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  1. Whether you work in the medical field, a theme park, or perform manual labor or construction, there are many reasons to take a California OSHA training course. You may not be required to take one for your current job, but having an OSHA card is an asset to those working in any industry and to have on your resume. OSHA Courses Online OSHA training makes it easier for workers to get training fast and efficiently. While classroom courses are offered throughout the state, online OSHA hazard recognition training guarantees high-quality, interactive education for every student, with downloadable lesson reviews, course trainer access, and 24/7 live customer support. These courses are offered through the American Safety Council and can be completed on your time, stopped and resumed as often as you want. Choose from the courses below to learn more about OSHA training available for your area. What You Get Instant Downloadable Certificate Completion Certificate and Wallet Card Email Access to OSHA-Authorized Course Trainer Money-Back Guarantee California Labor Laws The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal/OSHA, covers almost all public and private-sector employees, with a few exceptions for employees involved with the federal government in a variety of ways, the United States Postal Service, employees on Native American lands, and workers in maritime activities on navigable waterways. These are some of the many diverse sectors that Cal/OSHA oversees to ensure public safety: Elevators Amusement rides Ski lifts Pressure vessels, like boilers and tanks One of the main features for Cal/OSHA is their partnership program, which was the first of its kind in the nation. Recognizing they can't ensure worker safety and health standards all on their own, they offer various partnership opportunities for industry and labor to work together in a cooperative attempt to benefit everyone. Featured Cal/OSHA safety programs include the following: Ebola Virus Information Adult Film Industry Heat Illness Prevention Confined Space Safety Safe Patient Handling Partnerships to improve workplace safety Work-related Valley Fever Advice
  2. Employee Rights to Documents and Records You have the right to receive copies of written information about hazards in your workplace. Exposure Records and Medical Records: You may access exposure records that show your own exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents as well as exposures to other employees doing similar work. Your employer must provide you the records within 15 days after receiving your written request. Exposure records include environmental workplace monitoring, biological monitoring results, and safety data sheets. You may access medical records if you are the subject of the records or have the subject’s written consent. Medical records include medical questionnaires and histories, examination results, medical opinions and diagnoses, descriptions of treatment and prescriptions, first aid reports, and employee medical complaints. Safety Data Sheets: These sheets contain information about hazardous chemicals in your workplace. Your employer must keep these sheets readily accessible and must provide them to you upon request. Electronic access is allowed as long as there are no barriers to immediate access. Records of Occupational Injury or Illness: You have the right to receive copies of the following records: Log of WorkRelated Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300); Annual Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A); and Injury and Illness Incident Report (Form 301) describing an injury or illness that happened to you. In most industries, your employer must provide you copies by the end of the next business day. Written Health and Safety Plans: You have the right to review your employer’s written plans for certain Cal/ OSHA-required programs, such as hazard communication, respiratory protection, and permit-required confined space entry procedures.
  3. Requirements for an employer’s injury and illness prevention program All California employers must create and carry out an effective program to meet the requirements of Cal/OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) regulation. The employer’s IIPP must be in writing and must specify in concrete terms the employer’s ongoing activities in each of the following areas: • Responsibility: Name or job title of the person or persons authorized and responsible for implementing the program. • Compliance: Written system for ensuring compliance with safe and healthy work practices. • Communication: System for communicating in a form readily understandable by employees about safety and health matters. This can include meetings, trainings, postings, written communications, and a labor-management safety and health committee. Employers must encourage employees to report hazards without fear of reprisal. An employer using a labor-management committee to communicate health and safety matters with employees must meet certain requirements specified in the IIPP regulation. • Hazard Assessment: Procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards, including periodic inspections. • Accident or Exposure Investigation: Procedure for investigating occupational injuries and illnesses. • Hazard Correction: Methods and procedures to correct unsafe or unhealthy working conditions in a timely manner. • Training and Instruction: Effective program for instructing employees on general safe work practices and hazards specific to each job assignment, in a language that the employees can understand. • Recordkeeping: Written documentation of the steps taken by the employer to establish and implement the IIPP. Investigation Cal/OSHA investigates complaints of hazards in different ways. Sometimes, the fastest and most effective way is for Cal/OSHA to notify the employer and require the employer to correct the hazard. Other times, Cal/OSHA conducts an on-site inspection. On-site inspection When Cal/OSHA conducts an on-site inspection, the inspector arrives without advance notice. • Upon arrival, the inspector holds an opening conference with the employer and union (if there is one) to explain the purpose of the inspection and how it will be conducted. • The inspector walks around the site, observes hazards, interviews employees and supervisors, reviews written records, and takes measurements and photographs as necessary. • A representative of the employer and a representative authorized by the employees may walk around with the inspector. • You have the right to be interviewed in private without the employer present. The Cal/OSHA inspector will make every effort to arrange for interpreter services if needed. • You may ask the inspector to give you his or her business card so you can contact the inspector away from your job. • The inspector may visit the site again to collect further information, especially if the inspector needs to speak with employees who were not available during the first visit. After the inspection: Information that Cal/OSHA collects during the inspection may show that your employer violated health and safety requirements. If this happens, one or more citations will be issued to your employer. Cal/OSHA issues citations to employers only, not to employees. If you gave your contact information when you filed the complaint, Cal/OSHA will send you a letter describing the results of the inspection. Your employer must “abate,” or correct, the violations by a specified deadline. You may contest the abatement date by filing an appeal 15 days after the citations are issued. But if the employer appeals a citation, abatement may not happen until after the appeal is resolved. You may participate in any appeal filed by the employer by filing a motion to be added as a party in the appeal process. In any case where Cal/OSHA issues citations, the employer must post in the workplace a copy of the citations, a description of how the hazards have been corrected, and a copy of any appeal that is filed. You may also call Cal/OSHA to request a copy of the results of the inspection, including any citations.
  4. Information you should provide to district office staff: • When you call Cal/OSHA, the information you provide may be critical to the success of Cal/OSHA’s investigation of the hazard. You should give the staff person the following information: • Name and address of your employer. Include the job site address if it is different from the mailing address. • Where the hazard is located at the job site. Example: “The table saw in room 12.” • When the hazardous operation or condition occurs. Example: “We use this solvent to clean every Friday afternoon.” • Description of the hazard. You do not need to know the legal requirements. You only need to state the problem. Examples: “Bad brakes on forklift,” or “no fall protection.” Right to Refuse Hazardous Work In addition to filing a complaint, you have the right to refuse hazardous work. It is illegal for your employer to punish you for refusing to perform hazardous work if both of the following are true: 1. Performing the work would violate a Cal/OSHA health or safety regulation. 2. The violation would create a “real and apparent hazard” to you or your coworkers. When these conditions are met, you have the right to refuse to perform the work. But before you refuse, you should take the following steps: • Tell your supervisor about the hazard and ask that it be corrected. • Explain that you are willing to continue working if the hazard is corrected or you are assigned other work that is safe. • State that you believe a health or safety regulation is being violated. • Contact your union shop steward, if you have one. If the problem is not fixed, call Cal/OSHA and file a complaint. Protection Against Retaliation It is also illegal for your employer to threaten, discharge, demote, or suspend you for reporting hazards to your employer, filing a complaint with Cal/OSHA, or otherwise exercising your rights to a safe and healthful workplace. If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you for exercising these rights, you have the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, also called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The Labor Commissioner may be able to recover wages owed to you and help you get your job back. In most cases, you must file your complaint within six months of the retaliation. View a listing of Labor Commissioner offices and contact the office nearest your workplace.
  5. Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace? Discrimination against women in the workplace is when an employer treats a female employee less favorably than the employer would a male employee specifically because of the employee's gender. Examples of discrimination against women in the workplace are when a woman is rejected for employment, when a woman loses a promotion to a less-qualified male employee, or when a woman is harmed in any way because of her gender. Workplace Discrimination Definition Workplace discrimination is when an employer treats either a male or female employee differently specifically because of his or her gender. Workplace discrimination is more commonly called gender discrimination or sexual discrimination. Gender Discrimination Definition The terms "sex" and "gender" are often used interchangeably in everyday language. But they actually have very different meanings. The term "sex" is based on anatomical identity. Social scientists use it to identify a person as male or female. The term "gender" is a cultural term for the characteristics that are generally associated with maleness or femaleness. Discrimination can be based on sex, gender, or both sex and gender. But no matter which way it is labeled, discrimination is illegal. Federal Laws Prohibiting Workplace Discrimination Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, and national original. Title VII applies to all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This law essentially applies the standards of Title VII to the federal government as an employer. Equal Pay Act (EPA). The EPA prohibits sex-based pay discrimination between men and women who perform under similar working conditions. The EPA applies to all employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA, a part of Title VII, prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA prohibits discrimination against pregnant women and parents as well as employees with serious health conditions. In 2008, two new types of FMLA leave were created, which gives job-protected leave for family of the armed services members. Workplace Discrimination: Promotions In the past, qualified female employees have often been prevented from advancing to management positions in companies because of their gender. This term often used for this artificial barrier is "glass ceiling." If this is the case, it is considered workplace discrimination against women and protected by Title VII. Workplace Discrimination: Sexual Harassment When a person in an authority role asks for sexual favors from an employee in exchange for a workplace benefit, it is called Quid pro quo sexual harassment. Some examples of a workplace benefit include a promotion, an increase in pay, and protection from being laid off. It is also considered sexual harassment when a male co-worker or authority figure tells inappropriate jokes, makes threats, or exhibits any form of behavior that could intimidate a female employee or affect her ability to work. This type of sexual harassment falls under the label of "Hostile Work Environment." Workplace Discrimination: Breast-Feeding Currently, there are no federal laws that protect nursing mothers. But some states have laws that make it illegal to discriminate against breast-feeding women. Some states take it a step further and require employers to give proper facilities for breast-feeding in the workplace. Workplace Discrimination: Enforcement of the Law The federal government agency responsible for investigating workplace discrimination complaints in workplaces of 15 or more employees is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition to federal laws against discrimination, there are also state laws against discrimination in most states. These states have their own agencies to enforce the laws. Legal relief for victims of workplace discrimination may include: Reinstatement Back pay Promotion Compensatory damages (emotional pain and suffering) Punitive damages (damages to punish the employer) Payment of attorney and expert witness fees Payment of court costs To reduce the chance that discrimination will occur again, an employer may be legally required to take corrective action against the source of the discrimination and to stop the discriminatory practice involved in the case. If you would like more information or advice about discrimination against women in the workplace, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.
