History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2

By John R. Commons; David J. Saposs et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
REORGANISATION, 1888-1896

The Perfection of the Class Alignment. Decreased influence of industrial fluctuations, 472. The trade agreement idea, 472. The huge corporation, 473. The courts, 473.

The Progress of the Trade Unions. New unions, 473. Increase in membership, 474. Strikes during 1888, 474. The Burlington strike, 474. Resumption of the eight-hour struggle, 475. Action of the convention of the Federation in 1888, 475. The agitational campaign, 475. Selection of the carpenters as the entering wedge, 476. Their success, 477. Unwise selection of the miners to follow the carpenters, 477. End of the eighthour movement, 478. General appraisal of the movement, 478. Backwardness of the bricklayers on the shorter hours question, 478. The tradeagreement idea in the building trades, 479. The closed shop, 479. The stove moulders' agreement, 480. Peculiarity of the industry from the marketing standpoint, 480. The Stove Founders' National Defense Association, 480. The St. Louis strike, 481. Further strikes, 481. The national trade agreement of 1890, 481.

The Liquidation of the Knights of Labor. Decrease in membership, 1886- 1890, 482. Relative increase in importance of the rural membership, 482. Increasing aversion to strikes, 483. Relations to the Federation, 483. Grievances of the trade unions, 483. Rival local trade organisations, 483. Mutual "scabbing," 484. Refusal of the Order to participate in the eighthour movement of 1890, 484. Final efforts for a reconciliation, 485. Their failure, 485. Withdrawal from the Order of the national trade asemblies, 486. Shoemakers, 486. Machinists, 486. Spinners, 486. Situation in the coal mining industry, 487. The United Mine Workers of America, 487. Situation in the beer-brewing industry, 488. Increasing predominance of politics and of the farmer element in the Order, 488. The Southern Farmers' Alliance, 488. Pivotal raôle of the merchant in the Southern economy, 488. Northern Farmers' Alliance, 489. The Shreveport session of the Southern Alliance, 1887, 490. The Agricultural Wheel, 490. Session of the Southern Alliance in 1889, and the abandonment of co-operation for legislative reform, 490. Alliance with the Knights of Labor, 491. The common programme, 491. Middle-class character of the Knights, 492. Political successes in 1890, 492. The Knights and an independent reform party, 493. Cincinnati convention in 1891 and the People's party, 493. Omaha convention in 1892, 494. Election of J. R. Sovereign as Grand Master Workman of the Knights, 494. His farmer philosophy, 494.

The Reverses of the Trade Unions. Neglect of legislation by the Federation, 495. The Homestead strike, 495. Negotiations for a new scale of wages, 496. Battle with the Pinkertons, 497. Defeat of the union and the elimination of unionism, 497. The miners' strike at Cœur d'Alène, 497. Quelling the strike, 498. The switchmen's strike in Buffalo, 498. Its fail-

-471-

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