Labor Unions

Essay by smiley00High School, 12th gradeB+, September 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

What caused the development of labor unions, and how successful were they?

Labor unions originated from workers refusing to be treated like slaves, and working under unbearable conditions. Labor unions were moderately successfully as workers joined together and realized a group is much more powerful than an individual when protesting against intimidating companies. A group of employees who unite together to defend their rights, and resolve working conditions such as wages, working hours and benefits can be defined as a labor union. Labor Unions were the result of disgruntled workers in nation wide organizations. Unions represent workers and negotiate with an organizations management on behalf of the workers. Workers realized the importance of economic and legal protection against the powerful employers who took advantage of them (History, 2009).

The beginning of American Labor Unions started with the Industrial Revolution. The United States had the highest job-related fatality rate of any other industrialized nation in the world.

Once factory systems began to grow, a demand for workers increased. Textile mills were the first factories built in the United States. Everyone worked eighty hours or more a week for extremely low wages. Men and women earned twenty to forty percent less than the minimum deemed necessary for a decent life. Often workers would go home after a long day and have to continue working on an unfinished product, which they had to return to the factory finished in the morning. Their jobs were never finished, and they barely had any time to rest. These men and women lived and worked in unhealthy environments in poverty with little food. The country was growing and its economy was rising, but its people were miserable. (History, 2009)

The first national labor organization to become popular in America was the Noble and Holy Order of the...