Labor Unions, Laws, and Strikes (APUSH)

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The Knights of Labor
This labor group (led by Terence V. Powderly) accepted unskilled and semiskilled workers, including women, immigrants, and African Americans; the Haymarket Square riot led to its decline, as they were labeled as anarchists.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Controversial group that used class conflict and violent tactics to achieve their goals; key leaders included “Mother” Jones, Big Bill Haywood, and Eugene Debs.
The American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Labor group of skilled workers in craft unions that focused on higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions (rather than attempting ownership of the industries in which they worked); led by Samuel Gompers.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
Ineffective law that forbade only unreasonable combinations or contracts in restraint of trade in the late nineteenth century.
The Great Railroad Strike (1877)
This was the first general strike in American history, which had the effect of paralyzing U.S. trade for 45 days; governors in ten states used militia to end the strike.
Homestead Strike (1892)
This strike in Pennsylvania ended in a battle between the strikers and the Pinkertons (private security guards hired by Carnegie Steel).
The Pullman Strike (1894)
This strike affected railroad commerce and ended when President Grover Cleveland ordered federal troops to Chicago.
The Anthracite Coal Strike (1902)
Teddy Roosevelt became the first president to intervene in a labor dispute when he helped arbitrate the dispute brought about by this strike.
The Wagner Act (1935)
Also known as the National Labor Relations Act, this was nicknamed the “Magna Carta of Labor” as it ensured workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain.
The Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO)
This union organized unskilled and semiskilled factory workers in basic manufacturing industries such as steel and automobiles, but later split with the AFL due to disputes over the organization of its workers.
Taft-Hartley Act (1947)
This law passed over Truman’s veto and was designed to decrease the influence of labor unions after WWII.
United Farm Workers
Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta were the main leaders of this union for agricultural workers.
Categories: History