The American Federation of Labor, or known as AFL, was a labor federation who was founded by Samuel Gompers in 1881. Samuel Gompers was a Jewish immigrant who eventually became the president of a cigar maker’s in New York. The AFL was also the first labor federation unions founded in the United States. The American Federation of Labor was built to reinforce the relationship between trade unionists. Most importantly, the AFL was built to fight for better pay and conditions for factory workers as well. The goals of the AFL were called, “bread and butter” issues, which mean that they would provide better salaries, safe working conditions, limited hours of work per day and number of days per week, the right to negotiate with management, the right to strike, and freedom to engage in political activities.(Boyer, Pg.1)
The American Federation of Labor was first allowed only skilled workers to join the group, while the unskilled laborers would not allowed to work under the AFL. The group also did not allow any women, African Americans and other minorities to become a part of the organization. “Gompers and the AFL did not oppose the system of capitalism and big industry, as some radical labor leaders did” (Reed, pg.54).
Gompers just wanted a better deal for the workers, and fought for it till he died. Gompers on the other hand preferred peaceful negotiations to achieve fair contracts for all of the labors. In 1890, the American Federation of Labor was left as the only national union as the competition has put Knights of Labor aside. As the result, the AFL joined the CIO to become the longest labor unions in the U.S and as the two groups reunited together, it became AFL-CIO.(Reed, Pg.32)
The Knight of Labor or known as the KOL was established in 1869 by the Uriah Smith Stephens. The KOL was lead under Terrence Powderly who was the son of Irish immigrants. KOL was a secret labor union because all the people who joined the Unions to organize workers were fired from...