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image source with the establishment of unions, workers were able to acquire fair treatment, better working conditions, improved pay, and legislative limits on work week hours. as time went on, the central issue in negotiations between management and staff was almost always wages. many newer businesses have reacted by pressuring new employees not to form unions. as a result, union membership has declined. even though businesses without unions operate more efficiently, global employment and economic trends indicate that working conditions, and treatment have declined, while work hour limits have increased. in the western world, the decline in unionized workers has made it easier for companies to lay off workers, many of which are near retirement age and are let go before their pension plans reach their maximum. recently the bush administration supported legislation for a 60-hour workweek for “essential” staff with no paid overtime. moreover, the lack of unionized workers in the developing nations has produced lax labour laws, in which child labour, long hours with no overtime and little to no employee rights are the norm. that said, very little is likely to change as individuals’ posses far less bargaining power than a group. on the other hand, unions may have been the architects of their own demise as they became greedier and refused react to economic stagnation, negative growth rates, and trade deficits with demands that reflected the state of the economy at the time of negotiation. hence, if a union is to operate effectively it must accept that there are both healthy and poor states of the economy and adjust demands in accordance. with the power shifting away from unionized workers towards the employers, unions must react or conditions may deteriorate further. moreover, union induced work stoppages have pushed public support towards the employers. some academics have suggested that unions return to their roots and fight for job security, better working conditions rather than taking hard stances on pay and benefits at all times.