Do workers have the right to organize and collectively bargain from the context of Responsible Stewardship?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Labor Rights are the rights given either implicitly or officially to workers to form a Union and take steps to better their situation at employment. Labor Unions have a checkered history and are often regarded with suspicion by employers. Recently, Labor Unions have been under fire for the right to Collectively Bargain, or gather together and ask for something with the stated or unstated consequence of shutting down the employer if he doesn't agree to the demands.

Responsible Stewardship is an ethical concept that advocates intelligent and sustainable use of resources, whether human or natural. Stewardship is considered a method of management, and is often used by religious organizations to show their devotion to land and creator.

Under a general mode of Stewardship, the workers and the employer would have a shared responsibility to make sure work is efficient while also keeping their use of resources to an effective minimum. The employer would have a larger responsibility, because he is in charge of increasing production without using up his employees; for their part, the employees would have a responsibility to work to their best effort while not wasting time, money, or supplies. Ideally, there would be no need for a Labor Union to form, because all people involved would be equally invested in a favorable outcome. However, if the employer is too focused on production, the employees might be forced to waste resources to meet quotas, and in this case, they would be expected to make their case not based on their own rights, but on the expectation of efficient, responsible quotas that do not tax either resources or employees.

While the formation of a Union would be more likely when the employer is unreasonable or unfair, the employees would still have the right -- and responsibility -- to form a union and collectively bargain if the workload is breaking the rules of Responsible Stewardship. This is more of an ethical problem for the employees, who might not care about wasting resources as long as their working conditions are manageable.