Labor Movements in America

By Gavin Robinson

Background information

  • A labor movement is when wage earners unite to get what they want.
  • People formed labor unions because it was easier to get what they want with more people.
  • Labor unions are formed to improve wage, hours, working conditions, and security
  • The AFL was the American Federation of labor

Labor movement in the early 1900's

  • AFL called strike to get a higher wage and other benefits but the steel companies forced AFL to cancel the strike.
  • After the strike had failed 1 million of workers left between 1920-1929 and went from 3 to 4 million workers in nine years.
  • Labor leaders were dissatisfied with AFL because they had a capitalist system and groups like The industrial workers of the world(IWW or Wobblies) wanted to over throw capitalist systems and make them in to a socialism system.
  • The Immigration act of 1924 limited the amount of immigrants that were allowed in the United states so there was less competition with less people so American workers had more bargaining power
  • In the case Lochner V. New York the supreme court declared that limiting the amount of hours that the workers could work was unconstitutional
  • People were starting to lose faith because they did nothing to help the great depression
  • Franklin D, Roosevelt passed The National Industry act of 1933 which guaranteed workers minimum wage, reasonable hours, collective bargaining, and the right to join unions
  • many workers of the time were unskilled or partially skilled
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The Pullman strike

  • on July, 6, 1894 there was a strike in Chicago with six-thousand men and woman who threw flaming torches at train cars
  • The strike started as a labor strike but then turned into a general railroad strike and stopped train service in 27 states because of the strike
  • The strike appeared to be a war between rich and poor
pullman strike 1894

Assessment question

For both protests the participants demonstrate their belief system because they united to get their point across. For both protests the participants disagreed with how labor worked in the united states so they tried to change it. They fought for what they belief for and shows that they belief that less fortunate people should have a chance to have a better live like going on strike for a higher wage