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The Lawrence Textile Strike, known as the Bread and Roses strike - Essay Example

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The problem statement for this study is to review the events of important labour conflicts, mostly those that took place during the industrialization of the west in order to understand the reactions of workers in regard to the protection of their rights…
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The Lawrence Textile Strike, known as the Bread and Roses strike
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"The Lawrence Textile Strike, known as the Bread and Roses strike"

Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that for many decades, Lawrence has been one of the most important centres of textile manufacturing in USA. In 1900s, the textile industry in the area was well developed. The American Woollen Company ‘owned the mils in Lawrence and employed approximately 40,000 people’. In the context of the industrial revolution, the company decided to proceed to the mass replacement of skilled workers with un-skilled workers, the compensation of whose could be quite low, compared to the skilled workers. At the same time, the rents in the buildings where the workers were staying, were continuously increased leading the workers to severe concerns in regard to their capability of covering their basic needs. Workers in other regions were also suffered similar problems. The owner of the mills, the American Woollen Company, had no intention to step back in regard to the demands of the workers, as it was made clear through its reaction to the workers’ efforts. The reluctance of the company to provide fair wages, to keep the working hours stable and to ensure health and safety in the workplace has led to the development of the Lawrence Textile strike, known as the ‘Bread and Roses’ strike, the success of which was just temporary, as explained below. The union that joined the workers, the Industrial Workers of the World, has failed in securing the duration of the strike’s benefits, a fact that led to the decrease of the union’s power globally....
At the same time, the rents in the buildings where the workers were staying, were continuously increased leading the workers to severe concerns in regard to their capability of covering their basic needs (Brenner et al. 2009). Workers in other regions were also suffered similar problems. The owner of the mills, the American Woollen Company, had no intention to step back in regard to the demands of the workers, as it was made clear through its reaction to the workers’ efforts. The reluctance of the company to provide fair wages, to keep the working hours stable and to ensure health and safety in the workplace has led to the development of the Lawrence Textile strike, known as the ‘Bread and Roses’ strike, the success of which was just temporary, as explained below. The union that joined the workers, the Industrial Workers of the World, has failed in securing the duration of the strike’s benefits, a fact that led to the decrease of the union’s power globally (Greenberg and Watts 2009). 2.2 Key events of the strike - Parties The strike in Lawrence has begun in the 11th January of 1912 by workers in Everett cotton mills (Brenner et al. 2009) as ‘a reaction to the reduction in wages’ (Brenner et al. 2009, p.146). More specifically, the Polish women working in Everett cotton mills noted that their wages in January was further decreased, with no previous notice of the company. The women responded immediately: they left the workplace (Brenner et al. 2009, p.146). Shortly, workers in other regions joined the strike; the union, the Industrial Workers of the World, decided to take initiatives: a letter was sent to the company with the demands of the workers; the company did not respond (Lib organization 2006). The union decided to organize ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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