Free Essay - Labor Movement and Rhetoric

Published: 2023-01-19
Free Essay - Labor Movement and Rhetoric
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human resources United States Personal leadership Employment law
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 819 words
7 min read

There has been an upsurge in the role of the American labor movement for a number of years. Potential leaders use the rhetoric chant to get better wages, improved working conditions, and health benefits for workers. This helps to get to their positions and shape worker identity in the American labor movement. Over the last two decades, it has been evident that transformational and charismatic leadership has played a better role in ensuring that worker identity is preserved. Hence the discussion will include leaders such as Mother Jones rhetoric, Eugene Debs, and Samuel Gompers on how they helped shape workers' rights using the labor movement.

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Mother Jones is an icon who portrays the voice of democracy by her works in the scuffle to improve waged people lives. In her speech, Jones could inspire workers to view the importance of their rights and fight to improve their working conditions (Haman, 2007). In fact, she was a polarizing force that inspired the American labor movement in her labor rally speeches. Her 'motherly' rhetoric speech was threatening and feisty thus shaped workers identity. For instance, she could mobilize workers to protest in obverse to State House and in West Virginia to champion for their fundamental rights.

Eugene Debris, on the other hand, helped to shape the class struggle and workers identity. During this era, labor unions were crafted to protect skilled workers particularly the whites, native-born, and the conservative. The struggles for equal pay and better working conditions was sectional. There was no worker solidarity something that hampered workers struggles. Debs was shocked by these events. He embarked in organizing workers in favor of socialism to champion and campaign for organized industrial unions (Debs, 1905). Workers engaged in boycotts attracting national attention an intervention that resulted in workers identity.

Samuel Gompers in one of his speech said: "they had met to celebrate the idea that workers of Louisville and New Albany are oppressed and therefore, should pitch camp to streets to angel for their rights." (Gompers, 1890).what had prompted Samuel Gompers to make such rhetoric is an urge for workers to have a definite working schedule, which includes eight working hours, and eight hours for sleep, and another eight hours for leisure (Gompers, 1890). He backed up the earlier statement by saying "men who work under the short-hour system have a chance to improve their personal skills and offer better services in the workplace. In the same parallel, Samuel said a man who works for more than eight hours lacks clear inevitabilities thus affecting his body and soul. Such a man is viewed as a veritable machine since he can get little rest and always thinking of work. In conclusion, Samuel Gompers rhetoric's resonated with the ideas of workers, who wanted the working schedule to be reduced and is one of the instigators of 1st May being workers day right from 1890, where workers put away their tools in solidarity of the better wages for workers in America and across the globe.

Key Characteristics of workers in the American labor movement

There are a number of characteristics of workers in the American labor movement. For instance, they give the working class power to understand law and their rights. Similarly, since they are organized in labor unions where they join together to fight for better pay, improvised working conditions, and health benefits. They create working conditions for all workers who are not included in the American labor movement. At the same time, workers are the key agents that advocate for instances of nepotism, racial segregation, sexual assault, and gender-based discrimination at the workplace. Workers negotiate with their employers to gain control over their labor and its benefits. They participate in peaceful demonstrations and boycotts to collectively bargain their labor fruits. Workers in the labor movements make up a majority of trade union workers who help to seek compensation from the new media forms. Among other traits, workers are the firefighters and the workforce in the American Labor Federation.

The workers wore craft fetters, they could go to protest on the problems they encountered while at their workplaces. They were united and ready to fight together for the problems they are facing like better wages, working conditions, and advocating for 8-hour working period. Another facet that identify workers in the American labor movement include men worked with hand tools; a small boy was able to learn how to use simple tools, and used the opportunity to employ themselves and reap their hardworked. Finally the workers are perceived as applause (saviors of the community), the redemeers of the tribe and when they have achieved their goal of ending slavery and oppression at workplaces.


Gompers, S. (1890). What Does the Working Man Want?. International of May.

Haman, M. K. (2007). Mary Harris 'Mother'Jones, 'Speech at a Public Meeting on the Steps of the Capitol Charleston, West Virginia.'. Voices of Democracy, 2, 210-226.

Debs, E. V. (1905). Industrial unionism. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr.

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