Ensuring Freedom by Preserving the Values of Trade Unions Essays

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Ensuring Freedom by Preserving the Values of Trade Unions Thoughtful committed citizens are the only thing that have ever changed the world.
—Margaret Mead

Anti-union sentiment is increasingly pervading American culture. In fact, one critic says, “The United States in now on the verge of a risky experiment: to become the first parliamentary democracy in modern world history without a substantial trade union movement” (Lichtenstein 66). In addition to weakening bargaining power, the judicial system allows workers to resign in the midst of a strike and scab on coworkers. A huge number of professionals and supervisors were even deemed exempt from representation (Lichtenstein 66). Legislation and corporate wealth are eroding the power
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This relationship of employers to employees appears to be no better than a lord’s to a vassal, a king’s to a subject, or even a master’s to a slave. Employees who depend on management for survival, meanwhile, are subject to speedups, lower wages, contracting-out, and a host of other concessions (Wells 34). Unorganized labor positions workers at the mercy of their employers and thereby transforms democracy into a seemingly unattainable, abstract dream.

Arch Puddington, former director for the League of Industrial Democracy, illuminates the flawed arguments of contemporary society. He believes that unions are becoming superfluous with the advent of government rules that encompass safety, health, and sexual harassment. Yet, he assumes that federal regulations are enforced. The garment workers of Lion Apparel in Beattyville, Kentucky, understand that government rules against employer tyranny are not enforced. Formaldehyde fumes, “wages so low that workers are unable to meet basic needs, dangerous working conditions, and intimidation when workers try to unionize are characteristic of their working environment” (Boal 8). Thirty-two Occupational Safety Health Association (OSHA) violations within 12 years, lack of air conditioning, frozen toilets, and declining employee health are additional fringe benefits

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