HR professionals are raised (trained? taught?) to view labor unions as the enemy. Unions are the Moriarty to our Sherlock Holmes. The Hans Gruber to our John McClane. The Ursula to our Ariel.
But unions served a historically important role fighting for many of the workplace norms we now take for granted. Early organizing efforts advanced women’s rights and gender equality while the voices of the labor movement brought awareness (and change) to dangerous and unsafe working conditions.
Occasionally I wonder if HR professionals should exercise their collective voice and form a union; after all a group of organized workers is, at its most elemental, dedicated to furthering the economic and social interests of workers.
And if we do so I have decided we can call it the HRPWU – “Human Resources Professional Workers Union.”
If HRPWU came into existence there would be no more dependence upon “the world’s largest professional HR association” (also known as they place where one gives money but has no voice) as the place for peers to gather. Rather, with HRPWU, members could elect their own officers, determine their own goals for the profession, set their own dues and choose the rules by which the union operates. Banding together, HRPWU members could negotiate, on behalf of HR workers everywhere, better working conditions and wage equity. HRPWU could promote better work/life integration and working hours flexibility; no more of this 60+ hour per week crap that many HR professionals find themselves sucked into against their will. I also envision a GROUP collective bargaining process; negotiating with ALL employers across the board for appropriate pay, benefits, health and safety policies and practices (including access to mental health resources) and workplace equity and justice.
As a bonus, being represented by HRPWU, Human Resources professionals could, once and for all, be assured a seat at the (bargaining) table.
Talk about making an investment into the future of HR…