Rise of Industrial Unionism?
Terms in this set (11)
What factors contributed to the rise of industrial unionism? What competing models of unions organizing were explored by workers prior to the 1930s?
Low wages, long hours, bad conditions overall for workers. Before WWII, increasing benefits and rights. During the war factory work was intense and difficult because they had to produce war goods- it was patriotic. After the war workers realized they had lost all of their rights- they needed unions to claim them again. Wobblies, Knights, AFL.
What explains why the AFL rather than the Knights of Labor or the Wobblies were the dominant force in American labor prior to the 1930s?
Prior to the 1930s, most goods were produced by one skilled artisan. The AFL fought to limit immigration, was very racist. Focused on craftsman, and highly skilled native-born men.
According to Cohen, why were the 1920s and 1930s an important period for the union movement? What was the source of worker power during this period?
The stock market crashes, the depression occurs. Workers lose their benefits, growing inequality. Workers start to discover similarities between themselves. Workers begin trusting each other.
According to Cohen, what were the major obstacles to worker mobilization prior to the 1930s?
Workers didn't communicate, were connected only within their ethnic communities. There was no trust among workers, and most of the time they weren't allowed to talk in the factories. Workers also didn't have a legal right to form a union.
Where did workers turn to deal with the misery caused by the depression? What relief did they receive from these sources?
Workers turned to their ethnic communities.
How did the workers' experiences with traditional sources of support during the depression change their attitudes toward the federal government and unions?
Their ethnic communities started to fail them. Unions and the government were looked to for support for the first time.
According to Cohen, what factors contributed to the success of the CIO during the 1930s?
Organizing for "moral capitalism", committed itself to racial and ethnic harmony and wanted to build a culture of unity.
According to Cohen, how did workers overcome the racial/ethnic and skill divisions that had prevented successful organizing prior to the 1930s?
The invention of new American traditions and shared interests. Radio, television, theatre. Workers started having things in common.
What was the New Deal? How did it impact workers and worker attitudes toward federal programs? What programs were especially important for workers and why?
The New Deal was FDR's motto. It was responsible for the National Recovery Administration (stabilized wages and prices), Works Progress Administration (hoover dam, etc) that created millions of government jobs, The Wagner Act (the right to form a union without getting fired), Social Security, National Housing Act, Fair Labor Standards Act.
When and why did the Flint sit down strike occur?
Workers wanted to test The Wagner Act. It occurred in the 1930s- workers wanted more pay, more benefits, and less hours.
What factors explain the success of the Flint sit down? How did the success of the strike impact the American labor movement?
Complete unity between the town. People of all races worked together. Thousands of people agreed to strike through word of mouth. Strategic media coverage with women and children. Placing people on machines so that the machines themselves were useless. Throughout the nation, people in all industries start sympathy strikes. Industries start to understand that they need to change or else strikes will occur.
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