The history of organized labor in 19th century Connecticut is a story of a long struggle, characterized by conflict and turmoil. It is reflective of events throughout the United States during this period. And the events of the South Norwalk hatters’ strike clearly illustrate the problems of organized labor everywhere.
Today organized labor is recognized as an extremely powerful voice in America. Organized labor represents the interests of a much larger though declining segment of the population today. The labor vote is wooed by all political parties.
The reforms enjoyed by workers today would not exist without the work of organized labor in the past. And yet the workers of today strive for the same goals as their counterparts did a century ago: shorter hours, better wages, and improved working conditions. The goals of organized labor will always be to improve the conditions of work and the quality of life for the working man.
I hope that through this study, students will have a greater understanding of the work of organized labor and will view their cause from an educated and sympathetic perspective.