The Effect of Big Business on American Society

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					The Effect of Big Business on
     American Society

     The Rise of Labor Unions
     Work & Life in the Factory
 Workers viewed as expendable – not
  important, easily replaced
 Workers ruled by the clock
 Strict discipline
 Overworked and underpaid
 Unsafe working conditions
     1882 – 675 workers killed a day
     2005 – 100 killed a day
Assembly Line
Unsafe Working Conditions
                  Working Families
   Working in factories was a family affair
     Wages were so low, no one person could support
      the household
     Children forced out of school
   No government social welfare programs
       Social Darwinists believed poverty was a sign of
        personal weakness
    -   No workers comp
    -   No unemployment
    -   No benefits
    -   No insurance
Working Women and Children
 Women excluded from skilled and high
  paying jobs
 1880s, children made up 20% of
  Industrial workforce
     Wages were critical for family survival
     Work started at age 4 or 5
     Most women and children worked in textile
      industry – the Mills
    Gap Between the Rich and Poor
 In 1890, the richest 10% of Americans
  held 75% of the national wealth
 Most of the urban population was living
  in poverty in 1890
       The average annual income was below the
        poverty level

   What was the solution?
          Birth of the Unions
   labor union- an organization of workers
    to promote the interests and welfare of
    its members
     Better pay
     Less Hours
     Safer Working Environment
     Better benefits
     Paid Vacation
     Etc.
                 Union Tactics

 strike - an organized work stoppage by
  employees in order to obtain better
  wages, working conditions, and so on.
 boycott - an organized movement to
  resist buying goods or services from
  someone or something
       Hurt the employer economically – force
        them to hear the Union’s demands
                 Major Labor Unions
   The Knights of Labor
       1st major labor
       Want equal pay, 8 hour
        days, no child labor
   American Federation of
    Labor (AFL)                       Knights
       1886, led by Samuel           symbol
       Focus on conditions,
        wages, hours              Gompers
       1 million members by
                     More Unions

   Industrial Workers of the World
       The IWW (Wobblies)
       1905, Chicago
 Formed from 43 labor groups that
  opposed the AFL
 IWW focused on unskilled workers
       Want equal pay for all
   Radical and violent tactics
     Encouraged socialism & anarchism
     Many members jailed over the years
                  Eugene V. Debs
   Leader of the American
    Railway Union
   Involved with several
    major strikes - Pullman
   Was jailed numerous
   Ran for president 5 times
    as the leader of the
    Socialist Party
   Received 1 million votes
    for president in 1920
    while in jail
    Employers Response to Unions
 Employers feared and disliked Unions
 Steps to stop unions
     Forbade union meetings
     Fired Union Organizers
     Refused collective bargaining
     Refused to recognize Unions
    Employers Response to Unions

 Lockouts - the refusal by an employer to
  allow employees to work unless they
  agree to his or terms
 New employees signed “Yellow Dog”
  contracts – workers promised to never join
  a union or strike
 scab – an employee who works while
  others are on strike; a strikebreaker or A
  person hired to replace a striking worker
Major Strikes that Rocked the U.S.

 Railroad Strike of 1877
 Haymarket Riot 1886
 Homestead Strike 1892
 Pullman Strike 1894
        Results of the Labor Movement
   State Level                      Federal Level
       32 states pass laws to           Adamson Act (1916) – 8
        limit hours for women             hour workday for railroad
        and children                      workers
       11 states pass a                 Workingmen’s Compensation
        minimum wage                      Act – provided financial
       8 hour workday for                assistance to federal
        federal employees                 employees injured on the job
       Health and safety                Child Labor Act (1916) –
        regulations established           forbade the interstate sale of
       Several states stop all           goods produced by child
        night-time child labor            labor
       Overall Effects of Unions
   Middle Class grows
   Regulated child labor helps make education
    available to children
   Workers came to expect safe working
    conditions and a living wage
   Starts the movement for worker’s
    compensation, paid vacations, disability, and
   America establishes a “Labor Day” Holiday

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