The Development of Labor Unions

By Tjay
  • The Natural Trades Union

    The first national union is founded.
  • Commonwealth v. Hunt

    In this court case a Massachusetts court ruled that unions were legal
  • Knights of Labor

    This first major union was founded by Uriah Stephens, a Philidelphia tailor. By 1879, its membership of nine thousand included women, African Americans, and immigrants, both skilled and unskilled. By 1886, they boasted a membership of 700,000. They won several important strikes but their influence declined after they were blamed for killing 7 police officers who attempted to break up a meeting in Haymarket Square, Chicago.
  • Haymarket Riots

    Striking McCormick Harvester Workers clashed with police, four strikers were killed
  • American Federation of Labor

    Founded by Samuel Gompers, organized skilled workers by crafts. They fought for higher wages, shorter hours, and improved working conditions through collective bargaining
  • United Mine Workers

    Founded to improve wages and working conditions of coal mine workers.
  • The Homestead Strike

    This became violent when the steel company hired private police to protect strike breakers. In the ensuing confrontation, nine strikers and seven police officers were killed
  • Pullman Company

    Workers at this company, which manufactured sleeping and dining cars, went on strike because their wages had been cut. Acting out of sympathy for the Pullman workers, conductors and engineers of the American Railway Union refused to handle trains with Pullman cars attached. A federal judge ordered the strikers back to work and when they refused, President Grover Cleveland sent in federal troops. The ensuing violence turned public opinion against the workers and their president Eugene Debs was ja