Social Science - Other

Unions Labor Unions

Gary Wonning's image for:
"Unions Labor Unions"
Image by: 

Are Unions Necessary?

In the United States, there has always been a love-hate relationship with labor unions. There is no doubt that many people who owe a debt of gratitude to the unions because of the elevated standard of living that has been afforded to the common working man.

In their day , the unions were  needed, and answered a need for reform in our factories and places of business. To this day there is still a need for the working person to have someone to air his grievances and represent him in not only matters of employment and benefits, but also in Washington as well. To be represented in the workplace without a union would be next to impossible.

However , having said that, due to the recent financial problems being encountered, not only in business, but particularly in public sector jobs, it has become evident that maybe the unions have grown too powerful and in many cases, don't have the best interests of not only their members, but the country at heart.

Just like many businesses and corporations, they have lost touch with what is important, when the president of the teachers union makes a statement saying he will be interested in the best interest of the children only when they become union members, something is wrong.

We all appreciate our firemen and policemen, and the job they do, and most of them are valuable to our welfare and safety. However, there are many who retire at an early age with pensions approaching $100,000 a year. They are and should be respected, however, does that give them the right to a key to the national treasury? When the best paying jobs of a country are in the public sector, it can only spell trouble. A society simply can not sustain that sort of economy.

I myself am the beneficiary of a union pension. I am extremely grateful for the benefits I enjoy from being a member of a strong union.  However, I am also grateful that my union didn't carry it to the extreme; and they remembered who they were working for.  As a result , the company I worked for, is still one of the strongest financially and well respected companies in the world. The employees are well paid, and the benefits are some of the best available, however, the union recognized early on that it would take hard work from the employees to create a financial base so the company could honor their commitments in the long term.

Both the company and the union knew how far they could push and still maintain a healthy and productive work environment. Maybe that is what is needed more than anything.

More about this author: Gary Wonning

From Around the Web