During the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, many workers were facing hardships. Employers ruled the working industry by making their own rules, and harsh working conditions. Because of the industrialism, which the era of raw materials, cheap labor, and new technology (Ch. 16 PowerPoint), many American families faced hard times.
Employees experienced extremely low wages, very unsafe working conditions, and no where to go to improve. These low wages caused lack of income in American homes, which then led to child labor (473). When the parents in the household couldn’t provide for the family because of their low wages, children would then begin working in factories also. The unsafe working conditions led to many injuries in the work environment and in some cases, death. The employers did not care about their employees and the poor conditions that they supported. They just were focused on maximizing their profit (473).
Employees wanted to do something about the harsh working conditions that they were facing. Many workers formed a union to try to demand better working conditions and higher wages. Employers did not appreciate the unions that were formed. They found them objectionable because they disagreed with their employees arguments. Employers did not want to pay their workers higher wages because the cost of production was high, so they wanted to only give them minimal wages so that they could still earn a profit (475). Employers also found unions dangerous in nature, and to their company. Unions were considered dangerous because they often lead to strikes which they had to send soldiers in to clear out (474). Employers saw unions as dangerous to their company because when their employees would go on strike, they refused to work. When employees refused to work, production decreased which caused consumers to have to buy that product from another company (475). This resulted in a decrease of sales for the company.
Employees wanted to join the unions because they saw many benefits in them. They were formed because workers thought that if they formed a large group, they could have a spokesperson who got through to the business owner (474). By forming this group, workers hoped that they would reach higher wages. They saw benefits such as higher wages, safer working conditions, and respect throughout the workplace (478).