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Outline. Capitalism and Class Organizing Labor Power Video Clip Rise and Fall of the Knights of Labor Mandatory assignments, review questions and extra credit good Will return at the end of class One point per question

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Outline

Outline

  • Capitalism and Class

  • Organizing Labor Power

  • Video Clip

  • Rise and Fall of the Knights of Labor

  • Mandatory assignments, review questions and extra credit good

  • Will return at the end of class

  • One point per question

  • I write like a man who once had his hand crushed…if you can’t read my comments, let me know


Monopoly or democracy

Monopoly or Democracy

  • $5…$4…$3…$2

  • Competition between workers in a free market for labor sets the price

  • Each individual is pursuing his/her own self interest

  • Employers cut individual deals with each worker

  • $5….Unionize

  • Cooperate with other workers to limit competition)

  • Collectively demand that wages, hours and working conditions be subject of negotiation

  • Replace Individual Bargaining with Collective Bargaining


Human labor power is a special commodity

Human labor power is a special commodity

  • Since it is inseparable from owner it can only be hired for a certain amount of time

    • During this time the Buyer acquires the right to make use of the sellers capacity to work

    • Seller of labor must deliver labor power to workplace & must become subordinate to the directives of management.

  • “The system of wage labor creates relationships of authority and subordination among people and the basis for a division into classes.” Korpi, p.16-17


Class

Class

  • Class

    • A grouping of individuals with similar economic positions within a society

    • Across space and time, different societies will possess different classes

  • Unions will emerge in capitalist economies to craft & advance the interests of members of the working class

    • Different unions will advance different strategies


Working class

Working Class…?

  • 2. The authors note that the American working class is comprised of many different racial and ethnic groups. Marx expected that as capitalism turned people into wage workers their racial and ethnic identities would become less important. People would come to identify as members of the “working class” instead of as Whites and Blacks, or English and Italian. After reading the section “Workers” please tell me whether Marx’s expectations were accurate. Be sure to cite the text as evidence in your answer.


Capitalism development and immigration

Capitalism Development and Immigration


A merican industry depended on foreign born immigrant labor 1910

American Industry Depended On Foreign Born Immigrant Labor, 1910


Working conditions

Working Conditions

  • 1. In their section “Conditions’ the authors note that “broad swathes of poverty and bleak prospects continued to characterize much working class life” (Zieger and Gall 2002: 9). Briefly describe how experience of one the following group of workers (i.e. phosphate workers, turpentine camp workers, Ford workers, or the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers) provide evidence for the authors assertion.


Working conditions1

Working Conditions

  • “Fatal accidents in the steel mills…accounted for 20% of all male deaths in Pittsburgh in the 1880s. Newspaper lists of men killed and wounded each year were as long as a casualty list for a small battle in the American civil war. Carnegie could not have cared less. When a steel furnace exploded, he worried about loss of production, not loss of life. The lock-out was his favorite negotiating tactic and he hired Pinkertons to subjugate his workers when they resisted his incessant demands for lower wages for longer hours. By the age of 40, most of his men were rendered useless through working 12 hours a day, seven days a week and they were discarded.”

    • The Economist, February 1, 2003


Hours

Hours

  • In an 1895 study the bureau did in cooperation with the bakers' union, it found that bakers worked inhumanly long hours, sometimes over 100 per week and that 11 percent of them had been ill the previous year. Over a thousand bake shops in New York City were in basements. Some of them were "cellars of the worst description .... damp, fetid, and devoid of proper ventilation and light." Many of them had very low ceilings, forcing workers to labor in a stooped-over position all day. Two/thirds of the bakeries inspected were classed as "totally unfit.”

    • NY State Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1895

  • “Twin Relics of Barbarism”: Steel Industry: 7 day a week, 12 hour day requirements


  • Working conditions2

    Working Conditions

    • William Blake described the early factories as “Satanic Mills”

    • “Among the worst examples were the shops where old rags for papermaking were sorted. The workers were mostly poor, Eastern European immigrant women. The shops were "open to every sort of objection." They were dirty, poorly ventilated, unheated, usually on the cramped second floor of a dilapidated building and reached by steep cluttered stairways. An In­spector reported that "as the door was opened, it was at first impossible to see the sorters because of the clouds of dust." The investigator found it "difficult to give an adequate picture ... Without seeming to overstep the limits of truth.”

      • 1902 WI Bureau of Labor Statistics Report


    Video clip

    Video Clip

    • PBS Documentary on Early American Labor featuring Professor Melvyn Dubofsky and Professor Alice Kessler-Harris

    • 1. According to Dubofsky, what effect did the mass immigration of the late 19th century have on wages?

