Labor unions were meant to improve wages, hours and working conditions. Labor laws were developed to set minimum living standards, wage standards, and maximum hours worked. Employees wanted to join and form unions for these reasons were too satisfying to pass up for a worker making only a couple of dollars per week. Uneducated workers however didn’t see the downsides.
The cost of a product for the average consumer has now increased. If a company is not able to keep the high wages that their workers want, while keeping the cost to the consumer the same, it has to raise prices on the goods or services it provides. Now workers cant afford to buy groceries because the bakery has to charge more for a loaf of bread because it is now paying it’s workers more than before. Now the workers are too poor to buy groceries again, and want more money. It is a bad loop. The business owners had to come with a solution to this problem. The company could reduce the number of employees, in order to keep the employee payout the same. This would leave the standing employees to be forced to manage the overall workload. In some industries this could work, but in most it could/did not. Their next option was to outsource. This could work well, but took more jobs away from us and gave it to other people who worked for less. These options are not desirable to employees, and they can/did lead to a fight. Tension between employers and employees resulting from labor unions is often counterproductive, and doesn’t encourage workplace coordination or teamwork. Union fees took away from an employees pay too. This payment may even out way the increased pay of the employee, making the whole attempt meaningless.
Weinlick, Joe. “Pros and Cons of Unions.” Beyond.com, Joe Weinlick, 9 Mar. 2015, http://www.beyond.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-unions-16881-article.html.