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The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era. Lecture 1 Groups Representing Workers. Administrative. Exam Reminder Next quiz Feb 27 Mid-term March 19 Reading for Next Time Also have look at web pages on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and on the IWW Essay Reminder – March 12. Review.

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The Progressive Era

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  1. The Progressive Era Lecture 1 Groups Representing Workers

  2. Administrative • Exam Reminder • Next quiz Feb 27 • Mid-term March 19 • Reading for Next Time • Also have look at web pages on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and on the IWW • Essay Reminder – March 12

  3. Review • Nature of the new craft unionism – pure and simple unionism • Origins and Founding of the American Federation of Labor – voluntarism • The world of workers, 1880-1900

  4. Today I- The Winds of Reform II- Leading Groups Representing Worker Interests

  5. I. Winds of Reform • National Efforts to control trusts and railroads • Currency reform • Efforts to reduce tariffs

  6. The Muckrakers • Lincoln Steffens exposed corrupt alliance between big business and municipal government • Ida Tarbell published a devastating expose' of Standard Oil Co. • Thomas Lawson exposed practices of stock speculators • David Phillips in 1906 charged 75 of the 90 U.S. Senators represented railroad and trust interests rather than the people • Upton Sinclair exposed the meat industry

  7. Impact • Lowered public esteem for business • Increased public and political support for regulation of business including regulation of the work place • Increased public and political support for worker organizations, i.e. unions

  8. Impact – Labor Protective Legislation • LaFollette Seamen’s Act - 1915 • Owens-Keating Act - 1916 • Adamson Act -1916

  9. II. Leading Groups Representing Worker Interests • The American Federation of Labor • The Socialist Party • The Industrial Workers of the World

  10. American Federation of Labor • No business group was more politically conservative • Continued to support craft unionism and voluntarism • Supported the war effort and worked with the Wilson Administration

  11. The Socialist Party • Many Socialist Groups • Socialist Labor Party • Daniel DeLeon • Marxist • Socialist Party • Eugene V. Debs • Believed in achieving power through the ballot box

  12. Socialist Party • Didn’t have much use for exclusive craft unionism • Advocated industrial style unionism

  13. The Industrial Workers of the World: The Wobblies • Founded in Chicago in 1905 • Soon broke apart into factions • Plenty of charismatic and able leaders to go around • Included Debs, DeLeon, and Big Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners

  14. IWW Philosophy • Various factions ranged from mildly liberal to extreme left • Direct Action – economic and industrial action to eliminate capitalism • Syndicalism – One Big Union

  15. IWW • Never terribly large membership • Most successful at organizing low skilled workers whose work isolated them from the mainstream of society • Even branch established in Australia

  16. Demise of the IWW • The only worker group to actively oppose the war • Imperial Wilhelm’s Warriors • In context of war-time chauvinism, IWW members frequently attacked and beaten and often jailed • Many states passed anti-syndicalism laws • Tactics like industrial unionism and sit-down strikes foreshadowed the 1930s

  17. Next Time • Injunctions • Worker Health and Safety: The Triangle Shirt Waist Fire • Legislative changes • Workers during WWI

  18. The Progressive Era Lecture 2 Triangle Shirt Waist Fire and Injunctions and Workers in World War I

  19. Administrative • Essay Reminder • Exam Reminder – quiz next class • Hand out Definitions

  20. Review • Impact of the muckrakers and the atmosphere of reform • Groups seeking to represent the interests of workers • American Federation of Labor • The Socialist Party • The Industrial Workers of the World

  21. Today • Impact of Radicalism • The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Worker Health and Safety • Development of the Labor Injunction • The Clayton Anti-Trust Act • Workers During the War

  22. I. Impact of Radicalism • Much that we take for granted now was the work of socialists, syndicalists, anarchists and marxists in an earlier time period • Many people fought, devoted their lives and died for these concepts

  23. I. Un-American Socialist Policies espoused by Debs • Abolition of child labor • Right of women to vote • Progressive income tax • Employer liability laws • National department of education • Pensions for both men and women

  24. II. The Triangle Shirt Waist Fire and Worker Health and Safety • March 25, 1911 • Where was the factory? • Worst industrial fire in U.S. history, 146 young women died • Why? • What changes did the government make afterward?

  25. III. Development of the Labor Injunction • Why issue an injunction? • In principle, the idea is to preserve the status quo and thus not to prejudice claims of either party while merits of case heard

  26. Development of the Labor Injunction • First used in the 1880s • First use by federal court was in the Pullman Strike of 1894 • Became the dominant employer tool in strike situations

  27. Use of the Labor Injunction • Many courts issued them on an almost automatic basis • Ex parte • In Re Debs, the Supreme Court held that courts could enjoin strikes to prevent irreparable damage to the employer’s expectation of future profits

  28. Use of the Labor Injunction • Frequently issued to prevent inducement to breach of contract • Many state courts held closed shop illegal objective and enjoined strikes in support of it on grounds workers had no direct interest in it • Similarly Secondary Activities frequently held illegal and enjoined

  29. IV. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act • Attempt to limit application of anti‑trust to unions and limit use of injunctions in labor disputes • Provisions • Labor not a commodity or article of commerce ‑ perhaps intended to imply that control of labor market not restraint of trade • Anti‑trust policy cannot prevent unions from lawfully carrying out their legitimate functions

  30. IV. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act • Duplex v. Deering S.C. 1921 • The Law of Duplex • Injunctions can still be issued routinely by courts in labor disputes • Anti‑trust can still be applied to routine union activities

  31. V. Workers During the War • A.F.L. and mainstream of labor movement completely loyal to the war effort • Established National War Labor Board • A.F.L. won de facto recognition from the government

  32. Workers During the War • Socialist Party condemned the war • Party attacked under the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act • Its publications were banned from the mail • Leaders indicted including Debs

  33. Workers During the War • Growing number of women joined the union movement • Immigrants from southern and eastern Europe also joined unions in record numbers • African-Americans typically still not welcome, even in the north

  34. Next Time • Quiz • Labor Protective Legislation • Begin Movie

  35. The Progressive Era Lecture 3 Protective Legislation

  36. Administrative • Reading for next topic

  37. Review • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire • Development of Labor Injunctions • Injunctions and Anti-trust Policy • Workers during the war

  38. Today • Immediate Post-war Period • Sacco Vanzetti Trial - film

  39. I. Immediate Post-war Period • 1919 Strike wave of unprecedented proportions in period of Red Scare • Post‑Russian‑Revolution hysteria • Setting of the strike wave in this period molded public attitudes even though A.F.L. was easily as Anti‑Communist as the National Association of Manufacturers

  40. Immediate Post-War Period • Growing interest among workers in political action • Growth of labor parties in many states • In 1919 split in Socialist Party that eventually produced the Communist Party • Palmer raids on radical groups • Movie on Sacco and Vanzetti trial

  41. 1919 Boston Police Strike • Caused when police commissioner fired officers for union activity • Argued unionism incompatible with loyalty required of police officers • Strike broken by Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge • Called Massachusetts Guard • Strikers fired • Replaced by returning soldiers who received higher pay, more holidays and free uniforms

  42. Employer Views • Continued to oppose unionism • In war period, Western Union fired 800 employees for union activity • After the war, employers launched a new anti-union offensive

  43. Next Time Finish film

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