easy to understand for all its users. Having a clean and simple interface is a major requirement. In addition, users should not see their voting capabilities reduced by faulty connections or other technical difficulties.
- Top-notch security measures: Elections are a delicate process, and there are many potential security risks to consider. Voter data and other critical information are always at risk of being accessed by malicious third parties. The security of election platforms relies on the system architecture that comprises them. This makes online voting systems with built-in security measures superior.
- Member verification and privacy protection: To guarantee the safety of users, an online voting system must keep their personal data anonymous. However, union members must identify themselves in order to vote. To satisfy both these necessities, a voting solution must have the proper encryption tools integrated into its systems.
- State-of-the-art customization tools: Because every organization has its own needs, a voting platform’s interface and functionality should be adaptable. Union operators should have the ability to customize the look and feel of the voting interface as well as all content both within the questionnaire and in email invitations.
- Real-time reporting solutions: By implementing the right data reporting tools, an online voting system can supply valuable insights. Real-time online ballot information analysis can produce accurate and constantly updating reports of the development of the elections.
What to look for in an online voting system
2. Communicate with potential union members using social media
More often than not, labor unions and representatives are prohibited from organizing on corporate property. This dramatically weakens labor movement efforts to convert non-union workers into new members. Some organizers adhere to tactics such as “salting”, which require a considerable amount of time and commitment, is morally questionable, and has a dubious chance of success.
Social media is a powerful tool for a wide variety of purposes and one of them is facilitating the organization of the labor force. There are no regulations impeding union representatives from using social media sites to contact employees, create groups, and kickstart a discussion about the rights of workers. Many unsatisfied employees might feel empowered to share their experiences on social media, helping labor unions get in touch with them.
3. Use blogs to publicize information relevant to your union
It is important for union members to understand the significance of unions and be aware of current union-related trends and events. Online blogging tools and platforms give union organizers a safe haven to express their sentiments, talk about corporate misconduct, and teach people about their rights. Blogs allow union members to share their arguments and solutions with thousands of online users.
The following are examples of relevant themes for a union blog:
- Overcoming the fear of unionization
- Learning to spot and deal with worker exploitation
- The importance of unions across history
- The effects of union decline on wage inequality
- The difference between private sector and government unions
- Sharing anecdotes about workplace incidents and similar occurrences
- The benefits of unionizing over paying fair share fees
4. Get union members actively involved
An efficient method to attract new union members is to show them the level of dedication and involvement shared by existing members. When workers have a glimpse of the hard work being done at the union, they better understand how their union membership fees are spent.
Actively involved workers have a positive impact on the efficiency of a union. Not only will they be motivated to improve the union and get more people in, but they will also rally their friends and family to help the cause.
Communication with employees should happen as soon as they join the workforce. If possible, unions should strive for the chance to meet new employees during their orientation. This practice can be beneficial because it allows new workers to learn about their rights and the advantages of joining a union before a mean-spirited employer is able to sour their expectations.
Unions should prioritize the cultivation of leadership. A union that works with hired leaders is keeping the workers who pay for their membership away from direct union involvement. Likewise, members with poor leadership qualities are less prepared to fight against disenfranchisement and recruit new members.
5. Keep union members up to date with electronic reminders
Once workers become part of a union, they should engage in as many union activities as possible. Union members have certain responsibilities like staying on schedule with voting, union membership fees, contacting other members, and promoting the union to other workers.
Contacting and helping union members remember their duties can be easily achieved using technological solutions. In fact, avant-garde online voting systems come with built-in specialized tools to schedule automatic notifications for voters. Using these features, union organizers can rapidly share vital information with many users at the same time and let them know when the next time to cast their ballot is coming up.
Automated alerts and reminders can be sent via several methods including e-mail, SMS alerts, phone calls, and more. This solution makes bad voter turnout a simpler issue to circumvent, as information about elections will be direct and easily available.