Labor unions & strikes

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Labor unions & strikes

  1. 1. Labor Unions & Strikes<br />United States History<br />
  2. 2. Three Choices for Workers…<br />Continue in misery<br />Join a Union and possibly get fired or even killed<br />Become a communist and start a revolution<br />
  3. 3. Socialism<br />Public control of property & income<br />Society should be in charge of wealth<br />Wealth should be redistributed equally<br />Karl Marx & Frederick Engels<br />How to get this done? Workers revolution<br />
  4. 4. Could This Happen In America?<br />How could this help workers?<br />Who would be against Socialism/Communism in America?<br />This is radical—is there something less radical that would help workers?<br />
  5. 5. Less Radical—Labor Unions<br />Unions: improve working conditions (not overthrow the system)<br />Collective Bargaining<br />Strikes (last resort)<br />Best—national strike<br />Why was this appealing to workers?<br />
  6. 6. Knights of Labor<br />First important national union<br />Wanted to organize ALL workers: skilled, unskilled and of all backgrounds (no racial restrictions)<br />Set the example: negotiate, then strike if needed<br />Goals: 8 hour day; end of child labor<br />Lost influence after violent strikes<br />
  7. 7. Other Unions<br />American Federation of Labor (AFL): <br />Smaller local unions with a national organization<br />Wages, hours, conditions<br />Strikes, collective bargaining<br />Barred African-Americans<br />Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)<br />Wobblies<br />Socialists<br />
  8. 8. Wobblies View of the World<br />
  9. 9. Employers’ Reaction<br />No Union Meetings<br />Union organizers fired<br />Blacklisting<br />Yellow Dog contracts<br />Would not bargain collectively<br />Strikes met with violence<br />
  10. 10. The Great Strikes<br />Haymarket Riot (1896)—8 hour workday (national strike); scabs hired in Chicago (fights); rally—bombing & gunfight btw. Police & strikers; Ill. Law: help with murder, then you are a murderer: 4 anarchists hanged for murder (one blew himself up in prison). Never determined who threw the bomb.<br />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<br />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<br />
  11. 11. Try to negotiate a labor contract (2 on each side)<br />Activity:<br />

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