The 1885 Saginaw Valley Strike occurred when workers wanted better working conditions. Such as cleaner areas, paid regularly, and a maximum ten hour day. They could work longer than ten hours and would get paid for the overtime if they went over. Workers felt under appreciated and wanted to have a safe working condition. Workers wanted to make their own decisions when it comes to what happens in the work place.
Workers were often treated as slaves working in the sawmills. Workers could not decide how long they worked or even how much they got paid. When injured on the job they were held at fault or fellow workers were. It was not the employers fault/responsibility. Workers did not get paid regularly. They sometimes did not get paid in American currency.
Workers would get store credit as pay. They could not choose which store the credit went to the employer picked it. Workers went on strike to try to force their employers to negotiate the working conditions. When employers did not agree to what the workers were asking for the workers declared they would go on strike. In July 1885 the workers finally went on strike.
When workers went on strike they felt they needed more support. They often threatened other workers to join them. As time went on those that continued working began worrying about their safety. Many workers joined the force but did so out of fear.
When the workers went on strike, it was crumbling the lumber industries. That is because we provided the country with must of the lumber. While on strike workers were beaten and arrested. Pinkertons and the Michigan Guard were called in to the strike. Eventually the employers won. The workers did not get ten hour days most of them went back and worked longer than that. The workers lost but did gain regular pay.
In my opinion even after the strike workers were not treated well. Employers did not care to hear the workers out. They gave them regular pay. They did not give them less than ten hour work days or a cleaner and healthier environment. The working conditions for employees was not good and the employers relationship with the employee was little to none. Even though they did not accomplish much I think it pushed us in the right direction for change.
Rubenstein, B. A., & Ziewacz, L. E. (2014). 8 & 9. In Michigan : A History of the Great Lakes State (5th ed.). Wiley.