Labor unions implementing a basic income for union members is a process requiring detailed planning and robust financial backing. First, unions must undertake a thorough feasibility study. This initial step isn’t just about counting current and past members. It’s about foreseeing costs, pinpointing revenue sources, and navigating legal mazes. Unions could create an investment trust which re-invests half the profits and distributes half the profits from the investment assets to current and former union members.
Where does the funding come from? Probably membership dues to start, but also think beyond membership dues — investments, and multi union partnerships. Multiple labor unions could collaborate to set up a new organization just to handle basic income for current and past members. Through compounding investments, funding can grow overtime and create a snowball effect.
Who will benefit from a union supplied basic income also needs sorting out. Setting eligibility criteria is a delicate balance — it is about being inclusive but within realistic limits. It is not just about who is already a union member, but also considering newcomers and those who leave. Before receiving a basic income indefinitely, members could be required to stay as union members for one or two years. Additionally, the basic income amount could increase over time, finally reaching a ceiling in order to deter union hopping and to motivate maintaining union membership.
Administering such a program is no walk in the park. Unions need a streamlined system to handle basic income fund distributions. Transparency cannot be an afterthought. With funds flowing, unions need a rock-solid framework for accountability and auditability. This is not only an ethical issue; it is about maintaining trust over the long term.Also, the world changes. Unions need to keep up, regularly revisiting the program, adapting payment logistics, and eligibility as economic shifts or living costs change.
In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Whether it’s basic income or better wages, what works best hinges entirely on each union’s unique landscape and the specific needs of its members. For a union supplied basic income, multiple unions could try multiple different basic income models for current and past members to determine which models are best. This is a conversation worth having.