Labor movementLabour movement (in America, Labor) is a broad term for groups and organizations that campaign for the interests of workers vis-a-vis employers. The most important groups are the labour unions (or trade unions), but many individuals and political groups are also part of the labour movement.
The labour movement began in Europe during the industrial revolution, when agricultural jobs declined and employment moved to more industrial areas. The idea met with great resistance. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century groups such as the English Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported for forming unions, which was against the laws of the time.
Throughout the world, the labour movement has been responsible for reformation and worker's rights, such as the 2-day weekend, minimum wage, and paid holidays. There have been many important labor activists in modern history who have caused changes that were revolutionary at the time and are now regarded as basic. For example, Mary Harris Jones, better known as Mother Jones, was central in the campaign to end child labor in the United States during the early 20th century.
A popular bumper sticker in the United States in the 1990s was, "The labor movement; the folks that brought you the weekend."
See also: anarcho-syndicalism, unionism