  6. Gender discrimination, sometimes referred to as sex-based discrimination or sexual discrimination, is the unequal treatment of someone based on her (or his) sex. A civil rights violation, it's illegal in the workplace when it affects the "terms or conditions of employment." It's addressed by federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, as well as other legislation. Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment falls under the umbrella of gender discrimination. A woman might be entitled to the same perks, advancements, pay, and other benefits as their male counterpart according to company policy, but behavior toward her in the workplace is untenable and it's related to her gender. I am sure you're familiar with the 2017 #MeToo movement birthed by sexual harassment claims made against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein when actress Ashley Judd bravely gave her story to major news outlets. Years earlier, Weinstein had threatened Judd if she didn't agree to a sexual act. Hollywood's examples are extreme but this would be the case if Judd were subjected to unwelcome touching or even offensive jokes aimed at her sex or sexual identity. And while one joke might be OK, repeated jokes on a daily or frequent basis constitute harassment. Harassment can also involve promises of advancement in exchange for sexual favors. Not Just Men The woman's harasser does not necessarily have to be a male. Women can be just as guilty of sexual harassment toward other women. Likewise, the harasser does not necessarily have to be the woman's boss or supervisor. It's still harassment if a coworker or client is the source of the behavior and the company's management does nothing to put a stop to it. What Constitutes Discrimination The proverbial "glass ceiling" is a classic example of workplace gender discrimination–the unwritten code that women cannot hold certain senior positions and are prevented from advancing beyond a certain point because of gender despite their skills, talents, and qualifications. Promotional Bias The glass ceiling situation falls under the category of promotional basis. There are various reasons for this basis; having children being the main one. The glass ceiling movement, birthed in the late 1900s, was supposed to shatter the barrier (i.e., ceiling) that prevented women from moving up the corporate ladder. And, although women have come a long way, they're not there yet. In 1990 there were six women on the Fortune 500 list of CEOs. In 2017 there were 32 women. More women, but not enough, considering we're talking about 500 CEOs. But sexual discrimination goes further than that CEOship. A man and woman might hold the exact same position and perform the same duties within a company, but the job title is different. The man may also be paid more, or he might be entitled to raises or promotions on a different schedule, and at a faster pace, than the woman. Interview Questions The interview process should be similar (if not the same) for both genders, but women are frequently expected to field different types of questions. Women are often asked if they have children or if they intend to have children. These types of family questions are illegal, and more importantly, have no bearing on a person’s ability to do a job well. However, many employers predicate hiring potential employees on the notion that they might need to utilize maternity leave. Employers need to consider that fathers (whether straight or gay) may need to take paternity leave. Neither gender should be asked the question. Terminations All too often, terminations are handled with gender bias. It can be especially prevalent in male-dominated industries (such as manufacturing) where sexual harassment is not taken seriously. There are cases of women who have complained about gender bias and found themselves unemployed. A female engineer at luxury car manufacturer Tesla, AJ Vandermeyden, accused the manufacturer of ignoring her complaints of sexual harassment and paying her less than her male counterparts. Then, she was fired in what her lawyer alleged was an act of retaliation. Vandermeyden, who went public, also claimed she was taunted and catcalled by male employees and that Tesla failed to address her complaints about the harassment, unequal pay, and discrimination. This is just one example. Most people aren't as brave as Vandermeyden was to speak up for fear of a blemished work record and/or a bad reputation in their industry. How to Report Discrimination If you or someone you know is a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace (male, female, bi, or trans) first, tell your company's human resources department. Or, speak with your supervisor if your company doesn't have a human resources department. If the situation persists, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and file a charge of discrimination—a first step before you resort to suing your employer. But, before you sue, meet with an attorney to determine what the requirements are where you work. You may have as little as six months to file a charge and the EEOC typically must investigate your complaint first before you're permitted to take other civil action.
  7. Men are not supposed to be paid more for performing a particular job just because they are men. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it a legal federal requirement that pay scales for identical work be the same regardless of whether the employee doing the labor is male or female. If a woman works the same hours, performs the same tasks, and has to meet the same goals for her employer as a man does, she is entitled to equal pay. When women are paid less than men based on their gender, it is a form of sex discrimination and it is illegal. The following statistics show how women are often underpaid in the United States. Pay Inequality - Women Earn Less Than Men Across the Board Today, on average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women's median annual earnings are $10,086 less than men's, according to data from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage increases somewhat for female workers between the ages of 25 and 34, indicating that older women and young women fare worse when it comes to pay equality. Women in this age demographic earned 90 percent of men's salaries and wages, although this is still significantly less than equal. Women must work on average an additional 44 days to earn the same annual salary as their male counterparts. Even in jobs categories such as child care that are predominantly occupied by women, they still only earn about 95 percent of men's wages for performing the same jobs. While progress has been made toward pay parity between the sexes over the past 55 years, the Institute for Women's Policy Research estimates that it will not be reached until 2059. What Pay Inequity Looks Like, State by State According to data from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, the average gender pay gap in the United States is around 19.5 percent, meaning that, on average, a woman earns 80.5 percent less than her male counterpart. That gap can be larger or smaller depending on the state someone lives in. Most states have implemented laws against gender discrimination, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects women at the federal level, yet disparities persist. In Louisiana, for instance, the gender pay gap is 30 percent, the biggest wage gap in the nation. Twenty-nine states in the country currently have gender pay gaps that are larger than the national average. New York has the smallest pay gap at 11 percent, with full-time, year-round women over 25 there making a median salary of $47,358, while men make $53,124. The Equal Pay Act The Equal Pay Act does not mandate that jobs held by men and women must be identical for purposes of receiving the same pay, but that they should be "substantially similar"—which is the government's way of saying that each performs much the same duties regardless of job title. The Equal Pay Act does permit aggrieved workers to take their complaints up directly with the state or federal court system without having to first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It's also important to note that employers are not permitted to equalize pay in the face of a complaint by reducing the wages or salary of the higher paid employee.
  8. Discrimination against women starts at birth. Gender lines are drawn early, and exclusions for women continue throughout adulthood. These constant messages may lead to a false belief that women do not belong in the corporate world. We Are All Born Into a World Filled With Stereotypes From the moment we are conceived, both boys and girls are subjected to stereotypes. The baby aisle in stores is filled with blue blankets and clothes for boys, while adjacent aisles are filled with pink for girls. A few stores (for example, Target) are slowly starting to steer away from gender-focused marketing, but stereotypes still persist. Challenges in the form of discrimination for women begin in childhood as young girls may be brought up to believe that they are only suited for certain professions or, in some cases, only to serve as wives and mothers. Gender lines are drawn early, and exclusions for women continue throughout adulthood. Elementary School Studies show that teachers still give more time and attention in math and science to boys while giving more to girls in language arts. Since math and science are vital skills for many male-dominated professions, like medicine, engineering, and architecture, does this encourage little girls to focus on other areas of learning? The divergence in academic path girls and boys choose after elementary would seem to indicate, yes. Middle and High School Years In middle and high school, girls are more likely than boys to be discouraged from participating in sports, and clubs like debate, math, and science. But girls are more likely to be encouraged to participate in after-school volunteer work, social programs, and more passive activities. College Years After childhood, young women are often encouraged, or even pressured, into pursuing an education in more stereotypical female-oriented professions, like teaching, nursing, caregiving, retail, and office administration. Women are now earning more degrees than men at every level, and with higher grades and honors. But women starting their own businesses are less likely to have a college degree in their specific industry or first-profession degree, than are male entrepreneurs. They are also less likely to get a job in a Ph.D.-related field. Statistics Show Trends Haven’t Changed Much, Yet More women are starting businesses than men, more women are in the workforce than men, and the majority of degree-holders are now women. Yet, according to the Department of Labor 2007 statistics, women are still only dominating fields and industries that are often seen as “female.” According to CNN Money, in 2006, there were only 10 women running Fortune 500 companies, and only 20 in the top 1,000. But it’s a start.
  9. The question of, "What do you know about us?" is asked to gauge your real interest in the job and the employer. They are not interested in you if you are not interested in them. If you fail to have a good answer to this question, the interview is effectively over. So, demonstrate that you are really interested -- that you didn't just hit a the "apply" button on a random job posting. Smart job seekers are well prepared for this question to so their interest in the employer and the job are clear. So, What Do You Know About Them? If you don't know much about them, the assumption will be made that really you aren't very interested in the job. Because, if you really were interested, you would know enough about the company to answer this question well. Preparation is in two parts: 1. Be prepared by researching the employer. Researching the employer is a very smart thing to do for a number of reasons. Research will help you answer this question. Find out all you can about the job and the employer. First, read that job description sentence-by-sentence to be sure you understand what they seem to be looking for and how you match the requirements. Then, Examine the employer's website: About Us, Mission, Products (or Services), People, etc. Google the employer's name to see what you discover. Clients? Competitors? Raves? Slams? Look for a LinkedIn Company Profile where you can examine the profiles of employees you may be connected to (networking!). If it's a publicly-traded company, law requires an annual report to be published, so check AnnualReports.com which will be full of facts on sales, profits, key executives, locations, and much more. 2. Make notes about what you find. List key facts about the organization like: What they do. Their products or services, pay particular attention to the names of those products and services. The key employees. General size - small, medium, or large, both in terms of revenue as well as number of employees. Their locations (if they have more than one). Their major competitors, and how they compare with those competitors in terms of size (total sales), profitability (maybe), how/where they are better (and worse), and anything else you can find. Have you used any of your products or services? Was it a good experience or a bad one? Look for reviews of their products or services. Is that part of the organization growing or declining? Do you see anything that is particularly interesting to you -- maybe you are a long-time user of one of their products or you know a key employee of one of their clients. Add that to your notes, too, but be very careful of negatives (like you hate one of their products). Make note of anything related to the job or the employer that looks very interesting or raises concerns for you. Search for answers, and carefully ask related questions. 3. Practice answering the question. As you prepare, practice tying your answer to benefits for them of hiring you. Assuming that these connections or accomplishments are relevant to the job you are seeking, you could say something like the examples below. Sample Answers For a job with a company that provides information technology software to the local healthcare industry, a job candidate could answer -- "I see that your company has been in business for over thirty years, with an excellent reputation for reliable employee records management software, specializing in systems which can handle both unionized and non-union employees effectively. "Your clients range from small practices to the major healthcare providers in the country, and also include assisted living residences and nursing homes. "I'm very interested in learning more about the mobile apps you have developed to support collecting data from home healthcare suppliers. My experience in this field has shown me that we need to understand this work better both to provide better service and also to retain the best employees." Or, a job candidate could provide this answer when interviewing for a job with an accounting firm -- "This accounting firm was started in 1990 by Jane Whatever and Robert Example to provide auditing and corporate reporting services as well as Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory compliance and reporting. Your firm now has over 300 employees as well an excellent reputation. "Your clients include the top companies in this state. You have offices in the three largest cities in the state, and you seem to be consistently growing. "I read a recent article by Jane Whatever in Important Website about the results of your research into effectively reporting accurate data via mobile app. This research is very interesting to me because I know how important collecting and accurately reporting such data is to helping management be most effective." Don't exaggerate or over-do the compliments. Demonstrate that you have done enough research to know that you are truly interested in working for the organization, but avoid seeming like a stalker -- e.g., don't track down where people live or mention what cars they drive (even if you are a big fan of that location or car). Bottom Line By being well-prepared, you can successfully and confidently answer an employer when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" Go get ‘em!
