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The American Labor Force. Americans at Work  Civilian Labor Force : the total number of people 16 years or older who are employed or seeking work. 

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Presentation on theme: "The American Labor Force. Americans at Work  Civilian Labor Force : the total number of people 16 years or older who are employed or seeking work. "— Presentation transcript:

1 The American Labor Force

2 Americans at Work

3  Civilian Labor Force : the total number of people 16 years or older who are employed or seeking work.  People not included in the civilian labor force:  Mentally or physically disabled people  Prisoners  People in the armed forces  Those not looking for a paying job.

4  Workers in the US are categorized in several ways.  One way to group them is by the type of work they perform.  Another way is by the level of training or education their jobs require.

5  According to the type of work they do:  Blue collar- craft workers, manufacturers, and nonfarm laborers  Created due to lack of demand for farmers due to mechanization.  White collar- office workers, salespeople, highly trained workers  Has experienced steady growth throughout the 20 th century.  Service workers  Largest category of workers.

6  According to skill level:  Unskilled (no specialized training)  Semiskilled (some training)  Skilled (learned trade or craft)  Professionals (college degrees and training)  Workers may move from one skill level to another as they gain training and experience.

7  Factors that affect wages:  Skill  Type of job  Location

8  Skill is the ability a person brings to a job.  The demand for highly talented individuals is usually high and the supply of such employees is often scarce, causing a shortage.  Shortages result in high prices- in this case, high wages.  A highly educated brain surgeon and a talented Major League home run hitter are paid large sums for their skill.

9  Jobs that are unpleasant or potentially dangerous often pay higher wages compared to other jobs that require similar equal levels of skill.  Coal mining  Jobs are plentiful but people wanting to fill them are scarce.  People may take jobs that are enjoyable or prestigious even at low wages.  Demand for these jobs are low, but the supply of workers are plentiful.

10  If workers are relatively scarce in an area, companies will have to pay higher wages to attract workers.  Alaska has highest wages per person in the country.  A company in a highly populated area often can hire people at relatively low wages.

11  Market failure  Workers cannot know exactly what other employers will pay for their services.  Employers cannot know what all workers are willing to accept.  Minimum wage laws  Designed to protect workers.  Wage negotiations between organized labor and management

12 Organized Labor

13  Labor union : association of workers organized to improve wages and working conditions for its members.  In the 1800s working conditions were terrible and unions were often illegal.  Strikes often resulted in violence between workers and the police.

14  The first permanent union, The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was made up of craft unions and led by Samuel Gompers.  Craft union : union made up of skilled workers in a specific trade or industry  In 1938, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was created, and the automobile and steel industries were the first to be organized.  AFL and CIO joined forces in 1955 because they felt greater gains could be made if the craft and industrial unions worked together.

15  Organized labor operates at three levels:  Local Unions  National Unions  Federation Unions

16  Local unions have members in a distinct location (one factory, company, or geographical area)  The local deals with a company by negotiating a contract and making sure the terms of the contract are met.

17  Local union membership and management relationships differ from one shop to another.  Closed shops allow the company to hire only union workers; these were outlawed in 1947.  Union shops require employees to join the union after a specific period of time.  Agency shops require employees to pay union dues whether or not they join the union.

18  A number of states have passed right-to-work laws that forbid union shops.  Right-to-work laws : state laws forbidding unions from forcing workers to join and pay union dues  Workers are not required to join unions and benefits negotiated by the union must be made available to all employees.  Unions have less power in states with right-to- work laws.

19  National unions represent the local unions nationwide.  Those that include members from Canada and Mexico are known as international unions.  National unions send in organizers to help set up local unions and negotiate contracts, sometimes for whole industries.

20  At the federation level of unions is the AFL- CIO, which is made up for national and international unions.  More than 65 unions with about 13 million members are associated with the AFL-CIO.

21 Collective Bargaining

22  Collective Bargaining : process by which unions and employers negotiate the conditions of employment  Compromise is the most important part of collective bargaining.  The company want to keep labor costs down and remain competitive in the market.  The union wants to increase wages and benefits for its members as much as possible.

23  Negotiation take place when labor and management meet to discuss contract issues.  The most important issues may negotiate include working hours, fringe benefits, and a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).  Cost-of-Living Adjustment : provision calling for an additional wage increase each year if the general level of prices rises  Most negotiations are friendly and result in an agreement that satisfies all parties.

24  Mediation  If negotiations become hostile or compromise breaks down, labor and management may try mediation.  Mediation : a neutral person tries to get both sides to reach an agreement during negotiations  The mediator suggest possible solutions and works to keep the two sides talking with each other.  The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) provides mediators free of charge upon request of a union or management.

25  Arbitration  Arbitration takes place when mediation fails.  Arbitration : union and management submit the issues they cannot agree on to a third party for a final decision  Labor and management then ask a third party to make a decision, agreeing to unconditionally accept that decision.  The FMCS often helps in these cases by providing labor and management with a list of private arbiters in the area.

26  Most contracts are settled at the bargaining table but sometimes negotiations break down and a strike results.  Picketing is when workers carry signs in front of the place of business until their needs are satisfactorily met in the contract.  Striking unions can also use boycotts to exert more economic pressure on a firm.

27  Lockouts  Lockout : situation that occurs when management prevents workers from returning to work until they agree to a new contract  Management may bring in strikebreakers who will work under the terms of the company.  Injunctions  Injunction : court order preventing some activity  Injunctions can be used to limit picketing or prevent a strike from occurring.

28  As working conditions have improved over the years, nonunion workers see little benefit to belonging to a union.  More jobs are available in white collar and service sectors, blue-collar jobs are decreasing.

29  Critics of the labor movement claim unions are so large they are not in touch with members’ needs, and increased wages given to union workers are passed on to consumers in price increases.  Employers claim union rules decrease productivity, unions make it hard to use new technology that would replace workers, and corruption among labor leaders has damaged union reputation.

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