The Pros And Cons Of Unions

1543 Words 6 Pages
Unions exist in almost every industry from manufacturing and construction to banking and government. Their objective is to represent workers by acting as a bridge between management and employees. Among other important issues, unions facilitate negotiations for increased wages, benefits, and improved working conditions. While a union’s historical purpose is to offer redress for employer violations of employees’ civil liberties and moral rights the tactics that unions have taken in doing so also raise moral issues. To address the ethical concerns posed by both unions and employers throughout American history, the Government has taken on a regulatory role by passing legislation that circumscribes the actions of both parties. In order to fully …show more content…
It was not uncommon for laborers from unrelated fields and companies to be called to boycott and sympathetically strike against their employers in support of fellow union members working for other companies, even other industries. This significantly impacted many morally responsible employers who were undeserving of the aftermath that results from a strike, namely financial. In addition to ethically questionable tactics during collective bargaining with employers, there was a growing concern among the population regarding the manner in which unions treated their current and prospective members. In the period following the Wagner Act, critics contend that non-union members were treated unfairly and discriminated against in the workplace. In fact, many companies were union only shops that required all of their employees to join or were closed shops, which proscribed that only existing union members be hired. Many castigators equate forcing workers to join unions with infringing on their individual rights of autonomy, therefore violating their liberty …show more content…
This amendment to the Wagner Act reigned in much of the newfound power of the unions. Union only and closed shops were no longer permitted. This legislation also restricts unions and their members from sympathetic striking and secondary boycotts, the blackballing of companies who continued to patronize other companies during a strike. In the early 1950’s, having peaked in both power and number of memberships at 36% of the private workforce, many advocates considered this to be a significant blow to organized labor unions, perhaps signifying the beginning of the end. Statistics through the last 65 years support this claim. By the 1980’s membership represented only 20% of the labor force, and today just 7.8%. An imminent Supreme Court Ruling in the case of Freidrichs v California further threatens union stability. In this case, the court is being asked to determine the justness of forcing employees to contribute financially to unions, which in turn spends their money lobbying for political agendas that benefit the union. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, eight of the top ten all-time political contributors are labor unions. Which is concerning in and of itself. Disparagers attest that employee unions have far too much financial influence over politicians during elections who, once elected, must negotiate with the unions. It is improbable to think that unions do not use this financial backing to garner

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