Unionism clenched fist

Labor Union History

  • National Labor Union Founded

    National Labor Union Founded
    The first national labor federation in the United States. Pushed for an eight hour work day, an end to convict labor, the government establishment of a federal department of labor, and currency and banking reform. Also worked towards higher wage scales, immigration restriction (specifically Chinese immigrants), and supported women in the work force. The NLU paved the way for for other labor unions like the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor. Dissolved in 1874.
  • Knights of Labor organized

    Knights of Labor organized
    One of the largest labor unions in the United States in the 1880's. Welcomed all wage earners, Wanted equal pay for women, end of child/convict labor, cooperative employee employer ownership of businesses. Protected American workers from losing their jobs when they wanted to have a say in their wages, working conditions, working hours, etc.
  • Farmer's Alliance

    Farmer's Alliance
    Beginning in Texas, many farmers came together to form the farmer's alliance, to help increase their pay, and to benefit themselves in any way that they could. Many farmers were able to open cooperative stores, and were able to create and operate their own mills for many different items to avoid using the monopolized companies.
  • American Federation of Labor formed

    American Federation of Labor formed
    The first federation of labor unions in the United States. Rose as the Knights of Labor declined, only welcomed skilled workers, didn't welcome minorities/ immigrants, pushed for an eight hour work day, higher wages, and better working conditions, dissolved in 1955.
  • Coxey's Army

    Coxey's Army
    Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from around the country, led by Jacob Coxey. They marched into Washington D.C. in 1894, it was during the economic depression triggered a year earlier. The protesters claimed that the U.S. government should be doing more to help those affected by the depression, they saw little results.
  • Pullman Strike

    Pullman Strike
    During Grover Cleveland's presidency, the American Railway Union lead by Eugene V. Debs, decided to refuse to use Pullman railroad cars. This happened because George Pullman lowered wages and laid off workers, and he did not lower the price for rents in his company town. This resulted in a strike against his company.
  • Square Deal

    Square Deal
    Created under Roosevelt's presidency, got miners a 9 hour work day and a 10% pay increase
  • Industrial Workers of the World founded

    Industrial Workers of the World founded
    International, radical labor union founded in the western United States, led strikes of Nevada gold miners, Minnesota iron miners, and timber workers from around the U.S. Welcomed and organized all workers of all backgrounds, had socialist ties. Worked for fair wages, better working conditions, and access to health car.
  • Adamson Act

    Adamson Act
    Enforced an 8 hour work day for interstate railroad workers, created under Wilson's presidency
  • Adkins v. Children's Hospital

    Adkins v. Children's Hospital
    Reversed Muller v. Oregon meaning that women could no longer receive special treatment in the work place
  • Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act

    Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act
    Prevented courts from shutting down strikes. Gave workers more freedom and opportunity for better salary and working conditions
  • Unemployment Relief Act

    Created the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide work for able-bodied men in public works
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Act

    Created the Tennessee Valley Authority to build dams on the Tennessee River, provided thousands of men with jobs.
  • National Industrial Recovery Act

    National Industrial Recovery Act
    Led by Hugh Johnson, mandated number of working hours, living wages, working conditions, and prices. Was friendly to labor unions. Authorized the executive branch to regulate industry in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Schecter v. U.S. declared it unconstitutional because it gave the executive branch too much power.
  • Civilian Works Administration

    Created public-works employment for the jobless during the winter of 1933-1934
  • National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)

    National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)
    guarunteed collective bargaining and outlawed blacklisting. MAde it easier for unemployed to acquire jobs.

    The Unites Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America was a labor union targeted for minorities, especially Hispanics. This short-lived organiation impacted minorities, including women, gain confindence and rights in labor.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    Banned child labor, set national minimum wage and a maximum work week. Set regulations and standards for industries and corporations and gave workers more rights.
  • Works Progress Administration

    Works Progress Administration
    Led by Harry Hopkins, the WPA gave jobs to construction and blue collared workers as well as white collared workers. Gave work to artists, writers, and historians.
  • National War Labor Board

    National War Labor Board
    This labor board was in order during World War 2, until 1945. Closely tied with the previously made NWLB by President Wilson during World War 1, this newly improved federal agency mediated disputes between management and labor.
  • Taft-Hartley Act

    Taft-Hartley Act
    Overcoming the President Truman's veto, the Taft-Hartley act limited power of most labor unions and restricted their abilities. Though controversial, this act is still around to date.
  • AFL and CIO Merge

    AFL and CIO Merge
    The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form one bigger union. This merger resulted in 85% of union members into one single organization.
  • Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act

    Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
    Further regulated labor unions' internal affairs and their officials' relationships with employers.
  • United Farm Workers

    United Farm Workers
    During the 1960's, a large number of Latinos were employed as migrant farm workers in California. The United Farm Workers was organized by Cesar Chavez and their goal was to rise against farm owners in California (primarily grape growers) and fight for fair treatment/ wages.