Trade Unions - History And Types

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Trade unions are essentially associations or organization brought together by labor workers to achieve their demands of better conditions at their work atmosphere. In the US, trade unions go by the name labor unions. These unions exist to deal with problems faced by laborers, these problems maybe of any nature such as those concerning the pay, unfair work rules, timings and so on. All the workers working under one particular employer is represented by the worker's union. All the communication that happens in between the employer and the workforce generally takes place through the union.

Unions of this personality are supposed to have originated in the 18th century which was the period of one of the major industrial revolutions that has ever taken place. The prominent influences that played an important role in building up workers unions were the socialist and democratic parties in the European countries like France and Germany.

At around the same time that is in 1850's and the 1860's New Model Unions in the United Kingdom were getting very popular. The trade union movement was gaining momentum all around Europe, the United Kingdom and the US. The movement became its most exciting peak in America when The Mechanic's Union Trade Association was founded in 1827. This major movement comprised of individuals who had similar ideologies about the problems concerning the common working class, which ever labor they were involved in.

The movement resulted in the publication of several books and several smaller organizations that worked with the same spirit for similar demands and principles.

Trade unions now are of mainly 4 types:


  1. Craft union- They stand for skilled laborers that work in a particular sector or are employed in a particular craft. These unions are also called as horizontal unions. For example carpenters union.
  2. Industrial unions- they represent the workers trading in an industry. All the workers in that industry, not considering which occupation or which job comes under that industry's union.
  3. General unions- general unions represent laborers from all industries and professions irrespective of what sector of the workforce they come from.
  4. White collar unions- they stand for professionals who work from an office such as those who occupy a managerial or administrative chair.

Generally trade unions prefer peaceful methods for achieving their demands, but they can also go to extends of indefinite strikes and such practices.

There is a lot of history behind the formation of a Trade Union. Click here to know more about Trade Union


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Mike Bordon is a renowned SEO professional and author of many articles and e-books. Presently he is working as the editor of spotwriters. He is currently providing writing service for many SEO firms.


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This article was published on 2010/11/18