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American Unions: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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American Unions: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Page 1 of 15
Abstract:
In the early days the union was considered a moral establishment, ensuring that workers worked in safe and equitable environments. In today’s society however, where capitalist endeavors dominate, wages and working conditions are already reasonable for the most part, unions are failing. If one examines critically the purpose of unions, many may find their modus of operation outdated, and their strategies unreasonable for the modern marketplace. More and more American workers and employers are recognizing that the benefits of a union do not outweigh the hassle associated with membership.

Table of Contents
History of Unions…………………………………………………………… The Good ………………………………………………………………….. The Bad: Unions in Modern Society…………………………………. The Ugly: The Evils of Corruption…………………………………… Are Unions Anti-American?........................................................................... Conclusion………………………………………………………………. References……………………………………………………………………

History of Unions
The history of the labor union is complex. In times of old the labor union has been defined as “a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their employment” (Peterson, 1945:1). Unions were created out of a desire for protection and advancement of the interests of human kind. In most society there tend to be gatherings of individuals that are interested in promoting common interests and the needs or desires of members. Unions are no exception.

The central motivating force that influenced the shape of unions in America in the early years was a desire to improve the status and working conditions of American wage earners.
The earliest forms of labor unions were groups of skilled “handicraft trade” including carpenters, shoemakers and tailors in the early 1800s (Peterson, 1945). Often labeled “craft societies” these groups worked to bargain over wages, shop conditions and hours (Peterson, 1945). Generally...