The labor movement (or labour movement) is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments. Labor unions and trade unions are common names for the specific collective organizations within societies, organized for the purpose of representing the interests of workers and the working class. Many elite-class individuals and political groups may also be active in and part of the labour movement.
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See Labor history
The labour movement began in Europe during the industrial revolution, when agricultural jobs declined and employment moved to more industrial areas. The idea met with great resistance. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century groups such as the English Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported for forming unions, which was against the laws of the time.
Throughout the world, the labour movement has been responsible for reformation and worker's rights , such as the 2-day weekend, minimum wage, and paid holidays. There have been many important labor activists in modern history who have caused changes that were revolutionary at the time and are now regarded as basic. For example, Mary Harris Jones, better known as Mother Jones, was central in the campaign to end child labor in the United States during the early 20th century.
As labour markets , and working classes are often limited by national borders, labour movements are also often limited by national boundaries. The Australian labour movement is an example of a labour movement that has grown and existed in a particular national context.
A popular bumper sticker in the United States in the 1990s was, "The labor movement; the folks that brought you the weekend."
Robert N. Stern, Daniel B. Cornfield, The U.S. labor movement:References and Resources , G.K. Hall & Co 1996
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