Industrialization and workers
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Industrialization and Workers. Ch 6, Sec 3 & 4. Factory Workers. Boom in workforce mid to late 1800s. Urbanization and large immigrant population. 10-12 hours/day, 6 days/week. Paid by piecework – paid by number of completed products.

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Factory workers
Factory Workers

  • Boom in workforce mid to late 1800s.

    • Urbanization and large immigrant population.

  • 10-12 hours/day, 6 days/week.

  • Paid by piecework – paid by number of completed products.

  • Worked in sweatshops – long hours, low pay, poor working conditions.

  • Efficiency studies by Frederick Winslow Taylor led to division of labor.

    • Production divided up into small parts, each person does on part over and over.

    • Made businesses very efficient; low skill level, low pay.

  • Few safety measures in factories; hot, loud, dangerous.

  • Due to low pay, wives and children worked.

    • 1 in 5 kids aged 10-16 was employed.

Unions and strikes
Unions and Strikes

  • 1890-Richest 9% of Americans held 75% of wealth.

    • Led to resentment and anger.

  • Many began to support philosophy of Socialism.

    • Public control of factors of production, not private.

    • Wealth should be spread evenly to all.

  • Socialist ideas led to creation of labor unions.

  • Unions formed to help workers in hard times.

    • Changed to become a way for workers to give demands to employers.

      • Higher pay, shorter hours, better conditions, etc.

  • 1869, Knights of Labor union formed to organize allinto single union.

    • Wanted equal pay for equal work (women, minorities), 8-hour workday, no child labor.

    • Peaked at 700,00 members, then declined and disappeared in 1890’s.

  • 1886, Samuel Gompers founded American Federation of Labor (AFL).

    • Craft Union – Only skilled workers in a network of smaller unions, each devoted to a specific craft.

  • Wanted better wages, hours, conditions.

  • Used strikes, boycotts, collective bargaining.

    • Workers negotiate as a group with employers.

  • AFL was very effective and successful.

  • 1877, railroad workers struck to protest wage cuts and unsafe conditions.

    • Destroyed railroad property, US president sent troops to restore order.

  • Eugene V. Debs organized the American Railway Union.

    • Industrial union – workers from all crafts in a given industry.

  • Debs was opposed to violent strikes, preferred peaceful protests.

Industrial Union unsafe conditions.

Eugene V. Debs

  • Employers disliked and feared unions. unsafe conditions.

  • Tried to stop unions by:

    • Forbidding union meetings.

    • Firing union organizers.

    • Forcing new employees to sign contracts promising not to join unions or strike.

    • Refusing to collectively bargain.

    • Refusing to recognize unions as workers’ representatives.

  • 1881-1900 – 24,000 strikes. unsafe conditions.

  • Haymarket Riot, 1886 – national protest for 8 hour workday led to strikes.

    • Chicago-fight between strikers and scabs led to union protest in Haymarket Square.

    • Someone threw a bomb and killed cops, led to open riot with dozens dead.

    • Knights of Labor blamed.

    • 4 anarchists hanged, 1 killed self, 3 let go.

  • Homestead Strike unsafe conditions., 1892 – Carnegie’s partner Henry Clay Frick tried to cut wages at Homestead, Pennsylvania mill.

    • Led to huge strike.

    • Frick sent in Pinkertons to break strike; gunfight, many killed.

    • Anarchist Alexander Berkman tried and failed to kill Frick.

      • Public opinion turned against strikers.

    • Strike ended against workers 3 months after start.

Henry Clay Frick unsafe conditions.

Alexander unsafe conditions.Berkman

  • Pullman Strike unsafe conditions., 1894 – George Pullman built luxury railroad cars, and a town for his workers.

    • 1893, cut wages 25%, kept rent and food prices same.

    • Caused local union to strike.

      • Pullman shut down factory, refused to bargain.

    • ARU led nationwide Pullman strike, 260,000 workers.

      • Blocked mail delivery, fed gov’t got involved.

    • Citing Sherman Anti-Trust Act, railroads got court order to end strike, President Cleveland sent troops to enforce.

George Pullman unsafe conditions.

Strikers burned 600 boxcars. unsafe conditions.