was the period from 1970-1980 a turning point for Labour Rights?

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  • Was the period from the 1870s to the 1880s a turning point for labour rights?
    • 1869: Formation of knights of Labour
      • Founded in 1869 by Uriah Smith Stephens. Gained really momentum when Terence V. Powderly became leader. His intention was to  unite skilled and unskilled labour, and to remove the barriersof racial and gender equality.
    • 1869: Formation of the Negro Labour Union
      • The Colored National Labor Union arrived shortly after the development of the National Labor Union, which happened to be the first major organization founded by Andrew Cameron in 1866. The National Labor Union was dedicated with helping unions such as construction and other skilled groups and even sometimes towards farmers
    • 1873: Molly Maguires (unskilled unions)
      • Group of irish immigrant miners who formed a secret association to fight for better conditions. During a series of strikes in 1873 they derailed trains, overturned cars and caused chaos. Pinkerton detectives inflitrated the organisation and 19 men were arrested, convicted and hanged.
    • 1886: Formation of American Federation of Labour (focused mainly on skilled workers, some employer support)
      • They worked on practically advancing labout rights by wanting to increase wages and decrease working hours using legal reform, striking and boycotts. The AFL had over 2 million workers but represented only a small bit of the workforce
    • BUT continuing dominance of Big Buisness with federal government support (laissez-faire): unions weakened by divisions and violence; local (state) law enforcers used to break strikes.
    • 1886: Haymarket Affair
      • The Haymarked Affair during this time of 1886 had a serious negative impact on trade union rights. As a result of this violence, intense racial divisions ensured in the workplace between skilled and unskilled labourers. The arrival of immigration exacerbatted this which limited the progress of both trade union rights and labour rights.


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