This page explores labor unions and their roles in the American economy.

rotating gif.gifFor more, link to United States History Labor Unions and Radical Political Parties

See also Historical Biography pages for
external image unionincome.jpg

Role of a Union

To advocate for the interests of its members, including issues like wages, benefits, and safety.

Benefits of union membership
  • Union employees make an average of 30% more than non-union workers.
  • 92% of union workers have job-related health coverage versus 68% of non-union workers.
  • Union workers are more likely to have guaranteed pensions than non-union employees.

Disadvantages of Union Membership
  • loss of autonomy
  • Union dues and fees
  • less collaborative work environments
  • higher wages can cause inflation


Rise and Fall of Labor Unions in the U. S. from G. Wlliam Domhoff's Who Rules America? website


I.W.W

external image One_Big_Union_02.jpg
  • The Industrial Workers of the World, members of which are commonly called Wobblies, is an international labor union that was founded in 1905.
  • The union combines general unionism(Unskilled) and industrial unionism(Skilled).
  • The philosophy and tactics of the organization are often described as being revolutionary and associated with socialism and anarchism.
  • The IWW promotes the idea of "One Big Union," which was a call for an inclusive labor union both in terms of its membership being multiracial and its membership being both unskilled and skilled.
  • Notable members of the IWW include Helen Keller, Noam Chomsky, Big Bill Haywood, Eugene Debs, Dorothy Day, Mother Jones, and Tom Morello.