    • 2. Briefly describe working conditions at this time. How were workers treated?

    • 3. In the 1870s and 1880s, workers begin to organize. Briefly describe what happened during the 1877 railroad strike. Was there violence? Was the strike successful? Did this seem like a viable way to solve conflict in the new capitalist society?

    • 4. What was the Knights of Labor? Who did they try to unite? What were some of their demands?


    Video clip1

    Video Clip

    • 5. In a strike, did the authorities tend to side with employers or workers? Why?

    • 6. Kessler discusses what we she perceives to be an interesting conflict within American society. She suggests a conflict between the individualism of the American spirit and the collective instinct of unionized American workers.

      • “Work and you’ll succeed. Do your best and you’ll make it up in the world. Nothing prevents you from going anywhere”

      • “The power of employers and the oppression of employers in fact prevented workers from living a decent life, earning a decent wage. Only the collective efforts of workers could counteract that power.”

    • Is she onto something? Do you think such a conflict exists? Why or why not?


    The knights of labor

    The Knights of Labor

    • Founded in Philly by a group of tailors in 1869

      • Due to repression, initially very secretive organization

    • After 1877 Strike KOL commits to Build Publicly Open National Organization

    • Terence C. Powderly Takes Helm in 1879

      • Irish Catholic Machinist who is Mayor of Scranton

    • KOL open to all workers, regardless of job

      • Women and Blacks included

      • Irish workers “stream into organization” and move to the “center of the American labor movement” (Who Built America 1992: 113)

      • Chinese Excluded & KOL would work to end immigration …WHY?


    Outline1

    Outline

    • Knights of Labor

    • Injunctions Against Labor

    • American Federation of Labor (AFL)

    • Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

    • Strategic Choices…Group Work

    • Extra Credit Option…watch a movie answer 1 question…get 4 points

      • Matewan http://www.videodetective.com/movies/trailers/matewan-trailer/570

        • 4pm Thursday or 5:15pm Monday

        • Need 7 to commit for it to happen


    Context lot s of different people competing to sell their labor in america s labor market

    Context: Lot’s of different people competing to sell their labor in America’s labor market

    • Old Immigrants/Native Born

      • (English, Swedes, Dutch, Irish)

    • New Immigrants

      • (Italians, Russians, Poles, Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese)

    • Descendants of slave labor

      • African Americans

    • Protestants, Catholics, Jews

    • Men and women

    • Skilled and Unskilled


    The knights of labor1

    The Knights of Labor

    • Founded in Philly by a group of tailors in 1869

      • Due to repression, initially very secretive organization

    • After 1877 Strike KOL commits to Build Publicly Open National Organization

    • Terence C. Powderly Takes Helm in 1879

      • Irish Catholic Machinist who is Mayor of Scranton

    • KOL open to all workers, regardless of job

      • Women and Blacks included

      • Irish workers “stream into organization” and move to the “center of the American labor movement” (Who Built America 1992: 113)

      • Chinese Excluded & KOL would work to end immigration …WHY?


    The way the knights of labor saw things

    The way the Knights of Labor saw things…

    • Business Monopolies, Corruption and Wage Labor were destroying the nation

      • “We declare an inevitable and irresistible conflict between the wage system of labor and republican system of government.” (Who Built America 1992: 111)

    • Saw society as consisting of producers and parasites

      • Producers = farmers and workers and honest manufacturers

      • Parasites = bankers, lawyers, speculators


    The way the knights of labor saw things1

    The way the Knights of Labor saw things…

    • KOL had long term goal of abolishing wage labor, but in the short term they addressed issues of wages, hours and working conditions

    • Success in reversing wage cuts by Railroads in the 1880s leads to rapid growth

    • By 1886 they represent 1 million workers and have 15,000 local assemblies

      • 10% of workforce…similar to the percentage of American workers currently in unions


    Knights of labor

    Knights of Labor

    • KOL growth is met by employer counter offensive and increased refusal to recognize unions

      • Employers were not legally bound to recognize unions

    • Employers did not see unions as a democratic expression of collective voice, they saw unions as:

      • Criminal conspiracies

        • Sellers of something (labor power) getting together to fix the price

      • Monopolies

        • Unions as sole seller of labor, and thus able to distort the market


    Knights of labor1

    Knights of Labor

    • KOL growth is met by employer counter offensive

    • Increased refusal to recognize unions

      • Employers were not legally bound to

    • Blacklisting of workers…Blacklisting?


    Knights of labor2

    Knights of Labor

    • KOL growth is met by employer counter offensive

    • Increased refusal to recognize unions

      • Employers were not legally bound to

    • Blacklisting of workers…Blacklisting?

