21 January 2020
The labor unions are necessary in this globalized world, especially after the availability of a versatile and trained labor force that is available to the business owner at very cheap wages. These unions are there so that workers could have the power to negotiate for favorable wages and working conditions through the leverage of collective bargaining. However, some costs are associated with keeping these unions afloat. These union dues are used for activities like annual dinners, corner meeting and other activities that are needed for the welfare of workers.
My personal experience with my union leaders has been very fruitful. They provided me a platform to raise my voice as my employer wanted to decrease my wage rate after the economic crisis of 2008. I think that union participation has started to decrease over the years since many employees do not earn enough wages to pay union dues. The workers also get dishearten and lose faith in their union leaders if their union loses to the rich business owners on some legal grounds.
Even then, I think that many workers still prefer to work with union leaders rather than fighting for their rights alone. This is often because certain people are too strong to handle, even with the substantial might of union behind workers. In a PBS documentary about the condition of Las Vegas Culinary Workers, it can be seen how successful and rich hotel owners have several immigrant workers at their disposal. This shows that it is often in the advantage of businesses to stop their workers from being parts of these units, as it gives these workers the power to negotiate their working terms and conditions.
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