Labor Unions Labor Movement Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Labor Unions

Since their inception as trade unions in the late 18th Century, collective labor alliances have grown in numbers, power and influence . Despite the many uncertain times of recession, depression, joblessness and cost-cutting throughout the last century, the labor movement has helped to stabilize the lives and futures of many blue-collar American families. This is especially true in the case of public sector workers. Previous to the unionization of labor in this occupational arena, employee were at the mercy of the government. That is, they had very little bargaining power when it came to their own job positions. However, with the advent of labor unions, this demographic was able to collectively bargain and fight for what they want and deserve. Thus, by ensuring steady incomes, safe working conditions and competitive benefits for members, labor unions have helped this quintessential population of workers to survive. It is clear that this movement has been very beneficial for workers over the last 100 years. Knowing that a very large percentage of the American population was comprised of these blue-collar citizens during the majority of this period, I believe that this movement has been very helpful from a historical perspective. There is little question in my mind that if it had not been for labor unions, many families would not have survived or at least slipped into devastating poverty. Therefore, this movement was undoubtedly effective and valuable in sustaining America's living standards and enriching the lives of union members.

However, while union members certainly profited from the creation of labor unions, it is unclear if society as a whole was always on the winning end of this discussion. While the collective economy surely benefited a great deal during the initial decades of labor unionization since there was such a large population of public sector workers and blue-collar laborers, it is unclear that the advancement of labor unions has been entirely favorable to America's society. While members of labor unions continue to reap great rewards as a result of union membership, society has begun to suffer at…

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