Definition of 'Organized Labor'
The first major labor union in the United States was the National Labor Union, which was founded in 1866. The NLU was a broad-based organization that included workers from all industries. However, it was unable to achieve its goals, and it dissolved in 1872.
In the 1880s, a new wave of labor organizing began, led by the Knights of Labor. The Knights were a more radical organization than the NLU, and they advocated for a socialist revolution. However, the Knights were also unable to achieve their goals, and they declined in the 1890s.
The most successful labor union in the United States has been the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The AFL was founded in 1886, and it has been a major force in the American labor movement ever since. The AFL is a federation of individual unions, and it represents workers in a wide range of industries.
The AFL has been successful in negotiating higher wages and better working conditions for its members. However, the AFL has also been criticized for being too conservative and for not doing enough to help unskilled workers.
In the 1930s, a new wave of labor organizing began, led by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The CIO was a more militant organization than the AFL, and it advocated for industrial unionism. The CIO was successful in organizing workers in mass-production industries, such as auto manufacturing and steel.
The AFL and the CIO merged in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO is the largest labor union in the United States, and it represents over 12 million workers.
Organized labor has played a major role in the history of the United States. It has helped to improve the working conditions and wages of millions of workers, and it has played a key role in the development of the middle class. However, organized labor has also faced challenges, such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and the rise of global competition.
Despite these challenges, organized labor remains a powerful force in the United States. It continues to fight for the rights of workers, and it plays a key role in the American economy.
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