Labor Unions Labor Union Is Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

However, they are not as relevant as they used to be primarily due to the fact that they no longer represent the majority of U.S. workers that they formerly represented. In 1970 "400,000 workers stayed off the job for 10 weeks" (Golway, 2007, p. 8) in a United Autoworkers strike against General Motors (G.M.). Golway compares that number and the length of the strike against G.M. with a one-day strike that recently occurred against the same automaker.

This time there were only 73,000 workers left to walk the picket lines. It was a reminder of how the great American job has disappeared" (Golway, 2007, p. 8). With the disappearance of those jobs the relevance of the unions has changed somewhat. Now the unions are more likely to concentrate on matters such as arbitration, grievance handling and using their political muscle to elect or re-elect candidates who are likely to address union issues in favor of the unions.

Political influence is not the only area where unions are still relevant, unions are still leaders in contract negotiations, although the atmosphere in which those negotiations are conducted may be much more contentious than in previous decades.

An example could be; "When we look at collective bargaining in the airline industry, it seems only logical to ask whether its highly confrontational character is a symptom of the final throes of nearly three decades of industry restructuring or the foreshadowing of a deepening crisis in union-management relations in the United State" (Chaison, 2007, p. 643).

Such contentious bargaining could be the last desperate attempt by the unions to maintain their importance to the American worker, or could be that with job security becoming as tenuous as it is, the union's tactics are the only way to force management to listen. Either way, tactics employed by the union will always have an effect on labor relations, whether those relations are good or bad depend on how management and the unions interact.

Since the survival of both organizations depends directly and indirectly on actions taken by the other organization, it would probably be best that they all work together to ensure each other's viability. In the long run, both management and labor will benefit.

Works Cited

Chaison, G., (2007) Airline negotiations and the new concessionary bargaining, Journal of Labor Research, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 642-657

Golway, T., the plight of G.M., America, Vol. 197, No 11, p. 8

Klein, a., Hoff, D.J. (2007) Unions assail teacher ideas in NCLB draft, Education Week, Vol. 27, No…

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