888 Campaigne – The 8 Hour Day

1What happened (recount)
2What was the political result?
3How did life change for all concerned
4Who were the important people involved in the movement?
5What laws were enabled for the betterment of the workers?
6How did the life of the entrepreneurs change due to these laws

8 thoughts on “888 Campaigne – The 8 Hour Day

  1. The eight-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement, also known as the short-time movement, had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life. The use of child labour was common. The working day could range from 10 to 16 hours for six days a week.[1][2]
    Robert Owen had raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest. Women and children in England were granted the ten-hour day in 1847. French workers won the 12-hour day after the February revolution of 1848. A shorter working day and improved working conditions were part of the general protests and agitation for Chartist reforms and the early organization of trade

  2. 2) On 21 April 1856 stonemasons and other building workers in Melbourne employed on the construction of the University quadrangle marched to the city, gathered others working on the Eastern Markets and went to the site of Parliament House, which was then also under construction. All three of these construction projects involved public contracts.
    The eight hour movement originated in Britain, where the Industrial Revolution had transformed working life, replacing handcrafts by machinery, and taking men, women and children who had previously operated as outworkers in their homes into large factories where the hours and conditions of work were unregulated with consequent effects on health, welfare and morale. The British socialist and factory owner, Robert Owen, coined the slogan of ‘eight hours labour, eight hours rest, eight hours recreation’.

  3. 3 all life changed in the fact that the pubic workers get and 8 hour work day and with out the loss of pay

  4. 8 hours work 8 sleep and 8 “free time” they got no loss of pay, they had to have safety checks regugaly one a year and randoms

  5. What happened? (recount)
    The first to suggest an eight hour work day for everyone was a British man by the name of Robert Owen, who was also one of the founders of socialism. Owen felt that the work day should be divided into thirds, with workers getting equal time to themselves and to sleep as they do for work. Thus, in 1817, he began campaigning for an eight hour working day for all workers, coining the phrase, “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” Unfortunately, this did not catch on for some time, though throughout the 19th century a series of Factories Acts were passed that steadily improved working conditions and reduced work hours for factory workers. For instance, The Factories Act of 1847 stipulated that women and children were to be granted a ten hour work day, thus only having to work 60 hours a week.
    The eight hour work day cause was taken up once again in Britain in 1884 by Tom Mann who was part of the Social Democratic Federation. Mann subsequently formed an “Eight Hour League” whose sole goal was to get the eight hour work day established. Their biggest victory came when they managed to convince the Trades Union Congress, which represents the majority of unions in Britain and does so even to this day, to establish the eight hour work day as one of their primary goals, which they subsequently began to work towards.
    What was the political result?
    Momentum for the cause particularly picked up with several “Eight Hour Leagues” forming in the United States, as Mann had formed in Britain around this same time. In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared that May 1, 1886 would be the first day that an eight hour work day would be made mandatory. This, of course, was neither backed by any federal mandate nor the businesses themselves and relied on workers striking and raising a general ruckus to drive the point home. When May 1, 1886 arrived, the first ever May Day parade was held with 350,000 workers walking off their jobs protesting for the eight hour work day.
    Progress was still slow though and it wasn’t until 1905 that industries began implementing the eight hour work day on their own accord. One of the first businesses to implement this was the Ford Motor Company, in 1914, which not only cut the standard work day to eight hours, but also doubled their worker’s pay in the process. To the shock of many industries, this resulted in Ford’s productivity off of these same workers, but with fewer hours, actually increasing significantly and Ford’s profit margins doubled within two years after implementing this change. This encouraged other companies to adopt the shorter, eight hour work day as a standard for their employees.
    Finally, in 1937 the eight hour work day was standardized in the United States and regulated by the federal government according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. It stipulated that workers were not to work more than 44 hours per week and any hours over 40 required of the worker were to be paid with overtime bonuses added to their normal pay rate.
    How did life change for all concerned?
    When the eight hour work days were put in, people that worked got to live a better life. They gained more money and they were able to spend more times with their families. Children weren’t treated as harshly and a lot of the went to school and got an education. With workers being paid more they were able to spend more, so they ended up with better living conditions and such.
    4. Who were the important people involved in the movement?
    Robert Owen was a pretty important person involved in this. He was the one to come up with the eight hour work day, even if he wasn’t the one to make it happen. Tom Mann was also pretty important because he also helped out with trying to encourage the owners to change it to eight hours. Ford was what started everyone doing it. By lowering the hours and raising the pay, more people wanted to work there, leaving Ford very successful, which made other businesses decide it was a good idea too.
    5. What laws were enabled for the betterment of the workers?
    The workers could no longer work 16 hours straight, they had a maximum of eight hours. Being eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep and eight hours for recreation. That was the biggest change in law, because mills could no longer have workers working for such a long time.
    6. How did the life of the entrepreneurs change due to these laws?
    Well the entrepreneurs had to adjust to the hours the mill/factory/shop could be open, because they could no longer work people for more than eight hours. They would’ve had to adjust who worked when and what pays everyone got, but they would’ve been hoping that they ended up like Ford making lots of money and being a very successful business.
    During the Industrial Revolution, companies attempted to maximize the output of their factories by keeping them running as many hours as possible, typically implementing a “sun up to sun down” work day. Wages were also extremely low, so workers themselves often needed to work these long shifts just to get by, including often sending their children to work in the factories as well, rather than getting them educated. With little representation, education, or options, factory workers also tended to work in horrible working conditions to go along with the bad hours. The typical work day at this time lasted anywhere from 10-18 hours per day, six days a week. This all began to change in the 19th century.

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