A History of Trade Unionism in the United States

By Selig Perlman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
REVIVAL AND UPHEAVAL, 1879-1887

With the return of business prosperity in 1879, the labor movement revived. The first symptom of the upward trend was a rapid multiplication of city federations of organized trades, variously known as trade councils, amalgamated trade and labor unions, trades assemblies, and the like. Practically all of these came into existence after 1879, since hardly any of the "trades' assemblies" of the sixties had survived the depression.

As was said above, the national trade unions existed during the sixties and seventies in only about thirty trades. Eighteen of these had either retained a nucleus during the seventies or were first formed during that decade. The following is a list of the national unions in existence in 1880 with the year of formation: Typographical ( 1850), Hat Finishers ( 1854), Iron Molders ( 1859), Locomotive Engineers ( 1863), Cigar Makers ( 1864), Bricklayers and Masons ( 1865), Silk and Fur Hat Finishers ( 1866), Railway Conductors ( 1868), Coopers ( 1870), German-American Typographia ( 1873), Locomotive Firemen ( 1873), Horseshoers ( 1874), Furniture Workers ( 1873), Iron and Steel Workers ( 1876), Granite Cutters ( 1877), Lake Seamen ( 1878), Cotton Mill Spinners ( 1878), New England Boot and Shoe Lasters ( 1879).

In 1880 the Western greenbottle blowers' national union was established; in 1881 the national unions of

-81-

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