Labor Unions: What Workers?

In: Other Topics

Submitted By tlotto
Words 1258
Pages 6
Normally when someone hears the words ‘labor union officials’, they immediately think of scandals or crooks. Not all unions are bad, but there is so much coverage in the media that you can’t help but be leery of someone representing a labor union. From January 2, 2013 through the end of December 2013, there were nearly 200 indictments by union officials. Crimes included larceny, intent to defraud, embezzlement of union funds, and records fraud (LaborUnionReport.com). From January 1, 2014 to the previous date, there have been nearly 40 indictments on these union officials that we trust to look out and support this nation’s hard working employees.
Although the labor union’s original intent was to protect the common interests of workers, as shown by the labor union’s beginning roots, but by the time of President John F. Kennedy’s presidency, labor union officials stopped caring about the worker and started caring more about lining their own pockets. Today they continue to support their own interests by their continued pilfering of union dues and pension plans, as evidenced by my own experience, as well as their increased affiliation with political affiliates that will help them continue to gain power.
Originally, the labor movement began when the National Labor Union succeeded in limiting the number of hours in a workday to eight hours for federal employees; however, they couldn’t do the same for private sector workers (Cussen). In 1914, Congress passed the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 that allowed employees to strike those they work for (Reeher). It was during the Great Depression when the unions grew very strong under President Roosevelt’s New Deal Policy (Miller). As the economy grew worse, membership in unions increased as workers looked for jobs and the protection of those jobs through the local trade unions. This history allowed the unions to fight for…...

Similar Documents

Labor Unions

...Labor Unions — Are They Still Relevent Labor Unions were formed in the mid-19th century in response to the changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution. The labor unions were established to help workers with low pay, unsafe working conditions and long hours—to name a few. Their main goal was to ensure that all working people were treated justly in the work force. “Working people have a lot of concerns in this economy. They want decent pay. They want benefits. And of course they want job security. All the reasons why they need union representation” (Crane, 2012). Is that statement still true today? Do labor unions want the best for the working person or are unions another example of something good gone bad? Many people believe Labor Unions were essential in the 19th century but now with government oversight and business practices, unions are no longer required. Labor Unions Needed Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions during the Industrial Revolution. As the revolution progressed, business moved from a mom-and-pop model to a machine-and-factory production model. Families quickly moved from the rural areas to the cities. They hoped to improve their standard of living. This meant ever member of the family had to work, regardless of sex or age. People worked for long hours for low wages, in dangerous and repetitive conditions, and with little-to-no......

Words: 2423 - Pages: 10

Labor Unions

...Labor unions have a long and colorful history in the United States. To some people, they conjure up thoughts of organized crime and gangsters like Jimmy Hoffa. To others, labor unions represent solidarity among the working classes, bringing people together across many professions to lobby for better rights, wages and benefits. As of 2006, 15.4 million people were union members, and although union membership peaked in 1945 when 35 percent of the nonagricultural workforce were union members, unions are still a powerful influence in the United States (and even more powerful in many other countries). (Silverman, J., 2012) They are also an important and fundamental part of the history of United States commerce and the country’s growth into an economic powerhouse. Unions began forming in the mid-19th century in response to the social and economic impact of the industrial revolution. National labor unions began to form in the post-Civil War Era. The Knights of Labor emerged as a major force in the late 1880s, but it collapsed because of poor organization, lack of effective leadership, disagreement over goals, and strong opposition from employers and government forces. (Silverman, J., 2012) The American Federation of Labor, founded in 1886 and led by Samuel Gompers until his death in 1924, proved much more durable. It arose as a loose coalition of various local unions. (Silverman, J., 2012) It helped coordinate and support strikes and eventually became a major player in national......

Words: 2547 - Pages: 11

Individual Labor Laws and Unions

...Individual Labor Laws and Unions Lalith Madhusudhanan Duraisamy Gurusamy HRM/531 - Human Capital Management Due Date: Mon 11/19/2012 Instructor’s Name: Prof. John Henderson Individual Labor Laws and Unions An organization with which I am familiar that is currently unionized is AT&T Inc. AT&T Inc. AT&T Inc. (formerly SBC Communications) is one of the largest telecommunications groups in the United States. It is engaged in providing telecommunication services to its customers, predominantly in the US. The company provides both wire line and wireless-based telecommunication services. The company’s service offerings include local exchange services, data/broadband and Internet services, and long-distance services. In addition, the company also offers video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, wholesale services and directory advertising and publishing. It offers TV services under the U-verse brand. AT&T provides voice coverage in over 220 nations, data roaming in over 190 countries, and 3G in over 125 countries. The company is also the major provider of broadband connectivity with over than 17.46 million subscribers in the US. For more than a century, it has consistently provided innovative, reliable, high-quality products and services and excellent customer care. Today, its mission is to connect......

