Labor Unions

Topics: Trade union, Strike action, Collective bargaining Pages: 3 (1051 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Labor Unions
In the years of Post-Civil War the United States was on a path of capitalism, big-business, and becoming a Global Force that all countries would begin to recognize as powerful. Though this time period shown progression for industry and for the U.S. economy it also marked a rise of the working class, and of social stratification because the big business owners became richer and more powerful while the poor workers scavenged for jobs to feed their families. Disgusted by the poverty wages they received while the factory owners were reaping enormous profits, workers organized into Labor Unions that agitated for change. Labor Unions were generally successful in organizing workers but not particularly successful in achieving their goals.

Workers in the United States had means to be upset with the factory owners and with the government, which in a way brought workers together because alone they stood no chance of receiving fair pay from their employers. In order to increase profits capitalists sought to neutralize the competition and because a major cost in the production process is labor, reducing this expense can not only lead to greater profits and can then allow the capitalist to use surplus funds to reinvest in the business, making it more efficient and therefore more competitive. Many tactics and methods were used to counteract Labor Unions included: The open shop gave workers a choice as to whether they must join a union if they work in a certain industry, and unions opposed the open shop because it undermined collective bargaining (the source of unions’ effectiveness and strength). Replacement workers who were willing to take the jobs of those on strike and often work for less pay were hired. The government was used to suppress Labor Union strikes. Blacklists prevents union workers from being hired, workers were required to sign yellow-dog contracts in which they agreed to not join unions, divisions were created within the working class by...
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