The Birth of Unions in America

The true meaning of birth, is to start something at a given point of time in history. The birth of unions, in general, can be traced back to the 17th century. However, in America the first evidence of people organizing was during the second half of the 18th century. The first workers to be acknowledged as an organized labor group was in 1777. According to Ancel, “This first union, organized in New York City by printers, carpenters, and shoemakers, was formed to fight for better wages and hours.” The union movement evolved from the Market Revolution in the Northeast part of America. America became industrialized with factories and mass production of goods and services. The exploitation of women, children, hours worked, wages, and working conditions were some of the main driving forces in the forming of unions in America.  All of these conditions also led to the growing evolution of unions, which helped create the American practice of strikes and unrest.

Produced by Maurice DuPree II