National Trades' Union - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Labor History Worldwide

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United States 1834

Synopsis

Even before the United States' first true labor strike in 1786, unionism developed in the ranks of journeymen. Low wages and unreasonable hours, among other complaints, were common problems. To combat this, one of the workers' greatest weapons was the ability to strike with the support of their union. In addition to support during a strike, union representatives negotiated with the employers for better conditions. The early results of such action were usually far from positive. Employers mounted heavy resistance to unions, and legislation often favored their position. As unionism became more prevalent, employers began to band together to combat the trade societies. Until the late 1820s, because of the fear of employer reprisal, employees kept their union memberships private, and trade unions operated as virtual secret societies.

President Andrew Jackson. The Library of Congress. President Andrew Jackson. The Library of Congress.

Despite the opposition, trade unions...

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This section contains 3,500 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the National Trades' Union Encyclopedia Article
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National Trades' Union from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.