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A labor union is an association of employees that advances member interests through collective bargaining with an employer. Areas of negotiation typically include wages, benefits, work rules, and other conditions of employment, such as hiring, discipline, and termination of employees.

A significant power imbalance between employers and employees during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution (1760–1830) led to the formation of unions. Employers took advantage of a labor glut caused by large numbers of agriculture workers who, searching for a better life, flooded cities for nonskilled factory jobs. The workers hoped for decent wages, job security, and respect for their labor. Instead, managers dictated the conditions of work based on their own interests and paid very low wages to those willing to work long hours ...

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