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honestly no idea how labor unions could have been illegal

like, what kind of reasoning did the lawmakers have for saying that people voluntarily associating with each other is suddenly bad when they do it for purposes of achieving better work conditions?

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politics 

@devurandom It's wild! Every other entity in a business relationship is allowed, encouraged even, to use leverage to negotiate. But the second the labor class does that it's commie shit and needs to be put down as hard as possible.

politics 

@rgegriff yep, same idea. i don't think the argument literally was "it's communist" at the time tho; my guess (informed by the responses on twitter) is more like "the upper classes, having not yet forgotten feudalism, still thought that the workers are a separate kind of people who don't deserve the same rights the aristocrats have"...

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