      • List of workers circulated among employers containing names of “undesirable” employees…

    • Lockouts used more frequently…Lockouts?


    Knights of labor3

    Knights of Labor

    • KOL growth is met by employer counter offensive

    • Increased refusal to recognize unions

      • Employers were not legally bound to

    • Blacklisting of workers…Blacklisting?

      • List of workers circulated among employers containing names of “undesirable” employees…

    • Lockouts used more frequently…Lockouts?

      • Employer may withhold employment during a labor dispute…equivalent of a strike by management


    Employer actions aided by court injunctions and antitrust rulings

    Employer Actions Aided by Court Injunctions and Antitrust Rulings

    • Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 declared “every contract, combination, or conspiracy” that restrained trade illegal

    • Business monopolies were the target of the law, but courts applied Sherman to the unions viewing their actions as combinations or conspiracies to restrain trade

      • 20 guys agree to not work for less than $5… is a restraint of trade

      • A truck driver refuses to cross a picket line to deliver to a store that is on strike…restraint of trade

    • Katz and Kochan 2004


    Anti trust rulings and unions

    Anti Trust Rulings and Unions

    • Danbury Hatters Case of 1908

      • United Hatters of America called for consumer boycott of D.E. Loewe Co. in order to gain union recognition

      • Union also called a successful “secondary boycott” directed at firms doing business with Loewe: i.e. stores that sold their hats

    • U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unions were covered by Sherman, and ordered the union to pay $250,000 in treble damages.

    • Katz and Kochan 2004


    Injunctions

    Injunctions

    • If unions were violating the law, then injunctions could be issued

    • 6. When it came to the question of labor relations your authors argue that the courts and legal system favored employers. Please explain what an injunction is and comment on how injunctions would weaken unions?


    Injunctions1

    Injunctions

    • Injunctions

      • Court orders issued by judges that prohibited any activity that might cause irreparable harm

    • Injunctions were regularly used to block union activities

      • “Typically these writs also prohibited union leaders from encouraging or advising any form of collective action”(Zieger and Gall 2002: 29)

        • Limit union organizing, boycotts, sympathy strikes and picketing during a strike

        • Basis for bringing in militia and army

      • One judge described an injunction as “Gatling gun on paper” note next slide (Who Built America 1992: 125)


    Injunctions severely limit unions

    Injunctions Severely Limit Unions

    • 1880-1930 courts estimated to have issued 4,300 injunctions against unions

    • Very, very interesting exercise of power that severely limits efforts to build unions

      • No pickets…hard to keep replacement workers from taking your job

      • No boycotts…limits ability to have others demonstrate support for strike

      • No sympathy strike

        • A strike by workers not directly involved in a labor dispute; an attempt to demonstrate labor solidarity (Herman 1998: 532)


    Decline of the knights

    Decline of the Knights…

    • Knights could not withstand the pressure and challenges…

    • 1886 at 1million…

    • 1887 down to 500,000…

    • 1890 100,000…

    • Into the dustbin of history…


    Choices emerge

    Choices emerge…

    • With demise of the KOL…new organizations will develop strategies to organize labor…

    • Sam Gompers (AFL) Big Bill Haywood (IWW) John Lewis (CIO


    The afl

    The AFL…

    • 2. What was the American Federation of Labor? Who was its leader? The AFL’s strategy is often described as “pure and simple” unionism. What does this term refer to?


    The afl1

    The AFL…

    • American Federation of Labor (AFL)-

      • organization founded in 1886 by Samuel Gompers and other labor leaders to facilitate cooperation between different craft unions and to encourage the organization of more craft unions

      • Craft unions?


    Outline

    AFL…

    • Craft Union

      • a union that limits its membership to workers in a particular craft – usually one which requires extensive training and a high degree of skill.

    • Often a very Narrow Jurisdiction

      • jurisdiction refers to the group of workers represented by a given union

    • Instead of organizing one union for all construction workers, construction workers are SEPARATED into many different unions with narrow jurisdiction defined by craft

      • Carpenters, Electricians, Ironworkers, Plumbers, Tin-knockers, Glazers, Steamfitters, Operating Engineers, Elevator Operators, Sheet metal workers, Laborers, etc.

    • This choice has ramifications right through 2011

      • Pros and cons of this model? Anyone?


