Essay on The Change of Labor Movement during Industrialization

900 Words 4 Pages
The labor movement in the U.S. changed drastically with the Industrial Revolution era. It altered the way employers conducted business and impacted the labor of skilled craftsmen. As the revolution altered the workforce and companies became decentralized, commerce became more mobile. Industrialization changed the way employers conducted business and dramatically changed the working conditions for employees necessitating the need for a more formalized labor relations process. Labor unions became more widespread during this era with several rising to the top:
Knights of Labor (KOL)
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Well-known events took place amidst intense labor negotiations which included
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This helped to significantly increase the membership of the AFL.
Homestead Strike Referred to as the Homestead Incident, this event occurred in 1892 and leaned more toward being an employer lockout than a strike. Negotiations were taking place between the AFL and the Carnegie Steel Works when a 15 foot high fence was erected around the building. Management then hired Pinkerton Security to security the facility and to work as strike bearers. Steel workers formed a barrier around the railway, roads and rivers so that the Pinkertons could not pass through. This resulted in a five month gun battle between the steel workers and the Pinkertons. The Homestead Incident led to a decrease in union membership. Additionally, it resulted in increased profits for Carnegie Steel Works. Pullman Strike. One of the largest railroad companies in the late 1890s was owned by the Pullman Company. The Pullman Company was a unique employer as it built and owned the housing occupied by its employees. This concept was referred to as paternalism. This practice was also used in Great Britain. According to Woods (2010),
Employers, most famously Cadbury, realised their mill and factory workers would need housing and benefits to support themselves and their families, so it was commonplace to see rows of employee accommodation in the shadow of the large British factories (para. 1).
When the

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