Organized Labor Movement

Created by Mr. Steve Hauprich for acceleration and remediation of US History students
Historical Context:
Labor unions grew during the
industrial revolution as
workers tried to gain rights
to better wages and
working conditions.
Labor unions overcame resistance
from powerful industrial owners
to achieve the legal right to
Collective bargaining,
only after many years of hardship
and struggle.
Men working in factories during the
industrial revolution were paid very little.
to pay for
and shelter.
in factories
were often
paid only
about half
of what
Men were
paid …
Children working in factories would only
be paid about 1/10th the wage of an adult.
In the 1860’s and 1870’s a national
labor organization called the
Knights of labor
was formed
…attempting to unite both skilled and
unskilled labor…hoping to gain legal rights
and reforms in the industrial workplace.
Unskilled Workers
The American Federation
labor would
have more success…
focusing on “bread and butter” issues
of wages and job security .
AF of L
Tactics such as boycotts and strikes
were used to attain labor union goals.
Not until the 1930’s did unions finally
gain the right to legal recognition and
the right to bargain for a contract for
all its members called…
A.F. of L.
later would
merge with the
Congress of
…to form the
A backlash against strikes and
labor union leadership corruption
…led to the passage of the 1947
Taft-Hartley Act to limit
Labor Union power.
___1. The process of collective bargaining is best described as
1 meetings of joint congressional committees to achieve compromise
on different versions of a proposed law
2 diplomatic strategies used to make treaties between two nations
3 discussions between labor union leaders and management to agree
on a contract for workers
4 negotiations between a multinational company and a nation with
which the company wishes to do business
•Workers paid weekly wage of $2.00
• Immigrants work for lower wages
• Unsafe conditions in tenements and sweatshops
• Attitude of "captains of industry" toward workers, problems
___2. In a history textbook, the items on this list would most likely
appear in a chapter about the working conditions in the
1 colonial period under British rule
2 South before the Civil War
3 age of big business from 1865 through the early 1900's
4 economic recession following World War II
___3. The term "robber barons" is used to describe many industrialists of the
late 19th century mainly because they
1 made large charitable donations to worthy causes
2 sought to maximize their profits by eliminating competition and
exploiting workers
3 attempted to stimulate the economy by keeping the prices of their
products as low as possible
4 opposed the entry of poor and uneducated immigrants into the
United States
___4. Social Darwinism promoted the idea that
1 new immigrants were equal to native-born Americans
2 stronger businesses would succeed at the expense of weaker businesses
3 the poor should be protected by government action
4 natural selection is contrary to democratic principles
__5. The railroad strikes of 1877, the Haymarket Affair of 1886, and the Pullman
strike of 1894 show that labor unions of that period were
1 willing to use force to achieve their goals
2 unable to organize large groups of workers
3 firmly committed to laissez-faire capitalism
4 supported by the Federal Government during
disputes with big business
“Labor Leaders Executed for Causing Haymarket Riot”
“State Militia Called In To End Homestead Strike”
“1,000 Jailed as Silver Miners Protest Wage Cuts”
___6. Which statement about labor unions in the late 1800s is illustrated by
these headlines?
(1) Strikes by labor unions usually gained public support.
(2) The government frequently opposed labor union activities.
(3) Labor union demands were usually met.
(4) Arbitration was commonly used to end labor unrest.
___7. Between 1865 and 1900, what was the general attitude of the Federal
Government concerning labor unions?
1 hostile toward union efforts to improve workers' conditions
2 eager to act as a mediator between labor and management
3 indifferent to the struggles between workers and industry
4 supportive of labor's goals
___8. Which group in the United States presented the strongest opposition to
unlimited immigration during the late 19th century?
1 steel-producing industrialists
2 steamship company owners
3 recent immigrants
4 organized labor
"Fifty years ago, there was a cry against slavery and men gave up their lives
to stop the selling of black children on the block. Today the white child is sold for
two dollars a week to the manufacturers. Fifty years ago the black babies were
sold [for cash]. Today the white baby is sold on the installment plan."
-Mother Jones, 1903
___9. In this passage the author is protesting the
1 use of child labor in industry
2 exploitation of African-American children in the inner cities
3 sale of children into slavery
4 ability of children to use credit in company stores
___10. What is the main idea of this cartoon from the 1800s?
Labor is gaining power over big business.
Most Americans support the labor movement.
Business has advantages over labor.
Government should support the expansion of railroads.
___11. The American Federation of Labor responded to the situation shown
in the cartoon by
organizing skilled workers into unions
encouraging open immigration
forming worker-owned businesses
creating a single union of workers and farmers
___12. The success of the American Federation of Labor in the late 19th
century can be attributed to its policy of
1 supporting candidates of its own political party
2 focusing on gains in wages and working conditions
3 using violence to combat big corporations
4 allowing only steel workers into the union
___13. The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935 gave labor
unions the right to
(1) represent workers in collective bargaining
(2) insist on an open shop in the workplace
(3) establish quotas on immigration
(4) use blacklists and yellow dog contracts
___14. Which government action most benefited the labor union movement?
1 sending Federal troops to end the Pullman strike
2 passage of the Wagner Act, guaranteeing workers the
right to organize and to bargain collectively
3 imposition of wage and price controls during several
Presidential administrations
4 enactment of right-to-work laws at various times
__15. The main idea of this cartoon is that businesses in the United States have
1 generated a great quantity of solid waste
2 eliminated the jobs of many workers through downsizing
3 solved most environmental problems
4 improved workers' lives as well as the quality of products