100 years ago labor unions were a necessity. The power of big business and monopolies made work after the industrial revolution unsafe, unprofitable, and unreasonable. Combined with the closure of the American West folks could no longer count on big government aid to provide them with a way out even if that sometimes meant braving the Indians. Simply put there were not enough businesses which could compete that had an incentive to pay sufficiently, not use child labor, keep work hours reasonable, or keep their adult workers safe. Then came labor unions, then came Pinkertons, then came mob protection, then came big government to the aid with fair labor laws. Public sentiment swung entirely against the corruption of big business and thanks to the fear of work stoppages, sympathetic strikes, and boycotts some companies, our auto manufacturers for example, somehow signed very terrible labor contracts. For some time now this movement and big government has given us things like the 40 hour work week, OSHA, and the rest of the labor laws which were needed. Are unions still necessary? I think yes, just as a balance against the quasi-collusional power of businesses. So what is left for unions to do? My brothers and sisters in the Construction Unions picket businesses which don't hire them. When I ask the protesters they're unaware of the specifics of the contract differences which caused the non-union firm to get the job. I believe to be competitive Unions need to: 1.provide mandatory 3rd party drug testing for all members. 2.not hire convicted felons 3.continue with their certification of members spreading it to include the IT fields Any other ideas?