Labor Movement Dbq

1784 Words8 Pages

The opening phrase on ‘Labor’ in reads like this : “The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.”
The factors that led to the rise of labor unions:
An in depth analysis of the factors that led to the rise of labor unions in the United States only reveals that the basic need and the primary objective of the workering people was to secure economic and legal protection from their exploiting employers.
The origins of the …show more content…

The labor movement gradualy gained strength, culminating in the 1894 strike by railway workers against Pullman Company. The strike was finally broken by a court order and intervention by the troops.
Achievements and failures of the labor movement of the post Civil War period:
The major criticism of the labor movement is found in these few areas :
1. Labor movement was restricted to the skilled tradesmen only and did not take care of the interests of the non - skilled labor, women, and non - white workers.
2. The leadership took no interest in expanding the mas base of the unions, and had never shown any interest in fighting the slavery of African-Americans.
Regarding achievements, an answer posted on ‘Yahoo Answers’, a ‘question - answer forum’, lists the following as the major successes of the American Labor Movements:
• Securing the end of child labor.
• Ensuring the 8 hour work day and paid overtime.
• Securing workers' compensatory benefits for workers injured on the job.
• Securing unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs.
• Securing guaranteed minimum …show more content…

Motherjones.Com says that In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, prison labor was largely regulated or prohibited, due in part to efforts by labor unions to prevent competition with low-paid inmates. However, while the trend was reversed again in the 1970s, the consolation remains that the wages and also the working conditions of the inmates are now much better.
Regarding gender equality, while it is a fact that the women presently comprise almost half of the total unionised workforce in the United States, but it is also seen that the participation and representation of women in the initial years of labor movements was almost negligible. Nevertheless, a protest and unsuccessful strike of ‘Lowell Mill Girls’ in 1834 find a prominent place in the history of labor movement in the United States.
Labor movements are also credited for their contribution to civil liberties. As per ACLU website, “Collective action is often necessary to protect individual rights. Unions by their nature facilitate and enhance the exercise of core civil liberties, such as the right of association, speech, and petition.” ACLU website further says that collective bargaining statutes take into account the economic reality that individual workers typically lack the bargaining power to stand up meaningfully for their individual

Open Document