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The Power of Unions in the U.S. Today - Essay Example

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Organized labor and labor movements assisted the US workers to attain a range of privileges such as 40 hour work week, workplace safety, overtime pay, and other employee benefits. However, today the power of unions in…
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Download file to see previous pages Both the organizations play a significant role promoting legislation and policies favorable to workers in US and Canada. When federal and state laws are applicable to public sector unions, National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) regulates private sector unions. While analyzing the labor history of the United States, it is clear that labor unions have played an inevitable role in improving the wages and working conditions of labors. Today labor unions have some political powers and influences to force the government to form and amend labor laws to enhance the welfare of US workers. As Greenhouse points out, union workers earned median weekly income of $943 in 2012 whereas this income was only $742 in case of nonunion workers. According to a federal government evaluation on the pay scale in the country (as reported in Schultz and Schultz), it was identified that members of labor unions earn up to 33% more income than nonunion members. In addition, employees in a labor union enjoy more job security, high quality work environment, and other benefits than their nonunion counterparts (271-272).
Although labor unions have been assisting employees to enjoy better wages, working conditions, and other benefits for decades, studies and reports indicate that the power of unions in the US is declining. While analyzing the statistical data on the union membership, it seems that today American unions have only a fraction of the influence they had a few decades ago. To illustrate, as Leves reports in CNN, nearly 20% workers were union members in 1983 and currently it has been dropped to 12%. This decline has been worse in the private sector where union membership fell from 17% in 1983 to only 7% today. The annual summary of the unionization in the United States published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also comes up with the similar claims. According to this report (as cited in Warner), the union membership of wage and salary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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