    Initially craft unions seek closed shops

    Initially Craft Unions Seek Closed Shops

    • Closed Shop

      • A contractual clause providing that individuals must be a member of the union in order to be eligible for hire into the bargaining unit (Kochan 453)

      • Requirement that an employer hire non but union men (Zieger 2005: 2)

      • Often predicated on union training workers and supplying workers

    • Acme Home Builders needs workers

      • Needs 50 carpenters, contacts Carpenters Local 1 hiring hall to get carpenters…carpenters work job, finish it, and then get back on list…

      • Contact Electricians Hiring Hall to get electricians…


    Visions collide

    Visions collide…

    • How do these two ideas mesh?

    • Closed Shop

      • A contractual clause providing that individuals must be a member of the union in order to be eligible for hire into the bargaining unit (Kochan 453)

    • “…Workers and employers should counter each other in the marketplace as free individuals, the employer at liberty to define the worker’s duties as he saw fit, the worker at liberty to accept or reject these terms.” Tomlin, p.46


    Visions collide1

    Visions collide…

    • How do these two ideas mesh?

    • Closed Shop

      • A contractual clause providing that individuals must be a member of the union in order to be eligible for hire into the bargaining unit (Kochan 453)

    • Open Shop

      • A business establishment in which there is no union or where union membership is not a condition of employment (Herman 1998: 53)


    Outline

    AFL…

    3. There were many, many workers in the United States who might have been organized into unions. Did the AFL favor skilled or unskilled workers?

    Where there workers that AFL unions discriminated against? Why do you think the unions favored some workers over others?


    Outline

    AFL…

    • Focus on craft workers…

      • Overwhelmingly white men…High skilled; High dues

    • Initially many affiliate unions would not permit women or Blacks

      • Later most accept women; Blacks in segregated locals…but neither are the key constituency

      • If Asian…total rejection

    • Ignored a large segment of the working class…

    • Cigar Makers bylaws: “unless said person is a white practical cigar maker” he could not be in the union.

    • Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Qualifications for membership: “Any white person between the ages of 16 and 65…”

    • Clerks & Freight Handlers: “All white persons, male or female, of good more character.”

    • Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen: “He shall be white born…”

    • Wire Weavers: “Christian, white, male of the full age 21…”


    Outline

    AFL


    Afl position on capitalism and wage labor

    AFL position on capitalism and wage labor?

    • KOL had long term goal of abolishing wage labor, but in the short term they addressed issues of wages, hours and working conditions

    • AFL???


    Afl position on capitalism and wage labor1

    AFL position on capitalism and wage labor?

    • Not interested in abolishing capitalism or creating a new and different society…

    • Pursued “Business Unionism” or “Pure and Simple Unionism”…

    • Any ideas what these term refer to?


    Afl business unionism

    AFL = Business Unionism

    • Business unionism

      • using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union. Focus on bread-and-butter issues

      • “pure and simple” agenda of improving wages and working conditions (Zieger 2002: 25)


    Afl business unionism1

    AFL = Business Unionism

    • Business unionism

      • using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union. Focus on bread-and-butter issues

      • “pure and simple” agenda of improving wages and working conditions (Zieger 2002: 25)

      • Limited political activity and no vision of large scale social transformation

        • Early AFL ascribed to something called Voluntarism

          • opposition to government relief and welfare legislation and stressing the need for workers to depend on their own economic strength (Zieger 2002:62)


    Afl business unionism2

    AFL = Business Unionism

    • Business unionism

      • using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union. Focus on bread-and-butter issues

      • “pure and simple” agenda of improving wages and working conditions (Zieger 2002: 25)

      • Limited political activity and no vision of large scale social transformation

        • Early AFL ascribed to something called Voluntarism

          • opposition to government relief and welfare legislation and stressing the need for workers to depend on their own economic strength (Zieger 2002:62)

      • Often little inter-union solidarity

        • “craft unions routinely crossed one another’s pickets and endlessly disputed jurisdictions” (Folks, 145)


    The iww

    The IWW…

    • 4. The authors introduce the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). How did the IWW strategy differ from that of the AFL?


    One big union to abolish capitalism

    One Big Union…to Abolish capitalism


    Beyond conflict to exploitation

    Beyond conflict to exploitation…

    • For some in the labor movement, including the union that led the strike where we’re going this afternoon, capitalism is about more than conflict…it is about exploitation of workers by capitalists…

      • Owners get rich by taking what workers produce

    • Consider my blanket factory


    Exploitation

    Exploitation

    10 workers @ $1 each a day$10

    10 workers produce $500 of goods by lunch

    • Paid $10…made $500…workers say “Great. See you tomorrow, Boss…” And the Boss says…?

      Uh-uh. Back to work…10 workers produce another $500 of goods by 8pm


    Low wages for some riches for others

    Low Wages for Some…Riches for Others…

    $1000 of Wealth Created

    After paying $10 for wages, and $100 for the other costs of production there is $890 left…

    WHO GETS THE $890?


