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Big labor

Big labor

Big labor (sometimes capitalized as Big Labor) is a term used to describe large organized labor unions, particularly in the United States.

The term is almost always used in a negative or derisive sense; union members are almost never likely to say that they are proud to be a part of "big labor", preferring the term "organized labor"; conversely conservative and libertarian labor union critics are equally unlikely to refer to "organized labor" and almost invariably use the term "big labor", usually in conjunction with the equally-derisive epithet "big government", portraying them as either twin evils, or one as the handmaiden of the other.

The term "big labor" in the U.S. is particularly applied to the AFL-CIO and its constituent unions; smaller, independent unions are less likely to be categorized by their opponents and critics as being representative of "big labor", although they are far from immune. Populist politicians often add a third bogeyman, "big business", to the equation, sometimes portraying them as something of an unholy trinity who are in an unspoken alliance to mistreat and exploit the average person. The term "Neo-corporatism" has been used to describe three-way bargaining between government, labor unions and big business.

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