A Look At The Evolution Of The Labor Movement

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Labor movement has had to reinvent itself since its beginnings in this country.

John Budd is a University of Minnesota professor who researches and teaches about diverse aspects of work, employment and related institutions.

“Back in the early part of the 20th century, you had a major shift from craft unions to industrial unions,” Budd said.

In the 1960s and 70s, he said that the United States saw a rise of unions representing the public sector, which required some adaptations.

Interview With John Budd

home care workers unionize A Look At The Evolution Of The Labor Movement

“Now we are on the verge of another change, for example, as we look to home health care workers organizing drive here in the state,” he said.

Budd does not believe unions will ever go away.

“Because work will never go away, and the power of solidarity and collective action will never go away,” he said.

He says when push comes to shove, people find that collective action is more powerful than acting alone.

“The pressures have always been the same,” he said.

He says workers sometimes feel taken advantage of, and think they should get better treatment.

“So, people are no longer fighting for a seven day work week, but never the less, home health care workers, and others are still looking for better treatment, so there’s a need for unions,” he said

Technology has forced change in the past, and will continue to do so, with workers and management adapting.

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