Franklin and the Philadelphia Strike of 1786 Essay

649 Words Nov 27th, 2007 3 Pages
Rosemont, Henry. "Benjamin Franklin and the Philadelphia Typographical Strikers of 1786." Labor History, no. 22 (1981): 398-429.

Henry Rosemont's article, "Benjamin Franklin and the Philadelphia Typographical Strikers of 1786" discusses the history behind the Philadelphia printer's strike of 1786 and the strikers' relationship with Benjamin Franklin. According to Rosemont, "these were the first American workers who deliberately voted to stand out for a specific wage and to provide mutual assistance in maintaining it."

It was not officially stated but it was widely accepted in the years prior to the strike that journeymen in Philadelphia's printing business worked for the price of six dollars a week. Following a sharp drop in the
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It is very possible that would-be "scabs" refused the newly opened jobs out of respect for these men.

As chief executive of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as an "old stager of the printing trade", Benjamin Franklin had a vested interest in the well being of Philadelphia's printing industry. As a radical and a patriot, Franklin felt for the wage earners. He sided with, organized and guided these printers and even allowed them to hold their meetings in his home. Although the constitution of the striking printer's society was written down by Thomas Lang, (a leader in the founding of the printer's society) the ideas that the constitution contained were truly those of Benjamin Franklin. If it is true that Franklin was the true framer of this constitution, then it is also true that within the constitution, Franklin set up the first system to provide mutual assistance in maintaining a wage achieved through a strike. The society developed a system of dues and penalty fees much like those seen in today's unions to keep the society functioning.

In 1793, the society published it's constitution and proclaimed that they will be called the Franklin society after the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin for his patriotism and outstanding contribution to the Philadelphia Typographer's strike of 1786. The number of contributions that Benjamin Franklin made to the United States is astounding. We already owe our understanding of electricity,

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