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Portal:Organized Labour Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Organized_Labour

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Introduction

Image created by Walter Crane to celebrate International Workers' Day (May Day, 1 May), 1889. The image depicts workers from the five populated continents (Africa, Asia, Americas, Australia and Europe) in unity underneath an angel representing freedom, fraternity and equality.
A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", such as attaining better wages and benefits (such as holiday, health care, and retirement), improving working conditions, improving safety standards, establishing complaint procedures, developing rules governing status of employees (rules governing promotions, just-cause-conditions for termination) and protecting the integrity of their trade through the increased bargaining power wielded by solidarity among workers.

Trade unions typically fund their head office and legal team functions through regularly imposed fees called union dues. The delegate staff of the trade union representation in the workforce are usually made up of workplace volunteers who are often appointed by members in democratic elections.

The trade union, through an elected leadership and bargaining committee, bargains with the employer on behalf of its members, known as the rank-and-file, and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining agreements) with employers.

Unions may organize a particular section of skilled or unskilled workers (craft unionism), a cross-section of workers from various trades (general unionism), or an attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry (industrial unionism). The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank-and-file members and the employer, and in some cases on other non-member workers. Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and also have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them legally to their negotiations and functioning.

Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, students, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. (Full article...)

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Soldiers on the Brandenburg Gate during the Spartacist uprising

The Spartacist uprising (German: Spartakusaufstand), also known as the January uprising (Januaraufstand), was a general strike and the accompanying armed struggles that took place in Berlin from 5 to 12 January 1919. It occurred in connection with the November Revolution that broke out following Germany's defeat in World War I. The uprising was primarily a power struggle between the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Friedrich Ebert, which favored a social democracy, and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, which wanted to set up a council republic similar to the one established by the Bolsheviks in Russia. In 1914 Liebknecht and Luxemburg had founded the Marxist Spartacus League (Spartakusbund), which gave the uprising its popular name.

The revolt was improvised and small scale and quickly crushed by the superior strength of government and paramilitary troops. The death toll was roughly 150–200, mostly among the insurgents. The most prominent deaths were those of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who were murdered extrajudicially, almost certainly with the approval of the leaders of the provisional SPD-led government. The party's involvement hampered its position throughout the life of the Weimar Republic, although quashing of the uprising did allow elections for the National Assembly to take place as scheduled on January 19. The Assembly went on to write the Weimar Constitution that created the first functioning German democracy. (Full article...)
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Left pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg I am directly opposed to it myself, but if it is a question of strike or you go into slavery, then I say strike until the last one of us drop into our graves." Right pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg — Mary Harris Jones.

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