Union Membership Is Good for America

More unions and more union members would be good for America. The labor force is the backbone of the American economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) is driven by a productive work force. Productivity depends upon employees who are secure in their jobs. A primary benefit of union protection is the requirement of just cause for termination from employment.

Union membership has been shrinking for the past fifty years, as shown by this interactive map of the United States.  This means that more and more employees are subject to the at-will employment doctrine. At-will employments means that employers can fire an employee for any reason or no reason, as long as it’s not for an illegal reason such as discrimination.

Just cause for termination essentially means that employers must act reasonably. Unions serve the purpose of protecting members from unreasonable terminations. A grievance process culminating in arbitration proceedings would eliminate the flood of lawsuits brought for various legal claims such as wrongful termination. The body of employment law would become less obscure, as the numerous legal theories that cropped up as a way to get around the at-will employment doctrine would become unnecessary. Employees would still have the right to being claims for discrimination.

It’s a win-win for employers and employees. I am not advocating in this article for all of the types of provisions found in the typical union-management contract. I am taking the position that getting rid of the at-will employment doctrine through union membership is a positive benefit for American workers and employers.

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