Labor Unions and Strikes

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Labor Unions & Strikes : 

Labor Unions & Strikes United States History

Three Choices for Workers… : 

Three Choices for Workers… Continue in misery Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed Become a communist and start a revolution

Socialism : 

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? : 

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 : 

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 : 

Knights of Labor First important national union Wanted to organize ALL workers: skilled, unskilled and of all backgrounds Set the example: negotiate, then strike if needed Goals: 8 hour day; end of child labor Lost influence after violent strikes

Other Unions : 

Other Unions American Federation of Labor (AFL): Smaller local unions with a national organization Wages, hours, conditions Strikes, collective bargaining Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Wobblies Socialists

Wobblies View of the World : 

Wobblies View of the World

Employers’ Reaction : 

Employers’ Reaction No Union Meetings Union organizers fired Blacklisting Yellow Dog contracts Would not bargain collectively Strikes met with violence

The Great Strikes : 

The Great Strikes Haymarket Riot (1896)—8 hour workday (national strike); scabs hired in Chicago (fights); rally—bombing & gunfight: 4 anarchists hanged for murder 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

Try to negotiate a labor contract (2 on each side) : 

Try to negotiate a labor contract (2 on each side) Activity:

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