He was never rich, never drove a Cadillac, still won't drive anything japanese, but managed to put his three daughters through college with his savings and a little help from scholarships.
He and my grandmother have been able to remain in their tiny coal-town home, and not go bankrupt due to medical expenses because of his union retirement pension. And he still ain't driving Cadillacs, just dodges.
HE is what made this country strong. Any problems with that?
I always loved that argument. If it wasn't for the unions we wouldn't make neare anything. Guess what stuff wouldn't cost as much either. Unions make costs of labor higher which in turn makes cost of goods higher.
It is possible that unions were a needed instrument of evolution of the industrial age, much like other historical progressions toward a better understanding of how working with the labor force can benefit both management and workers. However, it can then be time to move toward the next step in the evolution. I believe that next step is for workers and management to realize that each is important to the ultimate goal of producing quality in their products (or services) for the benefit of the customers, the workers, and the shareholders. Some small businesses, and some pretty large ones, have done that even without the presence of unions.
We might look to Japan where companies attempt to give workers a sense of familial attachment to the company. Perhaps it was a lesson learned from the history of union activity, or perhaps it was also due in part to their culture.
We should always be ready learn from history. The good that the unions did, is something to learn from. The harm that came with power of unions and the abuses that took place are also something to learn from. I don't think management can ever again take their labor force for granted as they did before the age of unions.
Unions drive up labor rates by restricting competition of workers. That should be considered anti-trust, but it is supported by the politicians in exchange for hefty contributions. If unions would team with management and focus on increasing worker productivity instead of trying to create make work jobs. Then workers could truly earn pensions and such instead of extorting them.