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Coxey’s Army Discussion Why do you think that the marchers have a band and are carrying an American flag? To show that they are patriotic Americans Why.

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Presentation on theme: "Coxey’s Army Discussion Why do you think that the marchers have a band and are carrying an American flag? To show that they are patriotic Americans Why."— Presentation transcript:


2 Coxey’s Army Discussion Why do you think that the marchers have a band and are carrying an American flag? To show that they are patriotic Americans Why would workers, or in this case, unemployed workers, want to demonstrate their patriotism? Many Americans feared and disliked unions and considered them un-American.


4 Social Opposition Marxism Unions were seen as un-American. Some union organizers cited the ideas of Karl Marx, who predicted that workers would someday explode in revolt and take over not only the factories but also the government. Marxism appealed to many workers. Anarchism A few labor leaders supported anarchism. Anarchists want to completely eliminate government. In the late 1800s, some of them believed that with only a few acts of violence they could ignite a revolution that would topple the government.

5 Union Discussion What does the political cartoon imply about unions? That they are unamerican Why were some Americans suspicious of unions? Fear of Marxist labor leaders and immigrants with radical ideas; concerns for law and order How are labor-management issues typically resolved today? Through collective bargaining, in which representatives from both sides work to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement—a contract. Failure might lead to arbitration, or settlement by a neutral third party.

6 The Great Railroad Strike Wage Cuts In July 1877, a third wage cut by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad led workers in West Virginia to walk off the job. The strike spread across the country. Gun Battles State militias fought gun battles with strikers. Federal troops finally restored order after more than 100 people were killed. Damage exceeded $10 million.

7 The Haymarket Riot Police Kill Four Strikers In May 1886, during a nationwide strike in support of an eight-hour workday, police killed four Chicago strikers on a picket line. A Bomb Thrown In Haymarket Square, at an anarchist-led protest against the killings, someone threw a bomb that killed one officer and wounded six others. Police and workers fired shots at each other, injuring about 100 people. Four anarchists were executed for their roles in the Haymarket riot.

8 The Homestead Steel Strike Wage Cut In Homestead, Pennsylvania, in 1892, workers at a steel mill striked when faced with a 20 percent wage cut. The mill’s manager locked out employees and tried to bring in replacement workers under the protection of Pinkerton detectives. Strikers Block Strikebreakers The strikers kept the strikebreakers from entering the mill. A gun battle ensued, in which several men on both sides were killed and many were injured. The strike collapsed four months later.

9 The Pullman Railroad Strike Layoffs and Wage Cuts In 1893 the Pullman Company, which built passenger railway cars, laid off workers and slashed wages. As a result, workers were unable to pay their rent for company housing and the high prices charged at company stores. Boycott of Pullman Cars After the company refused to discuss workers’ grievances, a strike began on May 11, 1894. To show support for the Pullman strikers, other member of the American Railway Union across the United States refused to handle Pullman cars.

10 Discussion Why was it difficult for unions to achieve their goals in the 1800s? Companies refused to negotiate and employed successful strategies against union action; the government backed industry; both sides were quick to use violence.

11 Discussion What are some positive aspects of a strike? They show employers that worker grievances are serious; create a better chance of a problem being remedied; and could help improve wages and working conditions.

12 Unions Under the leadership of Eugene V. Debs, railroad employees organized the American Railway Union (ARU) in 1893. The union organized, among others, the employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company. The owner, George Pullman, had built a company town, Pullman, just outside of Chicago, and he required his workers to live there and to buy goods from company stores.

13 The American Federation of Labor (AFL) Skilled Workers The most powerful union of the late 1800s, the AFL, fought for skilled workers, mainly white males. Goals The AFL had three main goals: (1) to get companies to engage in collective bargaining; (2) to push companies to hire only union members; (3) to achieve an eight-hour workday. Samuel Gompers As first president of the AFL, Gompers preferred negotiation to strikes.

14 The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Skilled and Unskilled Workers: Formed in 1905 by a group of labor radicals, the IWW aimed to organize all workers, skilled and unskilled alike, according to industry. Controversial Strikes: The IWW never gained a large membership, but its radical philosophy and controversial strikes led many to condemn the organization as subversive.

15 Women and Organized Labor

16 Limited Opportunity By 1900 women made up more than 18 percent of the labor force, but their jobs were limited mainly to domestic service, teaching, nursing, retail sales, industrial sewing, and food processing. Organizing Women In 1900 immigrant workers in New York City founded the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). In 1903 the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) became the first national association dedicated to women’s labor issues. Its goals included an eight-hour workday, a minimum wage, and an end to child labor.

17 Discussion What set the IWW apart from the AFL? The AFL organized only skilled workers; the IWW organized both skilled and unskilled workers. The IWW was more radical. Why do you think establishing a union specifically for women was important? Most established unions excluded women; women were paid far less than men; like men, they needed better wages and working conditions.

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