Free «Labor Unions» Essay Sample

Labor unions are formed to present workers grievances as well as solve conflicts with employers. Labor unions facilitate collective bargaining for workers in matters concerning pay, workplace safety, working hours, job security and similar things which affect workers (Chapter 14). However, membership in labor unions has been declining a lot over recent decades. Voice of America (2005) reported that labor union membership had for 50 years decreased from 35% to only 13% of all workers in the United States. By 2010, the percentage had dropped to 11.9 percent (Hananel, 2011). The decline in popularity of labor unions is because of several factors: labor unions are very costly for organizations; the labor unions are infested by corruption; and the effect of illegal immigrants (Voice of America, 2005). According to Chapter 14, the cost of unions comes about through the high salaries of unionized workers. This lowers the competitiveness of the affected organization in the global market. Labor union membership decline in the public sector has exacerbated by retrenchments at the state and local government levels (Hananel, 2011). Labor unions have been facing a lot of opposition from politicians causing domino effect in costs. According to Hananel (2011) and Voice of America (2005) state that running of labor unions has been very expensive as they fund political candidates who promise to work in the interest of the unions if elected to office. In addition, according to Chapter 14, labor unions are becoming more irrelevant as employers offer good terms of service for workers due to competition for expertise, and secondly, because the government has passed laws which ensure workers get most of the rights labor unions traditionally fight for. In addition, Middle-aged male blue collar workers who are more likely to belong to labor union have been less significant with growth in the services sector of the economy which employs women and older people who are reluctant to join the unions (Chapter 14).


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