For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Knights of Labor and the Haymarket Riot: The Fight for an Eight-hour Workday

by Brexel, Bernadette (2003)


Labor unions flourished for a number of reasons: abysmal working conditions; a lack of concern for workers safety; low pay and nonexistent benefits; and a 10-12 hour workday. The Knights of Labor, one of the strongest unions, focused on achieving an eight-hour day. After a worker was killed at a labor rally, the crowd broke out in violence. Firing into the crowd, the police killed four workers. The long-term effect of this riot was widespread fear of unionism, and a delay in the acceptance of the eight-hour day.


Labor Unions, The Knights Of Labor, Working Hours, Activism, Unions


Knights of Labor

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