United Steelworkers was founded on May 22, 1947, as a general trade union. It majorly represented workers from different diverse industries. The union has since grown to have approximately 850,000 members with expansion outside America. The union has merged with Unite based in the United Kingdom and Ireland to form an international union called Workers Unite. The union is vital because it stated small representing steelworkers, but eventually, it made progress by forming alliances with other unions. The alliances with other unions made it possible for the union to address issues affecting different industries. The organization structure of the union is what made me pick on the Steelworkers Union. The union's ability to transform into global organization is insightful. The philanthropic nature of the union is intriguing that is why I wanted to understand the union's philosophy.
The Pullman Strike of 1894
The Pullman strike of 1984 was centered in Chicago with railroad workers going on a strike. The strike was as a result of managerial choices. The workers were complaining about a cut in their wages. Pullman the owner of the factory lowered wages but refused to reduce rent for company-owned housing for his workers. The company was surprised when the workers decided to walk out on May 11, 1894, after the American Railway Union took action. The management decision to intrude in workers live is another reason for the strike. The strike was because of the war between rail workers, and the company management decided to make railroad passenger cars (McNamara, 2019).
The strike influenced how Americans viewed the relationship between workers and management. It also influenced federal involvement in strikes and unions protests. The influence of the Pullman strike was felt across the country since it was estimated that 250, 000 workers have to take part in the strike. The strike led to a shutdown of American business, therefore, indicating that power lied with the workers. The strike also shaped the way federal government and courts could get involved in handling labor strikes. The federal government was involved in mediation between the striking workers and Pullman. The events opened an avenue to involve the federal government in mediating union unrests. At the end of the strike, the public was able to contribute towards implementation of worker's rights.
PATCO Strike Article Summary
On August 3, 1981, workers working in PATCO (professional air traffic controllers' organization) refused to work. The reason for walking off work was because of their demands for a shorter working week, the increment of their pay, improved working conditions, and improved safety conditions for air travelers. The workers were ordered back to work, but they defied Ronal Reagan who was newly elected president. The outcome of the strike led to the firing of 11.359 controllers (Neidenberg, 2019).
It was not ethically acceptable for PATCO workers to go on strike since it was approaching summer at the time of the strike. The air traffic controllers are employed by the federal government and work under the FAA. FAA is a state board and having union workers to strike was unethical because the workers were working for the federal government. The union leader had overstepped his powers by leading the strike. At that time, the air controllers were well paid despite the bad economy. For them, getting involved in a strike meant that the public was going to suffer. It was best if the union had taken an option of negotiation for a pay rise. The decision taken by Ronal Reagan was ethically acceptable because, under the federal government, it was not allowed for workers to go on strike. It was in the best interest of the public to fire the workers because they were not cooperating yet they were well paid. The workers refused to obey President's-48 hour ultimatum; therefore, it was justifiable to fire them.
Neidenberg, M. (2019). What can be learned from the PATCO strike?. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from https://www.workers.org/2006/us/patco-0817/
McNamara, R. (2019). Federal Troops Were Sent to Break the 1894 Pullman Strike. Retrieved 5 September 2019, from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-pullman-strike-of-1894-1773900
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United Steelworkers: An International Union for Diverse Industries. (2023, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/united-steelworkers-an-international-union-for-diverse-industries
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