Kldc Essay

663 WordsJan 11, 20153 Pages
Labor UnionsAzvar,AzraPeriod 4Late 19th century America was a time of both prosperity and poverty. Although it is oftenremembered by people like Carnegie and Rockefeller, the majority of the population was a strugglingworking class. Entire families worked for 10 hours 7 days a week in hazardous work conditions just tohave enough money for dinner. As conditions worsened, reforms were formed by rising Labor Unions.The movement towards organized labor was unsuccessful in improving position of the working classdue to the failure of strikes, the inherent feeling of employee inferiority and the lack of governmentsupport.The labor unions drew attention to the status of the American worker and made an issue of whathad been mostly ignored such as the use of child labor and the general plight of workers whose wagesstagnated or fell while prices for the most basic goods continued to climb. Not soon after labor unions began to strike and cause havoc. In the 1860's, the National Labor Union was formed to unify workersin fighting for higher wages, an 8 hour work day and various social causes and it set the stage for manyfailing unions to come. In 1877, railroad workers in this union from across the country took part in anenormous strike that resulted in mass violence and very few reforms. Afterward, a editorial in The New York Times stated: “the strike is apparently hopeless, and must be regarded as nothing more that arash and spiteful demonstration of resentment by men too ignorant or too reckless to understand their own interests” (Doc B). A failure of this immense magnitude should have been enough to put it to a permanent halt, however, year after year, labor unions striked incessantly and failed miserably. In 1892,workers at the Homestead Steel Plant near Pittsburgh walked out on strike and caused the deaths of atleast two Pinkerton detectives and one civilian, among many

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