“Our union they do fear, let’s stand together, workers, and have a union here.” Work, Protest and Labor Unions

Alexandra Edwards, Social Studies, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

Most of my kids will be getting a job within the next two years. Minimum wage, better pay, safer working conditions, better standard of living, apprenticeship programs, saving lives, better benefits, civil rights protections, fair treatment for women, and overtime pay are just some of the benefits that they will receive as they work their summer jobs at Chick Filet or Auto Bell, and as they move on into more long-term positions after high school or college. So, why do they need to know about the history of unions? Their pay check is a result of the protest and struggle American workers have engaged in over the last 100 or more years. It is crucial for them to comprehend the sacrifices and struggles that the American laborers undertook in order to get these kids to enjoy a minimum wage, and work within a safe and orderly environment. It is guaranteed now but was not always. My goal is to feature lessons about the American labor movement from late nineteenth century to the 1950s. Subjects covered will include the rise of the labor movement in the US, labor unions, strikes, and moving on in to the South, textile mills and the Loray Mill strike of 1929.