Labor Relations

952 Words4 Pages
From the beginning, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) set out to be a different. Rather than focusing on remolding American life and the institutions in control of American life, the AFL sought to better workers lives by securing higher wages, a shorter work day, and more favorable working conditions (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2009). The AFL also divided membership up by trade, recognizing that different skilled trades had individualized needs (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2009). The Haymarket Riot, Homestead Incident, and the Pullman Strike all played a role in the rise and decline of the AFL. The first event, the Haymarket Riot, was a delightful success for the newly created AFL under Samuel Gompers (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2009). The Haymarket Riot sought to earn personnel a shorter work week (McNamara, 2012). The Riot ended violently. Public outcries against labor unions were fueled by negative press from the media (McNamara, 2012). The labor movement as a whole experienced a major setback as a result of the violence which negatively resonated among the general public (McNamara, 2012). The goal to earn a shorter working day failed. For the AFL though, the Riot was not a complete failure. The Knights of Labor (KOL), the leading labor union at the time, took a fatal blow. Union members of the KOL were disappointed with the union’s leaders following the riot; consequently many joined the AFL (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2009). The Homestead Incident was a battle between the union and a powerful corporation with government backing in 1892 (, 2012). The Homestead Incident began as a lockout when union workers refused to accept new terms of employment stipulated by the Carnegie Ste... ... middle of paper ... ...e Wagner Act of 1935. Retrieved from, Brendel, M. (1994). The Pullman Strike. Retrieved from, History. Com. (2012). Homestead strike. Retrieved from, Holley, W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2009). The labor relations process (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. McNamara, R. (2012). The 1886 Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago. Retrieved from, Nayab, N. (2011). A history of human resource management. Retrieved from, PBS. (2001). The origins of Labor Day. Retrieved from,

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