A labor union can be defined as an organization of wage earners or employees that are salaried for mutual protection, and is often used as a means for dealing with employers collectively. Labor unions have a substantial influence in the compensation of both unionized and non-unionized employees.
According to www.epi.org, “unionized workers receive more generous health benefits than non-unionized workers. Unionized workers are more likely than their nonunionized counterparts to receive paid leave, are approximately 18 percent to 28 percent more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, and are 23 percent to 54 percent more likely to be in employer-provided pension plans.” Based on this proven fact, it is clear that unions are improving the work force for employees. In a non-unionized workplace wages are often settled privately. However, with a union a group of people performing the same job with the same qualifications receive the same salary and the same benefits equally. Labor unions make the labor equal and fair.
Regardless, in my honest opinion one massive downfall labor unions have is seniority privileges. Some may see this as a benefit, or an advantage, however it seems like the new guy gets screwed in a sense, until he becomes part of the “group.”
Unionized workers also do not have to negotiate for themselves because they are not alone. Instead, union representatives negotiate on behalf of the entire group, which obviously ensures fair treatment against discrimination and racism among the workplace. Through these negotiations a worker can gain a better position, or even a promotion ending with a raise. Alone, the employee will rarely negotiate, and has no leverage, causing him to end up with little to nothing.
One of my favorite benefits of a labor union is definitely it’s fight for equality. It fights to treat everyone equal, and there is little to no favoritism. Without a union favoritism plays a gigantic role in promotions, wages, and bonus benefits. In a unionized workplace, the union plays a role in deciding who “actually” deserves a salary raise, or who deserves that promotion. Normally the “big boss” or the manager uses favoritism to hand out promotions to his apple-polishers. Aside from this, labor unions strive to give better health coverage, and a pleasant working environment.
Most people believe that labor unions are a thing of the past, however this is definitely not true. Labor unions can still be effective today, and they help create an equal environment for both men and women who contribute equally.
One flaw labor unions do have, is the failure to reach a logical agreement with varying organizations. The failure definitely puts workers and their own company at risk because employers can go out of business or move, causing employees their jobs. If negotiations can’t be made than the company doesn’t have staff and can’t perform the daily functions, so the company simply moves to another location, leaving hundreds of employees jobless. Regardless, the odds of this happening are unlikely. Which leads me to believe that labor unions provide an overall benefit to you in the workplace. According to John McCain, a U.S senator “i think the unions have played a very important role in the history of this country to improve the plight and conditions of laboring Americans.” Which is a very logical statement. It is the right of workers to organize to improve working conditions, and protect adequate wages, and ensure job security.
Regardless of the flaws, unions help more than hurt. Who doesn’t want more benefits, or compensation? not many workers want to negotiate their salaries with their own managers. Unions strive to make the workplace as equal as possible, and more often than not achieve this. Without labor unions, you have no voice in what the company you work for decides.