A unionist told a reporter that the working people were with them.
"They know what it takes to raise a family on ninety cents a day, to live on beans and corn meal week in and week out, to run in debt at the company stores until you cannot get trusted any longer, to see the wife breaking down."
The presence of many women among the protesters was disturbing to those in positions of power.
It was a good question that went unanswered.
The national railroad strike gave rise to a working class political movement in California.
In the Sand- Lot incident, the Chinese were used as scapegoats by frustrated whites who believed the Asians had taken their jobs.
The Workingmen's Party of California was formed by an Irish immigrant delivery man in San Francisco who wanted the United States to stop Chinese immigration.
The rail road barons were blasted for exploiting the poor.
The anti- Chinese theme became a national issue despite the fact that he failed to build a lasting movement.
The Congress voted to prohibit Chinese immigration for ten years.
Efforts to build a national labor union movement gained steam as the size and power of corpo ration increased.
Because of the increased demand for skilled labor during the Civil War, craft unions made up of workers expert at a particu lar handicraft or trade grew in strength and number.
The NLU was more interested in improving workplace conditions.
The group promoted an eight- hour workday, work ers' cooperative, greenbackism, and equal voting rights.
The NLU did not allow women to be members.
African Ameri can workers were forced to organize unions of their own.
William Sylvis, the NLU's head, died suddenly in 1869 and the union was dissolved by 1872.
It was influential in persuading Congress to pass an eight hour workday for federal employees and to repeal the Contract Labor Act, which allowed employers to pay for the passage of foreign workers to America.
The workers were committed to work for a certain number of years.
The Contract Labor Act allowed employers to recruit foreign workers willing to work for less than their American counterparts.
During the depression of the 1870s, it grew rapidly.
The elimination of convict- labor compe tition, the establishment of the eight- hour day, and the greater use of paper were some of the reforms endorsed by the Knights of Labor.
Equal pay for equal work was one reform the group pursued.
The Knights of Labor wanted to change capitalism.
The Knights of Labor did not believe in organizing based on trade.
The Knights became the nation's largest labor union by recruiting all types of workers, but they also struggled with internal tensions.
The head of the Knights of Labor was a thirty- year- old mayor.
The Knights owed their greatest growth to strikes that occurred under his leadership, as he stressed winning polit ical control of the communities where union workers lived.
The national labor organization was the most equal.
Mother Jones was one of the most colorful labor agitators.
The Irish-born teacher turned union activist used fiery rhetoric to get attention and is pictured here.
She served jail time at the White House for campaigning for the rights of workers.
Mary Harris was the second of five children in a poor Catholic family that fled the Irish potato famine and settled in Toronto.
She began teaching in Memphis in the 19th century.
She met George Jones, an iron molder and union member, there as the Civil War began.
Disaster struck when they had four children.
Mary's husband and children were killed by a yellow fever epidemic.
The widow moved to Chicago to start a dressmaking business, but her shop, home, and belongings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871.
Mary Jones lost her family and her finances, and was angry at the social inequalities and injustice she saw around her, so she joined the labor movement and became its most passionate advocate.
Chi cago was the seedbed of labor radicalism and the union culture nurtured in her a lifelong dedication to the cause of wage workers and their families.
She joined the Knights of Labor to organize and speak about the labor movement.
She was an ardent supporter of the United Mine Workers and other unions.
Business and Labor in the Industrial Era spent time in prison and walked picket lines.
She became a legend.
Jones was the most famous woman in the labor union movement.
Mother Jones promoted higher wages, shorter hours, and restrictions on child labor wherever she went.
She was sentenced to twenty years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy that resulted in murder during the miners' strike.
The Senate committee was formed because of the outcry over her plight.
The governor freed her.
Mother Jones organized a weeklong march of child workers from Pennsylvania to the New York home of President Theo dore Roosevelt in 1903.
Most of the children missing fingers or hands were from machinery accidents.
Jones explained that Roosevelt refused to see them.
The legal working age in Pennsylvania was raised to fourteen.
Mother Jones's commitment never wavered.
She was arrested and jailed at the age of 83 after joining a miners' strike.
Middle class Americans who viewed unionized workers as violent radicals were one of the challenges facing the labor union movement.
Powerful capitalists bribed elected officials to oppress the working poor, according to anarchists.
Some people were willing to use bombs and bullets to achieve their goal of eliminating government.
The last quarter of the 19th century saw many European anarchists migrate to the United States.
The terrorists ensured that the label "anar chist" provoked frightening images in the minds of many.
Labor unions would allow workers to rule.
As the gap between the rich and working poor widened, violence related to labor increased.
More than 23,000 strikes took place between 1880 and 1900.
Irish laborers endorsed violence to start a working class uprising.
The Chicago labor movement wanted an eight hour workday.
Some 40,000 Chicago workers went on strike in 1886 in support of an eight hour workday.
On May 3, there were confrontations between strikers and nonunion workers hired to replace them outside the plant.
Two strikers were killed when the police arrived.
On the night of May 4, the leaders of the movement organized a mass protest in Chicago.
The speeches weren't nice, but the ral y was peaceful.
The crowd of angry laborers began to break up when more than a hundred police arrived and ordered them to leave.
Dozens were killed or injured when a bomb was thrown into the ranks of blue uniforms.
The police opened fire on the crowd, killing more people.
Four workers and seven policemen were killed and over a hundred more were wounded in the first terrorist bombing in America.
The next day, Chicago's mayor banned all labor meetings, and newspapers printed headlines about the city being attacked.
The New York newspaper demanded stern punishment for the few long haired, wild eyed, bad smelling, atheistic, reckless foreign wretches who promoted such unrest.
Despite the lack of evidence linking the seven leaders to the bomb thrower, they were sentenced to death during the summer of 1886.
After being sentenced to be hanged, Louis Lingg stated that he was in favor of using force to end abuses of the capitalist system.
The convictions of the anarchists were appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Lingg used a dyna mite blasting cap hidden in a cigar to kill himself.
Four men were hanged the next day.
The only English speaker among those executed was Albert Parsons, an Alabama born socialist journalist.
He was raised by a slave named Esther and joined his older brother in Texas.
He joined his brother's Confederate unit, the Lone Star Grays, when he was fifteen years old.
He championed the political rights of the negro people after the war.
He received death threats from unreconstructed white Texans who called him a traitor.
He was shot in the leg and threatened with lynching.
Lucy, a former slave who became a women's rights activist and union organizer, moved to Chicago with her husband in 1873.
Some 200,000 people lined the streets of Chicago to see the caskets of the men who were put to death.
The police and the economic elite in Chicago were victims of demonic assassins, who were executed as martyrs for labor militancy around the world.
There were ten sions between workers and management after the Haymarket riot.
There were over a thousand strikes in 1886.
The violence in Chicago made many people hostile to the Knights of Labor and labor groups in general.
Since one of the people convicted of conspiracy in the bombing was a member of the union, it was impossible for the public to separate the two groups.
The union rated Powderly's leadership after 1893.
The Foran Act of 1885 penalizes employers who import immigrant workers.
The industrial union, which included all skilled and unskilled workers within a particular industry, was initiated by the Knights after they spread the idea of unionism.
Efforts to unite with industrial unionism were opposed by the craft and trade unions.
The leaders of the craft unions feared that doing so would mean the loss of their identity and bargaining power.
Each of the national unions was free to act on its own in dealing with business owners.
Samuel Gompers was the president of the AFL from its founding until his death in 1924.
He came to the United States as a teenager, joined the Cigar Makers' Union in 1864, and became president of his New York City local union in 1877.
Gompers focused on concrete economic gains-- higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions.
By the turn of the century, the AFL had 500,000 members.
It had 2 million in 1914 and 4 million in 1920.
Less than 15 percent of the nation's nonagricultural workers were included in the AFL.
The unions that were not affiliated with the AFL accounted for little more than 18 percent of the workforce.
The building trades and transportation were strongholds of organized labor.
Steel, textiles, tobacco, and meatpacking are some of the larger manufacturing industries.
The United Mine Workers, the International Ladies Garment Workers, and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers became affiliates of the AFL because Gompers never opposed industrial unions.
The conflicts were a test of strength for the labor movement.
They changed the political landscape.
The nation's largest craft union was founded in 1876 by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers.
