Unskilled Labor In The 20th Century

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In June 1905, a convention was held in Chicago. The convention included around two hundred people, most of whom were considered extremely radical for the period and all of whom would be still considered radical. Socialists, Anarchists, even radical trade unionists all joined in the discussion and the Industrial Workers of the World, or the IWW, was created. The IWW was founded on the principle of Industrial Unionism, organization for the “unskilled”, or non-trade factory laborers, instead of the conventional trade unionism for those who had been trained in a certain job. The IWW would include workers who were not allowed into the trade unions, even though the unskilled laborers were the backbone of the economy. The unskilled laborers were the…show more content…
The IWW was perhaps most famous for organizing unskilled laborers, and being the only one in that time. The IWW was not the first union to organize unskilled laborers, the Knights of Labor did so in the 1880’s, when they were at their peak. By the twentieth century, the Knights of Labor were unimportant and had taken a backseat to the newer and more radical IWW. The major unions of that time all excluded unskilled laborers, and the American Federation of Labor, the figurehead of unions of that time, was vehemently against including unskilled laborers. The American Federation of Labor was so against the thought of including non craft laborers into unions that they publicly declared the IWW was far too radical, and even went so far as to say they were un-American. The IWW was not strictly for non craft laborers either, after all, one of the founding principles of the IWW was union and worker solidarity. The IWW included many members of a coal miners union, officials of which attended the first meeting that ended with the creation of the IWW. Their efforts to band together all laborers, craft or otherwise, showed the clear gap between the IWW and all other unions of that
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