• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Labor Movement Timeline

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 10 years, 8 months ago






The Labor Movement in American History
TIME PERIOD 1842 to 1947



Commonwealth v. Hunt

Legalized by in 1842, labor unions tended to be small and limited to skilled trades


Munn v. Illionis

RRDs discriminated against farmers, so IL passed pro-farming legislation in the Grange Laws. This was challenged by the corporations, but the SC ruled in favor of state regulation b/c it had a direct effect on the general public.


Great Railroad Strike

July, 1877 - A large number of railroad workers went on strike because of wage cuts. After a month of strikes, President Hayes sent troops to stop the rioting. The worst railroad violence was in Pittsburgh, with over 40 people killed by militia men.


Haymarket Square Riot

100,000 workers rioted in Chicago. After the police fired into the crowd, the workers met and rallied in Haymarket Square to protest police brutality. A bomb exploded, killing or injuring many of the police. The Chicago workers and the man who set the bomb were immigrants, so the incident promoted anti-immigrant feelings.


Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific RR Co. v. IL  


Reversal of 1877 decision, only the federal gov’t was declared able to regulate interstate commerce.


Homestead Strike

The workers at a steel plant in Pennsylvania went on strike, forcing the owner to close down. Armed guards were hired to protect the building. The strikers attacked for five months, then gave in to peace demands.


Pullman Strike

Chicago temporarily stopped railroad traffic and required federal intervention. American Railway Union led by Eugene Debs, they started the Pullman strike, composed mostly of railroad workers.



Knights of Labor

Sought to create one big union of all workers, skilled and unskilled. Opposed to strikes



American Federation of Labor (AFL)

 (1886). Organized by Samuel Gompers. Focused on higher wages, shorter hours, and safer working conditions


Interstate Commerce Act

it forbid Railroads  to form pooling agreements to charge more for a short haul than for a long haul under the same conditions and same traffic to grant rebates - initially ineffective


Sherman Anti-Trust Act

it made illegal “every contract, combination in the form of a trust or otherwise  or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among several states or with  a foreign nation” it authorized prosecutions by the federal district attorneys and suits for damages by any individual or firm injured by a company in violation of the Act’s provisions


American Railway Union and Eugene Debs

Socialist approach that viewed government and owners as enemies of workers


US v. EC Knight Co. 

Sugar company had monopolized industry, so Cleveland ordered a case against the trust, but the SC ruled that the sugar people were in manufacturing, not commerce, so it was okay.


Anthracite Coal Strike

Strike by the United Mine workers in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania. President Roosevelt intervened on the labor dispute as an neutral arbitrator


The Wagner Act
(National Labor Relations Act)

The Magna Carta of Labor because it ensured workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively 


Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO)

Led by John L. Lewis the CIO organized unskilled and semiskilled workers in basic manufacturing industries such as steel and automobiles.

AFL favored the organization of workers according to their skills and trades. The CIO favored the organization of all workers in a particular industry.


The Taft-Hartley
(Management Relations Act of 1947)

Whereas the Wagner Act had spoken only of the right to participate in union activities, The new act included the right to refrain from union activities.




Labor-Management Relations


Early labor unions had a difficult time achieving their goals of higher pay, shorter hours, and improved working conditions. Factory owners were strongly against the formation of unions.  They pressured the government to pass laws which restricted union activities. Federal troops were sometimes used to forcefully end strikes. The courts usually sided with the factory owners and ordered striking employees back to work. Workers at a factory who tried to start a union were regarded as troublemakers and were often dismissed from their jobs.  Most early unions, including the Knights of Labor, failed to make significant gains and eventually disappeared. But the American Federation of Labor attracted large numbers of workers and made important progress toward its goals.

As unions grew in strength, labor (the worker) and management (the factory owners) used different tactics against each other. Some of the terms in the following list refer to measures taken by labor to put pressure on management. Others represent tactics used by management to limit the power and success of the unions. Two terms in the list refer to methods used to settle differences between the two sides. Fill in the spaces below with the appropriate answers.


The Wagner Act 1935  

(National Labor Relations Act )


The Taft-Hartley Act
(Management Relations Act of 1947)

The Wagner Act 1935

The act provided for collective bargaining, handling labor disputes and recognized the right of workers to choose representatives to represent themselves in a bargaining unit. The act included the right for employees to unionize and  also established the National Labor Board (NLB) 


National Labor Relations Act 1935  

This law set limits on how employers may react to employees that organize or try to organize labor unions, engage in collective bargaining, and take part in strikes and other forms of mutual activity to support their causes





The Taft-Hartley Act

(also known as the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947), was created after a great number of large-scale strikes had nearly disabled the automobile, steel, and packing industries, among others.

These work stoppages had caused a ripple effect through the economy, leading to public panic.


The Taft-Hartley Act, an amendment to the Wagner Act of 1935, was designed to benefit all parties to a labor agreement the employer, employees, and the labor union.


Whereas the Wagner Act had spoken only of the right to participate in union activities, the new act included the right to refrain from union activities.


It was clear that this new act was designed to level the unfair playing field formerly tipped in favor of labor unions.




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.