Business and Labor in the Industrial Era 1860-1900 Pennsylvania, along the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh, had enjoyed friendly relations with management until Henry Clay Frick became chief executive in 1889 and the company's second largest shareholder.
He was the most anti- labor executive in the nation.
When the union contract came up for renewal, a showdown was delayed until 1892.
Carnegie went on a hunting trip in his native Scotland in order to handle the difficult negotiations.
Even though the corporation was enjoying high profits, Carnegie knew that it was going to cut costs by using labor- saving machinery.
It was a plan to destroy the union.
Carnegie wrote to Frick, "Am with you to the end."
William Jones was opposed to cutting wages because his men were working hard.
Jones's protests didn't do much.
The company said on June 25 that it would stop negotiating with the 3,800 workers if an agreement wasn't reached.
Management closed down the mill to force the union to make concessions in order to start a strike on June 29.
A twelve foot high fence with barbed wire around the plant was built and equipped with watchtowers, searchlights, rifle slits, and high- pressure water cannons.
On July 6, 1892, the "Pinkertons" floated up the Mononga hela River on two barges.
Many of the unionists and their supporters were armed.
A fourteen hour gun battle took place.
Dozens were wounded, and seven workers and four Pinkertons were killed.
The Pinkertons were marched away from the crowds after they surrendered.
The celebrations were brief.
The governor dispatched 4,000 state militiamen to Home stead, where they surrounded the mill and dispersed the picketing workers.
Strikebreakers were hired to operate the mil.
The strike dragged on until November, when the union was dead and its leaders were charged with murder and treason.
The would- be assassin was subdued by the help of staff members.
The sympathy for the strikers evaporated after that incident.
The workers ended their strike on November 20 and accepted the company's wage cuts.
Only a fifth of the strikers got their jobs back, and the rest were black listed to prevent other steel mil s from hiring them.
The union was eliminated by the support of local, state, and national officials.
Carnegie's steel plants didn't have unionized workers after the strike.
Carnegie told a friend that he was ashamed to tell them how much money he made from the plant.
His reputation was ruined.
Andrew Carnegie was a man to be envied three months ago.
Carnegie regretted how Frick had led the strike.
After learning that his boss had been telling lies about him and making "insults" about his character, Frick split with Carnegie.
The economies of twenty seven states and territories in the western half of the nation were crippled by the Pullman strike in 1894.
There was a dispute at Pullman, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago owned by the Pullman Palace Car Company, which made passen ger train cars.
The town's 1,400 cottages were built to high standards and had gas heat and indoor plumbing.
The town had a library, a theater, a school, parks, and a shopping mall owned by the company.
The company did not own saloons, social clubs, newspapers, or private property.
Political activities were not allowed.
Pullman was a better place to work than the vil ages in the South because it was a company town.
During the depression of 1893, Pullman laid off 3,000 of his 5,800 employ ees and cut wages 25 to 40 percent, but he did not lower rents for housing or the price of food in the company store.
The American Railway Union was founded in the spring of 1894 by Eugene V. Debs.
In Indiana, Debs was a child of immigrants.
He quit school at the age of fourteen to work for a railroad.
It was impossible to dislike Debs.
His enemies acknowledged that he was a good person.
He was compelled to intervene in the Pullman controversy because of his essential goodness.
He told the angry workers to obey the laws.
The workers went on strike after George Pullman fired three of them.
The Railway Union stopped handling trains with Pullman railcars in June after Pullman refused Debs's plea for a negotiated settlement.
Most of the railroads in the Midwest were shut down by the end of July.
Federal troops guarding the railroads.
Angry workers destroyed property.
On July 3, President Cleveland sent 2,000 federal troops into the Chicago area to ensure delivery of the mail.
The strike was called off on July 13th.
A court sentenced Debs to six months in jail for violating the injunction.
Eugene Debs was the most famous labor leader in the United States.
He ran for president five times while he was a prisoner.
The town of Pullman was annexed by the city of Chicago in 1897 after George Pullman died of a heart attack.
The Lattimer mine in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was laid off in 1897.
In the Industrial Era of 1860-1900, business and labor were in the company owned store.
Three workers are killed in accidents every two days.
The most dangerous jobs were assigned to immigrants.
Many of the 10,000 workers from central or eastern Europe went on strike because of these conditions.
Management agreed to raise wages, but then changed their minds.
