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American Early Labor Unions Essay

1324 words - 5 pages

The United States was becoming an industrial power in the world during the late 1800's. Many factories began to rise around the country in the late 1800's. As a result of this cities began to expand around these factories. During the time period of 1860 and 1910 metropolitan area populations grew from about six million to 44 million. At a fast rate the United States was loosing it agricultural roots. The reason many factories and American industrialism grew was because of the American and immigrant work force. Workers during the gilded age into the progressive age were not being treated well from theire employees. During this time many workers worked for low wages, many hours and unsafe working conditions. Many workers were angry at their employers, so they began to form labor unions and organizations where workers fought to win certain rights from their employers. As workers moved from rural areas to the cities, workers had to compete for better paying jobs. As workers started to organize they made some good things happen in there early history, although these things did not bring much success to many workers in the long run.During the late 1800's many Americans worked at jobs that required little skill or no skill at all. Their jobs were tedious and very boring because they would do the same task almost everyday for how long they worked. Workers usually worked long hours six days a week and in some cases they worked seven days a week. Making a living during this time was difficult if you were a worker because you only made about $500 dollars a year. Also workers had to work extremely well at there jobs or they would be replaced by thousands of other Americans and immigrants that desperately needed jobs during this time. Workers did not receive any benefits of medical benefits. Since machinery use was growing during this time workers were more prone to injury and hazardous working conditions. If a worker got an injury at the job they would almost be immediately be replaced. No safety rules had to be followed by businesses because the United States government was being involved very little with big businesses.To many company bosses employees were part of the main cost of keeping the company in business. If a company wanted to compete against it competitors it would have to keep it expenses down and therefore workers would get paid at very low wage. In the late 1800's workers realized they could go against their long working hours in hazardous working conditions if they got together and spoke in one voice. This caused employees to begin form unions. A union is an organization of workers who bargain with their employers as a large group. However this was a problem because many workers were divided among themselves by nationalities and race.The Knights of Labor was one of the first large unions to form in America. It was mainly composed of many smaller unions. The Knights were focused on bringing all the workers including blacks, women, and...

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