You can see what we've had a part in building everytime you look at our Des Moines city skyline, enter your office building, go to school, drive by the hundreds of wind towers, park your car in a parking garage or sliding down the hand rails in the stairways. The Iron Workers of Local 67 have been a part of building our great state since 1909 when we received our charter.
We began to organize to create a wage that could sustain a family, to stand against child labor, to push for a 40 hour work week, and to gain better safety regulations. Prior to unions companies had an expectable allowance for lost lives on the job, this was no exception for the Iron Workers. Quite the contrary, Iron Workers being the most dangerous trade on a construction site there was 1 Iron Worker expected to die per floor prior to Organized Labor. The working men knew this was unacceptable but when they confronted their employers they were shunned, bashed, and even fired. Soon no one wanted to step up for fear of losing the only job they could get. This is where the Labor revelation began. There were several events that play a big part in our history such as the Hay Market Affair where several labor representatives were killed, to the Ludlow Colorado massacre, where striking miners were brutally massacred by their employers hired goons.
With the Industrial Revolution nearing its end and the rise of the Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, this was a phase of rapid industrialization. Where workers rights were at the forefront. Unions and organized labor began to grow and gain better conditions for their members. Safety was becoming more prevalent, children were beginning to leave the work force creating more jobs for men and women around our nation. Until 1938 when Congress passed the Fair Labor act prohibiting children under 14 to work and 14 -16 after school only and 18 years for “dangerous” work. Today all the states and U.S. government have laws regulating child labor. Allof this and more were achieved by organized labor.
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