  10. The question of, "Why do you want to work here?" is not limited to job interviews. You’ll find it knocking on your door in networking, informational interviewing, and even at job fairs. When you are asked this innocent-sounding question, you must have a strong, relevant answer. Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the skills, talents, experience, and strengths you have that are a match for their culture and the targeted position/department. It's Not About You Until you get to the point of receiving an offer, employers are just looking for reasons to eliminate you. Here are some answers you never want to find coming out of your mouth: "For the money." "It seems like a nice place to work." "My cousin Fred works for you, and he says the benefits are great." All three of these answers are similar, and may be absolutely true. However, they share the same problem – they are all about what you want. However, they do not make the employer interested in hiring you. Generic answers don't make you stand out either: "Because I know I can make a really good contribution." "Because I know you have an opening for ______________, and I am qualified." While these may seem better, they err in the similar manner of being vague, "vanilla" answers that anyone could give to any employer for any job. What's Wrong with Those Answers? The answers above don't stand out to the employer because they aren't about the employer. They make one of two mistakes: Those answers, above, focus on the benefit to you of the job. While the employer probably wants you to be happy in the job, they don't care about the benefit to you at this point. They want to know the benefit to them if they hire you. Those answers don't demonstrate your understanding of the employer's needs. The employer wants to know that you are really interested in this job, and a vague or self-focused answer doesn't show that interest. With these answers, you fade into the woodwork and get lost among the other job seekers who have not done their homework either. These answers will never get you far with an employer. Do Your Homework When I say, "homework" I am referring to research and preparation in four key areas: Know yourself Know the company Know the position Know the interviewers and hiring manager (if possible) Let me walk you through these: 1. Know Yourself Before you talk to employers, or even network for positions, you need to have a strong grasp of what you can offer them. (What’s the return on investment you provide to the employer? Why are you the person they should hire?) Analyze the job description, point-by-point. What are they looking for? Write down the job requirements, one by one. Then, determine how do you match -- or exceed -- those requirements. Write down your matching accomplishments or skills for each requirement. 2. Know the Company Get to know the companies you will be talking to (or talking about, if networking). When you know details about them, their culture, their goals, their products, and their challenges, you are then able to talk about yourself and your fit into the company. Google the company, and read all you can. Visit their company website to learn more about them. 3. Know the Position Don't appear to be shopping for "any job you find me qualified for." Instead, you need to know where you would fit into the company, whether there is a current advertised opening or not. Again, resources like LinkedIn will let you search profiles for staff in target departments. Use the information to learn more about their job responsibilities and to identify LinkedIn Groups they belong to (and join them). Also, using Google and viewing the company website will allow you to learn more as well. 4. Know the Interviewers Hopefully you know the name(s) and job title(s) of the person or people who will be interviewing you. If you do know their names, you can Google them and also check out their LinkedIn Profiles to learn more about them. Perhaps you share something with one or all of them, from a previous employer to a school, certification, professional association, hobby, or home town. Any information you learn can help you build rapport with the person by mentioning it. Or, the information can help you be prepared for the person's approach or reputation, without disclosing the commonality you share. Sample Answers: Putting it All Together Once you have done all your pre-interview homework, the reasons you want to work for this employer should be more clear to you. If appropriate, you can reference your research, which should impress the interviewers. The quality of the employer's products, for example -- I have used your software products for many years, and always been very impressed with the innovations and consistent concern for helping your customers learn how to use them effectively. With the high quality of your products, marketing them almost feels like a public service. I would greatly enjoy helping you to continue to innovate and to increase your market share. The quality of the employer's reputation as an employer, for example -- This company has a wonderful reputation as a great place to work. You place high value on your employees and encourage them to learn, grow, and innovate inside the company. This means that employees happily work here for many years, far beyond the average length with one employer. And, according to your customers, the high quality of your products and services reflect your high employee satisfaction, which is not surprising. This feels like a win-win-win for stockholders, employees, and customers, and I would be very happy to join this organization. The employer's business reputation, for example -- This firm has the reputation of being one of the leading accounting firms in this state, with a list of impressive customers as well as high customer satisfaction rates. Your partners are frequent speakers at national conferences, advocating strong security measures to protect financial transactions and information. These are signs that this firm is a leader, not a follower. With my background in cybersecurity, I'm very interested in applying the newest technology plus common sense practices to keep this sensitive information as safe as possible. Put your answer together based on your research and your interest in the job. Don't be insincere, but do demonstrate both your interest and your research. Bottom Line Play the game, and realize that even if this job is not a match, if they like you and want to hire you, they may find the right place for you (at the right salary) in the long run. As long as you've done your homework in advance and demonstrated your
  11. This is a critical question because it will show your success, self-confidence, and preparation. Employers take this question very seriously, and you should, too. In this answer, do double-time by selling yourself and by demonstrating your knowledge of the company. Start by doing your homework on the employer before the interview, even if it is "only" a telephone interview. That research will likely include visiting their website, Googling their name, and performing an advanced search on LinkedIn long before you ever find yourself in the interview! Bad Answers to This Question An answer that focuses on the benefits to you is a bad answer. So, answers like: I need the money. I need a job. This location is very close to where I live (or go to school or want to move or whatever). I've always been interested in (whatever they do). As important as those reasons are to you, they are not the reasons the employer will hire you. Frankly, nice as they might be, they really don't care about the benefits to you if they hire you. Your answer to this question should focus on them, not on you! You are the seller in this situation, not the buyer. So, you need to focus on the benefits (more than one!) to this buyer. Remember that the goal here is to entice this employer to offer you this job. Connect the Dots Between the Job Requirements and Your Qualifications Do a careful analysis of the job's requirements so you know the requirements you meet, the requirements you exceed, and the requirements you don't meet. In today's job market (2019), employers reportedly find candidates who are a 50 percent "fit" with the job's specifications to be acceptable, although they prefer candidates who exceed the requirements. The best strategy is to analyze the job and your fit with it before applying. Emphasize Your Knowledge and Experience to Demonstrate Your Value Embrace that this question as an opportunity to emphasize your value and to demonstrate your knowledge as they work together to show how well you could do the job. For example, someone applying for a position as an administrative assistant might say: "I have been using Word, Excel, and Outlook since 2001 to maintain both financial and administrative records, create and distribute internal reports for management to monitor employee activity and asset usage which was received by 4 senior managers including the CEO and COO, and create and distribute the internal organizational newsletter which was sent to over 200 staff members twice a month. "The financial reports were created and maintained using Excel, and both newsletters were written using Microsoft Word, using templates that I developed, and distributed using Outlook. "I have taken several workshops on Microsoft Office products, and have worked with the newest version and previous versions, going back to the 1997 version. So, I am very comfortable with the Microsoft Office suite of products." Or, in a more traditional situation, here’s what you might prepare to say as a new graduate of a medical transcription training program applying for a job with a cardiology practice: "I believe that I will be successful in this position because I have 900 hours of hands-on training in medical transcription in a classroom environment at the XYZ Institute. (Get out your portfolio, and open it to a print out of a sample of your work). "Here you can see several examples of medical records, dictation, and reports I have produced in MS Word. "I have also excelled in my terminology courses, gaining a strong base in numerous disciplines. "However, I have always been interested in Cardiology and made it a personal goal to focus on that area. Because of that, I read the Journal of Cardiology to stay up-to-date with changes in the field, names of new pharmaceuticals, and other innovations. "I have an excellent basis in the discipline to transcribe the records of your Cardiologists with ease. Also, I recently joined the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists and am already taking steps to pursue certification." When I share answers like this, most people react by saying, "That’s so good; I could’t do that." But, that’s not true - crafting answers like this is just getting to know yourself in advance. Advanced Preparation You need to plan to answer questions about why you are qualified and know how to sell yourself above the other applicants. Realize that you may have the same skillset as other applicants, but much of job interview success revolves around who does the best job at communicating their expertise in the interview! So, spend some time doing the following: Listing your skills and strengths. Writing CAR stories (Challenges, Actions, and Results) about accomplishments for each of your jobs. Documenting your accomplishments. Uncovering what makes you special by reviewing letters of recommendation and/or other testimonials you may have from work, school, and volunteering. Writing down concrete answers to questions like this that give a concrete example to prove you fit the bill! Bottom Line By making getting hired your job and putting in the time to prepare, you can successfully and confidently answer an employer when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" Go get ‘em!
