Presentation on theme: "Life was hard for the industrial age worker. Industrialization caused many skilled workers to lose their jobs. These workers not had to work at jobs in."— Presentation transcript:
Life was hard for the industrial age worker. Industrialization caused many skilled workers to lose their jobs. These workers not had to work at jobs in factories for unskilled labor which caused the to work for poor wages. Child labor also led to a decrease in wages for workers. Many workers took jobs in dangerous factories called sweatshops. These workers had to endure low wages, long hours, and dangerous working conditions.
Sweatshops were factories in which a middleman, the sweater, guided workers in clothing production. The sweatshops left many experienced tailors without a job, because the cheap clothes were preferred by many people.
During the Industrial Revolution families migrated from the rural farm areas to the newly industrialized cities to find work. Once they got there, things did not look as bright as they did. To survive in even the lowest level of poverty, families had to have every able member of the family go to work. This led to the high rise in child labor in factories. Children worked up to 19 hours a day with only one, one hour break. Many children were killed or injured in accidents involving industrial machinery
During the Industrial Revolution, the economy depended on women to work in the factories. Women mostly found jobs in domestic service, textile factories, and coalmines. The women that worked in these factories faced unsanitary working conditions and dangerous work. Also, as a result of the need for wages in the growing cash economy, families became dependent on the wages of women. The average wage in New York state in 1926 for women employees was $17.41, and for men $31.47. Statistics show that women's wages are from one-third to one-half less than men's wages. The majority of women working in the industrial revolution faced a life of hardship.
Labor unions were formed when dissatisfied workers formed in to groups to demand better pay and working conditions. In 1869 garment cutters formed the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor. The members of the labor union met secretly and had handshakes so that their employers wouldn’t find out about them. Something that was unique about this labor union was that its members included African Americans, women, and unskilled laborers. The Knights of Labor had more than 700,000 members at its peak. In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was officially formed. It represented many skilled workers in various crafts. The President of the American Federation of Labor was Samuel Gompers. The organization worked for higher wages, shorter hours, better working conditions, and the right to bargain collectively with employers.
Samuel Gompers was the first and longest serving president of the American Federation of Labor. Under his leadership, the American Federation of Labor became the largest and most influential labor federation in the world. It grew from a small association of 50,000 in 1886 to an established organization of nearly 3 million in 1924 that had won a permanent place in American society.
Collective Bargaining is a negotiation between organized workers and their employer or employers to determine wages, hours, rules, and working conditions. The American Federation of Labor pressed for this right.
Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was very involved in the struggles of coal miners, and helped at many protests and strikes. She was a very persuasive speaker, and she had a fiery personality. One of her best-known activities was leading a march of miners' wives "who routed strikebreakers with brooms and mops in the Pennsylvania coalfields in 1902." Another one of her famous strikes was leading the "children's crusade," a caravan of striking children from the textile mills of Kensington, Pennsylvania, to President Theodore Roosevelt's home in Long Island, New York, in 1903, to dramatize the case for abolishing child labor. Mother Jones went on to participate in 1915 and 1916 in the strikes of garment workers and streetcar workers in New York, and in the strike of steel workers in Pittsburgh in 1919.
The International Ladies Garment Workers Union was one of the most important and progressive unions in the 1930’s. It was also once one of the largest Labor Unions of the United States, and it also contained mostly female members. In 1909, 20,000 New York shirtwaist makers, mostly women, launched a fourteen-week strike, called “The Uprising,” followed several months later by a strike of 60,000 cloak makers. In the negotiations that followed, the ILGWU was recognized by the industry and won higher wages as well as important new benefits for its members, such as health examinations.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the largest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York, causing the death of 146 of the 500 garment workers who either died in the fire or jumped to their deaths. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers in that industry.
Many strikes took place when Unions responded to low wages and fired employees. Many of these strikes ended in violence. Many of the companies hired strikebreakers to replace the striking workers. During a strike, if violence occurred, the federal troops would restore order.
During the nation-wide strike for the 8-hour workday, which began May 1, 1886, a mass meeting was held in the Chicago Haymarket to protest a police action of the previous day in which workers were killed. When police ordered the protest meeting to disperse (peaceful though it was), a bomb was thrown by an unknown person, killing several officers. This became known as the "Haymarket Riot." The 8- Hour Day Movement was destroyed in the nation-wide hysteria, which followed.
In 1892 there burst out the fury of the so-called Homestead strike, which was really a lockout, involving on the one hand the iron and steel workers, who, with a membership of nearly 25,000, were one of the strongest unions in the country, and on the other the Carnegie Steel Company. Three years previously the union had been recognized by the company; indeed, had entered with it into a three-year contract, at the expiration of which Carnegie wanted the men to take a reduction of wages. The union declined these terms and on July 1 st, before they could declare a strike, the workers were suddenly locked out. Before that occurred, however, Andrew Carnegie, already famous as a major prophet of American ‘democracy’, anticipating violence, had hurriedly turned the command over to the company’s superintendent, Henry C Frick, a frank and brutal union-hater, and departed for Europe. Frick immediately indicated by his action that he meant war to the bitter end. He erected a wire fence three miles long and 15 feet high around the works and called upon the Pinkerton Detective Agency to send him 300 gunmen. The locked-out workers heard that the Pinkertons were coming, and they watched for their arrival. They knew that the gunmen would be armed and prepared themselves to meet them on their own terms. On the night of July 5 th, a boatload of Pinkertons attempted to land in Homestead. A battle followed, in which 10 men were killed and three times that number wounded. At the end the workers got the better of the gunmen, captured the entire 300, minus the few who were killed, held them prisoners of war for 24 hours, and finally ran them, disarmed, out of town. Incensed, Frick then called upon the governor of the state of Pennsylvania for the militia and within a few days the little mill town of 12,000 was an armed camp. The soldiers stayed till the end of November, when the strike officially ended in the utter defeat of the workers. The union’s treasury was empty; winter was coming on, and families were going cold and hungry. In desperation, workers returned to work as non-unionists.
The problem that caused the Pullman Strike arose after the panic of 1893, when the workers of Pullman received several wage cuts that on the average added up to twenty-five percent. These cuts were bad in themselves, but when added with Pullman's actions of not lowering the rents for company owned homes in Pullman, the labor began to unite. The Pullman Strike of 1894 was the first national strike in United States history. It, before coming to an end, involved over 150,000 people and twenty-seven states and territories. It would temporarily stop the nations railway system. The entire rail labor force of the nation would walk away from their jobs. In supporting the capital side of this strike President Cleveland for the first time in the Nation's history would send in federal troops, who would fire on and kill United States Citizens, against the wishes of the states.
Eugene Victor Debs was an American labor and a political leader. He was one of the founders of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He was also five-time Socialist Party of America candidate for President of the United States. In 1893 Debs was elected the first president of the American Railway Union (ARU). During the Pullman Strike in 1894, Debs was arrested and charged with contempt of court. He was sentenced six months in prison.