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Changing Landscape of Unions

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Changing Landscape of Unions

Unions have been defined as organizations based on collective self interest that focuses on issues relative to work and seeks to bargain on behalf of a group of workers to improve their living and working conditions (Fletcher, B. 2012). In the past century, evolvement of unions has been in part, the passage of much legislation governing union activities and collective bargaining including the Norris La Guardia Anti Injunction Act, the National Labor Relations Act and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosures Act to name a few. Prior to the 1930’s, these labor laws were not in place and conspiracy doctrine and injunctions were used in attempts to deplete union strength including in house spies, yellow dog contracts and company lockouts. In current times, while union philosophy still parallels with the definition above; union strength faces many challenges. There is a need for unions to adapt to the many external factors affecting the workforce such as technological advances replacing workers and the affects of globalization on our domestic workforce. This evolvement needs to include a reinvention of objectives and possible reforms in order to broaden the appeal of union membership in today’s workforce. The last century has seen the labor union go through periods of growth and decline for many reasons stemming mainly from the nature of the economic state of the country. When the economy is good, there is more bargaining power in favor of workers represented by unions, but in economic decline, such as a depression, workers tend to fend for themselves individually as the bargaining power is with the employer. Per Sloane , “the worker cry was ‘every man for himself’, rather than ‘in union there is strength’ as virtually no union could or did survive mass desertion” (Sloane, A. W. 2010). The pattern of union strength being…...

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