Unions Essay Research Paper Unions All manner

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Unions Essay, Research Paper Unions All manner of working people today belong to trade unions, whether employed or unemployed, from doctors to trash collectors, schoolteachers to secretaries, pilots to printers. Unions act as the voice of the workers. The sole existence of any union is to benefit its workers. Many people in the work force today belong to some form of a union. A union is therefore a group of workers who join together to make their workers’ lives better. Sometimes unions are referred to as associations, federations, brotherhoods, societies, alliances, leagues or simply workers. Unions have been in existence longer than most people realize. In fact, the first organized workers groups in Canada appeared more than three years hundred ago. In 1657, Jean

Levasseur, a master carpenter in Quebec, founded what was known as a “confrerie” or “brotherhood,” a club for carpenters and workers. The main goal of this club was for members to help other members in times of accident, sickness, and poverty as well as to oppose the injustices of employers. By the 1850’s, when cities like Montreal and Toronto were just being built and industries were just beginning, unions were also beginning to form. With the increase in shipbuilding, fishing, mining, small factories and business, unions became a necessity for the safety and security of workers.Towards the end of the 1800’s an estimated five thousand people belong to unions. All the members were highly skilled men in a trade or a craft. The unions they formed were called “craft

unions.” The term “union” was not used until the early 1900’s. Unions were developed out of intolerable conditions, poverty, and squalor. During this time period employers enacted a working day of up to eighteen hours and wages were barely enough for survival. Children, as soon as they were able to walk, were being forced to work. Few working men -and no women- could vote, therefore they had no say in how things were run. The ruling class and the employers who elected the government showed little concern for the lives of manual workers. Since the Employment Act of 1980, when legal procedures for union’s recognition were scrapped, workers must negotiate or use industrial action or conciliation procedures if an employer will not recognize their organization.Unions are of

different sizes. The biggest union in Canada is the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), with more than 300 000 members. The smallest union in Canada is the International Association of Siderographers with four members. Although Unions are of different sizes and are found in different places, the goal of unions is universal. Unions protect workers from employer’s exploitation. The creation of unions set specific standards and regulations that employers must follow. With the use of Labour laws and Human Rights documents unions have legal authority to force employers to comply with the outlined regulations. The union is run and paid for by its members to protect and promote their interest. Through the process of collective bargaining the voice of the workers can be heard as

a united point of view. If the boss ignores this voice, the groups can tale collective action to back up their claims. The role of trade unions has been in dispute since they have being established. The people that support unions say that they are the only defense that the average worker has against the power of the state and employers to cut wages sack workers or impose harsh conditions. Trade unions claim to put people before profit, keeping human values alive in an increasingly cruel and competitive world. They claim to stand for freedom, democracy and social justice. The unions claim to represent ‘human values’ in protecting the interest of their members – like their right to jobs for a fair wage. Some unionists believe they should have say in major decisions and