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Unit VI – A Growing America. Chapter 19 Section 3 – Industrial Workers. Industrial Workers. The Big Idea Changes in the workplace led to a rise in labor unions and workers’ strikes. Main Ideas The desire to maximize profits and become more efficient led to poor working conditions.

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Unit vi a growing america

Unit VI – A Growing America

Chapter 19Section 3 – Industrial Workers


Industrial workers
Industrial Workers

  • The Big Idea

  • Changes in the workplace led to a rise in labor unions and workers’ strikes.

  • Main Ideas

  • The desire to maximize profits and become more efficient led to poor working conditions.

  • Workers began to organize and demand improvements in working conditions and pay.

  • Labor strikes often turned violent and failed to accomplish their goals.


Main idea 1 the desire to maximize profits and become more efficient led to poor working conditions
Main Idea 1:The desire to maximize profits and become more efficient led to poor working conditions.

  • Several factors led to a decline in the quality of working conditions in the late 1800s.

    • Machines and unskilled workers replaced skilled craftspeople.

    • These low-paid workers could easily be replaced. They brought costs down and caused production to rise.

  • Frederick W. Taylor,an efficiency expert, published The Principles of Scientific Management in 1909.

    • Encouraged managers to view workers as interchangeable parts

    • Injuries increased, and conditions worsened.

    • Workers looked for ways to bring about change.


Maximizing profits and efficiency
Maximizing Profits and Efficiency

  • Why did factories focus on specialization?

  • How did machines lead to a decrease in jobs?


Poor working conditions
Poor Working Conditions

  • Small, crowded rooms

  • Specialization made workers tired, bored, and more likely to be injured.

  • Managers paid less attention to working conditions.

  • Stuffy air

  • Unsafe workplaces

  • Long hours

  • Low wages

  • No job security


Workers begin to organize
Workers begin to Organize

  • 1800’s- Laissez-faire attitude- little concern for workers (scraping by for less than $500/year)

  • Factory workers- 12-16 hour days, six (some seven) days a week, bad light, poor ventilation, and women and children make up 1/2 the work force.

  • No sick leave, no vacations, unemployment compensation or reimbursement for injuries on the job.

  • 1882-

    • average of 675 laborers injured per week.

    • Wages so low all family members had to work.

    • Kids gave up their futures to help the family survive.

    • Horrible conditions.

    • Sweatshops paid the worst- $.27 per day for a child working 14 hours

  • 1899- Women- $267/yr., Men- $498/yr.; Carnege $23 million with no income tax.


Main idea 2 workers began to organize and demand improvements in working conditions and pay
Main Idea 2: Workers began to organize and demand improvements in working conditions and pay.

  • Knights of Labor

  • First national labor union, founded in 1870s

  • Pushed for eight-hour workday, equal pay for equal work, and end to child labor

  • Included both skilled and unskilled workers

  • Terence V. Powderly became leader in 1879 and ended secrecy of organization.

  • American Federation of Labor

  • Organized individual national unions, such as mine-workers’ and steelworkers’ unions

  • Limited membership to skilled workers

  • Used collectivebargaining, in which all workers acted collectively, or together, to negotiate with management


Trade unions
Trade Unions

  • 1842- Commonwealth v. Hunt- Supreme Court decision that Unions were just as legal as any other club organized to help members.

  • 1866- National Labor Union- ironworkers- got the 8 hour workday. Open only to skilled workers.


Trade unions1
Trade Unions

  • 1869- Noble Order of the Knights of Labor

    • Open to all workers regardless of race, gender, or degree of skill.

    • Supported the 8 hour work day, end of child labor and equal pay for men and women.

    • Strike was a last resort only,preferred boycotts.


Trade unions2
Trade Unions

  • Socialism and IWW- 1905- Industrial Workers of the World- “Wobblies”. Miners, lumberers, cannery and dock workers. Wanted government control of businesses, property and equal distribution of wealth.


Craft unions
Craft Unions

  • American Federation of Labor

    • Samuel Gompers

    • Skilled workers from one or more trades.

    • Collective bargaining

    • “Bread and Butter”- shorter hours, better conditions, better pay.

    • Successful strikes.


Workers organize
Workers Organize

  • What were two important labor unions in the late 1800’s?

  • Why did collective bargaining give workers a greater chance of success?


Main idea 3 labor strikes often turned violent and failed to accomplish their goals
Main Idea 3: Labor strikes often turned violent and failed to accomplish their goals.

  • Haymarket Riot

  • Erupted between protesters and police in Chicago

  • Resulted in decline of Knights of Labor

  • Homestead Strike

  • Strike occurred at Carnegie Steel Company in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

  • Resulting fight left workers and Pinkerton guards dead.

  • Pullman Strike

  • Began with workers who made Pullman train cars

  • Spread to workers who worked on trains pulling sleeping cars

  • Federal troops stopped strike.


Labor problems
Labor Problems

  • 1886- Haymarket Affair- Chicago- The International Working People's Association organize a meeting May 4th, 1886 in Haymarket Square, Chicago

    • Wage cuts, workers gather at Haymarket square to protest.

    • Bomb thrown, 11 dead, 100 wounded.

    • Public turns on labor.

    • 8 anarchist leaders are arrested, yet 7 were not at the meeting and one was speaking at the time of the bomb. 4 were hung.


Homestead strike 1892
Homestead Strike 1892

  • Andrew Carnege left Henry Clay Frick in charge of Homestead Steel while he was in Scotland.

  • Frick refused to negotiate with union on new contract and eventually locked the entire work force out.

  • Frick hires 300 strike breaking “Pinkertons”.

  • No one knows who fired the first shot, but the detectives opened fire on the crowd and wounded several workers.


Labor problems1
Labor Problems

  • 1892- Homestead Strike- Homestead, Pennsylvania.

  • The battle lasted from 4 a.m. on July 6 until 5 p.m., with workers finally agreeing to the surrender of the Pinkertons. Three Pinkertons and seven workers died and many more were wounded in the fight.

  • The national guard was eventually called in

  • The union was broken, Carnege and Frick win. There would be no steel workers union for 45 years.


Labor problems2
Labor Problems

  • 1893-94- Pullman Company Strike.

    • Laid off 3,000 of 5,800 workers and cut the wages of the rest by 50%.

    • Eugene V. Debs organizes the American Railway Union (ARU)

    • Union asks for arbitration- Pullman refuses and Union workers boycott Pullman trains.

    • Pullman hires strikebreakers

    • Pres. Cleveland sends in troops- strike threatens US mail.

    • Strikers fired or blacklisted


Labor strikes
Labor Strikes

  • What were union members protesting during the Homestead Strike?

  • Did the Haymarket Riot help or hurt the labor movement?

  • Do you think strikes are an effective and appropriate way to handle labor disputes?


Pullman railroad strike of 1894
Pullman Railroad strike of 1894

  • "About the only difference between slavery at Pullman and what it was down South before the war, is that there the owners took care of the slaves when they were sick and here they don't."

  • At the Pullman factory, employees lived in the company town, much like slaves lived on the plantations where they worked. Pullman residents lived in constant fear of their employer.

  • Residents felt that the company had taken over every aspect of their life, and had taken their identity in the process.

  • The company cut wages a number of times in the 1880s and '90s, but failed to reduce the rent in the company owned housing.

  • Federal troops were called in to keep the trains moving and to break the strike, prompting violence and looting in Chicago.


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