Essay on Labor Unions

Essay on Labor Unions

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Labor Unions and the Dynamics of Race in Unions















     Labor unions have been in America for a very long time. There are many unions in a myriad of different fields. Labor unions were and are used to allow for equal treatment of workers. Employers always want to maximize their profits and they try to give the least to get the most in return. For reasons such as this is why unions were formed. Generally a union boss is appointed or hired to protect the rights and privileges of the employees. The union boss is generally very representative of the demographics of the workers. The leader of the employees needs to know what they want and what is fair for them and this is why he tends to represent one type of work force, such as the teachers union. This type of representation is made easier when most of the workers come from the same background. Background meaning family size, education, race, etc. Labor unions have helped shape the American work force, as have the backgrounds of the men and women who have worked in them. America was founded on diversity and the freedom to choose. Many different backgrounds have found their way into America and labor unions. As stated earlier, labor unions have people of the same background in them. America’s first settlers were generally of the same background and because of that, so were the members of the first labor unions. As the United States expanded so did the work force and the diversity in it. Diversity and understanding the challenges and benefits is what enables America to be great. In the pages of this paper we are going to look at the change in the make-up of labor unions by the entrance of African-Americans and how they have influenced America and the labor unions for the better. This paper is and expansions on my paper “A Shield Against the Power of Industrial Capitalism”.

     In my paper I examined an article by Alexander Saxton. In his writing he discussed the formation of unions in the Alabama coalfields. The make up of the coal unions were very similar to the make-up of America and unions today. This was very peculiar to have such a conglomeration of workers because of the racial sentiment amongst the races of that day. The workers in the coalfields had the same background generally, except for their racial roots. These miners were brought toget...


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... a reality. Big and small companies alike are starting look more at the labor union as a whole and not the individuals that make up the union. As stated earlier labor unions were formed to protect the rights of individuals and to keep businesses from taking advantage of their employees. Blacks now have many of the same rights because they stuck through the hard times to gain their reward. There are many people to thank for the state and make up of labor unions in America today. The next big hurdle, now that we are starting to front are problems with labor unions here in the U.S., is international labor unions. Maybe 80 to 90 years from now the same will be said about international labor unions as was said about interracial labor unions. America and the world are an ever-changing place. The make up of labor unions has taken many steps from all white or black to interracial to possibly international in the future. Thanks to the studies and the history of labor union diversity we can better handle the possibilities of an international labor union. Some may say change is bad, but I believe that the changes of the work force and labor unions are better for our economy and our society.

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