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Industrial Development and Labor Movement Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 March 2017

Industrial Development and Labor Movement

The answer is FALSE. The development of industrial development contributed to the rise of labor movement. The significant change that was caused by the industrial revolution – the increased efficiency of production through the use of machines – has caused the displacement and alienation of human workers as machines have taken over the production process.

The industrial revolution is one of the most significant highlights for the development of human history. It was an advent for the most important technological changes and advancement which translated to increased production efficiency – producing the most number of goods at the least amount of costs.

However, the rise of giant industries which made use of machines in production has caused human skilled workers to be displaced from their jobs. The automation of production has made human labor less appealing and less needed. The advent of the rise of machines has caused severe changes in production and labor, and consequently it has driven profound social changes and also driven the economy to be more production efficient with little help from human labor (Hooker).

Consequently, the displacement of human laborers and their seemingly less involvement in the process of production have made them less powerful in voicing out their demands. The mechanized production system has made them less represented and less significant in the industry, thus, factory owners didn’t regard them as assets in the industry. This turn of events marked the era wherein laborers didn’t have the ability to speak of their work-related grievances, they lost the voice to call out for fair treatment.

In contrast to the earlier times wherein the small employer-employee relationship was prevalent, the workers had the ability and chances to address their demands to their employers. However, the increased automation of production system has also caused the growth of enterprises and the owners hired skilled professionals to more efficiently manage the workers. As a result, there existed a larger gap between the owners and the laborers, making it harder for the laborers to communicate directly to the owner to express their grievances (The American Labor Movement).

Moreover, during these times, the workers were forced to work longer hours, getting the most work from them though giving them the lowest wage possible. And because of the production automation, skilled laborers and craftsmen were less valued and the number of unskilled laborers has significantly increased.

Thus, these instances, developments and the further impoverishment and unequal treatment for laborers have resulted to the emergence of labor unions that advocated to protect the rights and welfare of laborers. Labor unions became a prevalent action in protecting the common interests of laborers, particularly issues regarding wages and working conditions. These labor and trade unions served as collective organizations that represented the interests of the working class.

Moreover, labor unions were sometimes looked upon as political wings campaigning for equitable treatment from employers and lobbying for the implementation of laws governing labor relations. These labor movements focused on issues related on rank-and-file movements, collective bargaining conflicts and organizing political campaigns. These efforts flickered the hopes for industry workers to attain increased political influence to be able to push legislations that shall benefit their cause, and deflect labor laws that were inefficient in protecting the rights of laborers (Turner, 2001).

The rise of labor movement became more prevalent in the newly industrialized countries. This happened as global transformations became more influential and encompassing – for example, the “relocation of low-wage areas, automation and the increasing use of unregulated work arrangements” – all of which contributed to the strong urge of forming a strict and rigid framework of a union that shall defend workers against unfair treatment. (Silver)

            Moreover, in addition to the animation of production, there is another aspect of industrial revolution that has hastened the rise of labor movement. The unfair labor practices rendered by industrialized nations towards less powerful and poor countries have made it more appealing for workers to organize a movement that was geared minimizing these effects.

As the industry grew larger and more powerful, industrialized countries have sought for new markets and new sources of cheap labor, wherein they can yield the most production with labor-intensive processes, with the least amount of costs possible. They utilized the presence of satellite countries wherein they can extract from them the cheapest raw materials, and wherein they can impose to make use of the human capital as a source of cheap and intensive labor.

            Therefore, the rise of labor movements was sponsored by the industrial development. This happened in such a way that, as the industry flourished and became automated, it resulted in harsh treatment and displacement of the workers. This unfair treatment led workers to form unions that shall represent them as a whole in addressing their grievances and sentiments. The development of labor movements were hastened by (1) need for social mobilization and institutional change; (2) need for significant representation by workers; (3) call for industry changes; and (4) economic and political protectionism.

            The industry development happened in such a manner that it gave utter importance to machines and deliberately misappropriated the use of human skills in the course of production. It displaced the rights and abilities of craftsmen and haggardly made use of unskilled worker, as they offered cheap labor despite the intense labor work and long work hours. Consequently though, this instances and treatments have hastened the movements to revive the industry that is mindful of human existence and welfare.

            Thus, industry development, coupled with intense form of exploitation, mistreatment, alienation and displacement for workers have eventually led to the emergence of labor movements.


Hooker, Richard. The Industrial Revolution. Retrieved December 1, 2007 from, <http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/ENLIGHT/INDUSTRY.HTM>

Silver, Beverly. Labor Movements from a Global Perspective.

The American Labor Movement. Retrieved December 1, 2007 from, <http://www.bookrags.com/research/the-american-labor-movement-dirl/>

Turner, Lowell. (2001) Reviving the Labor Movement. School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Cornell University.

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