Monday, February 21, 2011

Are Unions Really A Good Thing?

With all of the unrest going on in Wisconsin this week I thought of a question that many of these union protesters probably have not thought of. Are they truly better off being in a union? The purpose of a union is to work for its members to get them the best benefits and wages that are possible for their members. The question is, are they actually doing that and is it really beneficial to the members to be trapped by whatever the union decides?

When you are a member of a union you are expected to pay yearly dues. Some of these dues can range in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year per member. Right out of the gate the members are paying a large some of money for an implied service. With this money, unions provide various services and negotiate contracts for the whole as a union. Of course most unions, like big corporations have a board of directors or council, of which men of great power get their share off the top. Many also get kick backs just like politicians to pull for one set of benefits and not others. The men who run unions can be just as corrupt as anyone in a corporation or in government.

Being in a union is often forced upon workers depending on what line of work you go into. Right off the bat you are limiting your right as a worker by not being able to decide if you want to join the union or not. Then as part of a union you do get to vote on changes the union makes, but what if you don't agree with what the union is doing? OH well, you have no say if you're in the minority of that union. What may be good for the union may not always be good for you or your family individually in the union.

The rights that union members speak so highly about are not rights for them as individuals but for the union as a whole. If the heads of the union decide or are paid to push one initiative or another then the members of the union have to follow what the union decides, regardless if they agree with them or not. Yes, the members of the union do have a say by voting for what the union does, but just like voting in government or as a shareholder of a corporation you have limited pull as to the outcome as an individual.

What many members of unions don't realize as an individual you can negotiate your wage and benefits just like a union, and if the company, school district, etc. don't agree then you can take your services elsewhere. Competition and negotiating your own terms keeps your salary higher and benefits higher while also giving you the ability to decide for yourself and your family what is best, not some union heads who have their own agenda in mind.

Unions came about at a time when workers rights did not exist. Now many workers today who are not in unions have better rights than those who are in unions today. Being in a union means you are limited to whatever that union deems to be right for the union not right for you as an individual. The perception is that unions give you rights that are not available outside of unions, and that is completely false. You as an individual have even more rights to control how, where, and for how much you work than even in a union. Before you go fighting hard for the union that your in, make sure that the union you have is best for you and your family, and not for some fat cat union heads out to maintain power at the expense of its members.

If you would like to contribute your own posts to this blog you can contact me at I am open to creative ideas and welcome them.

Latest financial news -