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It goes without saying that, obviously, the labour unions are very controversial, at least in the United States of America. If we are talking about pro-union workers, they believe in unions because they obviously provide a very basic building block for a very strong working class. Opponents would say that unions are very restrictive, and they also hurt the working-class employees.
If we are talking about current statistics of the unions, the latest data would concern the union members from 2017, and it was released by the US Department of labour’s bureau of labour statistics. The wage and salary of the workers was more than $14.8 million. The number of workers then went up to 17.7 million.
Here are some very important points.
- Firstly, the union membership rate of the public sector workers, which would be around 34.4%, continued to be more than five times higher than that of the private sector workers, which would be around 6.5%
- Secondly, men actually continue to have a higher union membership rate, when compared to women. Men had 11.4%, and women had 10%.
- The black workers actually remained more likely to become union members than the white, Hispanic or even Asian members.
- If we are talking about the states, New York actually continues to have the highest union membership rate, at around 23.8%.
- The first pro would be that the unions actually provide the workers with all kinds of protection. In most states in the United States of America, these people are protected. They are protected from all kinds of workplace problems.
- Secondly, the unions actually promote higher wages, and they promote all kinds of benefits.
- Thirdly, the union would be economic trendsetters. Before the unions, the weekends and the provisions for the workers did not actually exist. Even though the United States workforce, the workforce was not exactly unionised.
- If you’re talking about political organising, it is definitely easier, because it is an amazing advantage. The unions are very able to amplify and also advance all of the political causes with the working class.
- The unions actually require some fees and some dues, which some workers don’t end up paying. The opponents would actually say close environments are very unfair to the individuals who have quite a few valid reasons for not exactly supporting the union.
- The labour unions always discourage individuality. The workers are bound by the decisions of the union, even if they happen to disagree with any of the decisions.
- The unions actually make it very hard to even promote or even terminate workers. The unions completely focus on the seniority of the workers. This will end up translating into a lack of advancement or even proper treatment for high performing employees.
Collective bargaining is something that is referred to as a process or even negotiations between an organisation and an employer, and also a group of employees who are members of the union. The bargaining happens between the organisation and the employees. It is considered to be quite important. The union will actually negotiate with the employer or a group of businesses on behalf of the employee or multiple employees. It would usually encompass the negotiations depending on the number of hours that you have worked or even the health and safety measures. They would also consider any salaries and grievances among the employees of the union.
Even though it was introduced as early as 1891 and it has been in existence for more than a century, not all of it is perfect. There are a lot of advocates, and there are a lot of critics as well. All of them have significant views on the parties involved. The employers and the employees are the parties that are involved. If you want to have a better understanding, I will be discussing some pros and cons, down below.
- The employees are always prioritised. It is pro-employees. The advocates for collective bargaining will fight for hard-working people. The members of the trade unions will actually have to voice through the representatives of the unions who will aim to work for the betterment of the employee members such as higher wages, even shorter working hours and a work environment that is much safer that would include much better healthcare as well.
- You should also consider the fact that it keeps any abuse of employees completely powerless. Any employees that are abusive in nature will have absolutely no power, and they will not be getting their wages, because they will have to follow certain rules and regulations.
- It would also prevent the employees from going on strikes because the employees will be provided whatever they need. One of the most important thing that an employee would need in the workplace would be the safety, and their safety will definitely be taken care of.
- It will provide proper stability and security as well; two very important things.
- It is considered very prone to inequality. There can be a lot of cases of inequality because a lot of critics have concluded that collective agreement can actually lead to either the employers or the employees getting very less of what they actually deserve. If this particular representation is quite weak on the side of the employers, there are chances that the businesses will lose quite a bit of money over compensation for the benefits of the employees.
- It can actually be considered to be quite time-consuming.
The Worker Center, AFL-CIO is the economic and workforce development division of the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Our goals include increasing availability and accessibility of living wage jobs, improving workforce training systems, assisting laid-off workers and building alliances among labor, community and environmental groups. The Center responds to plant closures and other worker dislocation, works to get organized labor’s message into our schools and promotes worker training leading to living wage jobs. Programs coordinated by the Worker Center include the King County Reemployment Support Center, which aids unemployed and dislocated workers and the Labor Liaison, expanding partnerships with King County’s Community & Technical Colleges and special initiatives with the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, and King County Department of Transportation.
