"Do We Need Labor Unions in America?" and "What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Union Membership."

Essay by unstopable72University, Bachelor's January 2010

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A question that is often asked is whether labor unions are still necessary in America as we know it today. It is a very difficult question to answer and in order to do so we must first take a look at what it does, as well as what the advantages and disadvantages are. A labor union is an organization of many workers that has come together to negotiate and achieve certain conditions such as proper pay, work environment, hours, and rules and procedures pertaining to all aspects of the workplace including the hiring, firing, and promotion of workers among other things. (Mankiw, 2008, p. 631)As far as the advantages and disadvantages go, there are many; and some of the things that can be an advantage can actually also be a disadvantage as well. One of the big advantages of a union is that the details are spelled out in a contract and there is not much room for negotiation thereafter, as everyone is bound by what was previously decided.

The management can no longer go behind anyone's back and act as they feel fit, which may be detrimental to any other party involved, namely the employees. It requires a certain level of dignity and respect to be given at all times which is a constructive attribute to have in any environment or situation as it creates a positive one. With a union, a members voice can actually be heard through them and not just be lost among the masses. Without them, not only can your voice be lost, but if you don't do things the way they want, the company or whoever is in charge can tell you to take a hike, never giving the opportunity to even voice what you would prefer. It is someone to go to and...