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Are Unions Good for the Economy? 

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  • Category: Legacy

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Now this question has been bugging a lot people out for the past few years. And the one thing we must know first is what are unions for and why are they used. Unions are an organization of workers put together to get workers benefits, and higher wages. Labor Unions are said to have been around since the beginning of America as a country. It first started to defend the workforce that were currently hired in workshops. As most workshops woulds abuse their workers and putting them to work under unsafe conditions, causing many to be sick, harmed, and to even die. Unions have been woven into this country whether its politics,economics, or whether it’s the cultural. It’s one of the many fabrics that make up America.

One of the main things the union does is raise wages for underpaid workers, just wages rose for workers by 2.6 percent. And this year alone it climbed another 1.6 percent. And extra money is always great to have in your pockets but how does that affect you and the economy. In one article named “Unions: Do They Help or Hurt Workers?” by Brent Radcliffe. Radcliffe talks about the many different influences the unions pose and the two main tools they use: restricting labor supply and increasing labor demand. They are sometimes even compared to cartels by some economists, the unions are known for negotiating through collective bargaining to decide what employers will pay their workers. By asking for higher wages than the equilibrium wage this can sometimes require the company to lower the hours demanded because Since the higher wage rate equates to less work per dollar, unions often face problems. (2018) Since the Industrial Revolution, unions have often been credited with securing improvements in working conditions and wages.

Many unions were formed in manufacturing and resource companies, companies operating in steel mills, textile factories, and mines. Over time, however, unions have spread into other industries. Today, a large portion of membership is found in transportation, utilities, and government. Also unions have many differences such as depth in members and the rate at which unions integrate into the economy differs from country to country. But they try their best to solve their disputes diplomatically.

Another pro is they set up formal processes to settle disputes, complaints and come up with solutions. When the unions work well together, the make it easier for the members to solve problems. There are formal processes in place, which makes it easier for any worker – regardless of their individual status – to raise grievances. Many unions will also subsidize legal fees for unionized employees who want to sue their employers. Also it makes political grouping easier by channeling workers’ energies into national organizations – and collecting money at the same time – unions make it easier to advance political causes that working people support. In effect, unions amplify the political voices of their members. One last pro is that unions set the norms that extend to the rest of the economy. Before the labor movement, things we all take for granted in the workplace now – weekends, safety provisions – were not the norm. So, even though the U.S. workforce has never been completely organized, organization spread certain norms throughout the economy to the benefit of even non-unionized workers. The minimum wage, OSHA guidelines and overtime rules are all part of the legacy of the labor movement.

With solution there is a con that comes along with the pro and one of the many cons you will see will have to do with low skill and high skill workers. Like sometimes unions can make it harder to promote good skill workers and get rid of terrible workers.Unions tend to put a lot of influence on seniority. That can be a good thing for creating a steady career path, but it can also make it hard for superstars to advance up the hierarchy. It can also make it hard to demote or dismiss workers who are constantly mediocre. And due to the fact that they have their own leadership and hierarchy. They have been known for showing favoritism, and cronyism which can impede progress toward a meritocracy.

Unions can sometimes force members to pay fees that are not really willing to pay. Some workplaces are sanctioned businesses, which means you must be a union member to apply to work there. Others are union shops, where you can apply as a non-member but you must join the union if you’re hired. Still others are agency shops, where you can work there as a non-union-member but you have to pay agency fees to contribute to the work the union does on your behalf. Which seems unfair to many that really don’t mind the job situations they are in.

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