Labor unions are defined as "an organization of workers acting together to negotiate their wages and working conditions with employers" (Kapoor, 277). Unions first began as early as the 1700’s. The first types of unions started as organizations of skilled persons working together in a single trade, for example, printers. These types of unions were usually limited to small city areas and often only lasted for a short period of time. In the mid 1880’s, improved transportation allowed for newer markets, thus permitting the growth of American industry. In today’s world of employment, one can choose to work in a unionized or a non-unionized workplace; both situations have positive and negative attributes. In a unionized situation, members experience benefits such as union representation, and aversions such as layoffs and strikes. In a non-union situation, workers experience benefits such as better treatment by management, and aversions such as decreased benefits and overall decreased wages. Although over the last few decades union membership and growth have decreased, organized labor is becoming popular. When studying union versus non-union, it is important to look at a few key factors of unions; the history of unions, the types of unions available, the benefits of unions and the aversions of unions. It is also important to look at some key factors to non-unions such as the labor laws, the benefits of non-union employers hiring non-union workers, and also how the non-union employment has drawbacks. The Teamsters Union, for example, is a good source of information when learning about unions. People such as Jimmy Hoffa have helped shape unions today and have shown union leaders and non-union leaders what to do versus what not to do. There is much to research when deciding weather or not to join a union. The history of unions and the types of unions is important as is the benefits of working union versus working non-union. It is often in a persons best interest to research the pro’s and con’s of unionization. Although there is a lot to research, and the research is very time consuming, it is well worth it in the end.

Category: Social Issues