If you have a boss, join a union! 5 reasons you should support labor unions

Because of the grocery workers’ contract negotiations, there has been some talk about labor unions and their effectiveness. Ryan Gene posted his opinions regarding unions at The Orange Juice.

As a commenter that goes by “Cook” pointed out in the comments of Ryan’s post, the list of countries that do not allow employee unions include China, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. The list of places that do allow employee unions are the U.S., Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. I’d argue that one list is better than the other.

Here are five more reasons to support labor unions:

1. Big business is allowed to buy their way into our government and negotiate subsidies, tax breaks, and favorable regulation that helps them earn profit. The individuals working for those companies should be allowed to collectively bargain for a piece of that pie.

2. Union workers are productive. Far too often anti-union people try saying that union workers are paid wages for doing little work. But that is hogwash, with no factual support. And you have to wonder why the anti-labor folks aren’t so upset when corporate bigwigs drain pension funds to provide bigger returns for investors, or when they evade safety laws to squeeze out a few more pennies each day?

3. Think of what unions are for, and try to figure out who would be against that. Labor unions are fighting for respect on the job, better wages and benefits, more flexibility for work and family needs, and a counterbalance to the unchecked power of employers.

4. Communities are stronger when Unions are present. Statistics show states in which more people are union members are states with higher wages, better benefits and better schools. While unions are just one factor affecting the quality of living, the pattern indicates that when workers have a voice at work, the community also benefits. And when employers interfere in workers’ decision to join a union, the community loses—living standards decline and income inequality grows. [Link] 5. A common argument that anti-labor people make is that workers are forced to pay union dues. But the truth is that these workers were drawn to the job because of the relatively high wages and decent benefits. Why not ask them to join the union (and pay the dues) in order to enjoy the benefits gained by collective bargaining?

  10 comments for “If you have a boss, join a union! 5 reasons you should support labor unions

  1. March 21, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks, Mike, for bringing this up! I noticed earlier today that Ryan Gene posted a rebuttal
    And I just rebutted his rebuttal
    But anyways, thanks for getting the ball rolling, and for standing up for working people! : )

  2. Flowerszzz
    March 22, 2007 at 5:42 am

    Yeah – Unions do a great job! Like the incredible “package” the unions got for the grocery workers last go ’round! So great that they, the workers, will be made to strike again, just a couple of years later. Such a great job that the employers have not fully recovered because consumers have made adjustments into their grocery shopping routines, which now more regularly include costco and trader joes. So much so that you see more & more self check out booths on the rise, and people preferring to use them over a checker. keep upi the “good” work unions!

  3. March 22, 2007 at 8:23 am

    As Orange County’s leading conservative commentator, Pete Fundy would love to start a labor union here at OCLegend.Com.

    Unfortunately, employee morale it too high. Pete Fundy doesn’t need five reasons to form a union. Pete Fundy needs five effective ways to bring everyone in the workplace down and make them feel bitter and angry. Not the postal service kind of bitter and angry, but perhaps something just short of bringing the handgun into work.

    Warmly yours,
    Pete Fundy
    Senior Editorial Writer
    OCLegend.Com

  4. March 22, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Make that “is” too high.

    And, BTW, Pete Fundy resents having to type security phrases like “Iraq sucks, Jenna blows” just to post here. I believe this is offensive and uncalled for.

    Warmly yours,
    Pete Fundy
    Senior Editorial Writer
    OCLegend.Com

  5. grouchomarxist
    March 22, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Any student of history realizes the benefits the US owes to unions- finger-free meat products, the 40 hr week, the end of child labor, etc. I found a hilarious citation in one of Friedman’s books, an appendix of the 1926 Socialist platform, wherein he lamented that so many of these radical reforms had won the day- in 1977 or so. However, OC libertarians are stubborn, and most of them are well set up, having made it on daddy’s money, but things are changing globally, and these cavemen of the intellect will soon be rare even in these parts.

  6. grouchomarxist
    March 22, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I love your code words. o, what a lark!

  7. March 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Unions do a lot for workers when it comes to health care. That is one area where private industry just isn’t keeping up…

  8. March 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Art has a point. Congress is probably the world’s strongest labor union and their health care package can’t be beat.

    Warmly yours,
    Pete Fundy
    Senior Editorial Writer
    OCLegend.Com

  9. grouchomarxist
    March 22, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    The Elected representatives of the People, the Bar, the AMA, these are not unions! They are perfessional organizations and have no part in an argument about unions!

  10. March 23, 2007 at 7:45 am

    “The only difference between Congress and Teamsters is that money makes the Teamsters shut up.” — Pete Fundy

    These and other nuggets of wisdom are found in my upcoming book, tentatively entitled HELL ON EARTH: WHY GOD CURSED US WITH SO MANY FILTHY LIBERALS.

    Warmly yours,
    Pete Fundy
    Senior Editorial Writer
    OCLegend.Com

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