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Labor Unions And The United States

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Labor unions and movements play an important role in the United States. Although they are treated synonymously, the labor movements encompass a broader scope than labor unions. Some of the examples of current labor unions and movements include National Guestworker, Domestic Workers United and Wal-Mart workers groups. The heart of the current labor initiatives in the United States can be traced back to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Collier & Collier, 2002). The labor law was imperative since it was intended to put the power of the government behind the worker’s right to organize unions and bargain collectively with their employers on issues such as wages, hours and working conditions. In the last thirty years, labor unions have…show more content…
The workers began to think of factories and industries as a threat to their wages and status. The workers soon created fledgling craft unions in an effort to resist undesirable working conditions. The craft unions sought to resist sudden wage reductions, increased working hours and unsafe working conditions. The unions also aimed to protect their political, social and economic rights. The unions moved from local to national movements as both labor and product markets became national as a result of improvements such as transportation (Collier & Collier, 2002). Several factors inspired the early labor movement beyond the job interest of the craft members. It harbored the ideals of a just society based on the Ricardian labor theory of value and the republican conceptions of the American Revolution (Brody, 1993). Such ideals and revolutionary conceptions fostered social equality, honest labor and depended on an independent and virtuous citizenship. The industrial capitalism and the associated economic transformations contradicted the labor’s vision. The solution as early labor leaders saw it was to categorize the society into the poor and the rich. The advocates of equal rights presented a series of reform beginning with the workingmen’s parties. Some of the notable labor reforms created included the Knights of Labor and the National Labor Union (Brody, 1993). During the 1880s, the labor unions reinforced their relationship
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