Labor Unions and Strikes

  • Noble Order of the Knights of Labor

    Noble Order of the Knights of Labor
    This labor union was organized by Philadelphia garment workers in 1869. The union was opened to merchants, farmers, and wage earners. The objectives were equal pay for equal work, get rid of child labor, and 8 hour work days.
  • Labor Day

    Labor Day
    The first Labor Day was held in New York City, and the Central Labor Union organized it. Either Peter McGurie or Matthew Magurie first came up with the idea of Labor Day. In 1894 many states celebrated this holiday. In the same year Congress made Labor Day officaly a holiday by passing an act that made the first Monday of every September Labor Day.
  • American Federation of Labor

    American Federation of Labor
    The main idea that was focused on was better working conditions. They also wanted better pay. This was a craft oriented union.
  • Haymarket Square Riot

    Haymarket Square Riot
    In Chicago workers marched for an 8 hour day and to protest McComick Harvesting machine. The police tried to break up the strike. As a result, 8 policemen died and 100s were injured.
  • "How the Other Half Lives"

    "How the Other Half Lives"
    "How the Other Half Lives" was and early publication of photojournalism by Jacob Riis. This piece was written in 1890. It was about the horrible conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s.
  • Homestead Strike

    Homestead Strike
    This strike was an industrial lockout that began on June 30, 1892, this was a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. This happened in the town of Homestead, Pennsylvannia. The battle was between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company. After it was done it was a major defeat for the union and a setback to unionize steelworkers.
  • Pullman Strike

    Pullman Strike
    There was a company built town bulit by the owner, George M. Pullman. The rents were high and in 1893 he slashed wages while keeping the rent the same. The workers went on strike, led by Eugene V. Debs. The strike ended when Cleveland sent troops and Eugene V. Debs was arrested.
  • Coal Strike

    Coal Strike
    This strike happened in Pennsylvannia and the United Mine Workers of American organized it. President Roosevlet suspended the strike by creating a fact-finding commission. The strike never resumed, but miners recevied higher wages and owners got a higher price for coal.
  • "The Jungle"

    "The Jungle"
    'The Jungle' was written in 1905 by Upton Sinclair. It was written about the conditions of the meat packing industry in Chicago. It later led to the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
  • "The Bitter Cry of the Children"

    "The Bitter Cry of the Children"
    This was written in 1906 by John Spargo. This exposed hardships suffered by child laborers. He went to a mine in Pennsylvannia to see how bad it was. He discovered it was common for accidents such as broken, or crushed fingers, and cuts.
  • Pure Food and Drug Act

    Pure Food and Drug Act
    This was a federal law that was passed in 1906. This law provided federal inspection of meat products and didn't allow the manufacture, sale, or transportation of changed food products and poisonous medicines. "The Jungle" helped get this law passed.
  • Triangle Shirt Factory Fire

    Triangle Shirt Factory Fire
    This happened in New York City and caused 146 deaths. The deaths were caused by doors to the stairs and exits were locked. The fire led to improving saftey standards and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
  • Congress of Industrial Organization

    Congress of Industrial Organization
    The organization was a part of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) until 1935. They became their own union because they were more industrial than craft lines. In 1955 they went back into the AFl.
  • The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)

    The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)
    This allowed labor's right to organize legally. This also created the National Labor Relations Board. The power to punish unfair labor practices was created.
  • GM Sit-down Strike

    GM Sit-down Strike
    This was a strike by General Motors employess which shut down plant operations in Flint, Michigan. A sit-down strike is when workers remain in the workplace to prevent normal production from happening. Finally, GM decided to use the United Auto Workers as a collective bargaining agent for workers. At the end workers were able to participate in the running of GM.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    Achived in this act was federal regulation of child labor. The first time ever minimum ages of employment for children was regulated by federal law. The hours were also regulated.
  • Steel Strike

    Steel Strike
    This strike was by the United Steelworkers of America against U.S. Steel and nine other steel makers. The workers were fighting to win a wage increase. The strike lasted 53 days, and ended on July 24, 1952.
  • Major League Baseball Strike

    Major League Baseball Strike
    The strike was the first one in Major League Baseball history. It occured from April 1, 1972 to April 13, 1972 and only ended when owners and players agreed on a $500,000 increase in pension fund payments. In total 86 games were missed and were never played 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 people in this strike was from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU). It was about a new conract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and they broke down over retirement, pension, and wage increases. This strike affected millions of commuters who traveled on buses and subways.