In many states and in various areas of employment, union membership is not optional.
Many federal government contracts now even require usage of union employees.
Saying no one has to join a union is similar to saying no one has to pay taxes. To avoid taxes a person only has to have no income. In many areas, to claim a person does not have to join and given money to a union is the same claim.
My response to the poll question is not among the options. I have never belonged to a union. I would join if required to keep my job.
Okay, this is regarding public sector unions.
A public-sector union’s requirement that nonmembers opt out of paying a special fee for the purpose of financing the union’s political and ideological activities violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 21, 2012, (Knox v. SEIU, No. 10-1121).
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito noted that, “Public-sector unions have the right under the First Amendment to express their views on political and social issues without government interference. But employees who choose not to join a union have the same rights.”
Therefore, he continued, when a public-sector union imposes a special assessment or dues increase, it “may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent.” Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia Jr., Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined in the opinion, while Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg concurred in the judgment but filed a separate concurring opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented from the ruling.
I'm not a union member and never have been, but I'm not opposed to it. My particular circumstances have never afforded the opportunity or need.
I think the default tendency for most is to pursue their own best interests. History has shown humanity is and has been willing to do anything they can get away with in pursuit of their own interests, left unchecked. I support the idea of unions as it has brought about better working conditions and compensation when industry was taking advantage of people because they had all the power, taking the position that said "if you don't like it, get a job somewhere else" when they knew there were no jobs "somewhere else". On the other hand I think unions have abused their power as well, forcing companies into bankruptcy with "unreasonable" demands, ensuring job security for people who don't give 100% and forcing government run monopolies on the American people. I think there's a balance out there somewhere where everyone is invested and the results are a win win for all sides. I personally think allowing hard working employees to earn stock in the company they work for is better than unions but absent that unions might be a second best option if the employer is taking advantage of their position of power over employees who have little options but to accept what they're dealt or be unemployed.
Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011
I also think that there are certain unions (probably mostly public sector) that are completely unnecessary, but industries such as the construction industry still have a need for unionizing.