Ole Ole Olson outlines a concise history of Organized Labor and compares that struggle to the Madison Labor Movement. Completely stole this from News Junkie Post
Photo by Jess Dennis
May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions
"On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested. Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished. This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler’s state police.
Fast forward to America today, particularly Wisconsin. Governor Walker and the Republican/Tea Party members of the state legislature are attempting to pass a bill that would not only severely punish public unions (with exception for the police, fire, and state trooper unions that supported his campaign), but it would effectively end 50 years to the right of these workers to collectively bargain.
Decimating unions has long been an objective of the rich and powerful. Growing out of trade guilds in Medieval Europe, they were banned starting with the Ordinance of Labourers 1349 and Statute of Labourers in England. It was not until the Industrial Revolution that labor began to organize again.
Every little gain for the rights of workers was hard fought and bitterly resisted by the rich and powerful. The photo above (see it here) shows the Lawrence Textile Strike (also known as the Bread and Roses strike) where mostly immigrant workers rebelled against increasingly harsh work conditions and lowered pay caused by mechanization. Specifically, state law mandated a reduction in working hours for women and children from 56 to 54 hours, and factory owners responded by cutting salaries, something the poor workers could not afford.
Over time, organized labor managed to abolish child labor all together, as well as institute an 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, mandatory breaks, safety guidelines, grievance procedures, a minimum wage, the concept of a work free weekend, workers comp, pensions, health safeguards, and paid sick days, vacation days, and holidays. If you enjoy any of these things, thank a union member and support the passage of a strong Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)."
Read the rest here. Includes great pictures, charts and graphs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back describing each one. (thanks Arlo) An excellent read.
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