    In this new game called capitalism the owner gets it those are the rules

    In this new game called Capitalism…The owner gets it…those are the rules

    • Owner: Gets the $890 created by the workers

      • Can buy a nice house, a horse, a fancy Monet painting, bury it in his yard, reinvest it in the factory, give workers a raise…It’s his decision to be made…

    • Workers: Get to go home with their $1 and get ready for the next day

    • Owners get rich by taking what workers produce…


    American labor market generates widespread poverty

    American labor market generates Widespread Poverty…

    AFL sought to address widespread poverty by bargaining better wages…

    IWW seeks to change entire structure of economy


    Industrial workers of the world

    Industrial Workers of the World

    • IWW provided workers with a radical alternative to AFL…the “labor fakirs”

      • Willingly organized those the AFL ignored

        • Unskilled, minorities, women

    • Syndicalism

      • direct action on the job to build industrial unions until they were strong enough to launch a general strike and take over business and government.” (Folks 157)

      • “The workers of the world have nothing to do but fold their arms and the world will stop.”


    Choices

    Choices

    You are a (skilled White weaver/unskilled woman, Black,Hispanic or Asian) who works in a Silk factory. You work constantly, and have trouble making ends meet. You are approached by different union organizers and invited to a meeting. You can be fired for just attending a meeting. If you are unskilled, there are many waiting to take your job. Every week, the news is full of stories about workers being killed during strikes.

    • Organizer 1) Mr. Haywood tells you that the new system of wage labor is morally wrong & based on exploitation. People shouldn’t have to sell themselves and toil in degrading, awful conditions. Mr. Haywood tells you that you should unite with workers of all races and ethnicities to build a class wide movement that can create a society without wage labor, where workers own and control the factories, sharing the profits for the common good. Join the IWW.


    Choices1

    Choices

    • You are a (skilled White weaver/unskilled woman, Black, Hispanic or Asian) who works in a Silk factory. You work constantly, and have trouble making ends meet. You are approached by different union organizers and invited to a meeting. You can be fired for just attending a meeting. Every week, the news is full of stories about workers being killed during strikes.

    • Organizer 2: Mr. Gompers of the AFL tells you that Mr. Haywood is a dreamer whose goals are not realistic. You should accept the wage system, and try to force employees to give you a better deal. Throwing your lot in with all workers will weaken your bargaining position, because unskilled workers are so easy to replace. He also questions whether you want to be in a union with women, immigrant riff-raff and Blacks. You should join with the other skilled weavers, and as a smaller group, you should demand better wages, hours and working conditions in the short term. To help strengthen your position, you should work to end the immigration of undesirable groups like the Chinese who are willing to work for low wages.


    Choices2

    Choices

    IWW, AFL…forget about it?

    • If you’re a skilled White Weaver, do you go to a meeting or stay home? If you go to a meeting, whose meeting do you go to? Why?

    • If you’re an unskilled man, a women, Hispanic, Black or Asian, do you go to a meeting or stay home? Why?


    Initially most white skilled workers who opt for unions choose the afl

    Initially, most White skilled workers who opt for unions choose the AFL

    • Ideas that one should find an individual solution to economic problems rejected

      • “Yet what force is weaker than the feeble strength of one”- From the union anthem Solidarity Forever

    • But so are radical ideas about revolutionary movements to abolish wage labor & implement collective ownership

      • “I have come to the conclusion . . . that it is our duty  to live our lives as workers in the society in which we live, and not to work for the downfall or the destruction or the overthrow of that society, but for the fuller development and evolution of the society in which we live; to make life the better worth living.- Samuel Gompers (Testimony, Congress, House Select Committee, 1913)


    Afl s narrow definition of worker leaves many out

    AFL’s narrow definition of “worker” leaves many out…

    • AFL Preferred White Native Born Male Workers

      • Women

        • noble beings, but helpless…not an organizing focus

      • Blacks

        • ambivalent toward at best, excluded at worst, maybe Jim Crow locals…Not an organizing focus.

      • New immigrants (Italians, Jews, Poles, Mexicans)

        • ambivalent toward at best, ignored at worst…Not an organizing focus…

        • Founding Document called for a ban on foreign workers

      • Asians

        • demonized and excluded…Note next slide…


    Afl growth

    AFL Growth

    • Despite the exclusions, millions of workers opt to pursue group mobility via the AFL

    • 1897: 447,000 in unions

    • 1904: 2,072,000 in unions

    • Union density grows from basically 0 to around 10%


    Outline

    Next…

    • Videos on the late 19th Century and Ludlow

    • World I begins to change things…


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