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Labor Movement in America


Students will appreciate this Jackdaw’s keen, historic view of the brutal labor conditions of earlier decades and of the modern-day labor movement that has produced vastly improved conditions, which may impact their own future careers. Vivid, hands-on documents attest to the terrible conditions and labor’s struggles for fair treatment. Students, some who think they have it hard today, will be amazed by extremely demanding early employment rules, “yellow dog” contracts, the wages paid for very hard work in the 1920s, and employers’ strong-arm tactics. The replicas of union and government documents, ads and handbills add to student enlightenment. Historian: James A. Crutchfield. The contents of this Jackdaw feature:

  • At Work in Early America
  • Rise of the Large Labor Organizations
  • Raising a Nation’s Awareness
  • The Merger of American Labor
Timeline and Who’s Who in the Labor Movement Historical Documents
  • Rules of the Dover Manufacturing Company, early 1800s.
  • Newspaper advertisement announcing a meeting of workers, 1837.
  • Union membership certificate, 1886.
  • AFL statement of purpose, 1893.
  • Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World, c. 1905.
  • AFL leaflet: “How to prevent Consumption,” 1906.
  • Labels used by AFL-affiliated unions, 1912.
  • “Yellow Dog” contract.
  • Federated Trades and Labor Council recruitment handout, 1928.
  • Letter from AFL president, William Green, to labor federations on ratification of Child Labor Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1935.
  • AFL “Congratulations Chevrolet Workers” leaflet, 1935.
  • Page 4 of Ford Facts, April 19, 1941.
  • Cover and page 5 from Ammunition, August 1944.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights,” Jan. 11, 1944.
  • CIO handbill: “Communist Gangster Tactics Beaten!!” c. 1949.
  • Documents relating to the AFL-CIO merger, 1955.
Study Guide / Lesson Plan – Reproducible Activities

Price: $69.50



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