Everyone Can Profit by Embracing Unions


Last week in this space we stressed the importance of workers organizing for power in the workplace, explaining how unionizing leads to higher wages and better benefits for workers. Now, as the U.S. job market continues to grow, others see how businesses could be helped by unions as well.

A Bloomberg column published this week explains that as the labor market tightens, companies will need to guarantee they have a well-trained and dependable workforce. And the obvious way to do so will be to welcome unions into their workplaces. Sure, it will cost them more in wages and benefits than they pay currently, but there will be upside for the companies as well.

“Labor unions have economic utility by serving the needs of both the employers and workers,” the piece stated. “For workers, they’re to ensure higher pay, benefits and employment predictability. And for employers, they’re to ensure an adequate supply of labor and cost certainty.”

Too many companies have been pocketing huge profits made off the back of their workers while offering little to them in return. One Fed official last year said that if businesses want to fill jobs, they have to offer higher wages. But it is time for corporate America to follow through.

The Teamsters and other unions train their workers to be the best at what they do. They also provide courses so members can update their skill sets as their careers progress. That helps their employers and gives them a leg up on the competition.

As it stands, this country has a skilled-worker shortage. That’s something unions can help with. But in return, companies need to increase the amount of workers who are compensated for their skills and hard work with salaries and benefits that give them dignity and allow them to live a middle-class lifestyle. Embracing the collective bargaining process would accomplish both goals.

That’s why the Teamsters unveiled our “Let’s Get America Working” platform in 2015. This country must put current and future workers in a position to succeed in the workforce by having a trained workforce that is fairly compensated. Doing so will help both the nation and families from coast to coast.