Simply put, the employers needed the skills of the craftsmen and had at that point not yet devised a plan whereby they could control the relationships of the workplace.
The conflict between workers and owners in 1877 showed all of the city's residents the power of the workers. Part of this power was the result of the sense of unity which the workers felt, with respect not only to the workplace but to all aspects of their social existence. Unlike the situation by 1920, the residents of Pittsburgh felt connected to one another as members of a community. By 1920, the separate neighborhoods, generated by the uniqueness of different immigrant experiences, reduced that sense of community. One community had become many communities, which diminished the power of the workers and unions.
This is not to say that there was not a great deal of diversity among the workers even in 1877, for there certainly was such diversity. However, in 1877, unlike in 1920, the workers's sense of community in daily life and in the workplace (against the bosses and owners) overcame the divisions and diversity. By 1920, other forces (immigration, World War I, the fear of communism) had entered the city which emphasized divisions and weakened that sense of unity among the different groups in the city.
In "Sober Citizens," we read of the growing power of unions, especially the Knights of Labor. The Knights brought to the workers a sense of organization and efficiency which they had previously lacked. The leaders of the Knights knew that a simple sense of community would not last long as the glue that held the workers together. The Knights wanted to create an organization which would
unify economic, political, and social spheres of working-class life at the heart of the Knight's vision of the labor movement. . . . Moreover, it corresponded to social realities in plebeian Pittsburgh. Sprung from the craftsmen's empire, . . . the movement had . . . reproduc...
Industrialization in Pittsburgh and its Effects to People. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 17:37, January 31, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303703208.html