Labor Unions

  • Noble Order of the Knights of Labor formed

    Noble Order of the Knights of Labor formed
    This was one of the largest labor organizations in history. They were very important that they pushed the eight-hour workday and other working laws. This gave the public an idea of what labor unions were about.
  • Labor Day Created

    Labor day occurs on the first Monday of every September. It first occured in Boston. In 1894, Labor Day officially became a U.S. National Holiday.
  • Haymarket Square Riot

    Haymarket Square Riot
    Workers in Chiacgo marched for eight full hours. They were marching to protest MComick Harvesting machine. Police came to break up the strike, but the violence had already taken its toll. Eight policemen were killed and over a hundred people were seriously injured. This made the public see unions and anarchists as a problem.
  • American Federation of Labor formed

    American Federation of Labor formed
    This was one of the first labor union federations formed in the United States. It was formed by an alliance of craft unions. This organization made many politcal achievements.
  • "How the Other Half Lives" written

    "How the Other Half Lives" written
    Written as a documentation of a series of journal photos taken by a news reporter named Jacob Riis. This was very important to the public. It exposed the horrible conditions of tenements in the 1880s.
  • The Homestead Strike

    The Homestead Strike
    The strike became a battle between strikers and private security agents when strikers continued a lockout strike outside the Homestead Steel Works in the Pittsburgh area town of Homstead, Pennsylvania. It was one of the most serious disputes in US labor history.
  • The Pullman Strike

    The Pullman Strike
    The town of Pullman was built under a company run by George M. Pullman. Workers would rent homes from him. In 1893, wages were cut due to the Panic of 1893, and Pullman refused to lower rents. Workers went on a strike, led by Eugene V. Debs. Within days, thousands of railroad workers in 27 states and territories went on strike, therefore there was no transportation from Chicago to the west coast. Most governors supported the business side, and union leaders were arrested and imprisoned.
  • The Coal Strike

    The Coal Strike
    The Coal Strike of 1902 was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities. President Theodore Roosevelt became involved and set up a fact-finding commission that suspended the strike. It was the first labor episode in which the federal government intervened as a neutral arbitrator.
  • "The Jungle" written

    "The Jungle" written
    This novel was written by a muckraker named Upton Sinclair. The novel was written to show the horrible conditions of meatpacking industries during the 20th century. This was important because it alerted the general public of the corruption in the real world that they do not see everyday.
  • "The Bitter Cry of Children" written

    "The Bitter Cry of Children" written
    This was written by John Spargo. It was used to describe conditions of child labor. It really went into detailed descriptions of the coal miners, who at the time, was made up of primarily children. This really opened people's eyes that children should not be working at such young ages.
  • Pure Food and Drug Act passed

    Pure Food and Drug Act passed
    The Pure Food and Drug Act is a federal law created to carefully manage food industries and prevent companies from altering food too much. This act also ensures that patented drugs stay safe. Thanks to muckrakers like Upton Sinclair, this act was proposed to keep consumers safe.
  • Triangle Shirt Factory Fire

    This event occured in New York City, and was one of the most deadly industrial disasters in history. About 146 workers died in the fire. The owners of the shop locked the workers in, blocking their escape from the fire. This opened the public's eyes to some of the unintelligent decisions that are made on corporate levels.
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations formed

    Congress of Industrial Organizations formed
    The CIO was proposed by a man by the name of John Lewis in 1932. One of the CIO's greatest accomplishments was the help provided to the UAW that won the General Motors sit-down strike. This gave labor unions a chance at winning most future disputes.
  • The National Labor Relations Act passed

    The National Labor Relations Act passed
    This act limits how employers can react to employees striking or forming unions. This allows people who work in certain kinds of companies the ability to change how a company is run if something seems to be dishonest or corrupt.
  • GM Sit-down Strike

    GM Sit-down Strike
    This was a strike by General Motors employees that shut down plant operations in Flint, Michigan, and other cities from December 30, 1946-February 11, 1937. The general public gained attention of the effectiveness of sit-down strikes. A sit-down strike involves workers remaining in the workplace while on strike to prevent normal business operations from being conducted. GM eventually decided to recognize the UAW.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act passed

    Fair Labor Standards Act passed
    This is also sometimes called the Wages and Hours bill. This was passed to determine set numbers to limit what employers can do to their employees. This act sets a minimum wage, an age limit for child labor, and overtime length.
  • Steel Strike

    Steel Strike
    A strike by the United Steelworkers of America against U.S. Steel and nine other steelmakers. Harry S. Truman nationlized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities. Eventually, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the president lacked the authority to seize the steel mills. The Steelworkers struck to win a wage increase. The strike lasted 53 days.
  • Major League Baseball Strike

    Major League Baseball Strike
    The 1972 baseball strike was the first players' strike in Major League Baseball history. The strike occurred from April 1, 1972 to April 13, 1972. Baseball resumed when the owners and players agreed on a $500,00 increase in pension fund payments and to add salary arbitration to the Colective Bargaining Agreement. The 86 games that were missed over the 13 days were never played. This was because the league refused to pay the players for the time they were on strike.
  • New York City Transit Strike

    New York City Transit Strike
    The 2005 New York City transit strike was a strike in New York City called by the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU). Negotiations for a new contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) broke dowqn over retirement, pension, and wage increases. The strike began at 3:00 a.m. on December 20, 2005. Millions of commuters were affected. The strike officially ended at 2:35 p.m. on December 22, 2005. Systems were completely functional the next morning.