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Read 2023 NATCA Scholarship Winner Kyle Buchan’s Essay

Every year, NATCA offers a scholarship program for spouses, children, stepchildren, and legally adopted children of active, retired, and deceased members in good standing for at least two consecutive years. This scholarship is for full-time attendance at accredited colleges and universities within the United States and its territories for an undergraduate degree program.

This year, candidates were asked to examine why labor unions are experiencing a resurgence and what implications this has for the future.

Kyle Buchan, child of retired member Deborah Buchan (Grand Rapids ATCT, GRR) is among this year’s 20 scholarship winners. Below is the essay that Kyle submitted.

Labor unions are organizations that represent workers in negotiating with employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. For many years, labor unions have played a vital role in protecting workers’ rights and advocating for their welfare. However, the decline of unions over the past several decades has been well documented. Many people attribute this decline to a variety of factors, including changes in the economy, globalization, and government policies that have weakened the power of unions. But recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in labor unions, and this has significant implications for the future of our country.

One reason for the resurgence of labor unions is the changing nature of work in the United States. With the rise of individuality in the economy, workers have begun to feel more vulnerable than ever. They lack the job security, benefits, and protections that were once standard for workers in traditional employment relationships. Unions offer a way for these workers to come together and demand better treatment from their employers. By organizing, workers can leverage their collective power to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The resurgence of labor unions also reflects a broader shift in public attitudes toward the role of government and the economy. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few large corporations and the impact that this has on workers, consumers, and the broader economy. Many people believe that the government has a responsibility to intervene in the economy to ensure that it works for everyone, not just a privileged few. Labor unions can play an important role in shaping public opinion and advocating for policies that promote economic fairness and social justice.

The resurgence of labor unions suggests that many people are concerned about the state of the economy and the welfare of working people. It also implies that people recognize the value of unions in addressing these issues. Unions have a long history of advocating for policies that promote social justice and benefit workers. If unions continue to grow and become more influential, they could play a vital role in shaping the future of the economy and society.

However, it’s worth noting that the resurgence of labor unions also faces significant challenges. Many employers are resistant to unionization and have used a variety of tactics to undermine union organizing efforts. Government policies and court decisions have also made it more difficult for unions to organize and bargain collectively. Despite these obstacles, the resurgence of labor unions is a hopeful sign that workers are not content to accept the status quo and are willing to fight for a better future. As unions continue to grow and become more influential, they may be able to play an important role in creating a more just and equitable society for all Americans.

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