During the industrial revolution time, workers needed to work and companies knew that and paid them a low hourly rate. The laborers also worked 16 hour days which is well over the 40 hour week most people work today. The workers did their job in dirty factories and at the end of the day were completely covered in black soot. This was not a healthy work environment for them. The machines they worked on did not have any safety features which caused employees to have many accidents and injuries. It is unfortunate that the workers had to deal with the long hours, low pay, and safety issues during this time.

Employers did not want the unions. Their employees would be restricted to the number of hours they could work in a day. Company profits would be less as they had to also pay a higher wage. Business owners believed that workers should not be stuck in a union and should be able to deal with their employer on their own. The union workers I am sure were against that because being in a union comes with job security.

The industrial revolution raised the quality of life for all workers. Unions were formed to protect the employees. Unions negotiated pay, insurance and keeping their members safe from work hazards. Unions protect the workers. Although I do feel there are some union workers that take advantage of it and if they were not in a union they would have been fired.

History was made with the strengths and demonstrations of the organized labor groups such as the Knights of Labor and Industrial Brotherhood. (Robbins, Pg. 541) It also gave more employment opportunities for women. A lot of men I am sure not agree with that back then as it was the norm for women to be cooking, cleaning, and watching the children at home. The women liked it being able to go to work. This helped them provide financial support along with finding their own independence.


Robbins, Edwin Clyde. “The Trainmen’s Eight-Hour Day.” Political Science Quarterly 31, no. 4 (1916): Page 541. doi:10.2307/2141627.