And You Thought You Had It Bad..

Labor Unions Demonstrating a Strike In New York City

This photograph, taken in April 1914, captures the unrest of laborers in New York City. The IWW, a labor union also known as The Industrial Workers of the World, depicted here, are striking for the unjust working conditions. During the Industrial Revolution, it was common for laborers to be  exposed to dangerous environments, long working hours, and low wages. They were provided with no pensions, compensation for injuries, or protection from unemployment. To make a statement, workers usually joined labor unions to strike against the injustice forced upon them.

Strikes like the one depicted in the photograph were prevalent during the Industrial Revolution. Only a small fraction of workers enjoyed the working conditions present today while the rest were bitter and ended up protesting for more rights and justice. Although many strikes occurred, employers were not intimidated because replacing an employee was a simple task. They were simply replaced with one of the many unemployed. The strikers voice were very often unrecognized and left to dissipate in the crowd.

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