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The Organized Labor Movement

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Presentation on theme: "The Organized Labor Movement"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Organized Labor Movement
Chapter 9, Section 3

2 Workers Endure Hardships
As the push for greater profits dominated big business, the workers assumed worse conditions. Industries employed large numbers of immigrants, as well as whole families. During the 1890s, there was a push to end child labor in the United States. Many families that worked for big businesses were forced to live in company towns– communities owned by the company and rented out to workers. This was another example of how big business took advantage of its workers, as many workers were continually in debt to their business.

3 Origins of the Labor Union
Workers began to organize for greater rights as early as the 1820s. They utilized a tactic known as collective bargaining, where they would negotiate as a group for higher wages or better working conditions. The first national labor union was the National Trades Union. Their biggest success was creating the 10-hour workday.

4 Socialism and the Knights of Labor
Socialism started spreading across Europe during the 1830s. Socialism is a political philosophy that favors public control of property and income. In 1869, Uriah Smith Stephens started a labor union called the Knights of Labor. It accepted individuals from all trades, and even recruited African Americans and women. Its goals were broad and comprehensive.

5 The Formation of the AFL
Samuel Gompers started the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1886. The AFL was more selective in its membership, only recruiting skilled workers. It also did not include women and African Americans as the KOL had. Unlike the KOL, the AFL focused on specific goals such as wages, working hours, and working conditions.

6 In response to cuts in workers’ wages
Railroad Strikes Cause Effect In response to cuts in workers’ wages First major strikes framework for future strikes.

7 Part of a push to achieve an 8-hour workday.
Haymarket Square Riot, 1886 Cause Effect Part of a push to achieve an 8-hour workday. Because of the violence, Americans become weary of labor unions. Membership in the Knights of Labor severely declines.

8 Homestead Strike, 1892 Cause Effect Economic depression led to cuts in steelworkers’ wages Workers at Carnegie Steel go on strike. Henry Frick uses Pinkertons (private police force) to end strike. Lost the standoff– public opinion deteriorates.

9 Pullman Strike, 1893 Cause Effect Wage cuts– cost of living in the company town does not. Employers begin to use courts to limit the influence of labor unions. Railroad traffic and mail delivery came to a stop Grover Cleveland sends in troops to stop strike.

10 Effects on the Labor Movement
Eugene Debs begins the Socialist Party– gaining political power from workers. Starts the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW/Wobblies), which was a radical union made up of many unskilled workers. As labor unions grew in number and in power, strikes became more frequent and had greater effect on achieving goals.

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