The changes brought up labor unions in the United States over recent history has brought about a movement. This specific movement has shaped the way that employees and workers are treated in the workforce,and how they maintain their quality of life through this employment. Many people think that the labor unions’ influence has created a power struggle between management and union leaders. In many cases this can be considered true, as there have been countless feuds between management teams and labor unions, especially in recent history. In today’s times, on the one hand, some people believe the existence of unions are a necessity in order to ensure and promote employee freedom; while on the other hand some people view labor unions as just another problem in the line of employee success.
The labor relations movement has been one of the most successful driving forces behind such efforts as: providing aid to workers who were injured or retired, better health benefits and to stop the practice of child labor in the workforce. Ostensibly, unions in the United States arose out of the need to better protect the “common interests” of laborers. Today, many of the social movements and alliances forged are created under the guise to better protect the employer from a plethora of interests made against the organization, rather than, increasing wages, improving reasonable employment hours and/or enhancing work conditions.
In labor as in all things there is strength in numbers it is this strength that American labor unions provide. Labor unions provide a collective voice for those who had not previously been heard. As the professor in the “Frustrated Labor Historian” Dr. Horace P. Karastan is left with the dilemma what are the three most important events in American labor union history it would be difficult to choose with so many important moments. There are however several events that stand out as being turning points in giving employees unquestionable protections. The Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 allowing employees the right to organize. Further the Wagner Act protecting employees from reprisal from employers for organizing spurring the growth of unionization. The Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959 building on the Wagner Act as well as the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 which granted protections from the unions. It is these Acts that have changed the landscape of American labor union history and leave us with the unions that we have today.
Throughout history many people, such as politicians, officials, and generals, have been noted to have molded the United States, neglecting the fact that workers have also played an important role in shaping this nation’s history. During the 1870s to the 1930s, laborers faced many hardships; they had trouble keeping their jobs, had their wages decreased, and were forced to work sixty-hour weeks without insurance. Over time, workers began to feel aggravated by their employers’ demands and began to voice their opinions. Only by forming into unions and standing up to what employers’ thought was “freedom” in the workplace were the laborers able to change working conditions more favorable for them.
Appellee violates the federal fair labor standard acts by designating an employee as a “manager” who is entitled to overtime pay when that employee’s primary job responsibilities do not require supervising other employees or exercising independent judgment, but do require day to day maintenance activities as well as retail sales.
Consequently, due to abuses from employers to the people under them, laws and regulations to protect workers were established and are now enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. These laws protect over 10 million employers and about 125 million employees (2003). As written in the Department of Labors’ General Information website, it says
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has a mission to protect the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees. They also improve working conditions and ensure work-related benefits and rights. The DOL has many laws and reregulation’s protecting workers that range from the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets standards for wages and overtime pay, to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which focuses on workplace safety and health. With the wide range that the DOL has employees can feel that they have standards in place to ensure fair pay, fair treatment, and a safe environment to work in. Without the enforcement of the DOL corporations are left to establish pay and safety standards internally. In a business atmosphere where the importance of profit is often placed before the employees, an environment without laws and regulations can be dangerous. An example can be seen in other countries where labor laws are not in place compassion and common sense also seem to be absent. In these areas workers, many times children often works long hours for little pay. Sadly it has been shown that when corporations are unregulated the importance for the fair treatment of employees takes a less important role.
Workers in the United States now have rights that protect them from the abuses of the past. According to Pamela M. Prah, a veteran reporter for CQ Researcher, “Unions were created in an era before employment laws required safe working conditions, a minimum wage, unemployment benefits or protections against discrimination”(713). Employers are now required to have a list of workers rights accessible to all of its employees, and if an employer violates any worker protected right they are subject to fines and penalties. Unions have been an influential part of society during the later part of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth
Throughout the Twentieth Century, the evolution of workers’ rights in the workplace has drastically evolved. Through the utilization of constitutional freedoms, workers across the nation came together to support the goal of receiving fair treatment from employers when it came to wages, work conditions, and benefits. However, this wasn’t achieved without great sacrifice from the average man as standing up for their rights was a brave act that usually resulted in consequences.
The issues that face workers is ever changing, in modern times a lot of the original issues seem to have been solved. Long hours, have been be replaces with mandated working hours defined by law, safety issues can be covered by OSHA, age limits again are decreed in law. Comparing modern day America to 1800’s America and the stark contrast in working conditions creates room for a strong argument opposing Unions and any tangible outcome they may produce besides lining their own pockets
Today, millions of American workers are denied their rights to consider forming a union since the process of voting on union formation has been corrupted. This has become an urgent crisis and a barrier to workers’ rights because they are frequently intimidated, harassed and even fired by their companies, which is blocking their freedoms and abilities to bargain for a better future. Therefore, the Organized Labour has made the Employee Free Choice Act, which helps workers remedy those problems from their employers. For further detail, a brief review of what the Employee Free Choice Act is and why it is important for workers’ rights follows.
The Fair Labor Standard Act is also known as FLSA established in 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed this bill to protect employees during the Great Depression (Perez, 2015). The sole purpose of this bill was to establish minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and Federal, State, and local governments (Bernardin & Russell, 2013). Before this act, there was no formal written law regarding standard minimum wage, overtime compensation, adequate timekeeping for hours worked as well as the proper age limit regarding the workforce personnel.
Unions have made a monumental impact on today’s working conditions, before unions were established working conditions were poor, unsafe and had no vacations or holidays. It wasn’t until 1886, when Samuel Gompers created the American Federation of Labor that employers could do and treat employees however they pleased. Samuel Gompers set the union movement into motion, which later helped establish the Sherman Anti-trust Act in 1890. The act helped protect individuals from monopolies created by big businesses. The Clayton Act was established in 1914, allowing the workforce to organize and shortly after in, 1932 the union gained power with the creation of the Morris La-Guardia Act (Scalza, 2008). These establishments played a crucial role in helping to
The labor union movement over the years has shaped the way individuals work and live for both the nicest and unpleasant. Some would think the unions influence has created a power struggle between management and union leaders. In today’s time, some citizens insist the existence of unions are a must to aid in employee freedom, while others view the labor unions as just another problem in the line of progress. The purpose of labor unions was for employed workers to come together and collectively agree on fundamental workplace objectives. The rise of the union came about after the Civil War- responding to the industrial economy. Surprisingly at the least unions became popular within the 1930-50’s and began to slowly decrease,
Individuals have been at work for thousands and thousands of years. Over the last century there have been many changes in the United States that protects workers in their positions and the duties they perform. There has been many changes for employers as well that protects companies and organization and offers beneficial information to keep them in compliance with changes and away from any from and form of discrimination. Over the last century there has been the organization of Unions (Bargaining Unit) in which are to protect workers in their positions, give them fair marketable pay and be the liaison between the employer and employee. Union organizations represent employees and negotiate contracts that