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Why are unions for workers often reviled?

by tom44 on August 3, 2013

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Question by Bookworm: Why are unions for workers often reviled?
I’ve often noticed editorials and comments from people who are often angry and bitter at the very existence of unions. I’ve never quite understood why. Is it a blue collar vs. white collar thing? Is it because unions often fight for their members, which (can) mean the members get benefits others don’t? Is it something else?

Best answer:

Answer by IWIU
Unions force companies to pay more than they want to or can, so these companies aren’t going to take a loss, they just raise the prices on the rest of us and we pay for their raise.

At one time Unions were needed back when companies didn’t pay a fair wage, but nowadays all companies pay a fair wage, it might not be as high as people like, but it’s a fair wage.

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3 thoughts on “Why are unions for workers often reviled?

  1. Chause says:

    because often they can be demanding and if the employers don’t meet their demands the unions often will go on strike, this can be a nightmare for managers, etc

  2. Kevin L says:

    this is my opinion as a non union worker (Electrician, age 28) ,

    We have 2 types of cities in America, you have places like Chicago where if you want a construction job (plumber, electrician, steamfitter welder) you need to be in a union. Then you have places like Baltimore where unions are not so big and it is easy to find a job with one of the trades listed above. IN MY OPINION, unions are not worth my time. Do not get me wrong when my grand father was my age unions were very good and took care of people, they made huge strides in worker’s rights and safety. But the number one reason why i do not like unions is, i went to a Technical H.S. and i took electricity while working for my uncles electrical contractor company, then when i graduated H.S. i enrolled into a 4 year apprenticeship school for electricity. when you graduate this school the state of maryland allows you to automatically become a journeyman electrician. Three years later you can take the master electrical exam (which i did). I decided to talk to the local Baltimore union at age 26. the man told me i could join the union and they would be happy to have me. BUT, i could not join as a master electrician even knowing i passed the master electrician exam (given by the state of Maryland) and received a 98%. i was told i had to work as a journeyman electrician for one year at a lesser wage then my Maryland license would be recognized. this is why i do not like unions. another reason being, if your standing next to someone with a drug habit or an alcoholic and there buddy is the foreman and your not they will be paid the same or a higher wage just because they are in “the click”. i am the kind of person that feels i am better able to market myself and receive my salary based on my work ethic not because i am or am not in, “the click”.

    Sadly it sickens me because union have turned in to what they worked so hard to fight against for so many years. And when i went to the union hall all i got was a cheap tee-shirt not a job reflecting my abilities or work ethic.

    the funny thing is 2 weeks later i got a job as a Electrical Technician at a major medical company and i am in my 2 year working towards my bachelor in electrical engineering, that has been 100% paid for.

    sorry for rantting but to answer your question it is not a blue or white collor problem it is and internal political problem and the brainwashing of unions that have caused problems like for example the auto workers in detroit. It is not the workers that are the problem but, you can not over pay a person ( $ 120,000 annually) and then tell them there salary is getting cut in half. this is the fault and creed of the union. and now the worker must suffer this is not KOOL

  3. tigglys says:

    Unions were extremely important when then first came around. They fought for worker’s rights, and as modern workers, we have many things to thank them for – the 40 hour work week, workplace safety, employee rights, etc – but since many of these things have become Federal mandates, it has been difficult for Unions to find a new niche where they are needed.

    Unions do provide many positive benefits for their employees. But because they force up employer costs, they unintentionally reduce the overall number of employees in a company. Also – in some states you can be forced to join the Union in a shop – or lose your job. Unions these days spend a lot of their time and energy in political arenas – so they seem to have lost some of their focus on supporting employees. (It stunned me when some Union friends got “voting guides” from their Unions – while I could understand that they made recommendations about selecting pro-Union candidates and pro-Union bills, but some of the bill selections had nothing at all to do with employment and they still made recommendations about them.

    I think that many people feel strongly about Unions depending upon their personal experiences. If they have had good experiences, they are strongly supportive.

    Personally, I was a member of a Union for a little while. They didn’t really do anything for me, and it cost me $ 20/month or so. But I had to belong because of the place I was working. I don’t really hate Unions like some people do, but I don’t know that they are really necessary in today’s world. They seem to exist to continue their own existance rather than to help individual employees.

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