Employee Associations Objectives:
The employee associations always regard themselves as a part of the administration. The administration also recognizes their existence as necessary and useful. The associations claim that they are performing an important role in the development of society. Mostly, these associations stand accepted as positive assets for a sound and progressive administration.
(1) To develop harmonious relations between the Government and the Employees- Employee associations are designed to secure harmonious relations between the employer (i.e. Government) and the employees. They serve as vital communication links between them. They present their view of governmental policies and decisions. The government often invites their opinions before making policy decisions. They also act as consultative groups. The employees use these associations to convey their views to the government. As such, Employee associations are governed by the objective of securing harmony between the government and the employees.
(2) To secure the interests of the Employees- The edifice of an employees association rests upon the objective of securing the interests of the employees. By this mechanism, the employees are in a position to convey their demands to the government. Along with it, they also project possible solutions to their problems. Employ associations play a vital role in interest articulation. Through them, the individual interests/claims of the employees get transformed into group interests or claims. Only articulated claims can be expected to be met by the government.
(3) To act as channels of Communication- The employee associations are governed by the objective of acting as the channels of communication between the employers and the employees. In case of any problem, the government uses these channels for conveying its policies, decisions, and views to the employees. It also learns about the employees’ reactions toward these through their associations.
(4) To secure unity and solidarity among the Employees- The employee associations are governed by the objective of securing a sense of unity and collectivity among the employees. The employee associations have to earn the support of the employees through the due performance of their role as mechanisms for securing their interests.
(5) To meet social Expectations- The employee associations have also the objective of meeting the social expectations of their members. They have to secure and maintain a good level of their credibility in the eyes of their members as well as in the eyes of society in general.
For securing these objectives, the employee associations perform a number of functions. They try to enroll the employees into their folds and encourage them to use their services for securing their interests. Each association tries to take up the individual or group problems of the employees with the employers. They try to ensure that the employees should be saved from victimization at the hands of their employers. They try to prevent the supervisors and managers from becoming vindictive and arbitrary in their functioning. They keep on submitting petitions and memoranda to the employers in which the demands of the employees and the desired personal policies are projected demanded and defended.
Another important activity of the employee associations is to hold regular and priority meetings with the employers or managers or heads of the departments/units to sort out local and minor issues. Further, the employee associations use lobbying and organize deputations to put forward their demands and viewpoints, challenge unwanted rules in the courts of law, appear before commissions and submit memoranda, use mass media for winning support for their cause, and use Direct Action methods- pen-down strike, tokens strike, indefinite strike, hunger strike, and gherao, etc.- for securing their objectives. The direct action methods are used only after other constitutional means have been exhausted.
These associations make it possible for the employees to express their point of view to the government as a whole, as well as to develop a feeling of oneness between the employees and the administration. They try to promote personal acquaintance among individuals with common interests and problems. They bring the employees nearer to those in whom they can confide for their failures and successes. They play a definite role in disseminating the latest information among the employees. These associations have been a source of efficiency. They have tried to protect the merit systems and improve the quality of administration.
Employee associations have been playing an important role in developing harmonious relations between the government and the employees as well as in securing the legitimate interests of their members. They have played a positive role in improving public services. They have enabled the employees to work under the conditions that they desire. Commenting upon the role played by them, Dr. L. D. White records: “The competence of public service is favorably affected, its impartiality is more easily assured, its capacity to secure some long time programmes is increased and its prestige is elevated.”