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 were established as a way for workers’ needs and grievances to be heard by management. According to Fossum (2012), “forming a union creates a collective voice to influence change at work” (p. 7). The collective voice of workers in a union holds much more power than any single employee’s voice. It can loudly draw attention to mistreatment or abuse of workers. The organized collective voice of workers demands to be treated in a fair way by its management in terms of wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions.
Title: Unions have played a significant role in workforce history, have they outlived their purpose.
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.
See, e.g., Marion Crain & Ken Matheny, Beyond Unions, Notwithstanding Labor Law, 4 U.C. IRVINE L. REV. 561, 562–53 (2014). “Unions served as a vehicle for worker voice and political influence . . . .”
Throughout American history, labor unions have served to facilitate mediation between workers and employers. Workers seek to negotiate with employers for more control over their labor and its fruits. “A labor union can best be defined as an organization that exists for the purpose of representing its members to their employers regarding wages and terms and conditions of employment” (Hunter). Labor unions’ principal objectives are to increase wages, shorten work days, achieve greater benefits, and improve working conditions. Despite these goals, the early years of union formation were characterized by difficulties (Hunter).
Initially, the intent of labor unions was for employed workers to meet together and collectively agree on fundamental workplace objectives and goals. The rise of the union came about after the Civil War, in the United States- responding to the industrial economy boom. Following the war, labor unions finally reached public popularity within the 1930-1950’s, and then again began to slowly decrease, through the 1960’s and on to today’s times. Although, the popularity of labor unions has decreased, its importance remains to be evident with politics, journalism, auto, and the public education industries.
In any organization, unions act as binding agreements between employees and management. In this case, a group of persons are responsible for conducting negotiations with the management for the purpose of enhancing the welfare of workers. Unions originate from the period of American depression when workers faced various work challenges including low remuneration, and unfavorable working conditions. The purpose of this essay is to explore the pros and cons of unions in America in the current times.
The role of unions and their importance has changed over the years. A mixture of poor wages, high unemployment, non-existent benefits and insignificant professional stability amongst the more youthful era makes a ready demographic for restoration. The younger era is the slightest unionized section of our general public today by a long shot. Unions are important in today’s society because checks and balances are necessary entities in business and government, so if CEOs are just focusing on themselves and profits, unions are a necessary check to all that corporate power. Today and in the future, labor unions will continue to play an important role in our country 's work force and the quality of life for working families.
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,
While organized labor’s storied history demonstrates remarkable achievements, there has been a downside for the American economy. By way of example, the formerly dominant U.S. steel industry serves to remind of an time when poor management, global competition, and union excess were necessary causes of a dramatic and rapid industry decline.
Organized labor has seen a long and ever changing history in the United States. What began as minimal organized labor movement catapulted into astronomical union membership rates as the nation grew and developed. The intense power unions possessed only lasted so long and in the years since 1970, union membership in the United States has collapsed. This paper will examine the most significant reasons for the decline in membership. In brief, organizational redesigns, the development of technology and substantial public policy changes have all contributed to the drop in affiliation rates. In addition, policy suggestions will be provided in an attempt to support the continuation of the trend. Much of the research regarding this topic refers to
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.
Though, unions are declining, the role of union have evolved over time. Now, it is more common to view unions’ primary role as collective bargaining, which is the product of the economic decision and making process with unionism of the private sector. A long time ago, Union was seen as the shield that protects American workers against some of the abusive employers. Many public sector employees have unionized. However, the National Labor Relations Act was designed for the private sector. Despite that, union has become a model for most public sector collective bargaining right. Regardless of the success that Unions have with collective bargaining in the private sector, there are still a few who are opposed collective bargaining in the public sector. Of course, there are some differences between the public and private sectors.
The relationship between unions and organization is a touchy one. Dating back to the start of unionization in the 19th century, the two bodies have held opposing viewpoints. Unionization was formed from the opinion that organizations took advantage of workers and some form of a negotiating agreement was needed. There were documented events of workers working long taxing hours for insignificant pay; no healthcare coverage; dangerous working conditions; and gender and or racial discrimination. Companies believed that unionization caused less productivity which endangered profits. Companies also believed that unions interfere in daily processes, and limits the employer’s say over compensation and benefits. The