Labor Unions in the U S

The growing political influence of labor unions ended child labor in the U.S., helped to create the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and introduced the concept of a minimum wage. Following WWII, unions became increasingly accepted as a viable and essential element of the employment landscape. Today, only about 15 percent of American workers are unionized, a drastic reduction from the 1950s but the union’s collective influence continues to make great strides for all workers whether organized or not. This discussion first briefly examines how the New Deal instigated the union’s rise to prominence following the war then describes the inner-workings of organized labor in an effort to illustrate labor’s effect in the workplace. It also addresses the economics concerning higher wages and the increased benefits advocated by unions while providing explanations regarding why unions are still relevant and useful to both workers and employers even today.
The New Deal era in America had its beginnings in the 1920s and officially spanned from 1933 until well into the 1960s. The First New Deal (1933 to1934) decidedly orientated governmental policies toward big business.&nbsp. The Second New Deal which began in 1935 was less pro-business in position, but in practice continued to support top-down economic growth.&nbsp. Later in this stage of reform, the government increased its focus on antitrust enforcement and stronger regulations on business regulation. Rather than attempt to regulate businesses, New Deal advocates wanted& greatly increase the size and control of the government so that it could act as a counterbalance to private sector industries (Yantek, n.d.).&nbsp. As greedy corporations sought to impede the growing influence of labor unions, it was thwarted by the increasing involvement of the government into labor relations.&nbsp.