Labor management relations
Life is full of challenges when there is an economic disparity. This is lead by unemployment, poor working conditions of employees and social unrest in nature. Singapore is an island city located in Malaysia lack natural resources thus making it rely mainly on human resource as survival capital. Following poor economic situations in the early 1960s, the government played a major role in establishing and promoting social and economic development in industrial sectors through various changes in the industrial policies (Akerlof 1886). In addition, these industrial policies were like a transformation for new change thus making the government to facilitate effective commitment to industrialization, strategize initiatives to shift the industries to the corporatism and moving the corporate paternalism to the structure of wage reform and trade union. Establishment of Industrial relation management was not easy but it was kind of relationship between various institutions and members aiming to attract foreign investors so as to attain development and sustainability growth as they create job opportunities to the Singaporeans.
The labour movement, employers, and government with the objective of inter-joining the three parties characterize the scope of labor management relations (Brewster 1987). It is very difficult for Singapore as a whole nation to address experiencing problems without the existence of able bodies like trade unions that are able to each at employees easily. Being a highly industrialized country, elementary changes in the surrounding environment with incorporation of the relationship between trade unions and government have enhanced crucial key issues to the industrial relations system. Furthermore, having all the problems experienced by the Singapore, there was the establishment of tripartism to adopt a problem-solving approach to articulate the challenges of industrialization. This has dealt with the better management of the significant labor especially to the workers. With such developments and improvements in the industrial sector, there was an increase in productivity in the economy that was because of more job opportunities with efficiency matching skills and better payment.
There are four main key players in the labor management relation. Each player plays a major role in shaping the relation in the labor management sector. Since the 1930s there have been what we call trade or the labor union (Knight 2012). They were formed to resist the domination of employees by their employers through collective bargain. Through these trade unions employees are able to get good pay, better working condition and also good treatment when they are at work. Even though trade union membership has declined nowadays in Singapore, their importance cannot be over sited. Some of the roles played by trade unions may include; Collective Bargaining since unions are composed of a group of employees. This makes it easy for them to bargain with the employers on behalf of the other employees. Unions have assisted in the eradication of child labor in Singapore. In addition, unions have fought for better terms and working conditions for their employees (Kyloh 1995). With help of unions employees enjoy better wages, job security, and protection from arbitrary actions by employees. Also, unions check unfair practices done to the employees by the employers e.g. it’s unfair for employer to dominate a trade union, discriminate workers who are performing union activity or also victimizing employees who have petitioned them. Trade unions participate in making the union laws and regulation for effective work protection. In trade unions workers elect their representatives who normally represent them In case they have any burning issue they want to pass to the employers or the government. Nowadays unions have been neglected because many investors are preventing private sector and not making the worker aware of the relevant unions to join.
The Worker is the main participants of the growth of an economy. They are differentiated in an industrial relationship as private sector or public-sector workers. Regardless of the sector, they play in they take part in the production process. In Singapore, there is four recent employee relation trade. Many workers are fore thus not easy to give them job satisfaction. Majority of the Singapore citizens in the workforce are the aging group (Lock 2013). Some countries based in Singapore have a tendency of migrating to foreign countries together with their work force to look for markets. Employment of foreign workers is affected by factors such as imposed levy and quotas. In Singapore, the government has increased age at which an individual should retire at. This has encouraged many aged people to be involved in production leaving the young generation unemployed. Since the employees are the key players in the economy production firm should involve only those with value addition to the organization.
The government has an indirect effect on labor relations. It is the source of legislations thus it can have an influence on the starting and development of labor relations systems. The laws made by the Singapore government may affect the establishment of the trade unions either directly or indirectly. For example, they can provide less or greater protection for employees who disobey the employer’s rules and regulations. An employer may be forced to compensate an employee injured while working for the organization without some considerations such as if the employee had taken personal safety (Rosenberg 2010). Through government’s labor administrations, it is easy for it has an impact on how a labor relation system may operate. This makes it hard for collective bargaining to take place. The government also builds well -functioning courts for settling disputes between employees and their employers. This brings equity to the affected parties. The government of Singapore also offers parties i.e. employees and employers relevant information concerning matters affecting them, it advises them and also doing dispute settlement services.
