The International Protection of Labor

The International Protection of Labor

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The International Protection of Labor

The International Protection of Labor

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Excerpt

The international protection of labor is a name for the movement which has resulted in the adherence of nations to treaties and conventions protecting workers. These agreements tend to establish international standards for the regulation of industry. The international activities of socialists, trade-unionists, social welfare workers, and governments constitute respectively the political, economic, scientific, and official phases of international action which has affected this movement. In its origin and early development it derived very much of its energy from the agitation of socialists. However, to influence existing governments to sign labor treaties was only an item upon the socialist program. The theory of socialism has been to change the principles underlying the present political and social order. Like the socialists, the trade-unionists have advocated international labor legislation, but their influence in this respect has been less than that of socialists. In its international aspects as well as in its national aspects, trade-unionism has been chiefly concerned with the economic improvement of the working classes and in strengthening labor in its collective bargaining with employers. It was the social welfare workers, organized in private and semi-public associations and aided by the co-operation of interested governments, who devised the efficient organization that led to the actual adoption of international labor laws by these governments. During the war, however, the propaganda of trade-unionists and socialists for international labor legislation and for the incorporation in the Peace Treaty of guarantees for the maintenance of proper labor standards became more pronounced than that of any other groups. A result of the war in its relation to the movement for international labor legislation was the creation of an International Labor Organization in conjunction with the League of Nations, by which governments assumed the official direction of . . .

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