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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns For Your Consideration For Your Consideration: Unions

For Your Consideration: Unions

Contributing Writer

Have unions lost their reason for being?  There was a time in the Nation’s history that unions served a purpose, but that was back at the beginning of the industrial revolution when there was a high demand for basic labor and there were few options open to the growing workforce.
Most of the workforce was coming to America because the economic outlook was poor in their native lands; the industrialization that this nation was going through acted like a magnet to people from other countries.
The industrialist took advantage of this massive increase in labor, because there were few alternate options for the massive increase in labor.  
Unions have eliminated many of the abusive elements that existed within the private and public sectors, but their attention was directed specifically on the workers with little regard to the impact their actions were having on the private businesses or public sector agencies.
Unions, like many other groups, became more interested in enhancing their power, and less interest in the outcome of the workers that they were supposed to be protecting.
Many of the actions unions have pushed over the years have impacted workers negatively, and impeded the growth of private sector jobs.
Frequently unions would advocate actions that treated all workers within a given occupation as being equal in all aspects of their performance on the job; this failure to acknowledge the individual’s contribution to, or lack thereof, the profitability of the business environment has led to a decrease in efficiency and profitability.
One might suggest that unions have been responsible for the migration of many of the Nation’s jobs being outsourced to other countries.
It’s not unusual for a business to move from a unionized state to a right-to-work state; this action is happening more frequently during this period of economic insecurity. Unions and business need to become more aware of the impact policies are going to have on the business environment.
Both workers and businesses need to come to more equitable arrangements that takes into account the continual changes in the economic environment; most policies are put in place with the assumption that the economic environment is static, nothing could be further from the truth.
Contracts are written up with little or no attention given to the potential disruption to a businesses’ condition at various points of its existence, which have an impact on a businesses’ ability to meet the requirements of a contract.
The options for workers in today’s labor market are considerably greater than they were during the early years of our industrial revolution; in a vibrant business environment the workforce has a greater opportunity to make beneficial changes within comparable job descriptions, this condition would greatly reduce the need for unions.
For a business to prosper both management and labor need to view the business as belonging to all those that are employed, or have invested in the business.
A healthy capitalistic environment takes into account more than just the bottom line; this view is held by many businesses, but it’s a shortsighted view that will eventually limit a businesses’ growth. 
Many of the actions taken by this administration are designed to enhance the positions of unions, but these actions will eventually lead to a decline in business in this country; this is not the direction the Nation needs to be taking.
The administration is also pushing the view that everyone should go to college, but a college education is not necessary for a large percentage of the jobs, and the drain on the economic environment to support this view is having a negative impact on the business community. It’s clear that a more practical assessment needs to be made of the positions the government is trying to initiate.