- Subject index
Unions in America provides a concise and current introduction to what America's labor unions do and why they do it. In this engaging text, author Gary Chaison portrays America's unions as complex, self-governing organizations that are struggling to regain their lost membership, bargaining power, and political influence. This accessible textbook offers an impartial overview of American unions that ranges from the struggle for recognition from employers in their earliest years to their present-day difficulties.
Chapter Three: Union Government and Administration
Union Government and Administration
We cannot fully understand unions until we see them as political organizations. Unions have constitutions, elect officers and governing councils, and hold conventions. We expect unions to be run democratically and we are disappointed when they are not. We demand that union officers be responsive to the will of the members, and if they are not we call them union bosses.
But at the same time, unions are complex bureaucratic organizations that are expected to be run efficiently and operate within their financial means. Unions must manage millions of dollars in assets, maintain a stream of revenue from their members’ dues, and meet the payroll for their staff. Unions function with organizational structures that are as intricate and multilayered ...