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The Life of workers - Essay Example

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The Life of workers Introduction Sometimes it becomes literally impossible for people to judge the working conditions of the 19th century workers compared with the working conditions and facilities of the 21st century worker. It is sometimes hard to figure out, how and why the workers, including the women used to work in such conditions…
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Download file to see previous pages Even during the good times the wages provided were extremely low and the working conditions were hazardous. Very little portion of the wealth earned actually went to the workers. Periodic economic crises hit the nation and further increased the problems of the industrial wages leading to high levels of unemployment. On the other hand the technological improvements added to the productivity of the nation and hence increased the demands of the skilled labors. Yet the pools of the unskilled labors were constantly growing, just like the number of the immigrants. The laissez-faire capitalism actually dominated the latter half of the 19th century and increased huge concentrations of power and wealth. This was actually backed by certain elements of the judiciary system that ruled against any one that challenged the system. Many philosophers actually tagged this as Social Darwinism. The cost of such indifferences to the victims of the capitalism was high. The working conditions of the labors were poor and the chances of defeating poverty was very little. In the 1900s the United States of America had high job related fatalities. Most of the industrial workers worked for almost ten hours per day. In the steel industries the working hours went up to twelve hours sometimes. Still these people earned at least thirty to fifty percent less minimum deemed for a decent life. Here it needs to be mentioned that the first major effort to organize the worker on a national basis became apparent in the year 1869. This was organized by the Philadelphia garments workers and the group called the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor was open to all the workers including Afro Americans, farmers and women also. The knights started to grow slowly but soon started to face decline as the place was taken up by the American federation of Labor (Ashton, 1964). Women coalminers It has been already discussed that the life of a 19th century labor was extremely tough as the workers had to work for long hours in extremely hazardous conditions and yet the workers used to struggle to maintain a healthy standard of living due to the low wages. The situation was worse for women in particular who actually made up of a high percentage of the work force in some of the industries and yet used to receive a mere fraction of the wages a male worker can earn. Various women workers have reported that the sometimes they had to make 7 shillings a week and work from six o’clock in the morning till six o’clock in the night. The women had to put belt around the waist and chains passed through the legs. Here it needs to be mentioned that these statements were recorded before 1874 when the city of Massachusetts passed the first legislation of the nation to limit the number of the hours for women and also children (Winstanley, 1998). Sanitary Conditions The health and sanitation was a major concern. As industrial revolutions developed the health and welfare of the workers went down. In USA the industrial revolutions and the bad effects on the health of the workers were first experienced. This lead to a movement towards the sanitation reforms leading the establishment of various public health institutions. Specifications The 19th century workers were mainly victims of poor social and legislative structures that saw the rich get richer and the poor becoming poorer. Also the workers did not have any organized unions that could stand up for the works. Also the industrial ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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