FMF NEWSLETTER 31 July 2019   
ARTICLE of the week  

Unions: Friend or foe of the poor? – MPIYAKHE DHLAMINI

Labour unions are undoubtedly the biggest obstacle to any positive reform, not because this particular group of individuals is somehow more evil than the rest of us. It is simply a rational response to the particular set of incentives that union bosses are faced with.

Unions are nominally democratic but their members face the same problems any voter faces in any representative democracy: the benefits of electing a given leader are concentrated while the costs are dispersed. This means that while every union member pays the same dues, this individual contribution is outweighed by the potential return due to elected officials in the form of salaries and controlling the union’s invested funds.

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