Working Conditions Kheara w, Adrienne S, Hannah a, Browyn D

Factory Act of 1833: the Government passed this law in order to improve working conditions for children. The restrictions were: No children under the age of 9 may work, there must be some proof of age in order for a company to hire a child, children aged 9-13 can not work more than 9 hours a day and 13-18 work no more than 12 hours a day, children could not work at nighttime, children were required to have 2 hours of schooling minimum per day, and four facility inspectors were hired to ensure all these rules were followed.

Grand National Consolidated Trades Union: The union was proposed by Robert Owens in 1832. It was meant to combine all labor unions together in order to have a stronger force. Unions were fighting for better hours, better wages, end to child labor, and overall better conditions. It collapsed in 1834 due to inefficient funds.

Labor unions: an organized association of workers, often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.

  • Factories emerged as the dominant method of industrial production, increasing numbers of citizens were forced to work in overcrowded and adverse circumstances
  • Children and women were especially over worked and under payed
  • In the early days no governmental laws guided the ways industrialists treated their workers so conditions were frequently harsh, wages were low and hours were long
  • As more and more workers noticed the way in which they were being treated was wrong they decided that organizing into a group would be more persuasive
  • Imbalance of power between industry and laborers made the first few labor movements
"Today and in the future, labor unions will continue to play an important role in our country's work force and the quality of life for working families."-Labor Union Today

Mines Act of 1842

What it was: the mines act of 1842 was issued to prevent women from working in the mines, it also prevented children under the age of 10 from working in the mines.

Why it was issued: it was common for children to die working in the mines with the lack of safety precautions. In a specific incident that occurred at Huskar Colliery, 26 children died. During a violent thunderstorm a stream overflowed into the ventilation drift where the children were working. After Queen Victoria heard of this disaster she ordered and inquiry. In May of 1842 the report was published and the public was shocked to learn that children as young as five and six were employed to open and shut trap door and pull overloaded carts of coal through the tunnels. People were also concerned with the young girls working in the mines wearing trousers and picking up on the men’s rough language.

Mines after 1842: Without the women and children available to pull the coal carts through the mines “pit ponies” were brought in to pull the carts instead. Selective breeding of these ponies helped to refine the Shetland pony which was a ¼ the size of a horse and could pull twice its weight. These ponies could easily fit in the mining tunnels and had a lifespan of 30 years.

Cities tried to address problems brought on by modernization by placing requirements that needed to be met in factories in order for them to be legally ran. Once children had to leave school and go to work in order for their families to be able to afford living in the city, the government saw the harsh reality of poverty and decided to do something about it. Technology increased the amount of injuries and the probability of harm in the workforce for not only children but for everyone working.

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