Trade Unions: 1890's


Recognition and right to collective bargain

  • AA during Pullman Strike accepted collective bargaining agreement with wage cuts but was due to expire so negotiations between Frick and AAs failed and locked union out of plant when no collective bargaining agreement was reached
  • Section 10 of Erdman Act > employers could not stipulate that workers were not allowed to join a union
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Right to strike and protest

  • Workers patrolled Monongahela River to block any attempt by mangement to bring in scab labour (Homestead Strike)
  • 18th July > 16 strike leaders arrested and charged with conspiracy, riot and murder
  • 3000 Pullman workers went on wildcat strike
  • ARU members asked to refuse to operate trains using Pullamn carriages
  • Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) >> 1st Federal anti-trust law authorised federal action against 'any combination in form of trusts or otherwise conspiracy in restraint of trade'
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Right to arbitration

  • Negotiation with Frick were not successfuland AA announced company broke contract by locking out workers 
  • Pullman company refused to discuss arbitration procedures
  • Erdman Act (1898) > protected the railroad unions by providing arbitration for disputes between interstate railroads and their workers
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Workers' Rights

  • Frick made a 22% wage decrease after negotiations in 22% affecting nearly half union membership (Homestead Strike)
  • In Pullman Town he cut wages by 25% and laid off over 1/3 of workforce, no reduction in rents or prices
  • After Homestead >>> steel industry not unionised
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