Essay on Labor Unions During The United States Economy And The Global Community

Essay on Labor Unions During The United States Economy And The Global Community

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Union Security

Labor unions play an important role in the United States economy and the global community at large. They represent the interest of member employees’ interests through collective bargaining agreements with the various employers in the industry from which the unions derive their membership. In this regard, union membership is a key success factor for the continued existence of labor unions. In order to achieve their objectives, unions need to continuously recruit members for whom they act on behalf in their activities. In the year 1935, congress passed the National Labor Relations Act, which played an important role in governing how labor unions conducted their activities and in the formation of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the oversight body for labor relations issues in the United States (Heery, Williams, & Abbott, 2012). Labor unions forcibly recruited members through recruitment halls which is essentially a form of closed shop practices as determined by the courts and the NLRB. This is whereby for a person to get employment, they had to be members of a trade union. The NLRA was subsequently amended by the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 which also played an important role in governing the activities of trade unions in the country (Carrell, & Heavrin, 2004). This is the harbinger of Union Security as propagated in the labor union movements.

Union security is whereby labor unions recruit members by making it a condition for an individual to become a member of a union before formally being recommended by the union for employment in the specific industry from which the union draws its membership. For example, the Landrum-Griffin Act provided for trade unions in the construction industry to negot...

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...eby eliminating the free rider problem and ensuring the continued sustainability of the labor union (Heery eta al, 2012).


The union security clause in a collective bargaining agreement is a very important clause not only to the union themselves but also to employers. On one hand, the clause ensures the continued sustainability of a labor union by ensuring that all the individuals or employees who stand to benefit from the activities of the labor union automatically become members of the union on gaining employment. On the other hand, a security clause will be beneficial to employers as they do not have to negotiate separate employment agreements with separate employees. A security clause automatically ensures that an employee who joins an employer is automatically party to an agreed upon collective bargaining agreement and the terms agreed upon therein.

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