UNIONS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an argument essay.

Submitted: December 17, 2011

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Submitted: December 17, 2011

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A union is a band of workers joined together to improve working conditions and rights. Unions gained strength after 1830s. Unions usually bargain for rise in wages, satisfactory retirement programs, safe working conditions and more vacation hours. In the 1900s, many people joined unions to have a voice, but today, with the Employment Standards Acts and the Rights of Employees protecting us now, there is no need for unions to form any longer.

One disadvantage of unions is the increase in expense. As a union negotiates and succeeds, the company will have to pay the workers more profit. The result is the increase of the price of the product. In August 2011, the Canadian Post agreed to raise the wages for workers. This occurred during the global economy recession which cased lots of companies to either reduce the salary or lay off employees. Furthermore, there was the Air Canada Union. The CAW convinced the company to award the CEO $4.6 billion, a 77% increase from the previous year. Because of the increase in wages, customers now have to pay more money for the product. The customer may chose to buy another company’s cheaper product, causing this company to go bankrupt or lose a significantly large amount of money.  An example, just a few years ago, US’s automobile companies (Ford, GM, etc.) almost went bankrupt because unions cause their prices to exceed the prices of Japan vehicles (Toyota). The US car companies were paying their employees $70-$80 per hour while the Japan car employees were only paid $40-$50 per hour! Both of these acts affected many people in a negative way for money.

Another key point why most people don’t support unions now is because once the provided service is broken, many people will be affected. If a union keeps negotiating and fails, they will start a strike. For example, a strike that occurred in the Sydney Airport October 31 2011 brought chaos to many people. 70,000 passengers got their flight delayed. This strike was so severe; the court had to sort it out with the help of Australia’s prime minister. Right now in the GTA, the York Transit is on strike. It affected more than 50,000 people in the community and 220 people who are part of the union. 71% of the residents voted for this strike to end, 58% are inconvenienced and 48% are extremely affected by this union. Many adults can’t get to work. They may have to arrange carpooling or taxis and may arrive late to work each day. Also, many parents have to drive their kids to high school. One of my friends has to come to school at 7 in the morning because of this strike. Another one of my friend’s parents cannot drive her after school so she has to walk for 45 minutes to get home. In fact, in New York the school bus drivers are at strike currently. Because of this strike, more than 150 000 public school students and 70 000 students who need special education are affected. In addition, the city’s education department spent $1.3 million on buying 300 000 metro cards to give to students who are suppose to be picked up by school buses. This strike also affected parents for they need to drive their kids to school.

Another reason is that it is unfair for the other workers. If the negotiate/strike is successful, the workers get paid more. The other workers working in a different company for the same position are paid less. On the other hand, union members who strike also lose money, for they don’t get income, which is a big problem for families in a bad financial situation. For example, one of my neighbors’ who worked in Hydro One went on strike a few years ago. Later she complained to us that she couldn’t spend her money like usual because she got no income at the time.

In conclusion, workers should not form unions anymore. It’s costly, inconvenient and unfair. Unions may turn a successful business into one that is going bankrupt, which will lead to many jobs lost. Many people won’t get a service and members of the union will also receive no income during a strike. The government already protects us with the Employment Standards Act and the Rights of Employees and the internet is a great source to express our voice. Therefore, unions should not form because that might lead to no job in the future.


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