Can Employers Force their Employees to Join Unions?


A fairly topical debate these days is whether it is morally justifiable to force individuals to join a labor union as a condition of employment. My view is an employer should not be allowed to coerce a potential employee to join a union in order to get the job. This is the same thing as forcing the employee to agree with the positions and viewpoints of the union. Finding a decent, stable job these days is tough. So it is easy to see how an employee could be coerced into joining a union in order to get the job!

The opposite side of this coin is the Norris-LaGuardia Act which made it effectively illegal for federal courts to intervene in Labor Management disputes. In particular, this act prevented the enforcement of “yellow dog” contracts. A “yellow dog” from the employer perspective is an employee who is a member of a union. So before the Norris-LaGuardia legislation passed, employees could force their workers to not be a member of a union as a condition of their employment. After the passage of this legislation, federal courts had a much harder time granting injunctions and forcing employees to not join unions.

Walter E. Block writes lucidly and incisively  in Psychology Today describing a yellow dog contract as one in which a potential worker disavows being a member and promises not to join a labor union in order to secure employment.



1 comment on “Can Employers Force their Employees to Join Unions?Add yours →

Comments are closed. You can not add new comments.

  1. Took professor Walter Block for Eco at Loyola. He rates himself at rate my professor website. Block will attack you in front of entire class if you disagree with his dated libertarian views. He subtly brags about some book he wrote and ignores textbook. If Block was as intelligent as he fancies himself, he would not write perfectly phrased fake rating posts at