Kant and Workers' Rights

Topics: Trade union, Employment, Categorical imperative Pages: 2 (742 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Kant and Workers’ Rights

The subject of workers’ rights has been a major concern since the early times of the 18th century. Some of the earliest unions were formed by craftsmen, such as cabinet makers and carpenters who were among early settlers in America. Initially, their struggle included better payments to help sustain themselves and sometimes, their families. Economically speaking, they applied themselves to their craft and believed they were not receiving suitable living wages. They were working in environments in which they sometimes felt unsafe. Workers also believed they invested many hours as well as being undercompensated. Many people felt they could be unjustly fired without notice. These same workers wanted a chance to speak at the same negotiating levels of managers allowing them to bargain for wages, benefits and better work environments. In that way, managers would not have to address grievances on an employee by employee basis. Being a part of organized groups such as these gave workers a sense of release without worry from lay offs and wage or benefit cuts. They developed long-term employment relationships between the company and employee. Not all early formed unions were successful. Even still, the concept of this type of organization which placed demands on employers would prevail. There were, though, disadvantages to the formation of unions. These organized groups would sometimes prevent more qualified workers from getting the jobs and less proficient workers were protected from layoffs or being fired, which decreased new positions openings. Unions also affected prices of the products. Because union workers were traditionally paid a higher salary and more competitive benefits, this additional expense was passed on to the consumer. Some argue that organized unions made the country less competitive since non-union companies in other countries could pay workers far less and therefore charge less for their product.

I believe Kant would have...
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