Vision of America 2nd Edition- Volume Two by Keene
Various problems were faced by factory workers during the Gilded Age. There was an increase in labor violence as industrialists fought with workers over workplace control. The increase in competition and costs incurred in industries made the labor practices to be adverse. Harsh conditions such as long working hours, unsafe work conditions and low wages were endured by workers. High risks associated with workers’ lives proved to be a challenge as insurance companies declined to offer life insurance services. These factors affected the factory workers greatly.
For the problems in the labor market to be reduced, the workers organized themselves into labor unions. Through the unions, the workers first took part in violence and strikes with the objectives of minimizing work place adversities. Key events such as the Haymarket Riot of 1886 as well as the Pullman Strike of 1893 were changing points in labor history. The workers however faced great challenges in the formation of unions due to the restrictions of employers. As a result, there were continued conflicts between the employers and the employees. The National Labor union had 77 delegates who represented all the factory workers. The labor union made it possible to implement the labor legislation which aimed at protecting the rights of workers. The workers had a right to work for only 8 hours a day. The formation of the national labor union was an important milestone as it led to unity of workers and also made it possible to achieve more cooperation in labor relations.
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