Chapter 14 – Section 4 Unions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 14 – Section 4 Unions

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  1. Chapter 14 – Section 4Unions “''Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” - Abraham Lincoln “And what have our unions done? What do they aim to do? To improve the standard of life, to uproot ignorance and foster education, to instill character, manhood and independent spirit among our people; to bring about a recognition of the interdependence of man upon his fellow man. We aim to establish a normal work-day, to take the children from the factory and workshop and give them the opportunity of the school and the play-ground. In a word, our unions strive to lighten toil, educate their members, make their homes more cheerful, and in every way contribute an earnest effort toward making life the better worth living.” - Samuel Gompers

  2. Working in the United States Factory work is tedious, monotonous, and removes the laborer’s individual contribution to the craftsmanship or quality of the work – focus is on efficiency Working conditions were poor – no safety guards for machinery, no ventilation, risk of injury was high By 1900 average industrial worker made 22 cents an hour, and worked 59 hours a week

  3. Working in the United States On the other hand: Real wages (the actual purchasing power of money) rose by 50% from 1860 to 1890 Prices fell throughout the late 1800s due to deflation, so laborers’ wages went further deflation – rise in the value of money Employers cut wages, but because prices were falling their purchasing power actually went up – an economic fact that was lost on the workers To fight pay cuts, workers began to form labor unions

  4. Early Unions Two types of workers: craft workers common laborers Craft workers had skilled trades – stonecutter, glassblower, shoemaker, printer, carpenter, etc. With the extra bargaining power their skills gave them, craft workers formed trade unions

  5. Opposition to Unions Employers thought of unions as illegitimate conspiracies which interfered with their property rights industrial unions – united all workers in a particular industry Businesses used undercover detectives, oaths, blacklists, lockouts, and strikebreakers to fight back against unions strikebreaker – replacement worker, also known as a “scab”

  6. Opposition to Unions Public opinion was also skeptical of unions No laws giving unions the right of collective bargaining, and courts often ruled that union organizers were breaking the law by restraining trade Marxism and anarchism followed numerous European immigrants to the U.S. Marxism – roughly, the idea that the workers would seize the means of production and distribute wealth equally Anarchism – belief that society needed no government

  7. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Panic of 1873 is in full swing Strike begins in Martinsburg, West Virginia, when the railroad company announces yet another pay cut Workers walk off the job, first in Martinsburg, and eventually all over the country Involved 80,000 workers, 11 states, and 2/3 of the nation’s railroads State militias fought armed strikers, and president Hayes ordered the Army to fight the strikers Combination of disorganization and U.S. military power broke up the strike

  8. The Knights of Labor First nationwide industrial union Goals: eight-hour workday government bureau of labor statistics equal pay for women abolition of child labor worker-owned factories Initially, the Knights used boycotts and arbitration, and only later moved to strikes The pressure they exerted was successful – membership grew and they were able to get companies to reverse pay cuts on several occasions

  9. The Haymarket Riot May 3, 1886 Massive strike in Chicago Police officers killed one of the strikers during an incident at the McCormick Reaper Works Approximately 3,000 protesters gathered in the Haymarket Square to listen to speeches and protest When the police arrived to break up the group, someone threw a bomb, leaving eleven dead Because one of those convicted of throwing the bomb was a member of the Knights of Labor, their organization took a PR hit from which it never recovered

  10. The Pullman Strike American Railway Union was created in 1893 Led by Eugene V. Debs, who will later be a socialist candidate for president Panic of 1893 leads to a severe cut in wages, making it hard for railroad workers to make a living May, 1894 – Pullman company fires three workers who complained American Railway Union goes on strike across the nation To break the strike, companies arranged to have U.S. mail cars attached to their railroads – president Grover Cleveland sent in the Army Strike ended as a failure

  11. The American Federation of Labor Association of more than 20 of the nation’s trade unions Led by Samuel Gompers Rejected both communism and socialism Focus was on gains like an 8-hour workday, higher wages, better working conditions 3 Main Goals: collective bargaining closed shops 8-hour workday Largest union in the nation

  12. Working Women Women made up approximately 18% of the labor force Those who worked were limited to what society considered women’s work: 1/3 as domestic servants 1/3 as nurses, teachers, secretaries 1/3 in light industrial jobs (textiles and food prep) Women were paid less, even for performing the same jobs – everyone assumed a father or husband was helping support the women, so men who had families to support deserved higher wages

  13. From ssa.gov Median wage & salaries of Social Security-covered employment 1940-2008