There has been a lot of debate about the role of labor unions in our "modern" economy. Many business leaders claim that labor unions have out lived their usefulness and are unnecessary to today's economy. These corporate commanders fail to realize that without labor unions, most of their customers would not be able to afford their products. Many CEO's claim that labor unions force them to raise prices in order to pay the salaries and benefits demanded by organizations like UAW and AFL-CIO. Without labor unions, though, many of the people who buy their products would be languishing in the poverty stricken lower income brackets.
Labor unions helped to raise the standard of living for millions of people during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries through better wages, employer provided health care, and benefits like child care spending accounts and retirement accounts. These benefits would not have been provided without the work done by labor unions.
Labor unions have never been popular with corporate America. Many early labor leaders were prosecuted, harassed or gave their lives for the labor movement in the United States. Some strikers were subjected to fire hoses, attack dogs and armed guards. These sacrifices Americans see that laws were needed to protect American workers.
Those sentiments led to child labor laws, minimum wage laws, the forty hour work week, and Occupational Safety oversight. If labor unions were to disappear the way corporate America wishes they would, lobbyists from those wealthy corporations would descend upon Washington D.C. These lobbyists would spend billions of dollars ensuring that the progress made by labor unions would erode. Laws protecting American workers would be repealed and without unions, American workers would not be able to have a voice in the political process.
So, please, support your local unions.