Jul 19, 2021 · Afghanistan – a Retrospective. Posted by Adam Smith on July 19, 2021. Landlocked and at the ancient crossroads of the Mongol, Persian, Alexandrian and British empires, Afghanistan has long held a history as a conduit for other peoples. In more recent history, the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989 was only succeeded very briefly by a local ...
- The Rise of Labor Unions in The U.S.
- Excluding Women, Blacks, and Immigrants
- Protecting Workers' Rights
- Labor Reform Legislation
- The Impact of Depression and War
- Organizing lower-paid Workers
- Unions Today
Labor unions have existed in the United States since the birth of the country, tracing their origins back to the 18th-century Industrial Revolution in Europe. The first recorded instance of a worker strike in America occurred in 1768 when journeymen tailors protested a wage reduction. In 1794, Philadelphia shoemakers formed a union called the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers; its establishment marked the beginning of sustained trade union organization in the U.S.2 From this point forward, local craft and trade unions proliferated in major American cities. Industrialization resulted in the aggregation of workers in large factories, creating fertile ground for union growth. Large factories also put multiple trades under one roof, eventually leading to alliances among unions. Achieving a shorter workday was one of the unions' major accomplishments.1
After the Civil War and the end of slavery, the need for both skilled and unskilled labor increased. Union members in the skilled trades remained overwhelmingly native-born White Protestant males throughout the 19th century. These higher-paid workers had the funds to pay union dues and contribute to strike funds. They were reluctant to organize unskilled Irish and Italian immigrants, and also excluded women and Black people. Black workers were often paid lower wages, which made White workers fear they would be replaced by cheaper labor.1 Excluded groups organized their own unions. Black caulkers in the shipbuilding industry held a strike at the Washington Navy Yard in 1835. Women tailors, shoe binders, mill workers, and Black laundresses formed their own unions. In 1867, the National Union for Cigar Makers was the first union to accept women and Blacks. And in 1912, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which had been organizing in the telephone industry, accepted te...
Winning gains for all workers and citizens—such as a shorter workday and a minimum wage—has been a key part of union activity. In 1866, the National Labor Union was created with the goal of limiting the workday for federal employees to eight hours. However, the private sector was much harder for unions to penetrate.5 With a continual flood of immigrants coming into the country, the price of labor declined. One group was often pitted against another to keep wages down. When Irish workers won raises in pay from the railroads, for example, Chinese workers were brought in to replace them. In 1867, more than 2,000 Chinese workers, who were grading and digging tunnels for the transcontinental railroad, simultaneously threw down their picks and shovels, protesting their lower pay compared with White workers. Their strike failed after the railroad owner cut off all food and supplies. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Filipino and Japanese sugar plantation workers went on strike in...
Unions worked not only for improvements in pay and working conditions but also for labor reforms.2 The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions was formed in 1881, and the AFL was founded five years later.Their combined organizing force led to the act of Congress that created the Department of Labor (DOL) in 1913. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 allowed employees to strike and boycott their employers; it was followed by the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) of 1936 and the Fair Labor Standards Acts of 1938, which mandated a minimum wage, extra pay for overtime work, and basic child labor laws. Later on, the AFL-CIO played a crucial role in helping to pass civil rights legislation in 1964-1965.2 7 9
From the Civil War through World War I, labor unions grew in power and number. During the 1920s, they lost some influence, but the Great Depressionquickly reversed this trend, with workers turning to their local trade unions to find employment and protection. Union membership grew exponentially as the Depression wore on. The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), established in the 1930s, organized large numbers of Black workers into labor unions for the first time. There were more than 200,000 African Americans in the CIO in 1940, many of them officers of union locals.10 During World War II, the influence of labor unions was somewhat curtailed. Some unions, such as those in the defense industry, were forbidden by the government to strike because of the impediment it would present to wartime production. But the end of the war saw a wave of strikes in many industries; union power and membership (as a percent of employment) reached a high point during this period, from the 1940s...
The next decades brought unionization to some of the lowest-paid workers in the nation’s hospitals, nursing homes, and farms. Hospital workers in New York City were organized by 1199, a mostly White and Jewish union of pharmacists led by Leon Davis. In the late 1950s, during the first flush of the civil rights movement, 1199 mobilized the largely Black and Latina workforce. An unprecedented 46-day strike at seven of the city’s most prestigious hospitals ended with the workers winning union recognition and better pay and working conditions. In the 1990s, 1199 organized thousands of nursing home and home care workers, and later merged with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to become 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.13 From 1965 to 1970, Filipino and Mexican American farmworkers, led by Philip Vera Cruz, Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta, organized a grape boycott that succeeded in rallying national support. After five years, it brought grape growers to the table to s...
In 2008, unions were instrumental in getting President Barack Obama elected (and reelected in 2012). Union leaders were hopeful that Obama would be able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation intended to streamline and shorten the process of bringing new members into unions. But Democrats were unable to garner enough support to pass the law. Union membership decreased during the Obama administration, which may have led some union members to switch their support to Republican Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Today, the highest rates of union membership are in the public sector; in local government, for example, which employs police officers, firefighters, and teachers. Private-sector industries with high unionization rates include utilities, transportation, warehousing, and telecommunications. In 2020, nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 84% of earnings for workers who were union members ($958 versus $1,144).17 Organized labor is now m...
Jul 17, 2021 · That is simply not true and completely ignores one of the main problems of Irish independence in the late 19th early 20th centuries. Some Irish protestants (mainly in the Southern part of the country) supported Home Rule but in the main they did not-- that's the whole problem of 'partition'- the belief that the six Counties are held by the evil brits simply because they want to cling to empire ...
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Jul 13, 2021 · Alvin Toffler — ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Jul 11, 2021 · The History of the Twentieth Century. 242 Dos, Don'ts, and Be Carefuls. Released: Jun 20, 2021. In the early twentieth century, France had the world's largest motion picture industry, but it was soon eclipsed by that of the USA, a larger nation where movies were extremely popular.
Jul 19, 2021 · Inventing the Twentieth Century is an informative, illuminating window onto the technology of the twentieth century Originally published: 2000 Includes list for further reading (pages 239-241), and index
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Jul 19, 2021 · How the ideas of a 20th century thinker ostracized by the Soviets help to shape Russia’s new foreign policy 19 Jul, 2021 18:01 . Get short URL
Jun 30, 2021 · Bakelite was a breakthrough material when it was invented in 1907: industry loved it, and the public admired the stylish radios it made. But as a new documentary hints, it came at a cost
Jun 25, 2021 · The Camp of the Saints. Posted by Adam Smith on June 25, 2021. Written in 1973 by Jean Raspail, ‘The Camp of the Saints’ depicts a dystopian scenario where France and the West in general is overrun with third world immigrants. Called a ’Stunningly Racist French Novel’ by the urban liberal clickfarm of record, The Huffington Post ...