Before 1881 some carpenters in organized cities across the US were organized, but without a national union strikes and negotiations were ineffective because contractors would hire carpenters from out of town to undermine the local carpenters. Peter J. McGuire was the son of immigrant parents who quit school at an early age to go to work. Though he was young he became a well respected union leader and began traveling the country to “Organize, Agitate, Educate” (A phrase he coined) for better working conditions. He saw the need for a national union and in May of 1881 published a newspaper called “The Carpenter”.