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Labor Unions

Labor Unions

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Labor Unions

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  1. Labor Unions

  2. Labor Unions emerge • Unfair pay, long hours, and bad work conditions brought laborers together • For a typical worker what do you think they deserve? What kind of benefits?

  3. Early organizations • National Labor Union (NLU) • Made in 1866 by ironworker William Sylvis • Over a half a million members in 2 years • 8 hour work day for government workers • Colored National Labor Union (CNLU) • Mimicked the efforts above but for minority groups not admitted by NLU • Knights of Labor • Founder Uriah Stephens motto An injury to one is the concern of all • Equal pay for equal work • Against strikes unless last result wanted to talk it out

  4. Different Unions • American Federation of Labor (AFL) • Craft Unionism under Samuel Gompers • Collective bargaining or negotiation • Strikes got shorter workdays and better pay • American Railway Union (ARU) • Eugene V. Debs started Industrial Unionism • Helped unskilled and skilled workers

  5. Strike!!! • The Great Strike of 1877 • When railroads stopped working the govt. had to intervene • The Haymarket Affair • In Chicago strikers felt threatened and then someone threw a bomb at the police, several were killed • Pullman Strike • When wages were cut in half for many workers but rents stayed up for railroad employees they began to strike • ARU leaders including Debs were jailed and strikebreakers came. Members were blacklisted so they could not be hired again

  6. Government Pressure • Companies began to fear unions • Yellow-dog contracts • Blacklisting Government was asked to intervene to protect companies from unions. Many people began to equate unions with socialism which could hurt capitalistic business practice