The history of labor unions in the US dates back to the 1800. In the transport industry, the formation of labor unions began in New York in1934, with the establishment of the Transport Workers Union of America. The union began representing subway workers in the city of New York and slowly integrated into other cities. In 1944, it expanded its representation to involve airline workers. Union membership in the transport sector has been associated with positive impacts such as collective bargaining, equal treatment and better pay. However, labor unions have a detrimental impact on the transport sector in the long run.
Against Unionized Labor
The debate on labor unions on the transport sector has been long and controversial. Though the decision to either support or oppose labor movement is difficult, facts demonstrate a downward trend in labor unions membership. The decline in membership in the sector clearly indicates the inefficiency of the labor unions. Several factors facilitate the opposition for labor unions. Labor unions have a direct link with workplace strikes. Rather than use dialogue, the unions mobilize their members into unnecessary strikes. On one hand, these strikes have become a nightmare to productivity in the workplace. In addition, strikes in themselves are not a guarantee that the benefits and demands the workers are making will be fulfilled. At times, the employer may prefer hiring other employers rather than retain the employees on strike. Also, the workers on strikes are likely to loose the wages and salaries for the days they are on strike. Though unions provide job security, they do not guarantee the workers their jobs after the strikes (Chapter 5).
In an organization where the employees are under union representation, the employment benefits and promotions are dictated by seniority. The employer has a minimal role in determining the various options to motivate the employees. In addition, the employer has few options in providing creative solutions to solve the problems in the organizations. Another argument against labor unions is the union dues that members are required to pay to the labor unions (Chapter 5). There is an automatic deduction of the dues from the paycheck even for employees who may prefer not to be part of the labor unions. In addition, the automatic deductions are made even from employees who disagree with the union decisions.
Labor unions are about majority decisions. The majority makes the decision with little regard of the minority in the workplace. The majority decisions may not be the right decision. Many employers strongly oppose union because they hinder competition. Union members are often given higher wages than non union members. According to the BLS National Compensation Survey done in July 2002, average hourly pay among all union workers was $20.65, compared with $16.42 for nonunion workers. In the transport industry, a binding minimum wage among union workers is introduced by law or through collective bargaining. Consequently, competition with other organizations is hindered (Chapter 6). The productivity of the transport sector has also affected. Individual in labor unions loose their individualism. There is no option to fulfill individual needs and aspirations. The individual in the workplace cannot make direct negotiations with their employers. Another opposition against labor unions is made in regards to the fines and punishments that labor unions impose on members who act contrarily to the labor agreements. Such fines and punishment hinder individual democracy; they have no justifications.
In conclusion, in making the decision to either support or oppose the labor union in the transport sector, it is essential to first evaluate its benefits and shortcomings to the economy. Statistically, labor unions have proved to carry more negative impacts to the sector In many instances, the labor unions represent a collective view which is not an actual reflection of every individuals needs. The economy has lost drastically because of labor unions. In addition, labor unions have become an exaggeration in the modern society.