Organized Labor Union of the late 1800s and its Impact Today Essay

Organized Labor Union of the late 1800s and its Impact Today Essay

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Modern democratic ideas were sprouting in America, especially within the organized labor movement from 1875 to 1900. During this period, blue-collar industrial Americans sought to abate their plight through the formal use of collective bargaining and the voice of the masses; seeking to use their strength in numbers against the pocket-heavy trusts. America’s rise in Unions can be traced back to 1792, when workers in Philadelphia formed America’s first union which instituted the avant garde method collective bargaining. It is because of these grass roots that America’s organized labor has continued to grow to this day, however not unchallenged. The challenges unions face today stem directly from the challenges faced in 1875. The organized labor movement from 1875 to 1900 is to blame for the problems unions face today as early labor unions crucified themselves politically, alienated themselves socially and failed to increase the socio-economic position of the worker, and in many cases only succeeded in worsening such positions.
The political crucifiction of the early blue-collar industrial worker was directly caused by organized labor. Before such ‘organization, existed, workers flew under the political radar in the best of ways. They were allowed to live peaceful lives and given the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, the commodore Andrew Carnegie had achieved the American dream in his rags to riches advancement and he offered the same opportunity for each of his workers. However, the arrival of the ‘organized’ labor movement drowned the worker’s chance at mobility. A cursory run through central terms of the question begs us to answer what is considered “organized” and “labor”. Organized can be...


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... were left unprotected and abandoned by the unions. How is it that the unions can demand labors lose months of wages, be subject to labor blacklisting and ultimately sacrifice their lives without any protections for the strikers and still claim success? They can’t. If anything, the Pinkertons who dispersed the crowd did more to help the worker, by reopening the Homestead, than the union had done. Thus, the unions were an utter failure in furthering the position of the laborer, as the laborer was better off before hand. Before unions the laborer had their life, as many died in failed strikes, and their dignity, as society at least held an intrinsic value in their lives. However, unions succeeded in decimating any chance of advancement by tarnishing the reputations of all laborers, leading to a direct decline in the socio-economic position of the blue-collar worker.


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