- Unions protect workers from various company abuses such as
unsafe/uncomfortable working conditions, long hours, arbitrary hiring & firing, and so on.
- They give workers a chance to speak at the same negotiating & power levels of the managers and owners.
- They allow workers to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, an acceptable work environment, and more.
- Unions prevent managers from having to address worker grievances one-by-one.
- Unions give workers more job security and piece of mind, reducing the stress of possible layoffs & wage/benefit cuts.
- Unions create a stable, long-term employment relationship between company and employee, which is good for both.
- Unions lead to higher prices for consumers since companies must pay more for wages & benefits, which are then passed on to customers.
- Unions make the country less competitive since non-unionized companies in India, China, Taiwan, etc. can pay workers far less and therefore
charge less and/or assign more workers per unit of product.
- Unions often prevent more qualified workers from getting the jobs. Less proficient workers are often protected from layoffs or firing; thus, new positions
open less frequently.
- Society and companies are often held hostage to the essential services of certain unions (e.g. teachers, police, construction workers,
air traffic controllers, etc.); thus, negotiation becomes less about fairness to workers than about
companies meeting the demands of union extortion.
- The State and Federal labor/discrimination laws, the threats of lawsuits, and the avoidance of poor publicity all make unions largely unnecessary nowadays.
- Unions lead to job losses to India, China, and other overseas companies. Non-union shops have a major cost advantage in hiring. Plus, in unionized
companies, owners & managers may simply choose not to hire at all since the cost of maintaining or laying off a new employee is too great.
- Unions have become a source of political power and corruption. Since unions can offer a large block of voters, politicians will often curry favor from unions
and screw over the taxpayers. Consequently, union representatives concentrate on helping their favorite politicians and political party rather than doing what's
best for the members.
- It prevents the firing of clearly incompetent workers. Several poorly-performing teachers on tenure as well as most government workers are clear examples.
- Unions lead to less productivity and job motivation since pay levels are usually determined by seniority rather than performance. The lack of incentives such as
increased pay or promotion, as well as the lesser threat of losing their jobs, leads to workers putting out less effort than they otherwise would.
- It creates an "us" vs. "them" hostility between ownership and workers.
- Unions focus on the needs of the members at the expense of non-union members & society, as evidenced by labor unrest all over the world as governments
try to rein in unsustainable spending.
- For many types of jobs, union membership is required for the position, along with substantial cash dues on a regular basis. This is inherently anti-freedom.
- It decreases the flexibility of both employee and employer in negotiating wages, benefits, and other items. Especially with the technological advances of
today and multi-working families, employees often want to customize work hours & location, fringe benefits (e.g. more vacation time, no health insurance),
and pay (e.g. per hour or per project vs. salaried). Unions tie the hands of both employee and employer in such situations.
- Unions have in the past had ties with organized crime or communist organizations, which are fundamentally trying to harm the nation's free market system.
- Unions reduce the investment dollars that are put into a company since investors are less willing to take on the risks of work stoppages, higher costs, decreased
management flexibility, etc.
- All employees have one bargaining chip that never requires a union--they can quit and go work somewhere else.