Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"The Union Movement: The People Who Brought You the Weekend."

I saw this on a truck bumper sticker recently. It made me smile.

Turns out it's true. Check this link. It was commonplace to have Sun. off to acommodate Christians. Jews, then, were out of luck. The first factory to adopt a five-day week was a New England spinning mill, in 1908. This was done expressly for their workers. Ford workers were given weekends off with SIX days of pay (in the 20's) when Henry realized that good wages & free time would cause workers to SPEND money, much of it on his product. Unions then began fighting for BOTH Sat. & Sun. for all their workers.

The weekend idea really took hold in the forties when unions were able to get concessions for factory workers. At that time most were not allowed to change jobs (wartime rules) & often did dangerous munitions work. Of course, this is also when health insurance, life insurance, working hours, & retirement benefits took hold, among others. Thank you.

Times have certainly changed and not all for the better.
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