Decline of Working Conditions • Machines run by unskilled workers were eliminating the jobs of many skilled craftspeople • Low paid workers could be easily replaced • Specialization made workers tired, bored and more likely to be injured
Knights of Labor • Who? – members included all factory workers (skilled and unskilled); founded by Terence Powderly • What? – first national labor union which pushed for equal work, end to child labor, and govt. regulation of trusts • When? – 1870s • Where? – US (cities) • Why important? – first national attempt to improve working conditions for industrial workers EMPLOYER POWDERLY SCAB GOSPEL OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR: “We work not selfishly alone, but extend the hand of fellowship to all mankind” -- Terence Powderly
American Federation of Labor • Who? – members included skilled workers only; founded by Samuel Gompers • What? – early national labor union that linked smaller crafts unions for different trades together into one national organization • When? – late 1800s • Where? – US (cities) • Why Important? – tried to get skilled workers better working conditions, hours, and working conditions
Collective Bargaining • Who? – workers and management • What? – workers get to negotiate with management as a group instead of individually to hopefully improve their working conditions • When? – began in late 1800s • Where? – US • Why Important? – Private sector workers have this right. Should public workers, too?
Mary Harris Jones • She was an Irish immigrant who became a well-known speaker for workers rights • She was a dressmaker and after her husband and three children died of yellow fever and her workshop burned down she became an organizer for the Knights of Labor • Later she helped organize miners strikes and educate workers • She gained the nickname “Mother Jones” when she was still organizing workers well into her 60s
Haymarket Riot • Workers at the McCormack Harvester Company in Chicago went on strike for an 8 hour day • 2 strikers were killed by police at the strike • The next day a workers rally was held to support the strike at Haymarket Square • A bomb exploded killing some police officers • The police opened fire on the people at the rally • People connected this kind of labor to the Knights of Labor, and membership in that union sharply declined
Homestead Strike • Workers at Andrew Carnegie’s steel mill at Homestead, PA protested a company plan to buy new machinery to cut jobs • The company hired strikebreakers to take the place of striking workers • The workers seized the plant and shot at the Pinkerton agents hired to take back the plant • The Governor of PA called in the state militia to restore order • Fighting took place for months, but the union was defeated
Pullman Strike • Workers in the company town for George Pullman’s railroad car factory went on strike • They were protesting the lay off of half of the workers and the lowering of pay for the remaining workers • Workers stopped traffic on railroad lines • Federal courts ordered workers to return to their jobs, but they refused • President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops to Chicago to stop the strike