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History Of Labor Relations

             Union organization is one of the things that characterize this great nation that we live in today. In many countries, workers live without the choice to form representation with in their workforce to negotiate with management. We are fortunate enough to have that choice and many workers make the decision each year to join a union.
             The early years of union organization is very rich in history and it paved the way for the establishment of unions. The first organization to discuss is the Knights of Labor (KOL). This secrecy was maintained in order to protect their workers from being fired in the event that the employer discovered that an employee was participating in a union organization. At this time, unions were looked upon as a very bad thing by management. There were no laws stopping employers from getting rid of anyone who participated. The KOL was the first nationally spread union in the United States and it had more prestige than any other organization in this time period. The KOL had simple goals: to "change the existing labor-management relationship so that the depersonalized and specialized aspects of mass production can be avoided" and to "attain moral betterment from employees and society" (Holley, 2001). At the time mass production was coming in and taking the common specialist out of the world. By producing shoes and other items in mass quantities, there was no way that shoemakers could compete in price with this monster of mass production taking over. One of the first real battles fought by a union was fought by the KOL to try and get mass production eliminated. As is known today, they did not succeed in that goal but instead, paved the way for the formation of other unions.
             Next the American Federation of Labor which was formed in 18865 after some national unions were expelled from the KOL. The primary founder of the AFL was Samuel Gompers. At one time Gomper's was a member of the KOL, but he believed their objectives were way off target.

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