History of union busting in the United States
- The history of union busting in the United States dates back to the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century which produced a rapid expansion in factories and manufacturing capabilities. As workers moved away from farm work to factories, mines and other hard labor, they faced harsh working conditions such as long hours, low pay and health risks. Children and women worked in factories and generally received lower pay than men. The government did little to limit these injustices. Labor movements in the industrialized world developed that lobbied for better rights and safer conditions. Shaped by wars, depressions, government policies, judicial rulings, and global competition, the early years of the battleground between unions and management were adversarial and often identified with aggressive hostility. Contemporary opposition to trade unions known as union busting started in the 1940s and continues to present challenges to the labor movement. Union busting is a term used by labor organizations and trade unions to describe the activities that may be undertaken by employers, their proxies, workers and in certain instances states and governments usually triggered by events such as picketing, card check, organizing, and strike actions. Labor legislation has changed the nature of union busting, as well as the organizing tactics that labor organizations commonly use.