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In the United States of America, companies has lost a great deal of their competitive advantage on the world market largely due to unions demanding outrageous wages, benefices, and power. The unions have gained more and more power from companies that cannot compete with the rest of the world. Unions had a purpose in the United States at one time. Business owners were putting their workers into dangerous working environments and paying them very little, but now there are federal laws making sure they do not do that anymore. These laws has made the unions effectively useless expect to take advantage of companies that have supplied them a way of life. So are Unions still needed in the United States of America?
With the economic instability Jeff Jacob believes that the unions have to remain strong to fight the greedy corporations that might prevent workers from entering higher income brackets. Jeff Jacobs mentions that construction workers pay has been decreasing recently and partly blames it on not just the economy, but also globalization and non-English speaking, non-unionized, foreign workers that make it harder for them to compete. Jacob says “We now represent just over 12 percent of the work force.” (66). He believes this is a bad thing, because the corporations will take advantage of the other 88 percent of the working force.
The unions represent a very small minority of United States workers. According to Jacob’s own findings, unions only represent 12 percent of the work force (66). Somehow around 88 percent of American works manage to survive the greedy corporations with a decent wage. In-fact the United States of America Treasury has found that the income mobility is high among all income brackets in America. Almost 55 percent of taxpayers moved to a new income level within 10 years. Out of the highest income earners in 1996 only 25 percent of them were still in that bracket in 2005. (Williamson).
Randall G. Holcombe and James D. Gtvartney believe that any restriction on employees from joining unions by the Government is an attack on economic freedom for the workers. They also believe “American labor law, especially since the 1930s, has altered the terms and conditions under which unions collectively bargain to heavily favor unions over the firms that hire union labor.” (1). Holocombe and Gtvartney believe that it is a right of the worker to form, join, or support unions in the current market.
Randall believe that unions are an important part for employees economic freedom, but what about that of the business owners? The business are having to cave to the demand of unions even if the economic times are not calling for it. The public sector unions seem to have even more power than the private. According to Chris Edwards “While private sector wages and benefits have stagnated during the recession, many governments continue to increase compensation for public sector workers.” (87). During the time of record debt from the Government the public sector unions are still managing to milk ever last penny they can.
Unions are not needed to protect workers from corporations anymore and it is going against the businesses economic freedom by forcing it to obey unions. The Government has laws to enforce safe working conditions and decent pay. The business owners deserve to be able to run their business how they choice. If the employees do not like it they can work somewhere else. The businesses also have to start competing with the prices of companies that have cheap foreign labor world wide.
Companies of the United States of America are no longer just competing against other American companies, but the rest of the world. With people around the world that are happy with less than the American minim wage, workers demanding for high salaries and benefits make it less and less appealing to do work in America. A business can now send the jobs over seas for far less and bring the product back and sell if for less. The unions are now just hurting the workers chance of competing against others world wide.
So are unions still needed in an America that has federal laws protecting the workers, a high income mobility rate, and a need to compete with cheep labor world wide? The unions once had a purpose, but it has out lived its usefulness and has even become damaging to this country. Unions force people in joining, paying union dues, and if they thought it was time time they would force people to strike. Businesses need to be able to provide quality goods for low prices, but when you have to pay for everything the union demands that becomes a hard job.
Jacoby, Jeff. “What Public-Sector Unions Have Wrought.” Commentary 130.3 (2010): 36-42. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
Williamson, Kevin D. “The Rich Aren’t Getting Richer – Kevin D. Williamson.” National Review Online. 11 Apr. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2011..
Holcombe, Randall G., and James D. Gtvartney. “UNIONS, ECONOMIC FREEDOM, AND GROWTH.” CATO Journal 30.1 (2010): 1-22. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.
Edwards, Chris. “PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS AND THE RISING COSTS OF EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION.”CATO Journal 30.1 (2010): 87-115. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.