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
Unions have been an essential element in the progression of our nation through making the work environment safer, increasing the pay for workers, and insuring that health and retirement benefits are preserved. The basic idea behind Unions is to put together all the different needs and opinions of the people and make it into one unified voice that brings people struggling to an area of financial security and stability with additional benefits.My relationship to the Union and Labor movement is that my mother is a follower of it. My mother being a follower in the force has affected me greatly in terms of my stability at home and mentally. I don't have to worry about her in regards health, financial stability, and benefits. This is done great
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.
Despite being able to cause a small improvement in workers’ pay and hours, labor unions ultimately died out by the 1900s due to their methods. Unable to truly focus on the plight of skilled workers, most labor unions instead focused on that of unskilled workers, pushing aside the skilled workers. (Doc D). The actions of labor unions ended up being counterproductive, forcing companies to wage war against the labor unions. These stricter contracts such as that of Western Union Telegraph Company, forced workers to affiliate themselves against labor unions. (Doc E) One important thing to note is that the workers’ rights advocates were never able to coincide on one factor. As evidenced in an illustration in 1887, labor unions had to compete with other movements such as socialism, anarchism, and other labor unions. (Doc F). Because of this, the media, although recognizing the labor union movement, began viewing the labor unions as dangerous entities. Although the initial strikes such as the Wabash strike were successful, the ones that followed proved detrimental to the movement, and caused the steady decline of the labor unions. Because some of the strikes were dangerous, many strikes resulted in the deaths of those involved, such as the Homestead Crisis, and Pinkerton (Doc G). Combined with events such as the Wildcat strike, Haymarket strike, the Pullman Strike, the public began to associate a negative
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 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.
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 topic of Labor Unions has been the focus of many political debates in recent years, with these discussions having people advocate for and against the unions. Labor Unions are an organization that represent a collective group of employees to protect and further theirs rights and interests. Labor Unions were first introduced in the eighteenth century with increasing numbers around the United States and the world, but unfortunately during the past decade these numbers have drastically decreased, resulting in less education and achievement of solidarity among employees. Solidarity is the unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest. Workers in the United States would benefit more through
You may think Labor Unions were bad and not a good idea because they got violent. The reason they got very violent was because nothing was being changed. They were still being treated badly and still were not earning enough money. At this point, they have fought for their rights for a long time and they were all tired of protesting.
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 are incentivized for mobilizing citizens to engage in politics. Some join unions to gain employment. Most union members do not have prior political experience. Once they become a member, this begins to change as the union will teach the members political skills. Unions attempt to change the political identities of their members. One way they do this is by exposing their members to pro-labor situations. (Kerrissey, J., & Schofer, E., 2013) Unions are a partisan interest group that is in cooperation with the Democratic Party. This is as a result of the fact that Democrats are pro-labor and labor is the most important part of a union.
What do these texts suggest to you about the interplay between empathy and self-interest? Support your idea(s) with reference to one or more of the texts presented and to your previous knowledge and/or experience.
As a child, I grew up as a pro-union son of a United Auto Worker who worked 28 years in an iron foundry as a millwright. My father was also a UAW shop steward just like his father had been before he took over that position. Often I found myself sitting around my families' kitchen table at meetings between my dad and various union members as they worked to improve their work conditions and to provide a livable wage to its employees. This union was a family who had everyone's backs to improve everyone and was always willing to fight to get it. The UAW
Labor unions can be viewed as unjust and immoral because of the actions they choose to take against their employers and employees. Labor unions seem to help their employees on the outside but in the long run, end up preventing them from doing things individually. There are many other industries that have high paying wages without being in a union. I am
Most of us assume that selfishness is both wrong and unhealthy. But is this true?