Open Thread Thursday: Labor Unions in the United States

From Wikipedia (Labor unions in the United States

Labor unions in the United States are legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries. The most prominent unions are among public sector employees such as teachers and police. Activity by labor unions in the United States today centers on collective bargaining over wages, benefits, and working conditions for their membership and on representing their members if management attempts to violate contract provisions. Although much smaller compared to their peak membership in the 1950s, American unions also remain an important political factor, both through mobilization of their own memberships and through coalitions with like-minded activist organizations around issues such as immigrant rights, trade policy, health care, and living wage campaigns.

Today most unions are aligned with one of two larger umbrella organizations: the AFL-CIO created in 1955 and the Change to Win Federation, which split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. Both advocate policies and legislation on behalf of workers in the United States and Canada, and take an active role in politics. The AFL-CIO is especially concerned with global trade issues.

American union membership in the private sector has in recent years fallen under 9% — levels not seen since 1932. Unions allege that employer-incited opposition has contributed to this decline in membership.

Labor unions. Many people have strong opinions about labor unions, either for or against. What are your opinions? Please share them in our Open Thread.

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1 Response to Open Thread Thursday: Labor Unions in the United States

  1. storydad says:

    Unions are a structure that was needed in the past, but who’s time has come to be put away.

    Originally, there were no legal protections or recourses for the anything an employer wanted to do. Labor unions arose as a result, as those in charge needed to be taught that true value starts at the lowest levels– by denying employers labor they leveraged better working conditions.

    Over time, these unions became a political powerhouse, losing the focus of their original intent, and have now fallen primarily as a tool of organized crime and rampant political corruption.

    I’ll never say that unions don’t serve a purpose–but they have strayed far from the exectution of that purpose. They long ago achieved the results they were originally after, and labor laws have been in place for generations. To abolish them completly would probably be a mistake, but change to more conservative ideals is needed—as they stand now, they will destroy any buisness that struggles to meet their ever escalating demands.


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