Labor unions are groups or clubs of workers and employees who bond together to get good conditions, fair pay, and fair hours for their labor. These unions are usually joined together, and most unions in America are some branch of the largest labor union organization in the United States, the AFL-CIO with thirteen million members.
One of the largest unions is the Teamsters Union, formed in 1903, and perhaps the most contentious, union with 1.3 million members, were expelled from the AFL-CIO, in 1957. The labor organization grew rapidly and secured the important membership of the trucking industry.
Some of the largest unions are: National Education Association of the United States, Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and Communications Workers of America.
According to the U. S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics In 2004, 12.5 percent of wage and salary workers were union members, down from 12.9 percent in 2003. The union membership rate has steadily declined from a high of 20.1 percent in 1983. The public sector also declined from 37.2 percent to 36.4 percent in 2004. The number of union members fell to 15.5 million the past year. Within the public sector, local government workers such as teachers, fire fighters, police officers had the highest union membership rate, 41.3 percent. Among the private sector transportation and utilities had the highest union membership rate, at 24.9, but construction, information and manufacturing industries also had high rates. Among occupational groups, training, education and library occupations and protective service workers had the highest, and farming, fishing, sales and related occupations had to lowest unionization rates in 2004. In 2004, the union membership rate was 2.7 percent higher for men than women and African Americans were more likely to be union members than were whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Among the age groups, the highest union membership rates were among workers 45 to 54 years old and were lowest among workers 16 to 24 years old. The largest numbers of union members lived in California, 2.4 million and New York 2.0 million.
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...nsferred to other businesses and consumers. Businesses that are affected by the cost, in order not to lose profits, have to also raise costs that will end up costing consumers. Being in a labor union has its privilege for employees of a particular union because they prevent businesses from firing union members. This is not a privilege to the economy. The workers are not driven by any incentives and the businesses don’t get the best workers and eventually this leads to a slow productivity.
In today’s world of employment, one can choose to work in a unionized or a non unionized workplace; both situations have positive and negative attributes. In a unionized situation, members experience benefits such as union representation, and aversions such as layoffs and strikes. In a non-union situation, workers experience benefits such as better treatment by management, and aversions such as decreased benefits and overall decreased wages. Although over the last few decades union membership and growth have decreased, organized labor is becoming popular.
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