Organize! How Unions Have Changed the US Business Landscape


Unions have existed across many industries for decades. Whether you have a positive or negative view of unions, they may be providing you with some benefits at your job. Here are some of the ways that unions have changed the landscape of the US business place.


Higher Wages


Many unions have set the wage standard when it comes to their specific industry. This benefits you even if you don’t want to be a part of the union. A more equal pay scale has reduced much of the labor inequality in industries that are more unionized. There is more opportunity for you to secure a higher paying job. This better enables you to take care of your family and have a better quality of life. It also allows businesses a scale in which they should be paying new employees.


Better Benefits


More unionized industries often offer better benefit packages to their employees. This improves your quality of life as well because you aren’t one health emergency away from having to declare bankruptcy. Another benefit to being a part of a larger organization, like a plumbers union, is that the health insurance premiums tend to be lower for employees and employers. This benefits both parties when it comes to the amount of money that comes out of their pockets.


Retirement Package Options


Having retirement of some sort is always a good idea. This enables you to consider the possibility of not having to work for the rest of your life. Many unions will offer a pension style retirement system. You can choose to contribute more to your retirement so that you receive a higher payout when you do decide to leave the workforce. This may even prompt employers to offer a retirement plan for their nonunion employees.


Protected Workforce


Unions tend to have safeguards in place which will prevent the summary dismissal of employees. This offers you some protection against being downsized unexpectedly. You may be more willing to work for a company if you know that your job is secure. If a dispute arises, your union representative will come in and help resolve the issue. This may seem annoying to employers, but it offers them a level of protection as well. You’re less likely to bring a lawsuit for wrongful termination if due process is followed.


Whether you work at an unionized company or not, the union could be providing you with some benefits. Employers are more likely to follow the guidelines that are set by a union in order to keep you around.


By: Rachelle Wilber

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;