Labor Unions Today Essay examples

936 Words Sep 6th, 2006 4 Pages
Labor unions today
Today most labor unions in the United States are members of one of two larger umbrella organizations: the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) or the Change to Win Federation, which split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. Both organizations advocate policies and legislation favorable to workers in the United States and Canada, and take an active role in Democratic party politics. The AFL-CIO is especially concerned with global trade issues.
Private sector union members are tightly regulated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), passed in 1935. The law is overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), part of the United States Department of Labor. Public sector unions are
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This minority model was once widely used, but was discarded when unions began to consistently win majority support. Unions are beginning to revisit the "members only" model of unionism because of new changes to labor law which unions view as curbing workers' ability to organize.
The employer and the union write the terms and conditions of employment in a legally binding contract. When disputes arise over the contract, most contracts call for the parties to resolve their differences through a grievance process to see if the dispute can be mutually resolved. If the union and the employer still cannot settle the matter, either party can choose to send the dispute to arbitration, where the case is argued before a neutral third party.
In the 1940s and 1950s links to organized crime were discovered in U.S. unions, hurting their image.
Since the 1970s, union membership has been steadily declining in the private-sector while growing in the public sector.
Right-to-work statutes forbid unions from negotiating agency shops. Thus, while unions do exist in "right-to-work" states, they are typically weaker.
Members of labor unions enjoy "Weingarten Rights." If management questions the union member on a matter that may lead to discipline or other changes in working conditions, union members can request representation by a union representative. Weingarten Rights are named for the first Supreme Court

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