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Industrial Workers: Big Business 1880-1920
Transcript of Industrial Workers: Big Business 1880-1920
Fire ? What Safeguards have you seen
since you got up this morning? Labor Union Major Strikes Haymarket Square Riot Homestead Strike Pullman Strike The railroads had huge capital debt, interest payments on bonds, and enormous fixed costs. They were battling each other in vicious rate wars. To maintain profits in 1877 the presidents of several railroads agreed could spare, labor. The railroads had already forced pay cuts on their labor force earlier in the depression. The railroads had blacklisted labor organizers and driven out the first unions. And in 1877 they came back again with more cuts. When a new round of cuts started, workers staged a spontaneous strike, shutting down the rails until wages were restored. The strike spread along the rail lines, eventually reaching across the country. Railroad Strike Workers worked 10 or 12 hours a day, six days a week.
Could be fired at any time for any reason.
During economic hardships could be fired and replaced by immigrants who were paid less.
Factories and mines were noisy, unhealthy, and unsafe.
Steel workers burned by hot steel. Miners died from cave-ins and gas and coal dust.
Garment workers died from airborne lint. Worked in sweatshops that were crowded and damaged their eyes from long hours in poor lighting
. Child Labor:
Child labor laws were mostly ignored. State laws required children to be at least 12 to work in factories and could only work up to 10 hours a day. These laws did not apply to agriculture Women:
Started to work in factories, mostly textile industry.
No laws regulated workers wages, so women were paid half of what men earned. Why women were assumed to have a man to support her. A man had support their families so they needed higher earnings. Workers at Carnegie's steel plant in Homestead, VA
went on strike.
Managers hired nonunion workers to replace them.
300 armed guards were brougt in.
A violent battle begun that resulted in atleast 10 people dead.
Resulting in the Plant reopening and nonunion workers hired. Pullman's railway-car plant closed after workers went on strike
American Railway Union supported by refusing to handle Pullman cars
This stopped railway traffic Economic depression led to wage cuts.
12,000 Workers went on strike.
Following this strike, Americans associated the labor movement with terrorism and disorder. Knight of Labor American Federation of Labor Industrial Ladies's Garment Workers Union ( ILGWU) Repersented skilled workers
Wanted: higher wages, shorter hours,
better working conditionds,
& collective bargaining Accepted Women
Mary Harris fought for worker's rights
Wanted: safer working conditions
Many other unions would not accept women. ? Would you have liked to work in a
factory during this time and why?