Labor Unions: Fighting With Or Against You?

Labor Unions are one of the most controversial topics regarding workplace organization. Are they really made to protect workers, or are they the cause of industry decline?

NATIONAL | A Labor Union, as defined by The Economic Times, is an “organization formed by workers from related fields that work for the common interest of its members. They help workers with issues like fairness of pay, good working environment, and hours of work and benefits. They represent a cluster of workers and provide a link between the management and workers”. In short, they give workers more rights and a voice against employers, which is usually used to ensure safety, higher wages, and good benefits. However, employers are not required to follow the union’s guidelines, albeit they will no longer receive trained Union workers.

How Labor Unions Work

Labor Unions will recruit and train interested members in the fields of labor they are involved in. These new members will be trained to become certified in their trade and be considered highly skilled. During and after this process, the union will advocate for its members and procure them employment with higher pay and benefits than what is usual for non-union tradesmen. Employers want these Union workers due to their training and certifications and are willing to pay them extra. If at any point, the Employer neglects to pay the Union worker with his Union rate and benefits, the union will find the worker employment elsewhere. As more workers join the union, the more powerful it becomes, thus increasing their ability to bargain for higher wages and benefits.

Union Pros

A Labor Union ensures that workers are skilled and educated in their trade, usually by providing schooling and a specific system to conduct work. This results in workers garnering better pay and benefits than they otherwise would receive and it allows workers to have a strong voice in the regulations of their field. Unions are at the forefront of changes in their industry, advocating either for or against any innovation, so long as it benefits the workers in that field. This representation for the workers ensures that employers are providing workers with the conditions to maintain a safe and productive workplace. 

Union Cons

Due to the increased wage and benefits Union workers receive, the price of goods and services related to that trade will go up. For instance, if a General Contractor must install an elevator for one of their client’s properties, they must pay more for unionized elevator mechanics to complete that project. Thus the charge the General Contractor gives to