Labor Unions are established to better the working conditions of their members in whatever line of work they are in. They lobby corporations, negotiate with business leaders, and generally advocate the rights of workers. On Monday the Communication Workers Union will see if their lobbying efforts paid off when Ministers decide on a law that will require that all newborn puppies be microchipped at birth so that they will be more traceable and owners can be prosecuted in the event that their dog assaults someone. This law could lead to a direct improvement in working conditions for postal workers because over the past four years more than 23,000 postal workers have been attacked by dogs and almost 400 have taken time off sick in the past year following an attack. Passing this law will hold vicious dog owners more accountable for their pets.
Representatives of the CWU have made personal statements concerning the law on behalf of the organization that attacked the government in England, calling their previous action, the “Dangerous Dogs Act” a “failed” act and comments that make the government seem lazy. The Union has come up with a e-petition that supports changes to the law, which has already received more than 10,000 signatures. The CWU has latched on to this law as an opportunity to improve their workers’ conditions and play an advocacy role.
Another advocacy group has responded to the proposed changes in the law, but has taken the opposite approach. The Freedom Association campaigns for individual liberty in England protests the law, seeing it as an attempt by the government to penalize law-abiding dog owners. Millions of dog owners who have never experienced any trouble with their pet will now have to pay to fit their dog with a chip. This organization is doing the same thing as the CWU, advocating for their members aka all free peoples. The Freedom Association has provided an excellent example of the drama that unfolds when people take a stand on an issue that affects so many people.
A major goal in the CWU’s campaign is for more owners of violent dogs to be held accountable for their animals, as they have caused a lot of harm over the years. I feel like this law is effective, but current owners should not be penalized unless their dog has caused an incident. Perhaps as of Monday all newborn puppies should receive the microchip but not dogs born before the new law. The groups involved with this law are trying to take a stand to show that they are willing to press peoples’ buttons to get what they want. They represent a lot of people and have a lot of leverage. Labor Unions seem to be somewhat of a hassle in this way because they create a lot of laws to cooperate with and paper work to fill out. Labor Unions are a big part of Public Relations however because they use their power of communication to improve working conditions for others and that is vital to a world that can be very manipulative.