Sunday, September 20, 2009

Introduction - What are unions?

In this blog I will be exploring unions. Everything about unions - what exactly is a union? What are the benefits of unions? What are the negatives about unions? I will examine the politics of unions, what groups usually support unions and which ones typically oppose unions. I know what my personal opinions are in regards to this subject, but I will try to present each side as evenly as possible. I also intend to discuss how unions effect businesses, especially locally in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas.

To begin I think it is important to understand what exactly a union is and a little history about unions. A union (also called labor union or trade union) is an organization of workers who have formed a group in order to achieve common goals. These goals can include employee wages, working conditions, practices for hiring, firing and promoting workers or employee benefits. It can be argued that unions can be found as early as the eighteenth century and have developed over time into the strong organizations they are today. In the beginning, unions were illegal; however, over time unions gained political support and laws were passed which not only legalized unions but also established rules for employers dealing with unions and unionized workers.

Unions and politics are very intertwined. Typically, democrats support unions and their efforts and republicans do not. In fact, President Obama and the democrats support unions and their efforts to pass a very controversial new law called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Whether or not this proposed law actually represents free choice for the employee is debatable. Those opposing the bill say that is will allow unions to exert even more pressure on employees in an effort to convince those employees to vote to join the union, taking away their free choice. This controversial bill will be explored further in a future blog.


1 comment:

  1. I was in a union in one position I had. I think I'm more or less ambivalent about them. The union to which I belonged (I had no choice) really outlasted its usefulness, and most of the people in it were wanting to see it dismantled. I'll be interested to see your other blog entries and read others' comments.