Do Unions Help or Hurt Women?

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According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the definition of a trade union is: the association of labourers in a particular trade, industry, or company, created for the purpose of securing improvements in pay, benefits, working conditions, or social and political status through collective bargaining. As this definition suggests, trade unions are in place to allow workers to protect as well as influence many important aspects and decisions regarding their employment. More specifically, female workers benefit greatly from trade unions since there is no gender discrimination which in the past has played a major role in women’s labour force participation rates. Women in unionized employment are more likely to experience an increase in earnings, non-wage benefits and job security than women in non-unionized employment. Firstly, there is much evidence to support that females employed in trade unions experience higher wages than females who have non-unionized employment. One explanation is that trade unions reduce the wage variation between men and women to promote equality within the unionized environment. A significant determinant of this gender-based wage variation is said to be due to a lesser amount of labour market experience (Lecture notes, 11/02/28). In any respect, gender-based discrimination causing wage inequality can and should be eliminated by using true determinants of wage such as productivity and efficiency. Trade union have been said to decrease wage variation by approximately 18% by using these true evaluations of earnings (Moore, 1995). As a result, trade unions have given women an outlet to demonstrate their superior capabilities, allowing women the right to earn their income on the basis of performance as opposed to gender or perceived ability. Another explanation for unionized women attaining higher wages is that unions provide their workers the opportunity to secure their pay as well as continue to bargain for wage improvements with the...
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