In response to the effects of the industrial revolution and the widespread exploitation of factory workers, labor unions began to form in the mid-19th century. Historically, labor unions protected workers, and these protections were most often in the form of implementing occupational health and safety measures; ensuring a fair and living wage for all workers; guaranteeing due process and ensuring that capriciousness was absent from hiring, firing, and other disciplinary actions; and ensuring that workers and their dependents were provided with medical and social benefits and pensions. For the most part, these protections remain in place today.

However, this model of unions assumes people will be employed, if not for the same company, at least in the same industry, for the entirety of their working lives; ...

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