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History of Labor Unions

History of Labor Unions

Discussion & Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching History of Labor UnionsTeacher Pass

Teaching History of Labor Unions Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion & Essay Questions


    Big Picture

    1. Who do you think should make workplace decisions?
      • Does productivity depend on a clear chain of command?
    2. How important is work to the human experience?
      • How much does it shape our sense of ourselves?
      • Is it a large part of who we are? Or is it just something we do for eight hours a day?
      • Is the satisfaction we derive from work connected to the amount of control we have over it?
      • Are we more content in our work when we have some input in the workplace?
    3. Why did workers feel compelled to form unions during the nineteenth century?
      • Why not earlier?
      • Was this the only way they could match the increased power of large businesses?
    4. How “American” are unions?
      • What American values do they challenge? Do they violate the American belief in individuality?
      • What American values do they represent? 
      • Are unions just trying to bring Americans' democratic philosophies into the workplace? Or are they based on a collectivist idea that is foreign to American ways of thinking?