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"Do We Need Labor Unions In America?" And "What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Union Membership."

957 words - 4 pages

A question that is often asked is whether labor unions are still necessary in America as we know it today. It is a very difficult question to answer and in order to do so we must first take a look at what it does, as well as what the advantages and disadvantages are. A labor union is an organization of many workers that has come together to negotiate and achieve certain conditions such as proper pay, work environment, hours, and rules and procedures pertaining to all aspects of the workplace including the hiring, firing, and promotion of workers among other things. (Mankiw, 2008, p. 631)As far as the advantages and disadvantages go, there are many; and some of the things that can be an advantage can actually also be a disadvantage as well. One of the big advantages of a union is that the details are spelled out in a contract and there is not much room for negotiation thereafter, as everyone is bound by what was previously decided. The management can no longer go behind anyone's back and act as they feel fit, which may be detrimental to any other party involved, namely the employees. It requires a certain level of dignity and respect to be given at all times which is a constructive attribute to have in any environment or situation as it creates a positive one. With a union, a members voice can actually be heard through them and not just be lost among the masses. Without them, not only can your voice be lost, but if you don't do things the way they want, the company or whoever is in charge can tell you to take a hike, never giving the opportunity to even voice what you would prefer. It is someone to go to and rely on, which bring us to another great advantage. One can rely on the fact that policy will remain consistent and not be forever changing as any management would be able to do on their own if no union was present. (Advantages of Labor Union Membership)One of the biggest things that a union can do working to its ultimate benefit is having the workers go on strike. While this can be greatly beneficial if done correctly, it can be a great disadvantage and detrimental to many people if it is not. Employers have every right to continue operating their business and hire new workers in place of the ones on strike, and no one is guaranteed their job back when the strike is over. The employer has no obligation to do so, which would leave many employees in a tough state of unemployment if this was to occur. They could only hope and pray they be reinstated if an opening opens up or they find work elsewhere. Before striking, the union must be sure they have the upper hand so to speak, and this can be difficult thing to tell. So although they cannot be fired on the account of striking it can still be...

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