The involvement of labor unions in political campaigns is important. One advantage of having labor unions involved in political campaigns is that the unions are able to encourage the voting in the leaders who are concerned about the workers welfare. Political leaders who are not committed to improve the welfare of the workers become less likely to assume into leadership, and this makes it important for unions to get involved in political campaigns.
For example, the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations has in the past endorsed political leaders who have advocated for an increase in minimum wage and improvement of the workers welfare (Online New Hour. October 13, 1999, np). In this case, unions can influence the workers to only vote for leaders who can address their concerns. Labor unions are able to pursue their policies that aim at improving the welfare of their members when they get involved in political issues that affect the welfare of its members. As associations, labor unions express the views of the workers.
In order to win the political support that will ensure that the wellbeing of the workers is addressed, labor unions need to be involved in expressing their opinions about policies that relate to workers through political campaigns. Since the policies that labor unions support demands for political good will, the labor unions can derive the political good will from the leaders if they take part in political campaigns. The labor unions should be involved in political campaigns in order to form strong organizations that will be able to effectively represent the views of the workers.
This is because, the unions’ involvement attracts the support of the leaders who are often involved in the campaigns. The political leaders become law makers when they assume office after being elected. Because law plays an important role in the activities of labor unions, it is advisable that unions become involved in forums that attract potential law makers. This is a good way of laying a foundation upon which the unions’ policies will be supported. Engaging in discussions with political leaders during political campaigns enables the labor unions to work effectively with the political leaders in future.
In addition, establishing good relations with political leaders increases the possibility of getting great political support from the leaders for policies that address the welfare of the workers. The labor unions should be involved in political campaigns so as to effectively counter the special interests of the wealthy and the corporations. The interests in many cases are to the disadvantage of the workers or the union members. In addition, the involvement of labor unions in political campaigns assist them to identify political factors that in one way or another shape the policies that relate to the workers.
Since the unions’ success depend on their ability to refer to the policies when working out a positive course of action, political involvement that shape the workers policies is beneficial to the workers and the unions. Labor unions are able to carry out their role of collective bargaining when they get involved in political campaigns. For example, some labor unions have acknowledged that their primary interest is based on collective bargaining. In order to advance the interest of their members who are unable to bargain collectively, labor unions need to use both legislative and political machinery.
Being involved in political campaign is one way of doing this. In addition, the labor unions involvement in political campaigns assists the unions to solve the problems that cannot be solved through economic methods. The labor unions advocate for the civil rights of the people, and this requires political support of those in leadership. For example, the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Act of 1965 was established with the support of political leaders (Kelber, np) How unions should be involved in political campaigns One way through which labor unions can be involved in political campaigns is by giving their opinion about different political figures.
During political campaigns, many political leaders tend to request for votes from the citizens based on what they have done or what they intend to do for the citizens. Labor unions should come out during political campaigns to support leaders who have in the past defended the freedom of the workers or those who have been engaged in efforts to improve the wellbeing of the workers (Thomas, p 32). It is the responsibility of the labor unions to acknowledge leaders who are concerned about the workers welfare.
In addition, the unions should discourage workers from electing leaders who do not support policies that address their problems. Endorsing certain political leaders during the election season is one of the ways through which the labor unions should be involved. Labor unions should consult each other in order to discuss the concerns of the workers. This they should do by organizing workshops and discussion forums. What is discussed and agreed upon during these forums can then be presented in political forums by the labor unions’ representatives.
The representatives can then be offered an opportunity to address supporters so as to guide their thoughts on the most appropriate political leader that they should elect. Labor unions should empower their members to be actively involved in efforts that aim at pressuring the political leaders and parties to support union policies. The union members can then be able to speak out about the challenges that they encounter while at same time demanding the solutions to the problems experienced. Labor unions should also encourage their members to vie for political positions.
By so doing, the labor unions are able to increase their support when some of its members get the political power to support the union policies once the members are elected (Lowell, p 23). Furthermore, members who are elected are able to vote for bills and policies that are advantageous to the workers. When labor unions manage to have some of its members in political positions, it becomes easier for the unions to influence decisions that are made about the welfare of the workers. Conclusion Politics encompass the social relations that relate to the authority of power.
The welfare of the people or the workers which many governments seek to cater for is therefore related to politics. Labor unions have a responsibility to represent the opinion of the workers and to pressure the political leaders and parties to address the problems that workers face. There is need for the unions to be involved in political campaigns, because the forums provide the unions with an opportunity to win the political goodwill that the unions require to work well.
Works Cited AFL-CIO Endorses Gore. October 13, 1999. Online New Hour www. pbs.org/newshour/election2000/afl-cio_index. html Accessed on December 16, 2008 Campbell, McConnell, and Stanley, Brue. Contemporary Labor Economics. McGrawHill Publishers, 2007 Carroll, Mollie. Labor and Politics. Ayer Publishing, 1969 Kelber, Harry. Why Unions are in Politics twu567. org/uploadpages/legDir/WhyUnions. htm. Accessed on December 16, 2008 Lowell, Turner. Fighting for Partnership: Labor and Politics in Unified Germany Cornell University Press, 1998 Thomas, Cleveland . The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938 . JHU Press, 1992