Unions are organizations that represent people at work. Their purpose is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of employment. They also campaign for laws and policies which will benefit working people. Without unions it is possible that many workers in America would still be working 12 hours days with little, if any, benefits. People who are part of unions will tell you that the union is the best thing for them at their workplace. But what about the non-union workers, what do they think of unions? Do unions have any benefits for the non-union workers? Do unions benefit the whole workforce in America, or only the people who are unionized? .
The main reason for unions to exist is because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. By joining together with other workers, there is more chance of having a voice and influence. All sorts of jobs and industries are covered by unions. Some unions represent people who do a particular job or work in a specific industry, while others may include a mixture of people in different jobs and sectors.
By the 1820s, various unions began to show interest in the idea of federation-of-joining together in pursuit of common objectives for working people. Starting in the 1830s, the factory system accounted for an ever-growing share of American production. It also produced great wealth for a few, grinding poverty for many. With workers recognizing the power of their employers, the number of union organizations increased steadily during the mid-19th century. In a number of cities, unions in various trades joined together in citywide federations. In 1866 the Nation Labor Union was formed, (actually a federation- an organization of local unions). The Nation Labor Union eventually persuaded Congress to pass an eight hour day for Federal workers, marking the beginning of unions (History of Labor Unions).