Labor Unions and Strikes
Knights of Labor
The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor began in 1869, attempting to solve labor issues in a nonviolent manner. They believed that the lack of success from previous unions was a result of their unwillingness to unite skilled and unskilled workers. Some of their goals included an eight hour workday, stopping the use of prisoners for labor, and ending child labor. In the beginning, the Knights of Labor did not initially use strikes, but came to accept them as a useful tool as the group became more radical, winning ones at the Union Pacific and the Wabash Railroad. However, their unsuccessful Missouri Pacific Strike and the Haymarket Square Riot caused their influence to diminish. People began to see their demands as radical and equated them with anarchists.
American Federation of Labor
In 1886, Samuel Gompers combined small unions specific to one craft into the American Federation of Labor, which included all skilled workers. He did not unite the entire working class; skilled laborers were in higher demand, and keeping the AF of L exclusive to them gave them more leverage. Knowing that the radical nature of the Knights of Labor led to its downfall, the AF of L chose to keep their demands simple, only asking for higher wages and better working conditions. These changes were unanimously wanted, and kept the organization united, with the AF of L being the biggest labor union up until the Great Depression.
Industrial Workers of the World
The IWW started in Chicago by socialist miners and other groups that did not approve of the AF of L. The IWW was led by William D. Haywood, who had participated in Colorado mine strikes. Eugene Debs, Daniel De Leon, and Mother Jones were...
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...t anarchists put on trial were condemned of conspiracy to murder. Four were hanged, one killed himself, and three were pardoned later. This incident led to the end of the Knights of Labor, which was incorrectly associated with the bomb throwing. It was an all-around bad day.
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Between 1875 and 1891, wages rose from 169.2 to 172.5 and hours declined from 9.9 to 9.4 per day, indicating that the usage of unions attracted the attention of the heads of industry and caused for less work time and better compensation overall (DOC A). Peaceful labor forces, such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1886 by Samuel Gompers, demonstrated a different approach to the battle for better work conditions. Rather than violent riots, Gompers and other members of the group instead seeked to
The development of change occurred as it progressed to proceed during post-Civil War America. Many people may define progress as moving forward, advancing, or the growth of a concept for the good of the people that it affects. Political leader, Terence V. Powderly, was both a talented and charismatic man, and created this vision of progress. Powderly himself earned national spotlight in the American Labor movement of the late 19th century as the country was in the midst of economic downturn. His succession of the Knights of Labor (KOL) led America to an enumerating number socio-political effect. Importantly, common laborers worked 60 hours per week with no pensions or injury compensations, because of this America had the highest rate of Industrial injuries. An average 35,000 people died on the job because of these objectionable working conditions being exposed. The culmination of these health hazards lead directly to labor unions such as the Knights of Labor managed by Powderly himself. Terence V. Powderly’s goal under his leadership organization was to unite the peoples of America to work toward bettering the nation's economy and the working and living conditions of its citizens. In a constitution adopted by the Industrial Brotherhood, he addressed his vision of what needed to be done for workers to ensure a better life for the citizens and advancement of the country.
It is the first national organization raised by the American working class. Social Labor Party was founded in 1876 to form the center of the socialist movement in the United States, the decline of the late 19th century. In 1901, the American Socialist Party stead. 1919 suddenly decline. In the same year, the US Communist Labor Party and the Communist Party of the United States was born. In 1921 the two parties merged, said the US Communist Party. In the same year the rapid collapse after losing presidential campaign, only Minnesota agrarian labor longer exists, it is the history of the United States effective local third party. In the mid-1880s, it had a huge number of members. Later, due to the leadership class cooperation policy in the late 1980s it declined sharply. American Federation of Labor (the “AFL”) then took its place. Its predecessor was the trade unions and the Confederation of Labor of the United States and Canada organized. The organization was established in November 1881 in Pittsburgh. 1886, launched the “51” national general strike, the end of the restructuring is to AFL Gompers President. American Federation of Labor was founded in 1881 was a great influence of labor organizations. It was a loose coalition of various trade unions organized by industry for skilled workers. Because of the leadership’s extraordinary organizational skills and it lasted as long as 40 years, the AFL has absorbed many
The Knights of Labor was a secret union formed in 1869 by Uriah P. Stevens and James L. Wright, this was the largest labor organization in the 19th century, hitting 700,000 members at its highest point. They promoted the social and cultural rise of the working man, rejected socialism and radicalism, demanded the eight-hour day, and promoted the idea of republicanism. (Manser). The American Federation of Labor founded in 1886 by Peter J. McGuire and Samuel Gompers. (Difference Between Knights of Labor and AFL). They had
The organization of IWW was the first of many strikes brought up by Zinn. The IWW’s strike may have been one of the biggest and most fearful strikes of the time period. The strike started in February 1919 in Seattle, WA. The walkout of nearly 100,000 workers brought the city to a substantial halt for five days. The strike was quiet and orderly, citizens handled it quite well. The strikers organized milk
The rise of industrialization and laissez faire were key constituents in the rise of labor unions; businesses were given more breathing room and had more influence in the economics than the government. Citizens were feuding the need to obtain better working hours, reasonable wages, and safer working conditions; this was mainly prompted by industrialization. The three most prominent labor unions in this time period were the American Railway labor(1890s), Knights of Labor (mid-1880s) and the National Labor Union (1866); they pushed forward forward
Union affiliation was first seen in the 1600’s when the roots of the United States were just being planted with skilled trade groups such as artisans, laborers, goldsmiths and printers. Over the next two hundred years, unions developed their desires for higher wages through the use of strikes and protests. The nation’s progress spurred the need for more labor and so began the Industrial Revolution. During the Revolution, many union members began to witness the power that employers had and as a result decided to make use of the concept of power in numbers. The National Labor Union formed in 1866 and worked to persuade congress to set a Federal eight-hour workday, which applied to government employees (Miller). Many large unions formed following in the NLU’s footsteps and uni...
