Unions – Coursework Example

Unions Unions Unions are organizations of workers, ized to stand for the workers before administration, with the purpose ofnegotiating benefits. The union managers represent all the employees and negotiate levels of reimbursements that pertain to the workers individually. They came about because of unsafe working environment during the industrial revolution, where employees complained against the precarious working conditions. Today, unions are of two kinds; the public sector unions that represent government workers and the private sector unions that represent company workers (Dine, 2007).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that union membership numbers have fallen to a meager 7.4% of the private sector labor force and to post a 36.2% rate in the government sector in 2006. In contrast, in the 1950s, unionized employees represented 35% of the entire labor force and government membership averaged only 11-12%. The continuing turn down in the private sector is due to several factors, but all essentially comes down to the reality that there is no longer a necessity for labor unions (Dine, 2007). The nature of the commerce environment and a reorganization of the manufacturing sector have to some extent contributed to the slump. Notably, employees of today no longer feel ill-treated or taken advantage of by their employers.
These labor unions have restricted power because of the conflict of interest that is present between them and the administration. The labor union collects dues from its members, which it subsequently donates to politicians to get them voted in and then labor with the unions to get higher pay for their members in order to have more dues to put in to the politicians campaigns (Dine, 2007). Therefore, it is an electioneering and money-laundering scheme.
Similarly, the unions have negotiated generous retirement fund packages over the years; their members can retire at young ages and collect hefty incomes. For instance, one may be a garbage collector who makes $150,000 per year, stops working at age 50 and receive $120,000 annually until he dies. The local, state, and national administration in turn pays millions of dollars to citizens who are not working. As a result, a large number of states go bankrupt. This is not in line with a knowledge based economy whose purpose is to produce economic benefits as well as job creation (Dine, 2007).
In summary, when economic downturns occur, companies react by cutting costs. The unions reject allowances or lay-offs and the businesses suffer. Meanwhile, the percentage of product costs due to work continues to increase. This is disadvantageous in the globally competitive market. Such conditions are unsustainable in the business arena.

Reference
Dine, P. (2007). State of the unions: How labor can strengthen the middle class, improve our economy, and regain political influence. New York: Free Press.