Impact dates in labor history by Max Allio

  • The founding of the national labor union

    The NLU (national labor union) was the first national labor federation in the United States. The people were fighting for their right to have an eight hour work day. Altho strong at the start they fell apart during the depression of the 1870s.
  • The founding of the knights of labor

    The nationwide organization grows in the 1870. The knights of labor has a total of 800,000 members. They fought for eight hour days, higher wages, women's economic rights, racial equality, laws against child labor, and industry are organized into one union rather than separated by skill level and occupations.
  • The great railroad strike/ the great upheaval

    In the response of wage cuts, depression, unemployment, and savage treatment by capitalists. The strikes spread along the railway lines from West Virginia to cities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, and other states. During their 45 days of resistance by workers a hundred people have been killed and 100,000 workers have gone on strike.
  • The haymarket bombing in Chicago

    The strike for eight hour days was supported and inspired by half a million workers. During the strike an unidentified person throws a bomb into the crowd that killed seven policemen and several civilians. The bombing triggers a nationwide crackdown on the militant labor movement dealing with tremendous blow to the knights of labor and the revolutionary hopes it symbolized.
  • The formation of the American Federation of labor

    The AFL was founded as a craft union based alternative to the knights of labor accordingly takes a relatively conservative approach to labor activism. It eschews social movement unionism and opposition to capitalism as such focusing instead on other issues like wage and other incremental demands that can be won through collective bargaining.
  • The passage of the sherman anti trust act

    The law is intended to prohibit business activities that interfere with free competition. In one of history's many ironies, through, it is frequently used to justify injunction against union activities, such as strikes, that are said to interfere with competition.
  • The homestead strike

    It was an attempt to destroy the Amalgamated Association of iron and steel workers, the powerful union of skilled workers at the Carnegie steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, Henry Clay Frick locks them out of the plant. The other workers go on strike in solidarity. The strike is finally defeated after the governor dispatches a militia against the workers.
  • The pullman strike

    Factory employees of the Pullman Company in Chicago go on strike to protest their low wages and abysmal treatment by George Pullman. In solidarity, Eugene Debs and his American Railway Union declare a boycott of all trains carrying Pullman cars. At its peak, the boycott involves 250,000 workers. President Grover Cleveland sends troops to Chicago to get the trains moving again, which infuriates the strikers, who react with violence.
  • The Industrial Workers of the World is formed

    Despite its many defeats, the militant wing of the labor movement remains unbowed. It forms the IWW as a radical, anarcho-syndicalist alternative to the more conservative AFL, and organizes workers along class lines rather than occupational lines. It is the only union at the time to welcome all people into its ranks, including immigrants, women, and African-Americans.
  • Shirtwaist strike in New York

    Workers in the garment industry, which employs primarily young women, vote for a general strike against low pay, long hours, awful working conditions, and discrimination for union activity. Led mostly by rank-and-file women, the strike of almost thirty thousand lasts eleven weeks. Finally employers give in to most of the workers’ demands, including a shorter week, no discrimination against union loyalists, and negotiation of wages with employees