Labor Movement

Joanna Kwok

Background Information

  • Workers wanted to improve economic position, they don't have a voice
  • Low wages, long hours, uncertain job security
  • Attempts by labor unions, promote wage earners' welfare
  • Job competition forced the poor to work under any condition
  • Child labor-children work long hour in dangerous factory conditions, got pay less than adults


  • First nationwide labor organization was developed in mid-1800's
  • US labor movement began in late 19th century
  • Formed union - group bargaining power is greater than individuals
  • Most union member are from construction, manufacturing, mining, and transportation industries
  • "Knight of Labor" was the largest and the most important American labor organization


  • 1914:Clayton Antitrust Act-protect labors' right to strike and bargain
  • Yellow-dog contracts-threatened workers not to join union
  • 1932:Norris La Guardia Act-banned yellow-dog contracts
  • 1933:National Industrial Recovery Act-gave LU legal right to bargain collectively
  • 1935:National Labor Relations Act-approved labors' right to organize, bargain collectively, and strike
  • 1938:Fair Labor Standards Act-created a minimum wage, prohibited most child labor, and mandated a 44-hour workweek

Effects of Protest

Before Labor Movement
  • Workers cannot determined their own working condition, times, and pay
  • Low wages, long hours, uncertain job security
  • Child labor- children work under dangerous conditions, very little pay
After Labor Movement
  • Higher wages, shorter hours, receive more benefits, a higher standard of living
  • Labor Movement grew as industrialization rose
  • Most child labor got prohibited

Assessment Question

The participants demonstrate their belief system through their protest by forming an union of people who have a common goal of improving their economic position. They fought for higher wage, shorter hour, and a better working condition. The worker mostly fought non-violently, they got their points across by negotiate with they employer, or just stop working, disrupted company's production. They aimed for better economic position, and stop the child labor.