History of Labor

Danielle Leis

Conditions of Pre-Unions

Conditions were hard for workers. They had long hour days and worked 6-7 days of the week. In some places it was hot for workers and cold too for some. Kids were forced to work long and hard days as well as the adults. Worked for little or no pay at all as well. Work places were also dangerous, and were made to keep working if they got hurt.

Why Unions Were Formed

They were formed to help workers. They helped put laws and rules up. It gave the works a chance to say what they thought and they wouldn't have to really worry about loosing their jobs. It gave the workers better hours to work during a day and the week. It let them get payed and they also got benefits to help them out. Some areas children didn't have to work. It protected workers from being over used by business that were making tons of money.

Example of Union

  • The Knights of Crispen

Conditions Post Formation of Unions

It really depended were you were. In some places it was hot and gross. Other places it was cold and hard to do work. Some places were very dangerous and crucial to work in.

History of Unions in Wisconsin

  • 1848 – The Ship Carpenters held the successful strike in Milwaukee.
  • 1867 – The Knights of St. Crispin, a union of shoemakers, was founded in Milwaukee. It became our nation's largest union, but dissolved in the Panic of 1873.
  • 1886 – The Bay View Tragedy is Wisconsin's worst example of labor violence. The Wisconsin State Militia killed seven workers while they were on a peaceful march to establish the eight-hour workday.
  • 1893 – The State Federation of Labor was founded.
  • 1897 – The Socialist Party in Milwaukee was formed and provided the basis for progressive action in the State of Wisconsin.
  • 1900 - 1905 – Strikes by paper workers for the right to have Saturday night "off" was first won, and then lost in Wisconsin paper-mills, as employers busted union efforts.
  • 1911 – The first Workers Compensation Law in the United States was established in Wisconsin.
  • 1932 – The first Unemployment Compensation Law in the United States passed in Wisconsin.
  • 1935 – The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union was founded in Madison.
  • 1936 - 1939 – Workers organized into unions after the passage of the Wagner Act.
  • 1939 - 1947 – Strikes at the Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. in West Allis, Wisconsin became national symbols of the struggle for shop floor rights and created debate over the role of communism in unions.
  • 1958 – The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO was created through the merger of the State Federation of Labor and the Wisconsin CIO.
  • 1959 – The Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act passed in the Wisconsin legislature, which was one of first in nation.
  • 1954 - 1965 – A long strike by the UAW at Kohler Co. ended with the union and the company establishing a peace.
  • 1963 - 1970 – Migrant farm workers organized in the state of Wisconsin, and were aided by the widespread support of many unions, including the AFL-CIO.

Current State of Unions in Wisconsin and the United States

  • Wisconsin- Can have their own independent unions, but cant have big ones with power.
  • United States- They are legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries. They help with wages, hours, and many other areas.