Labor Unions formed in England in the early 19th century with the Industrial Revolution.  The formation of the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers (shoemakers) in Philadelphia in 1794 marks the beginning of sustained trade union organization among American workers.* We’ll look at applications of Lean to unions and finish with a short video on the rise of labor unions in the United States and a look at the percentage of union membership by country.



Lean Manufacturing in a Union Environment

In a short post titled “Can Lean Manufacturing Be Implemented in a Union Environment?” author Phil Minter discusses the three reasons implementing Lean in a union environment is tricky and how to overcome them.

You can read the post here.


Implementing Lean, Continuous Improvement in Union Facilities

In a short article titled “Can Union Facilities Support a Lean, Continuous Improvement Culture?” author Larry Fast discusses the keys to implementing Lean in a union environment.

You can read the article here.


Unions and the Lean Concept in Norway

In a paper titled “Unions and the Lean concept” authors Monica Rolfsen and Jonas Ingvaldsen discuss why trade unions in Norway are mainly supportive to Lean.

You can access the paper here.


The Rise of Labor Unions in the United States

A short video from NBC News Learn gives the history of the rise of  U.S. Labor Unions.

You can watch the video here.



Labor Union Participation By Country

Use the following link to see labor union participation by country.

Copy and paste the following link into your browser to see the statistics.



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