Models for the 21st Century Union

Rather than be beholden to the typical one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave-it-model, unions may be able to appeal to a larger group of workers by adapting the services in which they already excel, to a more worker-centered approach. Unions could shift to an a la carte model where members decide if one, several or all of the services a labor organization offers is right for them. In this way, it is conceivable that a worker could be a member of more than one union.

This model will remove the compulsion from the typical collective bargaining agreement and only allow the union to provide services to consumers who opt for such services. The successful 21st century union should not force either worker or employer to accept them.

Only by the strength and value of the provided services, will unions be able to charge membership dues. Likewise, by showing employers that their members are highly skilled, reliable and valuable to their company, unions will be able to negotiate voluntarily with the business.

Below are models that unions can use to transition to a new model of unionism. The examples provided should not be taken as an endorsement of the labor organization as a whole or other actions or stances of the organization.