Ethics In Labor Unions

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The Ethics of Labor Unions in the U.S.

Labor Unions were formed to fight for the rights of workers. In the U.S. labor unions helped to establish child labor laws, enacted a 5 day work week, health insurance and pensions. They also fought for fair wages. Originally the labor unions of the 1800’s were mostly for craft guilds. They helped to establish workplace standards. With the industrial revolution, these guilds saw factories as a threat to their livelihood. “Unions were formed by these craft guilds to protect their wages and to resist unsafe working conditions and long hours.” (Domhoff, 2013) With the increase in the U.S. of industrialization after the Civil War, there was an increase in labor unions. One of the first national
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Ethics in labor unions do exist today. Many labor unions provide ethics training to their leadership. Maggie Cohen writes in WorkingUSA, that “The overarching goal of union ethics training would be to teach activists, elected leaders and staff how to integrate principles of democracy, fiduciary duty, fair representation and training of new activists into all of their union activities. Its ultimate guiding principle would be to engender a personal understanding of the uniquely important role of unions in benefitting all working men and women, in strengthening America and realizing American Values.” (Cohen, 2008) She also continues to discuss “how the labor unions must realize their moral legitimacy as a means and not just as the ends sought by labor organizations. The legitimacy of the Union will help to advance the union goal of improving the lives of all of its workers.” (Cohen, …show more content…
The business of the company is to maximize profits so they will not just willingly provide a better paycheck or working conditions without the workers giving something back in return. This is when the ideals of the labor union are put to the test. Many labor unions negotiate in good faith with the company, but many companies do not reciprocate. Many companies are forcing their employees to pay more for health care and are also eliminating any pension plans that may have previously been provided. It is during these negotiations that a labor union with an ethical code is

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