Can Organized Labor Unions Survive in Global Economy?


Labor unions have been engaged in the struggles for their employees on the various rights and issues which they feel should be handled amicably by the employers both locally and nationally. It’s through this that the employees have been able to communicate well throughout the country for an urgent address of the problem. The economy has been the main focus which may hinder their demands but it’s also out of their products that the economic situations of the country and the global scenes at large are used in the determination. This paper finds out whether the labor unions can survive in the current global economy. There is also a hypothesis that the labor unions can survive in the current economy. This is because over the years the labor unions have been in the forehead in spearheading the economic, political, and social policies being implemented in a country both locally and on the national level.


The labor unions in today’s economy can still survive as they are the main stakeholders in the enhancement of the economic position of a country and their respective employers.

Literature review

There has been an indication that organized labor unions harm the companies and the economy at large. This simply means that the unions have the power to change the economic perspective of the company and the country at large. The economy, therefore, is affected greatly by the actions and decisions of organized labor unions. There have been clear indications that the public also has been worried over the economy due to the organized labor unions. The impact can be overwhelming. Their survival is imminent as they can as well be at the forefront in establishing their core values and the radical changes. The labor unions have great significance on the positive to the economy. They also did play a major role in the elections of Barrack Obama as the President of the United States hence their impact is far much wide and their survival is not limited to any form of suppression as reported by Marot (2009). This is because the labor unions have been actively involved in the support of policies and reforms which have been put forward by a party. This has been done with them having been involved in the formulation of such policies hence their survival in the current economic challenges is not hard as their issues have been voiced up through the reforms in the parties manifesto. This implies that the organized labor unions have been empowered by their vision which results in their growth in their bargaining strength and the number of members. Guthrie (2002) indicated that the social changes which have been experienced by the organized labor unions have been of great advantage to them in all ways and it’s of great advantage to them concerning their management level and articulation of their respective demands.


The organized labor unions can greatly survive all the storms that they may face in their respective nation or company as the employers and the economy at large tries to limit their access to their bargaining power. It’s through this that the various labor unions have been able to unite themselves locally and international level. The labor unions have to consolidate their efforts to meet their current pressing demands which have to be met without any undue pressure given the prevailing economic conditions. A good example is better housing which the unions and the community at large may support one another in pressing for their realization. This is where the employees are having good houses where they can stay comfortably with their families which makes them satisfied and concentrate on their work. Such social responsibility of the company will motivate the employees on their service delivery and productivity will be enhanced. It’s through the readiness and willingness of the employees that high production is achieved without undue pressure. This also ensures that the company and the nation at large can realize its profitability despite the prevailing economic conditions hence the labor unions are surviving and fully active in their roles.

There is an increasing perception of many people that the unions are economically beneficial to their affiliated members. This is a major concern that ensures that the members or rather the employees are well taken care of by their respective companies and the national economy. If the union is dormant in their roles, they are the ones who will be hard hit by the economic situations which are being experienced by the nation. The organized labor union has a responsibility to ensure that the economic conditions which they face do not hinder their quest for their demands (Gordon & Turner, 2000).

There has been increased demand for the labor unions in the determination of the reforms which fits their means of operation and their ways of controlling the laws which are being passed by the government. Their involvement is of great benefit and it has established itself in establishing a concrete and highly active organized union. The organized union is the one that has ensured that the policies which have been forwarded for approval are relevant will ensure that their position will not be eroded by the current economic situation. This has ensured that the labor unions are of great importance and will not be wiped out in the country’s economy. The labor unions have also ensured that their survival in the countries’ economy is viable and that the policies which have and those which are being scrutinized for actions apply to their ways and means of operation.


The organized labor union has been significant in articulating issues affecting their matters which are concentrated at their economic perspective. A happy worker means that his/her productivity level is high. High production of a worker will result in instability in the economic situation of the company and the national level at large. This there implies that the organized labor unions are very important in the sensitization of the demands of the employees to improve the economic situations of their employers. The unions have been prioritizing their economic concerns to make their concerns viable and long-lasting to their members. Organized unions are coming together all over the world so to fight the common concerns of their same employers. This gives them an upper hand in realizing their concerns irrespective of the industry. The organized union is powerful in the fighting for its member’s rights which involves improved working conditions, better housing, better pay, and increased realization of the promotions. These have been achievable to the employees who have enjoyed the benefits of being members of the organized unions.

The organized labor unions have been strategizing the way forward in articulating their concerns without fear and encouraging their members to stand firm in the fight to attain their objectives despite the economic conditions. Labor education also has made organized labor meet their objectives in their real-life situations irrespective of the prevailing economic conditions. The economic matters have been of great impact to their objects before this but now they can work towards attaining them. The unions have established their way of offering technical training to their members on how best they can champion their grievances through collective bargaining. This has been necessary for them to establish a well-educated membership who rally behind their union in the fight against any matter that will infringe on their employment and economic situation. This empowers the union more as all the members have the power and reasons as to why they are participating on the union agendas. Being involved in political matters has also ensured that their questions and problems are answered. This has ensured that the labor unions’ demands survive under the worse economic situations.

The standards of living of the employees have to be defended by the organized union. Living standards are not subjected to the economic matters of the employees and that’s why the employees have to be continually paying for their mortgages hence any economic interference of the employees will have to be articulated through the organized union. This makes the union stronger and lively in the realization of its member’s objectives. The power of the unions has been increasing over time enabling them to gain more trust and stakes from their members hence the economic situations will make them survive.

