• Tate
    1.4k
    No, it’s not close to true. Feel free to pick up literally any book about it. The labor movement far predates any “government backing,” Teddy Roosevelt, or Woodrow Wilson.

    Stop talking nonsense.
    Xtrix

    There were strikes, yes, but industrialists overtly controlled federal, state, and local governments. This meant that industrialists were free to use violence against strikers, and they usually did.

    Roosevelt was the first president to use federal troops to protect strikers. He acted without consulting the industrialists, setting up a new dynamic that made the labor movement possible.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    I've been looking into web3 ideas which may be a bit utopianPie

    What's that?
  • Mikie
    6.1k
    setting up a new dynamic that made the labor movement possible.Tate

    The labor movement far predates Roosevelt.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    The labor movement far predates RooseveltXtrix

    Ok. When I think of the labor movement, I think of the Haymarket time period. I guess you're taking a much broader view.
  • Pie
    1k
    What's that?Tate

    It's a cluster of ideas, but let me give you one, which is not so off-topic. At the moment, the internet lives on giant servers owned by the rich, so the owners of this capital can track, adslam, and censor us as they please. Yet it's technically possible for us to host the/an internet on our own devices, with security and privacy and the impossibility of censorship built in. From a 'class war' perspective, I don't want oligarchs supervising and controlling what the proles can say another (including the use of algorithms that addict us to echo chambers and outrage.)
  • Moliere
    4k
    One thing you do need to understand about the American labor movement is that it only existed in the first place due to federal backing, originally by Teddy Roosevelt and then Wilson. In Wilson's case it was in line with his progressive Christianity.Tate

    I am not trying to be aggressive, but I will say that this is wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Labor

    The labor movement was inspired by industrialization, as @unenlightened said.


    But there is a longer history to it.
  • Tate
    1.4k

    I'm just used to "labor movement" referring to the bloody conflict between the government and industrialists with labor backed by the government.

    That labor movement required government backing because of the far reaching power of the industrialists.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Interesting!
  • Banno
    23.3k
    Unions, protected by the US government, were incredibly powerful until the 1980s.Tate

    That's risible.
  • Moliere
    4k
    I don't blame you. That's the story I was told too.

    I'd just say it's only a story.

    If you are a person who must work to live, then the labor movement is for you. Even in this era, with service-sector work being primary in the imperial core.

    There is a bloody conflict, but the blood spilt is by the boss -- and the boss spills the blood of the worker.

    I believe you'd disbelieve these as metaphorical expressions. And so I feel the need to relate a personal experience: I have met people physically disabled by Starbucks. They qualified, even in this regressive government, for disability. Serving coffee.

    If you own a shop, then sure -- this is nonsense. But if you actually have to sell your labor... it aint.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    : I have met people physically disabled by Starbucks. They qualified, even in this regressive government, for disability. Serving coffee.Moliere

    That's kind of hard to believe. Maybe they had some health issue that came to light while serving coffee?

    But aren't disability payments a result of the labor movement? That, social security, medicare, worker's comp, unemployment payments, aren't all these things a sign of the government's historic loyalty to labor?
  • Mikie
    6.1k
    Have you ever worked for a union?NOS4A2

    Yep.
  • Moliere
    4k


    No. But I understand that a story on the internet is just a story, yeh? So I won't press the point.


    These were victories which were hard fought. To the point of people being shot by Pinkertons etc. The government, in the USA at least, has been mostly anti-labor and pro-capitalist. Even the relatively conservative Foner would confirm this.

    But it's ok -- I had to read them books cuz I was taught wrong too. So there's that.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    The government, in the USA at least, has been mostly anti-labor and pro-capitalist.Moliere

    Since the 1980s, yes. Before that, no.
  • Moliere
    4k
    Obviously I disagree.

    But I'm not sure that it's an interesting disagreement for myself.

    As long as you agree "since the 1980's" then you see what I'm talking about, I think. And what happened before? Just some stories that people like to tell.
  • Mikie
    6.1k
    The government, in the USA at least, has been mostly anti-labor and pro-capitalist.
    — Moliere

    Since the 1980s, yes. Before that, no.
    Tate

    The government has never been pro-union. Never.

    FDR was somewhat receptive to unions, and with the proper push was able to pass the labor relations act in ‘35. Right away there was pushback, and it was significantly weakened through Taft-Hartley in the 40s.

    Unions have had higher participation rates prior to the neoliberal assault. But the government has never been anything but pro-capitalist— including FDR.
  • Moliere
    4k
    Unions have had higher participation rates prior to the neoliberal assault. But the government has never been anything but pro-capitalist— including FDR.Xtrix

    Heh. I was attempting a softer approach, but yes, I agree.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    And what happened before? Just some stories that people like to tell.Moliere

    I was there. I was a management scab during a CWA strike once. I smile now because that whole world is gone. You've never seen a really powerful union, have you?
  • Moliere
    4k
    "really powerful" ? Naw.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    really powerful" ? Naw.Moliere

    Like the dinosaurs, they once roamed the earth.
  • Pie
    1k


    It's exciting stuff. By the way, the fire pic is great.
  • Moliere
    4k
    Eh, you're a scab.

    What do you know of "really powerful unions"?
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Eh, you're a scab.

    What do you know of "really powerful unions"?
    Moliere

    Do you know what a management scab is?
  • Moliere
    4k
    No. What is it?
  • Tate
    1.4k

    it's when you're an engineer, but you're sent to handle critical jobs that aren't being manned because of the strike.

    The strikers are fine with it because they know you aren't going to take their jobs permanently. Back then it was illegal to fill a striker's position with a new employee.

    I think you've decided to edit the history books to suit your preferred outlook. You don't want to know that the federal government protected unions in far reaching ways.
  • Moliere
    4k


    Well, then I'd say I think you're an engineer who has decided to edit the history books to suit your preferred outlook, and that you do not want to know that working people *forced* the government to help them in far-reaching ways. It was only because of the movement, though.

    I don't mind the federal government helping unions in far reaching ways, personally. If anything, I want them to do more.


    -- to me what you're describing sounds similar to when nurses organize. They can't deny their labor, because that would mean dead people, but they still gain power through organization.

    You were a cog in a grand machine. And you managed to make it work for you. Cudos!

    But there are people who are still cleaning, stocking, etc. And they are suffering.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Well, then I'd say I think you're an engineer who has decided to edit the history books to suit your preferred outlook, and that you do not want to know that working people *forced* the government to help them in far-reaching ways.Moliere

    Labor never had the power to do that. When unions were strongest, it was when the government had a policy of backing labor. When the government withdrew it's support, when Reagan shot down the air traffic controller strike, the tide turned against them and they're gone now.

    But there are people who are still cleaning, stocking, etc. And they are suffering.Moliere

    What should we do?
  • Banno
    23.3k
    The great absence in USA's labor movement is a Labour Party. That's why it is absurd to claim that the unions were politically powerful in any real sense in the USA. In many other countries, and especially in the UK and Australia, the unions actively support and fund the Labor Party.

    The Party is the political arm of the Union Movement.
  • Mikie
    6.1k
    Labor never had the power to do that.Tate

    Read about the 30s. The Wagner Act wasn’t simply a gift from above.

    the tide turned against them and they're gone now.Tate

    They’re not gone.
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