Presentation on theme: "Labor Unions & Strikes United States History. Three Choices for Workers… 1.Continue in misery 2.Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed 3.Become."— Presentation transcript:
Labor Unions & Strikes United States History
Three Choices for Workers… 1.Continue in misery 2.Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed 3.Become a communist and start a revolution
Socialism Public control of property & income Society should be in charge of wealth Wealth should be redistributed equally Karl Marx & Frederick Engels How to get this done? Workers revolution
Could This Happen In America? How could this help workers? Who would be against Socialism/Communism in America? This is radical—is there something less radical that would help workers?
Less Radical—Labor Unions Unions: improve working conditions (not overthrow the system) Collective Bargaining Strikes (last resort) Best—national strike Why was this appealing to workers?
Knights of Labor First important national union Wanted to organize ALL workers: skilled, unskilled and of all backgrounds (no racial restrictions) Set the example: negotiate, then strike if needed Goals: 8 hour day; end of child labor Lost influence after violent strikes
Other Unions American Federation of Labor (AFL): –Smaller local unions with a national organization –Wages, hours, conditions –Strikes, collective bargaining –Barred African-Americans Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) –Wobblies –Socialists
Wobblies View of the World
Employers’ Reaction No Union Meetings Union organizers fired Blacklisting Yellow Dog contracts Would not bargain collectively Strikes met with violence
The Great Strikes Haymarket Riot (1896)—8 hour workday (national strike); scabs hired in Chicago (fights); rally— bombing & gunfight btw. Police & strikers; Ill. Law: help with murder, then you are a murderer: 4 anarchists hanged for murder (one blew himself up in prison). Never determined who threw the bomb. Homestead Strike (1892)—Carnegie Steelworkers called a strike (factory cut their wages) & were fired; management sent in “private” police force (fight with deaths); strike called off Pullman Strike (1894): Company town; wages cut 25% (Panic of 1893); food prices in town NOT cut; Pullman fired three negotiators; strike; al RR traffic halted; strike ordered illegal because mail couldn’t get through