Words: 2547 - Pages: 11

Union Labor Relations Representative

...Speaker Alaison Hamway is a Labor Relations Representative for the ‘Oregon Nurses Association’. Her objective today was to present ‘Labor Relations from the Union Perspective’. A Labor Relation Representative works for the Union, and assists in labor negotiations, grievance processing, dispute resolution and other labor relations activities between management, and staff. Such dealings are usually brought about, because Mr. Owner wants to make more money, and pay less - with substandard work conditions, this stresses out the employee which creates conflict. The reason for the Labor Unions back in the day especially for nurses, was because of the poor and dangerous working conditions, long hours, lack of equal pay , the need for better benefits, and patient care demands. A worker alone - has very little power - negotiating with an employer; however through the Union, with the representative like Alison, together they have the clout to realize results through bargaining and negotiating. Labor Unions use to be extremely powerful and popular compared to today. Today labor Unions are not as prevalent due to all of the labor laws to protect the worker; however there is still a place for Unions and they are still going strong, according to Alision Hamway. The Labor Union today is still a very powerful weapon. Her job is exciting and she seems to be extremely passionate about her work - representing the ‘Oregon Nurses Association’. Alison talked about what she liked and did not......

Words: 847 - Pages: 4

Labor Laws and Unions

...LABOR LAWS AND UNIONS The Kroger Co., situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the country’s leading grocery sellers with financial revenue of more than 82 billion in 2010. The Kroger Co. covers numerous states with store arrangements that comprise “grocery and multi-department stores, convenience stores, and mall jewelry stores” (Kroger, n.d., para. 1). They function “under nearly two dozen names, all of which share the similar conviction in building sturdy local ties and brand loyalty with their patrons” (Kroger, para. 1). Food stores are their main commerce and account for almost 95 percent of the total corporation sales. Their convenience and jewelry stores and manufacturing facilities add to the rest of the entire sales (Kroger, n.d.). Kroger employees belong to the United Food and Commercial Workers union. In UFCW, the people form the union. They come collectively with their coworkers, and they put forward and choose by ballot union officers. They also establish the working circumstances and apprehensions bargained in an agreement, and they are part of a bigger movement to advance the lives of employees in the workplace and in their neighborhoods. The more employees who unite collectively, the more management will listen to what the workers have to say.  In union there is momentum and without, “union employees have only a small number of rights such as minimum wage, overtime after 40 hours, and unemployment insurance” (Kroger, para.......

Words: 624 - Pages: 3

Labor Unions

...Labor Unions University of Phoenix MGT434: Employment Law Scott Dunlap February 7, 2008 Labor organizations or unions are formed by employees who want better wages, benefits, and healthy working conditions. Over the years, participation in unions has declined regardless of the benefits it offers. There are less strikes and better wages in the United States which in turn does not warrant the high need for these types of organizations in the work place. Labor unions today compared to in the past have fewer members and are more populated by political parties and public sector employees. During the implementation of unions, the labor force consisted heavily of automobile and steel plant workers. This has decreased due to outsourcing these jobs to foreign countries (AFL-CIO, 2004). Americans have also seen a decrease in highly-skilled jobs due to outsourcing. The United States Government current push on company’s to send these skilled jobs offshore, in return for a tax break, is hurting the economy and trade deficit. While jobs are increasing in foreign countries workers rights are not. Wages are low and employees do not have the respect and healthy work conditions as most American unions. According to a petition filed with the U.S. Trade Representative by the AFL-CIO and Industrial Union Council, the United States has lost more than 1 million jobs because of constant violations of workers rights in China (AFL-CIO, 2006). Countries with low wages or no minimum wages......

Words: 602 - Pages: 3

Labor Unions

...Labor Unions Objective Labor unions in the United States have been prevailing forces in the workplace since their establishment in the late 1800’s. The two main purposes for unions are union security and overall improvement in wages, working conditions and benefits for their members. While only 12% of the U.S. workforce today is under union contract; they still are establish a presence by way of strikes, mediation and impasses. Unions will form when employees believe that company management is practicing unfair labor standards and acts and will take action accordingly to meet their goals. This report will look into the history and implications labor unions have had on the U.S. workforce and what they mean for both companies and employees alike in today’s world. General History Famous Labor Strikes The Great Postal Strike of 1970 involved 200,000 postal workers who walked off the job to protest their pay rates, which when accounted barely surpassed the average cost of living in the United States during that time period (in accordance with inflationary rates). President Nixon sent 23,000 U.S. army and marine personnel to handle the mail system, but that failed due to the limited training they possessed working with the massive government operation. Within a week, the government reached an agreement with the worker’s union, allowing for a 14% pay raise for postal workers. As a result, the American Postal Workers Union became a powerful force in......

