Labor and Trade Unions: Different Unions, Different Issues

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Labor and trade unions are organizations of workers, established to improve their working conditions, and protect their common interests. Unions serve as intermediaries between employees and employers. Unions are designed to ensure that people receive rewards of their hard work. They ensure their members receive fair treatment, decent paychecks, safe jobs, benefits and respect in their workplace. Most unions are created to give employees the power to collectively bargain for favorable working conditions.

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The United Auto Workers is an umbrella union, that incorporates, the International Union, Aerospace, Agricultural Implement Workers of America and United Automobile and (UAW). The union is one of the most diverse and largest unions in America, with members from different sectors of the economy. United Auto Workers is also largely involved in improving lives of works across their borders, through coordination and involvement with world labor organizations.


The United Auto Workers has continually worked with its members and helped them to collectively bargain for fair labor standards, workers and human rights and enforcement of trade agreement provisions. The Union states that its workers pay up to six percent of health care costs, and contends that this amount is more generous when compared to twenty-eight percent, which is the national average. UAW President has proposed a giant health-care pool to get some discounts from providers and insurers (Associated Press 1).

Pay rise

The union has concentrated much on advocating for a pay rise for their members. The total hourly labor costs and benefits for Fiat Chrysler, general motors and ford, were relatively low and needed a review.

Job security

Both Ford and General Motors have announced their plans to build some cars and parts in Mexico. This follows doubling of auto production in the past ten years. So as to protect jobs and workers in the U.S. UAW will most likely bargain for the new trucks and cars to be made in U.S. The union may have to compromise, possibly by giving up pay raises or paying more for health care.

The American Federation of Teachers

American Federation of Teachers is the second largest teachers union in U.S, representing approximately 1.6 million members in the country. The union champions fairness, healthcare, economic opportunities, high-quality public education, democracy and public services for the students and educators.

Political and economic challenges

In the recent years, economic situation has been dire but to date, the situation has improved. The revenue gaps are slowly decreasing, and the state finances will take time to gain solid footing. The AFT department for research and information services presented an outline of the fiscal picture and economy in the country. The union has effortless defined critical issues, mostly related to revenues and pensions. They are planning to present recommendations on job creation strategies, increasing revenues, and reinvest in public services and infrastructure.

AFT issues groundbreaking report on inequality and racism

Over the past year, members and leaders of the AFT have been having tough, blunt, and uncomfortable conversations on how to adequately address the lingering effects of inequality and racism in the U.S. The discussions were successful, and on Oct. 9 AFT helped in achieving a substantive, action-oriented report on accomplishing racial equity in America (Virginia Myers 2015.

The issues for the two companies are different on some aspects, but similar on other aspects. They all advocate on the workers collective bargaining power. The American Federation of Teachers has been keen on the political and economic challenges because they directly affect it. The references used in this paper are all relevant. Most of them are from the UAW and AFT websites, and reflects various researches and reports. Both unions addresses relevant issues, and offers ultimate solutions to their members. It is hard for management within todays laws to effectively address issues of the workers, without unions, it is almost hard to make all the employees in both public and private sector. I believe the two unions have wholly have addressed the contentious issues.

Works cited

NA (07 July 2015) "Five Contentious Issues In Upcoming UAW Talks." Associated Press, retrieved Web. 07 Mar. 2016.

NA(14 July 2015) "Health Care and Wages Likely among Top Issues in UAW and Detroit Three Talks

N.A(2012, August 22). Economic and political challenges are top issues for public employees. Retrieved March 08, 2016

Virginia Myers (2015, September 10). AFT issues groundbreaking report on racial equity. Retrieved March 08, 2016,

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