What I'm saying is, you're brushing off what unions do and saying they aren't needed. That may be the cae in certain industries sure, but you also discount corporate greed. Corporations are in it for the dollar and will take advantage of workers unless there are laws/contractual rules in place. And you can't regulate everything about working conditions through laws, just read some of the labor laws in your state, they're plenty convoluted enough without trying to regulate everything via the legislature.
I can put my own foot in my mouth, thank you. Unlike some conservatives, I do not harbor starry-eyed illusions that bosses never exploit workers, and that workers never need represesntation or protection. This is not because of any residual liberal convictions but because —like any good conservative —I realize entrepreneurs are humans too and no human flaws will be alien to them.
The fact of the matter is, (yes, I did use the F word) the time of legal sweatshops and slave mines is over. Government organizations like OSHA provide enforcement for fair compensation, protection from unsafe work conditions, overworking, illegitimate pay practices, illegal termination and protection from retaliation for exposing such conditions (whistleblower). Sounds kinda familiar, doesn't it?
I will not argue that most of this was brought to existence because of unions, but union protection is obsolete.
Sometimes, as discussed by Steven den Beste, an organization that outlives the problem it is meant to address will successfully reinvent itself. Far more commonly, the organization will artificially seek to perpetuate a problem in order to justify its continued existence and expansion, or try to inflate residual isolated problems into grand societal challenges . The UNRWA is a tragic example; an organization like SPLC a merely farcical one.
Robert Samuelson has a must-read article in the Washington Post. How much of the workforce do unions represent? Turns out, just 11.9% nationwide. In the private sector, this drops to just 6.9%, while in the public sector, 36.2% of workers are unionized. (These numbers, actually, imply that 17.1% of the American workforce works in the public sector.) In other words, as Samuelson argues, unions are becoming largely irrelevant in the private sector, and are essentially becoming a public sector phenomenon.
Ironically, Federal government employees (as distinct from state and local ones) have greatly curtailed collective bargaining rights: While labor unions that represent federal workers do have some collective bargaining rights, provisions in the Civil Service Reform Act passed under President Carter in 1978 restrict federal employees from using it for pay or pensions and federal workers cannot be forced into a union or required to pay dues.
Pournelle’s Iron Law states that any bureaucratic organization will eventually become dominated by people that work not for its stated ends, but for the organization for its own sake and for the sake of their own private bureaucratic empires.
Is everyone going to tell me that unions are immune from corruption?