You are on page 1of 3

Thomas Janke Mr.

Newman English 101: Rhetoric 16 September 2013 Statement of Scope for the Annotated Bibliography Can you imagine a time where you would be treated differently from your coworker because of your gender, or because of your race? Most people no longer have to go through problems such as this within the workplace, yet it was only a few decades ago that the struggle of equality was at the forefront of the average workers mind. While it would be incorrect to say that the issue of equality in the workplace is non-existent in todays society, it is undoubtedly true that equality has become less of a workplace issue in the recent decades. This is largely in part because labor unions, and their role of representing the common, blue-collar worker and ensuring that they are treated equally. Although there will always be a strong opposition to organized, powerful labor unions due to cost, I undoubtedly believe that the role labor unions continue to play in the equality and safety of workers is essential to the protection of worker's rights in America. This essay will explore the benefits of labor unions in the modern day work world. Often, people associate the word union with negativity, even if they do not understand the role of an organized union. I will explore the negativity that surrounds labor unions, and how negativity has continued to follow labor unions through the years. Furthermore, I will discuss the importance of labor unions and the great strides labor unions have made in the protection of workers rights throughout the decades. Finally, I will be discussing the current role of labor unions in the modern work place and how union views have changed from the early 1900s to today. The selected bibliography includes sources that address the background and creation of labor unions, the strides that labor unions have made towards the equality of workers, and some of the opposition that labor unions still face in todays society. The Usery and Adler sources provide a succinct timeline of labor unions throughout the years, from their inception to the present day labor unions. These sources also reflect slightly on the accomplishments and shortcomings of labor unions over the years. The Berman source highlights some but not all of the strides that labor unions have made for the common worker, and also highlights the newest methods of continuing labor unions reach within the workforce. Lastly, the Botz and Marable/Ness/Wilson sources look at the opposition and shortcomings of modern labor unions and pay special regard to race relations within labor unions. Together, these sources cover a great majority of the key points that deal with labor unions, but do not cover all aspects of labor unions in their entirety.

Annotated Bibliography Adler, Joseph. "The Past as Prologue? A Brief History of the Labor Movement in the United States." Public Personnel Management 4 (2006): n. pag. elibrary. Web. 9 Sept. 2013. Adler writes about how an increasing number of public employees have joined labor unions within the past decade. Unions prior to this were often looked down upon, and therefore had a much weaker workforce. This striking change in union growth has stemmed from a public outcry for equal and fair representation within the workplace. Where unions once faced major opposition from non-unionized businesses, today it is very common to be a part of a union, and carries a more positive connotation than in years prior. Berman, Richard. "The Labor Movement's New Blood." Wall Street Journal 13 Sept. 2013: n. pag. elibrary. Web. 16 Sept. 2013. Berman outlines the labor movement's gradual shift from organized, concise strikes to the usage of "worker centers" or groups that seek to bring attention to certain grievances from corporations. These worker centers are usually not-for-profit and are more often than not backed by labor unions themselves. These worker centers have brought a change of labor strikes and representation to the age old idea of labor union strikes. Botz, Dan La. "Into the frying pan: Mexican labor faces its greatest crisis." Dollars & Sense 1 Nov. 2000: n. pag. elibrary. Web. 16 Sept. 2013. Botz focuses primarily on the issue of labor unions within Mexico itself. The election of Mexico's newest president, Vincente Fox, has brought a grievance of labor and union representation back into the spotlight. Fox has shown his disregard for Mexican labor unions, and his election will prove to be a power struggle between active Mexican labor unions and the Mexican governement.

Marable, Manning, Immanuel Ness, and Joseph Wilson. "Race and Labor Matters in the New U.S. Economy." The Journal of African American History: n. pag. elibrary. Web. 16 Sept. 2013. Marable, Ness, and Wilson discuss the relations between race and the labor unions of modern day America. They highlight the plight of African American workers when compared to white workers in terms of representation in labor unions. Since the 20th century, it has been very clear that unions have favored the working white man, yet neglected the major struggles faced by African American workers. Usery, Julius, Jr. "Brief History of the American Labor Movement: Chapter VII Some Outstanding Features of the Labor Movement." U.S. History (1990): n. pag. elibrary. Web. 9 Sept. 2013. Usery speaks of the ultimate aims of the American labor unions, and their role in the workplace. The article points out that it has never been the goal of American labor unions to create a utopian environment for workers, and moreso to create a safer, more representative body for the average worker. Using these ideals, labor unions have changed the face of the modern working world and made conditions and lifestyles better for all workers.