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Labor Unions

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    Labor Unions

  • National Labor Union

    The National Labor Union was formed to try to pull together all of the smaller unions that currently existed. They urged for arbitration rather than strikes. They welcomed all workers except chinese. It fell apart in 1873. It was created by Andrew Cameron.
  • Colored National Labor Union

    Headed by Issac Myers, this was created by African Americans to try to protect themselves. This was very unsuccessul because the government did not take them seriously and racis was very high at the time.
  • Knights of Labor

    Knights of Labor
    The Knights of Labor was formed. It was a one of the first Labor Unions in the United States. They were successful in aiding worker strikes but fell apart after the Haymarket Square incident. It was led by Terence V. Powderly.
  • Labor Day

    The first labor day parade in New York City. 30,000 workers marched in the parade.
  • 8 hour work day

    The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, passed a resolution stating that "8 hours shall constitute a legal day's work from and after May 1, 1886." This was a big step for workers looking for a more rights.
  • Creation of the American Federation of Labor

    Creation of the American Federation of Labor
    Samuel Gompers created the AFL in 1886. This was different from the Knights of Labor because they only allowed skilled workers to be apart of the union. This benefited the union because it gave more power to the workers.
  • Haymarket Square

    Haymarket Square
    On this day workers had a rally in Haymarket Square in Chicago, for shorter work days and to prevent police brutality against strikers. A bomb was thrown into the crowd and resulted in a death. One one knew who threw it but the strikers were blamed. Imparticular the heads of the Knights of Labor were blamed and many of them were thrown in jail. This changed the public view of the Knights of Labor and was the beginning of their downfall.
  • Homestead Strike

    This strike occured by workers at a Carneige Steel factor in Pittsburgh. Henry Clay Frick, the manager of the plant, sent in Pinkerton detectives to protect the plant from strikers. This erupted in violence and the state militia was sent in to stop the strike.
  • Pullman Strike

    Pullman Strike
    Workers of the Pullman Car Company in Chicago struck to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. This essential shut down the railroads through Chicago under the leadership of Eugene Debs. President Cleveland annouced that the mail must be delivered and sent in federal troops to crush the srtike.
  • Coal Mine Strike

    Coal Mine Strike
    Coal miners in Pennsylvania went on strike and demanded a 20% raise and their workday to be shortened to 9 hours. When George F. Baer refused to negotiate, President Roosevelt stepped in a threatened to operate the mines with federal troops. A deal was made in which the miners received a 10% pay raise and an hour workday reduction. Congress saw the growing tension between labor and their employers so they established the Departement of Commerce and Labor.
  • Department of Labor and Commerce

    Department of Labor and Commerce
    The department was created to promote economic growth in the economy. At this time there is a subdivision that deals will the rights of the workers and labor. This was one chair in the Cabinet.
  • Industrial Workers of the World

    Industrial Workers of the World
    This radical group was formed in an effort to end capatilism and create a new socialist economy. Their leaders included Debs, and William D Haywood.
  • Department of Labor

    Department of Labor
    The government established the Department of Labor which sought to protect the rights of he laborer. This had previously been apart of the Department of Labor and Commerce but in 1913 they became seperate departments and each gained a seat in the cabinet.
  • Clayton Anti-trust Act

    Clayton Anti-trust Act
    This act extened the poers of the Sherman Act in an effort to stop the trusts, but it also gove more power to labor unions. This act sought to exempt labor and agricultural organizations from anti-trust prosecution, and legalized strikes and picketing.
  • Workingman's Compensation Act

    Workingman's Compensation Act
    This act guaranteed federal civil workers pay while they were on disability leaves.
  • Adamson Act

    Adamson Act
    This act established a 8 hour workday for employees on trains on interstate commerce.
  • World War 1

    World War 1
    After the war the AFL's membership nearly doubled.
  • Postwar Strikes

    Postwar Strikes
    Hundred's of labor stirkes occur around the country. The labor crisis is solved through the 'Red Scare' in which all labor radicals lose all support and become obsolete.
  • Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

    Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed in Massachusetts for their alleged participation in a murderous payroll heist in 1920. The two men are anarchists and labor activists, and their case generates tension on all sides during the 1920s.
  • Davis-Bacon Act

    Davis-Bacon Act
    This act required that federal contractors pay their workers the wages and benefits prevailing in the local market when working on a public works project. The law kept employers from importing cheaper workers from outside.
  • Norris-La Guardia Act

    Norris-La Guardia Act
    This act put an end to yellow dog contracts and limited courts from issuing injunctions against strikes.
  • Perkins Named Secretary of Labor

    Perkins Named Secretary of Labor
    Frances Perkins becomes FDR's Secretary of Labor, the first woman in U.S. history to hold a cabinet post. Her influence on labor policy in the New Deal was huge.
  • Wagner Act

    Wagner Act
    FDR signed into law the National Labor Relations Act, known as the Wagner Act. The law safeguardsed union organizing efforts and authorized the National Labor Relations Board to assure fairness in union elections and during collective bargaining with employers. The new law tilted the playing field significantly in labor's favor, leading to increased union numbers at the end of the 30's.
  • CIO Splits from AFL

    CIO Splits from AFL
    The Congress of Industrial Organizations split from the American Federation of Labor over disputes about methods of organizing large industries. John L Lewis headed the CIO.
  • GM Auto Strike

    GM Auto Strike
    United Auto Workers signed a contract with General Motors after a successful sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    The Fair Labor Standards Act set a 40-hour workweek with additional hours for overtime. It also established a national minimum wage and put severe restrictions on child labor.
  • Smith-Connally Act

    Smith-Connally Act
    Congress passed this act to allow the government to take over critical industries hit by strikes. It was the first anti-union legislation to be enacted since the early 1930s. It also prevented unions from contributing to political campaigns.
  • Taft-Hartley Act

    Taft-Hartley Act
    Congress overode Truman's veto of the bill, a bill that took back many of the advantages labor got in the Wagner Act. Many Democrats join with Republican lawmakers to curb the power of unions.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    An amedment to this act outlawed child labor.
  • AFL and CIO Merger

    AFL and CIO Merger
    The labor organizations, the AFL and the CIO merge to create the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
  • Landrum-Griffin Act

    Landrum-Griffin Act
    This act is passed to help eliminate union corruption.
  • 1/3 of Population in Labor Union

    1/3 of Population in Labor Union
    1/3 of the US population is in a Labor Union.
  • Postal Service Strike

    Postal Service Strike
    The postal worker strike, involving 180,000 strikers, becomes the United States' largest public employee walkout.
  • Air Traffic Controller Strike

    Air Traffic Controller Strike
    President Reagan orders the replacement of striking air traffic controllers with nonunion workers.