The Union Debate – Do We Really Need Unions to Protect Workers?

Some say that we need unions to protect workers and recently in a heated debate someone said that he was fired because he had an argument with his supervisor, and due to “Right to Work” rules of his state. He said this is why Unions are needed.

Now then, I do not disagree that if a supervisor does not like you that there should be some recourse, however, the argument is that if the Supervisor is a jerk, then labor will not wish to work there and thus the company will only be able to pick from substandard labor willing to put up with his BS, thus the company will be less-competitive and fail, so the free-market settles all debts in that regard. No one is holding a gun to your head to work somewhere.

Incidentally, in NV, AZ, TX and other places, an employer can fire someone for any reason, and did you know that companies move into the area because of the reduced regulations providing more jobs and opportunity lowering unemployment and thus the employers must now compete for top talent, and when that happens they cannot be mean to employees or they will not have very many good ones.

Of course, the gentleman believes that the unions would have protected his job and that without them he lost his job. Therefore we need more unions since only 8% of the US workforce is in a union. Now then, here is what the conservative counter-argument will be:

Well, one could say that Unions are steel hurting the US competitiveness and during untimely industry sector rotations; i.e. Delphi, Delta Airlines, Bethlehem Steel, GM, Ford, Writer’s Union and that’s just a few during the last couple of years. Amazing when a company starts making money, needs those resources to re-tool or catch back up, the union steps up and demands it all. Then if they don’t get it, they do a work slowdown, when in reality they already were working at a snail’s pace, look at the trucking unions, rail road, and even the port workers willing to sacrifice National Security Safety to save a few clip-board operators at over $100,000 per year and prevent needed efficiency, security and streamlining up-grades?”

Wal-Mart has no union activity, Sam Walton was a superstar, a hard worker, and deserved to win against Montgomery Wards, JC Penny’s, Sears and K-mart and boy did he, and his company is now American’s distribution system, copied and studied by all, including the US Military and MBA colleges. His book “Made in America” said it all, now things are changing, but Wal-Marts newest slogan; “Live Better, Pay Less” resonates with many Americans much more than “Live Better, Work Union” because most people do not want to pay more for things they buy, and they don’t work union, they feel this is unfair. Wal-Mart is a Global Company and they buy Global, fair enough. Unions work hard to hurt their business model but the people have chosen. Same with Fed Ex, you might like to read “The World on Time” by Fred Smith.

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Lance Winslow

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