Sample Human Resources Management Paper Contrasting Style of Labor Unions in the United States and Other Countries

Contrasting the Style of Labor Unions in the United States and other Countries

Since their inception in the 1860s in the wake of industrialization, Labor unions have continued to be in existence. The key objective of labor unions is to organize workers into professional organizations through which they can achieve collective bargains against their employers concerning work conditions and wages. While doing this, labor unions ensure that mutual benefit is maintained. Due to differences in labor laws and the economic system types, labor unions operate differently across different countries. This explains the differences that exist between labor unions in the US and in other countries.

In the operation of labor unions, the US labor organizations engage in detailed bargains for wages in contracts for the normally set wage limits for workers. In other countries such as Scandinavia, the labor organizations engage the union of employers at the national level. They also engage the government and employer federations with the objective of aligning the wage demands to the national economic policies (Blanchflower & Freeman, 2012). On the other hand, the labor organizations in Australia present their arguments for arbitration before a tribunal.

In other countries such as Germany, the negotiations by labor unions are normally industry specific. This means that the recommendations and agreements made can be extended to non-union workers within the same industries. From a consideration of the labor unions in the US, it is clear that the labor unison are specific group oriented on labor markets and not across all the groups in the country. In comparison to the Scandinavian countries, it can be said that the labor unions of the US have a decentralized operation pattern. Although this gives lower bargaining power for the unions, the impacts are unfelt due to the lower unionization levels in the country (Holley et al., 2012).


Blanchflower, D. G., Freeman, R. B. (1992). Unionism in the United States and other advanced OECD countries. Industrial Relations, 31(1), 56-79.

Holley, W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2012). The labor relations process. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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