Coming from a family that relies on unions has greatly influenced my outlook on life. I was raised believing that being in a union was the best option, and this is what I truly think. My father and step father are both union stewards. My dad works for AT&T and has belonged to IBEW Local 21 for almost 21 years now. My step dad has been a part of Laborers Local 477 for 11 years. About three years ago, he became a correctional officer where he joined FOP and AFSCME in addition to the Laborer’s. Growing up around these two men has empowered me to fight for what I believe in both in work, school, and in life.
Labor union were crucial in the late 1800’s when the workers were working long hours, doing hard work, without any extra pay. Job security (could be fired at any given time) and safety precautions did not exist in this era, jobs in this day was typically a threat to the workers due to the bad working conditions. When the union was formed in 1866 it was not easy, but if the workers understood how it would benefit them it would have been a greater successes. Due to lack of education, the communication between the union and the works was broken. Some of the religious beliefs created a hardship on getting the union passed. One of the unions called the AFL (American Federation of Labor) was created in 1881 that would try to fight for workers’ rights.
Labor unions have existed in one way or another since the birth of our country in 1776. They were created in an effort to protect the working population from abuses such as sweatshops and unsafe working conditions. From the start of our Nation there were a few unions organized unions in a scattered fashion, but many were disbanded after they had achieved their goals, such as when the printers and shoemakers briefly unionized in Philadelphia and New York City in 1778 to conduct the first recorded strike for higher wages. Three years later in 1971 the first successful strike happened, when Philadelphia carpenters campaigned for a ten-hour workday. This caused the need for skilled and unskilled laborers to skyrocket during the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War and also got the ball rolling with Labor unions. At this point in our Country, there had been nothing done yet for workers’ rights, conditions, pay, and so on. People at this time saw that they could come together and do something to make their lives better for themselves and their families. Many of these dates were important in shaping our country’s labor policies into what they are today. In 1847 New Hampshire enacts as the first state to enforce a 10-hour workday law. In 1909 the International Ladies’ Garment workers’ Union calls a strike in New York, demanding a 20-percent raise and a 52-hour workweek. Within two days, more than 20,000 workers from 500 factories walk off the job. This largely successful uprising
Unions were formed to protect and improve the rights of workers. Their first order of business was to establish the eight-hour workday and in 1866, the national labor union was formed. Labor movements were around before 1866, but few organized up until this point. Unions created an environment for workers with difficult tasks, creating better pay, safer work conditions, and sanitary work conditions. Unions made life better for many Americans in the private sector. Collective bargaining became the way in which employers and a group of employees reached agreements, coming to a common consensus. From 1866 to the early 1900’s Unions continued to make headways increasing membership and power. The real gains started in 1933 after several pieces of legislature, which saved banks, plantations, and farmers. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) proposed an important, and controversial, amendment to the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933. It insisted that language from the pro-labor Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 be added to the simple declaration of the right to collective bargaining. The setbacks the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) suffered in Little Steel and textiles in the latter half of 1937, and in Congress from 1938 to 1940, despite the gains made by the AFL, by 1940 the amendment had stalled. WWII created a rapid buildup within the industrial complex, creating more work for women and African Americans, overshadowing the union’s inability to project their power
The American Federation of Labor was an association of trade unions starting 1886, rising out of an earlier Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions founded in 1881. The AFL's president, Samuel Gompers, was convinced that unions open to workers of all types of skills within a given industry,called industrial unions,were too undisciplined to withstand the tactics that both government and management had used to break American unions in the past. The answer, was craft unions, each limited to the skilled workers in a single trade. According to Gompers's "pure and simple unionism," labor should not waste its energies fighting capitalism; I ts sole task was to hammer
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.
To help bring about congressional change, the National Labor Union was created in 1866 “to pressure Congress to make labor law reforms” (Library of Congress). It was composed of “national associations of unions” with “trade-printers, machinists, stone cutters” and others (American Federationist).
Labor Unions: Aging Dinosaur or Sleeping Giant? The Labor Movement and Unionism Background and Brief History Higher wages! Shorter workdays! Better working conditions! These famous words echoed throughout the United States beginning in “1790 with the skilled craftsmen” (Dessler, 1997, p. 544). For the last two-hundred years, workers of all trades have been fighting for their rights and “seeking methods of improving their living standards, working conditions, and job security” (Boone, 1996,p.287). As time went by, these individuals came to the conclusion that if they work together collectively, they would grow stronger to get responses to their demands. This inspired into what we know today as labor unions. “A labor union
Labor unions have existed in one form or another in the United States since the birth of the country. They were created in an effort to protect the working population from abuses such as sweatshops and unsafe working conditions. On the other hand, they have also been accused of crippling industries and consorting with organized crime over the decades. But in one way or another, labor unions have been
The history of unions in the US is based on a time line that represents workers struggling to organize unions. In the United States, the history of unions played an important part in the independence process
First some disclosure about myself: my mother was a strong union member for General Motors for over 32 years where she held several different offices in the union. My stepfather was a member of the local iron workers union and then a member of the union at Tinker Field Airbase. When I got out of high school I worked at General Motors wishing I could join the union. Within a year of being out of school I hired on the fire department and joined their local union where I was a member for over 22 years. Needless to say I have a long history with labor unions and the benefits they provide. I know unions have done great things for our nation and have been a counterbalance to greedy companies that take advantage of
Unions have been around for a long time. The first recorded union was in 1792, when shoemakers in Philadelphia met to consider matters of common interest. This earliest form of
The American Federation of Labor, AFL, was founded in 1886 (Brands, 422). This particular group was defined as a loose alliance of national craft unions, which only organized skilled workers, avoiding politics, and worked for specific objectives (Brands, 422). Unlike the Knights of Labor, the AFL initially only allowed skilled workers to join the organization, because it was believed that a more concentrated group of people meant more success for the union (American Federation of Labor). This meant unskilled labors, women, African Americans, and other racial minorities were either excluded from the representation of this organization or were unequal in representation itself (American Federation of Labor). Samuel Gompers, the AFL’s founder and longtime president stated “ I have my own philosophy and my own dreams … but first and foremost I want to increase the workingman’s welfare year by year” (Brands, 422). Gompers attempted to take the more pragmatic approach to address the labor’s needs as he accepted capitalism and did not attempt to radically change the workplace, and is well well known for avoiding politics (Brands, 422). It is evident that Gompers simply wanted “a recognized place within the system and more of the rewards” (Brands, 422). Under Samuel Gompers' leadership, the AFL became the largest labor union organization
This brief history of more than 100 years of the modern trade union movement in the United States can only touch the high spots of activity and identify the principal trends of a "century of achievement." In such a condensation of history, episodes of importance and of great human drama must necessarily be discussed far too briefly, or in some cases relegated to a mere mention.
Labor Unions began in the United States in the mid-late 1800’s. The first founding labor union was the National Labor Union, started in 1866. This labor union was not set on a particular type of worker and even though it did not succeed in making a difference in workers’ rights, it set an important precedent in our country. Being a part of a labor union has lots of pros and cons, as well as, because of them, the right to work movement was created.