  12. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? Most job seekers jump into this question without truly having set any personal career goals. Developing your answer to this question can help you get more purposeful about the direction of your career. View this question as an opportunity for you to do a bit of career planning as well as answering the question. Considering the average length of time people stay with a company or in a job is 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it seems a little silly that employers will still ask this question. However, a bad answer to this question can derail an opportunity for you. Avoid Giving a Non-Answer Keep your answer somewhat general since a lot can happen in 5 years, but don't be too vauge since a non-answer will make you look like you don't take your career -- or your job -- very seriously. And, very few employers will be interested in you then. A common mistake is trying to name a specific position that may or may not exist in the company, like "I hope to be promoted to an executive assistant position within 5 years."If that job doesn't exist, you could look out-of-touch or uninformed. On the other hand, a vague response such as, "I would hope to be able to progress into a senior level position," could backfire if the position doesn't offer any advancement. And a flippant response, like "I'd like to have your job," could be a complete disaster. Taking the time to provide a thoughtful answer will ultimately be helpful both to you and to the employer. What the Employer Is Trying to Discover Before answering this question, it is helpful to understand that the interviewer is looking for five primary things in your answer: Do you have a solid grasp of the position and what it entails? Do you have the right attitude? Are you going to be dependable? Are you a good cultural and social fit for the organization? How are you going to use your strengths to achieve success in this job? Qualifications and experience being somewhat equal among candidates, the decision maker(s) wants the candidate who is the best fit culturally. The candidate who takes time to prepare a list of personal goals in advance of the interview will be able to communicate his/her strengths and potential fit best. How to Prepare Your Answer Try using these three strategies to prepare for this question in advance, as well as examine your own personal career goals. 1. Focus on what you are grateful for regarding this position. Consider the personal feelings that swell up inside you as you consider working in this job and for this employer. Will you have more of a work-life balance? Will your commute be easier? Does it seem like the kind of environment where you can leverage your strengths and be valued? Will you have a greater opportunity to learn new things? Will your value in the job market increase? Take time to name your feelings and strengths, and write out how an employer could make you feel valued. 2. Think about how you would like to spend your day and the kind of actions you will be performing. Don't focus on the specific job duties. Instead think about how you will interact with your co-workers, customers, and anyone else who crosses your path. How would you like to feel at the end of your workday? What new skills or information will you learn? What do you see yourself doing in this job that is different from your current or previous jobs? Take a moment to write down those thoughts and think about what it would feel like to love your job and the company where you work. 3. Try setting some goals as you visualize yourself in this new position. Even if you can't specifically determine where you see yourself five years from now, consider: What possibilities seem to develop for you by having this job? What seems new? How would things be different for you? Take a moment to focus on your personal and professional values, write them down, and formulate a response to a modified version of this question such as "What is going to be important to you in your career in five years?" or "How would you like to see your life/career differently in five years?" 4. Research the employer to see what options might be available to you there. Go to the employer's website to see if you can explore a "Careers" section which describes the organization or, at least, lists their job openings. Worst case, check out their job postings on a job board or Indeed. Do they have numerous jobs open? Can you see a progression in the job titles and job descriptions, like: Assistant Branch Manager, Branch Manager, Senior Branch Manager, Regional Branch Manager, etc. Do you see other parts of the organization that look interesting to you? Maybe you are interviewing for an administrative job, but the sales jobs look interesting. Don't make the mistake of mentioning an option that's not available with this employer. You will impress them when you share that you have actually learned about the organization enough to mention specific job titles and parts of their organization. Develop Your Answer As you develop some personal career goals as well as a strategy about how you want to achieve those goals plus understanding of the employer's organization, you're now in a better position to be able to answer the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" without saying something that doesn't sound believable. Better yet, you won't blurt out something that will completely turn the interviewer off. Hopefully, the more you really think about your career in this manner and take time to visualize how things could improve for you personally and professionally, the clearer things may become -- both for your career as well as for this interview. Don't worry about making your answer 10 minutes long. A short, simple answer may be the best one. Sample Answers Entry Level Job For an entry-level job in a bank which has a formal job structure including several progressive levels of the job you are interviewing for -- "My hope is to learn as much as possible about banks and banking services. My short-term goal is to become an excellent cashier and then, possibly move on to jobs with more responsibility in the bank as I gain experience and knowledge about banking. Longer-term, my goal is to become a supervisor, possibly in customer service, loan processing, or another aspect of banking. My hope is that this is the beginning of a long career working for this bank, which progresses logically." Mid-Level Senior Job For a more senior position in a company with a less clear organizational structure -- "My long term goal is to grow professionally, eventually to have the role of go-to person for questions on topics like content marketing for nonprofits and online reputation management for nonprofits. I want to be viewed as a top performer, an expert who is a key contributor inside the organization." Career Changer When you are changing careers, you can tie your "old" expertise to the new job -- "I see myself growing in my understanding of social media marketing to the point where I can take on additional responsibilities and tasks, leveraging my knowledge of more traditional marketing. Once I gain the experience, I would like to progress to the point where I am managing the social media marketing for specific clients." Bottom Line By focusing on your personal and professional values, you will be able to formulate a believable response that will give the interviewer a positive impression of your strengths, attitude, dependability, and potential for success.
  13. While this is often among the first questions asked at the start of the interview, the reason they ask is not to become best friends. Avoid answers that give away personal information about yourself! Some of that information might take you off the top-candidates list. An employer isn’t going to hire you because you have such cute children (causing you to miss work), a wonderful husband or wife (causing you to miss work), or interesting hobbies (causing you to miss work). Nor are they going to hire you because your current job is terrible and the organization is an awful place to work. Be cautious if you are interviewing with a competitor of your current employer -- the interview may be a session to collect confidential information about the competition. The best way to answer this question? Focus on this employer and opportunity! Tell them about your accomplishments and experience that make YOU an ideal candidate for the job you are seeking. The Two-Part Answer to Tell Me/Us About Yourself Put yourself in the employer’s shoes -- what would you want to know if you were them? Emphasize what will make you stand out as qualified for the company and for the job. Break your answer to this question into two parts: 1. How/why you are qualified. Summarize what you have done that qualifies you for this opportunity. Don't recite what is on your resume or job application, but don't assume that the interviewers, who may have been interviewing several candidates, remember your qualifications. Present the most significant highlights, the ones that would be most relevant to this job. These are the qualifications that make it clear that you are a very good candidate for the job. 2. Why you have applied. Focus on advancing your career. Stay away from reasons that are not clearly career-related. Emphasize the opportunity to move forward in your career without saying that you are dead-ended in your current job or hate your incompetent boss. Focus on this opportunity and your career. Avoid the purely personal reasons. Do NOT say: You want to work closer to home because your kids sometimes get out of school early and you want to be able to be there with them, or The location is convenient to your church, synagog, or place of worship, or You are too tired from the long commute to enjoy life, or Your boss is a jerk and you want a better job. This is where you must tread very carefully and not say anything that might be interpreted as trashing your current/former employer. DO tell them how well you fit, using the 2-part answer, below. But, don't spend more than 30 to 60 seconds answering this question. Sample Answer Someone seeking a management position with a local branch of a transportation company might say: (Why You Are Qualified) “I was born and raised in XYZ County and have an excellent knowledge of the area as well as Central and XYY counties. During the last 9 years with the ABC Freight Company, I have progressed through positions of Package Loader, Courier, Dispatcher, and Team Lead." "In my most recent position, I have had the opportunity to complete numerous management training programs, provide supervision and leadership to all positions within the station, and participate in special projects in conjunction with Senior and District Managers. I enjoy being a Lead and the opportunity to empower and motivate my team. Last year I was awarded 'Lead I' for greatest team gains in productivity." (Why You Applied) "I believe this experience and training has prepared me to take the next step and pursue a management position with XYZ Trucking. This company has a reputation for excellent management, this opportunity looks perfect to me, and I look forward to working with the best.” Yes, this person prepared and practiced his response in advance. Smart move! As you can see from this sample answer, this individual: Emphasizes the tangibles that qualify him for the job, from his knowledge of the local area, long-term tenure with the employer, and recognition for management results within the industry. He does not focus on fluffy stuff or personal information, but paints a picture as to why he is a perfect candidate for the job. He also looks forward to advancement in his career, seeking a management position with this new employer. Perhaps, Ask for Clarification To ensure that you provide the information they want, you might wish to start your response with a question of your own, like this -- "I would be glad to. Could you give me an idea of the type of information you would like to know?" By starting this way, you can direct your answer better and be more conversational. What You Don't Tell Them I call this question a "spider web" because if you simply tell someone about yourself without planning or context to the target job for which you are there to interview, you could give away all kinds of information that you should not be sharing. This is not an invitation to tell your life story. Don't confess any personal problems with your kids, spouse, or parents. Don't complain about your aching feet or any other health issue. Don't trash a current or former employer, boss, co-worker, client, customer, or supplier. Don't share any secrets about your current or former employers. Nor is this the time for you to explain how the job will benefit you (they don't care, and you will look clueless) Talking too much leaves them with the impression that you are: Over-qualified Under-qualified Ditsy or naive Unprepared for the interview (so not really very interested) Simply a risk for the company Remember, THIS IS A JOB INTERVIEW. How to Prepare for This Job Interview question Before you ever go to an interview, you need to KNOW YOURSELF in terms of qualifications for the job and match for the company. To know this you should: Carefully review the job description to note where you meet or exceed the requirements, and Research the company, and Identify, catalog, list, and review your expertise, strengths, and unique value, and Practice, practice, practice so you sound natural and confident. Then, you will be ready to put yourself in the employer’s shoes, and... Emphasize what will make you stand out for the company and for the job. The Bottom Line: With advanced planning and practice, you can know your target employer and how to sell yourself for the job. "Tell me about yourself" then becomes a positive and fun exercise in demonstrating your value and getting one step closer to winning that great new job! .
  14. 2. Sell Products Online If you ever dreamed of opening a retail store, that doesn't have to be put on hold because you're a stay-at-mom. The Internet has made it possible to sell products from any location, including your house. The United States Postal Service even offers Carrier Pickup services that will pick your packages at your house making it simple to run a retail business from home. Your children can even help out with the work from home business by packing orders and getting them ready to mail. As far as products, you can sell products you make, or buy wholesale or used items for resale. Getting your store online is easier and more affordable than ever. Building an ecommerce website doesn't require a great deal of expense or coding knowledge anymore. Or you can tap into commerce services such as Amazon and eBay. 3. Sell Information Products Online Millions of people go online everyday to find information. In many cases, they're willing to pay for it. You can tap into this by creating your information products and selling them online. Information products come in many forms. One of the easiest to create is an eBook or print book, and sell it online. If you're interested in book publishing but aren't sure about writing, you can hire ghostwriter. Selling eBooks, in particular, is ideal for the busy mom, because purchase and delivery can be done automatically, saving you the hassle of shipping. But you can even sell print books through Amazon and other online retailers if you use a print-on-demand service. Other information products include online course, seminars, trainings, printables (i.e. planners), and more. 4. Start a Niche Blog A blog is a fun and great way to make money from a topic you know and/or love. This is especially true if many others know and love it as well. While you offer the information for free, there are many options for making money, including Google AdSense and other ad feed programs, that will place ads on your site, and then you can get paid when people click on the ads (but don't you click on them or that will violate the Terms of Service). Other money-making options include affiliate products, selling ad space, or selling your own products. The trick to success in blogging is through internet marketing to build traffic. The more targeted traffic you get to your site, the more likely you'll make money. 5. Market Affiliate Products and Services Marketing affiliate products and services is basically getting paid to make referrals to other business. It's word-of-mouth marketing that can make you money. One great aspect of affiliate marketing is that you don't have to sell or deliver products. The most highly paid affiliate marketers either have a niche blog (see above) or use a squeeze page and email newsletter funnel system to promote special affiliate links. When your link is used, you can earn a commission or flat rate from the referral. Affiliate marketing only works if the people you're making the referral to know and trust you. To do that, your blog readers, newsletter subscribers, and even social media followers, need to get more than just ad links from you. Instead, you need to also share helpful tips and resources.