Management is the central unit that controls the whole labor relations. Mainly it is composed of employers and other stakeholders such as supporting staff e.g. Clerks. Managers implements rules and regulation to be followed by employees (Weiss 1998). They also take part in making sure the rules are followed clearly. It’s the duty of the managers to make sure that the organization attains the required standards by the acts in Singapore e.g. The NEMA regulations, Healthy and safety regulations among others. The management also takes role of recruiting employees, training them and also making sure the employees are up to date with changes in the technology. Managers may solve disputes among the employees before it becomes worse to be solved in the court systems. Some the techniques for solving disputes among the employees may include, conciliation and mediation. Affected parties may ask the managers who in this case will be acting as the mediator to assist them in reducing their differences. Secondly, the managers may bring a third part (arbitrator) who is authorized to impose a decision though he doesn’t belong to the judiciary body. Through arbitration, workers are able to enjoy harmony in the organization. Managers create a conducive working environment for workers. This improves organizations productivity thus more profits.
Collaboration in one’s business is of great concern which most of the entrepreneurs should put into consideration. Tripartism refers to agreement of various individuals as government, unions, and government with an aim improving economic conditions. It the main competitive advantage in Singapore which has promoted economic competitiveness and labor- management relations as well as contributing to the overall progress of the country (Yeats 1991). Tripartite ensure core main issues such as training, motivating and upgrading the workforce of the employees by giving incentives, raising the effective retirement age to ensure maximum benefit of the employees and ensuring attainment of progressive and fair employment opportunities. In addition, issues such as job creation opportunities and a flexible wage rate system are also articulated.
Due to developments in industrial relations, Singapore’s employment rate to it residents is high which means that there are minimal chances of unemployment. Companies feel secure to set up their business investments adequately for long-term periods o durations since the chances of strikes are alien. The harmonious situation of the Singapore is due to the empowerment of trade unions, government, and employee groups thus valuing safeguarding but still, tripartism has a very long journey to go if we go consider various industrial problems. Employment of skilled workers in the industry leads to decline in annual average rate of employment thereby resulting in substantial improvement in international competitiveness due to the expense incurred on labor returns.
Earlier, trade unions and its management made the wage adjustments as a something habitual in nature. This articulated the government to form the national wage council as a tripartite advisory on wage adjustments. Failure to include public to this decision making, made the public to take it as being informal thus bringing industrial disputes and strikes. Embark of the Singapore in rapid industrialization paved a way to labor shortage adding pressure to increase wages on employees. The greatest concern of the government was on increase in wages that will create national productivity gains. The tripartite advisory body formulated the guidelines on wage policy recommending wage adjustments on the economic performance progress of Singapore. These schemes made the operations for efficiency thus creating more productivity outputs. In making the decisions on wage adjustments, the national wage council takes into consideration the factors such as loyal employment market and inflation. It can also to take these key factors such as international competitiveness, productivity, index and economic growth.
Wages are said to be flexible if they can respond to changes in supply and demand. These wages are set by the MRP of labor and the marginal cost of labor. Change in supply for labor will bring about change in the wage rate. If workers marginal product increases, it would mean an increase in wage foe each employee.
In Singapore firms are shifting compensation strategies to accommodate changes in the economy. Many private sector workers are under Flexible Wage System. Flexible wage rate systems allow organizations to make any necessary adjustment to existing ones in accordance with economic fluctuations. The organization should also factor reward to employees based individual’s performance (Rosenberg 2010). Nowadays some organizations in Singapore are still using Central Provident Fund (CPF). This is because the success of FWS was largely contributed by unions’ efforts. Some of the barriers to the establishment of FWS include, nature of industries, the administrative cost of implementing FWS which tends to be expensive, psychological barriers of workers and too much influence on the uptake of FWS. With flexible wage system rate gives firms the flexibility to change wages and compensation according to change in climate pattern.
In summary, cooperation is very important while doing business engagements. It ca n promote industrial harmony thus becoming an important national asset. The government has the mandate to develop most progressive workplace s for better performance of the workers. This will ensure that the Singaporeans have fully enjoyed while working o their same premises or public ones. The government can only do that if the public has participated in decision synthesis and making. In addition, handling employees in organizations without problems is very difficult. The reason being, if they are unsatisfied about working in the same environment they cause strikes thus lowering the productivity. Employees are the major key participants in the organization since they start the journey of direct foreign investments in Singapore (Yeats, 1991). They create a market to the interesting parties increasing the productivity of company’s product through market share thus, it is very important to give pay remuneration that is enough for a job done. The collaboration of trade union and government brings the start of harmony in the entire country. This is because while the government is maintaining low and order through legislation, trade unions ensure there is no discrimination to the traders.
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