Words: 2274 - Pages: 10

Labor Union

...Labor Unions in the United States Posted Mon, 2010-02-01 17:21 by Anonymous Gerald Friedman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Unions and Collective Action In capitalist labor markets, which developed in the nineteenth-century in the United States and Western Europe, workers exchange their time and effort for wages. But even while laboring under the supervision of others, wage earners have never been slaves, because they have recourse from abuse. They can quit to seek better employment. Or they are free to join with others to take collective action, forming political movements or labor unions. By the end of the nineteenth century, labor unions and labor-oriented political parties had become major forces influencing wages and working conditions. This article explores the nature and development of labor unions in the United States. It reviews the growth and recent decline of the American labor movement and makes comparisons with the experience of foreign labor unions to clarify particular aspects of the history of labor unions in the United States. Unions and the Free-Rider Problem Quitting, exit, is straightforward, a simple act for individuals unhappy with their employment. By contrast, collective action, such as forming a labor union, is always difficult because it requires that individuals commit themselves to produce "public goods" enjoyed by all, including those who "free ride" rather than contribute to the group effort. If the union succeeds, free......

Words: 10531 - Pages: 43

Labor Unions

...Abstract The goal of unions is to band together and protect employee rights. The paper begins with an introduction as to the purpose of the labor union. The question is also posed if labor unions are a necessity in today’s society. The paper begins with an interesting look at the history of labor unions. The paper explores how the Industrial Revolution and Haymaker Riot were instrumental in the formation of labor unions. The history of the two largest labor unions is explored. Next some basic information is given on labor unions such as who can join and the benefits associated with joining a labor union. The paper then shifts to look at legislation that governs the formation and policies in a labor union. More specifically, the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board, Taft-Hartley Act, and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 are explored in detail. The paper will then examine the most common ways an HR employee will interact with the union. This is discussed through grievances and collective bargaining agreement. The process for both of these is examined in detail including which parts of the collective bargaining agreement are mandatory and permissive issues. Next, the paper explores the process a HR manager would go through in order to keep a healthy, happy, and productive relationship with the union. Finally the paper reexamines whether labor unions are necessary in today’s society. A conclusion is drawn......

Words: 4404 - Pages: 18

Union Workers

...This was due to trade barriers with the West. When communism fell, Western economies, that is, countries that were not under communist influence, were able to expand their markets to former communist countries. This in turn increased their profit potential. Related Reading: How to Prepare Your Company for Globalization Cheaper Resources Another consequence of bilateral trade agreements is the access to cheaper resources. Until the start of the 1990's, the People's Republic of China was largely closed off to the rest of the world. Many companies in the United States produced their goods either domestically or in areas with slightly less expensive labor. When China opened its market to the rest of the world, however, American companies were able to take advantage of the far cheaper labor. This is known as outsourcing. Cheaper labor contributes to cheaper costs, which in turn contributes to larger profits. Sometimes, but not always, this may also mean cheaper products and services. International Development International development, as a consequence of globalization, arises out of a combination of both expanded markets as well as cheaper resources. A prime example of this is India. Before the late 90s, the information technology sector in India was largely in its infancy stage. However, coupled with an educated yet inexpensive workforce, foreign companies were able to start subsidiaries of high tech activities in cities like Bangalore. This technological know-how spread to......

Words: 1834 - Pages: 8

Labor Unions

...Labor Laws Institution A good chunk of employees believe that they are not acceptable because of the tough laws. It is based on the simple fact the employers have enforced such the laws to help them stay out of trouble. There is also the state laws that employees must have a civilized operational atmosphere that would guarantee that all employees’ privileges are valued. Fundamentally, labor laws have been ratified in a proposal to safeguard that employees are pleased in their work spaces regardless of their positions. Employers are always pleased in situations in accordance with which they control the lives of their workers by imposing rules that bulk of the work forces cannot adhere. Naturally, labor laws do not take care of the country’s privileges according to the environment of their civilization. Nevertheless, companies have been unsuccessful to understand that their arrangements discourage workers’ performance, which leads to reduced revenue for the entire firm (Sloan, 2009). Mainly, establishments have to respect worker human rights if they are to be competitive in their route of commerce and safeguard the corporation’s sustainability. Inherently, because employers refuse to adhere to the employees’ rights to be able to converse with their management to come up with a plan; this has caused laws and regulations to be born (Gompers, 2013, p. 222), which leads to low employee morale and incentive in their workplaces. Subsequently, the current United......

