Disadvantages of Labor Unions

Topics: Trade union, Strike action, Collective bargaining Pages: 4 (1377 words) Published: November 29, 2013
Disadvantages of Labor Unions
Ever since their initial establishment, there has been much dispute whether labor unions are a positive or negative social economic force in the United States. There are many disadvantages that labor unions pose on the individual, the organization, and society as a whole. This paper discusses the negative effect of having labor Unions in the United States. The union's top weapons, strikes, can be self-disastrous. The reason being is that "employers of striking workers have the legal right to continue to operate their business with permanent replacement employees who need not be discharged once the strike ends." In this case, employees on strike are not eligible to return since their previous jobs have been occupied. They would then have to wait until there is eventually an employment vacancy, if any. Striking employees also will destroy people’s every day routines and habits. On December 20, 2005, The Transport Workers Union Local 100 in New York City went on strike. New York City Transit Authority personal had observed the strike. The 2005 strike, which took place during the busiest shopping week of the year, had significantly affected the local economy since many people had then chosen to avoid shopping in New York. These shoppers chose to shop online, or postpone shopping. The strike was ended on Tuesday, December 27, 2005. The number of strikes and their effectiveness has decreased tremendously. The following figure from Hunter’s report, taken from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides us with the evidence:

Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, emphasizes the above in his article “Where Union Power Lies”. He gives an example of the failed “air-traffic controllers’ strike during the Reagan administration”. The union in this case was simply not able to prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from employing new workers. Unfortunately, in such instances, unions may tend to violence...

References: Hunter, Robert H. “Michigan Labor Law: What Every Citizen Should Know.”
Makinac Center Report (August 1999): 19 – 20, 53 – 56.
Bureau of labor Statistics (January 25, 2008)
25 January 2008 < http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm>
Barton, Melissa. “Graduate students spring Administration leak.”
Yale Herald Online (November 19, 1998)
Ludwig von Mises Institute – The Austrian Economics Newsletter (1999)
2008 Center for union facts
Moe, Terry M. “EDUCATION: Taking On The Unions.”
Hoover Institution Stanford University (2001)
Jewish World Review (October 15, 1998)
20 Nov 2008
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