History of Unions

How Unions Changed

Why were Labor Unions Formed

  • They were created to help workers with work related troubles.
  • Workers had there rights taken away.
  • Workers did more for less.

Conditions of Pre-Unions

  • Workers worked for long hours with little pay and benifits.
  • The work area was unsafe and unsanitary.
  • Some workers didn't get along with their bosses very well.
  • Child labor was big before unions were formed.
  • Many workers got hurt at work and some even died because of a work incident

Conditions Post Formation of Unions

  • Unions organized strikes to help change the conditions of workers.
  • Most of the time strikes were unsuccessful.
  • Work conditions were safe.
  • The gavernment raised the minimal wage.
  • Child labor decreased.

History of Unions in Wisconsin

  • Many workers in Milwaukee went on strike in 1886 with the help of Molders Union Local 125.
  • Workers and unions decided to join in councils within communities and statewide.
  • The Wisconsin State Federation of Labor was created in 1893 to abolish child labor, create a better working environment, require company's to pay workers in cash, and establish an 8 hour working day.

Current State of Union of Wisconsin and US

  • The benefits for workers has increase by giving some workers health care, a larger minimal wage, and other benefits.
  • In the US, the membership of some labor unions like the Bureau of Labor has gone down from when it started
  • In Wisconsin, 17,000 members of Union membership in Wisconsin quit after Governor Walker signed a law that cut many labor jobs.


  • Knights of Labor
  • American Federation of Labor
  • Molders Union
  • Wisconsin State Federation of Labor
  • Bureau of Labor