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The Growth of the American Labor Movement. Philip Dray: Labor Historian. The Changing American Labor Force. National Labor Union. The National Labor Union ( NLU ) was the first national labor federation in the United States.

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The Growth of the American Labor Movement

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The growth of the american labor movement

The Growth

of the

American

Labor Movement


Philip dray labor historian

Philip Dray: Labor Historian


The growth of the american labor movement

The Changing American Labor Force


National labor union

National Labor Union

  • The National Labor Union (NLU) was the first national labor federation in the United States.

  • Founded in 1866 and dissolved in 1873, it paved the way for other organizations, such as the Knights of Labor and the AFL (American Federation of Labor).

  • It was led by William H. Sylvis.

  • The National Labor Union sought to bring together all of the national labor organizations in existence, as well as the "eight-hour leagues" established to press for the eight-hour day, to create a national federation that could press for labor reforms and help found national unions in those areas where none existed.

  • The new organization favored arbitration over strikes and called for the creation of a national labor party as an alternative to the two existing parties.


The growth of the american labor movement

Child Labor


The growth of the american labor movement

Child Labor


The growth of the american labor movement

“Galley Labor”


The growth of the american labor movement

Management vs. Labor

“Tools” of Management

“Tools” of Labor

  • “scabs”

  • P. R. campaign

  • Pinkertons

  • lockout

  • blacklisting

  • yellow-dog contracts

  • court injunctions

  • open shop

  • boycotts

  • sympathy demonstrations

  • informational picketing

  • closed shops

  • organized strikes

  • “wildcat” strikes


The growth of the american labor movement

The Corporate “Bully-Boys”: PinkertonAgents


The growth of the american labor movement

A Striker Confronts a SCAB!


The growth of the american labor movement

Knights of Labor

Terence V. Powderly

An injury to one is the concern of all!


The growth of the american labor movement

Goals of the Knights of Labor

  • Employers are the new “slave power”

  • Eight-hour workday.

  • Worker-owned factories.

  • Abolition of child and prison labor.

  • Increased circulation of greenbacks.

  • Equal pay for men and women.

  • Safety codes in the workplace.

  • Prohibition of contract foreign labor.

  • Abolition of the National Bank.


The growth of the american labor movement

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877

  • Protest pay cut.

  • Militia units called in.

  • Theme: National power to be used not to protect former slaves, but to guarantee the right to property.


The growth of the american labor movement

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877


The growth of the american labor movement

Haymarket Riot (1886)

McCormick Harvesting Machine Co.


The growth of the american labor movement

Haymarket Affair

  • Wage reductions

  • Violence in streets

  • Company introduces new machines reducing the need for iron moulders’ skills

  • Rally held to protest killings, bomb thrown killing policeman, sparking additional violence.


The growth of the american labor movement

The American Federation of Labor: 1886

Samuel Gompers


The growth of the american labor movement

How the AF of L Would Help the Workers

  • Skilled worker.

  • Represented workers in national legislation.

  • National strike fund.

  • Evangelized the cause of unionism.

  • Prevented disputes among the many craft unions.

  • Mediated disputes between management and labor.

  • Closed shops.


The growth of the american labor movement

Homestead Steel Strike (1892)

Homestead Steel Works

  • Management tires of union demands

  • Open Shop Created

  • Union blockade

  • Conflict:

    • Death of 7 workers and 3 Pinkertons

    • Militia called in.

  • Theme:

    • Denial of economic independence & democratic self-gov’t

Union: The Amalgamated Association of Iron & Steel Workers


The growth of the american labor movement

Big Corporate Profits!


The growth of the american labor movement

A “CompanyTown”:

Pullman, IL


The growth of the american labor movement

Pullman Cars

A Pullman porter


The pullman strike of 1894

The Pullman Strike of 1894

  • Strike protests wage reduction

  • Solidarity! – Railway Union refuses to handle trains w/ Pullman cars.

  • Ct. Injunction

  • Federal troops occupy rail centers – conflict.

  • Supreme Court upholds jailing Eugene V. Debs.


The growth of the american labor movement

The Pullman Strike of 1894

Government by injunction!


The growth of the american labor movement

Labor Unrest: 1870-1900


The growth of the american labor movement

President Grover Cleveland

Conservative Presidents of the Gilded Age turn their backs on labor, using federal power to support big business.


The growth of the american labor movement

The Socialists

  • Vs. capitalism & Private Control

  • Problem  unequal wealth distribution

  • Problem  inevitable concentration of ownership in fewer and fewer hands

  • Want  GOV’T. control to ensure fairer distribution of the benefits of wealth.

  • Necessity of class conflict

  • Clear Marxists Bent

  • Difference  Peaceful vs. violent upheaval

Eugene V. Debs


Socialism vs communism

Socialism vs. Communism

  • From James D. Forman’s 1974 book, “Fascism.”

    • Democratic socialism, favoring government ownership of the principal means of production, found gradual acceptance in the more advanced and industrialized nations through persuasion and the ballot box rather than by force and violence. Communism, with its revolutionary programs directed toward the same economic ends as democratic socialism, addressed itself to the bloody overthrow of capitalism everywhere, but it met with little success where the parent system was firmly planted.


The growth of the american labor movement

Anarchists Meet on the Lake Front in 1886

  • Government unfairly restricts freedom of workers.

  • “New Order” needs to be achieved that represents the laborers.


The growth of the american labor movement

International Workers of the World (“Wobblies”)

LABOR PARTY OF THE SOCIALISTS


The growth of the american labor movement

“Big Bill” Haywood of theIWW

  • Violence was justified to overthrow capitalism.


The growth of the american labor movement

I W W & the Internationale


The growth of the american labor movement

The Hand That Will Rule the World One Big Union


Union struggles

Union Struggles

  • AFL opposed by National Association of Manufacturers & the radical IWW. IWW:

    • Class conflict

    • Worker takeover

  • Manufacturer Assoc:

    • Spies

    • Injunction

    • Yellow Dog Contracts.

  • Lack of UNITY damages possibility of success.


The growth of the american labor movement

The “Formula”

unions + violence + strikes + socialists + immigrants = anarchists


Social gospel vs gospel of wealth

Social Gospel vs. Gospel of Wealth

  • Social Gospel:

  • Freedom & spiritual development require equalization of wealth and power.

  • Unregulated competition opposed to Christian brotherhood.

  • Attempt to combat poverty, & achieve better working class housing.

  • Religion reaching out to labor.

  • Gospel of Wealth:

  • Wealth shows God’s favor

  • Accumulating wealth is a Christian duty.

  • Uplifting poor misguided.

  • Inequality is inevitable and good


The growth of the american labor movement

Labor Union Membership


The growth of the american labor movement

The Rise & Decline of Organized Labor


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