  15. Busy moms who want to stay home to raise their children, but also want to contribute to the family income, have many options for building a flexible home based career. Even so, for many moms, the initial search for work-at-home options can be daunting and discouraging. In past, moms had limited options for making money at home, such as doing child care, ironing services, or direct sales. Today, the Internet has made it easier and more affordable to start a flexible business around raising children. If you are a mom wanting to work at home, here are 5 Internet-based home business ideas to consider. 1. Offer a Service Online The amount of services that can be done from your own home is unlimited. Review your personal and professional talents, and interests to determine if any can be turned into a service that you can provide virtually. Some service ideas include writing, editing, and proofreading, reviewing legal documents, bookkeeping, graphic design, virtual support, and more. In fact, in many cases you can take duties you did in a job and turn it into a home business. You can focus on offering services to the general public (B2C), such as tutoring, or to other businesses (B2B), such as web design or marketing. Here are a few service ideas you can check out: Freelance Writing Personal Service Ideas Start a Social Media Management Business Home Business Idea - Internet Marketing Services
  16. Diversity of international unions Union law varies from country to country, as does the function of unions. For example, German and Dutch unions have played a greater role in management decisions through participation in corporate boards and co-determination than have unions in the United States. Moreover, in the United States, collective bargaining is most commonly undertaken by unions directly with employers, whereas in Austria, Denmark, Germany or Sweden, unions most often negotiate with employers associations. Concerning labour market regulation in the EU, Gold (1993) and Hall (1994) have identified three distinct systems of labour market regulation, which also influence the role that unions play: "In the Continental European System of labour market regulation, the government plays an important role as there is a strong legislative core of employee rights, which provides the basis for agreements as well as a framework for discord between unions on one side and employers or employers' associations on the other. This model was said to be found in EU core countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, and it is also mirrored and emulated to some extent in the institutions of the EU, due to the relative weight that these countries had in the EU until the EU expansion by the inclusion of 10 new Eastern European member states in 2004. In the Anglo-Saxon System of labour market regulation, the government's legislative role is much more limited, which allows for more issues to be decided between employers and employees and any union or employers' associations which might represent these parties in the decision-making process. However, in these countries, collective agreements are not widespread; only a few businesses and a few sectors of the economy have a strong tradition of finding collective solutions in labour relations. Ireland and the UK belong to this category, and in contrast to the EU core countries above, these countries first joined the EU in 1973. In the Nordic System of labour market regulation, the government's legislative role is limited in the same way as in the Anglo-Saxon system. However, in contrast to the countries in the Anglo-Saxon system category, this is a much more widespread network of collective agreements, which covers most industries and most firms. This model was said to encompass Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Here, Denmark joined the EU in 1973, whereas Finland and Sweden joined in 1995." The United States takes a more laissez-faire approach, setting some minimum standards but leaving most workers' wages and benefits to collective bargaining and market forces. Thus, it comes closest to the above Anglo-Saxon model. Also, the Eastern European countries that have recently entered into the EU come closest to the Anglo-Saxon model. In contrast, in Germany, the relation between individual employees and employers is considered to be asymmetrical. In consequence, many working conditions are not negotiable due to a strong legal protection of individuals. However, the German flavor or works legislation has as its main objective to create a balance of power between employees organized in unions and employers organized in employers associations. This allows much wider legal boundaries for collective bargaining, compared to the narrow boundaries for individual negotiations. As a condition to obtain the legal status of a trade union, employee associations need to prove that their leverage is strong enough to serve as a counterforce in negotiations with employers. If such an employees association is competing against another union, its leverage may be questioned by unions and then evaluated in a court trial. In Germany, only very few professional associations obtained the right to negotiate salaries and working conditions for their members, notably the medical doctors association Marburger Bund and the pilots association Vereinigung Cockpit. The engineers association Verein Deutscher Ingenieure does not strive to act as a union, as it also represents the interests of engineering businesses Beyond the classification listed above, unions' relations with political parties vary. In many countries unions are tightly bonded, or even share leadership, with a political party intended to represent the interests of the working class. Typically this is a left-wing, socialist, or social democratic party, but many exceptions exist, including some of the aforementioned Christian unions. In the United States, trade unions are almost always aligned with the Democratic Party with a few exceptions. For example, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has supported Republican Party candidates on a number of occasions and the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980. In Britain trade union movement's relationship with the Labour Party frayed as party leadership embarked on privatization plans at odds with what unions see as the worker's interests. However, it has strengthened once more after the Labour party's election of Ed Miliband, who beat his brother David Miliband to become leader of the party after Ed secured the trade union votes. Additionally, in the past, there was a group known as the Conservative Trade Unionists, or CTU, formed of people who sympathized with right wing Tory policy but were Trade Unionists. Historically, the Republic of Korea has regulated collective bargaining by requiring employers to participate, but collective bargaining has only been legal if held in sessions before the lunar new year. International unionization The largest trade union federation in the world is the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which has approximately 309 affiliated organizations in 156 countries and territories, with a combined membership of 166 million. The ITUC is a federation of national trade union centres, such as the AFL-CIO in the United States and the Trades Union Congress in the United Kingdom. Other global trade union organizations include the World Federation of Trade Unions. National and regional trade unions organizing in specific industry sectors or occupational groups also form global union federations, such as Union Network International, the International Transport Workers Federation, the International Federation of Journalists, the International Arts and Entertainment Alliance or Public Services International. Criticisms In the United States, the outsourcing of labour to Asia, Latin America, and Africa has been partially driven by increasing costs of union partnership, which gives other countries a comparative advantage in labour, making it more profitable to purchase disorganized, low-wage labour from these regions. Milton Friedman, economist and advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, sought to show that unionization produces higher wages (for the union members) at the expense of fewer jobs, and that, if some industries are unionized while others are not, wages will tend to decline in non-unionized industries. On the other hand, several studies have emphasized so-called revitalization strategies where trade unions attempt to better represent labour market outsiders, such as the unemployed and precarious workers. Thus, for instance, trade unions in both Nordic and southern European countries have devised collective bargaining agreements that improved the conditions of temporary agency workers. Union publications Several sources of current news exist about the trade union movement in the world. These include LabourStart and the official website of the international trade union movement Global Unions. A source of international news about unions is RadioLabour which provides daily (Monday to Friday) news reports. Labor Notes is the largest circulation cross-union publication remaining in the United States. It reports news and analysis about union activity or problems facing the labour movement. Another source of union news is the Workers Independent News, a news organization providing radio articles to independent and syndicated radio shows in the United States.
  17. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers (craft unionism, traditionally found in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US, a cross-section of workers from various trades (general unionism, traditionally found in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, the UK and the US), or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry (industrial unionism, found in Australia, Canada, Germany, Finland, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US). These unions are often divided into "locals", and united in national federations. These federations themselves will affiliate with Internationals, such as the International Trade Union Confederation. However, in Japan, union organization is slightly different due to the presence of enterprise unions, i.e. unions that are specific to a specific plant or company. These enterprise unions, however, join industry-wide federations which in turn are members of Rengo, the Japanese national trade union confederation. In Western Europe, professional associations often carry out the functions of a trade union. In these cases, they may be negotiating for white-collar or professional workers, such as physicians, engineers or teachers. Typically such trade unions refrain from politics or pursue a more liberal politics than their blue-collar counterparts. A union may acquire the status of a "juristic person" (an artificial legal entity), with a mandate to negotiate with employers for the workers it represents. In such cases, unions have certain legal rights, most importantly the right to engage in collective bargaining with the employer (or employers) over wages, working hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. The inability of the parties to reach an agreement may lead to industrial action, culminating in either strike action or management lockout, or binding arbitration. In extreme cases, violent or illegal activities may develop around these events. In other circumstances, unions may not have the legal right to represent workers, or the right may be in question. This lack of status can range from non-recognition of a union to political or criminal prosecution of union activists and members, with many cases of violence and deaths having been recorded historically. Unions may also engage in broader political or social struggle. Social Unionism encompasses many unions that use their organizational strength to advocate for social policies and legislation favourable to their members or to workers in general. As well, unions in some countries are closely aligned with political parties. Unions are also delineated by the service model and the organizing model. The service model union focuses more on maintaining worker rights, providing services, and resolving disputes. Alternately, the organizing model typically involves full-time union organizers, who work by building up confidence, strong networks, and leaders within the workforce; and confrontational campaigns involving large numbers of union members. Many unions are a blend of these two philosophies, and the definitions of the models themselves are still debated. In Britain, the perceived left-leaning nature of trade unions has resulted in the formation of a reactionary right-wing trade union called Solidarity which is supported by the far-right BNP. In Denmark, there are some newer apolitical "discount" unions who offer a very basic level of services, as opposed to the dominating Danish pattern of extensive services and organizing. In contrast, in several European countries (e.g. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland), religious unions have existed for decades. These unions typically distanced themselves from some of the doctrines of orthodox Marxism, such as the preference of atheism and from rhetoric suggesting that employees' interests always are in conflict with those of employers. Some of these Christian unions have had some ties to centrist or conservative political movements and some do not regard strikes as acceptable political means for achieving employees' goals. In Poland, the biggest trade union Solidarity emerged as an anti-communist movement with religious nationalist overtones and today it supports the right-wing Law and Justice party. Although their political structure and autonomy varies widely, union leaderships are usually formed through democratic elections. Some research, such as that conducted by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training, argues that unionized workers enjoy better conditions and wages than those who are not unionized. Shop types Companies that employ workers with a union generally operate on one of several models: A closed shop (US) or a "pre-entry closed shop" (UK) employs only people who are already union members. The compulsory hiring hall is an example of a closed shop – in this case the employer must recruit directly from the union, as well as the employee working strictly for unionized employers. A union shop (US) or a "post-entry closed shop" (UK) employs non-union workers as well, but sets a time limit within which new employees must join a union. An agency shop requires non-union workers to pay a fee to the union for its services in negotiating their contract. This is sometimes called the Rand formula. In certain situations involving state public employees in the United States, such as California, "fair share laws" make it easy to require these sorts of payments. An open shop does not require union membership in employing or keeping workers. Where a union is active, workers who do not contribute to a union may include those who approve of the union contract (free riders) and those who do not. In the United States, state level right-to-work laws mandate the open shop in some states. In Germany only open shops are legal; that is, all discrimination based on union membership is forbidden. This affects the function and services of the union. An EU case concerning Italy stated that, "The principle of trade union freedom in the Italian system implies recognition of the right of the individual not to belong to any trade union ("negative" freedom of association/trade union freedom), and the unlawfulness of discrimination liable to cause harm to non-unionized employees." In Britain, previous to this EU jurisprudence, a series of laws introduced during the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher's government restricted closed and union shops. All agreements requiring a worker to join a union are now illegal. In the United States, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed the closed shop. In 2006, the European Court of Human Rights found Danish closed-shop agreements to be in breach of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was stressed that Denmark and Iceland were among a limited number of contracting states that continue to permit the conclusion of closed-shop agreements.
