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Paper Discusses Unions, And Global Union Trends. It Gives Views On The Future Of Unions While Looking At The History Of Unionization

1034 words - 5 pages

Union officials claim, as many as 44 million workers in America would join a union if they had a chance, but employers routinely block attempts to form unions. Increasingly, elected leaders, community groups and religious leaders are demanding that companies stop breaking the law and hindering workers' efforts to form unions. In 1935, Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act, giving workers the right to form unions and negotiate contracts with their employers. Under the law, workers have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers, attend union meetings and to decide for themselves whether they want union representation, without interference by the ...view middle of the document...

Why is there such animosity between employers and the labor unions? The unions claim, union workers earn 25 percent higher wages than nonunion workers, and new research shows that in areas where unions have a significant presence, wages are higher for all workers. With a union presence, the 41 million Americans that lack health insurance would be able to negotiate for coverage. Unions force compensation and profit sharing to be more fairly distributed; typically, CEO pay can be more than 1,000 times the earnings of front-line workers.Across the globe unions, workers and employers struggle for common ground. In New Zealand the government stepped in to curb the power of unions. Under the reform, unions could represent only their voluntary members, and workers could choose union or nonunion third parties to represent them or could choose to represent them. Like unions, nonunion third parties could represent only those workers who contracted with them to do so. Bargaining became strictly voluntary. No unions, nonunion representatives, employers, or individual workers would be forced to bargain with any other party against their will. There was true freedom of association, for all parties in New Zealand labor markets. With this freedom, most New Zealand workers chose to leave the unions. "Between 1991 and 1999 the percentage of workers represented by unions fell from 50 to 20 percent. Employment growth accelerated, unemployment plunged, and average real wages increased, and strikes almost disappeared. Public opinion polls indicated substantial and growing support for the ECA throughout the period"(Baird, 2000).South Korea's reputation for tolerating rowdy and volatile unions is scaring away potential foreign investors. The South Korean unions and their members may be recognizing this. A militant Daewoo Motors labor union, which has been extremely vocal and at times violent against a takeover of the automaker by General Motors, has...

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