Workers’ rights is just more regulation by the government that interferes with the advancement of society. “NO WAY!” you exclaim. “What about sexual harassment?”
Arguing these points at this level, personal, is really a waste of time. The trouble is deep and almost always related to government. If there were no government then people would do a number of things different than what they do now. Now they ask for payouts that are decided by government systems (judgments or settlements) or they beg “The State” for MORE laws. Even worse, the government sues the employer for multiple “violations” and the affected employees get NOTHING! Many times the decisions that are made to settle or give-up are based on the ridiculous cost of the government owned legal system rather than truth. A cost that would surely be different in a stateless society. You know, a system where a business model has to be profitable to succeed, unlike government.
Let’s not overlook the cost of being owned by the government. Many people cannot afford to quit a bad job. This problem alone could change without government and that would certainly have an effect on bad employers.
In a free society, one without a government, you would see more dispute resolution options. Employee unions might be more like a combination of credit union, mediation, and insurance. They would hold both employees and employers to higher standards.
But wait, you still can’t really have a valid debate while government exists because there wouldn’t be any corporations without “The State”. The employer(s) would be personally responsible for providing a harassment-free working environment. Once you remove the non-existence of personal responsibility that business owners get with a corporate shield then you would see better relationships between the employer and the employee. If an employer was personally responsible for his companies actions then he would find that his cost of insurance and his cost to do business with a union would go up if he fails to provide a safe and harassment free work environment. Without a corporate shield this would affect every business owners personal wallet and reputation.
The same thing would happen with employee reliability and responsibility. If you have a history of filing unsubstantiated claims, poor performance, poor attendance, then your starting pay and the pool of companies that want to hire you would be compromised. Your cost to be a member of a union would probably go up. Unions might be required to pay for employee failure and they might receive compensation for employer failures. The sky is the limit in a free society. You can’t really predict the solutions that would be offered in a society you have never seen in action.
“What about minimum wage?” you ask. Please! Who are you to tell someone that they can’t offer a job at a certain wage and even worse, who are you to tell someone they CAN’T work for less than a certain hourly wage. Get a grip on your role in society, please! Make no mistake, there are systems at work today that create circumstances which allow employers to take advantage of labor. That is beyond the scope of this post and in my opinion the entire “work week” concept is archaic and rooted in slavery. That said, I still would have no right to interfere with a voluntary interaction.
Government rules and regulations are nothing more than a road block to the advancement of society. Unfortunately, real debate and new ideas rarely happen because people have a difficult time discussing society from the perspective of zero government. It’s all they know, and they were most likely raised in an institution provided by a government–an institution that promotes its owner, “The State”. Think about it, the government has not provided a solution that works. We have nothing to lose and time has run out on trying to “fix” government.