A trade union is an organization, which is made up of workers who are permanent, or temporary formed to protect and improve the rights at their workplace and to enhance their status in society (Huat, 2007). In these days, trade union become key developmental agents in society and gains a lot of interest in relation to productivity because strong existence of trade union can give an industrial peace.
In a Singapore situation, Trade Union Act was amended during 1972 to 1990. The major objectives of Trade Union Act is
• To encourage good industrial relations between employers and employees
• To develop the working situations of workmen such as employment security, safety, and healthy working environment or
• To increase workers’ economic and social status and;
• To achieve the rising of productivity for the benefit of workmen, employers and the economy of Singapore (Ministry Of Manpower)
What roles can trade union play in promoting productivity?
As many of organizations go to globalization, the rapid changes in technology, and increasing market, organizations have to be competitive. In order to be a successful organization, it depends highly on human resources like workers’ skills, experiences and on productivity. Therefore, trade unions need to play a role of proactive and supportive in helping management so that work force will become productivity (Boon, 1999).
According to Derek Bok and John Dunlop (1970), the impact of trade union in productivity has long been one of the major controversies among analyst of unionism. (C.Bok & T.Dunlop, 1970)
According to Labor union, National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) formed the productivity campaign and the Productivity Promotional Council. The focus of this campaign is to support productivity and quality awareness at the workplace. Regarding employers groups, Singapore National Employers’ Federation and Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation supported the Productivity Movement. Both unions and employers group encouraged workforce training with financial incentives from the National Productivity Board governed Skill Development Fund (SDF) (Gasskov, 2000). Moreover, productivity-related programs were educated at polytechnics to increase productivity knowledge in the future workforce (Kitaw I. O.). According to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2010/2011 Report, Singapore ranked as a third and in 2011/2012 it ranked as 2nd among 139 countries. This is mainly due to the effectiveness of productivity enhancement programs at the national level (Kitaw D. ).
Union aids members in training or internships so that employees will become higher skill workers. It has found out that participants can get experience, abilities and assurance to handle the new responsibility and raise activity in the workplace from the training courses. Therefore, higher skill workers will perform higher and as a result productivity will increase. (Trades Union Congress, 2009). In industries like construction, unionized...