Labor unions affect the daily lives of many citizens (Mackinaw, 2001) dramatic and powerful, though often indirect and hidden ways. Everyone from blue collar factory workers, white collared accountants, soccer moms, and business owners to elementary school students, retirees, are affected every day be the organized labor movement. Fewer, Howe ever, understand the legal and historical role labor unions have played and continue to play in the economy, politics and culture. From the Teamsters to the United Auto Workers to the National Education Association, labor unions figure prominently in national and local and global politics and have a dramatic effect on everything from the price of a new care to education for children. A labor union can best be defined as an organization that exists for the purpose of representing its members to their employers regarding wages, terms and conditions of employment (Mackinaw, 2001).
Historically, government has taken three approaches to labor unions: the criminal conspiracy approach, the free market (government neutral approach, and the compulsory unionism approach.
For much of American history, labor relations went largely unregulated by government; they were considered private matters best settled directly between employers and employees. In the late nineteenth century, however, this “government-neutral” view of the workplace began to change. Employees acting together to address workplace issues increasingly dew the attention of the United States courts. Today, both the federal and state governments have adopted the compulsory unionism approach. Under the national labor Relations Act (NLRA), private sector unions are granted special legal powers and privileges, including the privilege of exclusive representation and the power to extract dues and fees from all workers in a bargaining unit if the employer agrees to it (Mackinaw, 2001).
The Labor Unions Unions have become commonplace in the labor arena. They provide employees with a valuable tool that allows them to stand together against their employer to make sure that their rights are upheld in the workplace. This paper will focus on labor unions with regards to how they work in two very different companies, Ford Motor Company and United Airlines. Also, a brief history will be ...
The NLRA does not, however, apply to government employees unions, including military and school personnel, due to concerns that compulsory unionism for them would over publicize government, and make it more expensive and inefficient, and cause public security problems (Mackinaw, 2001).
Many sates shared those concerns and have not established mandatory collective bargaining for their government employees. Today, labor unions exist in a wide variety of industries and fields, yet many workers, whether they are members of a union or not, do not fully understand how unions function or recognize all the advantages and disadvantages associated with unions. Employees may unionize for a number of different reasons. The impetus is often nothing more than a desire to improve the compensations they receive from work that they may believe is undervalued. Poor job security, nepotism, decimation, and the absence of opportunity for advancement are also frequent causes of employee unrest and interest in unionization.
Employee unionization in a particular workforce usually happens in one of two ways. The first is that the employees believe they are being treated unfairly ore unreasonably by their employer and want to band together to expert greater influence over their wages, benefits, and working conditions. The second way a labor union is created is when an existing union approaches the workers of a particular employer and encourages them to join the union, usually by promising job protection and expanded benefits. Once a union is established in a workplace, discussions begin between the union and the employer regarding new labor contracts, which will govern the working relationship between the employer and all the workers in the bargaining unit.
Definition of collective bargaining: " Employees do not negotiate individually and on their own behalf, but do so collectively though representative." (The Donovan Commission, 1968). Collective bargaining can be defined as an arrangement for settling wages and conditions of employment by an agreement between an employer, and an association of employees. It has been regarded traditionally e. g. by ...
This process is know as collective bargaining (Bennett-Alexander, 2001) The primary advantage union repetition offers employees are the solidarity it brings to dealing with their employer. A high rate of membership is an important sign of the union’s economic strength and its ability to force contractual concessions form an employer. Union membership also gives employees a legal right to influence the direction of their union by participating in its internal governance. Members can vote in union elections or on ratification of the bargaining agreement.
Unions in turn support employees in circumstances where they decide to withhold their services, engage in and economic strike or a threat to strike and put greater economic pressure on the employer to agree to their demands. Unions attempt to expand collectivization and coercion at the expense of individual liberty is not only fundamentally wrong, they go against the grain of the developing law that is striving to protect individual employee rights. The labor movement must instead begin to focus its efforts on the principles of freedom, voluntarism and value to employees. The primary goals of our national labor policy in the next decade must be government neutrality, the preservation of a free collective bargaining system and employee freedom of choice.
In conclusion, for Americans to retain their standard of living and competitive advantage in the markets of the future, management and labor must be free to resolve their disputes through an open exchange of policies and ideas, without the intervention of government in favor of either side. It is time for policy makers and citizens to rededicate themselves to the true meaning and philosophy of the First Amendment by embracing the ideal of people freely exchanging ideas and persuading, no coercing, others to accept their goals. References Bennett-Alexander, D. (2001).
Employment Law for Business (Special Edition Series ed. ).
Labor Unions have had an effect of American history as well as world-wide history from the time they became popular. Following WWII Americans were predominantly pro-labor, however, as time went on union's credibility fell short of perfect. Union strikes proved to be bothersome to both the general public and company. Unions were also suppressing to employees through fraud and lack of worker rights ...
Boston, Massachusetts: Irwin McGraw-Hill. Mackinaw, B. (2001).
What Every Citizen should know about Labor Unions.