Guilds have been around for centuries, starting way back in history on Earth-That-Was. Then came the union movement and guilds died out. Now, in the face of ever-expanding corporate wealth and power, the guilds are back, stronger than ever. These days, guilds wield great power and influence. In an area the guild controls, you cannot find work unless you are a member of the guild. This can often impose real hardships on people, yet the guild is also in place to protect its members. Guilds negotiate with employers and fight for the rights of workers. Many guilds provide members with a recognized qualification that is respected and honored throughout the ’Verse.