Attacks on union finances are intensifying. These assaults, which come in various forms, have the potential to jeopardize the current systems of labor relations in the United States in both private and public sectors. This essay analyzes what might happen if the challenges are successful. Unions may shrink further in size or power, or alternatively, respond to new conditions in ways that strengthen them. Removal of union security might prompt legal change such as elimination of the duty of fair representation, elimination of the system of exclusive representation, or permitting the union to charge nonmembers for actual representation. These changes, if they occur, will be disruptive although they might result in a system more suited to today’s workplace. Regardless of the immediate outcome, it seems certain that labor-management conflict will not be eliminated, though it may be diverted for a time or changed in form.
This article was accepted and published by Springer International Publishing AG, in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal.
Ann C. Hodges, Imagining U.S. Labor Relations without Union Security, 28 Emp. Rep. & Rts. J. 135 (2016).