E. Napp Organized Labor In this lesson, students will be able to identify characteristics of unions. Students will be able to identify and/or define the following terms: Union Collective Bargaining Strike Mediation Arbitration
In the early years of the Industrial Revolution, workers were frequently exploited.
E. Napp Union Workers realized that united workers had more power than a worker alone. Therefore, workers formed unions. A union is an organization of workers which tries to improve wages, working conditions, and benefits for their members. Bosses tried to break unions but unions survived.
E. Napp Bosses tried to break unions but unions survived.
Union Tactics A strike is an organized work stoppage. Sometimes union members go on strike to improve their working conditions or wages. When union and company representatives meet to negotiate a new contract, collective bargaining occurs. Unions use many tactics to improve the lives of their members.
When union and company representatives meet to negotiate a new contract, collective bargaining occurs.
Mediation and Arbitration Sometimes union and company representatives cannot agree on the terms of a new contract. To ensure a new contract, mediation or arbitration can occur. In mediation, a neutral party tries to find a mutually beneficial solution. The solution can be rejected. In arbitration, a neutral party imposes a solution. It must be accepted. It is legally binding.
Mediation, you can reject. Arbitration, you must accept.
Employment and Unions Eventually, unions gained power. Though it is illegal today, unions forced employers to use closed shops. A closed shop is a business that only hires union members. A union shop is a business that will hire nonunion members but requires them to join the union once they are hired.
As unions became more powerful, employers were pressured to only hire union members. Today, however, the closed shop is illegal.
The Agency Shop An agency shop is a business that does not require workers to join the union but does require all workers to pay union dues. Even nonunion members must pay union dues to prevent the problem of the free rider. A free rider is a person who would not pay for a particular service but would nonetheless benefit from the service.
Valley Central School District is an agency shop.
While union membership has fluctuated over the years, unions are still important.
Questions for Reflection: What is a union and how do unions benefit their members? List two significant union tactics. Define each tactic. What is the difference between mediation and arbitration? How do closed shops, union shops, and agency shops differ?
Right-to-Work laws Some states have adopted “Right-to-Work” laws, which make it illegal for unions to require payment of dues. These laws hurt union membership Most Right-to Work states are in the South
Decline of the Labor Movement The influence of labor unions has declined in recent decades Protecting unnecessary workers Ties with organized crime Fulfillment of goals (40 hour work week, minimum wage Social Security)
Types of Workers Union membership is highest amongst blue-collar workers; those who perform manual labor, often in a manufacturing job, and earn an hourly wage.
Types of Workers Union membership is lowest amongst white-collar workers; those who are professional or clerical workers who usual earn weekly salaries
Outsourcing and Offshoring Outsourcing – contracting with a company to do a job that would normally be done by the company’s own workers Offshoring - the movement of a company’s operations to another country