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This paper will attempt to discuss the pros and cons of trade unionism as it exists in the United States To understand the pros and cons it is important to understand the environment in which trade unionism developed and the needs they attempted to satisfy It will discuss the evolution of Trade Unionism through the centuries From that understanding we can discuss the topic as it relates to our current environment Historians agree that American Unionism started in the early 19th Century These early organizations were formed along the lines of Craft Daniel Mills explains in Labor Relations Crafts people worked for themselves or in small shops They were often in conflict with customers or merchants which they supplied 35 These associations were formed to protect their craft rather than as a collective bargaining union In the mid 19th Century America was in the middle of the industrial revolution We were becoming an urban industrial society Immigration was becoming a great source of labor supply These large manufacturing enterprises exploiting workers without regards to human cost were ripe for National Union Organization Jerry Borenstein states in his work Unions In Transition They were often loosely organized associations which were quite short-lived and likely to disappear under hostile pressure from employers and government 15 The unions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were formed largely to protect basic human dignity in the work place Unions addressed basic concerns regarding safety issues length of work day and wage They were largely unsuccessful due to the public perception of unions as Socialistic as well as anti American People viewed trade unions as being disruptive to the flow of free trade It was only during the 1930s that trade unions as we know them today were created and accepted With the passing of the Wagner Act of 1935 formal legal protection was now afforded Trade Unions in America Trade unions moved from being virtually outlawed by
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