History 1301 – Online Class
The Labor Movement – Article one Assignment
As the workforce in America began to industrialize, the U.S. workers had a huge eye-opener. The workers began to see that they were being treated unfairly. This challenge arose for these people as early as 1768, when tailors in New York complained of lower pay, and began a strike against the company that employed them. Thus, the Labor Movement was born.
In 1827, The Mechanics’ Union Trade Associations of Philadelphia was organized as the beginning of the American trade unionism. This particular labor union was the focal point of the one city. This was the early labor movement, which pulled its inspiration from the American Revolution. The ideas that they concocted came directly from the ideas of social equality and wanted fair and equitable labor. Labor Unions began boycotting lower wages and lengthy work days. The unions also posted lineups of how much they expected to be paid for their labor. When the International Typographical Union of 1852 was established, the Americans of a single trade began boycotting as a whole all across the United States. Canada was also included in this labor union, which is why it was named international. The most well known of all labor unions was the Knights of Labor of 1869 and the National Labor Union of 1866. Both of these unions focused more on better working conditions for the workforce rather than higher earnings. These two unions worked together as separate associations.
The Knights of Labor divided in the mid-1880s, creating the American Labor Federation. The Knights were asked to only do what their reform promises, but they had denied. The AFL was created in 1886, and they pushed for the end of labor reform which conclusively was the cause of the downfall of the Knights. The American Labor Federation took a liking to Marxism, which was introduced by its leader, Samuel Gompers. “Pure and Simple” was their creed, along with no discrimination, in which they represented all types of laborers. But, this union only really consisted of skilled laborers.