A trade union (British English) or labor union (American English) is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
Originating in Europe, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution, when the lack of skill necessary to perform most jobs shifted employment bargaining power almost completely to the employers’ side, causing many workers to be mistreated and underpaid. Trade union organisations may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, or the unemployed. The most common, but by no means only, purpose of these organisations is “maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment”.[Source: Wikipedia]
Say, have you been keeping up with the pro-union rally in Madison, Wisconsin? Did you hear about the fake phone call to the Governor? A fake David Koch called Governor Scott Walker and revealed who is pulling the strings in Wisconsin. The call was recorded and has made the national news. Look for it. The call ended with an exchange that might lead to a legal investigation.