Legal matters

Labor union or trade union according to the law is referred to as the organization of workers who are of one or more descriptions and prime purpose is regulations between the workers and employers. It has quasi-corporate statutes whereby it is not treated like a corporate body nevertheless, it has capacity to be in contracts and sue or be sued in its own name. Trade unions are rule –based though they operate within intricate statutory structure. The rules are made by the courts and are the basis on which legal authority of unions is established and can be challenged (Davis, pp 116).

Workers have joined trade unions in different parts of the world so that their working conditions can be improved. It is evident that over about three century, many trade unions have come up that have been influenced by different political and economic regimes. There seem to be close associations between trade unions and nationalist political parties. Therefore, the aim of this presentation is examine the reasons for labor unions involvement in political campaigns, their goals and accomplishments.

Labor unions trace their origin back in 18th Century a result of rapid growth of industries that caused demands of labor. This made women, young children, rural workers to immigrants to provide the work force needed. This caused great influx of people as this situation pulled both unskilled and semi-skilled labor that would later be a precursor of trade unions formation. Thus, trade unions started in industrializing countries in Europe with skilled workers who had strong bargaining power.

In fact the first workers to organize unions in Britain were engineers in 1850 while in Germany unions started with printers and cigar workers. For unskilled labors because employers could easily render them redundant if they attempted to strike, they did not have such originations not until 1900 when unions improved their organization and political influence (Palmowski, para 1). In America labor union started with several pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth working as craftsmen’s from Europe.

It started with Captain John Smith when he requested his sponsors in London to send him more craftsmen and working people . This marked the first formation of primitive unions of carpenters and cordwainers, cabinet makers and cobblers who appeared in cities along Atlantic seaboard of colonial America as they fought for their wage increments and good working conditions (http://www. uwstout. edu/cas/socsci//tyson/laborhis. htm, para 12). By the beginning of 19th century, there were significant efforts that were made by unions to improve the workers ‘conditions through either by negotiations or strike action.

In early 1820s, various unions which were involved in reducing working day hours did show the interest in the idea of having a federation that could put them together in pursuit of common objectives for working people. This is because it was necessary to protect the working people from economic and legal matters which were pertinent as industrialization increased due to invention of steam of engine and water power to operate machinery produced misery and mushrooming of slums.