Labor Unrest and Unionization

Gilded Age: Unionization
Objective #1
• Explain the effects of industrialization in
the United States in the 18th century.
– Changes in work and the workplace.
– Immigration and child labor and their
impact on the labor force.
Objective #2
• Explain the effects of industrialization on
work and the workplace.
Objective #3
• Explain the impact of child labor and
immigration on the work force in the
18th century.
Objective #4
• Analyze the reasons for the rise and growth of labor
organizations in the United States (Knights of Labor,
American Federation of Labor, Congress of Industrial
Organizations) including:
– Unregulated working conditions
– Laissez-faire policies toward big business
– Violence toward supporters of organized labor
The Changing American
Labor Force
By 1880, 5 million people worked in
factories. What were the working
conditions like?
• Unsafe: 1882 - ____________ workers killed/week
• Low wages:
– Men averaged $_____ a year (1899)
– Women averaged $_____ a year (1899)
Long hours: 12 hr. days/6 days per wk.
Unsafe machinery
Workers had few rights
Workers were easily replaced.
Workers Protest
• As companies pooled their strength,
workers realized they needed to as well
for their voice to be heard.
• Hidden protests: work slow downs, sick
days, disciplining the “over-achiever”
• Increased use of the strike in the late
19th c.
Unionization Nationally
• Unionization movement began again after
Civil War.
• 1866: _____________________________
– _________________ members by early 1870s
– Several labor unions combined into large national
– _____________________________ also included
– Call for _________ hour day
– Disagreements and Depression of 1873 killed it.
Knights of Labor
Terence V. Powderly
An injury to one is the concern of all!
Goals of the Knights of
_____________________ workday.
Abolition of ___________________ labor.
Equal pay for _____________________.
____________________ in the workplace.
Prohibition of contract foreign labor.
Open to all laborers except for the idle and
The American Federation
of Labor: 1886
Samuel Gompers
How the AF of L
Would Help the Workers
Catered to the ____________________ worker.
Pushed for __________________________.
Used the strike to its advantage
Saw average workweek drop from 54
hours a week to 49 hours a week
Saw pay increase from $17.50 a week
to $24.
AFL Grows
• 1900: ___________________ members
• Rejected ________________________
The Socialists
Eugene V. Debs
International Workers of the
World (“Wobblies”)
“Big Bill” Haywood of the
 Violence was justified to
overthrow capitalism.
Mother Jones:
“The Miner’s Angel”
 Mary Harris.
 Organizer for the
United Mine
 One of the founding
members of the I. W.
W. in 1905.
 Led
____________ to
White House in
Great Railroad Strike (1877)
• Nationwide railroad
strike over
• Workers destroyed
railroad property
• Federal troops sent in
• ________________ die
• Business leaders saw
this as the beginning of
a _________________
Haymarket Riot (1886)
• Chicago police try to disperse
• Bomb explodes killing 7 police
• Eight anarchists tried and convicted (3
were executed)
• Businesses now try to crush unions
• Hurt unionization in mainstream
America--linked to ________________
End of Knights of Labor
• Haymarket fear, disagreements over
membership of blacks and women,
unauthorized strikes killed the Knights
of Labor by 1890s
Homestead Strike (1892)
• Owned by ____________________
• Carnegie locked out workers when they
refused a wage decrease
• Armed guards and fences protected the
• Gun battle brought in 8000 troops to
crush the strike and the union
Pullman Strike (1894)
• Pullman required workers live in a
• 1893: Pullman cuts wages by 1/3, laid
off workers and did not cut rents and
• Demanded increased output
• Pullman union leader was
Pullman (1894) Continued
• Major strike and sympathy strikes
• Pullman Co. and Railroad companies
ask federal government to get court
injunction to end strike
• _________________________ sent in
troops to enforce injunction
Violence at Pullman
• Violence burning of cars, $340,000 in
damage, death
• Strike collapses and several leaders
were arrested
• Supreme Court ruled in 1895 injunctions
to stop strikes were illegal
Working Class Setbacks
• Workers lost many battles
– Owners often supported by
– Use of _________________________
– Unskilled workers could be replaced
– Economic depressions in 1873 and 1893
• But workers kept organizing
– Over _____________________________ by 1914
Women in Workplace
• 5 million by 1900, 8.5 million by 1920
• Ignored by most unions (________% in
unions in 1920)
• ______________________________
founded in 1903
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
• Many women in NYC
garment industry
– 16-25 yrs old, of Italian or
Jewish descent
– 56-hr weeks
– $6/week
• Over 600 shirtwaist factories
employed 30,000 workers
• Conditions: overcrowding,
women renting machines,
paying for electricity, breaks
minimized, safety shortcuts
due to costs
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Women strike!
• 1909: Women want better pay, working
conditions, don’t want to pay costs
• Mass strike in 1909
• Strikers fired, arrested, etc.
• ________________________ support
of factories meant they did very little to
improve working conditions
Out of the Ashes
 __________ membership surged.
 New strict ___________ were
 Tougher ________________ of
 Growing momentum of support for
women’s __________________.

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