Presentation on theme: "The Rise of Labor Unions. The Rich v. The Poor By 1890, the richest 9% of the of Americans held nearly 75% of the national wealth Many workers began to."— Presentation transcript:
The Rise of Labor Unions
The Rich v. The Poor By 1890, the richest 9% of the of Americans held nearly 75% of the national wealth Many workers began to resent the lavish lifestyles of their rich owners, and began to organize in an effort to establish a better work system
The Gulf Between the Rich and the Poor Socialism—an economic and political philosophy that favors public instead of private control of property and income. Socialists believe that society, not private individuals, should control a nation’s wealth. That wealth should be distributed equally to everyone.
Socialism Karl Marx— German Philosopher who wrote Communist Manifesto, which denounced capitalism
What Did Workers Want? Workers generally wanted: –Shorter workdays –Higher wages –Better working conditions –An end to child labor –Collective Bargaining – negotiate as a group w/ employers
The Knights of Labor A national union Recruited skilled and unskilled workers, women, and African Americans Emphasized education & social reform
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) Led by Samuel Gompers Was for skilled workers Used collective bargaining as a strategy
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Known as “The Wobblies” Organized unskilled workers Radical socialist leaders Violent strikes.
Reaction of Employers Many employers disliked and feared unions. forbid union meetings fire union organizers forcing new employees to sign “yellow dog” contracts, making them promise never to join a union or participate in a strike
Reaction of Employers refusing to bargain collectively when strikes did occur refusing to recognize unions as their workers’ legitimate representatives
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Workers protested unfair wage cuts & unsafe working conditions. Was violent and unorganized. Pres. Hayes sent federal troops to put down the strikes. Employers relied on federal and state troops to repress labor unrest.
Haymarket Strike 1886 National strike of all workers calling for an 8-hour workday In Chicago’s Haymarket Square, during a demonstration, a bomb was exploded in police formation A riot broke out, and dozens were killed Four anarchists were hung The public began to associate Unions with violence and anarchy and radicalism
Homestead Strike 1892 Carnegie Steel cut wages in Homestead, PA Henry Frick called in police to kill strike leaders, in retaliation, strikers attempted to assassinate Frick Again, the public decried strikes and denounced Unions as violent
Pullman Strike 1894 Strike of Pullman Railroads, tried to stop the railroads from running Courts ruled the act of interfering with the railroad illegal, as it disrupted the federal mail The courts now support owners as well