Essay on labor unions are a detriment to our society

Submitted By Mike-Shields
Words: 1970
Pages: 8


Labor Unions Have Become a Detriment to Our Society
Michael Shields
Park University

Labor Unions Have Become a Detriment to Our Society
Since the early 1800’s labor unions have been fighting for more on behalf of their members. This is not necessarily a good thing however because in recent years labor unions have become a detriment to our society. This is partially due to the fact that in many states it has become mandatory that if your place of work is unionized you are required to pay dues to the union. Unions collect these dues from every one of their members which consist of millions of people and the unions often donate this money to political parties that may not align with the beliefs of their members. Lastly, while in negotiations with employers the labor unions often do not take into account the viewpoint of the business they are negotiating with. Often this is with a government entity over teachers, police etc… and the unions will ask for the impossible and not back down, if the money isn’t there, it isn’t there.
Required to Pay Dues to the Union
Point: In some states in the United States if your company is unionized and you are not management, you are required to pay dues to the union. ("Right to work," 2014) There are currently twenty-six states where you, as an employee of a unionized company, are required to pay union dues and cannot get out of this monthly cost of working for that company. The remaining states are referred to as right to work states. While the laws in each of these states vary slightly they all have the same basic premise. Employees have the right to decide for themselves if they want to join or support a union financially. This choice can be made without consequence such as employer or union retaliation. If employees choose not to join the union they are still authorized the same union representation that a union member would receive. Unfortunately employees of railroads and airlines are not protected by the right to work laws of their state.
Counterpoint: In those twenty-six states that require union dues be paid, the employee is not required to be a union member and those union dues can be reduced to an amount that equals their share of what the union can prove is its costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustments. ("U.s. employee rights," 2003) These administrative costs for bargaining on the behalf of the employee is called an agency fee or fair share fee so although they go to the union they are not dues and are not spent in the same way that dues are spent. Therefore any employee that does not wish to join a union is not required to they are simply required to pay their fair share of the cost of negotiating their right to maintain that employment with the employer. In any situation where a person receives a service they are asked to pay for that service. That is all that the labor union is asking for is payment for services provided.
Payments to Political Parties
Point: While some of the dues collected are spent on grievances and contract negotiations a large quantity of the dues collected by unions are donated to political campaigns or to support certain legislation in the government that may or may not have anything to do with the field of work that the union supports. To find out an approximate amount that the unions collect per year in dues I will use the US Bureau of labor statistics numbers of 14.6 million union members in 2014. ("Union members summary," 2015) I will also use a very generous number of $50 per month per member in union dues since this number often varies depending on the income of the member. This comes out to $7.3 billion per year collected by the unions in dues. These expenditures almost always have the effect of increasing the power of the union while reducing the amount of money its members take home for their families.
Counterpoint: Since membership is not required in the union the