Labor unions strikes
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Labor Unions & Strikes. United States History. Three Choices for Workers…. Continue in misery Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed Become a communist and start a revolution. Socialism. Public control of property & income Society should be in charge of wealth

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Labor Unions & Strikes

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Labor unions strikes

Labor Unions & Strikes

United States History


Three choices for workers

Three Choices for Workers…

  • Continue in misery

  • Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed

  • Become a communist and start a revolution


Socialism

Socialism

  • Public control of property & income

  • Society should be in charge of wealth

  • Wealth should be redistributed equally

  • Karl Marx & Frederick Engels

  • How to get this done? Workers revolution


Could this happen in america

Could This Happen In America?

  • How could this help workers?

  • Who would be against Socialism/Communism in America?

  • This is radical—is there something less radical that would help workers?


Less radical labor unions

Less Radical—Labor Unions

  • Unions: improve working conditions (not overthrow the system)

  • Collective Bargaining

  • Strikes (last resort)

  • Best—national strike

  • Why was this appealing to workers?


Knights of labor

Knights of Labor

  • First important national union

  • Wanted to organize ALL workers: skilled, unskilled and of all backgrounds (no racial restrictions)

  • Set the example: negotiate, then strike if needed

  • Goals: 8 hour day; end of child labor

  • Lost influence after violent strikes


Other unions

Other Unions

  • American Federation of Labor (AFL):

    • Smaller local unions with a national organization

    • Wages, hours, conditions

    • Strikes, collective bargaining

    • Barred African-Americans

  • Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

    • Wobblies

    • Socialists


Wobblies view of the world

Wobblies View of the World


Employers reaction

Employers’ Reaction

  • No Union Meetings

  • Union organizers fired

  • Blacklisting

  • Yellow Dog contracts

  • Would not bargain collectively

  • Strikes met with violence


The great strikes

The Great Strikes

  • Haymarket Riot (1896)—8 hour workday (national strike); scabs hired in Chicago (fights); rally—bombing & gunfight btw. Police & strikers; Ill. Law: help with murder, then you are a murderer: 4 anarchists hanged for murder (one blew himself up in prison). Never determined who threw the bomb.

  • Homestead Strike (1892)—Carnegie Steelworkers called a strike (factory cut their wages) & were fired; management sent in “private” police force (fight with deaths); strike called off

  • Pullman Strike (1894): Company town; wages cut 25% (Panic of 1893); food prices in town NOT cut; Pullman fired three negotiators; strike; al RR traffic halted; strike ordered illegal because mail couldn’t get through


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