I hear about the extremely long work hours in the army. I understand it hardens them for readiness for combat situations. With the technology and increase of intelligence need to operate it would a more normal work schedule be more efficient and less mistakes?

How much more would it cost the military to have union like rules?

  • $\begingroup$ Is a valid answer "the concept of unions cannot possibly work with the military?" The way I look at it, the key requirement for unions to operate is the feasibility of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining in a business that cannot ever support the possibility of a strike is going to be a monumental challenge. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Feb 9, 2018 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Military discipline and unions are antithetical. $\endgroup$
    – zeta-band
    Feb 9, 2018 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ They cannot just add more people in a combat zone (to allow them to work shorter hours). More people = more mouths to feed, making logistics even more difficult. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2018 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I think this question is more to do with organizational psychology. $\endgroup$
    – ahorn
    Jul 2, 2018 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


European countries offer a variety of different unionisation models, so provide reasonable evidence on the usual consequences of unionisation. Dutch military personnel are represented by a union, for instance.

The European Association of Military Organisations appears sanguine about the idea, although many European military unions don't have the right to strike (emphasis added):

The President concluded by emphasizing that EUROMIL strongly believes that military trade unionism does not harm military efficiency. On the contrary, being represented in trade unions and professional associations can enhance the [morale] and loyalty of the troops.

Less information is available about the consequences of unionisation on working hours; in general, it seems that unions appear to understand and accept the reasons for long working hours under certain circumstances.


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