  18. Germany Trade unions in Germany have a history reaching back to the German revolution in 1848, and still play an important role in the German economy and society. In 1875 the SPD, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which is one of the biggest political parties in Germany, supported the forming of unions in Germany. The most important labour organisation is the German Confederation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund – DGB), which represents more than 6 million people (31 December 2011) and is the umbrella association of several single trade unions for special economic sectors. The DBG is not the only Union Organization that represents the working trade. There are smaller organizations, such as the CGB, which is a Christian-based confederation, that represent over 1.5 million people. India In India, the Trade Union movement is generally divided on political lines. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, trade unions had a combined membership of 24,601,589 in 2002. As of 2008, there are 11 Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUO) recognized by the Ministry of Labour. The forming of these unions was a big deal in India. It led to a big push for more regulatory laws which gave workers a lot more power. A trade union with nearly 2,000,000 members is the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) which protects the rights of Indian women working in the informal economy. In addition to the protection of rights, SEWA educates, mobilizes, finances, and exalts their members' trades. Multiple other organizations represent workers. These organizations are formed upon different political groups. These different groups allow different groups of people with different political views to join a Union. Japan Labour unions emerged in Japan in the second half of the Meiji period as the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization. Until 1945, however, the labour movement remained weak, impeded by lack of legal rights, anti-union legislation, management-organised factory councils, and political divisions between “cooperative” and radical unionists. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the US Occupation authorities initially encouraged the formation of independent unions. Legislation was passed that enshrined the right to organise, and membership rapidly rose to 5 million by February 1947. The organisation rate, however, peaked at 55.8% in 1949 and subsequently declined to 18.2% (2006). The labour movement went through a process of reorganisation from 1987 to 1991 from which emerged the present configuration of three major labour union federations, Rengo, Zenroren, and Zenrokyo, along with other smaller national union organisations. Mexico Before the 1990s, unions in Mexico had been historically part of a state institutional system. From 1940 until the 1980s, worldwide spread of neo-liberalism through the Washington Consensus, the Mexican unions did not operate independently, but instead as part of a state institutional system, largely controlled by the ruling party. During these 40 years, the primary aim of the labour unions was not to benefit the workers, but to carry out the state's economic policy under their cosy relationship with the ruling party. This economic policy, which peaked in the 1950s and 60s with the so-called "Mexican Miracle", saw rising incomes and improved standards of living but the primary beneficiaries were the wealthy. In the 1980s, Mexico began adhering to Washington Consensus policies, selling off state industries such as railroad and telecommunications to private industries. The new owners had an antagonistic attitude towards unions, which, accustomed to comfortable relationships with the state, were not prepared to fight back. A movement of new unions began to emerge under a more independent model, while the former institutionalized unions had become very corrupt, violent, and led by gangsters. From the 1990s onwards, this new model of independent unions prevailed, a number of them represented by the National Union of Workers / Unión Nacional de Trabajadores. Current old institutions like the Oil Workers Union and the National Education Workers' Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, or SNTE) are examples of how the use of government benefits are not being applied to improve the quality in the investigation of the use of oil or the basic education in Mexico as long as their leaders show publicly that they are living wealthily. With 1.4 million members, the teachers' union is Latin America's largest; half of Mexico's government employees are teachers. It controls school curriculums, and all teacher appointments. Until recently, retiring teachers routinely "gave" their lifelong appointment to a relative or "sell" it for anywhere in between $4,700 and $11,800. Scandinavia Trade unions (Danish: Fagforeninger, Swedish: Fackföreningar) have a long tradition in Scandinavian society. Beginning in the mid-19th century, they today have a large impact on the nature of employment and workers' rights in many of the Nordic countries. One of the largest trade unions in Sweden is the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions, (LO, Landsorganisationen), incorporating unions such as the Swedish Metal Workers' Union (IF Metall = Industrifacket Metall), the Swedish Electricians' Union (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet) and the Swedish Municipality Workers' Union (Svenska Kommunalarbetareförbundet, abbreviated Kommunal). One of the aims of IF Metall is to transform jobs into "good jobs", also called "developing jobs". Today, the world's highest rates of union membership are in the Scandinavian countries. In 2010, the percentage of workers belonging to a union (labour union density) was 68.3% in Sweden and 54.8% in Norway, while it was 34.9% in Ireland and 18.4% in Germany. Excluding full-time students working part-time, Swedish union density was 69% in 2015-2017. In all the Nordic countries with a Ghent system—Sweden, Denmark and Finland—union density is about 70%. The considerably raised membership fees of Swedish union unemployment funds implemented by the new center-right government in January 2007 caused large drops in membership in both unemployment funds and trade unions. From 2006 to 2008, union density declined by six percentage points: from 77% to 71%. United Kingdom Moderate New Model Unions dominated the union movement from the mid-19th century and where trade unionism was stronger than the political labour movement until the formation and growth of the Labour Party in the early years of the 20th century. Trade unionism in the United Kingdom was a major factor in some of the economic crises during the 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in the "Winter of Discontent" of late 1978 and early 1979, when a significant percentage of the nation's public sector workers went on strike. By this stage, some 12,000,000 workers in the United Kingdom were trade union members. However, the election of the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher at the general election in May 1979, at the expense of Labour's James Callaghan, saw substantial trade union reform which saw the level of strikes fall. The level of trade union membership also fell sharply in the 1980s, and continued falling for most of the 1990s. The long decline of most of the industries in which manual trade unions were strong – e.g. steel, coal, printing, the docks – was one of the causes of this loss of trade union members. In 2011 there were 6,135,126 members in TUC-affiliated unions, down from a peak of 12,172,508 in 1980. Trade union density was 14.1% in the private sector and 56.5% in the public sector. United States Labour unions are legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries in the United States. In the United States, trade unions were formed based on power with the people, not over the people like the government at the time. Their activity today centres on collective bargaining over wages, benefits and working conditions for their membership, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contract provisions. Larger unions also typically engage in lobbying activities and supporting endorsed candidates at the state and federal level. Most unions in America are aligned with one of two larger umbrella organizations: the AFL-CIO created in 1955, and the Change to Win Federation which split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. Both advocate policies and legislation on behalf of workers in the United States and Canada, and take an active role in politics. The AFL-CIO is especially concerned with global trade issues. In 2010, the percentage of workers belonging to a union in the United States (or total labour union "density") was 11.4%, compared to 18.3% in Japan, 27.5% in Canada and 70% in Finland. Union membership in the private sector has fallen under 7% – levels not seen since 1932. Unions allege that employer-incited opposition has contributed to this decline in membership. The most prominent unions are among public sector employees such as teachers, police and other non-managerial or non-executive federal, state, county and municipal employees. Members of unions are disproportionately older, male and residents of the Northeast, the Midwest, and California. Union workers in the private sector average 10-30% higher pay than non-union in America after controlling for individual, job, and labour market characteristics. Because of their inherently governmental function, public sector workers are paid the same regardless of union affiliation or non-affiliation after controlling for individual, job, and labour market characteristics. The economist Joseph Stiglitz has asserted that, "Strong unions have helped to reduce inequality, whereas weaker unions have made it easier for CEOs, sometimes working with market forces that they have helped shape, to increase it." The decline in unionization since the Second World War in the United States has been associated with a pronounced rise in income and wealth inequality and, since 1967, with loss of middle class income. Vatican (Holy See) The Association of Vatican Lay Workers represents lay employees in the Vatican.
