Talk:Labor history of the United States

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Communism?[edit]

in the "Strikes of 1919" section, is a citation from a 1951 red-scare-era document a legitimate source to claim a strike was in fact run by "communists intent on destroying capitalism"? 50.189.38.64 (talk) 05:20, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

red scare era?? hardly-- it's based on leading scholars at major universities all of whom published many books and articles over 30+ year careers: (David Brody, Labor in crisis: The steel strike of 1919 (University of Illinois Press, 1965); Robert K. Murray, "Communism and the great steel strike of 1919." Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1951): 445-466; Philip Taft, The A.F.L. in the time of Gompers (1957); Stanley Coben (1972). A. Mitchell Palmer: politician. Robert K. Murray, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919–1921. (1955). Rjensen (talk) 05:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Untitled[edit]

This is a skeleton that will be filled in part by part, regarding organized labor. A different article will be needed to cover the broader theme of working class history in the US Rjensen 06:30, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

What happened?[edit]

What happened to the development of this article? I'd really like to see it continue to improve, whoever started it! Wikidea 15:39, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Possible Bias?[edit]

The section about Reagan seems pretty heavily biased against him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zaporozhian (talkcontribs) 18:28, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

These should be sourced[edit]

I removed these unsourced statements:

From 1890 to 1917 the unionized wages rose from 17 dollars and 57 cents to 23 dollars and 98 cents and the average work week fell from 54.4 to 48.9 hours a week. The problem was that skilled workers were only 30% of the work force and that wasn’t enough to keep the AFL going.

It appears to be a mix of un-sourced data, and un-sourced opinion. Richard Myers (talk) 20:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

recent edits by rjensen[edit]

This new edit by rjensen:

"...the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen ... have always remain independent of the AFL..."

... is contradicted by other histories. However, i don't have the source used for this edit, so cannot determine where the precise error exists.

Consider, Debs went to Gompers for help to rescue the ARU when the government stepped in with militia and federal marshals in order to destroy it. Gompers (as head of the AFL) saw his role as helping the government to sabotage the ARU — an "upstart" industrial union — in order to rebuild the railway brotherhoods. So as of 1894, the above edit fails. Some change or clarification seems necessary.

I am also opposed to the removal of the Haymarket section. Richard Myers (talk) 01:54, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

A couple of links with some relevance to this discussion:
Labor_federation_competition_in_the_United_States#Industrial_unionism_in_the_Pullman_Strike
Industrial_unionism#Industrial_unionism_as_rejection_of_craft_unionism
Richard Myers (talk) 02:08, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
On the RR Brotherhoods--they were outside/independent/not members of the AFL (they did sometimes cooperate informally on some issues.) Haymarket is there bjut is now closely tied to its impact on the Knights of Labor--the old version had elaborate details with names of victims and details on anarchists and so on that is not suitable for a wide-ranging article on all of labor history. (They details are fully covered in the main Wiki Haymarket articles)Rjensen (talk) 02:25, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, i've continued to explore this issue. I found this helpful: American_Federation_of_Labor#Non-affiliated_railroad_brotherhoods
I think the cooperation may have been beyond "informal", particularly in the case of the ARU. I think it may be more informative to state that the "big four" railway brotherhoods remained unaffiliated with, rather than independent of, the AFL. I note that some railway unions did affiliate. I'd be interested to know which "railway brotherhoods" Gompers was most interested in helping, in declining to support the ARU -- those that were affiliates, or those he hoped would affiliate. Thanks for the response. Richard Myers (talk) 02:59, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ahhh, thanks for the clarification in the article. Much better, i think. Richard Myers (talk) 03:07, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
thanks. Rjensen (talk) 04:16, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

highly visible Senate hearings led by Robert Kennedy in the late 1950s[edit]

The implication is that Robert Kennedy was a Senator in the late 1950's, he was "chief counsel of the 1957–59 Senate Labor Rackets Committee under chairman John L. McClellan."

