The Ethical Violation Of Unions

Decent Essays
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…
The argument being made against the union is one of free association. In order to keep their jobs, the unions compel workers to pay them money, which in turn is being spent on political causes that the individual workers may not support themselves. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California unions spent $88,000, of which $68,000 came directly from employee union shares, to support a ballot against same sex marriage. A Los Angeles Times exit poll found that 42% of union households did in fact support gay marriage. Their dues were spent lobbying for a political cause they did not consent to support. In fact, with the national population of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender (GLBT) people conservatively estimated at 3.5-4%, the assumption can be made that some GLBT union member 's contributions were spent lobbying against their own rights to marry. Should the courts rule against the union employees would be free from having to pay dues that support politics unless they actually agree to lend financial support to that particular political cause. Should this happen, unions would be in financial trouble. They can expect to collect less money under a system that respects peoples’ freedom to make their own political choices. Naturally, unions are campaigning against this outcome by claiming it is an attempt to bankrupt and effectively abolish unions. Many

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Labor Unions Evolution

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Consequently, most organizations began outsourcing in search for efficient employees. Outsourcing led to radical changes in the environment. Most US employers began engaging in illegal practices, and this was detrimental to the existing unions. Most employers threatened the sympathizers of unions that they would be dismissed. Discriminations also emerged, and this made the federal government begin emphasizing on the establishment of labor unions to fight for the concerns of employees.…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Harassment in the workplace overtime can develop into unlawful discrimination. Unlawful discrimination is often seen as employers not accepting people into their workplace due to race, gender or sex. Unlawful discrimination can also be seen as firing someone due to any of these reasons. This can reflect badly on a workplace as people see it as a racist/sexist act resulting in customers not using their services or buying a business’s goods. Unlawful discrimination sometimes goes unheard of as people are often too embarrassed or intimated to speak up and make a complaint.…

    • 1800 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    At-will employment, a term used in U.S labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason other than reasons due to race, gender, or ethnic background. Likewise, an employee may terminate employment for any reason. Offering very little legal rights to the employee post termination, the at-will doctrine has been criticized by many. Ethical questions surrounding at-will employment require in-depth analysis. Ethical Dilemma of At-Will Doctrine Although the majority of employers hire at will, critics of the doctrine believe that at times it can be unethical and detrimental to the employee.…

    • 927 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, they do not take into account that same-sex marriage goes against Americas cultural beliefs. When it comes to the topic of same-sex marriage, most people will agree that homosexuals take advantage of the leave-way the government gives them. For example, people should not have their tax dollars used to support gay couples when they believe it is wrong. According to Sprigg (2011), one of the main goals of gay couples is to take advantage of social security which is the biggest government entitlement program today. Some homosexuals are wanting to get more benefits from the government just because they feel self entitlement.…

    • 1916 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Two of the first labor unions, the National Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, included both skilled and unskilled members, which caused internal conflict. Skilled members did not want unskilled members to be part of the union because their skills were not valuable, and they could easily be replaced by businesses—especially by the huge influx of European immigrants. Overall, the presence of the unskilled workers in labor unions hindered the movements. Furthermore, the Knights of Labor held radical views, which eventually caused the organization’s disbandment, exacerbated by the Haymarket Square incident that incriminated members of the Knights of Labor of terrorist activity. While the labor unions were successful in achieving an eight-hour workday, when the panic of 1873 struck, working only eight hours a day could not produce enough money for families.…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When it comes to the history of unions, the collective bargaining process was meant as a means to clearly define topics that had to be handled by an employer. These are topics that cannot be avoided and must eventually reach an agreement that is mutually acceptable to both sides. Two topics that have been current trends in labor relations practices were brought about by the National Labor Relations Board (Dolin, 2012). The first trend is that financial information about the employer is becoming a commonly requested document when it comes time to negotiate over things such as wages and benefits. The next trend deals with lockouts and permanent replacements of strikers.…

    • 1457 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “them” hostility between management and workers. Unions can decrease the flexibility of both the employer and employee in negotiating wages, benefits, and other items. Dual working families often want to customize work hours and location as well as fringe benefits (Unions, 2003). Unions tie the hands of both employer and employee in these situations. Managers Authorized Actions Managers can explain the disadvantages of union membership, including union dues, and loss or work from strikes.…

    • 1021 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    HR departments also achieve the company 's suggestions with industry unions. Decision-making determinations contain position out the administration 's temporary and continuing tactics and the matching, leadership, and regulator of workers. If a corporation 's staff is not accomplished, they may face grave difficulties such as inferior efficiency and concentrated feature or developed charges. A human resources professional can help transport the greatest in staffs and subsidize to the accomplishment of the business(Trebilcock,…

    • 1279 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Many reform movements tried to go after them, often expressing public outrage. However, the machines stayed unopposed mainly due to the reform movements not lasting that long. This hurt the working class the most mainly due to the fact that they can not make reforms without help from the government; and the corruption of the government stops them from any changes. Throughout the second industrial revolution in America there are many advances. Some in technological advancements and some in social.…

    • 800 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The consequences for discrimination in the workplace is enormous, it includes deficiency of work flow, lost consumers, and charges. Racism would abolish the effectiveness of the forces at work, as some workers may not work efficiently with others, so there will be non-existence of the work flow. That being said, these influences can distress the corporation…

    • 1224 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays