Despite being able to cause a small improvement in workers’ pay and hours, labor unions ultimately died out by the 1900s due to their methods. Unable to truly focus on the plight of skilled workers, most labor unions instead focused on that of unskilled workers, pushing aside the skilled workers. (Doc D). The actions of labor unions ended up being counterproductive, forcing companies to wage war against the labor unions. These stricter contracts such as that of Western Union Telegraph Company, forced workers to affiliate themselves against labor unions. (Doc E) One important thing to note is that the workers’ rights advocates were never able to coincide on one factor. As evidenced in an illustration in 1887, labor unions had to compete with other movements such as socialism, anarchism, and other labor unions. (Doc F). Because of this, the media, although recognizing the labor union movement, began viewing the labor unions as dangerous entities. Although the initial strikes such as the Wabash strike were successful, the ones that followed proved detrimental to the movement, and caused the steady decline of the labor unions. Because some of the strikes were dangerous, many strikes resulted in the deaths of those involved, such as the Homestead Crisis, and Pinkerton (Doc G). Combined with events such as the Wildcat strike, Haymarket strike, the Pullman Strike, the public began to associate a negative
As stated, many labor unions that were created utilized strikes to negotiate and come to a compromise between business leaders and their workers. However, it got to the point where they were being overused, and starting to turn very violent. The first time this had occurred is the Great Strike in the year of 1877. It occurred in the city of Baltimore, where workers from the Ohio Railroad company were on strike due to their pay checks being cut. However, a compromise was unable to be in a timely manner, causing the railroad system to come to a halt. This delay lasted for about a week or two, even causing the federal government to get involved as the economy and commerce was being greatly affected by this. To bring an end to this, the President,
The Pullman Strike of 1894 was the first national strike in American history and it came about during a period of unrest with labor unions and controversy regarding the role of government in business.5 The strike officially started when employees organized and went to their supervisors to ask for a lowered rent and were refused.5 The strike had many different causes. For example, workers wanted higher wages and fewer working hours, but the companies would not give it to them; and the workers wanted better, more affordable living quarters, but the companies would not offer that to them either. These different causes created an interesting and controversial end to the Pullman strike. Because of this, questions were raised about the strike
Some consequences of the strike were longer workdays. Days went from eight hour shifts to twelve hour shifts, six days a week. Wages were cut; all employees were working with a mandatory increase of hours and not making what they should have been making. People were not able to provide for their families. Conditions would continue this way until the steel industry unionized, but that would not be for about another forty-four years later. Because of the way the economy is today, unfortunately history seems to be repeating itself. There seems to be a big push to get the unions out of the work force again. Businesses cannot afford the hirer wages, benefits and security that unions afford. Businesses are being forced to downsize resulting in the layoff of workers. Cutting medical benefits and hiring more employees but only for part time positions, to keep costs down. Employees are
The Boston Police Strike of 1919 was the result of the intolerable conditions under which the police officer’s worked and the refusal of key city and state officials to act to improve those conditions. On the day of September the 9th 1919, almost three quarters of Boston 's police force failed to show up to work. The police strike was a political windfall for the governor of Massachusetts and was fodder for the anti- union stance of government and business of the day. The backlash resulted in police departments across the country not to be afforded the right to organize for the next twenty years.
In the 1800s and early 1900s working conditions were much harsher than now. Long hours and small wages made up a day in the life of someone living in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The Haymarket Riot was the result of the bombing in Chicago. “In the summer 1886 the campaign for an eight-hour day, long a rallying cry that united American laborers, culminated in a national strike on May 1, 1886. Between 300,000 and 500,000 workers struck across the country. In Chicago, police forces killed several workers while breaking up protestors at the McCormick reaper works. Labor leaders and radicals called for a protest at Haymarket Square the following day, which police also proceeded to break up. But as they did, a bomb exploded and killed seven policemen. Police fired into the crowd, killing four. The deaths of the Chicago policemen sparked outrage across the nation and the sensationalization of the “Haymarket Riot” helped many Americans to associate unionism with radicalism” (Yawp). As a result of the Haymarket Riot was the loss of members of the Knight of Labor. “The national movement for an eight-hour day collapsed”(Yawp). The Haymarket Riot played an important role in illustrating how labor was in the late 1800s to the
A strike is a collective decision of the union members not to work until certain demands or conditions are met (Noe, 2003). If the majority of the union members vote to strike, the union will strike. Most strikes usually have union employees not show up to work to perform his/her day-to-day duties but rather have the union employees picket outside the organization. While the union employee is on strike, the employer does not pay the employee his/her wage. In many strikes, the unions help the employees compensate their wages while they are on strike. The purpose of a strike is to make the employer lose production because the regular employee 's do not show up to work. The vast majority of labor-management negotiations do not result in a strike, and the number of strikes has plunged since the 1950s (Noe, 2003).
