Samuel Gompers
  • Marxist, cigar maker
  • Founded the American Federation of Labor in 1886, president until he died in 1924
  • Hostile environment for unions
    • Govt. crushed strikes
    • Used Sherman Antitrust Act
    • Injunctions prohibited strikes
  • American Federation of Labor
    • 1890’s, focused on organizing skilled workers
    • skilled workers looked down on unskilled workers
    • “bread and butter” issues, not government reguation of economy and workplace
    • Negotiated contracts with employers to set the wages
    • 2 million members
    • Allowed other unions to participate, like the United Mine Workers (UMW)
  • Lochner v. New York, 1905
    • Supreme Court declared a New York law limiting bakery employees to 10-hr day unconstitutional, discourages AFL
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