Labor Unions and Reform Laws

Labor Unions and Reform Laws
Mr. Westfall’s
World History
Factory workers were faced with…
Long hours
Dangerous working conditions
And the threat of being laid off
…so as people became more active in
politics workers would join together in
voluntary associations called…
Role of the Union
• Collective Bargaining – negotiations
between workers and employers
– Worked for working conditions, higher pay…
• If demands were not met the unionized
members would…
• Skilled workers led the way in forming
unions, they could use their talent as a
means of negotiation
Struggle of Unions (GB)
• Combinations Acts of 1799 and 1800 –
outlawed unions and strikes
• Parliament would repeal the Combination
Acts in 1824
• By 1875 Unions would be in full swing and
had won the right to strike and peacefully
In the US
• Unions formed in the early 1800’s
• 1886 the American Federation of Labor was
formed out of several different labor unions
• The AFL members would win higher wages
and shorter hours
Other Reform Laws
• Factory Act of 1833 – Illegal to hire
children under the age of nine
• Mines Act of 1842 – prevented women and
children to work underground
• Ten Hours Act of 1847 – do I really need to
explain this?
Karl Marx
• Wrote his ideas in the Communist Manifesto
– Society is split into warring classes
– Between middle class employers (bourgeoisie)
and the lower class workers (proletariat)
His Philosophy
• Capitalist system would destroy itself
– Factories would drive small artisans out of
– The proletariat would revolt against the
minority that held the wealth
– Workers sharing the profit would give
economic equality to all
– Workers would control the gov’t through a
“dictatorship of the proletariat”
– After a period of cooperative living gov’t
would wither away