The existence of labor unions has been an issue of many discussions about their role and the necessity of their maintenance. While there are many myths regarding the functions of the unions, the coverage of these issues in the media does not provide any proof of these myths. Thus, this paper analyses one of the cases related to the activity of labor unions, which is the provision of protects against the Kaiser Permanent, aimed at the protection of union members.
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The situation with Kaiser Permanent implies a significant role of a labor union in organizing the workers on strike. However, this case does not support a myth that unions enjoy strikes. First of all, the unions prefer negotiations as their leading method of managing the issues with employers. Nevertheless, in this situation, negotiations were not effective because the company did not admit that the presented information was true.
The rumors were that 700 layoffs were expected in Southern California, which made the workers worried (“Labor union continues with scheduled protests,” 2018). Therefore, due to the support of the union, the employees of Kaiser Permanente were staging a series of protests throughout California. They believed that “health care provider is thriving financially, but still plans to outsource some jobs, and cut wages for some new hires” (Klivans, 2018, para. 6).
Another myth that is ruined by the situation represented in the media is the one related to the fact that unions frequently make unreasonable demands and only collect money (“Want the straight goods of Unions?” 2008). In the case under consideration, the financial aspects of unions are not reflected. Instead of financial claims, the union workers were concerned about outsourcing pharmacy warehouses and, therefore, laying off 700 employees (“Labor union continues with scheduled protests,” 2018). In the described case, the demands of the union and workers on strike are justified and reasonable. Consequently, this myth is uncovered too.
Finally, the case of Kaiser Permanente proves the necessity of the worker’s unions, thus denying the myth that such unions were necessary for the past and became useless at present (“Want the straight goods of Unions?” 2008). Nevertheless, labor unions can be more needed today than they used to be. Present-day corporations are huge and frequently focused on the result disregarding the needs of workers. Moreover, contemporary corporations are stronger, and a single person can hardly get to higher management in case of any problems. In this case, labor unions can be used as intermediaries between the employees and the leadership of the company to protect the interests of workers.
On the whole, the reviewed case provided evidence that labor unions are not only typical of the past but are suitable for contemporary conditions. Therefore, the unions provide certain benefits for their members despite the existing myths that understate the significance of labor unions for different spheres that face diverse situations at work. Thus, employees can be subjected to discrimination for race or gender, be not treated equally due to some disabilities, or be at the risk of dismissal. In all of the mentioned circumstances, labor unions have the power to support the employees and provide them with the necessary legal support. Therefore, it can be concluded that the popular myths about commercialism or the uselessness of labor unions are exaggerated, and such unions can be helpful if managed properly.
Klivans, L. (2018). Labor union pressures Keiser Permanente with protests across the state. Web.