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Transcript of Workplace Reform
Gigi Grogan, and Madelyn Dyer Lowell Mills Conditions Lowell Mills Strikes Immigration Increases- Affecting the workplace Trades Union Mid 1830s Mills employed many young, single women
As the number of mills grew, wages decreased and the speed of production increased
Rates for rent in the boardinghouses went up
First strike occurred in December of 1828
300-400 women protested "obnoxious regulations" enforced by the factory
was the first documented strike for female mill workers Lowell Mills Conditions Daily Schedule Average workweek: 6, 12 hour days
Mills closed: Fast Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day
Highest paying industry for women in 1822 in America
ranged from $0.44 - $1.58 per day Works Cited Lowell Mills Conditions Millgirls Lowell Mills Strikes Major Strikes Work Hours and Pay Lowell Mills Strikes National Trades Union National Trades Union http://web.bryant.edu/~ehu/h364proj/summ_99/hutchinson/workplace.html
The Americans Textbook
http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/35778 Immigration Increases from 1830-1860
Between 1830 and 1860 immigration to the United States skyrocketed
Immigrants came to the US in millions
Many of the immigrants were Irish or German
Most immigrants settled in the north because slavery in the south limited their economic opportunity.
Southerners were hostile toward the Catholic immigrants
Some immigrants, such as the Germans settled in Mississippi and Ohio, where farming was abundant.
Many had been farmers in Europe
Not all Germans continued farming in the US (some became Artisans, shopkeepers, etc.)
The Irish settled in the East in large cities Mid 1830s First bell: 4:30 am- wakes operatives
4:50 am bell- called workers to mills
5:00 am bell- work starts
7:00 am bell- breakfast bell
7:35 am bell- called workers back
7:45 am bell- works starts
noon bell- dinner (lunch) break
12:45 pm bell- called workers back
7:00 pm bell- end of workday
10:00 pm bell- curfew bell A Trade union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade, achieving higher pay, increasing the number of employees an employer hires, and better working conditions.
Men formed trade unions specific to each trade.
Trade unions banned together in different towns to establish unions for different jobs.
This helped workers to set standardized wages and conditions throughout each industry.
In few cites the trade unions united to form federations Mid 1830s In 1834 journeyman's organizations from six industries formed the largest of these unions, The National Trades' Union, which lasted until 1837.
The trades-union movement faced fierce opposition from bankers and owners,who threatened the unions by forming associations of their own.
Workers' efforts to organize were at first hampered by court decisions declaring strikes illegal. Irish Immigration
About 1 million Irish immigrated to the US because of the large Potato Famine in Ireland
The Irish suffered prejudice because they were poor and Roman Catholic
Protestant mobs attacked Irish neighborhoods in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia
Many thought the Irish were stealing their jobs
When workers went on strike owners hired the Irish because they were desperate for work and worked for low wages workers consisted mostly of women
"millgirls" came from New England, Canada
Most 16 - 25 years old
In England & France, they were beaten and treated like slaves
very young girls: "doffers"
- "took off the full bobbins from the spinning frames"
work hours: 5 am - 7 pm (14 hours)
"Help was too valuable to be illtreated" The Massachusetts Supreme Court supported workers' right to strike in the case of Commonwealth vs. Hunt. In this case, Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw declared that Boston's journeyman could act however they wanted to as long as it made them happy.
A prominent American court finally had upheld the rights of labor. By the 1830's, conditions worsened, and wages were cut by 15%
Increasing tension lead to another protest in February of 1834
800 women; 1/6 of the total workforce
Consisted of marches, speeches, meetings, and petitions to end unjust rules and regulations
looked down upon because it was not proper for women at that time to publicly protest
Used the rhetoric of the Revolutionary War, and based their arguments on principles from the Declaration of Independence
called themselves "daughters of freemen"
protests of 1834 didn't bring any changes for the workers PICTURES bobbin girl Some were not even over ten years old
When the overseer was kind they were allowed to read, knit, or go outside the millyard to play.
Mills desperately in need of workers Five "corporations" were started, and the cotton mills belonging to them were building During 1836, production rate was high and the number of operatives was in decline
Mill strike of 1836 protested the raise of rent for the women
About 1500 to 2000 women protested; 1/4th of the total work force
Unlike the strike of 1834, this protest lasted for months
Factory Girl's Association was founded during this time
consisted of 2500 members
coordinated organized strikes
Factory owners eventually agreed to reduce the cost of room and board for the operatives
Last strike before the depression of 1837, which concluded the first chapter of women's strikes in America 14 hour work day
Lunch was the only scheduled meal after breakfast during the day http://library.uml.edu/clh/All/mgi06.htm http://library.uml.edu/clh/All/mgi04.htm Major Strikes