For most of my life, unions have been the chief advocates for many employees around the world. For 100 years, unions have worked hard to provide safe working conditions and fair benefits for employees in many nations.
However, if you have taught or taken Business 101, you would know that there are KEY STAKEHOLDERS with every Business. Here are the key players: 1) Employees, 2) Owners/Investors, 3) the Community, 4) the Customers, and 5) the Suppliers. What the business books do not tell you is that the federal and state governments have become the 6th and primary stakeholder where the government is now the biggest obstacle to worker benefits, success, freedom, and global competitiveness.
My theory for the last decade is that the unions have done their important work over the last 200 years. There is little more for unions to do with aggressive bargaining with their bosses, shareholders, and companies because if any one stakeholder asks too much, the business goes bankrupt within the global competitive markets. This result of failure is because there is not just one playing field of country law, tax code, and business regulation etc. Each company within any other nation has their stakeholders with their own local rules, regime, taxes, regulations, and sovereign laws to contend with.
Thus, the only other entity in the USA that is left over for unions to bargain with without inflicting bankruptcy upon the primary stakeholders is the government. Therefore, the union’s chief job in the 21st century is to bargain with the government for fair or better treatment via less burdens, less taxes, better health benefits and less regulations.
That leaves us with the Trump Effect. The Trump strategy meant that government leaders, from the “top down,” would work to facilitate a business-friendly environment for: workers, companies, employees, communities, buyers, suppliers and investors.
In theory, President Donald J. Trump was the new union boss for millions of working Americans, whereby he facilitated productivity, competition and a better environment for workers.
In sum, real leaders of unions and government should work to level the playing field for all local businesses and communities. Before Trump, the USA had the worst corporate tax system in the world. Trump changed that to make the USA more competitive.
Sadly, tax policy affects a worker’s retirement, health care, education, surviving spouses and children. With the new Tax Code of 2022, small and large USA companies are struggling again to retain revenues, which limits money and benefits available to employees and restricts the amount discretionary spending on Main Street by workers in the USA. The new tax laws in 2022 also affect retirement benefits of union members, with higher taxes during life and for surviving spouses and heirs.
According to Gallup, more than one in three workers employed by the government (37%) belong to a union, versus 7% of all private sector employees. The prime reason for government workers to be members of a Union is to make sure they get the raises, benefits, vacations, and health care that meets government worker needs. However, the private sector and tax-paying companies do not have the same deep pockets that the government has. Thus, government unions are able to influence government benefits and politicians much more easily than unions in the corporate world.
Overall, unions have a great purpose to fight for private-sector workers, but they only have one enemy left, and that is over-burdensome politicians and bureaucrats in government.
George Mentz JD MBA CILS is a CWM Chartered Wealth Manager ®, global speaker - educator, tax-economist, international lawyer and CEO of the GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management ®. The GAFM is an ESQ EU accredited graduate body that offers certification training in 150+ nations under ISO 21001 and ISO 9001 standards. Mentz is also an award winning author and graduate law professor of wealth management in the USA. Mentz, an award winning professor, has taught over 250 courses in law, business, wealth economics, and ethics in the last 25 years for accredited law and business schools. Mentz is the author of over 60 books and audio books.
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