The West Coast Longshoremen’s Strike of 1934

The West Coast Longshoremen’s Strike of 1934

Before their strike in 1934, dockhands on the West Coast were paid a pittance in exchange for performing bone-crushing physical labor. No matter how heavy or dangerous the cargo, it fell upon the longshoreman to haul it almost entirely by hand: Workers pulled and...
The Steel Strike of 1919

The Steel Strike of 1919

At the turn of the 20th century, industrial expansion was the apple of America’s eye. Factories churned out products from silverware to guns to cars at a breakneck pace. A web of railroads tied the country together. Cities began to expand not just out, but up, with...
History of the Labor Movement

History of the Labor Movement

While there had been scattered strikes in the Thirteen Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War, America’s labor movement did not take root until the mid-19th century. In fact, during the early years of the United States, labor unions were actually considered...
Looking Back on the Great Coal Strike of 1902

Looking Back on the Great Coal Strike of 1902

In the early 1900s, the most widespread method for heating homes was by burning anthracite coal–also known as “hard” coal–which could be found in abundance in Pennsylvania. The coal mining industry employed hundreds of thousands of workers, and by the turn...
What Exactly is a Labor Union

What Exactly is a Labor Union

Why do labor unions need to exist? What do they accomplish? These are questions one might ask when considering the definition and use of a labor union. Defining “Labor Union” To understand the history and current functions of labor unions, it is important to first...