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ZenDisaster

Why are Unions in the USA needed or not needed?

Ed:

Unions are needed, but not in the form they are today. Today, Unions are monopolies...workers rarely have the choice of which among several competitive unions to join. In some states, they cannot even chose not to join a union (or may be forced to pay dues, even if not a member). Unions should be subject to the same anti-trust laws as other organizations.

CAHOON!:

Unions were creqated years ago to help the worker and to stop the mistreatment of workers.
Years ago in the early 1900's workers would work without benefits little pay and in harsh conditions with little regard for their saftey. many of the manufacturers and companies were making big profits and the working class were getting nothing or barely enough to get by. There is a lot of similarities in some areas where unions are stll needed today to keep a fair trade between the laborer and the manufacturer bvut there will have to be a change soon for all the manufactures are starting to take their businesses overseas so they do not have to pay the expenses of insuring saftey standards and health care and other things that this country wants. Many foreign countries peoples will work for a lot less than this country and and they don't push for health care or family insurances for things like glasses or dental.

CAHOON!:

Workers Are Fine With Fewer Unions
Thursday, February 22, 2007
By Russell Roberts
Los Angeles Times Related Stories
• Stronger Unions Mean Strong Middle Class
Labor unions' importance in the workplace has fallen steadily since 1950, when roughly a third of American workers were unionized. Today, that number is well below 10 percent in the private sector.

The Employee Free Choice Act, now before Congress, aims to reverse that trend by making it easier for unions to gain certification and stiffening penalties for interfering with a unionization drive. After all, supporters argue, without union representation, how can individual workers have the bargaining power needed to get their fair share of the economic pie?

But maybe unions are not so crucial to worker well-being. When more than 90 percent of the private-sector labor force isn't unionized, why do 97 percent of us earn above the minimum wage? If our bargaining power is so pitiful, why don't greedy employers exploit us and drive wages down to the legal minimum?

The simple answer is that bargaining power comes from having alternatives. Even in the absence of unions, employers have to treat workers well to attract and keep them. In a workplace as dynamic as that of the United States, where millions of jobs are destroyed and created every quarter, a company's ability to exploit workers is greatly limited by how easy it is to find another job.

Ultimately, it is competition among employers that protects us from exploitation. Even those who would seem to be the most vulnerable -- immigrants who struggle to speak English, for example -- can earn much more than the minimum wage simply because of competition for their skills. Cleaning people routinely earn $20 an hour, more than most cities' so-called living wage.

Look at workers' share of the nation's income. In 1950, employee compensation was 53 percent of gross domes

Bellerina:

Great Answer Ski! Very detailed and clear. You have my vote!

ABHISHEK:

Unions are important for employees because without some sort of organised workforce, employers have too much power. Without unions employees get less paid, have less benefits and are easier to get rid of.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_Union

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