Legal Status of Unions

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Legal Status of Unions

Legal Status of Unions
The history of the American labor movement coincides with the development of labor unions in the United States, from the initial local craft unions like the Federal Society of Journeyman Cordwainers (shoemakers), to the formation of national unions such as the National Labor Union (NLU) and the Knights of Labor, creation of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and the Congress of International Organizations (CIO), the merger of the AFL-CIO, and its breakup through the defection of the national unions that formed the Change to Win (CTW) coalition (Fossum, 2012, pp. 27-34, 53-54). Paralleling the union development was a series of national labor legislation: Railway Labor Act (1926),
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While a labor political party could provide broader support for union members, it would not focus on the primary concerns of labor members: wages, benefits, and working conditions (Fossum, 2012, p. 28). While some believe establishment of a labor political party would benefit the labor movement more than either the Republican or Democratic parties, the reality has never resulted in an effective national labor political movement (Levitt, 1955). Even national union efforts have not been entirely effective over time: the American Federation of Labor, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the merged AFL-CIO, and now the Change to Win coalition (Colorado State University-Global Campus, 2014).
Leading Personalities in Labor Relations Contributing to the Definition of Labor Relations in the United States
Leading personalities in the U.S. labor relations movement included Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), who helped found and led the AFL for much of the period from 1886 until his death in 1924 (Online Highways LLC, 2014), Eugene Debs (1855-1926), who led the American Railway Union through many strikes and helped found the Industrial Workers of the World (Constantine, 1990), Walter Reuther (1907-1970), who led the United Auto Workers starting in 1946 and was head of the CIO and negotiated its merger with the AFL-CIO in 1955 (Featherstone, 2014), George Meany (1894-1980), led the AFL from 1952 until he negotiated the AFL-CIO
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