Industrial Union

Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 1514

Definition: Industrial Union

Industrial Union refers to a collective bargaining organization all the workers present in the industry irrespective of the talent, skills or occupation. It includes all from the least skilled workers to the most skilled worker. Anybody working in a particular industry is a part of the industrial union.

Example: An industrial union of petrol workers will include all the workers present in extraction, exploration, refining, storage, transport and all the other workers associated with the same industry.

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) classifies industrially than by trade. These unions can be further classified into the following six departments:

• Agriculture and Fisheries- Department 100

• Mining and Minerals- Department 200

• General Construction- Department 300

• Manufacture and General Production- Department 400

• Transportation and Communication- Department 500

• Public Service- Department 600

When workers come together with their coworkers in the same industry, this sort of union adds to this big union. The members can freely be transferred from one industry to another, after the permission from IWW.


Before 1870s, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) organized the members on craft basis in the USA. But Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) which was founded in 1905, under the leadership of John L. Lewis, survived the idea of the industrial union. It adopted a policy of making everybody, from skilled to unskilled labor irrespective of gender or race, to be a part of the union. These unions were called committee for Industrial Organization, but was expelled and renamed as the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) in 1938. This CIO was the Industrial Union. In 1955, AFL and CIO merged together lead to the organization of Industrial Union Department (IUD).

Hence, this concludes the definition of Industrial Union along with its overview.


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