How did industrialism affect workers?
Industrialism affected workers in multiple ways, it made some professions that up to this point in history had been considered skilled trades, such as the cobbler or blacksmith into low or no skill jobs through the use of new machinery and technology. Secondly, Industrialism made it possible for workers to work around the clock through the invention of electricity and Edison’s Lightbulb. Industrialism monetized peoples time, you no longer needed a marketable skill to earn money, rather you just needed to have the Braun and will to work in industry repeating the same task daily.
Why did employers find unions so objectionable, even dangerous?
The list of grievances that employees held against their employers was massive mainly, long working hours, poor workplace safety, next to no job security and no set wage laws. Employers saw unions as dangerous because they gave the power of numbers to the workers. A single person or even a group of 5 or 10 walking out of a factory isn’t a big deal as they are easily replaced, but if you lose the entirety of everyone in your employ, your production comes to a grinding halt. Unions made this threat very real, anyone who threatens a business’s profits is obviously going to be objectionable and may even be seen as dangerous by business owners.
What benefits did workers see in unions?
Workers saw in unions the ability to negotiate instead of beg. They saw a vehicle that could carry them to a reasonable and safe work environment. They saw a chance to achieve “The American dream.” A tool to find a solution to the list of grievances I mentioned above is the main thing that propelled people to attempt to unionize. The best illustration of the need to organize is an illustration of a fish eating many smaller fish, but if the smaller fish work together they can form a school that can’t possibly be eaten. Unions organized the smaller fish and made them into a formidable opponent to big business.