ABOUT US | LABOR UNIONS & FAIR LABOR
is to enhance public education as to the importance of trained,
skilled labor and to encourage the public to consider fair wages for all workers.
America’s strong reputation for the trades is rooted in our formative years as colonies. The recognized need for labor unions, however, began much later with the influx of immigrants and migration to cities during the industrial revolution. The population of the US tripled from 1860 to 1910, and the search for decent-paying jobs became a priority. By the turn of the 20th century, the majority of work had shifted from the farm to the factory. It was then that the harsh realities of the workplace were in full effect.
Entire families slaved through 10-hour shifts six days per week to make barely enough to survive. Brutal conditions were everyday life: pregnant women were often fired, children were plucked from school to help support their parents, and laborers literally worked themselves sick. But with the money in the cities, employment lines were only growing longer. This meant employers could set wages as low as they wanted to and people would still do the work – any work – as long as they got paid. Perhaps one of the saddest parts was that workers were convinced this was normal. They were completely unaware of just how rich the titans of industry that ruled over them were: Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan, names still relevant today. The inequality of wage and conditions was manipulated to keep those that were in the dark still in the dark.
Time for a Change
Labor unions had self-identified since the American Revolution. Local labor unions quickly caught on because they embodied the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For millions of Americans, happiness meant a decent wage, a fair working environment, and a better life for their families. The most notable groups to surface were the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The Knights of Labor were actually a precursor to the AFL. The Knights involved anyone who was involved in the production process of goods – cobblers, for example.
The next most prominent rumblings of labor reform came with the formation of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1886 by Samuel Gompers. Gompers struck a chord with workers because he himself was an immigrant and laborer since the age of 10. He became the longest-serving and first president of the AFL, which grew to the most influential labor organization in the world with nearly 3 million followers by 1924. Soon, local and national labor unions became a force to sway political, economic, and social reform that has carried society to modern times.
The Modern Labor Union and Labor United
Labor unions reached their membership during the 1970’s, and since have experienced a steady decline. Today’s political environment has created an unfriendly perception of labor unions. Unions have fallen victim to criticism and have been accused of shady tactics while trying to carry out their mission of preserving a worker’s right to just treatment and a life of their choosing, the very aspects that made America the land of the free.
Labor United was formed in 2017 to be the change to this negative perception and uphold the dignity of labor unions. Our group is educated, trained, and impassioned to serve communities through our craft. Labor United’s goal is to call attention to the values that skilled labor has ingrained in us. Our mission is to enhance public education as to the importance of trained, skilled labor and to encourage the public to consider fair wages for all workers. We are your neighbors, friends, and everyday people that know the importance of living your dreams because we know what it takes to get there.
Are you interested in learning more or joining us? Contact Labor United today! We look forward to hearing from you.