The role of trade unions in labour relations

The role of trade unions in labour relations

Trade union organizations - especially for a young person - can represent an opportunity to respond to a logic of individualism in society; they have a significant task in employment rights and duties of workers, employment contracts and labor relations to young employees (Tannenbaum, 1951). This is particularly important in the context of Kosovo, where young workers are often discriminated precisely because of their age. Leaving aside the controversy of the minimum wage in Kosovo, which actually favors workers younger than 35, everything else seems to be against them. Young workers are often not respected in the work place, are subject to exploitation, or viewed as irresponsible. The truth is that young workers are trying to make ends meet, just as everybody else. They may be contributing financially to their household, or even trying to cover their tuition fees. They are modestly trying to build a better future for themselves.

Unions could provide that protection the young workers need in order to have decent working conditions and a better treatment by their supervisors and peers.

Where do unions stand in this debate?

First and foremost, trade unions need to realize that they are not as welcoming to young workers as they imagine themselves to be. This realization will clear the path to their transformation. Acceptance and inclusion of young workers, as well as fostering of young leadership are essential to increasing membership and power. Younger members bring in new energy and new ideas to the labour movement.