The Labor Unions

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The Labor Unions Unions have become commonplace in the labor arena. They provide employees with a valuable tool that allows them to stand together against their employer to make sure that their rights are upheld in the workplace. This paper will focus on labor unions with regards to how they work in two very different companies, Ford Motor Company and United Airlines. Also, a brief history will be outlined as well as legislation regarding unions. Many unions are at battle with their respected employers. Some of these fights are better known than other fights. United Airlines is trying to renegotiate contracts to save their company money. This has been a long battle for United, that some may see as having begun with the events of September 11, 2001. In truth, the International Association of Machinists, the union that represents a majority of United employees and United have been locked in a heated battle for some time now, even before the events of that September. By contrast, Ford Motor Company has had very little trouble recently with the union that represents the majority of their employees. The UAW has not gone on strike at Ford since 1976. The last time that Ford-UAW relationship even made the news was in 1999, when the UAW was negotiating their new contract. Comparatively speaking, the two companies could not be further apart when it comes to working with their respective unions. History Although some people trace the beginning of labor unions in the United States to the very beginning, when guilds men got off the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, the beginning of the modern labor movement began in 1886. That is the year when Samuel Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor. The statement of the founders of the AFL reads in part: The various trades have been affected by the introduction of machinery, the subdivision of labor, the use of women's and children's labor and the lack of an apprentice system-so that the skilled trades were rapidly sinking to the level of pauper labor. To protect the skilled labor of America from being reduced to beggary and to sustain the standard of American workmanship and skill, the trades unions of America have been established. (AFL-CIO, 2002) The first major union strike in this country was the P... ... middle of paper ... ...8/2004 at Commission for Labor Cooperation (2002) “ United States Labor Law.” Viewed online on 11/18/2004 at Encyclopedia Britannica, Online Edition (2002) “Labor History: United States.” viewed online at International Assocaition of Machinists (2002) “Union Member ights and Officer Responsibilities Under the LMRDA.” Viewed online on 11/18/2004 at U.S. Department of Labor (2002) “The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.” Viewed online on 11/18/2004 at U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Health and Safety Administration (2002) “OSHA’s Mission.” Viewed online on 11/18/2004 at United Autoworkers of America (2002) Viewed online on 11/18/2004 at

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