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Historically, what factors precipitated the formation of unions?

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<p align=”center” style=”text-align:center”>Labor unions have been cited as an important component of any well- functioning economy. In the United States, labor unions have gone through a couple of phases from major gains in the 1930s and early 1940s to major defeats and the eventual decline of labor unions since 1970. In the 19th century, labor organizations were basically societies created to restrict entry into a particular craft and also enforce standards at the workplace. The industrial revolution gradually widened the gap between employers and workers. This led the workers to believe that their wages and status, in general, were seriously threatened. Starter unions, therefore, came to being in an endeavor to resist the cutting of wages, the introduction of longer working hours, and also working conditions that were not safe for them. In addition to this, the unions also looked to protect the rights of workers in a social, political, and economic sense (Domhoff, 2013).&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Knights of Labor, which was the first powerful national labor organization, aimed to promote citizen rights and support social progress in its unification agenda. The focus on persuasion, education, and changes in legislation were meant to prevent strikes which were usually disruptive not only for the employers but also for the general public. The American Federation of Labor took over the place of the declining Knights of Labor and aimed to succeed where the latter had failed. The organization came up with alternative forms of compromise such as collective bargaining which would help solve the ongoing labor strife in the country. The factor that influenced the formation of the national organization was basically poor working conditions. The union negotiated for a mandatory 8- hour working day which was implemented but was accompanied by a similar reduction in wages. The use of arbitration that was implemented by the union proved to be more effective in achieving the union&rsquo;s goals that the disruptive strikes (Hannan &amp; Freeman, 1988).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

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