  19. Australia Supporters of unions, such as the ACTU or Australian Labor Party (ALP), often credit trade unions with leading the labour movement in the early 20th century. This generally sought to end child labour practices, improve worker safety, increase wages for both union workers and non-union workers, raise the entire society's standard of living, reduce the hours in a work week, provide public education for children, and bring other benefits to working class families. Melbourne Trades Hall was opened in 1859 with Trades and Labour Councils and Trades Halls opening in all cities and most regional towns in the following forty years. During the 1880s Trade unions developed among shearers, miners, and stevedores (wharf workers), but soon spread to cover almost all blue-collar jobs. Shortages of labour led to high wages for a prosperous skilled working class, whose unions demanded and got an eight-hour day and other benefits unheard of in Europe. Australia gained a reputation as "the working man's paradise." Some employers tried to undercut the unions by importing Chinese labour. This produced a reaction which led to all the colonies restricting Chinese and other Asian immigration. This was the foundation of the White Australia Policy. The "Australian compact", based around centralised industrial arbitration, a degree of government assistance particularly for primary industries, and White Australia, was to continue for many years before gradually dissolving in the second half of the 20th century. In the 1870s and 1880s, the growing trade union movement began a series of protests against foreign labour. Their arguments were that Asians and Chinese took jobs away from white men, worked for "substandard" wages, lowered working conditions and refused unionisation. Objections to these arguments came largely from wealthy land owners in rural areas. It was argued that without Asiatics to work in the tropical areas of the Northern Territory and Queensland, the area would have to be abandoned. Despite these objections to restricting immigration, between 1875 and 1888 all Australian colonies enacted legislation which excluded all further Chinese immigration. Asian immigrants already residing in the Australian colonies were not expelled and retained the same rights as their Anglo and Southern compatriots. The Barton Government which came to power following the first elections to the Commonwealth parliament in 1901 was formed by the Protectionist Party with the support of the Australian Labor Party. The support of the Labor Party was contingent upon restricting non-white immigration, reflecting the attitudes of the Australian Workers Union and other labour organisations at the time, upon whose support the Labor Party was founded. Baltic states In the Baltic states trade unions were the part of the Soviet Union trade union system and closely connected with the party in the state. Industrial actions were not a part of their activities. After 1990 trade unions in the Baltic states have experienced rapid loss of membership and economic power, while employers’ organisations increased both power and membership. Low financial and organisational capacity caused by declining membership adds to the problem of interest definition, aggregation and protection in negotiations with employers’ and state organisations. Even the difference exists in the way of organization trade union and density. Starting from 2008 the union density slightly decrease in Latvia and Lithuania. In case of Estonia this indicator is lower than in Latvia and Lithuania but stays stable average 7 percent from total number of employment]. Belgium Main article: List of trade unions in Belgium With 65% of the workers belonging to a union Belgium is a country with one of the highest percentages of labour union membership. Only the Scandinavian countries have a higher labour union density. The biggest union with around 1.7 million members is the Christian democrat Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (ACV-CSC) which was founded in 1904. The origins of the union can be traced back to the "Anti-Socialist Cotton Workers Union" that was founded in 1886. The second biggest union is the socialist General Federation of Belgian Labour (ABVV-FGTB) which has a membership of more than 1.5 million. The ABVV-FGTB traces its origins to 1857, when the first Belgian union was founded in Ghent by a group of weavers. The socialist union, in its current form, was founded in 1898. The third 'big' union in Belgium is the liberal General Confederation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium (ACLVB-CGSLB) which is relatively small in comparison to the first two with a little under 290 thousand members. The ACLVB-CGSLB was founded in 1920 in an effort to unite the many small liberal unions. Back then the liberal union was known as the "Nationale Centrale der Liberale Vakbonden van België". In 1930, the ACLVB-CGSLB adopted its current name. Besides these "big three" there is a long list of smaller unions, some more influential then others. These smaller unions tend to specialize in one profession or economic sector. Next to these specialized unions there is also the Neutral and Independent Union that reject the pillarization that, according to them, the "big three" represent. There is also a small Flemish nationalist union that exists only in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, called the Vlaamse Solidaire Vakbond. The last Belgian union worth mentioning is the very small, but highly active anarchist union called the Vrije Bond. Canada Labour unions have existed in Canada since the early 1800s. There is a record of skilled tradesmen in the Maritimes having a union organization during the War of 1812. Canadian unionism had early ties with Britain. Tradesmen who came from Britain brought traditions of the British trade union movement, and many British unions had branches in Canada. Canadian unionism ties with the United States eventually replaced those with Britain. Collective bargaining was first recognized in 1945, following a strike by the United Auto Workers at the General Motors' plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Justice Ivan Rand issued a landmark legal decision following a strike in Windsor, Ontario, involving 17,000 Ford workers. He granted the union the compulsory check-off of union dues. Rand ruled that all workers in a bargaining unit benefit from a union-negotiated contract. Therefore, he reasoned they must pay union dues, although they do not have to join the union. The post-World War II era also saw an increased pattern of unionization in the public service. Teachers, nurses, social workers, professors and cultural workers (those employed in museums, orchestras and art galleries) all sought private-sector collective bargaining rights. The Canadian Labour Congress was founded in 1956 as the national trade union center for Canada. In the 1970s the federal government came under intense pressures to curtail labour cost and inflation. In 1975, the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau introduced mandatory price and wage controls. Under the new law, wages increases were monitored and those ruled to be unacceptably high were rolled back by the government. Pressures on unions continued into the 1980s and '90s. Private sector unions faced plant closures in many manufacturing industries and demands to reduce wages and increase productivity. Public sector unions came under attack by federal and provincial governments as they attempted to reduce spending, reduce taxes and balance budgets. Legislation was introduced in many jurisdictions reversing union collective bargaining rights, and many jobs were lost to contractors. Prominent domestic unions in Canada include ACTRA, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the National Union of Public and General Employees, and Unifor. International unions active in Canada include the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, United Automobile Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, and United Steelworkers. Colombia Main article: Trade unions in Colombia Until around 1990 Colombian trade unions were among the strongest in Latin America. However, the 1980s expansion of paramilitarism in Colombia saw trade union leaders and members increasingly targeted for assassination, and as a result Colombia has been the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists for several decades. Between 2000 and 2010 Colombia accounted for 63.12% of trade unionists murdered globally. According to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) there were 2832 murders of trade unionists between 1 January 1986 and 30 April 2010, meaning that "on average, men and women trade unionists in Colombia have been killed at the rate of one every three days over the last 23 years." Costa Rica In Costa Rica, trade unions first appeared in the late 1800s to support workers in a variety of urban and industrial jobs, such as railroad builders and craft tradesmen. After facing violent repression, such as during the 1934 United Fruit Strike, unions gained more power following the 1948 Costa Rican Civil War. Today, Costa Rican unions are strongest in the public sector, including the fields of education and medicine, but also have a strong presence in the agricultural sector. In general, Costa Rican unions support government regulation of the banking, medical, and education fields, as well as improved wages and working conditions.
  20. History Early 19th century workplace militancy manifested in the Luddite riots, when unemployed workers destroyed labour saving machines The origins of trade unions can be traced back to 18th century Britain, where the rapid expansion of industrial society then taking place, drew women, children, rural workers and immigrants into the work force in large numbers and in new roles. This pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, and would later be an important arena for the development of trade unions. Trade unions have sometimes been seen as successors to the guilds of medieval Europe, though the relationship between the two is disputed, as the masters of the guilds employed workers (apprentices and journeymen) who were not allowed to organize. Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no later than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England. As collective bargaining and early worker unions grew with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the government began to clamp down on what it saw as the danger of popular unrest at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1799, the Combination Act was passed, which banned trade unions and collective bargaining by British workers. Although the unions were subject to often severe repression until 1824, they were already widespread in cities such as London. Workplace militancy had also manifested itself as Luddism and had been prominent in struggles such as the 1820 Rising in Scotland, in which 60,000 workers went on a general strike, which was soon crushed. Sympathy for the plight of the workers brought repeal of the acts in 1824, although the Combination Act 1825 severely restricted their activity. By the 1810s, the first labour organizations to bring together workers of divergent occupations were formed. Possibly the first such union was the General Union of Trades, also known as the Philanthropic Society, founded in 1818 in Manchester. The latter name was to hide the organization's real purpose in a time when trade unions were still illegal. National general unions Poster issued by the London Trades Council, advertising a demonstration held on 2 June 1873 The first attempts at setting up a national general union were made in the 1820s and 30s. The National Association for the Protection of Labour was established in 1830 by John Doherty, after an apparently unsuccessful attempt to create a similar national presence with the National Union of Cotton-spinners. The Association quickly enrolled approximately 150 unions, consisting mostly of textile related unions, but also including mechanics, blacksmiths, and various others. Membership rose to between 10,000 and 20,000 individuals spread across the five counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire within a year. To establish awareness and legitimacy, the union started the weekly Voice of the People publication, having the declared intention "to unite the productive classes of the community in one common bond of union." In 1834, the Welsh socialist Robert Owen established the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union. The organization attracted a range of socialists from Owenites to revolutionaries and played a part in the protests after the Tolpuddle Martyrs' case, but soon collapsed. More permanent trade unions were established from the 1850s, better resourced but often less radical. The London Trades Council was founded in 1860, and the Sheffield Outrages spurred the establishment of the Trades Union Congress in 1868, the first long-lived national trade union center. By this time, the existence and the demands of the trade unions were becoming accepted by liberal middle class opinion. In Principles of Political Economy (1871) John Stuart Mill wrote: If it were possible for the working classes, by combining among themselves, to raise or keep up the general rate of wages, it needs hardly be said that this would be a thing not to be punished, but to be welcomed and rejoiced at. Unfortunately the effect is quite beyond attainment by such means. The multitudes who compose the working class are too numerous and too widely scattered to combine at all, much more to combine effectually. If they could do so, they might doubtless succeed in diminishing the hours of labour, and obtaining the same wages for less work. They would also have a limited power of obtaining, by combination, an increase of general wages at the expense of profits. Legalization and expansion Labour union demonstrators held at bay by soldiers during the 1912 Lawrence textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts Trade unions were finally legalized in 1872, after a Royal Commission on Trade Unions in 1867 agreed that the establishment of the organizations was to the advantage of both employers and employees. This period also saw the growth of trade unions in other industrializing countries, especially the United States, Germany and France. In the United States, the first effective nationwide labour organization was the Knights of Labor, in 1869, which began to grow after 1880. Legalization occurred slowly as a result of a series of court decisions. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions began in 1881 as a federation of different unions that did not directly enrol workers. In 1886, it became known as the American Federation of Labor or AFL. In Germany the Free Association of German Trade Unions was formed in 1897 after the conservative Anti-Socialist Laws of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck were repealed. In France, labour organization was illegal until 1884. The Bourse du Travail was founded in 1887 and merged with the Fédération nationale des syndicats (National Federation of Trade Unions) in 1895 to form the General Confederation of Labour (France).
  21. A trade union, also called a labour union or labor union (US), is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve many common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, and attaining better wages, benefits (such as vacation, health care, and retirement), and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by the creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers (craft unionism), a cross-section of workers from various trades (general unionism), or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry (industrial unionism). The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers. Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and also have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them legally to their negotiations and functioning. Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, students, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. Definition Since the publication of the History of Trade Unionism (1894) by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the predominant historical view is that a trade union "is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment." Karl Marx described trade unions thus: "The value of labour-power constitutes the conscious and explicit foundation of the trade unions, whose importance for the […] working class can scarcely be overestimated. The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level that is traditionally maintained in the various branches of industry. That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value" (Capital V1, 1867, p. 1069). A modern definition by the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that a trade union is "an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members." Yet historian R.A. Leeson, in United we Stand (1971), said: Two conflicting views of the trade-union movement strove for ascendancy in the nineteenth century: one the defensive-restrictive guild-craft tradition passed down through journeymen's clubs and friendly societies, ... the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all 'labouring men and women' for a 'different order of things'. Recent historical research by Bob James in Craft, Trade or Mystery (2001) puts forward the view that trade unions are part of a broader movement of benefit societies, which includes medieval guilds, Freemasons, Oddfellows, friendly societies, and other fraternal organizations. The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners (or "masters"). In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote: We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate[.] When workers combine, masters ... never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combination of servants, labourers and journeymen. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, although Smith argued that it should remain illegal to fix wages or prices by employees or employers. There were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power, eventually resulting in a body of labour law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.