Also, the paragraph seems to gloss over the subject of it's title, "Teamsters and corruption" and focus on political maneuvering exploiting Teamster corruption. The entire paragraph leaves me with the confused sense that the Republicans/conservatives were entirely self-serving in "opposing" labor corruption, leaving by implication, that Union corruption isn't such a bad thing and Democrats/liberals were not opposed to it. PLUS I didn't learn much of anything about the Teamsters and corruption. Gloryroad (talk) 15:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

WTF!!! The economic prosperity of the 1920s???[edit]

Economic growth from 1920-1932 (the period of greatest Republican control in the last century) totaled under 10% for 12 years. Economic growth from 1933-1945 (an equivalent period of democratic control) was 10% per year. Even if it is repeated a lot, isn't it possible to strike this nonsense simply on the basis that 5 minutes spent at the Bureau of Labor Statistics will show that it is simply not true?

Econonomic prosperity (as measured by GDP growth) for 1920-1929 was only slightly above average despite massive liquidity bubbles caused by migrating savings from the poor to the rich and increasing financial asset industries to an unsustainable (without printing money) 40% of the economy. Ignoring the Great Depression when talking about the 1920s, though, is like ignoring the subsequent landing while talking about your fun fall off the empire state building.70.90.210.146 (talk) 01:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

that's a heavy-handed POV note based on bad non-data. The goal here is to be nonpartisan. GNP growth 1921-29 was a very strong 6.0% that is double the long-term average of about 3% (HistStats 1976 series F31) Lebergott gives real earnings (in 1914 dollars, for all employees (deducting for unemployment) as 1921 = $566 and 1929 = $793, a real gain of 40% [Hist Stats series D 725]. Rjensen (talk) 01:14, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

PATCO[edit]

Much of the information under the "Reagan and Unions" section is misleading.

It makes it sounds as if Reagan came out and asked them if they wanted a raise. In fact, PATCO fought hard for the offer they received (they called for a strike to get it--even though they called it off when the administration's bargaining unit finally caved and offered them something). The other point is that this itself was historic. PATCO got the federal government to bargain over wages for the first time!

Additionally the claim that PATCO brought about the decline of labor is very controversial. Something should be added to balance it out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.82.217.107 (talk) 22:15, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

controversial?? what reliable sources are you using? Craig (2008) says "it appears that this event marked the beginning of a long period of decline for unions"; Taylor (2011) says, "The 1981 PATCO strike stigmatized just about everyone who came into contact with and for better or worse, it changed the course of American labor. From 1980 to 1984, organized labor lost 2.7 million members"; Davin (2009) says "The destruction of PATCO was a fundamental shift"; Levin-Waldman (2001) says "There are perhaps several reasons for why unions have declined, but the Reagan administration's handling of the PATCO Air Traffic Controllers' strike stands out as among the more important."; Cooper (2012) says "Both Thatcher and Reagan stood up to major unions and oversaw a decline in union membership."; Crosby (2005) says " PATCO is the strike from which many American unionists date their decline."; Cloud (2011) says " the emblematic moment of the period from 1955 through the 1980s in American labor was the tragic PATCO strike in 1981." Rjensen (talk) 22:42, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Much of the literature has taken to seeing PATCO as a major determinant of today's labor strength. This is really not based on rigorous analysis of the data available, but is based on anecdotal account. PATCO was indeed a sign of the times, but little supports it actually caused lasting harm to labor. Lots of people have published on this. See Farber and Western (2002); Moody (2007); and Grimes (1995). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.41.231.188 (talk) 04:43, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Tool and Die Strike of 1939[edit]

Can someone try link to this orphaned article please? Gbawden (talk) 07:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Labor History or the history of organised labor?[edit]

There is a field of study called "Labor History" which is solely concerned with an institutional approach of labor relations and the development of organised labor. In that respect, this page fits exactly with the expectations someone well-versed in academic lingo could have. BUT a more profane reader may expect something else from this page. In particular, it would seem normal to find information about the demographics of the labour-force, tables reflecting the evolution of wages, etc. on such a page. One could also expect at least one mention of the word "slavery" in a page devoted to the history of labour in the USA.

So, for the sake of clarity, it is probable that this page should be copy-pasted into another called "The History of Organized Labour in the USA" and the "Labor history of the US" should be devoted to a broader approach of the history of labour in the country.

Any thought?

Maharbbal (talk) 14:34, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

a very different article would indeed be useful but no one has written it. Until it is available this article works well. The opening makes its role clear: he labor history of the United States describes the history of organized labor, as well as more general history of working people Rjensen (talk) 17:44, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
If it was to be written, how would one do it? I could contribute but can't do it alone, could we summon the dark lords or something?Maharbbal (talk) 10:18, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

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