Trade Unions and Labour Rights and the Gilded Age - Coggle Diagram
Trade Unions and Labour Rights and the Gilded Age
The Gilded Age, from around 1875 to 1900 saw a significant growth in the American economy.
However, there is a debate about whether this growth, which was around 7% a year brought benefits to workers?
Wages rose by around 60%
The increase in transport and heavy industry created demand for labour
The number of unions increased and saw a rapid growth in membership.
The Knights of Labor, which included women and African Americans, grew from 20,000 members in 1881, to around 700,000 by 1886
The American Federation of Labor was the first successful national labour federation, seeking to link all unions
Unions extended their influence into politics at both a national and local level, contributing and campaigning on issues such as immigration
It was a period of increasing inequality and poverty for many in the workforce.
2% of the population owned 30% of wealth
The wages of unskilled workers were about 30% of those of skilled workers, and the majority of jobs were unskilled positions
The increase in mechanisation led to a decline in the demand for workers in some industries
Workers were often laid off during quite periods and received no pay
The violence of striked damaged support for unions
The late 1880s saw an economic slump that increases unemployment and reduced wages
The workforce was divided by race and skill level - Immigration increased tension and reduced wages
The government largely supported business through it’s laissez-faire policies and so workers revied little protection of rights