As I have alluded to earlier, not everyone was rich. A lot of people worked in very unsafe work conditions for very long hours, and got paid very low wages.
Of course, business owners wanted labor unions to go away. People should be happy they have jobs, who are they to demand things?
The first national labor union was founded in 1834, as teh National Trades Union. It didn't last very long, but other unions popped up and eventually a 10 hour work day became a standard.
Some unions tht formed during this time were the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor.
Union membership was rising and labor activists became more skilled in organizing protests over issues. Get ready ladies and gentlemen, we're going to talk about strikes.
May 1, 1886 thousands of workers gathered in support of an 8 hour work day.
On May 4, protesters gathered at Haymarket Square in Chicago.
Things got real, and a bomb was thrown...
So who threw the bom? No one knew, evidence was pretty weak, but they manage to blame 8 Anarchists.
4 were executed, 3 were pardoned, and one committed suicide in prison.
There were other strikes across the country, because work conditions and wages really sucked.
Some strikes turned violent, some did not, but it did help workers with their rights and better wages.