Automation and the consequential reduction of labor intensive industries do not negate the importance of unions. Instead, these affirm the very basis why unions must exist.
In developed countries such as the U.S. and those in Western Europe, automation has become a trend. As this sweeps many companies, the jobs of many workers are being threatened. This indeed calls for the establishment of unions as job defense mechanisms. At least, if they have to be laid off, they are organized to bargain better retrenchment compensation. As of August 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there are 14.9 million Americans who are unemployed. (Employment Situation Summary) This large figure, however, does not substantiate the argument that labor unions are no longer necessary. Instead, it further reinforces the argument that workers need protection from arbitrary, unjust, and sudden mass terminations by companies. The greater the number of the unemployed becomes, the cheaper the wages may tend to be offered by employers to job applicants. This is a basic law in the labor market. If the workers want to free themselves from such meager wages and unfair labor practices, then they need to organize themselves in order to effectively bargain for better benefits and salaries. It is only through the unions that this can be made