Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 22: Business and Labor

Student Web Activity

"Labor Unions"

In this chapter you learned about the different forms of business organization. Many people who work for these businesses choose to join labor unions. Organized labor operates at the local, national, international, and federation levels. At the federation level is the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO was formed in 1955 through the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Today it represents more than 13 million men and women nationwide.

Destination Title: The AFL-CIO

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the AFL-CIO home page.

  • Scroll over "Join a Union" found on the top menu bar and click on Why You Need a Union in the drop-down menu that appears. Read the paragraph found there.
  • Click on Learn More About the Union Difference.
  • Click through the various links in this section and read about Unions.

After you have browsed through this site, answer the following questions.

What is the difference between the pay of union workers and nonunion workers?
What is the difference in medical benefits for union members and nonunion members?
What was the average difference in pay for workers in free states and those in right-to-work states?
What percentage of your state’s workers belong to unions?
Remember that this site was prepared by the AFL-CIO. It was written from their point of view. Write an editorial for a newspaper on the benefits of joining a labor union.
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