As we know the number of trade unions have fallen dramatically since 1979. This has be caused by various factors such as changes in composition of employment. This includes manufacturing deindustrialisation and downsizing. Also expansion of the service sector employment and also the rise in self employment and many more. But all of these factors have resulted in the trade unions to decline in numbers. This has lead for firms to keep the wages of workers low because trade unions are always trying to keep their wages of the union high. If the trade union numbers were high the firm would think twice before taking the risk. The reason for this is that unions can call up strikes, which is basically saying we wont work until our demands are met. As there would be many in the trade union this would mean that there are a lot of workers not going to working resulting loss in productivity eventually leading to a loss in profit. This can also pressurise the firm due to the loss it would gain it doesnt. Some firms actually go with the trade unions but some compromise the situation until both the firm and the trade unions are happy. As there is a decrease the number of trade unions this means that the voice of the union is weak. This will mean that it will be pointless and much more difficult for the trade unions to call up a strike to protest as they would be less in numbers. This would give the firm an advantage, as it would put the wages down knowing that the unions wont strike against it or if they do they wont create a big impact. Also new policies and legislations make it much more difficult for the trade unions to put forward their demands. Also derecognising of the unions in some industry. Derecognition is when employers refuse to allow unions at the workplace or recognise them for purpose of negotiation pay or conditions. This also makes it easier for the firms to keep the wages down.
Also another thing making it easier for firm to keep wages down is due to the low levels of out-of-work benefit. As the benefits for being unemployed are low to live up to a good standard the people who claim the out of work benefit would rather work and earn more. This will increase the supply of labour in to the labour market making it easier for a firm to keep the wages down. As people who are claiming the out of work benefit would be desperate to gain work they would work as long as they received a good fixed wage. This will also make it much easier for the firm to carry out due to the low number of trade unions.
(b) With reference to the passage and Figure 4, discuss the factors that have accounted for the changes in the employment rate of men compared with women over the period shown.
As you can see from the graph that since 1979 to 1999 the employment rate for males has gradually decreased where as the women employment rate in the same period has gradually increased.
This can be due to a number of factors, which might have affected this employment. Over this period of time there have been many Acts and policies which protect women in the workforce. This makes them more employable. This will overall cause a rise in the women employment rate. The other factor is that most of the jobs are suited for women. The service sector is the biggest employer with the most jobs and women due to their skills and ability better run these jobs than men. Also there is a rise in the service sector meaning that more and more women are getting employed that increases the employment rate of women.
Also over the years as the service sector has increased in size this has created many part time jobs for the labour market. Women tend to take up these jobs as it ties in with their life style. As women have other things to look after such as family in their spare time as the kids are in school and the husband women tend to feel bored at home so they rather no just work for the money but work to keep them busy. Also these jobs are mainly lower paid and men dont want to do them as so women have the option to take opportunity of these types of employments.
Also as technology has increased there have been a increase in electrical appliances and their qualities. These electrical appliances cover things like the hover, washing machine, microwave etc. Before these types of such as cleaning and cooking food was very time consuming taking up all of the time of women allowing them no free time. But as new technology has come through has meant that women have more free time to take up a job.
Also over the years the country has invested a lot of money into the Childcare facilities allowing jobs for the labour market. These jobs are best suited for women as they deal with children. Also there has been a increase in divorce rates in Great Britain meaning that women are independent and need to provide for the family. This will mean that the divorced women will look for a job to keep the family running. These factors, which are stated above, have increased in the number of women employed since 1979. The main reason why the number of men employed is dropping is due to some factors. The obvious one is that women have taken up most of the jobs. Also since de-industrialistaion more and more people mainly men have become employed and the jobs, which are vastly available, are in the service sector, which employ mostly women because they are more suited for the job.