Alabama Coal Strikes

1157 Words 5 Pages
Throughout the 19th century the American economy proceeded to go through an expansive change, from what was once a colonial country to an industrialized one. And during those years the number of immigrants that came in were staggering, with many push factors from around the world, such as the Potato Famine and pull factors like the fabled American Dream, people of all countries saw America as a gateway to success and a better living. However, the quality of work in the mills and factories were so abysmal, the average employer were vilified, due to being seen as a man who just wanted to keep wages low, long working hours in order to have higher profits. This mistreatment would not stand, the workers sought a way to make their voice heard and …show more content…
As strikes became more frequent during the 1920s, strikes like the Alabama Coal Strike of 1920’s would be faced with heavy resistance from all sides, leading to the death or arrest of dozens of strikers. It was from the appallingly abysmal conditions that the miners had to go through, and how wealthy the business owner became on their labor that made them wish to have an organized union that sought recognition. But without the government 's assistance, it was near impossible. However in the years after 1933, strikes like the Woolworth’s Sit-Down, even amongst the devastation brought by the Great Depression, it was no excuse for major industries to resort making the female employees become overworked, receive low salaries, and being racially and sexually harassed. Woolworth also had the habit of “only hire white workers almost entirely. And if African American people did maybe get hired… they would be exploited even more than the white workers”(Frank, p.4). Because of the racial and gender harassment, it gave the employees the determination for a Unionized strike for …show more content…
Two of its worst qualities were its racism and sexism. While there were small groups of women and African
Americans that were a part of the AFL, both groups were discriminated. The African Americans were barred from employment and union membership and for women, the AFL’s policies were equal treatment that of the African Americans. While they did seem to favor women unions, the AFL was still apathetic to the whole ordeal of females in unions. Because of AFL’s segregation, their concentrations of workers during the Industrial Era were skilled male workers of Caucasian descent. With its radicle competitors known as the CIO, the AFL faced constant losses to its membership during the Great Depression. And with Franklin D. Roosevelt 's New Deal, the AFL’s orientation of only having traditional craftsmen and disregarding semi-skilled workers would cost them to lose members to the CIO. For the Congress of Industrial Organizations, unlike the AFL, recognized Women and African American’s as part of Organized Labor. The CIO also made sure to hire union organizes that would help keep order to the several million members they obtained by 1941 (Class

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