Read Scholarship Winner Ashley Densmore’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.
Ashley Densmore, child of Bob Densmore (Houston Hobby ATCT, HOU) is among this year’s 20 scholarship winners. Below is the essay that Ashley submitted.
Worker empowerment, the fuel to drive unions into the working field. Never has this been more needed for the prosperity of the country and its citizens than the twenty-first century. Rising cost of living, lower wages, and a general propensity for aggregate business power has left the general worker feeling underutilized, underserved and underpowered.
Unions are formed in order to guarantee that employees are provided with the necessary protection within their employment, ensuring that they are being properly compensated for the amount of work they put in. Due to the economic state of the country and the rapid spread of inflation, there has been an exponential increase in employee unionization in order to obtain higher pay. Consequently, this resurgence of personal dignity provided by unions will eventually rise to the level needed in order to accommodate their labor force and reduce the risk of controversy.
In the past, average wage was proportional to the average living cost. The cost of living index as seen throughout America’s past has continually risen, with wages following closely along. However, that pattern did not follow into modern days, and workers were experiencing a struggle financially in being able to comfortably live as the average cost continued to increase. With the rise of a new generation entering the workforce, with little knowledge of the securities their predecessors were afforded, workers rights were not fully realized as seen through a lack of scheduling, benefits, and time off. This resulted in the ultimate collapse of security for younger workers. Due to inflation along with other factors such as COVID-19 stripping a comfortable lifestyle of workers, the rise of unions have increased in order to strive for a greater representation among employees to ensure positive working conditions and pay that can sustain living in modern day.
Increased unionization will be necessary to provide an equal workforce for all employees, especially the lower-middle working class, who is often forgotten about when discussing businesses. History repeats itself as seen in the mass rise of unions in the 1950s, when the labor power was at its peak. In the early 2020s, workers are now able to have more power in their jobs, being able to walk away from a job to a more beneficial position or unionize against their employers. In order to sustain their business, companies must recognize employees are needed now more than ever, and have come to a realization that to avoid strikes and loss of employees, they must be compensated fairly to balance the work and life environment. The resurgence of unions works hand in hand with the people steering the direction of the country. Those with self actualized power will decide the future of America. Equity belongs to those who will it.