industrial union

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industrial union,

labor union composed of all the workers in a given industry, regardless of skill, craft, or occupation (as opposed to the craft union, in which all members are of one skill, such as carpenters or electricians). The industrial union is sometimes referred to as a vertical union, since it accepts workers from the least to the most skilled as members. Prior to the 1870s, unions in the United States had been organized on a craft basis; a modified form of industrial union appeared with the Knights of LaborKnights of Labor,
American labor organization, started by Philadelphia tailors in 1869, led by Uriah S. Stephens. It became a body of national scope and importance in 1878 and grew more rapidly after 1881, when its earlier secrecy was abandoned.
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. The successor to that organization, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), organized new members on the basis of their craft. But the idea of an industrial union survived with the Industrial Workers of the WorldIndustrial Workers of the World
(IWW), revolutionary industrial union organized in Chicago in 1905 by delegates from the Western Federation of Mines, which formed the nucleus of the IWW, and 42 other labor organizations.
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, which was founded in 1905. Adopting a policy of accepting everyone, skilled or unskilled and regardless of race, sex, or creed, the IWW's membership ranged from mine workers, to even migrant agricultural workers. Within the AFL in the 1930s one segment of unions, under the leadership of John L. LewisLewis, John Llewellyn,
1880–1969, American labor leader, b. Lucas co., Iowa; son of a Welsh immigrant coal miner. He became a miner and after 1906 rose through the union ranks to become president (1920) of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW).
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, began to organize in the mass production industries, i.e., to form industrial unions. These unions, initially named the Committee for Industrial Organization, were expelled (1936) and were renamed (1938) the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The newly formed CIO was basically an industrial union. Three kinds of industrial unions were recognized—those consisting of all employees working on the same commodity (e.g., electrical workers or brewery workers), those using the same tools to work on different materials (e.g., textile and aluminum workers), and all employees of a given factory regardless of their particular skill. Following the merger of the AFL with the CIO in 1955, an Industrial Union Department (IUD) was organized within the merged organization. Although industrial unions have traditionally attempted to organize manufacturing or mining employees, such unions as the Service Employees International Union are now attempting to organize workers in service industries and the public sector. But organizing office workers who perform different tasks in various offices in separate buildings has been much harder than organizing a large automobile factory where all employees work on the same assembly line. See bibliography under American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial OrganizationsAmerican Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
(AFL-CIO), a federation of autonomous labor unions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and U.S.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Heavily influenced by industrial unionism and guild socialism, the leadership argued that trade unions had an obligation, not only to their members, but also to the society to which they belonged.
She relegates most of her criticism to the epilogue: Labor feminists, she says, remained tied to an industrial unionism out of sync with the concerns of white collar and service workers for issues of quality of service and customer interaction.
The decline of industrial unionism reflected incessant pressures by capital for lower labor costs and more control over the work process.
It is true that many of the staunchest advocates of industrial unionism have also linked advocacy with a vision of inclusionism.
Rebuking the traditional view that industrial unionism replaced welfare capitalism during the Depression, Jacoby asserts that it only "went underground" during the 1930s, to reemerge in an invigorated form by the 1940s.
Lewis, the spokesman for industrial unionism, swung his fist (or, as some versions claim, bumped his belly) at Bill Hutcheson of the Carpenters, the dean of craft unionism.
While our roots date to nineteenth-century guilds and early twentieth-century craft unions, we built union power in the post-war period on the basis of industrial unionism.
Especially notable is his sympathetic portrayal of Debs, the spellbinding orator and prophet of modern industrial unionism whose Americanized strand of democratic socialism reached a high watermark in 1912.
That said, Palmer's satisfyingly comparative study can be recommended to this journal's subscribers as an important contribution to our understanding of industrial unionism.
Like the rise of industrial unionism, however, which Moody upholds as a paradigm of social-movement unionism, that potential requires the support of a favorable political environment to be realized.
It took the mass upsurge of the mid-30s, a split in the official labor movement prompted by advocates of industrial unionism, and a favorable process developed by the newly formed National Labor Relations Board, before labor shifted its strategy from craft to industrial unionism.
The dramatic and analytical structure of The CIO depends on Zieger's apt observation that the movement for industrial unionism was an heroic and expansive one, marked by a daring militance and social boldness; yet at the same time was just as much a story of institutional fragility, compromise and political equivocation.

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