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Organized Labor Unions

Travelling Man91

Registered User
It is my understanding that freemasonry had a hand in shaping organized labor unions. What are your thoughts on labor unions ? Are you in favor of them or do you oppose them ?
 
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NY.Light.II

Registered User
Generally opposed in theory as well as from personal experience. Tend to be more obstructionist then truly representative for workers' grievances.
 

Sprout

Premium Member
I guess labor unions was a necassary thing in the past. But now I am not so sure . I guess it depends on the state and its labor laws that you work in whether they are effective or not. I belonged to the United steelworkers union for years and the only thing I benifiited from was the short term disability insurance when I had surgery. Which they paid me less than I ever paid in union dues .
I always enjoyed being stressed out every time contract negotions came around afraid of going on strike. Which in a right to work state is sort of pointless.
 

dfreybur

Premium Member
I have read that before trade unions there were shops that only hired Brothers. That abuse lead to the rule against invitations. Not sure if the story is history or apocryphal.

As Masonry started out as a union in the operative era it makes sense Masonry would have heavy influence on unions.

Over history unions have grown weak and workers have been abused. Unions have grown strong and damaged the businesses they work for. The history swings back and forth like a pendulum. The weaker they are the more they are needed. The stronger they are the less they are needed.
 

Travelling Man91

Registered User
I have read that before trade unions there were shops that only hired Brothers. That abuse lead to the rule against invitations. Not sure if the story is history or apocryphal.

As Masonry started out as a union in the operative era it makes sense Masonry would have heavy influence on unions.

Over history unions have grown weak and workers have been abused. Unions have grown strong and damaged the businesses they work for. The history swings back and forth like a pendulum. The weaker they are the more they are needed. The stronger they are the less they are needed.
You think freemasonry still has an influence in today's unions ?
 
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Glen Cook

G A Cook
Site Benefactor
I'm a former union member, as was my Dad. I would be interested in a cite that Freemasonry had an impact on unions at one time. I'm not sure it has an impact on anything anymore
 

Warrior1256

Site Benefactor
While working for the WV Division of Corrections I belonged to a union for most of my career. In this job the old maxim of "The crap rolls downhill" was very true. When something went wrong it was usually a lower level employee that was disciplined, not the higher ups. There a union membership came in VERY handy.
 

Bloke

Premium Member
Staying away from the politics of the question and addressing the history;

Certainly some famous Australian Freemasons were noted Trade Unionists. Trades Hall Melbourne, which is the oldest operating Trades Hall in the world once has a lodge room. Unions once held meetings at our Grand Lodge, but it is a space open for public hire. Our Tyler when I was initiated (he's not deceased) told me the Wharfies Union used to hold meetings at our masonic centre. However researching this can be difficult due to operative trades often meeting in groups called 'Lodges" which are not masonic. Further, Union meetings used to have "tylers", again for non-masonic meetings.

The Knights of Labour might be good to look at - they had ceremonies inspired by Freemasonry. When they were removed, the group soon collapsed. This might be of interest http://www.takver.com/history/secsoc02.htm

There were similar groups in the States. For instance this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_of_Railroad_Trainmen
 
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