Unlike the Knights of Labor, the AFL only accepted white males who were skilled workers in similar trades into their ranks. Their focus was on economic gains including better wages, hours and working conditions; not over social reform or non-skilled workers plight. By using boycotts, strikes and collective bargaining the organization was able to win shorter working hours and better pay for its skilled workers. Gompers continued with these methods through out his reign, believing that by having a group of unions with only skilled laborers, he could have more influence by excluding the unskilled ones. He saw the higher wages earned by skilled individuals and wanted to capture their wealth and influence in with the AFLs own
This provided better working hours and safe conditions for the factory workers. People argue that the factory owners sent thugs to interrupt labor unions and government did little to protect the laborers. However, when the Antitrusts Acts were passed, it stated that nothing contained in the Antitrust Laws shall be constructed to forbid the existence and operation of labor organizations (7). This proves that the Federal Government tried to intervene and help the laborers. Sooner or later, factory workers got what they wanted with the help of the reforms during the Progressive Era.
It is a difficult task to challenge the social and economic policies of a country, especially one as patriotic as the United States during the post wartime Red scare era of the 1920 's. labor unions could account for this as they saw their membership fall from a high of 5 million in the 1920s to a mere 3.6 million by 1923(Rosenzweig 353). A combination of Supreme court decisions, Employer pressures and in many cases a lack of a strong leadership seen in previous individuals like Samuel Gompers contributed to this. Yet this trend surprisingly didn’t remain consistent as the great depression emerged around the 1930s. In fact they tripled there membership during the 1930s(Rosenzweig 429).They opened up, recruiting millions of women in their causes
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
The labor unions helped so the owners could not take advantage of the workers. The discontent between the working class and big business owners was very important for the entire country, so President Theodore Roosevelt used his power as the President to pass laws fitting to the progressive era. He proposed a number of legislative measure to protect the health and welfare of the public and the environment. He helped to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Roosevelt also intervened in coal strikes on the side of the workers to help force the owner to negotiate.
They would have no nails, they had worn them off pulling hides; their knuckles were swollen so that their fingers spread out like a fan. There were men who worked in the cooking-rooms...in these rooms the germs of tuberculosis might live for two years.” These suffering Americans appealed to the government and labor unions for help, but they did not receive it due to lack of union organization, big business ties, and laissez-faire economic ideals. During the Gilded Age, the U.S. government suppressed the average industrial worker, and labor unions, though created for laborers’ aid, accomplished little and were futile when facing big business and government.
During the Progressive Era, most employers were not concerned with workers rights and focused more on profit than human rights or safety. The poor working class, as well as immigrants who had worked in the United States for a while, became infuriated over the unfair treatment and working conditions of which they suffered. Hugh Rockoff explains, “…industrialization had alienated the workingman…” (Rockoff 747).
The Act included the first regulation that legalized safeguards for health, life and limb (Wikipedia). Indeed, the laws were meant for the workers in the factories to have safer working conditions, but it never really worked out. Records vary, but it is known that as many as 35,000 workers killed and another million injured on the job in 1900. (Lutz,
On Saturday, June 25, 1938 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill that was a landmark law in the Nation’s social and economic development. This law was called the Fair Labor Act of 1938. (Grossman) This Act established minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part time workers in the private sector and in the Federal, State, and local government. (US Department of Labor, 2008)
The AF of L wanted “unionism” and opposed socialism. TheKnights of Labor, another labor union, was created in 1869 and enlisted in their ranks not only alllaborers but also everyone who could be truly classified as a producer. Labor unions, the two major depressions and the three “robber barons” were three of theforemost reasons the Gilded Age got its name. The “robber barons” invested in things that wouldultimately lead to a “Golden Industrial Age” but they didn’t achieve it totally legitimately, and thecreation of the labor unions sided with the workers, but at times, grew violent in their methods.
Also he did not want Supreme Court to overturn this bill. The original bill proposed the creation of Fair Labor Standards Board (quasi-legislative) to administer the act. Congress was to set statutory minimum wages and maximum hours but Board would have the power to change in to certain limit. In addition FLSB had great power to set the labor standards and appoint advisory committees in various industries.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is a federal labor law that establishes the minimum wage, sets the overtime pay eligibility, standards of record keeping, Child Labor Protections and the Equal Pay. The fair labor standards set nationwide labor standards for all organizations engaged in interstate commerce, operations of a set size and all government agencies and had significant impact on the labor movement in the United States of America under President Franklin Roosevelt. Since the enactment of Fair Labor Standard Act, several amendments including offering an equal pay for same job done that happened in 1963.The Fair Labor Standard Act is enforced by the US department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration. (Fair Labor Standard Act ,1938).
While the programs of the First New Deal were left-wing and progressive, some liberals decided that it had not gone far enough to help the common people. When the National Industrial Recovery Act was declared unconstitutional in 1935, employers once again began treating their workers unfairly. Worker strikes were broken up violently, and they could not achieve their rights without government assistance. This problem was combatted with the Wagner Act, which gave workers the right to unionize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Additionally, liberals such as physician Francis Townsend and Senator Huey P. Long called for government pensions for the elderly in order to open jobs for the unemployed and simulate the economy.
Based on our group’s research, we believe that the labor movement in the 1820s in the United States during the Jacksonian Democracy was a major factor in the implementation of many of the laws and better working conditions that are present in today’s society. As we have learned and presented to the class, this labor movement in the 1820s grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers and to improve their overall working conditions. We currently see the results of these labor unions that were formed in the 1820s whenever we enjoy the luxury of having our weekends off from work and having the opportunity to miss work, also known as “sick leave”, when we are ill. We now have an established minimum wage and legally, no one is forced
The Norris-LaGuardia Act was implemented in 1932 in order to eradicate certain legal and judicial barriers against the actions of organized labor in the United States. The Rift between the trade unions and the employers are not unknown to the world, as this issue has been raising its head every now and then in the history of industrial and labor development. Many acts and legislations have been enacted throughout the past century to bring some kind of a balance between the relation of the unions and the employers of labor. Norris Laguardia Act of 1932 is one such act that was enacted work in favor of the organized labor. The adoption of this act, allowed Congress to liberate the organized labor from the most extreme controlling Federal court injunctions.