|Text on Button||UNITY! I SUPPORT MY NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE WHAT EVER IT TAKES WORLD-CLASS CONTRACT 1010 STRIKE & DEFENSE COMMITTEE (union bug)|
Black and red text on a yellowed background.
The history of labor unions in the United States began during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s when workers organized together to demand better treatment, safety, and pay. Over the decades since, labor unions have worked to establish standards for fair working hours, minimum wage, and workplace safety. Labor union membership peaked in the 1950s, with 35% of the labor force belonging to a union. As of 2022, that number is closer to 12%, with the most prominent unions in the public sector, such as teachers, government workers, and police.
The negotiating committee refers to a practice of collective bargaining wherein the employees in a union work with their employers to negotiate terms of employment. Negotiating committees allow unions to achieve desired labor standards. Members of the committee are elected by the local union and are responsible for attending negotiating meetings and doing the research necessary to make decisions that protect union members. "1010" on this button refers to the local union number committee, an identification designation given to local unions in separate regions.
Out of these negotiations, union contracts are created, which make the achieved standards set by the union and employers legally binding. This is most likely what the term “world-class contract” refers to. Western Territory General Vice President of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers Gary R. Allen is quoted as saying, “Our members’ world-class work deserves a world-class, top-notch contract.” Essentially, those who wear this button were indicating their support of the negotiating committee's commitment to a world-class contract.
Collective Bargaining. (n.d.). American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. https://aflcio.org/what-unions-do/empower-workers/collective-bargaining