Industrial Strikes In The Knights Of Labor's Case

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A factory in Homestead, Pennsylvania which manufactured steel caused one of the biggest turning points towards the creation of the early unions. In this factory, working conditions were oppressive. Workers would work twelve hour shifts in pitch black rooms. Accidents would occur like getting caught in the machinery and losing limbs. Cases of third degree burns from exploding hot steel were common. Unions would form amongst the workers to protect their rights against these casualties. Besides these harsh conditions, workers were also concerned of wage cuts that may be made the factory’s owner, Andrew Carnegie. This was a strange move made by Carnegie who preached laborers to unionize into the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers …show more content…
Most of these strikes spark everywhere and most end disastrously. Usually a strike would end once the police troops shows up and shots are fired. In the Knights of Labor’s case, the exact same situation occurred at their second railroad strike. The KOL did not believe in strikes and boycotts but educating corporations about the betterment of these changes. Their first movement was deemed a success in gaining their recognition and power. Although, that is their only and last successful movement. Their second movement at Haymarket was non-violent but turns horrific once a bomb goes off provoking the police into shooting protesters. Anyone accused of being apart of the demonstration were either hanged or imprisoned. The railroad strikes were the only important strikes made by the Knights of Labor. The AFL’s method of striking is less radical and destructive and more about compromise. When the separate unions did strike, however, they were always successful in driving away “scabs” which were people who replaced the strikers. Since they were centralized the AFL’s unions would never divide because of the high leadership of their organizers. The AFL was able to convince newspaper industry because of their skilled workmanship and business-like attitude. The IWW who led radical and revolutionary strikes was successful in organizing a diverse group of people. This “one big union” demanded more direct action to get what they want. The Wobblies did in fact win a strike in Nevada, dubbed Miner’s Strike, winning an eight hour workday for the first time. They succeeded in winning lumber strikes, silk strikes, and iron strikes afterwards. So far successful but their usage of sabotage gave people bad feelings about them. People looked down upon their Marxist ideals once the First Red Scare came around. In the end, their unions were divided and many were arrested and

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