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The history of labor unions in the United States began in the 1800s, with workers organizing together to demand better treatment, safety, and pay during the Industrial Revolution. Over the decades, organized labor has achieved such labor standards such as the minimum wage and maximum working hours, and workplace safety regulations. Labor union membership as a percentage of American workers peaked in the 1950s, with 35% of the labor force belonging to a union. Today that number is closer to 12%, with the most prominent unions in the public sector, such as teachers, government workers, and police.
AFL-CIO. (2021). "What unions do." Retrieved from https://aflcio.org/what-unions-do