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The Rise of Labor Unions
Transcript of The Rise of Labor Unions
The Rise of Labor Unions
Industrialization's Impact on American Society
Overall standard of living was rising for most people
However this also created a sharp division between the classes (Rich - Middle - Poor)
1890 - 10% of the U.S. Population controlled 9/10 of the nations wealth
The Rise of Unions
1st attempt = The National Labor Union
2nd attempt = The Knights of Labor
Successful until 1886 Haymarket Riot
The most successful of all early labor unions = The American Federation of Labor
Still exists today (AFL-CIO)
In an attempt to improve their standing in society and the workforce, workers begin to unionize
"Strength in Numbers"
Two types of workers and unions:
Trade Unions = skilled workers
Industrial Unions = All workers, including unskilled laborers
Employers often recognized and negotiated w/ trade unions b/c they were workers they needed
Owners of large corporations strongly opposed industrial unions
Tactics used to defeat unions:
Promoted unions as Un-American
Govt and Courts sided w/ Businesses in disputes
Blacklists and Lockouts
Scabs (replacement workers)
Private guards/state militias to put a strike by down by force
Life for wage/factory workers in industrial America was difficult & methodical
1900 - 2/3 are wage workers...Avg = .22¢/hr
10-12 hour days, 6-7 days a week
Conditions were unhealthy and often dangerous
Most families couldn't survive on one income
Women leave the home
The Working Class
What did Labor Unions Do?
Labor Unions fought for:
8 hr workday = 40 hours a week
Better/Safer Working conditions
Abolition of Child Labor
"Equal Pay for Equal Work"
Other things Labor Unions fight for today:
Job Security (Tenure or Seniority)
Better Benefits (i.e. Health & Retirement