This paper gives a complete understanding of how unions in America function. The paper will mainly highlight the problems that can resultwhen unions have authority over non-unionized workers. It further gives an analysis of how a worker influences critical decisions like strike votes, endorsement of contracts, or strategy regarding arbitration and thus it becomes a necessity to become a member of the union. Members of unions in America have always had the upper hand as compared to non union members as they have many strategies to make the administration listen to them. The paper will use the insider-outsider theory to analyze this influence.
Running Head: AMERICAN LABOUR ISSUES
American Labour Issues
American Labour Issues
The introduction part of the paper will give a little history of how despite the decline in power and membership over the past 30 years, unions maintain major authority over a lot of American workers (Fantasia &. Voss 2004). It will also emphasize on the fact that this influence is often felt in a radical sense in many working environments.
The paper will give the function of unions and how unions are lawfully the employee’s only representatives, which represent both union and non-union members. The only method an employee has for manipulating important decisions such as strike votes, contract approval, or strategies of negotiation is to join the union. As a result employees have to join so that they can be represented in the negotiations of union regarding wages and working conditions (Tait 2005).
It will portray how for a lot of American employees, union membership may be their only choice as union members have authority over non union members when it comes to working conditions as well as wages.
In the analysis section of the paper in order to portray the authority union members have over non union members a few cases, of union’s mishandlings of workplace affairs that have hurt non-union workers will be given . For example, the Public Employment Relations Commission recently ruled that the largest Washington state employees’ union failed to tell non-union workers they had a right to vote on contracts that made union dues mandatory (Reardon 2006).
Cases such as this will highlight the problems that can result when unions have authority over non-unionized workers. The section will analyze how unfortunately, deciding to join a union does not ensure that the leadership to whom they pay their dues will further the workers’ interests.
It will give a over view of how unions have so much authority over non union workers that they restrict the supply of labour which in turn their raise wages above market equilibrium, this also leads to unemployment of non union workers and increase in wage. Unions usually give advantage to their members thus they have more secure job and high output. The paper will also present statistics in order to support the given information. The following paragraph is an example of such statics:
Unionized workers in blue-collar occupations averaged $18.88 per hour, compared with $12.95 for non-union blue-collar workers. The highest paid blue-collar workers among the major occupational groups were precision production, craft, and repair workers. in this group, union workers had average hourly earnings of $23.05, compared with $16.33 for non-union workers. Among service occupations, union workers had average hourly earnings of $16.22, compared with $8.98 for non-union workers.
The paper will also give a clear understanding of how the so-called insider-outsider theory can assist in analyzing this kind of authority as a benefit of an extra worker reduces as there is an increase in the number of employees (Paul 2000).
This section of the paper will consist of the concluding statements regarding the entire paper. It will take mostly under consideration the analysis part of the paper.
Fantasia Rick &. Voss Kim (2004). Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement, University of California Press. 1 edition
http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/jobsemployment/a/unionwages.html retrieved on 24th October 2008
Paul F. Clark (2000). Building More Effective Unions, Cornell University Press
Reardon Jack (2006). Are Labor Unions Consistent with the Assumptions of Perfect Competition Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 40
Tait Vanessa (2005). Poor Workers’ Unions: Rebuilding Labor from Below, South End Press