Child Labor During The Industrial Revolution Essay

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The Labor Unions of the present found their roots with the rise of the big businesses in the later stages of the American Revolution. With these corporations came the exploitation of the worker whose rights were not yet guaranteed under any formal document. Arisen solely from the need for job security, unions quickly came to also represent those laborers at a great disadvantage, particularly women and children. This emergence of labor unions came at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, where child labor became epidemic as corporations boomed. Inspired by socialist ideas in the late 19th century, the American Federation of Labor (afl) strove to improve working conditions with the use of unionization. The movement reached its peak following …show more content…
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions--was 11.1 percent in 2015. . .”(BLS). Thirty years prior, in 1983, the rate was reported as 20.1%, almost double that of 2015. One reason for such a decline in labor union membership is the amount of money members have to pay to remain in the union. In some instances, workers have to pay several hundred dollars a year, a reasonable tradeoff given a general increase in wages across the board. While the cost is often set off by the increase in hourly pay, members nonetheless still feel hesitant about paying dues. “. . . but members sometimes complain about the amount they pay, how the money is spent, and how it is allocated. . .”(Keller 2). In states that have not yet adopted “right to work” legislation, members have little to no say where there income is put. Many feel it is merely adding insult to injury by not only charging dues for membership, but allocating that money to an unknown …show more content…
However, over the course of world history, the labor movement has been critical for all its contributions to modern labor. “. . . The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired. . .”(History.com). Without many 19th century activists, it is unlikely that legislation would be passed to protect the rights of all workers; unionized or not. At one point a necessity to the workers of a growing nation, present-day unions only hinder the growth and strive of the big businesses. The unions of the present charge dues that many feel are allocated to the wrong places and for mainly political or personal reasons. Furthermore, unionization destroys the work environment and erodes the trust between the worker and corporate supervisor. Lastly, these organizations put workers in a position where they risk losing their employment by simply going against protocol. Overall, unions work only for themselves and care little for the success and prosperity which constitutes the American dream. Still, the America of today would be much different without them and their impact on society as well as the

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