Industries & Unions

Industrialism; Similar to many things it had positive and negative effects. For example, the big factories could give many men, women, and children jobs with no past experience needed. On the downside, most industries, and factories were so focused on the profits, owners lost sight of what was important. The CEO’s didn’t care about their workers. Which lead to harsh and even dangerous working conditions, and unfair wages. The factories became so focused on the big picture of expanding the company to make more profit they did not care the sacrifice the workers had to make.

Workers soon formed unions. These factory workers could come together to fight against the unfair conditions. For employers unions became harmful. Before the unions, the factories could hire many people, force them to work long shifts with low pay. After the unions had formed, and workers began to go on strike. The factories then started to fall behind on orders. When the factories are not able to supply the demand they lost money.

The unions were helpful to the workers though. The worker’s voices became louder when they became united. If only one worker had gone on strike then the company would just replace them. However, when that one person formed a union, and they all stood together they were able to show the employers things had to change.

11 thoughts on “Industries & Unions

  1. A few questions about Industrialism today and the effects of it. Are Unions outdated today and unnecessary? Overall would you say that Industrialism was a good or bad thing? All of these are things to think about today and the effects that industrialism still has. Good post Leah!

    1. Unions today seem to be a little outdated and unnecessary depending on field of employment however they continue to serve the same purpose for which they were originally created. Just as they were when they started as a way to ensure fair treatment, safe work conditions, and proper wages. Labor unions can help keep history from repeating itself by keeping employers in check. Helping prevent sweat shops, unsafe working conditions, unlivable wages, and child labor. Some of the positives to industrialism would be the increase of job opportunities, the ability to transport raw materials, the steam engine was invented, and urbanization started. On the flip side industrialism caused overcrowding in cities and health problems due to living conditions. Without the industrial revolution we wouldn’t be where we are today. It was a way for us to learn from our mistakes and make advances in society that would make more productive ways to manufacture goods, and ship products.

  2. Do you think it was more important for workers to be treated fairly or for businesses to keep the flow of money coming in? Do you think if Unions were never formed the workplace still be the same as it was in the Gilded Ages? It is hard to imagine workers were forced to work such long hours with little pay.

    1. i feel like these questions would make a great plot to a movie. I cant began to imagine the thought of the workplace and environment today if unions were never established in the Gilded Age. Im sure that without the formation of unions, big businesses would still hold the majority if not all the power. i think that child labor would still be in use and the pay for jobs would still be terrible.
      that was a good point you brought up, and makes you realize that without the formations of unions, life as we know it could be very different.

    2. Ally,
      I think both having happy workers and making a profit are important things. My understanding is businesses then and now, can grow more and better when their workers are happy. I do not mean the workers need to be greeted with doughnuts and coffee every morning and need to be smiling 24/7. Happy as in going to work is not harming them because of the conditions. If workers feel valued by their employer, are safe at work, and are paid well for their time, they are able to work better and faster. Leading to higher quality work in less time, and factories able to satisfy more customers. Which leads to more money, and being able to expand the company.

      I believe if Unions had not formed at that time, it would not have been much longer before something did change. It may not have been a union, but in the last 150 years workers or employers, most have changed something.

  3. I thought you brought up a good point when you stated the final couple sentences of your post. It was way easier for employers to fire just one person and give the job to an immigrant, or someone else, rather firing a large group of people. And the unions created a job security for workers back then, which was huge having that sense of job security, as well as the workplace improvements because it showed workers that the big businesses weren’t in complete power and the workers did in fact had a voice.
    Nice job.

  4. Great blog, I have a few questions regarding your information. Do you think agreed with the creation of labor unions? You stated that “factories became so focused on the big picture of expanding the company to make more profit they did not care the sacrifice the workers had to make”, Do you think the benefits for workers that came from labor unions were more important than the success of the companies? You provided great information regarding industrialism and why workers formed labor unions, good job.

  5. I enjoyed your blog, but I have a few questions that would better understand how you feel on the topic. My first question is that although these men were treated bad and you obviously are against it, do you think the productivity of the workers was higher or lower in these times? Also, do you think that the productivity of the workers would have been better or worse if treated differently? Other than this I loved this blog about industrialism and how these poorly treated workers stood up for a change.

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I’m not exactly sure if the productivity level was higher or lower. I can think of reasons for both sides. They may have been lower because of the bad work conditions. However, the productivity levels may have been higher because the motivation and need to work.
      I do believe the workers could have been more productive if they were treated better.

  6. You posted that the businesses lost sight of what was important, and I completely agree! The way they treated workers was just what they wanted them to be, machines. Most people believe that with the unions workers were able to slack off, but I believe they did better. When I feel confident and more productive it’s when I know my team has my back. You had some good information on your post! How do you feel the unions effected the actual production of the businesses?

  7. I currently work on a union. Since the right-to-work law was enforced, employees have the option to not pay union dues, but still receive the benefits of the union. Benefits include higher pay, better benefits, representation when necessary within the workforce. I think unions today still have a lot of credibility in the work force, as they fight for and protect employees from the corporate machine that doesn’t seem to care.

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