Answer Question, John Lewis, Leaders, Congress Of Industrial Organization (Coursework Sample)
60 words for each question. Make sure the answers come from the reading material.
Reading: Chapter 9--p 445-491
Chapter 10--p517-536, p541-547
Short Answer Questions
Short Answer Questions
John Lewis, among other leaders, created the Congress of Industrial Organization to include the unskilled laborers who were not included in the American Federation of Labor. From its inception, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) recognized members of craft unions, meaning that workers who belonged to industrial unions were not covered by the organization. Having recognized the need to include the workers in industrial unions such as in the steel, and coal industry, John Lewis and other members formed the CIO.
The AFL was a conservative political force that comprised of capitalists, which meant that any opposition would be highly rejected by the group of leaders. Although Lewis wanted to advocate for the industrial labor movement, the autocrat needed the help of socialists and communists who were more radical. The radical labor activists organized large groups of workers in industrial unions to support the CIO. The communist radicals acquired top positions in the CIO and mobilized large groups of individuals to support the movement. Therefore the radicals helped in driving the success of the CIO.
The Flint sit-down strike was of great importance since it led to the transformation of automobile workers from a group of isolated individuals to a unionized group of workers. The change was highly relevant for the CIO since part of its goal was to ensure that the rights of industrial workers were protected and doing so required that the workers be registered in industrial unions. The sit-down strike by the GM workers greatly impacted the labor movements since its success encouraged millions of workers to register as union members. By 1937, close to five million workers engaged in a process similar to that in General Motors, and three million workers joined labor unions (Clark, Rosenzweig, Lichtenstein, Hewitt, Brown, American Social History Project & Jaffee, 2007). The growing numbers of union workers made it easier for the CIO and UAW to negotiate with employers.
Aside from higher wages, the CIO helped change the relationships between workers and their managers. Lower level workers actively exercised power offered to them by the union to establish a democratic system which allowed workers to openly share their grievances and have them solved by their leaders. The CIO also helped give the immigrant workers a voice in the company affairs. The CIO, therefore, helped to establish a balanced system whereby, the workers and the company leaders equally shared power.
The little steel strike of 1937 led to the deaths of thousands of individuals. On the 30th of May 1937, a large number of individuals who marched to the Republic steel encountered a brutal police force, and as a result, several men and women were killed, injured, and disabled. However, compared to the previous strikes carried out by the workers such as the Flint sit-down strike at GM, the strike at Little Steel was considered a failure by the CIO. As a result of the impact of the Little Steel strike, CIO leaders realized that violence is not the only means of settling disputes.
The Roosevelt administration carried out a series of political blunders during the period of 1937 and 1938. In 1937, the Roosevelt administration reduced the WPA expenditure despite the increase in unemployment to balance the federal budget. Eventually, the country experienced a decrease in purchasing power since most consumers were unable to afford goods, which at the time, were highly priced. The complementary initiative implemented in 1938 also serves as a political blunder since it led to higher spending by the government in an effort to redistribute wealth by appropriating $ 5 billion for relief and public works.
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