Labor Unions Being More Problematic Than They Are Helpful

Labor Unions Being More Problematic Than They Are Helpful

From what I’ve understood of labor unions from public schools and watching Norma Rae (also imposed by the circumstances of public school), labor unions were set in place to fix conditions in the workplace.  It cut weekly hours down from an insufferable number to a more efficient number.  This allowed for an altogether healthier environment that took better care of its employees.  That was then.

From what I’ve read from the chapter on labor unions by Henry Hazlitt in Economics in One Lesson, labor unions are no longer fighting for a forty hour work week because, simply, they won it.  They also were able to get better conditions in the workplace.  Hazlitt states that today labor unions are set in place to do things that place a ceiling over profits and productivity.

Hazlitt states:

But many unions have insisted on rigid subdivisions of labor which have raised production costs and led to expensive and ridiculous “jurisdictional” disputes. They have opposed payment on the basis of output or efficiency, and insisted on the same hourly rates for all their members regardless of differences in productivity.  They have insisted on promotion for seniority rather than for merit. They have initiated deliberate slowdowns under the pretense of fighting “speedups.” They have denounced, insisted upon the dismissal of, and sometimes cruelly beaten, men who turned out more work than their fellows. They have opposed the introduction or improvement of machinery. They have insisted on make-work rules to require more people or more time to perform a given task.  They have even insisted, with the threat of ruining employers, on the hiring of people who are not needed at all.

I’m starting to see a pattern.  When we talk about labor unions, we bring up old arguments that have already been won.  The labor union movement is still moving despite it already accomplishing its goals.  Now, maybe with ill intention or not, it is seeking to stay relevant and in doing so in search of issues, however, it only accomplishes to make things worse.  We do this a lot in our lives today.  We find historical movements and use historical arguments as if they still hold true today.  It’s manipulative, blinding, and pretty corrupt.

 

Tendril Railing In Rome

 

 

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