This paper would explore the proposition that one of the largely ignored reasons for the decline in union membership and density in the 21st Century is the displacement of union roles by government statutes. Over the past decade, unions have used their political clout to advocate legislation and establish regulatory agencies that supersede entirely or greatly circumscribe the scope of collective bargaining on many issues of significance to employees. When deciding whether or not to form or join a union, workers balance the costs of doing so, such as union dues, against the expected benefits, such as better working conditions and pensions. While the costs of joining unions are seemingly unaffected by most labor legislation, the potential benefits of doing so decline. Because they are already buying labor protection and mandated fringe benefits with tax dollars, workers have less incentive to join unions. The political success of unions in the past has surely played some role in undermining their future prospects, as in the case of VBY union.
It is no secret that labour unions have been declining in membership and influence for many years. The number of unionized workers in the Europe was only 16.7 million in 1990, which is approximately 16 percent of the workforce. This is less than one-half the percent unionized in the mid 1950s. Some managers view the decline of unions with glee. To them unions are non-productive, combative adversaries interfering with the harmonious and efficient operation of the company. Some of them have adopted the idea that this is pay-back time for the punishment management suffered in the sixties and early seventies when rising wages, automatic cost of living adjustments, ever-increasing benefits, strikes, and Byzantine work rule arrangements seemingly were the rule. Headlines have for years heralded the lean and mean approach of reorganizing corporations where loyalty to and from workers is a thing of the past.( Badiigannavar and Kelly,525,2005) This seems to be a return to the days of "Theory X" management when managers assumed that average people are reluctant workers who dislike their jobs, must be threatened with punishment to perform it, and seek security above all else. Is this the correct approach for management to adopt in face of the declining power of unions Or, is this a short-sighted, vindictive approach guaranteed to backfire on these managers and theft companies
Transportation and public utilities is the only service-producing sector that has traditionally exhibited union strength. In more recent decades union membership has also grown among government employees, but other service sectors only average about seven percent unionization. It is particularly meaningful that the figures project declines in mining and manufacturing from 1988 to 2000, and only government is anticipated to have sizeable growth among industries with union strength. In light of some recent highly publicized state budget deficits and cutbacks, even that projection may be overly optimistic. On the whole, the poorly-organized service division is expected to create almost