Do you like days off, breaks, going home on time? History, important but not well written,. I'm a nurse; not a writer!
Many gave their lives for the 40 hour work week, overtime, safety (drinking water, sanitary facilities, and an end to forced child labor are just a few issues.)
Now nurses want equipment needed for their patients as well as to protect themselves and others from infection and injury. We want to have the staff and training to provide quality care. We want to take meal and rest breaks, use the restroom when needed, and go home on time. Let us be thankful for the laws and regulations that exist. Let's work to enforce and improve what our fellow workers struggled and died for.
British labor history link:
Most citizens of the United States take for granted labor laws which protect them from the evils of unregulated industry. Perhaps the majority of those who argue for "free enterprise" and the removal of restrictions on capitalist corporations are unaware that over the course of this country's history, workers have fought and often died for protection from capitalist industry. In many instances, government troops were called out to crush strikes, at times firing on protesters. Presented below are a few of the many incidents in the (too often overlooked) tumultuous labor history of this country.
In 1825 Boston carpenters struck for a ten hour day. A decade later in New Jersey CHILDREN struck for an 11 hour a day six day work week!
Many people were killed by police or hung for trying to get decent working conditions.
Unarmed miners and railroad workers were killed. Many times authorities including President Mc Kinley brought in black men to replace striking workers.
"Mother Jones" worked for CHILDREN to get a 55 hour work week!
In 1909 female garment workers in New York went on strike. Of 2,000 strikers many were arrested. The judge told them, "You are striking against God!"
In 1911 a textile mill burned and many workers died.
1912 in Massachusetts Women and children workers were beaten by police during a strike.
1914 the Ford Motor Company raised wages to $5.00 a day. Those jobs brought many, including my husbands' mothers' family out of poverty.
1916 Federal employees won Workers compensation insurance. To me this created an awareness of safety for federal workers. Better to prevent injury than pay benefits.
Also in 1916 a child labor act was enacted only to be declared unconstitutional in 1918. The Supreme Court in 1918 under threat of a railroad workers strike DID vote the 8 hour work day constitutional.
In 1919 Calvin Coolidge, then Governor of Massachusetts called out the state militia when 1,100 police tried to organize a union.
Link to mine workers struggles in West Virginia:
1941 Henry Ford recognized the United Auto Workers union (UAW)
Link for teachers: