This book takes a look at the overall picture of labor in America and how different workers reacted towards the conditions that they were working in. The book also looks at the origin of our current labor system and what developed it. It also covers the history of labor in America and how we have managed to reach the current labor system. In the book we also get to know what changed labor in the United States of America. It looks at both the positive developments and negative developments/changes. It also shows the people who influenced many of the major moves by the government to protect the employees. The book also goes through the formation of unions and every aspect of labor and the effect that it has towards the current and past labor situation. In this review we are going to lay more emphasis in chapter 12: Thunder on the Left as discussed below:
Chapter 12: Thunder on the left
This chapter is dedicated to discussing the plight of industrial workers. It shows why the industrial workers’ groups were formed and their activities. The industrial workers main reason of formation was to fight capitalism and promote capitalism in the working environment. After the formation of the industrial workers, they started organizing for meetings so that they could discuss the new group that was emerging. The group membership was composed of socialists, anarchists, dissidents and other extremely radical groups that were found across the United States of America. The workers who were involved in these groups were very radical and they always preached industrial unionism. They were ready to fight to the bitter ends until the time they achieved their main goal of socialism.
The wage earners in the national and international unions were willing to accept an economic system whereby they could make some gains however slow it was. This trend changed as there were some workers who were outside the framework of the trade unions. They therefore started issuing new demands on industrial lines or to have an all inclusive union structure that could take car of all their interests. Those people who were supporting socialism became very vocal and started pushing for the adoption of the socialist type of structure. This resulted into a radical agitation among the unorganized workers for direct actions so as to secure the benefits that were made available by the expanding economy. The labor people are known to be very ugly and there is always a discontent on the way they perform their operations. The socialist movement had been growing at a rate faster than what was initially thought. Leaders who are in power therefore have to acknowledge this fact and support the socialist. Failure to this adherence, they risk losing their power and control of the government as the majority of the citizens were falling under this discontented group. The upsurge of radicalism of the group appeared to be increasing in a very fast manner and it seemed out of place during the period. Most workers felt like the government was oppressing them and that there was no any single leader who took care of their rights. It was time for the workers who felt oppressed to start fighting for their rights. This is what led to the movements and the rebellion among different workers who were in this category. The workers were not happy with the way they were being treated in the capitalist environment. The formation of the trade unions resulted into a complete change in the way the labor industry was being viewed by different people in the United States of America. The workers formed the trade unions whereby they could fight for their rights with a common voice. The leaders had to comply with this requirement as most workers were for the idea. This system is still in use to date both within and outside the United States of America. The activities of the groups formed by the industrial workers have been focused in ensuring that there is a favorable working environment for all the workers and reasonable pay for the workers. The workers who remained conservatives have since changed to the new idea of socialist as it has more benefits to the industrial workers.
The book is a very well organized book that covers the labor issues that the United States has encountered in her entire history. The formation of different unions and their decline is also covered in the book and shows us how such formation of unions has led to the current labor situation in the United States of America. Generally this book is an important read and a great perspective into how things have come to be in the United States of America. Chapter 12 for instance is a very good part of the book that shows us the origin and the formation of the trade unions. This chapter has information about different people who devoted their lives to making most of the labor concepts a reality.