History of Labor

By: Nathan Schmitz 7th hour

Conditions Pre-Unions

Working conditions before unions were unsafe. The hours were long 10 to 12 hour days which often was the cause of the accidents for as little a $10 a week. In 1881 30,000 railroad workers were killed, employers did not feel responsible. Employers also took advantage of unskilled workers they payed minorities even less, and women and children were expected to work the same hours for less than half pay. Company towns were another way to control works and to pay them even less and raising prices.

Why Unions Formed

Unions were formed to protect the rights of the workers. To get an 8 hour work day and higher wages. They also formed to protest to get the wage increases.

Examples of Unions

There are many unions in the US and most have acronyms. The AFL, ALPA, ATU, AFGE, AFM, AFSA, AFSCME, AFT, etc.

Conditions post formation of unions

Unions saved workers lives by bringing an end to long work days and better working conditions. Workers also made more money and were able to support there families.

History of Unions in WI

Wisconsin started to form unions back in the 1860s. They were one of the first states that found unions were important in protecting the rights of workers. In current years people have been striking in the capital of Madison to recall the governor Walker to stop wage cuts and tax increases.

Current State of Unions (WI & US)

The state of the unions is on shaky ground as the protesting in Madison has brought views down. Along with pro-union protest against right to work laws being adopted in Michigan. Unions around the country are on the decline.