Chapter 4, Lesson 4The Labor movement Mr. Julian’s 5th Grade Class
Essential Question • Why did workers form labor unions to fight for better wages and working conditions?
Places • Homestead, Pennsylvania • New York, New York
People • Lewis Hine • Samuel Gompers • Mary Harris Jones
vocabulary • Sweatshop • Labor union • Strike
Factories and Sweatshops • Andrew Carnegie made millions from his steel factories but his workers barley made enough money to survive. • Most of his workers, worked 12 hours a day and got paid only $10 a week. • Women that worked in clothing factories got paid even less. • Factories were hot and cramped. They were also know as sweatshops.
Children at Work • Due to low wages, parents often had to make their children go to work to help support their families. • Children were paid even less than the adults. • Children worked 10 – 12 hours a day earning just 10 or 20 cents a day.
Children at Work • The jobs the children were given were the most dangerous. • Many children lost fingers or worse, working in the factories. • People began speaking out against child labor. • A teacher named Lewis Hine led this movement. • He took many pictures of children in these awful conditions to try and convince people to end child labor.
Labor Unions • Low wages, long workdays, and disasters encouraged workers to join labor unions. • A labor union helped people improve working conditions, get better wages, and end child labor. • One of the first labor union leaders was Samuel Gompers.
Labor Unions • Gompers formed a labor union of cigar factory workers when owners lowered wages. • In 1877 his union went on strike, or had workers refuse to work. • The strike did not work, so Gompers realized that his labor union needed workers from other industries to be effective.
Labor Unions • He formed the AFL or American Federation of Labor. • At the same time a union named the United Mine Workers worked to improve conditions for coal miners. • Mary Harris Jones or “Mother” Jones helped this effort by getting workers to join the union.
Going on Strike • Many unions became violent when owners refused to listen to the workers demands. • Most strikes however, were resolved peacefully.
Improving Conditions • As the membership of labor unions grew so did their impact. • Unions created a new holiday, Labor Day. • The first Labor Day celebration was held in New York City in September 1882.
Review Questions • What conditions led to the rise of Labor Unions? • What were the main goals of the AFL?