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Read 2023 NATCA Scholarship Winner Audra Daniel’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’s prompt asked candidates to examine why labor unions are experiencing a resurgence and what implications this has for the future.

Audra Daniel, child of Chad Daniel (Atlanta Center, ZTL) is among this year’s 20 scholarship winners. Below is the essay that Audra submitted.

Throughout history, labor unions were important because they gave workers a voice and the ability to negotiate for better wages, working conditions, and benefits which improved the standard of living for workers. According to recent polls, the approval ratings of labor unions are at its highest point in the United States since 1965.

Labor unions have been experiencing a resurgence in recent years due to changes in the political climate, the growing economic inequality, the COVID pandemic, and greater social awareness. The resurgence of labor unions will greatly affect the future of our country by leading to improved wages and working conditions for employees and more protections for workers from the law. However, the resurgence of labor unions could lead to higher tensions between workers and employers.

Labor unions have experienced a resurgence in recent years for several reasons. In particular, the political climate in the U.S. has shifted in favor of workers’ rights with many lawmakers pushing for policies that support unions and their efforts. Also, with growing income inequality in the U.S., many workers are relying on the collective bargaining power from labor unions to negotiate for better wages, working conditions, and benefits. In the past couple of years, the COVID pandemic significantly affected workers and the efforts of labor unions. The pandemic highlighted the need for stronger labor protections since many essential workers faced unsafe working conditions, reduced hours, and layoffs during the pandemic. Thus, these conditions led to a renewed interest in labor unions. Also, because of the rise of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram and more access to information through the internet, people are more socially aware and better informed and educated about labor laws and their rights. Also, social media has provided a platform for workers across the country to come together and protest workplace injustice. Therefore, labor unions are experiencing a resurgence.

The resurgence of labor unions is likely to play a significant role in the future of the U.S. Because of the resurgence of labor unions, unionized workers are more likely to have better wages and working conditions like improved safety measures, more job security, and more reasonable work hours. Through these improvements, this could help reduce the growing income inequality in the U.S. and lead to more satisfied workers and lower turnover rates. However, the resurgence in labor unions could negatively affect businesses since many of the unionization efforts lead to higher costs for businesses which impacts their bottom line. Therefore, many businesses might push back against unionization efforts, leading to labor disputes, strikes, and increased tensions between workers and employers.

In the past, labor unions were crucial in securing many of the benefits and protections that workers take for granted today. Due to changing conditions in the United States, there has been a resurgence of unions in recent years which could continue to significantly shape the U.S.

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