Rise of Labor Unions

Directions: Use the websites below to research the goals, methods, obstacles and successes/failures of three early labor unions: The Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor and the United Mine Workers.

Goals: These are things the unions are fighting for and would like to see happen.  As you read about the unions, look for things that they are fighting for.  Examples include better pay and health care. 

Methods:  These are the strategies and tactics that unions used to achieve their goals.  In other words, look for actions taken by the unions in order to get what they want.

Challenges:  These are the things that stood in the way of unions.  They could be laws or people such as business owners who did not want to give their workers a raise.

Success/Failure:  Look for examples of success.  Examples include increases in union membership or a successful strike.  Also look for examples of failure.  Examples include a decline in union membership or strikes that did not achieve the goal of the union. 

Knights of Labor

American Federation of Labor

United Mine Workers