I have chosen to evaluate this statement: “All workers have benefitted from the existence of labor unions.” By evaluating this statement I am going to assess or appraise its worth and significance.
To me the term “all workers” means all of the workers in the working population- not just the workers involved in labor unions so, in my opinion the statement above is completely false.
Labor unions help negotiate, or more commonly, demand, the wages or working standards of its members higher than the original salary or standard. This appears to be fine and dandy for the union member, but that is only the seen aspect of this situation. The unseen is that a nonunion laborer is being put out of his job because of this. The employer can no longer afford to pay the wages of all of his workers because the unionists that he has on staff have had their wages raised which lead to less money going towards the employment of other workers. The workers that have been laid off then have to find another job, a job that possibly isn’t in their line of work which would decrease their wage and productivity. Eventually more union members will come into the nonunion workers’ new job so once again the nonunion workers have no job and so on and so on. In addition, the employer of the union workers has fewer working hands and therefore he cannot produce as much and be as successful which would lead to him reducing his employee count.
You may be asking, why don’t the nonunion laborers simply join the labor union so they can get the advantages of the union laborers? Well, it could be that the nonunion workers don’t want to pay the necessary dues to be a member in a labor union, or that the nonunion workers want to be able to get wage raises by their own hard work and want their employer to see their genuine value and then the employer could reward his workers where he sees they deserve it most under his authority. If everyone became a union member there would be fewer jobs available.
Another aspect to take note of is that when an employer has union workers he can be stuck with them, possibly indefinitely. It is so hard for an employer to fire a union worker, even if he was found drastically slacking on his work, such as sleeping on the job. Take, for example, a carpenter, let’s call him Fred (this is a true story by the way). Last weekend Fred was caught sleeping on the job. When he was asked later that day how many hours he had worked Fred responded that he had worked a full day, when he actually had not. Fred was then shown a video of him sleeping on the job. Shortly after showing him the video he was told that he was to take a week off from work, as a sort of discipline. If Fred had been a member of a labor union, with the union’s help, he could have forced his employer to continue employing him for the week even though his employer didn’t want to have Fred working. He had deliberately lied to the employer even when he had been given a chance to tell the truth.
Union workers can be quite unproductive because they know that they will most likely get away with anything because the union has always got their back, so, in conclusion, labor unions do not benefit all workers.
Photo Credit: Me. Here are all six of Poochy’s (the bigger dog on the far left who has a white head spotted with gold) puppies. So precious.