Factors such as the technology revolution and economic development have created a workforce that is more educated and autonomous compared to the manufacturing industries of the past. (Thomson et al, 2007 and Hartman Group 2007) This trend has contributed to flatter, more decentralised organisations with higher employee accountability. Coupled with legislation that has eroded union power (discussed further below) these socio-economic trends have contributed significantly to the increase in direct communication between management and employees. While unions traditionally negotiated collective wages and conditions for a benchmark job, employees increasingly need to negotiate working conditions for a unique position where their salary is, at least in part, dependant on performance.Decentralisation has collapsed the “façade of collective bargaining” (Hyman, 1997) and employers are increasingly ensuring autonomous workers receive remuneration that is linked to performance. (Jafee, 2001) In this environment, the worker is theoretically able to effectively negotiate a salary based on their own merit without union intervention. As an educated individual with easy access to information such as market salaries and job vacancies (using sources such as the internet) an employee has the information they need to negotiate. However, even in this market competition is intense from both the employee and employer’s perspective. Employees experience increasing pressure to perform and employers need to seek out the top performers to remain competitive. Unions may gain importance by addressing the needs of this competitive market.