The mine own ers asked the sheriff to break up the workers.
On September 10, Martin organized a posse of 150 armed men.
They confronted several hundred strikers who were marching to the Lattimer mine in order to convince Italian workers to join them.
They carried a flag.
The sheriff tried to seize the flag of the marchers.
Nineteen miners were killed when the posse opened fire.
Thirty-nine people were wounded.
They were all shot in the back.
The first man to be killed was the flag bearer.
The Lattimer massacre was reported quickly throughout the state and nation.
Sheriff Martin and seventy- three of his deputies were tried for murder in 1898.
Martin said that he and his men had only shot foreigners.
15,000 miners joined the United Mine Workers union after the massacre.
The Western Federation of Miners was started by militant labor leaders in the West at the same time that Eugene Debs was organizing a socialist- based working- class movement.
In Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and the Dakotas, there were min ers who worked deep underground to harvest copper, gold, silver, and lead.
The WFM was seen as a radical labor union almost from the beginning.
The Western Federation was at the center of violent confrontations with mine operators who mobilized secret spies, private armies, state militias, and even federal troops against it.
The WFM grew because of the deaths of several dozen miners.
The wage system needs to be abolished.
The WFM was the most militant labor organization in the country by the spring of 1903.
William "Big Bil" Haywood was the group's most outspoken leader.
He started working in Nevada silver mines at the age of nine.
Both skilled and unskilled workers were recruited by the WFM.
Men and women were welcomed by the organization.
Most other unions adopted a militant stance towards strikes over negotiations.
All workers, skilled or unskilled, man or woman, child or adult, native or immigrant, black or white, would be welcome to join the "revolutionary labor union" as long as they stopped working for capitalism.
The American Federation of Labor excluded unskilled laborers.
Workers would choose their managers.
Immigrants and migrant workers were disproportionately excluded from the working poor.
The IWW generated a lot of criticism.
Business and Labor in the Industrial Era 1860-1900 IWW stands for I won't work and I want a drink.
The average wobbly is a sort of half wild animal.
He cooks his food in rusty tin cans.
The IWW was divided by sectarian disputes like other radical groups.
Debs and De Leon withdrew because the IWW wouldn't join their socialist party.
Tens of thousands of new members from lumberyards, farms, and factories were recruited by Bill Haywood.
He commanded attention and respect.
The conser vative labor philosophy was despised by him.
The migrant workers in the West and immigrants in the East were recruited by the Wobblies.
The usual labor agreements were not appreciated by wobblies.
They engaged in a lot of battles with their employers but didn't get many victories.
They were branded as criminals.
The largest and most successful IWW strike was against a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912.
An unlikely coalition of thousands of mostly immigrant women workers was forged by Haywood and others.
Their ranks included Italians, Germans, French Canadians, Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Greeks, as well as those from a dozen other countries.
The strikers spoke as many as fifteen different languages.
The strike was portrayed as a plea for basic human rights by the organizers.
The owners of the American Woolen Company agreed to wage increases, overtime pay, and other benefits, as the strikers won the fight.
In the late 19th century, American productivity soared because of the stress and strain caused by labor union responses.
The United States produced a third of the world's goods by 1900, and mil lions of immigrants continued to risk their lives for the American dream.
Huge fortunes were generated for a few and real improvements in the quality of life for many.
Most workers now work in factories and mines.
The size, scope, and power of the American economy were changed by the urban industrial revolution.
The unregulated capitalist economy had grown corrupt and recklessly out of balance, and only govern ment intervention could restore economic fairness and social stability.
Industrial and agricultural production increased in the late 19th century.
The national railroad network is the most extensive in the world.
The surge of industrialization expanded the use of electrical power and scientific research.
Many businesses ignored ethics and the law as they grew to enormous size and power.
John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. Pierpont Morgan were skilled at gaining control of industries.
Local, state, and federal governments made little effort to regulate businesses.
While the business and financial elite showed off their new wealth with extravagant homes and parties, the urban and industrial work force was mostly composed of unskilled workers.
Accidents and diseases were common in the workplace, and business owners and managers showed little concern.
The rise of Big Business and industrialization led to an increase in the number of people who considered themselves middle class.
Women went to college, took business and professional jobs, and participated in other public activities.