Monday, March 11, 2013

The Future of the Labor Movement in Trouble?

A study regarding current college students’ views and awareness of workers’ rights and labor unions occurred last week in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  About 57 students from the small, private liberal arts college participated, the majority of them (66.96%) believed that unions are an important force in society.

Students were given a statement and were asked to share their opinion from strongly disagree to strongly agree in a scaled response fashion.  The sample size was randomly selected by courses: Spanish, Mathematics, and a History class, and course level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. 

Logic dictates that student majors who are immersed in Business and Economic courses would have a different perspective of unions than majors in the Social Sciences.  According to the study, there was no significant difference found between union favorability and major.  Both majors were found to have similar opinions regarding unions. 

On the other hand, significant data was found that female students have higher positive union attitudes than male students.  The average score for a female was 49.82 percent and that of a male student was 43.92 percent.  After accounting for the sampling error the data was still found to be reliable.  Therefore the idea of females and males having the same union attitudes can be rejected and that their opinions vary can be assumed.

Not only are college students today the future of the labor market, but also the future of labor unions.  Teenage and young adults in college are in a crucial period of transformation in their lives, as they develop their knowledge and opinions about the real world, they become closer to make a life of their own. 

With an averaged response of “neutral” to each particular statement on the questionnaire, it seems like labor unions have some educating to do.

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