The organized labor of today has a vision that ensures that they do not go overboard in their actions and operations. The union has been able to have the relevant and viable vision statements which have ensured that they operate within them. This has ensured that the operations are well planned for and well organized with even the help of professionals in the particular field. This ensures that the operations are carried out in a very prepared way to ensure that the people who are to convey the message can have a stable ground in the articulating of the issues. This has ensured that organized labor can operate in the current economy without any major shakeups and thus they can survive. The organized labor unions participate in the political scenes in the current world; hence the policies which they support have to be first supported by the candidate they will vote for. This keeps the spirit of the organized union going and hence no issue relates to the collapse or them being carried away by the economic situations in the world. This has been able to ensure that their survival is enhanced without any difficulty.

In the United States of America, the labor unions were involved actively in the campaigns for President Obama in a move which was to ensure that their policies will be implemented so that they can survive in the current economy. The organized labor unions have been of great importance as they are part of the victory of the presidents ascend to the powerful and the most influential seat in the world. Their efforts are not going away without being recognized as the policies which touch on their operations will be highly considered. This ensures that the hopes of the organized labor unions are well taken care of and their continuity is well measured with a clear victory in the current economy and the future economic challenges.

The globalization concept has been of great use to organized labor unions. This has ensured that the unions can tackle their issues from an international perspective hence their ability to survive is enhanced. Some policies have been set which controls how the organized labor unions are supposed to conduct their policies. This has ensured that the labor unions are well organized and read from the same script which enables them to have a strong battle against any force which is against their policies and wishes. This has ensured that the various organized labor unions will partner with other countries in the articulation of various policies and reforms which are of great benefit to them. This partnership also will be of great importance to the unions as they will be able to face common employers in the issues which affect them in their respective countries or rather in their employment. This makes it much easier for them to attain their requirements as they will be able to have a firm foundation in their struggles. This ensures that the unions in all the affected countries and those others who are in other countries but solidarity with the fight for their demands. The fight against the common employer is very important through the cooperation of the unions in various countries. This has been very important as a way of pragmatic solidarity which has enhanced the fight of the common employers and policies which have been implemented which are of great disadvantage to the employees in general. The policies which are being passed and require the support of the member of the union are impossible if the union is in disagreement with it.

Organized labor unions are faced with several challenges in today’s global economy which has become more unstable and dynamic hence unpredictable. From the year 2008, the global economy has been tumultuous beginning with the burst of the housing bubble, to the foreclosures, the financial crisis, and finally ended up with the whole world’s economy being shaken to the core. Given the fact that labor supply and demand play an integral part in building and running any economy, it has not been left unaffected by the economic crisis. For instance, workers in the building and construction sectors have been laid off because the industry has shrunk. After all, investors are holding out capital for speculative purposes. They simply want to observe the market hoping that people are going to dispose of their homes cheaply and therefore no need to invest now.

The main issues with organized labor unions in today’s economy range from management, cash flows as well as membership entry and exit. The members’ and publics’ point of view is that management affairs of labor unions are not well run, led by incompetent and greedy individuals who do not uphold the virtues of the average worker. Many are the times that the members of a union want to forcefully evict the management from a legally elected office because their views, as they feel, are not being taken care of as they should be. The management and other tussles facing the organized labor unions today greatly hamper its operations to an extent that in today’s unstable economy they may face extinction. The global economy itself predisposes the organized labor unions to several other problems given the fact that the activities of these unions are determined by the economical wellbeing of the members and relevant stakeholders.

There have been issues of cash flows within the organized labor unions. To start with is that running a union is no mean feat without adequate financial endowment. Usually, most of the unions run their activities from the contributions of the members and from the court cases they win on behalf of the members whenever possible. The latter source, however, is unreliable whilst the former is highly dependent on the continuity of membership by the affiliates. More often, if a member feels that his or her concerns are not taken care of, he or she may opt to cut out the membership in favor of one or none at all. Yet still, with the little funds that the unions run on, there is a case of corruption and embezzlement. Several financial audits of labor unions have disclosed that there are unexplained expenditures including missing monies. It is no longer a matter of perception but a reality that the financial management of these unions is highly questionable about expenditure decisions as well as investment. Without proper financial discipline, the labor unions cannot survive through the current economic times considering that the availability of credit itself is a problem yet inflation and unemployment is at an all-time high.

Another issue facing organized labor unions is the politics within them. We all know that leadership succession in most unions is usually a cause for alarm. After every election, the losers may gang up together to form a splinter group which may be a stumbling block to the new team, or may start a parallel union disintegrating the existing one and consequently weakening it.


The significance of the labor unions is a matter which cannot be ignored as it’s a force that has to be listened to. This has been the trend in most countries and has found themselves bowing down to the demands of the organized labor unions and striking deals which are at a balance between the union and the employers or the nation. There have been agreements that are being signed by the unions for the sake of its members indicating the commitment of the employers and the government to honor their demands. These agreements mostly relate to meeting the union’s demands in phases to enable them not to be shaken or weakened economically under any economic situation. This has been of great challenge to the employer and the country as the organized unions wins by the end of the day and hence they survive through the economic situations.


  1. Gordon, M.E. & Turner, L. (2000). Transnational cooperation among labor unions. New York: Cornell University Press
  2. Guthrie, G.G. (2002). Labor unions: champions of social justice. Washington, DC: Georgetown University
  3. Marot, H. (2009). American Labor Unions. New York: BiblioBazaar

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