Current Events – Labor Unions

The work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force. In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed. Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the folds of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men. Letter 26, 1903.” Country Living, 10.

“The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began. Letter 200, 1903.” Ibid.

In the United States of America, 23 states currently have right-to-work laws, with the majority of them in the Southeast and through the Great Plains. Right-to-work laws restrict the financial and political power of unions, which is why the issue is generally fought along partisan lines. The ability to create such a provision was created as part of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act.

Right-to-work states basically believe that the right to live includes the right to work, and that the exercise of the right to work must be protected and maintained free from undue restraints and coercion. Therefore, in these states the right of persons to work will not be denied because of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization or association.

Contrary to the right-to-work states’ fundamental beliefs, a major large labor organization in the United States has stated that labor unions are a fundamental institution for democracy and economic development.

In January 2012, the United States President signed three union-friendly Executive Orders. The Executive Orders expressly noted the need for “strong labor unions” to support a strong middle class, and the “need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests.”

Labor unions, however, are not active only in the United States. For example, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), a worldwide union network based in Brussels, Belgium, represents 175 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates. An Internet visit to LabourStart provides daily news of labor union activity throughout the world. A recent visit there carried news from 37 countries.