Unions grew out of a need to protect the common interest of workers but now it seems they have become what they were created to stop. Unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. All noble causes and needed at the time they were formed.
Back then, frontline workers needed help to ensure they got a fair share from rich owners who were always depicted as greedy wretches willing to sacrifice people for a buck. In some cases, factory owners took advantage of frontline workers so Unions were a god send.
Do we really need unions in 2015? Do professional sports athletes really need a union to help regulate living conditions to play a game? Are federal employee unions necessary when there are so many laws and regulations protecting the worker?
There is a storm brewing in South Carolina now that Volvo has agreed to open a car manufacturing plant within its borders. The United Auto Workers (UAW) immediately made overtures about the employees joining its union. South Carolina has a right-to-work law which means workers at unionized plants are not forced to join the labor organization.
Isn’t it ironic that workers are forced to join a union in some states? So the union confiscates fees from members who may not want to join it but must in order to be employed. How is that any different than a factory owner dictating a wage as condition of employment? Why isn’t there a pro-choice movement for joining unions?
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has said the state has an international reputation “for being a state that doesn’t want unions, because we don’t need unions.” She has said South Carolina has been “successful in attracting some of the world’s top corporate citizens and paving the way for expansion of the businesses we already have because our right-to-work law strengthens the direct relationship our employers have with employees.”
If that is the case shouldn’t union heads be happy and leave well enough alone? If unions really did care about the workers and the worker is being taken care of properly why form a union?
It seems to me unions lost their way at some point. They have become a business in and of itself and, like a politician seeking re-election, will do and say anything to keep the status quo.
How many times have we seen workers laid off because union demands forced companies to downsize? How often do you see a union head take a pay cut so rank and file members can keep their jobs?
There comes a time when everyone realizes their time has passed. The industrial age has long been replaced by the Information Age. Do workers need protection from keyboard fatigue? Do we need to limit the amount of Tweets an employer can ask us to send a day?
Rather than exist as a roadblock to progress, I think Unions should re-image themselves and serve the need of today. Unions should collect dues but offer health care to the rank and file so rather than employers. Now there is value. Employers can then afford to hire more workers
I doubt that idea will ever fly and maybe it’s as ridiculous as it reads. However, at present I think Unions are more of the problem then the solution and change is required.