Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why Join a Union?

Dignity: The presence of a union means employees must be treated fairly by their employer, and that you have a voice and vote in important decisions that effect you.

Power: An employee has little power and almost no way to improve wages, benefits, or working conditions. Collective Bargaining balances the power that an employer has over its employees even in a “Team” or high performance work environment.

Protection: Without a union there is no due process at work. Unions provide a grievance & arbitration procedure which ensures fairness for all employees.

For more information contact:
United Steelworkers District 7 Office
Jim Robinson, Director
1301 Texas St., Room 200
Gary, IN 46402

1 comment:

Eric Schansberg said...

In most labor markets (those that are competitive), workers have considerable power. They can vote with their feet and go elsewhere if treated poorly.

In labor markets that are not competitive, workers can be mistreated-- and thus, unions can be an effective counter-balance to the bargaining power of firms in those contexts.

That said, one should recognize that even in a competitive labor market, it's often good to be part of a union-- since it's a cartel. (Cartels are always good for suppliers.) Unions also are active in using the government to restrict their competition-- also good for those whose competition is being restricted (although bad for society as a whole).

For individuals considering a union, they should weigh the personal costs and benefits (e.g., union compensation premia vs. union dues). One would hope they would also consider the social costs of this action as well-- if they're involved in a union which tries to use the govt to make its members better off at the expense of others.