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Labor Relations Chapter 2

Labor Relations Chapter 2 - Labor Relations Chapter 2...

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Labor Relations Chapter 2 – Evolution of Labor management Relationships 1869 to World War 1 - Unions did not rise before 1800 - 1820 – few scattered strikes usually over wages - Labor organizations were small groups of craft employees located in major metropolitan areas along the East Coast. - 1850s – 1860s industrial revolution – was development of factory system o Civil war 1861-1865 – refined and encouraged mass production – this created conditions conducive to organization of labor - 1869 – WWI - 3 national labor organizations emerged o KOL o AFL o IWW – industrial workers of the world - There were 3 prominent episodes of this period o Drive for 8hr work day o Homestead Strike o Pullman strike These episodes reflect degree of violence unmatched in contemporary times KOL - F ounded by Uriah S. Stephens as secret society in 1869 and operated in secrecy till 1882 – so that members would not be fired for participating from employers. - 1880s it membership was 100,000 and between 1885-1886 it rose to 700,000 o Achieved more power, notoriety than any previous labor organization Its goals and strategies led to its demise though - KOL objected to many features of industrial revolution - 2 major established goals
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o Change existing labor management relationship so depersonalized and specialized aspects of mass production could be avoided o Attain moral betterment for employees and society These goals best understood through Terence Powderly – leader from 1879 -1883. He felt mass production reduced employees’ feelings of pride and personal accomplishment - Industrial econo my – 1850 – 1975 utilized m a ss production a nd job specialization – different jobs focused on few tasks that when co mbined m a d e a product. o Skill level a nd tim e required to learn and perform job was less, less costly labor co b e e m ployed and m ore e a sily replaced. Powderly did not like this : shoe m aker exa m ple - Powderly claim ed that m e m b ers m ust place concerns on higher ground than m at erial working conditions as thes e physical effects were st epping stones to a higher cause. o B/C m oral b ett er m ent affected all m e m b ers of society – KOL a dopt ed One Big Union – a pproach e ncouraging people of all job types a nd skill levels to join the organization except: ga m blers, stockbrokers, lawyers, b ankers, a nd those who sold liquor. Strat egies to Accomplish KOL goals - KOL used at least 4 strat egies to acco m plish their goals o First , political action was viewed as important bec aus e KOL felt previous legislation h ad led society down the wrong road. Believed politicians were m otivat ed by self interest – however they b elieved th should still operat e through existing political parties o Second, e ncourage m e nt of producer a nd consu m er cooper atives – did not want cooperatives to be owned by st at e – inste ad KOL want ed e m ployees to save e nough from their wag es to either purchas e est ablished oper ations or creat e their own cooperative ventures.
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