Introduction - Anusha Evelyn SCM-004666 Why are unions...

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Anusha Evelyn SCM-004666 Why are unions important today? How do unions build a better life? 1
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Introduction What are unions? What do they actually mean? Essentially, labor unions are associations of workers who are banded together for the purpose of improving their employment conditions and protecting themselves and their coworkers from economic and legal exploitation. Members of labor unions engage in collective bargaining with their employers, as well as general political activism. Imagine a life where as an employee you have no security in a job, if your employer believes he or she can be more profitable without you then without you is how they continue. Or if you are injured your income disappears also. This is how many workers lived their life at one time with continuously cut wages. While workers fought for fair treatment and job security, the employers wanted the freedom to become more efficient and profitable. But when one threatens they others goal naturally the other will resist. In a dictatorship this would be handled favoring one party or the other (normally the employers) every time, but in a democracy there was a need for unions to do collective bargaining and at times when demands are not met strike. Union is an association of workers established to improve economic and social conditions. The union’s basic job is to bargain with employers to determine the best wages and working conditions for its members. Most unions can provide employment services, insurance, and certain benefits also. There are two different types of unions. The first of which are Craft Unions these included specific work such as electricians and carpenters. The second is Industrial Unions; they include any and all jobs within a given industry such as automobile or steel industry. There are also separate union systems for government employees or professional occupations, such as nurses and teachers. 2
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Labor unions were initiated to combat the low wages and poor working conditions that were seen in factories and other businesses. In the late 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution stormed the world, farmers began leaving agricultural work behind for what they assumed would be a steadier and better income. When that didn’t happen, a labor movement began among the workers. The idea behind the labor movement was to eliminate the disparity between the workers, who believed they were being treated poorly, and the company owners who were taking advantage of the workers’ need for a job while raking in large amounts in revenue. 3
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Why are unions important today? There are many reasons why unions are important for workers now days. Labor unions are groups of workers organizing and taking collective action to improve their lives. The labor movement is all unions, union members and union organizations acting collectively. Those that join a union are the employees and members of a public or government association. There are approximately 15 million workers in unions and employee associations in the United States. Workers formed unions so that they could have some say over wages, hours, working
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2011 for the course SCM 4666 taught by Professor Martin during the Spring '11 term at United International University.

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Introduction - Anusha Evelyn SCM-004666 Why are unions...

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