stuck on attempting to finish a paper. what I have so far:
What generational aspects (i.e., baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y) have influenced labor unions and will continue to do so?
8-12 pages; 6 scholarly sources; due tonight
Over time the number of labor union memberships have slowly been on the decline. Labor unions were established during the 19th Century, as a means to combat issues within the workplace. Issues such as safety, fair wages and benefits, fair working hours (such as working 8 hours a day rather than 12 or more). A labor union is defined as, “an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/labor%20union). Changes in demographics have played a role with the decline in union memberships but generational aspects play a role in this as well.
A baby boomer is defined as, “a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/baby–boomer?). Baby boomers represented a large number of the population for decades but over the years there have been changes in demographics and culture. “In 1960, 35 percent of all non-agricultural workers in the United States belong to a union. But by 1980 that portion had fallen to under a quarter, and by 1989 to about 17” (https://books.google.com/books?&lr=&&&&+membership+with+baby+boomers&-yVh1zf9&-QgtlEhKj4AQZPc#&&).
One reason for the decline of union memberships with generations X and Y are that “employees do not see labor unions as a viable solution to any workplace issues they may have” (http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/news-analysis/labor-unions-are-deador-at-least-on-life-support.html). It goes on to further explain that it is more challenging for a union to gain more members when there are “structured and persuasive leadership”, that keeps employees up-to-date to the risks of unionizing and its consequences. In doing so, employers are combatting any early on thoughts of labor unions. This helps the employer to keep unions out of the minds of their employees, which protects the company from any threats of a rise in union numbers amongst their employees and that will be less concerned about any union related activities. Raymo conducted a study that indicated that the number of employees in labor unions had fallen from 0.28 in 1970 to 0.12 in 2007, it goes on to explain that it is “because unionized jobs are more likely to provide employment security, benefits, and higher pay, declining union membership is closely related to the increase in precarious employment and bad jobs” (file:///C:/Users/Elizabeth/Desktop/J%20Gerontol%20B%20Psychol%20Sci%20Soc%20Sci-2011-Raymo-249-59.pdf). “As long as unions have the image of representing older workers, older industries, and declining industries, this is going to be a tough sell” (Unions And Gen-X: What Does The Future Hold?.” HR Focus 80.3 (2003): 3. Business Source Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2016). Younger generations are the least unionized due to more unfavorable impressions they have had regarding unions. Another reason is because with the U.S being more industrialized economy means that there are fewer private sector jobs that are unionized and fairly restrictive labor laws can make it difficult for organizing a union. There is also employer intimidation, which can create more difficulty in regards to organizing a union for fear of an employer discovering and retaliating against employees. Another issue is what younger generations expect out of unions. Being that dues are paid to the unions, younger generations tend to expect unions to serve their needs and solicit their opinions (http://www.ngenperformance.com/blog/leadership-2/the-future-of-unions-engaging-all-four-generations). However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Unions represent all unionized workers, not just one generation. Giselle goes on to explain that younger generations also expect unions to work toward a collaborative model and unions need to focus more on engaging younger generations if they hope to gain a larger membership base with them.