The Social Unrest: Studies in Labor and Socialist Movements

The Social Unrest: Studies in Labor and Socialist Movements

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The Social Unrest: Studies in Labor and Socialist Movements

The Social Unrest: Studies in Labor and Socialist Movements

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Though the tides of business prosperity are just now at their height, a plague of embittered strikes has fallen upon our industries. Especially have they fallen upon interests that are partly of public character or (what is fast becoming the same thing) upon those that have grown great by combination. Overtopping all others has been the prolonged and momentous strife in Pennsylvania. In the anthracite coal regions the miners won in the struggle of 1900, but the victory brought little contentment. It was followed by more than a hundred local strikes, only to break out at last into a strife that has stirred public opinion as no other event in our labor history.

From the time when the government first began in 1881 to make record of labor controversies, the list swells to more than 3000 strikes in the coal industry. Between 1881 and 1900 there were 2515.

This has led to the common assertion that labor disturbances are in some way peculiar to coal mining. Very special features attach to the extraction of coal, but the unrest as marked by strikes is precisely what one finds, for example, in the metal, clothing, and building trades; strikes in the building trade are indeed highest in the list. It is yet true that no industry offers the student of social unrest a fitter field for study . . .

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