of Collective Bargaining
light of the following, I have
a hard time understanding why people think collective bargaining is a
Economists say unions cause unemployment and reduce total income.
Heavily-unionized Michigan has led the nation in unemployment since
Here are some possible explanations why collective bargaining
supporters think the way they do:
Union workers are
better paid than non-union workers.
bargaining has been law for 75 years (since 1935). If it were
wrong, the Wagner Act would have been repealed long ago.
Congress makes no mistakes.
The Wagner Act was
signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president who got
us out of the Depression and led us to victory in World War II.
There are folk
songs about the struggles of union workers. Would Joan Baez, Bob
Dylan and Pete Seeger steer us wrong?
Democrats, and union PACs provide huge amounts of campaign
contributions to the Democratic party.
Whether unions are
bad or good is not something they give much thought, but people
they respect, like President Barack Obama, are union supporters.
They are among the
diminishing number of private sector union members who still
have a job, and they are paid good union wages.
They are among the
growing number of public sector union members, and they are paid
good union wages.
They had a parent
who was a union member which enabled them to get a college
degree so they don't have to work in a factory.
They are retired
union workers getting generous pensions and health insurance.
apparently think the employee should determine how much he is to be
paid, not the employer. But that isn't going to work, is it? The
employee thinks mainly of his own needs, while the employer is concerned
with survival of the business. Who would you trust to make the right
decision? Of course, a government arbitrator could be called in. Does he
know better than the employer? What special wisdom does he have that
would allow him to determine the proper wage? Could he possibly be
influenced by the political beliefs of the people he is working for?
common argument for collective bargaining is that it gets workers better
wages. If it was simple as that, why don't we just set the minimum wage
to $20 an hour? Hell, why stop there - make it $100 an hour. More is
like everyone to have a good-paying job, and we know how to make that
happen: help people get the job skills that are in demand. As long as
society is making an honest effort at that, we have no need to worry
about how much workers are paid. A free labor market rewards them
according to how much we value their contribution.
don't trust the market, so we support the notion that employees should
demand the wage they think they deserve, and that it is OK for them to
shut down an employer when he doesn't give in. Or we believe that a
government arbitrator is blessed with the wisdom to know what is fair
and the integrity to so choose.
Unions are Killing
The Wagner Act
What Economists Think
Why the Market Wage is Better
The Illogic of
vs. Fair Wage
Imagining a Free
Rights and Freedom
Destruction of the
Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)
Collective Bargaining and Unemployment
Social Costs of Collective Bargaining
Democrats and Unions
Bargaining in Government