The Advantage Of Factory Workers In The Late 19th Century

785 Words4 Pages
The years following the Civil War and Reconstruction era was a time period that was somewhat gilded. The Second Industrial Revolution came bearing new inventions, and revolutionized how factories and jobs were worked. In this time period, factory workers were faced with unpleasant working conditions, abuse, pay cuts and the reality of having little to no power. The mass immigration also did them no favor as they were found easy to replace. In order to fight against these unjust acts, laborers would join labor unions in order to protest; however during the time of 1875 and 1900, the labor unions were not that effective. Although they had their efforts, many did utilize the advantages in which were available to them. There were many reasons for the movements initial downfall; they suffered failed strikes resulting from rash violence, unbalanced power between employers and employees, and the absence of government. The late 19th century was a time of both prosperity and poverty for America.…show more content…
WIth the power going to their head, their attitude reflected their beliefs that employers were on a higher level that their workers in every way. So they had a strong distaste towards their employees banning together against them because they were challenging their superiority.Many employers gave them an ultimatum, either you sign a contract similar to the Western Union Telegraph Company’s, promising you wouldn’t have any affiliation with the unions, or you lost your job (Document E). In 1883, in a testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Capital, a machinist said that "100 men are able to do now what it took 300 or 400 men to do fifteen years ago" in trying to explain his insignificance to the company he worked for (Document D). Due to the fact that they indeed did not necessarily need as many men as they did in the past, employers had no problem firing them if their protests went too
Get Access