An article by Jeff Spross in The Week, makes a compelling case for why conservatives should support unions.
No longer able to ignore the problem of growing inequality, the decline of the middle-class, and wage stagnation, conservatives are left with the problem: What do they propose to do about it? Traditionally, the GOP is resistant to government intervention (e.g. regulation, minimum wage laws, etc.), opposed to social safety-net programs, wants to further cut taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and, of course, seeks to undermine collective bargaining in the workplace. Yet, these policies all seem to be at odds with the goal of growing a strong, self-sufficient, prosperous middle-class. How can conservatives achieve the goal of reducing income inequality without sacrificing their values?
The unconventional, but practical, solution? Rebuild unions. From the article:
"As Flavelle notes, for all the GOP's historical hostility to the labor movement, unions provide a solution to rising inequality and stagnating wages that actually fits quite elegantly with Republicans' broader array of ideological commitments:
'Increasing the bargaining power of workers… doesn't entail any new government spending. It doesn't further warp economic incentives. It doesn't use the tax code to take from some and give to others. It doesn't impose indiscriminate mandates on how much businesses must pay their workers. And it reflects a core conservative principle: Giving people the tools to fight for themselves, rather than relying on government to provide for them. [Bloomberg View]'"
Spross goes on to explain how unions help strengthen communities and civil society, and are positively associated with stable family life and marriage--goals and values conservatives already endorse.
Ultimately, support for unions isn't a conservative or liberal issue. Working people, employers, and politicians of every party have much to gain from supporting unions. And as history shows, again and again, it works.
The entire article is well worth the read, and is highly recommended: