Labor unions are organizations that represent workers in negotiations with employers over rights, benefits and collective interests.

In the United States, organized labor rose alongside the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, accompanied by strikes that were often put down violently by the government and private company guards. The New Deal of the 1930s brought better protections for union members and their collective bargaining rights. The percentage of workers in unions peaked in the 1950s and declined precipitously in the 1980s, when globalization and deregulation heralded a shift in power away from organized labor.


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