American Labor Unions - Essay Example

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Although there are of course many reasons for why this is the case, the following analysis will be concentric upon discussing this author’s…
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American Labor Unions
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Even a cursory analysis reveals the fact that union membership within the United s is at its lowest point in nearly a full century. Although there are of course many reasons for why this is the case, the following analysis will be concentric upon discussing this author’s opinion regarding the overall effectiveness of the American labor unions, their strengths and weaknesses, what issues have contributed to this steep decline in union membership, and whether or not an individual within a nonunion business should have the opportunity to vote for union inclusion.
Firstly, with respect to the overall effectiveness of American labor unions, it must be stated that historically this effectiveness has been rather high. Ultimately, working conditions, pay, fairness, and issues concerning equality have all been able to be maximized as a direct result of union organization over the past decades. However, one of the major issues that is facing unions, and subsequently contributing to a massive loss in union membership is the fact that individuals no longer feel that the benefits of union membership outweigh the costs. For instance, even a brief overview of existing news stories reveals the fact that many companies are moving from union friendly states to non-union friendly states. Moreover, the recent flood of jobs that have migrated overseas has caused many individuals to believe that the “greediness” of the unions have contributed to the industrial decay that the United States has experienced since the 1960s (Zhu, 2006). Moreover, the ability of foreign manufacturers, such as foreign automobile makers, to benefit from nonunion factories within the United States and dominantly compete with domestic automobile manufacturers has underscored the fact that the unionization of cities such as Detroit can no longer be seen as a mutual benefit to domestic industry and/or the success of American business over foreign production (Fiorito & Jarley, 2012).
Finally, with respect to the issue of whether or not a nonunion group of individuals within a particular company should be allowed to engage in collective bargaining and choose to become part of a union, it is the belief of this particular author that this action is a fundamental right that should not be infringed. Whereas it is true that there are many drawbacks and weaknesses to an alliance or agreement with a particular union, the self determinism of an individual group of workers is something that should not be infringed upon and ultimately represents a level of Democratic choice that is so fundamental to the society of the United States (Warner, 2013). More specifically, is the further understanding of this researcher that the decision of a workplace to become unionized or to remain non-union aligned is ultimately an issue and choice that must take place at the workplace itself. As such, the ability of an individual to fill out a secret ballot and request a level of union engagement within a particular workplace is not ethical or reasonable with respect to the way in which the future of a particular firm or business entity should be determined.
Fiorito, J., & Jarley, P. (2012). Union Organizing and Membership Growth: Why Dont They Organize?. Journal Of Labor Research,33(4), 461-486. doi:10.1007/s12122-012-9144-y
Warner, K. (2013). The Decline of Unionization in the United States: Some Lessons from Canada. Labor Studies Journal, 38(2), 110-138. doi:10.1177/0160449X13490801
Zhu, W. (2006). Union Wages and Union Decline: Evidence from the Construction Industry. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 60(1), 67-87. Read More
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