american businesses strongly oppose trade unions B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

american businesses strongly oppose trade unions B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

Respond with 150 words

Hello Class,

There can be no doubt that without the hard-fought battles of the trade unions in this country there would be no middle class, and our way of life would be much different. Unions can be also be credited for giving us better wages, better working conditions, the eight-hour workday, weekends off, and for putting an end to child labor (Zaid, 2011). However, many Americans still demonize the ideology of equal rights for the working class and prefer to embrace individualism and capitalism. American businesses strongly oppose trade unions because unions represent the interests of their employee members and not the employer’s interests. This usually requires employers to increase worker’s pay, improve their benefits, and ensure safe working conditions; all of which increase employer costs and decrease their profitability. Therefore, the primary reason that American businesses oppose trade unions is because of the increased labor costs that are inherently associated with unions. Furthermore, increased competition in a global marketplace demands that businesses keep costs low to stay competitive. Additionally, automation has replaced many jobs that were previously held by union workers because it is more cost-efficient, so there is less need for labor. Finally, new labor laws have greatly improved working conditions for employees since the early days of unions, rendering unions irrelevant in the view of most businesses.

Another reason that union membership has peaked and declined in the United States, is that for some people, unions still carry the taint of the violence and corruption that occurred in the early days of union formation. Indeed, events like the Haymarket Riot, the Homestead Incident, and the Pullman strike resulted in death and destruction, in an effort for employees to rise up against management and secure worker’s rights (Holley, et al., 2016). Additionally, unions never really were able to gain a strong foothold in the American South, because of racism. Unions demanded equal rights for all members, and white workers were not eager to work alongside black workers. Unfortunately, this attitude still exists for some people.

Since I have primarily worked for small companies in sales or management roles, I have never been involved with a union, professionally. However, my ex-husband was a member of the UAW (United Auto Workers Union) when he worked for Colt Firearms. They went on strike in 1985 and it lasted five years. The company hired replacement workers and the union workers would yell at them and call them Scabs as they crossed the picket line. The use of unskilled workers caused a severe decline in product quality that resulted in major contract losses for the company. Eventually, they sold the company to the State of Connecticut, some private investors, and to the UAW itself. After a time, they filed for bankruptcy and they have been struggling to stay afloat ever since. I would prefer they went out of business permanently, so there would be fewer guns in the world. The UAW machinists can be retained to work on cars or something less destructive.

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