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Organized Labor most commonly referred to as unions has encountered many challenges and setbacks throughout its history in the United States to be recognized by employers the federal government and the courts as a legitimate representative of employees advocating for employee rights and benefits During the 1800s and early 1900s many employers treated employees in an unfair and unjust manner During this time period employees did not have any rights or protection in the workplace In an effort to stop the abuse and injustices occurring members of the labor force began to organize and challenge employers fighting and protesting for better treatment wages and job security The courts frowned upon such action and if a case was taken to trial the courts would rule in favor of the employer demonstrating little comprehension or empathy for the labor force and preventing organized labor from achieving any success in their attempts to organize and protest for better working conditionsTwo types of unions that organized were craft unions and industrial unions A craft union is one which organizes its membership based on its members craft and skills Industrial unions are usually composed of semiskilled or unskilled workers who organize on the basis of the product they produce Carrell et al p 2 During the late 1800s when skilled workers of a single craft formed associations and societies they agreed on a wage scale and pledge to work for an employer only if it paid appropriate wages those workers who were a part of this association were charged by the state with criminal conspiracy These cases were also known as Cordwainers conspiracy cases Courts even went as far as to state that organized labor is a conspiracy to impoverish a third person connecting organized labor with crime further restricting the growth of organized labor during this time period Carrell et al p 2Prior to 1935 and the passing of the National Labor Relations Act conditions of labor in
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