Why Do Labor Unions Matter? Essay

Why Do Labor Unions Matter? Essay

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Introduction
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, starting in the 1960’s on to today. Although, the popularity of labor unions has decreased, its importance remains to be evident with politics, journalism, auto, and the public education industries. The objective of this paper is to shine light upon labor unions, taking a closer look at the disputed issues of union ethics, concerns of union diversity, and the opposing viewpoints of labor unions.
Why Do Labor Unions Matter?
Unions have an extensive history of standing up for workers. They have advocated rights of steelworkers, coal miners, clothing factory employees, teachers, health care workers, and many others. The labor movement is based on the idea that organized workers as a group have more power than individuals would have on their own. The key purpose of any union is to negotiate contracts, making sure workers are respected and fairly compensated for their work. “In theory” unions are democratic organizations, resulting in varying inner authority. Workers look for security within a job a...


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Gould, W. (1977). Black workers in white unions: Job discrimination in the United States. London: Cornell University Press.
Dine, P. (2008). State of the Unions. New York. NY: McGraw-Hill.
Zieger, R. (2007). For jobs and freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.

McNeese, T. (2008). The Labor Movement: Unionizing America. New York. NY: InfoBase Publishing.
SOLIDARITY FOR SALE - LABORERS: LIUNA-An Unofficial Look At ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.laborers.org/SOLIDARITYFORSALE.html

Ethics and the Unions - Part 1. Industrial Workers of the World. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iww.org/en/history/library/Dolgoff/newbeginning/1

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