Topic: Using my video, the annotated article (notice that I made some remarks where I disagree with the author), and the texts, discuss the 1885 Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike. The Ten Hour Law (1885), which working men (united under the Knights of Labor) fought for, was not effective enough to protect Michigan’s working men. Although a plethora of strikes were waged in numerous industries over long hours of work, this week, let’s concentrate on the struggle within the context of the 1885 Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike. What does the strike tell us about industrial relations and the balance of power between laborers and employers in the late 19th century?
One thought on “Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237”
Obviously tensions were high, and obviously the balance of power was heavily in favor of the employers. This means that if anything was going to be different it would happen one of three ways. Either the workers would facilitate a change in hours worked and wages, the employers do it on their own or are forced to through rising market demand for workers and/or more lumber, or thorough government intervention (yuck). This era is a good example of rising tensions within a recently industrialized America.