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BA 540 UIU Income inequality in the United States Labor market Discussion & Responses

BA 540 UIU Income inequality in the United States Labor market Discussion & Responses



One of the commonly cited reasons that organized labor continues its presence in American economic life is due to the wage gap that is widening between labor and management. Why do these gaps occur? Should government be involved in regulating the workplace to address these income gaps? Could regulatory agencies do what unions are trying to do – which is to ensure better pay for American workers?


The federal minimum wage is one of the most controversial economic issues to confront lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Indeed, many states have a minimum wage that far exceeds that set by the federal government. If Washington lawmakers were to significantly increase the minimum wage, would that negate the agenda for organized labor? Does organized labor, in effect, help to push up the minimum wage by negotiating for higher wages and benefits? Or, on the contrary, does union support for a higher minimum wage actually hinder the ability of Congress to pass higher minimum wage laws?  


R1Employment income disparities in the US exist for several reasons, such as part-time work with no compensation for students and part-time jobs like food restaurants. Some positions in the US pay up to USD 1,000 an hour, except for women, whose skills and scope are different. Moreover, the gender pay gap is a common explanation for why basic minimum wages are not set or constant across the US.The government must set hourly wages for the nation and the states with the business. It is, therefore, the competent authority to impose wages on an hourly basis throughout the United States. Regulatory units can work better than trade unions in this area. Regulators set the annual costs of workers and regulate inflation, which is part of the pay increments that regulators can best make. Regulators can best serve workers’ wage gaps, and pay needs hourly, irrespective of gender. Trade unions can do what the regulatory authorities can and implement at the national level. The regulatory authority also takes care of salaries and pay disparities in gender matters, complies with the statute, and represents the case well.According to an article by Kronberg, “Research indicates men often receive greater merit rewards than women for the same performance. It is unclear, however, whether gender differences in merit rewards narrow with increasing firm tenure or gender differences in merit-rewards stay constant across employees’ firm-internal careers. Using longitudinal personnel records of a private U.S. employer (2005–2014), there is no evidence for declining gender effects on pay when employees stay longer, not even among nonprofessionals where performance is easier to assess. Results contradict information-based theories and speak to status characteristics theory. Moreover, gender disparities are significant only when supervisors have discretion over merit increases.” (Kronberg, A.-K., 2020)ReferencesKronberg, A.-K. (2020). Workplace Gender Pay Gaps: Does Gender Matter Less the Longer Employees Stay? Work & Occupations, 47(1), 3–43.

R2Hello Class,One of the commonly cited reasons that organized labor continues its presence in American economic life is due to the wage gap that is widening between labor and management. There could be many reasons as to why these gaps may occur. These reasons have all-together been decades-long trends.Globalization is a business development which had helped increasing disparity between management and labor wage (Miller, 2019). Globalization has been able to open up new markets as well as workforces; as companies grow larger, their management tend to have an increase in their wage. Digitization is another attribute which has led to the wage gap. As jobs are more automated through digitization, labor wage are more and more decreased. Should government be involved in regulating the workplace to address these income gaps? I certainly believe it would be beneficial. Some organizations have a great deal of authority in terms of providing wage to management and workers, with the latter group having less of a say on the fairness of it all. OPM and EEOC are working together to reduce wage gaps within the federal sector currently (EEOC). The government may be able to take similar steps to reduce wage gaps within the private sector.With proper laws and regulations, regulatory agencies could indeed do what unions are trying to do – which is to ensure better pay for American workers. An argument could be made that if such were to occur, workers would have less of a need for labor unions. However, labor unions provide much more than merely negotiating and raising the wage, such as providing safety and stability to employees.ReferencesMiller, S. (2019). Confront pay disparity between management and workers. SHRM. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from memorandum: Equal pay in the Federal Government. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2022, from

R3Collective bargaining is how working people gain a voice at work and the power to shape their active lives. Almost everyone has at one point felt unheard or powerless as an employee. Joining a union means that you and your colleagues have a say because you negotiate essential elements of employment conditions together. That could mean securing wage increases, better access to health care, workplace safety enhancements, and more reasonable and predictable hours. Through collective bargaining negotiations, the union also works with management to develop a process for settling disputes that employees and their managers cannot resolve individually.Once a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is agreed to, union representatives work with employees and management to ensure the rights and obligations spelled out in the contract are honored. And they represent workers in high-stakes situations, such as when a safety violation has resulted in injury. By these means, collective bargaining gives workers a say in their employment, the security of knowing that there are specific processes for handling work-related grievances, and a path to solving problems.To cover expenses for negotiating contracts, defending workers’ rights, to resolve disputes, and providing support to bargaining unit members, unions collect dues. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 and amendments govern private-sector unions and collective bargaining. While states generally have no jurisdiction over private-sector partnerships, the NLRA, as amended, allows states to enact specific laws that govern fees paid by workers in unionized private workplaces (discussed later in this report).Nearly half (48.1 percent) of workers covered by a union contract are public-sector workers. The Federal Labor Relations Act of 1978 (FLRA) covers collective bargaining among federal workers. State laws (enacted from the late 1950s forward) govern state and local government employee unions. (Bivens, 2017) Each state has its own laws governing collective bargaining for state and local public employees. Some states allow the complete set of collective bargaining rights, others (approximately one-fifth) prohibit collective bargaining, and others limit some activities, such as the right to strike or collect dues automatically during payroll processing. About one in 10 states have no law addressing collective bargaining rights in the public sector.ReferencesBivens, Josh. (2017). How today’s unions help working people., J. (2014). Labor Relations (12th Edition). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US)R4In my opinion, the organized labour helps to push up the minimum wage by negotiating for higher wages and benefits. This is because organized labour are more aware about the labour laws and also about their rights as well. The organized labor act like labor unions and work for the labor rights for at par wages and better treatment as well as monetary benefits and health plans for the labor. Also in my opinion, if Washington lawmakers were to significantly increase minimum wage, it would not negate the agenda for organized labor because it will help to provide benefits and labor rights for higher compensation, thereby assisting the organized labor instead of negating the agenda for organized labor. This will also result in better work environment and culture that supports labor laws and addresses their concerns.

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