Are unions still relevant?

Monday, September 4, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

manufacturing unionsA resident scholar in economic policy for a think tank "dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world" weighs in on the timely topic of today's unions.

According to the liberal Economic Policy Institute, over 16 million working women and men in the United States are represented by unions.

"Overall, more than one in nine U.S. workers are represented by unions," says an EPI press release. "This representation makes organized labor one of the largest institutions in America."

EPI adds unions represent a diverse set of workers from a variety of sectors, the biggest of which are education and health services. Still, Aparna Mathur of the center-right American Enterprise Institute (AEI) does not think unions are relevant today.

"There was a time when there was a huge demand for unions because you could actually enforce, let's say, worker safety standards, bargaining for higher wages," Mathur poses. "You needed unions to be stronger, and you wanted people to be a part of a union because there were employers not guaranteeing workers basic safety issues and compensation." But she adds, "I think we are well past that."

Mathur says the last few decades have seen a general decline in union membership and worker demand for unions.

Mathur

"That has a lot to do with the challenges that workers are facing today," she continues. "You know, it's very different, the kind of issues that workers are dealing with, the fact that people have been facing job losses because of automation, globalization. I think there is a limit to how much workers can shield workers from those kinds of situations," she comments.

Even so, EPI and other think tanks maintain unions can and do get better wages and benefits for workers. EPI points out that "unions raise wages for both union and nonunion workers."

"Unions pitch this argument that there are a lot of benefits going to non-union members as well, but I think increasingly people are not valuing being part of a collective unit," Mathur responds. "They want recognition for their individual expertise and so on."

Pointing to the spread of Right to Work laws across the country, the AEO resident scholar believes the reason more than half the states have adopted these measures is because "they want to be business friendly," and this "allows them to create more jobs."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Has the death of a loved one ever made you question your Christian faith?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Powerful earthquake hits central Mexico, collapses buildings
Maria on track for Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
Trump at U.N.: NK's 'rocket man' on a suicide mission
Israeli PM praises Trump's speech
Hamas invites Abbas to resume control of Gaza
Senate confirms Trump pick for solicitor general
Michigan doctor charged with genital mutilation wins release

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Is a 'cops and robbers'-themed party racist?
Historically illiterate blacks
Atheists threaten to sue every school district in Arkansas
Check the data, not the media narrative: Police violence against black men is rare (1)
Another city, another riot

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
A new left-wing strategy against Trump

Starbucks signAn obscure left-wing group is pressuring major corporations to agree that President Donald Trump is a "white supremacist," but a right-wing organization sees a feeble attempt at name recognition.