'A Broad and Ennobling Spirit'': Workers and Their Unions in by Ronald Mendel

By Ronald Mendel

With the advent of latest construction equipment and technological innovation, tradesmen and staff encountered new demanding situations. This research examines the improvement of alternate unions as a manifestation of operating type adventure in overdue Gilded Age the USA. It underscores either the special and the typical positive factors of exchange unionism throughout 4 occupations: construction tradesmen, cigar makers, garment staff, and printers. whereas reactions differed, the unions representing those employees displayed a convergence of their strategic orientation, programmatic emphasis and organizational modus operandi. As such, they weren't disparate organisations, involved purely with sectional pursuits, yet individuals in an organizational-network during which cooperation and harmony turned benchmarks for the hard work movement.Printers coped with the mechanization of typesetting by way of selling better cooperation one of the varied craft unions in the undefined, with the purpose of building powerful activity keep watch over. development tradesmen exerted a realistic militancy, which mixed moves with overtures to the employers' enterprise feel, to uphold the factors of craft hard work. Cigar makers, specifically handicraftsmen who came upon their place threatened via equipment and the expansion of manufacturing facility construction, debated the benefits of a craft-based union opposed to the potential benefits of an industrial-oriented association. Garment staff, stuck within the snare of a sweating procedure of work within which wages and paintings so much have been inversely comparable, geared up unions to mount moves throughout the busy season within the desire of securing larger wages, in basic terms to determine them whither in the course of slack classes.

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Additional info for 'A Broad and Ennobling Spirit'': Workers and Their Unions in Late Gilded Age New York and Brooklyn, 1886-1898 (Contributions in Labor Studies)

Sample text

Government indicated that female wageworkers, whether foreign or native born, were predominantly drawn from the 15 to 24 age group. In New York and Brooklyn women from this age group represented almost 60 percent of women wage earners. Conversely, they showed that women over 25 who were usually married and raising a family were less likely to become wageworkers. S. pattern. Single, young women were more likely to become wage earners than married women. However, native-born single, young women—both whose parents were native-born or foreign-born—were less likely to perform wage labor than their foreign-born counterparts.

In May 1886 approximately 150 unions were affiliated, including many local assemblies of the Knights of Labor, which constituted half of CLU’s membership. By virtue of the CLU’s breadth of organization it assumed leadership in Henry George’s campaign. The CLU published a daily newspaper, The Leader, which mobilized trade unionists for his candidacy and served as a mouthpiece for the city’s labor movement. 3 The process of trade union development during the first half of the decade revealed the ability of many of New York’s and Brooklyn’s workers to seize opportunities to organize more aggressively and confidently and press their advantage for greater influence over wage rates and conditions of employment.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac (1893), pp. 100–101; King, King’s Handbook of New York, pp. 922–934; Margaret Lattimer, Two Cities: New York and Brooklyn, The Year the Great Bridge Opened (Brooklyn Educational and Cultural Alliance, 1983), pp. D. , Columbia University, 1976), pp. 71–72. 6. David Ment, The Shaping of a Clay: A Brief History of Brooklyn (Brooklyn Educational and Cultural Alliance: 1979), p. 56. 7. United States. Eleventh Census (1890) Manufacturing in the Cities, pp. 88–97 and pp. 390–406.

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