In the second half of the 19th century and until the end of the 1st World War, the salaries of the tobacco workers were not related with their working hours (12 hours per day) while the profession itself was seasonal and unhealthy (due to dust, heat and humidity). [Humidity is vital for the processing of tobacco in the Warehouses during the summer months.]

At the time, the "class" of tobacco workers was constituted by Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian workers, mostly coming from the regions of the Ottoman Empire or even from the Greek State. Some of them were even sojourners from Thassos Island or the hinterland.

The latter group was returning to their villages, working in various rural activities after the end of the tobacco working season (May-October).

Below, the tobacco workers movement is divided into four periods:

First period (2nd half of 19th century until 1922)
The tobacco workers unify into one body and come into collision with the facts of tobacco processing and trade, claiming a share of the profits through persistent and victorious struggles.

Second period (1922/1923-1929)
From the arrival of the refugees of the Catastrophe of Asia Minor until the World Economic Crisis in 1929, this is a period of social tensions with massive and crucial tobacco workers' strikes.

During this period, the living standards of the working class are impoverished. On the other hand, the merchants attempted to produce unprocessed tobacco in order to exercise pressure to reduce wages and the production cost, but also to impose new dynamics in the working relations. The social clashes were inevitable.

Third period (up to 1936)
A new system of tobacco processing (toga) is being adopted involving mostly women labour that was cheaper. This resulted to multiplication of the production and increased profits for the merchants.

The tobacco workers' struggles turned therefore towards the improvement of the working conditions and the equal share of labour between the two genders. Furthermore, they demanded to participate in the sharing out of the profit claiming a part of it.

The end of this period is marked by the dictatorship of Metaxas, followed by the 2nd World War and later the Greek Civil War.

The fourth period
The labour movements continue to be active-yet in a smaller scale. The workers' demands focus basically on insurance issues, daily rates, etc.

To summarize, the economic pressure in combination with the particularly hard working and living conditions of the tobacco workers, together with the group work in the Tobaccoshops constituted the fundamental factors for the development of the tobacco unionist movement.