The History of Labor Strikes

Monday, December 04, 2006

Violence of Labor Strikes

When workers at the Chevrolet Motor company started a riot, national gurad troops were forced to intervene. The riot was the result of strikers fighting with workers of the company. The strikers were trying to prevent the workers (who was doing their job) from going to work. The new workers were armed with clubs and used them on the strikers.


Sit-in (as shown in the picture on the right) was a strategy used by strikers. This was affective because it was a peaceful way to strike, while still stopping the productivity of a company.

The cartoon to the right shows that when factory workers went to work, they lost a lot of their rights. One reason for workers to strike was because of the bad working conditions.


Most citizens of the United States are protected by labor laws, which protect them from unregulated industry. Over the course of history many workers have fought and died for the protection of industry. Many government troops were hired to crush strikes and often were called out to firing the protesters.

Labor Unions

Most strikes are undertaken by labor unions during collective bargaining with an employer. According to News Media Guild, 98% of union contracts in the United States are settling each year without a strike. Workers decide to strike without the approval of a labor union, either because the union refuses to support such a tactic, or because the workers concerned are not unionized. Strikes are often described as unofficial strikes, without union authorization are also known as wildcat strikes.

Political Aspect

A strike is a work stoppage caused by the refusal of employees to perform work. Strikes first became important during the industrial revolution, when labor became important in factories and mines. Strikes were quickly made illegal in most countries, as factory owners had much more political power than workers. Most western countries partially legalized striking in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Strikes were used to put pressure on governments to change politics.
Examples: The Gdansk shipyard strike led by Lech Walesa. This strike was significant in the struggle for political change in Poland, and was an important mobilized effort that contributed to the fall of governments in communist East Europe.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Hi we're "AK," we have the same initials. On this blog page we will be discussing the causes of labor strikes, and how they effect both the employees and employers.