Unionized labor was a new concept to Safehold in the late 9th Century of God; Ehdwyrd Howsmyn began with the rudiments of unions, quite similar to Henry Ford in the early 20th Century on Earth.

Howsmyn established an investment pool for his employees, which actually allowed them to buy a share in the ownership of the foundries and factories in which they worked, and the employees at each of his enterprises were allowed to elect a single steward who represented their interests at the managerial level as well. Any steward actually had the right to meet directly with Howsmyn, if the situation was serious enough for the workers who had elected him to demand it.

That entire concept had been an unheard-of concession, even in the Kingdom of Charis, until Howsmyn initiated it, and since then it was actually spreading beyond his own enterprises. (BSRA)