The Implications of Technological Change on U.S. Unionization - Essay Prowess

The Implications of Technological Change on U.S. Unionization

The Implications of Technological Change on U.S. Unionization


The Implications of Technological Change on U.S. Unionization

Technological changes have compromised the traditional relationship between employees and employers. According to Bamber & Lansbury (2013), understanding why a few workers oppose technological change can be pivotal for the survival of many firms. There is no doubt that technology has made the work environment more secure and more productive. However, it has compromised their relations with unions. Today, a robot can do the work of ten employees. On the other hand, steel plants are less hazardous because machines have made the development of products more effective. Moreover, modern vehicles are substantially faster due to technological advances. 

Unions contend that they can accommodate changes in technology and keep all parties satisfied. On the contrary, it is evident that they work by limiting the make from employee contributions to ensure their business continuity (Merino, 2012). The unions try to impress employees that they can reduce cases of job satisfaction by representing employees but fail to prove it since employers have more power as a result of technological changes. This reduces employees’ trust on employees.

Implications of Technological Change on Unionization

When the rate of technological change quickened, influencing the increasing number of employees, managers developed ways to deal with employees’ resistance technology. This proposed the requirement for changes in ways to deal with the plan and performance of accommodative courses of action (Aylott, 2014). This is a result of aggregate haggling and worker challenges that some work constraints today to appreciate the privilege to contend for wage expands, get to reasonable medical services, and enhanced working conditions in the working environment among other accomplishments (Bamber & Lansbury, 2013). What is more, when technology creates new jobs, they are generally non-union. That prompts doubts that management is not intrigued by sharing any of the advantages accumulating from technology with their workforce.

The historical hatred of workers towards new technology was established on the truth of regular relocations of employees by new electronic devices and changes in procedures, and the absence of any administrative plans or authoritative plans intended to ensure that workers are oriented to the new technological direction. Technological changes were valued to be an administrative privilege that was deciphered to constitute to actualize technological changes without respect to their impacts on workers (Bamber & Lansbury, 2013). In the event that the usage replaced a few workers, it was an inescapable cost of economy advance. For this reason, employees sought the intervention of unions to protect them against job displacement.

In the last two decades, unions have tried to adjust to the changes in the technology to accommodate resulting impacts on workers’ conditions. However, technological changes have been dynamic and fast leaving unions with many challenges to adapt to these developments (Aylott, 2014). The impression is passed on that employees and their organizations are by and large kept oblivious about pending changes in technology, and accordingly, there exists a cloud of vulnerability and concern, which is supported by a continuous struggle between unions and employers. 

Notwithstanding the political and social hindrances to unions today, the tumult of technological change may have the best impact on work. New advancements increased business opportunities in new and rising segments. Skills required by employers have experienced a transform from that of manual mastery and physical quality to those of investigating and processing. Such advancements have prompted employers to employ people on a contractual and part-time basis (Bamber & Lansbury, 2013). Hence, it leaves employees with fewer options when it comes to negotiating their employment terms since employment terms are presented on a “take it or leave it” premise.

Over time, the part of a worker in manufacturing firms transitioned from a profoundly gifted one in the craftsmanship time to being viewed as one of the elements of generation. Automation likewise made another arrangement of occupations, for example, employees to plan and deliver a large-scale manufacturing apparatus. Due to these changes, employees were not straightforwardly included in the procedure yet checked and kept up machines and aided stuck in an unfortunate situation (Merino, 2012). This required a worker to understand the product procedure and the devices as opposed to using his/her expertise to make products.

Union reactions demonstrate changing encounters with the activity of optional forces. Some communicated satisfaction with the accommodative plans which included retraining, migration, and re-work under enhanced conditions (Merino, 2012). However, a large number showed disappointment in these developments. The changes were viewed as management conspiracy consenting to reduce the number of employees and afterward relegating displaced employees to mediocre occupations in undesirable working conditions to make them quit and subsequently raise the turnover rate.

Technological change, particularly through automation, has both points of interest and impediments. Automated systems enable a couple of skilled people to take every necessary step, which beforehand required different unskilled and semi-skilled employees. They likewise permit undertakings that are beyond human capacities or those unsafe or tedious employments that would be viewed as barbaric for people to perform. Contemporary managers view manual production as costly and confine the market for a product, which negatively affects the work over the long-term. Automated systems endure few or no mistakes and thus do not have the characteristic human adaptability underway (Bamber & Lansbury, 2013). Therefore, automation of working systems and procedures has been considered the way forward despite the fact that they create a constrained relationship between job satisfaction and performance.

The historical record demonstrates that new technology undermined the association of employees and unions. Unions confronted the double issue of business security for its individuals and its own reality. The plans by different unions for severance pay and early retirements constitute as a result the arrangement of the union’s part. Hence, few unions can accomplish such demands.

Today, there is increasing proposition on the labor modifications that might be required to reduce the restrained relationship between unions and employees. Adaptable pay and pay-for-performance have a tendency to affect efficiency and execution. Additionally, payment dissatisfaction which frequently emerges from the impression of being paid unreasonably has a tendency to affect employee productivity and performance (Aylott, 2014). This has blended ramifications for requiring payment for equivalent work in light of business status. From that viewpoint, requiring parallel pay can affect performance and productivity if there are contrasts in the nature of the work (Merino, 2012). This could be the situation, for instance, if low maintenance, or restricted term contract or transitory help workers do not perform the greater part of the work ordinarily done by standard, full-time employees.


There is increasing acknowledgment with respect to management that the viable use of new technology relies on upon the information and attitude of the employees appended to or connected with its operation. Where information is lacking and dispositions are negative, use of technology is ineffectual and the achievement of potential effectiveness is for quite some time deferred. Thus, the attitudes of workers and of their associations towards technological changes are vital to the presentation and effective use of new technology. Inability to decide their demeanor or having decided their attitudes can include significant expenses. Hence, this situation leaves employees and employers focused on improving their relations. Therefore, unions have little say when it comes to that point.


Aylott, E. (2014). Employee relations. London ; Philadelphia : Kogan Page Limited

Bamber, G. J., & Lansbury, R. D. (2013). New Technology (Routledge Revivals): International Perspectives on Human Resources and Industrial Relations. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Merino, N. (2012). Labor unions. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.