The disadvantages of trade unions for employees

Written by crystal conerly
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The disadvantages of trade unions for employees
Trade unions rose up out of the American labour movement and changed the nation. (Picture Post/Valueline/Getty Images)

Originally, trade unions helped get workers benefits, better working conditions and equal treatment. While trade unions still fight for the rights of workers against big corporations and businesses, they also have some disadvantages that make some workers refuse to join. When it comes to trade unions, while they do have their perks, the disadvantages can be eye opening.

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Indvidual vs. Majority

The union represents a large group of people. Decisions are made basically democratically, where majority rules. As an individual member, you may not agree with all the decisions that are made. The decisions made are typically final, and anyone who does not like the decisions are essentially out of luck, because he has no individual voice. An individual also does not have the right, when part of a union, to negotiate directly with the employer for himself.

Union Dues

Union dues typically come directly out of a union member's paycheck just like taxes. The money collected from the union dues go to support the union's activities. In fact, even if the employee is not a part of the union, she may be required to pay union dues anyway if she works at a unionised establishment. Any member who does not pay the dues could be laid off at the union's request.

Labor Strikes

A labour strike is where every union member refuses to work until certain demands are met, bringing production to a standstill. Ideally, this will cripple the business and force the employer and owners to accept the demands of the union. While seeking better benefits, higher pay and safer working conditions is a noble cause, labour strikes can be difficult for workers. Employers don't always meet the union's demands during strikes, and lost wages during strikes aren't recovered. Once the strike is over, union members have no guarantee that they'll even have a job to go back to because employers aren't required by law to rehire them.

Fines

A union can levy fines on a member who breaks the rules of the union's constitution or acts in a way considered not becoming of a union member. These fines can be brought about because of a union member crossing a picket line, seeking out a different union or being too productive. Production quotas are commonplace in trade unions. The courts will enforce the fines.

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