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UNIONS PowerPoint Presentation

UNIONS

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UNIONS

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  1. UNIONS

  2. Working Conditions • Hazardous • Long Hours • Low wages • No Benefits • Women & Children • Machines made working conditions monotonous • Unsanitary conditions

  3. Opposition to Unions • Employers regarded unions as illegitimate conspiracies that interfered with property rights • Companies required workers to take oaths or sign a contract promising not to join unions • Hired detectives to seek out union organizers • Workers who tried to organize unions were “blacklisted” and could not get hired elsewhere • Companies used lockouts to break strikes • Companies hired replacement workers called “strikebreakers” or “scabs”

  4. Opposition (cont’d) • No laws giving workers right to organize • No laws requiring employers to negotiate with unions • Courts frequently ruled against unions • Marxism (Europe) argued that workers would eventually revolt, seize control of factories and overthrow the government. This would eventually lead to a socialist, then communistic society • Anarchists believed that society does not need any gov’t. and should ignite a revolution and topple the government.

  5. Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 1911 • A fire swept through clothing factory, Greenwich Village, NY • Building had no safety precautions, no fire escapes and all exits were locked so that workers could not leave during breaks • 146 women were killed • Factory owners indicted but acquitted • Led to Int’l. Ladies Garment Worker Union • State commission created to investigate factory and question working conditions in general • New laws imposed tougher municipal building codes and more stringent factory inspections

  6. Great Railroad Strike 1877 • Protesting wage cuts, blacklisting of members • Baltimore and Ohio RR’s strike • Bloodshed and destruction of RR property • President Hayes sends federal troops - first time to use such in management/labor dispute • Violence hurt their cause

  7. Haymarket Riot 1886 • In a Chicago strike, police kill union member • Anarchist group organize a protest against killing • 3,000 people gather to hear speeches • Someone throws a bomb at police, police open fire and workers shoot back. • 7 police officers and 4 workers were killed • Police arrest 8 workers and they are tried and found guilty of murder. 4 were executed. • Turned public opinion against unions, in particularly Knights of Labor as one arrested was a member

  8. The Pullman Strike 1894 • Protest against wage cut of 30-40% without rent reduction in a company owned town • Pullman Co. workers strike and appeal for help from ARU (American Railway Union) led by Eugene Debs • ARU agrees and stops working with Pullman rail cars. • RR bosses side with Pullman and assign Pullman cars to carry US Mail. Now a federal offense if ARU doesn’t carry US Mail • ARU refuses • 4000 strikebreakers hired • ARU attacks train • Federal troops brought in • Crushed the strike • Debs arrested • Marked first effective use of injunction against labor unions

  9. Knights of Labor (late 1870s) • Organized by Uriah Stephens • Supported: - 8 hour workday - equal pay for women - abolition of child labor - creation of worker-owned factories (co-ops) • Preferred using boycotts instead of strikes • Arbitration – an impartial third party helps workers and management reach an agreement • Haymarket Riot undermined their reputation

  10. American Federation of Labor 1881 • Organized by Samuel Gompers • Shunned political crusades and cooperatives • Fought for basic things such as higher wages and better working conditions • Three main goals: - tried to convince employers to recognize unions and agree to collective bargaining - pushed for closed shops – companies could only hire union members - promoted an 8 hour workday • Separated craft unions • 1900 – biggest union in country

  11. Working Women • By 1900 women made up more than 18% of the labor force • 1903 Mary Kenney O’Sullivan and Leonora O’Reilly with the help of Jane Addams and Lillian Wald, they established the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) • Pushed for 8 hour day, creation of minimum wage, end to evening work for women and abolition of child labor