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Free Example of American Labor Movement Essay

Workers welfare has remained an issue of concern among the economic revival strategies in America. The age of Labor Union Movements is as old as the age of employment in America. As long as the employment will be taking place, the labor movement will also be present there. The evolution of labor movements is one of the aspects that influence the economic and social forces in America. The collective forces among employees in advocating for their rights, improved working conditions, increase in salaries and workers policy issues are the main reasons that motivate the establishment of  Labor Unions. The labor movement in America started as individual unions that later joined together to push for a common goal. The main motivation of this was the need to have a large number of members for their voices to be heard.

Unions of the American Labor Movement

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The roots of the American labor union movement can be traced back in 1700s. These unions had a key role in the struggle for independence in America. New York printers strike in 1794, and the Philadelphia carpenters strike of 1797 are some of the first organized workers strikes, in America. These first concerns resulted in the workers parties evolvement such as the New York Workingmen Part of the 1830, the General Trade Unions of New York of the 1833 and Knight of Labor formed in 1869. These unions championed for the changes of the working conditions of their members with the main concerns being the reduction of working hours and increase in salaries. The unity of the unions was the main factor for success in their issues. Some of the suffered internal wrangles, attack from the politicians, and members transferring to newly formed unions; thus weakening the unions. Failure of the Government and employers to heed the unions’ requests led to the eruption of riots among the workers in different parts of the country culminating to adverse effects. Several people were wounded, killed and arrested by the Government officials.

In 1886, one of the most influential unions in American history came into force. The American Federation of Labor was established by Samuel Gompers with the aim of championing for reduction of working hours and better wages. The reason behind this union expansion was the open membership irrespective of race. The Industrial Workers of the World came into existence inn around 1912 and was a part of the upheaval and riots in 1913 opposing the reduction in workers’ wages by 15.5%. Government issued the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890s, which aimed at combating the raising labor unions and riots drafted.  The persistence of unions’ outcry led to the response from the Federal Government through establishing the Department of Labor and Children’s Bureau. In addition to these, the National Industrial Recovery Act was ratified in 1933 and later conformed to Wagner Act in 1935. The effect was absorption and modification of laborers conditions. Wagner Act led to the establishment of National Labor Regulation Board that was aimed at maintaining the actions of the unions within the law. The effects of World War II affected measures achieved by the unions where the wages drastically reduced. This raised the unions’ efforts to advocate for their members.

The creation of the Committee for Industrial Organization in 1935 that was aimed at propagating the efforts of Industrial Unions formed in the early 1900s. CIO was later transformed into the Congress of Industrial Organizations after three years. Conflicts between the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations provoked the deal to work together for the benefit of the workers. This was achieved in 1955 where the two unions merged together to form the AFI-CIO Union. The subsequent years after the amalgamation of the two leading unions, in America, resulted to decline in number of unions and their vocal advocate was submerged. The involvement of the unions in political interest resulted to an effect where the main agenda changed from the interest of workers to the union goals. What were meant to be workers movement was turned into human rights activist union. The union started to advocate for the rights of women and children.

The current unions have been connected with political motives. According to Warren, they negotiate with the political parties in order to incline their members to vote for a certain party. However, the workers interests are not the main agendas of these negotiations. America is in the wake of rejuvenating the dwindling economic status. Politicians should understand that this cannot be arrived at with cases of poor working conditions, constant strikes and unproductivity of laborers due to poor motivation. The Government should avoid interference of the labor unions movement. Employers weaken the unions’ movement to prevent them from fighting for better employees’ terms. Some employers prohibit their employees subscribing to union movements. This is achieved through drafting legal terms incorporated in contracts. Others employers weaken the powers of employees by appointing the leaders of the union in the board of directors of such organizations This situation brings about conflict of interest incapacitating such leaders from playing the roles in the unions matters.

In conclusion, the Unions of American Labor Movements have declined in number and vigilance toward advocating for their employees. The fact remains that these unions are crucial in transforming a nation and promoting development. It is through the unions that the nation will be able to improve the living conditions of the workers even in the private sectors. Labor Unions act as a watch dogs that advocate for the common citizen representing their interest, thus, motivating workers. This culminates into the increased production and quality of goods and services.

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