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Labor Union Essay

817 words - 4 pages

During the Gilded Age activists tried improving the conditions of workers and the poor in many ways. In a few ways they were moderately successful but mostly philanthropists didn’t succeed. Between 1875 and 1900 the organized labor, overall, didn’t improve the position of the workers, making them unsuccessful.
The organized labor was unsuccessful because many of the workers went on strike or were killed and didn’t get what they wanted. On July 7, 1892 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there were ten people reported dead and more that had no official notification of death (Document G). These people died because they participated in the Homestead Strike. Even after this gruesome strike Homestead did not give into their demands and remained a nonunion for a while after. This proves that even though they held a strike against the factory, the workers conditions did not improve at all and many people died making the Homestead Strike unsuccessful. On July 18, 1877 there was an editorial about the Railroad Strike of 1877. It stated that “The strike is apparently hopeless, and must be regarded as nothing more than a rash and spiteful demonstration of resentment by men too ignorant… to understand their own interests.” (Document B). This document proves that the Railroad Strike was not making a dent in the workers conditions. The strikers are the workers and because they are on strike they are not working which means no income. They do all this and they get nothing out of the strike, again proving that the labor union was unsuccessful. Since many of the organized strikes turned out not to do anything, in some cases death, the labor union failed to improve the workers conditions.
Another reason why they were not successful was because industrialists got the improvement while the workers had less pay, jobs, and more injuries. The industrialists kept inventing more machines to replace the workers and the workers now have fewer jobs, pays, and have to deal with more dangerous machinery. A machinist once said “In that way machinery is produced a great deal cheaper than it used to be formerly…100 men are able to do now what it took 300 or400 men to do fifteen years ago.” (Document D). The machinist also explained how each trade is subdivided so many times that before if you knew the whole thing now you only know one little section, preventing you from starting your...

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