death of the haymarket

Topics: Trade union, Strike action, Strikebreaker Pages: 4 (1739 words) Published: December 9, 2013
The Haymarket Rally was not a random happening. It was the end result of nearly a decade of protesting and strikes. The beginning point of this long road, if there ever was one, would be the campaign for the eight hour work day. The eight hour work day for skilled labor was championed by one William Sylvis. Sylvis was an iron molder who was the President of the National Union of Iron Molders, when he decided to have all skilled laborers in unions. He felt that it would be beneficial to owners to employ union worker because they had the proper level of skills to perform the jobs necessary. One of his largest successes was the agreement of employers agreeing to only hire men who carried a union card. His next idea, one that ultimately fell flat, was the idea that skilled workers should only work for eight hours. When employers complained that there would be a decreased amount of production from the two hours lost, and that they, the employers had already been gracious enough to lower the working period down from twelve hours. Sylvis believed that the workers, being more rested because of the shorter work day, would be more productive. Sylvis went on to organize the National Labor Union, sadly, Sylvis died at the age of 41, and all his plans fell apart after his death. Even as the grand plan fell, the embers did not die out. The cause were taken up by one Albert Parson. Parson was born in Texas, and fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Upon returning home after the war had ended, he started farming long enough to pay his way through college. Much to the surprise of his friends and family, after college Parson started a paper that championed the cause of the colored person. This was quite a dangerous stance to take, as he was the only outspoken Republican in Democrat Texas. He spent his days dodging the Ku Klux Klan, and the nights speaking out to hordes of freed slaves as he started a political campaign. Because of all this, the officials in charge of...
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