Labor Union: Pros + Cons

While looking at all the different aspects of what makes a labor union unique, I found there to be an interesting contrast between the pros and cons.When researching about unions, one of the things that stood out to me was the limits that it sets for managers and employers (Swift, 2022). It was interesting to me that promoting, hiring and terminating within unions are processes that rely heavily on seniority of the employee, rather than performance based (Stevenson, 2022). My opinion of the union’s process of hiring, firing and promoting is a big con, mostly because it sets the standard low for employees by making the goal of the job to be the longest employee there, rather than the hardest working employee. Another aspect regarding labor unions that stood out to me was the controversy surrounding union membership, as well as the difference between open and closed shops. Based on the article, I learned that open shops do not require employees to pay fees to the union, but closed shops will only hire individuals who are members of the union (Stevenson, 2022). This is bizarre to me because it’s essentially an individual paying an organization to allow them to work. In contrast to these cons, there are some impressive pros to the labor union such as providing employees protection and being able to provide better benefits and wages through collective bargaining (Stevenson, 2022). Unions provide employees protection through their unity being a “way out” for individuals who feel undervalued by the management and environment of their jobs (Swift, 2022). With all this being said, personally, I would not want to join a union. This is simply because of the typical hiring, firing, promoting and demoting processes of labor unions that I consider to be a big downfall, even amongst the highlighted pros. I rationalize this because of the appeal that a ‘work hard, play hard’ environment brings me. I want to contribute to a work environment where hard work is noticed and rewarded.


Stevenson, M. (2022, November 28). Pros and cons of Labor Unions. HR Exchange Network. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from 

Swift, M. (2022). Week 10: Lecture 1. Introduction to Labor Relations.

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