A general strike is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour force in a city, region, or country participates. General strikes are characterised by the participation of workers in a multitude of workplaces, General strikes first occurred in the mid-19th century, and have characterised many historically important strikes. An early predecessor of the strike may have been the secessio plebis in ancient Rome. In the Outline Of History, H. G. Wells recorded the general strike of the plebeians, the plebeians seem to have invented the strike, which now makes its first appearance in history. Wells noted that he made a mean use of their political advantages to grow rich through the national conquests at the expense not only of the defeated enemy. The plebeians, who were expected to obey the laws, but were not allowed to know the laws, were successful, in 450 BC. in a concession resulting from the rebellion of the plebeians, the laws of Rome were written for all to peruse. The general strike action became a feature of the political landscape with the onset of the Industrial Revolution.
For the first time in history, large numbers of people were members of the working class, they lived in cities. By the 1830s, when the Chartist movement was at its peak, the first theorist to formulate and popularise the idea of a general strike for the purpose of political reform was the radical pamphleteer William Benbow. On 28 January 1832 Benbow published a pamphlet entitled Grand National Holiday, Benbow began to advocate direct and even violent action for political reform, in particular he advanced his idea for a national holiday and national convention. The striking workers were to support themselves with savings and confiscated parish funds, benbows idea of a Grand National Holiday was adopted by the Chartist Congress of 1839, Benbow having spent time in Manchester during 1838-9 promoting his the cause and his pamphlet. In 1842 the demands for wages and conditions across many different industries finally exploded into the first modern general strike. Instead of being a spontaneous uprising of the masses, the strike was politically motivated and was driven by a hard-headed agenda to win concessions.
Probably as much as half of the industrial work force were on strike at its peak - over 500,000 men. The local leadership marshaled a growing working class tradition to politically organise their followers to mount a challenge to the capitalist. The mass abandonment of plantations by black slaves and poor whites during the American Civil War has, controversially, in his classic history Black Reconstruction in America, W. E. B. The trickling streams of fugitives swelled to a flood, once begun, the general strike of black and white went madly and relentlessly on like some great saga. The next large scale strike took place over half a century in Belgium
The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment and this may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and promotion of workers, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a section of skilled workers, a cross-section of workers from various trades. The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members, originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of workers, past workers, students. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a union, is highest in the Nordic countries. The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level that is maintained in the various branches of industry.
That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value, yet historian R. A. the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all labouring men and women for a different order of things. The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners. In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote, We rarely hear, it has said, of the combination of masters. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate When workers combine, masters. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, there were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution. This pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England.
In 1799, the Combination Act was passed, which banned trade unions, although the unions were subject to often severe repression until 1824, they were already widespread in cities such as London. Sympathy for the plight of the workers brought repeal of the acts in 1824, by the 1810s, the first labour organizations to bring together workers of divergent occupations were formed. Possibly the first such union was the General Union of Trades, known as the Philanthropic Society, the latter name was to hide the organizations real purpose in a time when trade unions were still illegal. The Association quickly enrolled approximately 150 unions, consisting mostly of textile related unions, but including mechanics and various others
A union organizer is a specific type of trade union member or an appointed union official. A majority of unions appoint rather than elect their organisers, in most unions, the organisers role is to recruit groups of workers under the organizing model. In other unions, the role is largely that of servicing members and enforcing work rules. In some unions, organisers may take on roles such as making representations before Fair Work Australia, tribunals. In North America, a union organiser is a representative who organizes or unionizes non-union companies or worksites. Organisers primarily exist to assist non-union workers in forming chapters of locals, Organisers employ various methods to secure recognition by the employer as being a legitimate union, the ultimate goal being a collective bargaining agreement. The methods can be classified as being either top-down organizing or bottom-up organizing, top-down organizing focuses on persuading management through salesmanship or pressure tactics. The salesmanship may include offering access to such as to a well-trained and skilled supply of labor or access to union cartels. A strict enforcement of these laws might result in fines and might serve to hurt the chances in a competitive bidding process.
Top-down organizing is generally considered easier than bottom-up and is practiced more in the construction industry, bottom-up organizing focuses on the workers and usually involves a certification process, normally overseen by a labor relations board such as the NLRB in the U. S. The process entails either a secret ballot election or, in some cases, in either case, should a majority of the employees agree to union representation, the results bind the company to recognize and negotiate with the union. Normally, both sides are given a chance to campaign for or against unionization, though management has an advantage due to their greater access to the employees. It is in this electioneering model where the organiser really organizes, arranging meetings, devising strategy and it is from the pool of activists recruited to the organizing committee that the union typically draws its shop stewards. Though some mistake organizing as strictly being a recruitment effort, numerous obstacles emerge which require more than simple enlistment, during organizing, management has greater means to reward or punish workers, far overshadowing methods available to the union.
