History of Labor
Conditions before the creation of unions
Men, Women, and children worked 6 or 7 days a week, working about 75 hours a week. The work shifts were 10 to 12 hours. Most children worked for $1 a week, while men and women worked for $2 or $3 a week. They worked in the extreme hot during summer and the freezing cold during winter. The working conditions were unsafe so many were hurt on the job or would become sick from the cold conditions in the factories. If they became to sick or injured to work they were fired with out any compensation. Many factories were also infested with rats, lice, and roaches. Children worked as young as 6 years of age.
Why labor unions were formed
Labor unions were formed to try to establish 8 hour workdays, and higher wages for workers. They also worked to end child labor. Labor unions helped to organize the workers to bargain for better working conditions. With a large group of workers, it forced the employer to hear their concerns.
Examples of unions
Conditions post formation of unions
History of unions in wi
Wisconsin's first union was formed in 1847 by bricklayers and in 1848 by carpenters. the Knights of St. Crispin was formed in 1867 by shoemakers. This became Wisconsin's first national trade union which became the largest union in the nation. The first successful strike was in 1848 by the ship Carpenters and Caulkers Association, though it was small in size. When talk of 8 hour workdays spread across the nation the Milwaukee Labor Reform Associations which was later called the Eight-Hour League, to fight for 8 hour workdays. In May of 1886 factories were shut down for 5 days when workers went on strike for the 8 hour workday. On the fifth day of the strike they were attacked by troops. 5 were killed and 4 were wounded. In 1911 Wisconsin passed its first Workmen's Compensation law, so employers had to give money to those who were hurt on the job or lost there lives. Labor unions began fighting for unemployment compensation after World War I until a law passed in 1932. State support was added to worker's rights in 1937 due to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Act.
Current state of unions in wi and us
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Lyn, V. "And Then There Were None: America Without Unions." And Then There Were None: America Without Unions. Drayton's Gazette. 21 Dec. 2012 <http://tcmag.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/featured-article-7/>.