Power Elites

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Workers felt the need and desire to unite to create a fair working environment for industrial companies. The power weighed too heavily in the hands of the employers/elite and too small in the workers. Many workers were starting their day at 7 am and weren't able to go home till 10 or 11pm also having to work seven days a week. "If you aren't here on Sunday don't bother coming in on Monday" was a sign often seen in the workplace posted by management. The struggle in The Price of Dissent covers many years of workers striking to better working environments from the time of before 1877, the Great Upheaval, through the years of 1950 which involved more of red baiting. While small battles were won throughout these years for labor the government and the employers had more power than the workers. Unions were constantly broken apart and laws were written to allow the government and employers to push back workers and deny them what they wanted to achieve; "a restructuring of the social relations of industry to create an industrial democracy controlled by workers."

(pg 16) Why was the struggle so much? Industrialists and the government wanted to keep the money and power on the side of the elite. Here were workers who were demanding higher pay and better working conditions. This would all come out of the pocket of the industrialist, which would decrease the amount of money intake for them. The biggest problem that came for the unions and workers was the close relationship that the government and the industrialists maintained throughout the years. Laws were passed to protect the employer and unfairly prosecute the worker. Criminal syndicalism was a huge advantage for the employer during WWI. Using this law employers were allowed to have arrested any...