Nonetheless, such charges are hard to prove and the movement believes the entire process to be slanted against them in enforcement. Sometimes, organizing involves legal wrangling over issues such as voter eligibility, in such cases, issues are often settled by appeal to the Labor Board who serves, essentially, as a referee during the process. Intrigue during heated campaigns is not uncommon, in various cases, one or both sides have used spying and information-gathering techniques tantamount to industrial espionage. Organisers must be determined and persuasive individuals able to sway groups to action under trying circumstances when jobs are on the line, Organisers must be strong enough to stand up to constant confrontation and must be willing to take big risks
Strike action, called labor strike, labour strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances, Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines. In most countries, strike actions were made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than workers. Most Western countries partially legalized striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, Strikes are sometimes used to pressure governments to change policies. Notable examples are the 1980 Gdańsk Shipyard or 1981 Warning Strike, official publications have typically used the more neutral words work stoppage or industrial dispute. The first historically certain account of action was towards the end of the 20th dynasty. The artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina walked off their jobs because they had not been paid, the Egyptian authorities raised the wages. An early predecessor of the strike may have been the secessio plebis in ancient Rome.
In the Outline Of History, H. G. Wells characterized this event as the strike of the plebeians, the plebeians seem to have invented the strike. The strike action became a feature of the political landscape with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. For the first time in history, large numbers of people were members of the working class, they lived in cities. By the 1830s, when the Chartist movement was at its peak, in 1842 the demands for fairer wages and conditions across many different industries finally exploded into the first modern general strike. Instead of being a spontaneous uprising of the masses, the strike was politically motivated and was driven by an agenda to win concessions. Probably as much as half of the industrial work force were on strike at its peak – over 500,000 men. The local leadership marshalled a growing working class tradition to organize their followers to mount an articulate challenge to the capitalist. Friedrich Engels, an observer in London at the time, wrote, by its numbers, this class has become the most powerful in England, the English proletarian is only just becoming aware of his power, and the fruits of this awareness were the disturbances of last summer.
Karl Marx has condemned the theory of Proudhon criminalizing strike action in his work The Poverty of Philosophy, in 1937 there were 4,740 strikes in the United States. This was the greatest strike wave in American labor history, the number of major strikes and lockouts in the U. S. fell by 97% from 381 in 1970 to 187 in 1980 to only 11 in 2010
For the general condition, global perspectives, see Precarity. Precarious work is non-standard employment that is paid, unprotected. An important aspect of work is its gendered nature, as women are continuously over-represented in this type of work. All of these forms of employment are related in that they depart from the employment relationship. The standard employment relationship can be defined as full-time, continuous employment where the works on his employer’s premises or under the employers supervision. The central aspects of this include an employment contract of indefinite duration, standardized working hours/weeks. Benefits like pensions and extensive medical coverage protected the standard employee from unacceptable practices, the standard employment relationship emerged after World War II with the men who worked in the manufacturing industries and this soon became the norm. On completing their education, most men would go on to work full-time for one employer their entire lives until their retirement at the age of 65.
During this time, women would only work temporarily until they got married and had children and the spread of information technology have created a new economy that emphasizes flexibility in the marketplace and in employment relationships. These influences have resulted in the increase of women in the workplace as well as the rise in precarious work, regulation of precarious work differs between each country. Changes in the nature of work in developing and developed countries have inspired the International Labour Organization to develop standards for atypical, the ILO began to expand its policies to include precarious workers with the Convention Concerning Part-time Work in 1994 and the Convention Concerning Home Work in 1996. There is an increasing interest in research on young adults, flexicurity Labour market flexibility Zero-hour contract Andranik S. Tangian Is flexible work precarious. A study based on the 4th European survey of working conditions 2005,153, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung June 2007 Arne L.
Kalleberg. Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s-2000s
One Big Union (concept)
The One Big Union was an idea in the late 19th and early 20th centuries amongst trade unionists to unite the interests of workers and offer solutions to all labour problems. Unions initially organised as craft or trade unions, Workers were organised by their skill, plumbers, each into their respective unions. Capitalists could often divide craft and trade unionists along these lines in demarcation disputes, as capitalist enterprises and state bureaucracies became more centralised and larger, some workers felt that their institutions needed to become similarly large. A simultaneous disenchantment with the weakness of craft unions caused many unions to organise along industrial lines. In the 1911 pamphlet One Big Union, IWW supporters Father Thomas J, One Big Union was the notional organisational concept, while the IWWs revolutionary industrial unionism was the organizing method by which that concept could be realised. Organizing the One Big Union of all workers the world over was meant to achieve working class control, but the One Big Union organisations were resisted by government and industry, and subverted by existing trade unions.
By 1925, only the slogan of One Big Union remained, the Industrial Workers of the World adopted and promoted the concept of the One Big Union after the publication of the One Big Union pamphlet in 1911, the IWW continues to use the phrase. Members of the IWW historically, and currently and sign letters with the closing, many commentators regard One Big Union as synonymous with the Industrial Workers of the World. One of the popular IWW publications was called One Big Union Monthly, the IWW promoted the One Big Union concept in various ways, including as an invitation to racial equality. One IWW leaflet proclaimed, To Colored Workingmen and Women, If you are a wage worker you are welcome in the I. W. W, halls, no matter what your color. By this you may see that the I. W. W. is not a white mans union, not a black union, not a red or yellow mans union. All of the class in one big union. The IWW used the same sort of arguments to welcome women into the workforce, the appeal subsequently proclaimed the intent to organise all wage workers.
