Portal:Organized Labour

Organized-labour-portal-banner.jpg

Introduction

Image created by Walter Crane to celebrate International Workers' Day (May Day, 1 May), 1889. The image depicts workers from the five populated continents (Africa, Asia, Americas, Australia and Europe) in unity underneath an angel representing freedom, fraternity and equality.
A trade union (or a labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, and attaining better wages, benefits (such as vacation, health care, and retirement), and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by solidarity among workers. Trade unions typically fund the formal organization, head office, and legal team functions of the trade union through regular fees or union dues. The delegate staff of the trade union representation in the workforce are made up of workplace volunteers who are appointed by members in democratic elections.

The trade union, through an elected leadership and bargaining committee, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, occupational health and safety standards, complaint procedures, rules governing status of employees including promotions, just cause conditions for termination, and employment benefits.

Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers (craft unionism), a cross-section of workers from various trades (general unionism), or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry (industrial unionism). The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers. Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and also have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them legally to their negotiations and functioning.

Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, students, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. (Full article...)

Selected article

Soldiers on the Brandenburg Gate during the Spartacist uprising

The Spartacist uprising (German: Spartakusaufstand), also known as the January uprising (Januaraufstand), was a general strike (and the armed battles accompanying it) in Berlin from 5 to 12 January 1919. Germany was in the middle of a post-war revolution, and two of the perceived paths forward were social democracy and a council republic similar to the one which had been established by the Bolsheviks in Russia. The uprising was primarily a power struggle between the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Friedrich Ebert and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who had previously founded and led the Spartacist League (Spartakusbund).

The revolt was improvised and small-scale and was quickly crushed by the superior firepower of government troops, but Berlin was largely undisturbed. Long-distance trains continued to run on time and newspapers remained on sale, as the rebels passively confined themselves to only a few select locations. Similar uprisings occurred and were suppressed in Bremen, the Ruhr, Rhineland, Saxony, Hamburg, Thuringia and Bavaria, and a round of bloodier street battles occurred in Berlin in March. (Full article...)
List of selected articles

January in Labor History

Significant dates in labour history.


JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

More Did you know (auto-generated)

Related Portals

Selected image

Selected Quote

Left pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg There is nothing fairer than workmen having unions of their mutual benefit." Right pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg — Will Rogers

Did you know

Topics



Get involved

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Organized Labour-related articles, see Organized Labour WikiProject.

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Portals

Purge server cache

Portal:Organized labour