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Presentation on theme: "videos/375041/february-22-2011/a-less-perfect- union---randi-weingarten."— Presentation transcript:

1 videos/375041/february /a-less-perfect- union---randi-weingarten

2 The Rise of Labor Unions

3 What was wrong with labor?  Harsh working conditions Long hours: hour days (little or no breaks) Seven day work week Super LOW wages (all family members needed to work to survive) Extreme heat NO Benefits Repetitive-Mind dulling tasks Low ventilation and polluted air - illness Exposed machinery ○ Caused lots of injuries/deaths. ○ 1882 – 675 work related deaths each week What could the workers do?

4 Workers Unite! Workers of all skills, races and gender began forming Labor Unions to attempt to improve their working conditions. Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): negotiations between employers and the representatives of employees aimed at reaching agreements which regulate working conditions. o Wages, hours, training, health and safety Strikes: work stoppage caused by the refusal of employees to work.

5 The Unions Nation Labor Union (NLU) – 1866 by ironworker William H. Sylvis 640,000 members Helped legalize 8 hour work day for government workers

6 The Unions  Knights of Labor – 1869 – Terence Powderly – focus on individual “An injury to one is a concern of all.” 700,000 members Welcomed skilled & unskilled workers as well as women and African Americans Wanted equal pay for men and women

7 The Unions  American Federation of Labor (AFL) – 1886 – Samuel Gompers Focused on collective bargaining Major tactic was use of strikes Helped raise wages from 17$ to 24$ and hours per week from 54.5 to 49

8 The Unions American Railway Union (ARU) – Eugene V. Debs Skilled and unskilled workers in a specific industry 150,000 members Died off after a failed major strike Debs and others eventually turned to socialism – a political system based on government control of business and property

9 The Unions  Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) (Wobblies) –  1905 – William “Big Bill” Haywood ○ Radical unionists and socialists ○ Welcomed African Americans ○ Never topped 100,000 members *Although many labor unions died off or never recovered from a major strike failure, they all added to the momentum of the Labor movement.

10 Women Organize Mary Harris Jones - Mother Jones Barred from many unions, women still united under powerful leaders. Supported the Great Strike of 1877 Organized for the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) Endured death threats & jail with coal miners Led 80 mill children (many with injuries) on a march to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home Pauline Newman – organizer of International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Supported the “Uprising of the 20,000” seamstresses’ strike

11 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire March 25 th 1911 Fires broke out on 8 th, 9 th, 10 th floors Company locked all exits except 1, which was blocked by fire No sprinkler systems 146 women died, employers were acquitted of manslaughter Management and Government Pressure Unions “Yellow-Dog Contracts” – workers swore they would not join a union Turned the Sherman Anti-Trust Act against labor Although legal limitations made it harder for unions to be effective, unions were still a powerful tool. The AFL had over 2million members by WWI Video

12 Strikes!!


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