Into One Big Union, regardless of creed, color, or nationality, an injury to one is an injury to all. The One Big Union idea had the goals of better pay, shorter hours. The IWW propagandised, Organize in one big union and fight for a chance to live as human beings should live, all together now and victory will be ours. In North America, the most significant early impetus for the One Big Union concept came from the Western Federation of Miners which was headquartered in Denver, the WFM and its allies first launched the Western Labor Union. The Western Labor Union was initially intended to displace the conservative American Federation of Labor in the West, the WLUs rebranding in 1902 as the American Labor Union was a direct response to actions by President Samuel Gompers
Freelancers Union is a non-profit organization in the United States of America. The organization provides advocacy and health insurance to its members through its for-profit Freelancers Insurance Company, the union promotes information through monthly meetings and information on its website. Membership in Freelancers Union is more than 300,000 nationwide and this includes people who work as freelancers, independent contractors, part-timers, contingent employees and those who are otherwise self-employed. This segment of workers makes up one-third of the American workforce, nearly 25,000 people purchase insurance through the organizations Freelancers Insurance Company. Because they are employed in nontraditional arrangements, independent workers do not have access to employer-based health care insurance, to address this, Working Today, a 501 nonprofit organization, launched Freelancers Union in 2001. Sara Horowitz founded Working Today in New York City in 1995, in order to represent the needs, before founding Working Today – Freelancers Union, Horowitz was a labor law attorney in private practice and a union organizer.
The organization tries to increase the visibility of independent workers, bringing issues that concern freelancers to the attention of media, from tax relief to unemployment and worker’s compensation, Freelancers Union advocates for legal reform on these issues. Membership is free of charge, as is access to the unions meetings, tools. Members pay fees for events and other services. Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union founder, does not believe in a Canadian-style single-payer health care system, she said on WNYCs radio program and she believes that individuals should be able to buy insurance through groups like the Freelancers Union that would give them bargaining power with insurance companies. They should get assistance through vouchers or a tax credit if they cannot afford it. Under federal labor laws, the Freelancers Union cannot engage in collective bargaining over wages or working conditions because it is not a certified union, the entertainment unions can today, because they were grandfathered in.
Collective bargaining is a moment in history, as Horowitz told Lehrer, in recognition of her efforts to create a self-sustaining organization of flexible workers, Horowitz was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999. In 2002, she was named as one of Esquire Magazine’s Fifty Best & Brightest, Working Today – Freelancers Union was recognized in 2004-2006 as a leading social entrepreneur by Fast Company magazine. Freelancers Union offers health insurance as a health insurance brokerage. As of June 2006, nearly 12,000 independent workers receive benefits through the PBN, in 2008, it replaced PBN with the Freelancers Insurance Company to offer insurance to its members. With the PBN platform in place, the organization is expanding to become a full service association for the independent workforce, in August 2006, Freelancers Union launched a web portal with new services available to freelancers that includes job postings, message boards, and member profiles. Some traditional unionists say that Freelancers Union is an association, not a union, Freelancers Union does not negotiate contracts with employers or represent freelancers when they have grievances
Joel Rogers is an American academic and political activist. Rogers is an editor of The Nation. Rogers has written widely on American politics and public policy, political theory, labor relations, a MacArthur Foundation genius fellow, he has been identified by Newsweek as one of 100 Americans most likely to affect U. S. politics and culture in the 21st century. Inequity and intervention, The Federal Budget and Central America, right turn, The Decline of the Democrats and the future of American Politics. Hirst, Claus Offe, Jane Mansbridge, Andrew Szasz, Andrew Levine, Wolfgang Streeck, Ira Katznelson, Ellen M. Immergut, Iris Marion Young, and Heinz Klug
Richard B. Freeman
Richard Barry Freeman is an economist. He received his B. A. from Dartmouth in 1964 and he studied under Harvard Professor and Dean John T. Dunlop, who became U. S. Secretary of Labor under President Gerald Ford. Freeman has made significant but controversial contributions to economics and the field of industrial relations. Nevertheless, some comparative scholarship indicates that the advantage in productivity may vary by nation. Christos Doucouliagos and Patrice Laroche in an article entitled “What do unions do to productivity. ”Indicate that unions significantly lift productivity in U. S. manufacturing, but these authors countered with evidence that unions have had detrimental effects on productivity in the United Kingdom. However, Freeman’s thesis that labor markets will not always be friendly to university-educated workers is enjoying a revival in the early twenty-first century, Freeman appeared on The Colbert Report in early 2008. Freeman has made the case that expanding programs for employee ownership, piper Lecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent Law School V. V.
The Citizens Share, Putting Ownership Back into Democracy America Works Can Labor Standards Improve Under Globalization, what Workers Want What Do Unions Do. 2011 he was appointed Frances Perkins Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, richard Freemans homepage at the NBER The NBER Science & Engineering Workforce Project The Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School