Response to Question #1

MTS: This is the second (acknowledged) incident in which you stood idly by while someone made a completely or at least somewhat dubious claim.  I think you need to step up and let the world know that you are a Political Junkie and you are here to speak your mind.  Even if you don’t want to confront them and tell these people that they’re wrong, you can muddy the waters a little and give them something to think about.

(Take that with as much salt as you need to.)

Now, on to your question…

While I would agree that there are a number of laws that protect workers, I think that unions are important and play a necessary role in the political sphere.  I can think of at least three things that unions do for workers that are not covered by current laws.

First, with the use of collective bargaining, workers can often get higher wages, better benefits, and even better working conditions.  If one or two workers say that they want higher wages, they may (if they’re lucky) get something for themselves, but it is highly unlikely that they would be able to get anything for the whole group.  So it is much better to bargain as a whole rather than piecemeal.

Second, strikes are a very important tool in the workers toolbelt.  And to think of strikes without unions is just silly.  (Worker: I’m on strike, I want better working conditions for me and my fellow workers.  Boss: You’re fired!)  Only when workers act collectively do the bosses stand up and pay attention.  If their entire workforce walked out, they would have to take notice.  That would be infinitely harder without unions.

Finally, unions don’t just fight for workers in the workplace itself.  They also fight in the halls of Congress, on the streets and in neighborhoods.  Whether it is lobbying directly or raising money for candidates, unions are always working to get more and better laws passed for workers throughout the US.

So if you have ever had to use Worker’s Compensation, or if you simply enjoy your weekends off, thank the unions.  If you like vacations and medical insurance, thank the unions.  If you are glad that your child doesn’t have to work or if you like your overtime pay, thank the unions.  But the unions are not only a thing of the past, they should be a part of every workers’ future.  So if you’re a worker, join a union.

When we work together, there is nothing we can’t do.


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