Labor Union and the American Worker Argumentative Essay by Nicky

Labor Union and the American Worker
This paper discusses American labor unions and the changes in membership in the twentieth century.
# 148016 | 918 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Aug 24, 2011 in Labor Studies (General)

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This essay discusses the changes throughout labor unions over the years. It looks at both the public and private sectors. It provides details, percentages, statistics and more. It provides possible reasons for certain changes that have occurred. It concludes with the reasoning that the erosion of the countries participation in labor unions is because of the economic divide between the rich and the poor, as well as the distribution of manual labor to other parts of the world.

From the Paper:

"One particular study has found that the decline in private sector union membership in the period from 1977 to 1991 was because of the drop in worker demand for representation in the unions despite the fact that the relative supply of union jobs did not change. (Farber; Krueger, 1992) The drop in union membership can also be attributed to the growth of the service industries as compared to the smokestack industries. Service industries, in general, have almost always resisted unionization. Various industrial sectors have also exhibited differential demands for unionization. For instance, there has always been a heavy demand for unionization in the construction industry which was later replaced by the mining and transportation industries. Unionization has also been extremely high in rubber, railroads and steel industries but all of these industries have seen a dramatic fall in union membership. (Caplow; Bahr; Chadwick; Modell, 1994); (Goldfield, 1989)
One more reason for this fall has been the growth in the white collar is to blue collar worker ratio. It has been a general trend for the white collar worker in the private sector to resist joining any labor union. Obviously, the increase in the percentage of white collar workers amongst the labor force in the private industry leads to a decrease in the percentage of unionized workers. Corporate managers have also played a role in de-unionization by moving their factories from the "Frostbelt" i.e. the Northeast and Midwest to those regions of the countries, "Sunbelt" which permitted them to operate closed shops because of their traditional resistance to unionization. In the last ten years, capitalists have also stepped up their anti-labor offensive preferring to hire non-union workers. The federal government's executive branch has also been generally unsympathetic towards organized labor since 1980. (Caplow; Bahr; Chadwick; Modell, 1994); (Goldfield, 1989)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bennett, James T; Kaufman, Bruce E. (2002) "The future of private sector unionism in the United States" M.E. Sharpe.
  • Caplow, Theodore; Bahr, Howard M; Chadwick, Bruce A; Modell, John. (1994) "Recent Social Trends in the United States, 1960-1990" McGill-Queen's University Press.
  • Farber, Henry. S; Krueger, Alan. B. (1992) "Union Membership in the United States: The Decline Continues" NBER Working Paper, No. W4216. Retrieved 14 April, 2009 from
  • Goldfield, Michael. (1989) "The Decline of Organized Labor in the United States" University of Chicago Press.
  • McFadyen, Deidre. (2006) "Movement in decline" Retrieved 14 April, 2009 from

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Labor Union and the American Worker (2011, August 24) Retrieved June 26, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Labor Union and the American Worker" 24 August 2011. Web. 26 June. 2022. <>