Free «History of Labor Unions in the United States» Essay Sample

Labor unions in the United States of America were instituted during the nineteenth century. Initially, before the formation of the labor unions, people had formed other forces like Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor. These other early forces rose up during the eighteenth century and came to an end in the early nineteenth century. The labor unions were formed in order to solve some of the problems that led to the ending of the labor forces before.

The individual forces were not sufficient enough because they were reliant on a single handed leadership. The vision of the labor force came to an abrupt end whenever their top leaders died. Therefore, the members of the unions thought of forming a more lasting union that would address their needs effectively. The labor union is a coalition of other small forces in the United States. The labor unions would help solve various disputes arising from employees as well as coordination of strikes amongst the workers.

Immediately the Wagner Act was adopted in 1935, The labor unions became more acceptable. They revived the need for many small movements to merge strength in the World War II. However, in 1946 the Taft-Hartley Act of conservancy weakened the unions. The increase in cases of corruption mentioned among team members destroyed the image of labor movements. On the other hand, the unions became a dynamic backbone building block during the introduction of the new deal in the United States. Due to its revived strength, more people enrolled in the labor unions. At one time the number of population registered in the unions went up to 30% of the general employees. The estimated membership, as recorded in 1955, was twenty one million people.

Although the rate of registration into the unions declined to at least fifteen million people equaled to twelve percentages of workers, it was noted that some of the members transferred to private sector. Professionals were free to submit their complaints through public or private labor unions. However, other professions were restricted to register only with the public unions in order to make reliable communication with the government. Generally, the interplay between the private unions and public labor unions was fluctuating.

Since the labor unions were launched in the United States of America, various changes have taken place in the structure and composition of companies. The employees have gained ability top voice their grievances to the government. The labor unions organized strikes as well as training forums for all professional staff members from various companies. The labor unions allowed for expansion and distribution of workers improvement schemes in the country. Additionally, they helped to enact changes concerning tariffs used in payment for workers depending on academic level. In case there is need to increase salaries the union officials are involved in negotiating the ratios of increase with the government.

Labor unions in the United States of America were formed in order to effectively represent employees in various industries in the country. The representatives mainly get involved in making communal bargains over salaries, uniformity of wage and benefits accrued to employees in various companies. In case member employees in a certain company are not conducive, the labor unions step in to help to address it to the company’s management. The union officials’ main duty is to ensure every employee policy outlined in the workers act is followed without violations.

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The labor unions are formed as coalitions of smaller unions in the country. The smaller labor unions make alignments with at least one or more larger organizations. These organizations act as umbrellas in order to allow the labor unions to grow and attain stability on their own. For instance, the AFL-CIO was formed in 1955 in order to address the global trade. The AFL-CIO became another channel through which employees passed on their information to federal government in the United States and Canada. The labor unions took part in challenging various government policies and legislations that affected employees. They, as well, had an active involvement in the politics of the United States, especially if actions taken would effect the working environment.

Labor unions had challenges during formation such as inability to integrate all employees’ desires. Various professions have specifications they ought to meet in order to be allowed to integrate. The second challenge was registration. The constitutions were often rejected by the registrar of societies. This is because some had too high expectations for the government and unachievable anticipations. Additionally, there was a challenge of adequate technology to cope with the new innovations globally. However, political influence had been the most challenging aspect for labor unions. The growth and sustenance of these labor unions was influenced by the balanced put in place by the government as well as the employees in addressing issues.

The main beneficiary of the labor unions is the employees from all the industrial settings. Initially, there was no channel provided for airing out the issues to the company’s management of company. Additionally, it became almost impossible due to the protocols used to reach the government with suggestions for change. Therefore, through the use of labor unions most professions are able to solve conflicts easily. Less time is taken when union officials seek appointment with the government concerning enacting of changes in the policies and working standards.

On the other hand, various companies suffered due to the actions taken by the labor unions in addressing the employee issues. The company management lacked control over their employees especially in times of a challenge. Instead of initiating a conversation with the immediate management, the employees approach the respective labor unions. The union’s officials make matters worse by going to court, the labor unions sue the company and a case is filed against the company.

The use of money in court cases is a common source of funds embezzlement and wastage in the companies. This is so because a company is forced to spend unplanned money in running the case. Most times these cases take years before a verdict is issued. In case the verdict is against the company then it is forced to pay the employees. Thus, the organizations have most disadvantages because of the presence of labor unions in the United States of America.

The main implication of the labor unions in the United States of America is the enactment of various laws and policies. The policies and laws were taken to court by either the labor laws or the organizations led to some kind of ruling. For example, concern is the hospital fund necessary for every employee to pay at the end of the month. Some changes were proposed by the national hospital insurance fund about the ratios each employee ought to pay. The labor union sued the national hospital insurance fund in court with claims that there were inadequate consultations made before the decisions were taken. This case took at least two years in court before a decision was passed. However, the ruling made was in favor of the national hospital insurance fund. Therefore, the labor unions have to comply as employees shall have no option, but to have the money deducted from their salaries.

Consequently, the labor unions established strategies that they would use to oppose such moves to allow free trades initiatives. The proposed North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was highly opposed. The second example of free trade initiatives is by the Dominican Republic Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) which would paralyze the regulations put up in trade. The workers, therefore, with the help of the labor unions suggested that the only viable option available was to set up rules and regulations. However, free trade would never be acceptable even though incorporation of regulations would be a rational action to take. The oppositions registered by labor unions against the NAFTA proposal were accepted after a long period of debates. The labor unions, however, did not use their freedom to influence the debates.

Nonetheless, the suggestions raised by labor unions to establish various appropriate standards failed to be so effective due to the prevailing opposition. Later, the labor unions took advantage of the presidential campaigns during Clinton’s time. They requested for a unique deal that would allow the provision of an international social charter. The charter provided a set of standards that would be enforced in the domestic as well as international court systems. The US trade master found the suggestion by the labor unions to be a good opportunity to carry out the Clinton’s campaigns. Therefore, he allowed them to voice their sentiments during the negotiation process.

The labor unions have been damaged severally with suggestion that there is need to increase their wages. However, when such a move is taken the manufacturing is rendered unproductive in the global economy. The unions should, therefore, be allowed to work closely with the global markets and none should be left to make decisions without involving all necessary partakers of the global economy. Notably, the countries like Sweden, France and China have attained more in the industries due to the high payments they make. Therefore the labor unions are very important in maintaining stable economy and competing on cost.


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