Is it true that unions are responsible for factories and industries leaving the US?

I hear it everywhere, that union wages and benefits, far beyond what the market bears, are the cause of steel mills, paper factories, even car factories leaving the US so they can make more affordable products.

Is that why unions are so unpopular, and their membership in industry is declining so fast?

16 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I have been a member of 3 unions in my long lifetime and I can tell you the unions sure aren't helping keeping jobs in this country...they advocate having 3 people doing the job of one and paying them to the point they will bankrupt a company before accepting less wages. General Motors retired workers are the biggest consumers of Viagra in this country at 10 million dollars a year and General Motors pays for every cent of it. Now, how the hell is a company responsible for the Viagra their retired employees use.

  • 9 years ago

    Not at all.

    Union membership in the US was the highest in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. And that is also exactly when US production and profitability was at it's peak. So the contention that unions force businesses to become non-competitive doesn't fit.

    And as we saw during the GM loan bail out, Japanese auto workers made only slightly less than the US counterparts and yet Japanese auto makers are very profitable. Why? Japanese corporations control their over head. They use Japanese made steel, Japan has universal health care so that expense is gone for the company, and corporate executive salaries are about 1/3 of the typical US auto company.

  • 9 years ago

    Cant tell. Its something that cant be estimated by anyone but the union themselves.

    A good union will watch the situation and plan to break up the union of it is required to maintain the work.

    What if a union was inventing unique solutions that could not be provided elsewhere? Then wages could be higher. But the ability to lower wages to compete with outsourcing (and shipping) costs, factoring in as many other things as can be imagined (as a good economist would do).

    Demanding high(er) wages can only harm the economy. The economy is providing goods and services to the people who demand them, and the ability for it to happen.

    If pay is drastically different, the reality of efficiency must be in mind.

    So, unions can be good, unions can be bad, and there's no telling so leave it to the businesses & unions hired economists.

  • 9 years ago

    The percentage of US workers in unions has been declining since the early 1960s. If companies left the United States because of unions, they would have been gone for 50 years by now.

    With or without unions, labor is far cheaper overseas.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It has to do more with Free Trade. Before the 90's, there were more tariffs and dues traders had to pay, thus manufacturing over seas wasn't as feasible as it is now. With free trade, Unions and everyday Americans now have to deal with the race to the bottom in order to compete with places like China and India.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    If that is true than only 10% of the US manufacturing jobs are in China


    all the current US manufacturing jobs are non-Union

  • 9 years ago

    No, when you compare labor prices to China of course companies are going to leave. Why make 400 percent profit in America when you could make 700 percent profit in China.

  • 9 years ago


    i'm absolutely fascinated with this particular talking point.

    right now the american work force is 7% unionized.

    take away police, fire and teachers unions and that number goes down to less than 5%.

    how is it that less than 5% of the workforce is responsible for this corporate race to the basement? or any other nationawide policy for that matter?

    the short answer is that this is just a brainless talking point with no validity at all.

    corporations and their shills will need to find a new boogie man to justify their betrayal of the american nation, people, and her economy.

    there just aren't enough unionized workers left to blame anything on...

  • 9 years ago

    In some cases yes and otherwise it was all the government regulations that sent them away. Peace

  • 9 years ago

    Forcing companies to do the right thing will always lead them to find ways to do the wrong thing somewhere else...

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.