trade union

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Trade Union

An organization of workers in the same skilled occupation or related skilled occupations who act together to secure for all members favorable wages, hours, and other working conditions.

Trade unions in the United States were first organized in the early nineteenth century. The main purpose of a trade union is to collectively bargain with employers for wages, hours, and working conditions. Until the 1930s trade unions were at a severe disadvantage with management, mainly because few laws recognized the right of workers to organize. With the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935 (29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.), the right of employees to form, join, or aid labor unions was recognized by the federal government.

Trade unions are entitled to conduct a strike against employers. A strike is usually the last resort of a trade union, but when negotiations have reached an impasse, a strike may be the only bargaining tool left for employees.

There are two principal types of trade unions: craft unions and industrial unions. Craft unions are composed of workers performing a specific trade, such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, or printers. Industrial union workers include all workers in a specific industry, no matter what their trade, such as automobile or steel workers. In the United States, craft and industrial unions were represented by different national labor organizations until 1955. The craft unions that dominated the american federation of labor (AFL) opposed organizing industrial workers.

During the 1930s several AFL unions seeking a national organization of industrial workers formed the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO). The CIO aggressively organized millions of industrial workers who labored in automobile, steel, and rubber plants. In 1938 the AFL expelled the unions that had formed the CIO. The CIO then formed its own organization and changed its name to Congress of Industrial Organizations. In 1955 the AFL and CIO merged into a single organization, the AFL-CIO.

Membership in U.S. trade unions has fallen since the 1950s, as the number of workers in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy has steadily declined. Union membership in 1995 comprised just 14.9 percent of the workforce, compared with a high of 34.7 percent in 1954.

Cross-references

Collective Bargaining; Labor Law.

trade union

an organization (whether permanent or temporary) that consists wholly or mainly of workers all in an organization whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers and employers. It is not to be treated as a body corporate but it may sue or be sued in its own name. Special rights and privileges accrue to a union that is certified as independent by the Certification Officer, who must also maintain a list of unions. The main legal benefit a union has over other bodies is the immunity that it and its members and officials have against many tort actions. However, aside from the GOLDEN FORMULAE, which must be satisfied, recent restrictions require action that is sought to be immune to be founded upon open and fair balloting of members.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Mr Halfon has insisted what he calls "moderate" trade unionists should have a voice.
It is of course thanks to trade unionists that the professor has access to a pension scheme, that staff are safer in the workplace, that they enjoy national pay bargaining and have access to expert advice and guidance in the event that they have a problem at work.
Karen Kirkham and Lawrie |Coombs, left, outside the Cleveland Trade Unionists and Unemployed Workers Union Centre on Marton Road, Middlesbrough, where members of the Teesside Anarchist Network held a peaceful protest yesterday.
They should be encouraging trade unionists to become paid up members of whatever political party they support; and use their membership to further the causes espoused by the Unions.
As your Prime Minister, I want to say how disappointed I am that a handful of Trade unionist as we all know have been prepared to use ordinary workers as pawns in their struggle with government to protect their own interests and position, which we all believe is not the Fijian way , PM Bainimarama said.
He also asserted that 1350 dismissed workers and 50 trade unionists will benefit from the Insurance Against Un-employment, stressing that there are no clear reasons hindering the reinstatement of all dismissed staff, in light of the government's instructions preventing conditional reinstatement.
Upon exiting the social dialogue, trade unionists warned that a general strike in Bulgaria could also be possible given the situation.
A group of 280 marchers left Liverpool at the start of May 1981, local groups supported them en route, feeder marches from Yorkshire and South Wales joined in, and by the end of the month 150,000 unemployed people and trade unionists converged on Hyde Park in central London for a final rally.
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa thanked key lawmakers today for carefully documenting continuing violence against trade unionists in Colombia and raising concerns about the country's weak labor laws.
In conditions of deep economic and social crisis, the trade unionists in Macedonia are only voiceless witnesses to events, comments Rada Manevska for Vreme.
Trade unionists in the Valleys are hoping to launch similar bodies in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly and elsewhere.
Of course, trade unionists have a right to take industrial action to protect working conditions, to improve pay, to protect their health and safety, so long as they have a majority in a lawful vote.

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