Are labor unions obsolete? | The Tylt

Are labor unions obsolete?

The Supreme Court ruled against public-sector unions in Janus v. AFSCME, which has many wondering if labor unions have become totally obsolete. About 35 percent of American workers belonged to labor unions in the 1950s, but today that number is closer to 10 percent. Conservatives think this is a good thing; unions are more focused on collecting dues than helping workers and are no longer needed in the modern workforce. But others argue unions are important now more than ever. Someone needs to fight for workers. What do you think?

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In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled public sector workers who are represented by labor unions cannot be forced to pay union dues, effectively turning the entire public sector into a "right to work" zone.

The conservative majority of the Supreme Court delivered a sweeping and historic blow to the labor movement Wednesday, ruling that public sector workers who are represented by unions cannot be required to pay any union dues... As a result, millions of public employees will have the ability to opt out of financially supporting unions that must continue to bargain on their behalf.

Many view the ruling as a devastating blow to labor unions that will have long-term ramifications that could ultimately hurt American workers. 

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Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner argues labor unions have become totally obsolete. According to Rasmussen, 57 percent of voters think union leaders are out of touch with members. The policies they're advocating for either don't help members or are totally counter to what people care about. Some of the policies that unions fight tooth and nail for, like the minimum wage, only affect a small share of Americans. It's hard to recruit new members with such a narrow message.

The landscape has changed too. Blue collar jobs are being replaced with office tech jobs. Tech companies have little appetite for the rigid workplace rules that come with unions. Their ability to move quickly is what makes tech companies so powerful to begin with. That's incompatible with unions.

Unions are trying to solve a 21st-century problem using 20th-century methods. They protect workers at the cost of innovation. If a company is going broke anyway, what's the point of having a good healthcare plan? America doesn't need unions as they are right now. They're a relic of the past struggling to remain relevant. 

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But David Madland argues in The Nation that unions are more important now than ever. It's increasingly clear that few politicians actually care about workers. Trump claims he will fight for the average American but, in the same breath, proposes cuts to social programs that hurt struggling workers.

Unions provide the only platform that gives workers power in the workplace and in American politics. As individuals, people have little to no power in their workplace or in American government. Unions give people, no matter their education or income, the means to stand up for themselves and fight for what they need. It forces those in power to give workers a seat at the table.

Unions are nothing without their members. That's what gives them power. The American middle class is shrinking. Economic gains are going to the wealthy. Workers must come together and fight for themselves. No one else will.

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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Are labor unions obsolete?
A festive crown for the winner
#FightForWorkers
#UnionsAreObsolete