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Calling B.S. on 8 Lies About Labor Unions

Powerful interests have spent untold sums to taint the our perception of unions. We’re debunking some of their most pervasive talking points. 


Despite a centuries-long track record of providing fairness and stability for workers, and being the backbone of America’s middle-class, unions remain shrouded in myths and misconceptions. Who's to blame for this confusion? Follow the money trail to the powerful interests funding misinformation campaigns. But don't be fooled by the anti-union propaganda— in this article, we'll debunk some of the most pervasive union myths and reveal the truth about America’s powerful protectors of worker rights.


Myth: Union work is more costly.

Nope! Despite union workers receiving higher pay and better benefits, their efficiency and superior training often make them the cost-effective option. This was recently proven in a comprehensive study of union vs non-union construction, which showed union labor is, in fact, more affordable. 


Myth: Unions take worker’s money and give nothing in return.

Not True! Union dues fund critical services like collective bargaining, legal representation, and training. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Here’s a look at how dues are collected and what they pay for.

Don't be fooled by the anti-union propaganda, we'll debunk their most pervasive union myths and reveal the truth about America’s powerful protectors of worker rights.


A map published by the National Right to Work Foundation shows the states that have enacted so-called right to work laws - which are basically laws that make collective organizing impossible and fruitless. Most of these states also have some of America's lowest median income levels. Further, this map incorrectly identifies the remaining states as "Forced Unionism States" — which is a bald-faced lie.

Myth: Unions make companies less competitive.

Wrong! Unions help create a stable and motivated workforce, which can boost productivity and contribute to a company's competitiveness. Here’s a great summary on how unions help the American economy.


Myth: Unions make it impossible to fire anyone.

Fake news! Unions ensure that workers receive due process and are not arbitrarily dismissed, protecting everyone's rights. But anyone can be terminated if there is just cause.


Myth: Unions are relics of the past. These days, the law protects workers.

Hardly! Labor laws continue to prove insufficient to protect workers from wage theft and other abuses. Unions are more relevant than ever in the construction industry, and have adapted to the cutting edge workplace as well, defending workers in the gig economy, tech sector, and beyond.


A unionization movement has taken hold in major American businesses, including Amazon, Trader Joe's, and Starbucks. Unions are perceived more favorably in recent years than they have been in decades.

Myth: Union membership is declining because workers no longer want unions.

Seriously? Union membership has declined for various reasons, including globalization and a decade’s long war on unions. However, surveys consistently show the majority of workers desperately want the protection and benefits that unions provide.


Myth: Unions lead to higher unemployment rates.

Wrong! Studies have shown that there is no correlation between unionization and unemployment rates. In fact, unions can contribute to economic stability by negotiating fair wages, which in turn increase workers' purchasing power and stimulate the economy. The Economic Policy Institute provides a detailed look at the positive outcomes unions have on many real life issues, including unemployment.

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Union membership has fallen since it's height in the 1960s. The anti-union groups spreading lies about unions has succeeded in making unionization more difficult to achieve. The cost to America has been a steady dwindling of the middle class.

Myth: Unions stifle innovation and progress.

False!  Unions advocate for training and skills development, ensuring workers stay up-to-date with industry advancements. This fosters innovation and helps companies stay competitive in the long run. They’re even leading the way on key issues like climate change.

The spread of these labor union lies is not surprising. There’s been a decades-long misinformation war funded by deep-pocketed interests who view unions as a threat to their profits and power. But the tide is turning. Everyday, more Americans are seeing through the lies and support for labor unions has risen to the highest levels in decades. 


Mark Colangelo is a writer and blogger.

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