- How might a worker benefit from belonging to a union whose members all do the same kind of work? How might a worker benefit from joining a union that represents different trades?
- What benefits are there for unions of various trades when they form
a central labor body, such as the Rochester Central Trades and Labor Council?
- Why have the length of the workday, safety regulations, and factory inspections been such important issues for workers?
- Research the Rochester Labor Council: what unions belong to it, what workers does it represent, what does it do for its members, what is its role in the community?
- Interview a worker from one of the trade unions and write a description of a typical day in this person's work.
- Interview representatives from several unions. Develop questions about
how their union supports its workers, the business it is a part of, and the
community its workers represent.
Knights of Labor: Founded in 1869 this was America’s first
nation-wide labor organization. By 1896 they had organized 3
million workers into 12,000 locals in 5,000 communities. Members
worked in varied occupations and included women, blacks and ethnic
minorities. The Knights demanded an 8-hour workday and equal
pay for equal work, tried to eliminate child labor, and fought
to legalize unions and nationalize transportation and communications.
Map/Guide, # 1, 10, 20, 33, 43
Directory of Unions Affiliated with the Rochester Labor Council,
AFL-CIO (Published annually by the Labor Council).
Thomas R. Brooks, Toil and Trouble. (1964)
Leon Litwack, The American Labor Movement. (1962)