Do Unions Hurt or Help Workers

Categories: Labor Unions

The origin of labor unions dates back to the eighteenth century and the industrial revolution in Europe. During that time, there was a huge surge of new workers into the workplace that needed representation. In the united Sates history of unions, early workers and trade unions played an important part in the role for independence. Although their physical efforts for the cause of independence were ineffective, the ideas they introduced, such as protection for workers, became part of our American culture.

When working people come together, they make things better for everyone. Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace. There are millions of union workers in America from all walks of life. In the historical backdrop of America’s trade and labor unions, the most renowned association remains the American Federation of Labor (AFL), established in 1886 by Samuel Gompers.

At its zenith, the AFL had around 1.4 million individuals. The AFL is credited with effectively arranging pay increments for its members and ensuring workplace safety for all workers.

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Goal My aim is to persuade people to believe that unions do not hurt workers. In fact, they have undoubtedly left their mark on the economy and will continue to be significant forces that shape the businesses and political environments. They exist in a wide variety of industries and assist workers in obtaining better wages and working conditions. Background A labor union or trade union is an organization of workers who unite to make decisions about conditions affecting their work.

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Labor unions strive to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. No matter what work we do, there’s a union that represents our work. There are more than 60 unions representing 14 million workers throughout the country. Unions work like a democracy.

They hold elections for officers who make decisions on behalf of members, giving workers more power on the job. Today, unions keep on fulfilling a similar need for which they were initially established. CEO and executive compensation is soaring, while the working-class experiences cutbacks, joblessness and stale wages. Problems Before we look at the examples of some companies, we will explore the below stated five basic questions.

  • How are Unions created?
  • Who are union members?
  • What do labor unions want?
  • Do workers need fair treatment today as much as ever?
  • Will labor unions help stop history from repeating itself?
  • What are the benefits of labor unions?

How are unions created? The initial step is to shape a committee among the specialists with workers from every division and move. The committee’s job is to go to meetings and teach themselves about the Union. At that point, they can educate their colleagues and help disperse false data spread by the board. Next, most of the employees must sign cards expressing they need to have a Union in their working environment. After a majority of workers have joined, the Union can request that the business to recognize the Union file a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). At the point when the Union files for an election, the employees have an opportunity to vote in favor of the Union in a secret ballot election conducted by the government.

On the off chance that the Union wins a dominant part of votes, and the business does not challenge the vote on legal grounds, at that point the Union can start the way toward arranging an aggregate bartering understanding (contract).

Who are union members?

  •  Teachers
  • Public employees
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Professionals and more.


What do labor unions want?

  •  Increasing wages
  •  Raising the standard of living for their workers
  •   Ensuring safe working conditions
  • Increasing benefits for the workers as well as their families
  • The voice on the job Do workers need fair treatment today as much as ever?


Employers are trying to shed their duty regarding giving medical coverage, great pension benefits, sensible work hours and employment security. Moreover, organizations are making labors occupations and wages less secure through scaling down, part-timing, contracting out, and sending employments off-shore. As the idea of work changes, working individuals require the aggregate voice and bargaining power unions give to shield bosses from making the work environment look as it did in the mid nineteenth century. Will labor unions help stop history from repeating itself? America’s working families require the representation, aggregate power, pride in work and reasonable treatment in the work environment that they deserve. In the following 15 years, the size of the labor union will triple. History does not rehash itself, and conditions currently are not equivalent to those that impelled the organizing drives of the 1930s and ’40s. In any case, American specialists have demonstrated profound cleverness over long cycles of trade union growth, decline and recovery.

The significance of freedom of association, the drive to stick together, and the requirement for ‘someone to back me up’ notwithstanding manager control never leave. Trade union advocates should remember that when we talk about the fate of the labor movement. If we didn’t have proper worker representation, we would have faced the following:

  •  Child labor
  •  Sweatshop Conditions
  •   Unlivable Wages
  •  70+ hour work weeks.

What are the benefits of labor unions? At the point when laborers stick together as an association, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they basically don’t have when they are not unionized. Being an individual from an association not just gives you a superior position to improve wages, advantages and working conditions, you also get job security.

Non-association specialists have constrained rights and can be let go ‘freely’ for reasons unknown – in light of the fact that your supervisor is having an awful day and chooses he/she doesn’t need you around any longer. Non-association laborers additionally find that the rules can change at the impulse of the business. One day you have paid occasions and travels and one week from now you don’t, a raise is guaranteed however never given, you have an excessive number of hours multi week yet the following you’re not making enough to get by. With an association contract, everything is illuminated in highly contrasting, as chose between the workers negotiating committee and the employer during bargaining, and the rules don’t change until the point when laborers renegotiate. For example, raises are ensured, holidays, vacation hours, and so forth would all be able to be characterized by the agreement.

