“Why should the government stop companies from listening to their workers?” Heritage Foundation expert James Sherk asks in a recent article for The Atlantic.

Anachronistic union-friendly regulations prohibit non-union employees from entering into direct talks with their employers, he points out:

The law gives workers an all-or-nothing choice. If they want a formal voice with management, they need to unionize. Otherwise, they must remain silent. The government will shut down other non-union forms of employee representation.

These laws no longer work for private sector workers, who want more personalized bargaining options that can take individual expertise and discretion into account.

Today, fewer than seven percent of private sector workers belong to a union.

The problems with the labor union model became even clearer last month when employees at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN voted against joining the United Auto Workers despite weeks of pressure from union organizers.

The final tally shocked the United Auto Workers union, which had objected to holding the union vote by secret ballot. The union is appealing the results to the National Labor Relations Board. Heritage analysts predict a hard-fought legal battle, especially in light of the ongoing dispute surrounding President Obama’s dubious “recess” appointments to the Board.

Heritage hosted an event on March 17 to discuss the significance of the Tennessee workers’ vote and the legal struggle ahead. Watch a video of the hour-long event below:

Do workers need a union to effectively negotiate with their employers? Tell us what you think in the comments

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