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Labor Unions

Labor Unions

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Published by Anthony Cappucci
The impact of Labor Unions in The United States
The impact of Labor Unions in The United States

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Anthony Cappucci on Sep 28, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/23/2013

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Labor Unions
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Pros and ConsPast and Present
 
Labor Unions
Labor Unions Rise
The rise of labor organizations resultedfrom the growth of industry in the 1920sand the devastating effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
During the Great Depression, unemployment was high. Many employers tried to getas much work as possible from their employees for the lowest possible wage. Workerswere upset with the speedup of assembly lines, working conditions and the lack of jobsecurity. Seeking strength in unity, they formed unions.Automobile workers organized the U.A.W. (United Automobile Workers of America)in 1935. General Motors would not recognize the U.A.W. as the workers' bargainingrepresentative. Hearing rumors that G.M. was moving work to factories where the unionwas not as strong, workers in Flint began a sit-down strike on December 30, 1936.The sit-down was an effective way to strike. When workers walked off the job and picketed a plant, management could bring in new workers to break the strike. If theworkers stayed in the plant, management could not replace them with other workers.This photograph shows the broken windows at General Motors' Flint Fisher BodyPlant during the Flint sit-down strike of 1936-37.
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Labor Unions
The Women's Auxiliary organized a first aid station, provided childcare and collectedfood and money for strikers and their families. Some of the women organized theEmergency Brigade, an offshoot of the Women's Auxiliary. These women picketed theauto plant to divert management while another plant was seized. They smashed the auto plant's windows after they heard that the strikers had been gassed inside the building.On March 12, 1937, the Flint sit-down strike ended with an agreement under whichGeneral Motors recognized the United AutoWorkers as the bargaining agent for their workers. The success of the UAW inspired others. Unions grew across the nation.
The AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a national federation of labor unions in the United States. It was formed in 1955 bythe merger of the AFL, an organization composed primarily of craft unions founded in 1886,and the CIO, a federation of industrial unions founded in 1938. (Craft unions organizeworkers by trades--bricklayers may form one union, carpenters another. Industrial unionsenroll members from an entire industry regardless of trade or level of skill, as in theautomobile, steel, or chemical industry.)The CIO was first formed within the AFL as the Committee for IndustrialOrganization in 1935; its mission was to organize workers in mass-production industries,which had few unions at that time. In 1938 the CIO was expelled from the AFL and becamethe Congress of Industrial Organizations. The conflict between the two federations waslargely over whether the mass-production industries were to be organized along industrial or along craft lines. The leadership of the CIO included John L. LEWIS of the UNITED MINE
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