Also, order and terminating isn’t at the impulse of the business for union members. There are sure standards the boss needs to experience, a series of steps, to demonstrate that they are worthwhile for discipline or terminating you. All through this time a union worker will take a shot at your sake to speak to you and ensure you get a reasonable arrangement and your rights are secured. Companies A few industries use unionized labor in their business operations. Unionized labor represents a group of individuals that use collective bargaining agreement to define employee relationships with an organization. There are several industries where unions play a major role. Auto Workers At the point when a great many people think of unions, the first thing that strikes a chord is the United Auto Workers (UAW, otherwise called The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America).

What many probably won’t know is that the UAW isn’t just for automobile laborers. The association additionally comprises of representatives in aviation, agribusiness, health care and that’s just the beginning. Today the UAW has in excess of 390,000 active members and 600,000 retirees. Through collective bargaining, it has set up the first employer paid medical coverage plan for industrial workers, employment and pay security provisions, and additionally cost of living allowances, in addition to numerous other milestone bargains for its members. Steel Workers On June 17, 1936, the Steel Workers Organizing Committee was framed, and after that on March 7, 1937, the union signed its first contract with Carnegie-Illinois Steel, giving laborers an ensured $5 every day wage and advantages. In 1942, the Steel Workers Organizing Committee turned into the United Steelworkers. Today the association has 1.2 million members and includes steel, aluminum, and other metal laborers, as well as rubber, oil and chemical plant workers. It has members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Public service workers The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the nation’s biggest association for public service employees. With more than 1.6 million active and retired members, it comprises of nurses, child care specialists, EMTs, correction officers, sanitation workers and more. AFSCME was established in 1932 amid the Great Depression. Coordinators wanted to enhance as well as spread the common administration framework across the nation. There’s likewise the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s second-biggest public service union. It has more than 1.1 million individuals, half of which are nearby and state government workers, child care suppliers, bus drivers and public-school employees. Educators The National Education Association (NEA) of the United States is the greatest association in the nation with in excess of 3 million members. It represents the government funded teachers, substitute instructors, higher education employees, education support workers, administrators, resigned educators and even students working to become teachers.

The NEA was established in 1857 with 100 members; in 1966, it converged with the American Teachers Association. In 1916, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was established by eight Chicago educators. The initial four years, the association developed to 174 individuals. Between World War I and II, the association battled to have tenure laws made for instructors. In 1954 the AFT assumed a key job in the civil rights movement development when it documented an amicus curiae brief for the Supreme Court case, Brown versus board of Education of Topeka. Today the AFT tallies more 1.6 million individuals and is one of the biggest unions in the nation. Collective Bargaining Collective bargaining is the central core of the labor union. Collective bargaining happens when a group of individuals, for example, the workforce at an organization, groups together to build its negotiating power. For example, a labor may feel that a specific new security measure ought to be actualized in his processing plant, however he may have restricted capacity to inspire the organization to introduce the new measure.

On the off chance that the whole workforce is made mindful of the requirement for the new measure and groups together to pressurize the organization to introduce it, there is a lot more prominent shot that the organization will go along. Worker’s parties consolidate specialists, enabling the voices of individual laborers to be heard and made into an objective of the entire association. Unionized laborers normally choose agents to convey their worries to the association’s consideration. Conclusion At the point when work costs more, employer put more in training and equipment, which enhances working environment morale and boosts efficiency. At the point when workers are taken care of, everybody benefits. The enmity among business and organized labor isn’t inevitable.

But when employees are considered as dispensable, organizations can turn out to be less keen on protecting them. Employees additionally may need somebody to mediate for their sake with the executives on security issues when there is no union representation. When work environments wind up composed, the requirement for participation turns out to be more obvious. Organizations perceive that they can find a way to make a steady workforce more protected, beneficial and compelling, through preparing, better equipment, and improving utilization of their insight. Unions, thus, progressively perceive the necessities of managers to be receptive to clients and focused in their business sectors. In a few sectors, having an organization story that includes association specialists and living wages might be an upper hand economically. All laborers profit from unions, since unions set pay models and working environment protections. Union members, laborers like you- advantage most from the unions collective bargaining capacity to negotiate with employers for their benefit.

This fundamental right gives you as an union member more power than if you attempted to consult as a person. More advantages of union membership:

  • union members make a normal of 30% more than non-union laborers.
  • 92% of association laborers have work related health coverage versus 68% of non-union workers.
  • Association laborers are bound to have ensured pensions than non-union workers.

Unions help shield workers from vile rejection through Collective bargaining agreements (CBA). Along these lines, most union representatives can’t be let go without ‘just cause.’ This is not normal for some nonunion workers who are considered ‘at-will’ workers and can be terminated whenever for any reason. Union members additionally advantage from having the collective power to go on strike. A strike is the point at which a group of workers quits working either in protest of work conditions or as a bargaining instrument amid labor/management negotiations.

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Do Unions Hurt or Help Workers. (2022, Jan 07). Retrieved from

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