American Industry

- families worked, children entered the work force at 12 or 13 (mothers sometimes worked too)
- no welfare programs (no workmen’s compensation for laid-off workers)
- 1860’s – work days 12 hours long, paid by the piece – older workers could not produce
- Winslow Taylor, time & motion...efficient use of motion to increase productivity
- Safety suffered – workers feared lay-offs due to increased productivity, pay remained same
- Example: more looms – same number of workers
- workers viewed as cogs in a large system of production (people as machines)
- strict discipline – fired or fined for being late, talking back, talking, refusing to do a task
- loud, deafening noise; poor ventilation & lighting
- immigrants created pressure on the work force (supply & demand)
- women assigned simple tasks with no advancement
- children composed 5 percent of the work force in industry (1912 most states had laws prohibiting children in the work force)

Rich vs. Poor gap widening
- 1890 – 9% held 75% of the wealth (resentment)
- Socialism: collective ownership of factories & property (Karl Marx)
- Most Americans feared Socialism, as it threatened an American Ideal (private property & free enterprise)  Wealthy feared sharing their gains – knew the Government would not support it
- Labor Unions: the adaptation of some Socialist ideas
- Unions funnel the workers strength by unifying their voice to management
- Knights of Labor attempted to organize all working men & women in a single union
- Equal pay for equal work
- 8 hour work day
- no child labor
- strikes as a means to their end
- disappeared by 1890’s
- American Federation of Labor (AFL)
- Organized only skilled laborers
- Network of smaller unions, each devoted to a single craft
- Not really open to African-Americans
- Not open to women – they brought down wages, due to their number (exclude women from work force)
- Collective bargaining:  negotiate as a group (shops only employ Federation members)
Haymarket 1886, Chicago
Scabs:  strikebreakers who replace striking workers
Homestead 1892, Pennsylvania
Pullman, 1894, Chicago
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