  22. If a union is formally recognised by an employer, it can negotiate with the employer over terms and conditions. This is known as 'collective bargaining'. For collective bargaining to work, unions and employers need to agree on how the arrangement is to operate. They might, for example, make agreements providing for the deduction of union subscriptions from members' wages; who is to represent workers in negotiations and how often meetings will take place. Both these agreements on procedure and agreements between employers and unions changing the terms applying to workers (like a pay increase for example) are called 'collective agreements'. Your contract of employment will probably set out which collective agreements cover you. It's possible that a union may negotiate on your behalf even if you're not a member. Employment contracts Joining a trade union Some workers join a trade union because they believe that a union can: negotiate better pay negotiate better working conditions, like more holidays or improved health and safety provide training for new skills give general advice and support Union members have the right to be accompanied to a discipline or grievance hearing by a trade union representative (although trade unions are not compelled to provide this). All employees, regardless of whether they are union members or not, are entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague. Grievance procedures Disciplinary procedures Recognised unions also have rights to consultation where redundancies or a transfer of business are proposed. There is a regular subscription cost for union membership and different rates may apply to trainees and part-timers. Unions will not normally help with problems which pre-date membership. Employment protection during business transfers and takeovers Redundancy pay How to join a union If you want to join a recognised union in your workplace, you could approach a representative for information like the shop steward. Otherwise, contact the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to find out which union is relevant to you. Irish Congress of Trade Unions Northern Ireland Committee website(external link opens in a new window / tab) Trade union-related rights The law gives you the right to join a trade union wherever you work. This right applies whether a union has been recognised or not. You're protected from being disadvantaged for being a union member. Specifically trade union membership is an unlawful reason for: refusing you employment dismissing you selecting you for redundancy Trade union membership: your employment rights The law gives you the right not to join a trade union. The same protection applies to you as it does to union members. In particular, employers are not permitted to operate a 'closed shop' (that is, make all workers join the employer's preferred union). An employer can't deduct payments from you, to a union or charity in lieu of union membership without your permission. Blacklisting You can’t be discriminated against because you are in a union or because of your union activity. With rare exceptions, it’s also illegal to compile, use, sell or supply a ‘blacklist’ of union members that will be used to discriminate against you. Blacklisting Regulations NI guidance (Department for the Economy website)(external link opens in a new window / tab) Trade union activities When a union is recognised by an employer, members have the right to time off at an appropriate time to take part in trade union activities. These may include: voting in ballots on industrial action voting in union elections meeting to discuss urgent matters attending the annual conference Time off for trade union duties and activities You don’t have the right to be paid for any time spent taking industrial action. Industrial action Where you can get help The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues.
  23. A trade union is an organisation made up of members (a membership-based organisation) and its membership must be made up mainly of workers. One of a trade union's main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace. Most trade unions are independent of any employer. However, trade unions try to develop close working relationships with employers. This can sometimes take the form of a partnership agreement between the employer and the trade union which identifies their common interests and objectives. Trade unions: negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions discuss major changes to the workplace such as large scale redundancy discuss members' concerns with employers accompany members in disciplinary and grievance meetings provide members with legal and financial advice provide education facilities and certain consumer benefits such as discounted insurance Trade union recognition Employers which recognise a union will negotiate with it over members' pay and conditions. Many recognition agreements are reached voluntarily, sometimes with the help of the Labour Relations Agency. If agreement can't be reached and the organisation employs more than 20 people, a union may apply for statutory recognition. To do so, it must first request recognition from the employer in writing. If this is unsuccessful, the union can apply to the Industrial Court for a decision. In considering the union's application, the Court must assess many factors including the level of union membership and the presence of any other unions. Often, the Court will organise a ballot among the affected workforce to decide whether recognition should be awarded. Throughout the process, the emphasis is on reaching voluntary agreement.
  24. Any employer wishing to recruit an employee on a part-time basis must conclude an employment contract either before or on the first day of work. The employment contract is an agreement that governs a work relationship through which one person undertakes to work under another in return for remuneration. An employment contract must respect certain obligations regarding form and content. A part-time employment contract can either be a permanent contract or a fixed-term contract. In addition, it is subject to specific legal provisions. Prerequisites An employer who wishes to create a part-time position must first consult the joint works committee, or, failing this, the staff delegation. Furthermore, before recruiting an employee and drawing up an employment contract, an employer must first submit a declaration of vacant position to the Employment Administration (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi - ADEM). This declaration will enable ADEM to check whether there are any jobseekers who have employment priority. Furthermore, if a full-time employee expresses the wish to work on a part-time basis to his employer, the employer must inform him in priority of available part-time positions within the company which match his profile (i.e. his training, experience and competences). Despite the obligation to inform employees of all availabilities, the employer is not obliged to respond favourably to an employee's request to work on a part-time basis. How to proceed FORM OF AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT An employer who recruits an employee on a part-time basis must draw up an employment contract. A part-time employment contract must be drawn up according to the standards set for a permanent employment contract (CDI), or for a fixed-term employment contract (CDD), depending on the case. Mandatory information Besides the mandatory information which must be included in all employment contracts, a part-time contract must include the following information: the weekly work schedule agreed on between the 2 parties; the distribution of working hours throughout the week; where applicable, the limits, conditions and terms under which the employee may work overtime; the limits and conditions regarding the flexibility of working hours. In the case of a CDD, a part-time employment contract must also contain the mandatory information required for a permanent contract. Trial period It is possible to include a trial period in a part-time employment contract, i.e. a probation period that begins at the start of the employment contract. The rules regarding the trial period are the same as for a full-time employment contract (permanent or fixed term). The duration of the trial period may not exceed that of an employee with a full time contract. WORKING TIME AND OVERTIME The employer and the employee must agree on a weekly work schedule that is inferior to the standard work schedule in the business, in compliance with labour law or the collective working agreement. Normal working time Even if part-time employees have a work schedule inferior to the standard work schedule in the business, they can nevertheless work more than the daily and weekly hours stipulated in the contract, provided that: the weekly work schedule calculated over a 4-week reference period does not exceed the duration of weekly working hours stated in the contract, and; the actual daily and weekly working time does not exceed the standard daily and weekly working time stated in the contract by more than 20 %. Example: if the weekly working time stated in the contract is 20 hours, the salaried worker may work: 18 hours during the first week; 18 hours during the second week; 21 hours during the third week; 23 hours during the fourth week. The average weekly working time is 20 hours ((18 + 18 + 21 + 23) / 4) ; the working time stipulated in the contract is therefore respected, as well as the maximum weekly working time, which is 24 hours (20 % of 20 hours = 4 hours; 20 hours + 4 hours = 24 hours). However, the contract may state that the actual daily and weekly working time of the part-time employee may exceed the standard daily and weekly working time stipulated in the contract by more than 20 %. The application of these dispositions cannot have as a result that the part-time employee works more hours than the working time fixed by law or a disposition in a convention for a full-time employee of the same establishment or business. Overtime Hours worked exceeding the limits of the working time authorised by law or stipulated in the employment contract are considered as overtime. Overtime can only be carried out subject to a mutual agreement between the employer and employee and in the conditions stipulated in the employment contract. The employee's refusal to work overtime outside the limits set in the contract (or in other conditions than those stipulated in the employment contract) is not a legitimate or serious reason for dismissal. Working overtime cannot have as an effect to raise the actual working time above the normal working time of a full-time employee of the same establishment or business. The part-time employee is entitled to the salary premiums established by law for the overtime worked. AMENDING A PART-TIME CONTRACT The amendment of a part-time contract is subject to the same rules as that of any employment contract. The amendment procedure for the provisions in a contract is depending on the type of amendment. An employer may indeed decide to change unilaterally any provision which is considered as favourable or neutral to the employee or which is an ancillary clause. The amendment of essential clauses in an employment contract is subject to a specific procedure. The following are considered essential clauses in a part-time contract: the distribution of working hours throughout the week; the limits, conditions and terms regarding overtime work. As a general rule, the amendment of working hours is an ancillary provision except where the employee stressed the importance of the working schedule at time the employment contract was signed. RIGHTS OF PART-TIME EMPLOYEES Part-time employees must benefit from the same rights as those established for full-time employees by the applicable law or collective agreement, namely by: taking into account their working schedule and level of seniority in the business and that as a consequence wages for part-time employees are proportional to that of employees equally qualified who work full time in a similar position in the business; establishing the rights related to seniority and therefore ensuring that the length of service (seniority) for part-time workers is calculated as if they worked on a full-time basis; ensuring that the departure allowance for full-time and part-time employees is calculated proportionally to periods of employment carried out on a full-time or part-time basis respectively.
  25. Companies that are successful at managing labor costs and associated taxes and benefits put themselves at an advantage versus their competitors that are less hawkish about their spending. Managers who can differentiate when to hire contract workers rather than utilize part-time help contribute to their firm's labor management practices and to the bottom line. Part Time Defined The Internal Revenue Service, as part of the Affordable Care Act, defines a full-time employee as a person who is employed by a business for more than 30 hours per week. From a human resources compliance standpoint, employees working less than this minimum full-time threshold are considered part-time employees. It is important to note that the new changes as a result of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014 and are applicable to employers with 50 or more full-time employees. People employed in part-time jobs enjoy the full protection from discrimination and other unlawful employment practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Contract Labor Defined Contract labor, also called contingent labor or temporary labor, refers to individuals who provide services to an employer but are not considered an employee. The contract employee may work for himself or for an employment agency, but he is not legally controlled by the company receiving the benefit of his services. It is paramount that employers differentiate contract workers from their employees, not only in writing, but also how they are treated. According to the IRS, practices such as offering a contract worker a pension plan, health benefits and other similar items may change the worker's employment arrangement from contract to full employee. Accounting and Tax Implications Classifying a person as a contract worker has substantial tax benefits over declaring them as a common law employee. Companies are not responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes for contract workers, which reduces their payroll tax liability and expenses. While part-time employees are usually not offered health insurance benefits, they are often offered sick leave, vacation time and other fringe benefits that a company must accrue as liabilities. However, by classifying a person as a contract worker, the company is not responsible for recognizing those liabilities on their books. The U.S. Department of Labor considers intentional misclassification of employees a serious infraction. Several initiatives by the U.S. Department of Labor and other governmental agencies are designed to minimize and punish misclassification of employees. Using Contract Labor Effectively Contract labor is preferred in some cases over part-time or full-time employees because of budgetary constraints and the nature of work to be performed. It is essential for companies to understand the level of knowledge and experience required to complete a task or project before hiring a contract worker. While hiring a person with an unsatisfactory skill set is undesirable from a productivity point of view, hiring a contract worker that is too skilled for a particular job can be detrimental as well, as the hourly cost of completing the project may wind up being higher than anticipated.
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