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Lecture 7

Labour Studies – Lecture 7 Notes.docx

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McMaster University
Labour Studies
David Goutor

Labour Studies – February 26 , 2013 th Craft Unions and the AFL (Part One) Mixed Impacts of the Boom  Major leap forward technologically  Assembly lines, taylorism  Taylorizing: breaking things down into really simple tasks  Break down jobs that used to be done by skilled workers  Organized labour  Deskilling hits craft workers very hard (being replaced by technology)  Craft workers turn to unions to protect them Organizing Surge  Trades and Labour Congress Gompers’ Consumerism  Vs. Producerism o Craft workers thought of themselves as producers o Thought back to respect they commanded in society o Wanted to keep old traditions in new workplace o Gompers did not want all of concentration to be on what they are losing o New technology was giving more control to scientists/engineers, etc. o Wanted to talk about conditions, wages  Bread & Butter Unionism o In the longer term workers will be loyal to their unions if unions can deliver the goods to them o If they can bargain better wages and conditions o Wanted leverage in the workplace o Focused on concrete ideas not on the past o In the long term workers would only stay loyal to unions that could actually make their lives better o Businesses thought that if they can drive down wages they can make a bigger profit o Gompers said that a society that had low wages and cheap goods is poor o Society with highly skilled workers, good quality products that are not cheap have higher standards of living  Women & Purchasing o Wanted to mobilize women more as buyers and less as workers Gompers & Politics  “Reward your friends & punish your enemies” o Unions had to lobby for certain kinds of policies o Could not lose independence in political sphere o Had to pick issues o Whoever is on your side: work with them (friends) o Whoever is not on your side: work against them (enemies) John Flett  Organized at least 400 craft unions himself  Very sophisticated and professional organizer  Understood Canadian trades  Knew where to go, who to talk to, who to avoid  Became much more influential Craft Unions and the AFL (Part Two) Gompers & the TLC  Gompers was worried that as a lot of outsiders came to Canada they would be willing to work for lower wages  Was not happy with the Trades and Labour Congress  TLC does not fit Gompers ideals at all  Did not have political independence  Passed a lot of policies about different social, cultural issues  Not a bread and butter kind of focus Berlin, 1902  Trades and Labour Congress convention  Berlin is what Kitchener used to be called  Gompers made sure all of the new international AFL associations came to conference  Organized so they had a majority  Made the TLC perfectly in-lined with Gompers ideas  Main-stream labour movement was in the image of Gompers for a very long time Gompers in Canada  National Question  “Crisis of the Craftsman”  Pressure on craft workers continued  Deskilling continued  Workers replaced by machines  Even though Gompers asserting his power  Crisis is continuing Industrial Unionism  Base = Numbers o Mass Unionism o Craft unions were small and leverage was based on skill o Industrial unions organized everyone in an industry o Skill did not matter o Thought these unions would get more attention  Socialism o Appealed to socialists because included everyone o Socialists looking for broader sweeping change  Mining & Garment o Two established unions o United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) o So much cooperation down inside the mine o International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) o Very active in Canada and in the US o Both unions were in the AFL  British Columbia Experience & Role of Immigrant Workers (Part One) Immigration & Development  National Policy (1)Protective tariff (raises prices on imports) (2)Build a national railway (3)Encourage immigration  Almost all of labour force is immigrants Late 19 Century  Did not do very well with trying to attract people to Canada  Did not bring in enough people to settle in Canada  1870s: 30,000 to 35,000  Early 1880s: 12,000  Late 1880s: under 90,000  Mid 1890s: Early 20 Century Boom  Large amounts of people began coming in  Economy tak
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