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Labor movement

Labor movement is a broad term for groups and organizations ( like trade unions) that in the past, and currently, campaign for the interests (wages, benefits) of the workers in response to the employers. The most important groups are the labor unions, but various politically-socially active individuals and (socialist) political groups are also part of the labor movement. Through efforts of people such as, Mary Harris Jnes, better known as Mother Jones, the campaign to end child labor in the United States during the beginning part of the 20th century was successful. Workers rights and the labor movement have brought about many social changes in places around the world. There have been many important labor activists in modern history. The continuing effort, throughout failures and successes, of the global labor movement, to support, through activism, a fair and equal workplace for everyone in the world community benefits society as a whole.

Critics of labor unions accuse them variously as:

  • Being run by Mafia
  • Being communist
  • Being economically counter productive cartels
  • Causing unemployment by restricting access
  • Perpetrating property damage and other crimes during strikes


"Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provides supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance[?] procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. But their work goes beyond their own job, and even beyond our borders. For the labor movement is people. Our unions have brought millions of men and women together ... and given them common tools for common goals."
John F. Kennedy

One bumpersticker in the United States in the 1990s was," The labor Movement; the folks that brought you the weekend."

Cesar Chavez said, " The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."

See also: anarcho-syndicalism, unionism[?]

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