Unions and Alternatives

Union Attitude
Alternatives to Unions
Dissolving a Union

Union Attitude

No one can deny that Unions were essential for the working man getting fair wages. No one can deny that the threat of becoming unionized is beneficial for workers. However, the problem with unions is they don’t know when to stop. Over the past 40 years, many Unions have done a great job of putting their companies out of business with outdated thinking, poor work standards, inefficient labor rules and the never ending demand for more pay and benefits. 

It’s one thing to get a fair wage. It’s quite another to demand a wage so high that you jeopardize the financial health of your company. Would it not be wiser to keep your company financially strong at $19 an hour, rather than destroy your job at $25 an hour? As the cost of union made products increases, fewer people are able to afford them and consumers look for alternatives. As the years go by, many union workers just become selfish and greedy. A lot of good paying jobs have been destroyed by union greed by refusing to work for a reasonable wage. This has prevented business growth and more hiring for good paying jobs.

The ultimate in union greed are professional sports unions. Look at the ridiculous price you have to pay to go to a game and the cost of concessions.

In order for union big wigs to justify union dues and their extravagant lifestyle, they must always be able to deliver more for their members. But all they do is destroy many of the companies that have union workers. We also need to note the some companies have gone out of busines because of excessive executive pay. It would be really beneficial for everyone if management and labor could meet in the middle and come up with a plan that ensures the long term financial health of the company. Everyone looses if the company goes under. 

Some unionized companies take extreme measures to stay in business. These companies send part of their production out of the country for cheap labor costs with some of the union workers getting laid off as a result. In reality, these foreign workers are subsidizing the remaining US union workers so the company can stay in business. 

If the industry is big enough (ie: The auto industry) the government bails the company out. Actually they are bailing the union out for political reasons. With huge pensions for retiree's and the huge pay that autoworkers get, this is the ultimate in union greed and irresponsibility. Their greed has destroyed the company so now politicians get involved. Government bails them out, effectively buying their vote and forcing all Americans to subsidize union greed. 

Union workers attitudes towards non-union workers can be very hostile. It doesn't matter whether non-union workers are well paid or not. Non-union workers are often treated like they are illegitimate.

In addition, unions are very political and have run political ads knowingly lying about a politician they don’t like.  For instance, unions ran ads against Newt Gingrich in the 90s that knowingly lied about his views on social security.

When it comes to voting, union members need to recognize that there are certain policies that may be beneficial to them but harmful to the country as a whole. For union members to vote for politicians who will advance union objectives even when it is harmful to our economy as a whole is counterproductive for everyone to say the least. (See Union excesses) The Union obsession with Obama is very misguided. Obama may cater to unions, but his overall economic policy is terrible, yet unions demand their members vote for him.

Unions need to change. Unions need to adopt policies that promote business growth, so they can have long term employment and create good jobs for more people. 

Alternatives to Unions

If a majority of employees are unhappy with conditions, there needs to be an alternative other than doing nothing and joining a union. If employees are unhappy about conditions with the company they work for, they can petition to join a union. If the petition drive is successful, then management has one month to meet with workers and determine what the grievances are and one more month to implement changes. Whatever changes are made become written policy for the company. Following this two month period, there is a 3 month trial period under which the workers work under the new agreement before they vote to officially join or not join the union. If the changes are satisfactory, then the workers can vote “No” to join the union and save union dues. Otherwise they can vote “Yes” and join the union. During any union vote, the monthly dues must be clearly displayed at the voting booth and if the union wins, the union is bound for the length of the contract to that amount of dues.

Currently, a simple majority is needed by workers to join the union, with the company winning a tie. This should change and be based on the pay rate for workers. The better pay & benefits you get, the higher percentage of votes needed to unionize.

Union needs 60% of vote if:

Company supplies health insurance. The bottom pay rate is at least $14 an hr after 3 months for production workers, and $10 for non production workers (janitors, etc.) To leave the union will take only a 40% vote.

Union needs 67% of vote if:

Company supplies health insurance. The bottom pay rate is at least $15.50 an hr after 3 months for production workers, and $11 for non production workers (janitors, etc.) To leave the union will take only a 33% vote.  

Dissolving a Union

The way to dissolve a union is for worker and company representatives to negotiate a permanent work and pay policy. Then the union would be dissolved and employees would get to keep their union dues.


Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by an issue that is not present in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine - the pleading of selfish interests. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups.

In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, and to neglect to inquire what the long-term effects of that policy will be - not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences. In this lies almost the whole difference between good economics and bad.

The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the long-term effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. Henry Hazlitt in Economics in One Lesson.