During the Industrialization several different factors led to the rise of organized labor. The working conditions at the time, especially in warehouses, would be considered unsafe and a very unhealthy places to work. Men and children were employed to work long hours, six days for extremely low wages. There was no sort of any regulation or safety codes. Things such as medical coverage or retirement benefits did not exist. The focus on mass production lead businesses the expert workers to their brink. It also caused workers to have almost no job security because it was unskilled work, which meant it was easy to replace. The machines that were used to do most of the work also led to many accidents and harm to many of the workers. Laborers soon realized that if there was going to be a change they would have to unite because they knew the owners outnumbered. .
Unions however, didn't emerge immediately; many bosses took action against workers who took part in unions. This also led to workers retaliating against them instead of sticking to peaceful communication and negotiations. Ultimately though, unions did slowly grow as workers were willing to deal with the repercussions to improve their workplace, hours, and wages. However, this caused different union organizations to form, as workers argued over which issues should be fought for. The Knights of Labor with Terence Powderly at the helm started to accumulate many members. .
The group mainly sought to unite all producers, which meant anyone who used physical labor to create a product. It rejected any persons who did not partake in physical labor, such as lawyers and bankers. The Knights of Labor did however include African Americans and even women to join the union. The main rights the group was working for was an eight-hour workday, keeping children out of the workplace and in school, better wages and improving working conditions. The way the union sought to obtain these rights were mainly through the use of boycotts and having peaceful negotiations with the bosses.