Organized labor affects the lives of many citizens everyday, often in a roundabout way. Labor Unions affect many different people from blue-collar workers to white-collar workers, stay-at-home moms, students, and retirees. Fewer; however realize the legal role Labor Unions have played and continue to play in the financial system, political affairs, and society in general. In today's society, more of our skilled hourly and unskilled workers belong to some sort of Labor Union and that is a good sign that Unions will not face extinction. As long as there is a need for higher wages, there will be a need for Unions.
Labor Unions are organizations of wage earners or salary workers established for protecting their shared interests when dealing with employers. "In the United States, Unions represented about one-third of all workers in the 1960s" (Hellweg, 2005 October). Today, Unions represent only about 13% of the total labor force. Although weakened in many areas, Labor Unions continue to be an important force in many aspects of the economy.
Most Unionized workers in the United States belong to Industrial Unions. An Industrial Union represents workers across a wide range of occupations within one or more industries. A good example of a typical Industrial Union is the United Auto Workers, also known as the UAW. The UAW represents skilled craft workers, assembly line workers, and unskilled workers in some of the major American automobile companies. Such as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The UAW negotiates separate contracts for workers in each of these companies. Although most Industrial Unions began by organizing workers in a single industry or group of related industries, most have diversified over the past 30 to 40 years. For example, the UAW represents workers in the tractor and earth-moving equipment industry, like Caterpillar and John Deere, and in the aerospace industry such as the Boeing Corporation.
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