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Labor Unions


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  • 1. Labor Unions
      • 10 th Grade American History
      • Gd10#3
      • Learning Target: Analyze the reasons for the rise and growth of labor organizations in the United States including:
      • 1. Unregulated Working Conditions
      • 2. Laissez-faire policies toward big business
      • 3. Violence toward supporters of organized labor
  • 2. Organized Labor
    • Working conditions had worsened
    • Laborers began organizing in hopes of changing big business policies
    • Over two million people had joined by 1904
  • 3. Labor Unions Emerge
    • Knights of Labor
      • Improve well-being of skilled and unskilled industrial laborers
      • Membership open to all
      • 8 hour day, end child labor, at first against strikes
      • American Federation of Labor
      • -fight for higher wages, safer conditions and the right of the union to represent workers in bargaining with employers
      • -invited only skilled white male workers
      • Industrial Workers of the World
      • -extreme labor union-socialist
      • -Wobblies
      • -Eugene Debs-abolition of the wage system
  • 4. Business Responds to Labor
    • Businesses displayed fierce resistance to unions’ fight for more money and power
    • Gained support by popular opinion, laissez-faire, and a continual supply of labor
    • Viewed as socialist-led to suspicion
    • Many union leaders were arrested
  • 5. Strikes and Violence
    • Relations between business and labor declined-more unions went on strike
    • Resulted in violence between police and striking workers
    • Unions ultimately succeeded in setting maximum work hours and providing worker’s compensation. By 1912 child labor laws were in place in 38 states.
  • 6. Please get into groups of 3 or 4 for a very fun activity! 
    • Roles:
      • Factory owner
      • Factory worker
      • Union organizer
      • Government official
      • -You will select one of the roles to use for your groups “skit”
  • 7. “ The socks go to work”
    • You will create a “sock puppet” character to match the role you have chosen
    • As a group you will create a 2-3 minute presentation highlighting the rise of labor unions.
    • You must include information from your Text Book, p.115 and the learning targets for Labor Unions and Industrialization.
    • 20 points total: includes puppets, written dialogue/script, performance, and content (facts/standards)
    • You are responsible for your own sock or paper bag, and any supplies you may need to construct your character!