In labor as in all things there is strength in numbers it is this strength that American labor unions provide. Labor unions provide a collective voice for those who had not previously been heard. As the professor in the “Frustrated Labor Historian” Dr. Horace P. Karastan is left with the dilemma what are the three most important events in American labor union history it would be difficult to choose with so many important moments. There are however several events that stand out as being turning points in giving employees unquestionable protections. The Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 allowing employees the right to organize. Further the Wagner Act protecting employees from reprisal from employers for organizing spurring the growth of unionization. The Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959 building on the Wagner Act as well as the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 which granted protections from the unions. It is these Acts that have changed the landscape of American labor union history and leave us with the unions that we have today.
There was a clear divide between bosses and workers which led to a certain level of disdain between the two; a disdain that could be set off very easily by the actions of one another. Businesses were booming and economy was expanding, so business owners had to find a way to stay in business and not let other companies take over. To do this, they often resorted to cutting wages or even lockouts. The lockouts forced workers to either quit or agree to a pay cut, but only cutting wages gave workers reason to strike. This greed from both sides caused conflict which sometimes led to violence. As strikes went on, strikers and bosses became more desperate. Strikers resorted to violence and bosses called in higher authorities-strikes were declared illegal, militias were sent in, and people got hurt. As a result of The Great Upheaval, 100 people died and 1,000 others were imprisoned (37a. The Great Upheaval). Although strikes almost never turned out the way they
I will fight this to the bitter end. I will never recognize the union, never, never.” (Document D.) Henry Clay Frick, the person from whom this quote is taken from, was the president of Carnegie Steel. He was making his workers work much harder, long, strenuous hours with poor conditions and little pay. “Exhaustion from overwork. In consequences of the long hours of labor, the great speed the machinery is run at… So much exhaustion is produced. (Document F.) This definitely needed to be addressed and it wasn’t. Unions were forming to try and help workers get more fair jobs, safer and better pay, but they often could not come to an agreement with the company. Then the workers would strike. When workers went on strike, profits and production stopped. If the company did not want to come on a consensus, often, strikes would become violent. The owners could have hired perhaps two shifts of workers, one to work during the earlier part of the day and another to work the later part of the day. This would have reduced exhaustion in workers, which also meant they would work faster if not
Throughout history many people, such as politicians, officials, and generals, have been noted to have molded the United States, neglecting the fact that workers have also played an important role in shaping this nation’s history. During the 1870s to the 1930s, laborers faced many hardships; they had trouble keeping their jobs, had their wages decreased, and were forced to work sixty-hour weeks without insurance. Over time, workers began to feel aggravated by their employers’ demands and began to voice their opinions. Only by forming into unions and standing up to what employers’ thought was “freedom” in the workplace were the laborers able to change working conditions more favorable for them.
Two years after the infamous Triangle fire, 20,000 workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts; angered over wage cuts and deplorable conditions went on strike, prompting the twin reactions of police brutality and press coverage (Hodson & Sullivan, 2008). “As a result of the strike, not only were wages raised and conditions improved in the textile industry as a whole, but important legislation was also enacted that restricted the exploitation of child and female labor” (Hodson & Sullivan, 2008, p. 132). It is doubtful that working conditions would have evolved to the level of equity we find today, without the sacrifice and activism of unions and their members.
As a result of this "threat" of entering a labor union, the commissioner of police, Edward Curtis, told the men that no policemen were to join a union. After men decided to join the American Federation of Labor, Curtis decided to suspend those men. Leaders of the union were angered by this action and told the commissioner not to punish the men or else all union members would go on strike. Compromises were brought the Curtis, but none were accepted. Soon, a vast majority of the police department was on strike. It did not take long for violence in the streets to set in. Many volunteers were put in the line of duty. Angry mobs ran the streets, and many newspapers ran articles such as, "Riots in Boston", "Terror Reigns in City". This was a disgrace to the city of Boston. After eight deaths of seventy wounded, and thousand of dollars of damage done, the cities order was finally restored. The officers were given the raises that were requested and no longer had to pay for there uniforms.
From the era of Reconstruction to the late of 19th century, the United States experienced a significant economic growth and a large number of immigrants, who were lured by enormous job opportunities. The big business starting growing rapidly due to a combination of new technology, more efficient management and access to enormous resources. From 1870 to 1900, the expansion of big corporations caused mass production and high demands of unskilled workers in the United States, while resulting more difficult situations for workers and intense political corruption. The Americans responded actively to such conditions. Some of them organized strike in order to threatened their employers and ask for better treatments, while others participated in many