The Gilded Age was the last three decades of the nineteenth century, when America’s industrial economy exploded generating opportunities for individuals but also left many workers struggling for survival. With the many immigrants, skilled and unskilled, coming to America the labor system is becoming flooded with new employees. During this period, the immigrants, including the Italians, were unskilled and the skilled workers were usually American-born. There was also a divide in the workers and the robber barons. Robber barons were American capitalist who acquired great fortunes in the last nineteenth century, usually ruthlessly. There was much turmoil throughout the business and labor community. Two major organizations, the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor, helped represent the workers in this time of chaos. The Knights of Labor, founded in 1869, were representing both skilled and unskilled workers. They were quite popular with a large boost in membership becoming the biggest union in 1885. They sought for equal pay and equal work. All were welcomed to the Knights of Labor; there was no discrimination on race, gender, or sex. They called for an eight-hour day in order to reduce fatigue and for safety issues. The Knights of Labor Declaration of Principles states their purpose is to “make industrial and moral worth, not wealth” (Reading 9, p. 1). This means the moral worth is to what they could contribute to society rather than monetary gains. They were working towards this improvement of the common mans life to advance in civilization and create new ideas for society. They also called upon the employer to treat the employee with respect and fairness so they can contribute to not only their company but to Amer...
The Industrial Workers of the World is an ample union who are commonly known as the IWW and the Wobbles. During the time period between 1900 and 1930 the United States focused their attention and was occupied with the Labor Union Movement, which started in the late 1800’s and also World War I which began a later. The IWW stood strong throughout and never gave up for what they were fighting for. This can be seen through their slogan, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” Their messages were effective and drew a plethora of heads. The IWW accomplished certain goals and acquired a reputation in society during that time even though straight from the start, United States government was not on their side.
In addition, strikes for better wage usually failed because there were many unemployed willing to do the job. This conditions caused a huge gap between the rich and the poor, in fact, “the richest one percent of Americans held half the nation’s total wealth”. Labor unions were formed to fight this inequality and to help workers obtain only what they deserved — better working conditions, better pay and reasonable working hours. The textile strike in Lawrence, MA, exemplifies how labor unions, without a doubt, helped mill workers achieve this goal. It was with the help of the International Workers of the World (IWW) and leaders such as Joseph Ettor and Arturo Gionvannitti, who played an important role in he success of the strike. They formed a committee and immigrants from different nationalities organized as one to come up with a set of demands for the factory employers, among them were: fifteen percent increase in their salary, double time for overtime work and no retaliation after the strike ended and they would go back to work. Up to this point, many of the initial strikes had failed; they would end as soon a they began because the masses were quickly put to order by the police. Nonetheless, as they organized, they became stronger on account of the amount of people that joined the
Companies and factories were expanding and women and children were able to join the workforce. The Knights of Labor, led by Powderly, attracted both skilled and unskilled workers. They participated in many of the major events due to the Knights of Labor such as the Haymarket Riot and the great railroad strike. Another big labor union was the American Federation of Labor (AFof L), led by Samuel Gompers. While the Knights of Labor allowed skilled and unskilled workers, the American Federation of Labor only allowed skilled workers. Gompers argued and demanded for “a reduction of the hours of labor” and for better wages (Doc 6). Many laborers joined these labor unions to fight against the big
Today the I.W.W. members continue to advocate workers rights and free speech. The I.W.W. consists of writers, playwrights, historians, and filmmakers who still retain a vigorous press. (www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/golman/peopleevents/e_iww.html) I have a great respect for people who are brave enough to stand up to their opposition without knowing if they can truly win or not. On the contrary, I could not imagine carrying out the violent acts some of the IWW members did. In my opinion people expect violence in order to solve problems. Therefore, sometimes peoples minds can be far greater tops in the art of war. Unions could be useful today, but not any that carry out high levels of violence. I think that violence will only start a vicious cycle instead of resulting in
In the 19th Century, workers began organizing to form Labor Unions and began rallying and putting on strikes for better treatment. There were three main unions that were formed, who lobbied for rights of the skilled, unskilled, women, and African American workers of America. The National Labor Union, Knights of Labor, and American Federation of Labor worked to gain laws and better wages for workers. Some were more successful than others, however each learned from the others mistakes. I will be examining the similarities, differences and why some failed while the others
All of the conditions mentioned above led to local and national labor unions. The Knights of Labor headed by Terence Powderly became the first national union, which started with 9 members in 1870 and grew to 728,000 by 1884. This union admitted black workers, women, and unskilled workers, and in 1886 it was damaged by the Haymarket riot. The American Federation of Labor headed by Samuel L. Gompers later on picked up organized labor, and they focused mainly on issues like pay, safety, and hours. Unions continued to grow and fight for better working conditions for the United States and its