Workers’ unions play a vital role in defending the rights of workers by ensuring that the workers are not exploited by their employers and that their rights are respected and fulfilled. UAW is a workers union in the United States which has been known for fighting for the rights of their member workers.
The acronym UAW refers to United Auto workers and is a union of workers in the automobile industry. The union was founded in 1935 in Michigan and incorporated workers of both American and African American origin. When the union first started it was quite prosperous with workers who were members of this union being among the best paid workers in the world. However this success did not last long and changes began to be felt in the seventies. Economic changes all over the world and competition from automobile markets in other countries are the major factors that contributed to the decline in membership of the UAW. This led to a decline in profits of companies that were involved in automobile products. High prices in the fuel products led to loss of markets.
By the end of the year 1973, it was clear that the UAW was facing trouble which they were required to take quick steps to correct the situation. Since the year 1973 the UAW has seen a major decline in their members. (Kauffman, 2002) By the year 1980, Michigan had gone through serious economic devastation and it was clear that the economy was almost collapsing. By the year 1980 the UAW had begun to give up most of the benefits it had accrued for its workers.
From the above introduction it is clear how UAW got into the current statues. According to an observation made what the UAW is going through currently basically signifies that this particular union which has been known to be one of the most powerful unions in the industrial sector is about to collapse and unfortunately “dies a natural death” as it were. (Kauffman, 2002) As reflected in the introduction UAW had begun facing problems and challenges since it was established. However despite all the challenges and problems they were able to rise and maintain the best posts in terms of Jobs in the whole of the United States of America.
Perhaps focusing on the second question on whether the current situation that is faced by the UAW could have been avoided, it is clear that to some extent the situation was preventable but to some other extent it was way out of hand for UAW to possibly do anything to salvage the situation. Looking at the first point the UAW could have been able to predict the occurrence of the present situation and put in place preventive measures that could have helped prevent the current crisis. According to observations made the major mistake that UAW did was failure to lay out strategies on the ways and means of competing in fast growing global market. The UAW seemed to forget that they were not the only one who mattered in the global market and that they need to come up with ways to counter competition from their rivals.
However looking at the introduction bit of it we realize that some of the factors tat affected UAW and contributed majorly to the current status faced by UAW were by and to a large extent external factors which the UAW may not have had control of. However economist argues that there is nothing that cannot be predicted in the business filed and that with the right strategies economic crises can always be avoided.
This basically means that what UAW ought to have and what any other labor union needs to do even in future to ensure that they maintain their influence now and in the future is to come with a well strategize plan on how to survive through the global market. The most important thing perhaps for unions to realize is that the global market is quite big and thus the competition is equally stiff. They therefore need to come up with a well laid down strategy which has been tried and proven workable to ensure that they are able to survive amidst heavy and stiff competition from their economic rivals. (Kauffman, 2002)
It is not easy to tell whether the current situation in UAW will still persist. However should it continue it would be detrimental to companies and societies as that would mean that the workers of the various companies and societies would not have anybody to represent them and fight for their rights. This would consequently mean that workers may end up being exploited and paid low wages leading to low production in the companies and thus the profits of the company would go down. Labor unions are therefore very significant to both the workers and the companies. (Kauffman, 2002)
It therefore follows that due to the significant role that unions like UAW play in ensuring prosperity of workers and companies for which they work for, it is of paramount importance that workers do care what happens to UAW because its collapse or its remaining strong determines to a great extent their prosperity as labor workers. UAW and indeed any other workers’ union play a great role in ensuring that rights of workers re respected and fulfilled. Every worker therefore should that which is within their means to ensure survival of UAW and any other union to which they are members.
J. T. Bennett and B. E. Kaufman, (2002) the Future of Private Sector Unionism in the United States. New York, M Sharpe