Do labor unions provide an overall benefit to workers in the US?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found.
Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position.
Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), in a July 9, 2006 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article titled "Euro-Liberals' Extortion of U.S. Firms," stated:
"Simply put, survival of Big Labor is at stake. The union bosses in America have seen their ranks steadily shrink as years of unreasonable demands to work less and earn more have forced employer after employer to shut down domestic manufacturing plants -- particularly in the textile industry. This leaves labor union leaders with no choice but to expand abroad to maintain their customary lifestyles.
To do this, big labor is trying to organize a campaign to leverage easily duped or intentionally corrupted 'human rights' groups to smear the reputations of manufacturers in developing nations who refuse to cave in to forced unionization demands."
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), issued the following statement through her Press Secretary, John Judge, in an Oct. 30, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes. The rights of workers to organize and form unions is an important right essential to protecting adequate wages, worker safety and health, and job security. Through proposed legislation that would undercut job training and apprenticeship, remove rights to organize and collectively bargain, and restrict union speech activities, efforts continue to rescind and restrict traditional rights of workers. I oppose these and other efforts to roll back the existing rights of workers, and I will continue to protect the necessary ability of workers to organize and strive towards better wages, benefits, working conditions and training." Oct. 30, 2008 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in an article titled "Worker's Rights" on his official candidate website (accessed Oct. 30, 2008):
"The notorious Taft-Hartley Act that makes it extremely difficult for employees to organize unions needs to be repealed. It has resulted in less than 10% of the private workforce being unionized, the lowest in 60 years and the lowest percentage in the western world...
The percentage of union members in the private economy has dropped below ten percent, the lowest in over sixty years. At the heart of this decline are labor laws which throw insurmountable barriers before organizing efforts.
With the demise of union influence, almost every aspect of workers' rights is given short shrift. The minimum wage has been allowed to languish far behind inflation as executive pay skyrockets." Oct. 30, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in an Apr. 2, 2008 article titled "Remarks for Senator Barack Obama: AFL-CIO" on his official candidate website, stated:
"...[A]s I look out on this crowd and as I travel across this country, the one thing I know for certain is that labor unions are still mobilizing. Labor unions are still organizing. And you're still fighting to give America's working people a voice in Washington.
I'm tired of playing defense. I know the AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization] is tired of playing defense. We're ready to play some offense. We're ready to play offense for a decent wage. We're ready to play offense for retirement security...
We're ready to play offense for organized labor. It's time we had a President who didn't choke saying the word 'union.' A President who knows it's the Department of Labor and not the Department of Management. And a President who strengthens our unions by letting them do what they do best - organize our workers. If a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union."
Apr. 2, 2008 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)