King County Reemployment Center
This program organizes the community’s response to plant closures and mass layoffs. It works with community partners to set up labor-management readjustment committees at the sites of employers as the best way to get information and services to people before they are on their last paycheck. The RSC publishes the Job Seekers’ Update, which is a quarterly guide to free and low cost job search assistance across the Central Puget Sound. Contact Charlie Best @ (206) 441-4942 for more information. (See left column for a link.)
King County Community and Technical College Labor Liaison
This program provides services designed to foster and facilitate authentic partnerships between the colleges, city & county and the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council. One of the primary goals of this work is to improve the quality of education and training programs through joint labor-college and labor-local government activities. Contact Joan Weiss @ (206)441-8408 ext. 16 for more information.
Want to support unionized workers? Here’s a list to help get you started.
Labor 411: An online directory that makes it easy to buy union
100% Union Hawaiian Coffee: Support the Foundation for Working Families (formed to help union members in need of help for hardship or disaster relief) by purchasing coffee that is union made from tree to pot by ILWU Local 142 workers.
How to Buy American: A great alphabetical index of union-made products.
Union Label and Service Trades Department: Includes the AFL-CIO “Do Buy” and “Boycott” lists.
Graphic Communications Union website: Search by zip code for a union print shop near you!
Unitehere.org: Looking for a union hotel? How about union-made clothes or hats? Visit the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) & Hotel and Restaurant Employees (HERE) site.
UAW: United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union guide to products made by UAW members.
TransFair will help you find coffee or tea that has been monitored and certified to ensure the farmers earned a fair price.
Unions-America.com provides a full range of internet service, web hosting and more, all powered by members of GCIU.
EthixMerch is a source for custom-printed union-made merchandise, made with respect for people and the planet.
Powell’s: The legendary Oregon-based independent bookstore with the all-union work force (ILWU).
Union Plus is the union source for many services, including auto needs, insurance, legal services, real estate, health products, and much more. Check out the site for a complete list of the benefit programs to which your particular union subscribes.
Union Vacations will hook you up with fabulous vacation plans and packages and steer you to union-staffed hotels — all at very competitive prices. All employees are represented by Teamsters Local 150.
Union Jean Company: Their goal is to provide customers with higher quality, American-made garments. If every American cared enough to buy just one garment made in the USA per year, the impact would be nearly $9 billion!
Allusaclothing.org: American-made clothing, embroidery and promotional items from members of UAW Local 174.
Union Home Services: A real estate organization based in Washington State that provides benefits to union members, their children and parents nationwide. By using their services, anyone buying or selling a home can receive a 20% rebate of the realtor’s portion of the commission.
King County Proposition 1-Transportation Benefit District
Proposition 1 would fund Metro, preventing bus service cuts, and provide funding for road and bridge repairs, through a $60 auto license fee and a 0.1% sales tax increase.
In today’s (Everett) Herald — New IAM District 751 leader says he’s focused on healing divisions — Jon Holden’s a true believer. The third-generation union member doesn’t doubt that organized labor gives members better lives, and as the newly elected head of the Machinists union representing Boeing workers, he aims to deliver. But first he has to restore member confidence in local union leadership and heal the bitter internal split wrought by negotiations with Boeing which in January landed the 777X in Everett in exchange for ending pensions and other concessions.
► From AP — Review finds Boeing 787 meets expected safety levels — The US Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday a joint review with Boeing has found that the 787 Dreamliner’s design, manufacture and assembly processes met the aircraft’s intended safety level.
► In today’s Charleston P-C — Machinists union opens North Charleston office to try to organize Boeing plant — The union trying to organize the 7,000-employee Boeing plant in North Charleston has opened an office on Dorchester Road and plans to hold its first meeting Thursday. The IAM is trying to rally workers in the 787 assembly plant to join the union in a right-to-work state where Gov. Nikki Haley constantly says unions are not welcome