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Pros and cons of unions in the United States

The development of unions was a significant turning point for workers in the United States. Over the past few decades union membership has been declining, are unions no longer needed in the United States? Do you think the development of such a broad system of employment laws has decreased the need for unions? Why or why not?

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Unions have been a controversial topic since their inception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website ( reveals that in 2004, 12.5% of wage and salary workers were union members as compared with 12.9% in 2003. The rate has steadily declined from a high of 20.1% in 1983. Most union members work for the government. Teachers, librarians, police officers, and firefighters make up the bulk of this group.

There are several arguments on both sides of the issue of whether or not labor unions are necessary. Some people argue that unions are still necessary today:

1) They protect against excessive work loads, decreased staffing, less pay and decreased benefits.

2) A union is really just a group of workers, who have organized themselves to solve problems that individually, they would be unable to fix. Groups have more power and strength than individuals and can effect employers to ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the role, impact, pros and cons of unions in the United States in 642 words.