American Workers and the Labor Movement

American Workers and the Labor Movement - February 15, 2011...

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February 15, 2011 American Workers and the Labor Movement The Great Railway Strike of 1877 (July) o People walked away from their jobs on the railroad because of pay cuts. o George McNeal organized the walk out o Then many companies workers started walking out o First nation-wide labor strike o Sometimes the strikes got dangerous and violent with battles. o Many strikers and militia men were killed o Initiated debate on the “labor question” The Wage System o Increasing number of wage workers o High unemployed and underemployment (not long term employment) o Boom bust economy Class Conflict o Immediate Goals : better pay, shorter hours, better working conditions, more control over work place, wanted it to be safer. o Long-term philosophical debate : they wanted to have a say in how much work they were going to do and what they were going to. So they united themselves into a union. Diversity in the Labor Force No different group of workers could get along and be able to create a worker. Skilled Workers o Native-born white American men o Protestants o Didn’t want to associate themselves with unskilled workers. o “Family wage”: should get paid high enough to prevent their wives and daughters from having to work. Unskilled Workers
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American Workers and the Labor Movement - February 15, 2011...

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