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Union Issues: Closed-Shop, Free-riders and Right-to-Work

What are some important union issues today? What do closed-shop, free-rider and right-to-work mean?

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The big issue is that unions demand uniformity in their representation. This means that unions want to make certain that all workers in a shop are members of the union. This is because of the "free rider" problem. A free rider is a worker who is not a member of a union, but gets its benefits anyway. Let's say that a union represents 3/4 of the workers in an industry. This union goes on strike, and the workers get higher wages. This means that the 1/4 who are not members, and do not pay dues, will also get a pay raise. The unions say this is not fair, and can destroy the union itself. The problem is that the free rider issue forces unions to want a "closed shop" - where you have to be a member of the union to work in the industry at all.

Right to work rejects this concept. Normally, more "free market" persons support the basic "right to work" concept, since they hold that unions ...

Solution Summary

A closed-shop, free-riders and right-to-work is examined for union issues. References are provided in the solution.