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Labor Unions: Harmful to the Economy

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.4 
  • Words: 1701
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The Labor Unions of 2003 look nothing like the original Labor Unions of 1886 created by Samuel Gompers. Once used to protect people’s rights now is too powerful and is trampling those same rights that were once protected. Labor Unions, which did shorten the workweek and workday and improve working conditions through collective bargaining, shifted their strategy to politics.   Thomas Jefferson once said that “to compel a man, to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.” (Wilson, Online)   Labor Unions fit this description as forcing union dues to all those with a specific job and have become tyrants in the government. Labor Unions “have betrayed their heritage by becoming too involved in partisan politics” (Steelman, Online).   For this drastic shift in policy, Labor Unions are hurting the economy and not doing what they were intended to do in the first place. Labor Union membership has declined recently because it has become too political and has a negative impact on the economy.


Samuel Gompers created the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1886. As the first elected president, “Gompers worked towards wage increases, shortened workweeks, and improving working conditions in industry after industry”(Steelman, Online). Gompers also was very “wary of embroiling the AFL in politics of any kind”(Steelman, Online).   He made sure that labor kept “its distance both from socialism and from partisan politics, focusing instead on organizing and winning concessions from business through collective bargaining” (Weinstein, Online). Today, labor unions have turned from what Gompers believed and have become huge political machines. “Workers who once formed the backbone of the American labor movement now find themselves paying higher and higher fees to unions that are paying less and less attention to the real interests of their...

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