EDUCATION 101: TRADE UNIONS

Reasons why police should join trade unions and why they should not.

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QUESTION
Reasons why police should join trade unions and why they should not.
INTRODUCTION.
Background
The Employment and industrial Relations Act (EIRA), which regulates labour relations in Malta, defines ‘employment’ in relation to a trade dispute as any relationship whereby one person does work or performs services for another, ‘other than a service as a member of a disciplined force’. This proviso, which is repeated in the definition of ‘worker’ and ‘contract of service’, denies members of the police force and the armed forces the right to join a trade union or to participate in sympathy with the actions of a trade union.


Similarly, Maltese law relating to the operations of the police force prohibits police officers from joining trade unions or any similar organisation other than the Malta Police Association (MPA) . According to Article 24.2 of the Police Act, MPA aims to promote the welfare and professional efficiency of its members by representing their views on such matters as their hours of duty, leave, pay and allowances, pensions and other conditions of service, and rules of discipline in general. It also defends individuals in disciplinary proceedings. MPA must be registered with the Commissioner of Police, who may not refuse registration provided that the MPA statute is not in conflict with the Police Act. The association represents at least 15% of the police force. The European Committee of Social Rights (ESCR) has stated that these legal provisions conform to the European Social Charter (ESC) since judicial proceedings afford appropriate protection against arbitrary refusal of registration.
Two weeks ago, Industrial Court Judge Onesmus Makau, sitting in Mombasa, made a landmark ruling that Police officers can now form a trade union. In the ruling In the ruling, Justice Makau on an application by four retired police officers Paul Gichuru, Stephen Kyalo, Nicky Njuguna and Stephen Karani, against the registrar of trade unions declared that the Labour Relations Act, that initially barred police officers from forming or joining a trade union, was inconsistent with Articles 24 and 41 of the Constitution. (The Standard 2015)
Police officers claim that their duties often entail tasks that would qualify them to be defined as normal workers. There should therefore be no qualms about their right to join a trade union. The counter-argument is that since the work of police officers is considered to be an essential service to society, their duties have to be performed within the parameters of a disciplined force. This accounts for the Police Commissioner’s cautious and low-key statement on the matter. Yet various other workers deemed to be providing an essential service under EIRA are allowed to join trade unions and undertake legitimate industrial action on condition that minimum services continue to be provided.
DISCUSSION: Why should Police Join Trade Unions and Why should they Not?
In looking at the above discussion as of why should Police Join Trade Unions and Why should they Not, the approach is majorly factored around the advantages of trade unions visa vis the disadvantages or problems that come with establishment on trade unions that . Conventionally Trade unions are known for the following advantages upon which we base to support the fact that indeed The Police should join trade unions
Trade Unions Increase wages for its workers by tirelessly lobbying respective workers to pay in line with minimum wage requirements and against prevailing work, market and economic conditions. In the long run employees earn what can be termed as decent pay. Shifting attention to now the Police force and in the plight of remunerations, police as state workers are in most cases underpaid despite the fact that mostly they are at work most of the time guarding the interests of the public. Thus joining trade unions will give them a platform to negotiate for better deals.
Trade Counterbalance monopsony power which happens in cases where markets are controlled by specific consumers. Police force joining trade unions will help offset the imbalance within the Security management industry.
Trade unions Represent workers affairs including but not limited to human rights, welfare, and overall work environments to make members enjoy work. Police force joining trade unions will improve their working conditions which has been pre dorminantly poor.
Trade Unions are known to steer Productivity deals for its members thus police force being part of trade unions will be value adding in terms of productivity.
Trade unions are Important for service sectors Thus Police force being party to service industry in ensuring and maintaining law and order will need to be part of trade unions.
On the other hand, Conventionally Trade unions are known for the following disadvantages upon which we base to support the fact that indeed The Police should not join trade unions
Trade Unions Create unemployment in cases of consistent activisim which destroys the work market. Police force being party to trade unions will be a worst case scenario.
Trade unions are known to Ignore non members, thus Police officers who resist the move to join trade unions, will be at a lose of being ignored as well.
Trade Unions result in Lost productivity as a result of persistent protests and strikes. Police in trade unions thus will be part of the protest when ironically in botched protests police are otherwise charged with stepping up for controls.
Trade Unions cause Wage inflation in cases when they demand for pay that I not consistent with prevailing national Economic standings. Police in Trade unions will thus be subject to regular uncalled for pay rise protests creating a wage bill inflation scare that might cripple the economy.
REFERENCE.
Nanko Nikolov Mikhov (1983) World Trade Union Movement
Steven Barkan (2008) Law and Society; An Introduction
Donald Black (2010) The behavior of Law special Edition.
Kevin Beaver (2013) Biosocial Criminology A prime Book Supplement.

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