In 1930s there was unemployment crisis because of great depression suffered after the world war one. Many industrial workers lost their jobs while others were having problems with their employers. Apart from having problem with the employers some workers were having grievances by the government. These resulted because the workers rights were not being followed to the letter. Many workers therefore decided to form movements, which by that time referred to as industrial workers movements. This can be considered as the present day civil rights movements.
Industrial workers movements were some organizations formed to unite poor people in 1930s, for instance the unemployed workers movement of 1930 (Coward 1979). While the civil rights movements are unions of revolution to challenge official governmental/state bureaucracy and bring workers to power for instance the communist workers group of new or leans state.
These two groups of organizations share the same ideology that is fighting for the rights of its members. The industrial workers movements achieved their greatest influence by involving in destructive protests and demonstrations. This is because the industrial workers were considered a minority group and were not given power to have a legislative approach to saving their problem. The main aims of industrial workers movement were; bringing together industrial workers, advocating for conducive working environment, and calling for proper legislation process regarding their work. However they did not achieve their aims because most of the governments merged these small movements to form one mass organization. This mass organization was aimed at drawing people from the streets into offices for meetings and dialogues. Further it aimed at looking for elite members of the society for proper and symbolic organization support. Also it aimed at having an internal leadership style. This mass organization for some short duration was able to reduce disruptions and unrest was damped.
Though the industrial workers interest were not achieved through this mass organization, which was centrally organized by the government. Then industrial workers movements split up again and went back to their former ways of advocating for their rights. For instance miners started to use defiant statements towards their employers and the government. Some industrial workers launched industrial a boycotts and continued nationwide demonstrations with occasional innovative protests. Some of the industrial workers movements included the unemployed workers movement of 1930, the welfare rights movements of late d1960s and early 1970s, Arts Deco industrial movement, Black unionism in the industrial south Alabama and the students league for industrial democracy.
The civil rights were majority initiated in 1950s, for instance the Black civil rights movement of 1950. This movement was initiated to call for equal rights for the blacks without any element of racism in it. Other civil rights groups included the communist workers groups and some more recent ones as homosexuals’ civil rights movement, feminist movement and the Maori radicals civil rights movement. Just as industrial workers movement, the civil rights movements are aimed at airing problems and concerns of their members. More so the minority groups for instance the homosexuals’ civil rights movements also form them. Most governments do not for any reason support this but since there are few minorities practicing it they have to form a movement to justify them course.
Martin Luther King Jr. is credited for having been behind the initiation of civil rights movements in 1950s. Though his legacy followed decade later because he advocated for non-violence means of achieving the movements’ aims and objectives. This justifies the argument that civil rights are wise ways of opposing injustices rendered to workers of some minority group because they are geared toward legislative means of solving the problems, (Cloward 1979).
Main aims of civil rights movement are, having stable organizations in major states or towns, organizing and disseminating legal information to it’s members and industrial justice approach to solve their problems. Further the members of these movements are demanding for legislative representation in the governmental legislative assemblies or in the senate. By so doing they can maximally achieve their main objective of industrial justice to pursuit their course. Most of the aims and objectives are achieved through strong encouragement of the union members to hard work stoppages, sit ins and mostly to take action against the government in any case of rights violation. They also engage in peaceful but dangerous local protests of all sorts such as interruption with any stockholder meeting of those opposing them and other meetings of government departments geared towards eliminating their activities.
As far as industrial workers movements of 1930s and civil rights movements of 1950s and 1960s are concerned; they both advocate for equality, peace and stability of members of the group. The groups are all fighting the unfair legislature practices that infringe into their dignities. For instance the industrial workers movements wanted the governments to recognize them as human beings and be provided with the best and conducive working environments. While the civil rights movement also advocate for the recognition of their members as part of parcel of the government and society.
However, the two movements were strictly industrial workers, for example manufacturing firms workers and mine workers. They were people with just one common background poverty and dire needs for jobs. These people would therefore go into job market without any legislative knowledge about their work and future. In this connection they formed groups, which used violence to advocate for their rights. They would achieve their objectives through demonstrations due to lack of legislative knowledge about workers rights and freedoms.
On the other hand the civil rights movements are organizations formed by learned and informed people. Though they feel they belong to minority group. For example the homosexuals are a minority group but they demand for legislative approach to their style. They do not involve in any forms of violence but are always taking the legal approach to their problem. This applies to other civil rights groups whose their main aim is to stump out the bureaucratic powers of the their state to a more social state. They advocate for a revolutionary means of solving problems and being accepted to be members of the society as well. Some of the civil rights movements trace their origins back to industrial movements of 1930s.For example the modern American students movement is the product of the union of national students league and the industrial students league to fight for industrial democracy.
Painfully enough both the industrial workers movement and civil rights movement have no place in bureaucratic governments. Hence they are seen as political tool for the minority to achieve their otherwise undesired societies goals. The most governments are keen to criticize and ban such movements calling then poor peoples movements, which have no base or no future.
Francen Fox Piven & Richard A. Cloward (1979) Poor peoples movements: why they succeed, How they Fail, New York Vintage.