Labor unions have been in existence for over two hundred years, initially as craft organizations, and more recently as industrial and service organizations. During their existence they have significantly enhanced the wages and fringe benefits of represented workers through the collective bargaining process, and indirectly affected the wages and benefits enjoyed by nonunion employees whose employers provided them with such benefits to preclude their unionization. Unions have also provided members with job security through just cause disciplinary limitations and grievance-arbitration procedures. Over the past sixty years, many social movements have employed union tactics to advance other critical issues such as the end of the Vietnam Conflict, the end of racial segregation, the enhancement of the environment, and the rights of tenants.
Charles B. Craver, The Impact of Labor Unions on Worker Rights and on Other Social Movements, 26 A.B.A. J. Lab. & Emp. L. 267 (2011).