Words: 668 - Pages: 3

Labor Unions

...“Labour unions only exist today because government, and the law, has supported them since 1944. They engage in economically damaging strikes and do not served any useful function. Management should be allowed to manage and unions should be disbanded.”, I will show how labour unions still play an important role in labour relations with the following topics: I will explain the role of the state and how the development of labour laws support unions; how labour strikes socially and economically affect a union; the function of unions, and finally management’s right to manage within the union environment. To start, the state sets out rules pertaining to unionization and collective bargaining. By setting out these rules the state is accommodating the demand of the employees and in turn maintaining its legitimacy in the public’s opinions. (Athabasca University, 2015, pp. 2-4) The state also regulates the relationships between the employer and the employee by means of Labour Laws. These Labour Laws relate to the right of an employee to join a union and engage in the collective bargaining process. Under the Labour Law, employees are able to apply to the Labour Board to form a bargaining unit. Once the bargaining unit has been formed, the union will establish that they have signed the majority of the workers up to be union members. Once this has been established the union will be granted certification by the Labour Board and the employer will be required to recognize the union and......

Words: 1563 - Pages: 7

Labor Unions

...Labor Unions Labor unions are seen from conflicting points of view. Members stand firm behind them citing their positive contributions to the higher pay, improved working conditions, better benefits, and overall greater standards achieved through collective bargaining. Solidarity, a motto of unions, keeps members bonded to each other and the union through shared problems and experiences. Some corporations and economists believe that labor unions are cartels that create monopolies and regard them as a detriment to the capitalist vision. Antiunion opinions stem from the seemingly untouchable status of labor unions and the favor and protections given to them by the federal government. Labor unions are nearly as old as America herself. Although primitive unions of carpenters and other tradespeople made an appearance in various cities in colonial America, the first national labor unions didn’t gain strength until the 1820s. During this time, workers banded together to reduce the working day from a grueling 12 hours to a more manageable 10 hours. In 1866, the Nation Labor Union persuaded Congress to cut the workday down to today’s eight hour standard. As early as 1909 eastern European immigrant steel workers attempted demonstrations of solidarity for humane working conditions. However, due to language barriers they were exploited and easily divided (Brody 153). These early efforts, along with those of washwomen, factory, mill, and postal workers paved the road for labor......

Words: 1386 - Pages: 6

Labor Laws Unions

... Labor Laws and Unions HRM/531 April 2, 2012 Susan Frear Labor Laws and Unions The United Postal Service (UPS) is a unionized company. A brief background will be given as well as legal issues and obstacles they may encounter, how the federal, state, and local laws could be breached because of the legal issues and why, and recommendations how to mitigate the possible litigation. As a part of the analysis the subsequent questions will be answered what are the benefits of UPS joining the union, what is the unionization process, how do they bargain, and what effects does the bargaining have on the organization. UPS started out as a messenger company in 1907 and has grown into a multibillion dollar corporation (UPS, 2011). Ups is the world largest package delivery company and leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services (UPS, 2001).UPS has 185,000 union members and 75,000 non union members. The majority of the UPS union members are a part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) which are a part of the (AFO-CIO) (Proyect, 2012). UPS operates under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), commonly known as the Wagner act (Thomas, 2001). Some of the legal issues include the legality of the proposals by UPS to change benefit packages, 2006 legal issue concerning the IBT’s right to designate a representative on a safety committee established by its collective bargaining agreement with UPS, and “The......

Words: 923 - Pages: 4

Labor Unions

...Labor Unions play an essential role in representing the interests pertaining to the conditions of employment of every unionized employee. Also labor unions contribute tremendously in the continuous growth of the economy. There are common roles of the union and I will first explain Collective Bargaining. Second, I will show how in situations where an employer will not compromise to the satisfaction of the union, the union is able to implement certain actions by its members such as a strike, or a work to rule. Third, I will discuss how Prior to unionization, employers were able to take advantage of their employees by reducing pay, providing squalid working conditions, and dismissing employees at will in order to maximize company profit. Fourth, I will show that by the 1940 s, the rights of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers were generally recognized and incorporated into law. Fifth, I will tell you the fact that unions are responsible for wage increases, management will respond by raising capital per worker and hiring better workers in order to increase productivity even further. Six, I will discuss the positive effect on productivity, and through wage increases to employees (providing more disposable income), unions are able to help ensure the continuing growth of the economy. Lastly, the Unions greatly benefit the workers as well as the economy as a whole. As long as democracy and capitalism are the continue to reign in our society, unions......

Words: 263 - Pages: 2

Sue Ramirez | Watch Series | Unsolved Mysteries