- Slides: 24
SOLUTIONS TO INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: LABOR UNIONS? ?
THE GOAL OF THE LABOR UNION Better wages Benefits Working conditions. If negotiation does not work, take more action: slow downs, walk outs, strikes
FAMOUS STRIKES AND RIOTS: SHIRTWAIST STRIKERS MARCH TO CITY HALL.
FEMALE SHIRTWAIST MAKERS HOLD SIGNS THAT READ "WORKHOUSE PRISONER. "
TEXTILE STRIKERS IN LAWRENCE, MA, GATHER NEAR THE RAILROAD TRACKS
FAMOUS STRIKES AND RIOTS: THE GREAT RAILROAD STRIKE After cutting wages, workers went on strike across East Coast led to Riots Strikers destroyed equipment & rioted in the streets. President Hayes called in state militias which caused problems led to over 100 dead before strike ended Result: Weakened railroad unions Damaged reputation of labor unions because of the disruption and failure.
THE GREAT RAILROAD STRIKE OF 1877
THE GREAT RAILROAD STRIKE OF 1877
FAMOUS STRIKES AND RIOTS: THE HAYMARKET SQUARE RIOT AFL was demanding a 8 hr workday for all Employers, and if not done by May 1, 1886, called for a general strike Police harassment of workers/strikers killed 4 strikers the day before, called for a meeting in Haymarket Square Police ordered people to disperse, bomb was thrown (killed 6 officers, 67 injured) 8 anarchists convicted of murder, unjust trial, they were scapegoats 7 sentenced to death 1 suicide, 4 executed, 2 terms to life in prison
HAYMARKET SQUARE RIOT
THE HOMESTEAD STRIKE Members of AAISW (Iron & Steel Workers union) very skilled workers. Mid-1880 s, steel industry had new production methods, which reduced companies’ dependence on skilled labor After wage cut after wage cut, AAISW called for a strike, head of homestead Henry Clay Frick called for 300 Pinkertons guards (strikebreakers) Battle between strikers and Pinkertons, 3 guards, 10 strikers died, guards surrendered, but company called in PA National Guard (8, 000 troops) Public turned against strikers after Frick assassination attempt AAISW failed in its attempt, membership declined to anything
THE HOMESTEAD STRIKE
THE PULLMAN STRIKE Pullman Palace Car Company built/repaired at company in Pullman, Chicago Company built town of Pullman so workers could rent homes from owner, George M. Pullman Rents high Workers went on strike, Thousands of railroad workers in 27 states/territories went on strike No transportation from Chicago to West Coast Most state governors supported Business side, but Ill. Governor Peter Aletgeld was sympathetic towards workers and did not send state militia Pres. Cleveland disliked unions and sent troops Union leaders (Eugene V. Debs) were arrested and imprisoned. The strike collapsed.
THE PULLMAN STRIKE
THREE MAJOR LABOR UNIONS Knights of Labor American Federation of Laborers (AFL) WOBBLIES
KNIGHTS OF LABOR Membership opened to all workers, and most business & professional people. Excluded: lawyers, bankers, liquor dealers, and professional gamblers. WELCOMED women! Philosophy: 8 hour work day, abolition of child labor, wanted long range reform to replace the “wage system” with a “cooperative system” in which workers themselves control a large part of the economy. 700, 000 members by 1886. Too big to control local chapters launched series of strikes that discredited the Union. 1890 membership shrunk to 100, 000. A few years later, disappeared.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABORERS (AFL) Founded by Samuel Gompers Mainly skilled workers. Generally hostile to organizing unskilled workers AFL against women in the workforce. Philosophy: Accept capitalism, but secure for the workers a greater share of capitalism’s material rewards.
WOBBLIES Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Never more than 100, 000 members Conducted numerous strikes, many with bloodshed!
LABOR’S WEAKNESSES Wages rose hardly at all, could not keep up w/ rising cost of living Reason for Failures: ONLY 4% of industrial workers belonged to a Union in 1900. Reasons for not organizing: Immigrants usually only intended to make some money in America and then return home Other American workers believed they were not going to be part of a permanent working class and that they or their children would become a higher position in society.
DISLIKE FOR LABOR UNIONS Often hard to Unionize If wide unemployment, people rather low paying jobs than no jobs resentment of unions by middle class believed radical workers to be at heart of all problems