With Labor Day around the corner, a traditional holiday honoring American workers, it’s an apt time to take a hard look at the value of labor unions.
At the turn of the last century, labor unions were the underdog in the efforts to organize and before the law itself. But times have changed. Here in the modern, 21st-century workplace, do unions still deserve the preferential treatment they get from the law?
U.S. labor policy is explicitly aimed at benefiting labor unions over workers and businesses. The preamble of the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing private-sector labor relations, states that it is national policy to encourage collective bargaining and, hence, labor unions.
For example, under current law, unions operate as “exclusive bargaining representatives,” the only party permitted to bargain with the employer. This unfairly prohibits individual workers from bargaining for themselves. Also, if only 50 percent-plus-one of workers vote for union representation, 100 percent of workers must accept the contract the union negotiates. And in states without right-to-work laws they are forced to pay dues to a union they don’t want as a condition of employment.
Once a union becomes the exclusive representative of a workforce, it is nearly impossible for workers to rid themselves of an unwanted union, and workers cannot simply choose to represent themselves. This has led to the prevalence of “inherited unions.” Research shows that only 7 percent of private-sector workers actually voted for the union that represents them.
Unions should not possess the authority to force a contract and fee payments on workers who do not want their representation. Congress should consider adopting legislation that only workers who desire union representation have to work under a union contract and pay dues. Other individual workers would be free to negotiate directly with their employer over pay and work conditions. …read more
Read more here:: Competitive Enterprise Institute