Eight-hour day

The eight-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement, also known as the short-time movement, was a social movement to regulate the length of a working day, preventing excesses and abuses. It had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life. The use of child labour was common. The working day could range from 10 to 16 hours, and the work week was typically six days a week.[1][2] Robert Owen had raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan: "Eight hours' labour, Eight hours' recreation, Eight hours' rest". Women and children in England were granted the ten-hour day in 1847. French workers won the 12-hour day after the February Revolution of 1848.[3] A shorter working day and improved working conditions were part of the general protests and agitation for Chartist reforms and the early organisation of trade unions.

The International Workingmen's Association took up the demand for an eight-hour day at its Congress in Geneva in 1866, declaring "The legal limitation of the working day is a preliminary condition without which all further attempts at improvements and emancipation of the working class must prove abortive", and "The Congress proposes eight hours as the legal limit of the working day."

Karl Marx saw it as of vital importance to the workers' health, writing in Das Kapital (1867): "By extending the working day, therefore, capitalist production...not only produces a deterioration of human labour power by robbing it of its normal moral and physical conditions of development and activity, but also produces the premature exhaustion and death of this labour power itself."[4][5]

Although there were initial successes in achieving an eight-hour day in New Zealand and by the Australian labour movement for skilled workers in the 1840s and 1850s, most employed people had to wait to the early and mid twentieth century for the condition to be widely achieved through the industrialised world through legislative action. The first country to adopt eight-hour working day nationwide was Uruguay. The eight-hour day was introduced on November 17, 1915, in the government of José Batlle y Ordóñez.

The first international treaty to mention it was the Treaty of Versailles in the annex of its thirteen part establishing the International Labour Office, now the International Labour Organization.[6]

The eight-hour day was the first topic discussed by the International Labour Organization which resulted in the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919 ratified by 52 countries as of 2016.

The eight-hour day movement forms part of the early history for the celebration of Labour Day, and May Day in many nations and cultures.



In Iran in 1918, the work of reorganizing the trade unions began in earnest in Tehran during the closure of the Iranian constitutional parliament Majles. The printers' union, established in 1906 by Mohammad Parvaneh as the first trade union, in the Koucheki print shop on Nasserieh Avenue in Tehran, reorganized their union under leadership of Russian-educated Seyed Mohammad Dehgan, a newspaper editor and an avowed Communist. In 1918, the newly organised union staged a 14-day strike and succeeded in reaching a collective agreement with employers to institute the eight-hours day, overtime pay, and medical care. The success of the printers' union encouraged other trades to organize. In 1919 the bakers and textile-shop clerks formed their own trade unions.

However the eight-hours day only became as code by a limited governor's decree on 1923 by the governor of Kerman, Sistan and Balochistan, which controlled the working conditions and working hours for workers of carpet workshops in the province. In 1946 the council of ministers issued the first labor law for Iran, which recognized the eight-hour day.


The first company to introduce an eight-hour working day in Japan was the Kawasaki Dockyards in Kobe (now the Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation). An eight-hour day was one of the demands presented by the workers during pay negotiations in September 1919. After the company resisted the demands, a slowdown campaign was commenced by the workers on 18 September. After ten days of industrial action, company president Kōjirō Matsukata agreed to the eight-hour day and wage increases on 27 September, which became effective from October. The effects of the action were felt nationwide and inspired further industrial action at the Kawasaki and Mitsubishi shipyards in 1921.[7]

The eight-hour day did not become law in Japan until the passing of the Labor Standards Act in April 1947. Article 32 (1) of the Act specifies a 40-hour week and paragraph (2) specifies an eight-hour day, excluding rest periods.[8]


In Indonesia, the first policy regarding working time regulated in Law No. 13 of 2003 about employment. In the law, it stated that a worker should work for 7 hours a day for 6 days a week or 8 hours a day for 7 days a week, excluding rest periods.[9]


Demonstration in the Netherlands for the eight-hour day, 1924


The 8-hour work day was introduced in Belgium on September 9, 1924.


The 8-hour work day was first introduced in 1907. Within the next few decades, the 8-hour system spread gradually across technically all branches of work. A worker receives 150% payment from the first two extra hours, and 200% salary if the work day exceeds 10 hours.


The eight-hour day was enacted in France by Georges Clemenceau, as a way to avoid unemployment and diminish communist support. It was succeeded by a strong French support of it during the writing of the International Labour Organization Convention of 1919.[10]


The first German company to introduce the eight-hour day was Degussa. The eight-hour day was signed into law during the German Revolution of 1918.


In Hungary, the eight-hour work day was introduced on April 14, 1919 by decree of the Revolutionary Governing Council.[11]


In Poland, the eight-hour day was introduced November 23, 1918 by decree of the gabinet of the Prime Minister Jędrzej Moraczewski[12].


In Portugal a vast wave of strikes occurred in 1919, supported by the National Workers' Union, the biggest labour union organisation at the time. The workers achieved important objectives, including the historic victory of an eight-hour day.


In Russia, the eight-hour day was introduced in 1917, four days after the October Revolution, by a Decree of the Soviet government.


In the region of Alcoy, Spain, a workers strike in 1873 for the eight-hour day followed much agitation from the anarchists. In 1919 in Barcelona, Catalonia, after a 44-day general strike with over 100,000 participants had effectively crippled the Catalan economy, the Government settled the strike by granting all the striking workers demands that included an eight-hour day, union recognition, and the rehiring of fired workers.

United Kingdom

The Modern Bed of Procustes - Punch cartoon - Project Gutenberg eText 13961
The Modern Bed of Procrustes
Procrustes. "Now then, you fellows; I mean to fit you all to my little bed!"
Chorus. "Oh lor-r!!"
"It is impossible to establish universal uniformity of hours without inflicting very serious injury to workers." – Motion at the recent Trades' Congress.
Cartoon from Punch, Vol 101, 19 September 1891

The Factory Act of 1833 limited the work day for children in factories. Those aged 9–13 could work only eight hours, 14–18 12 hours. Children under 9 were required to attend school.

In 1884, Tom Mann joined the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and published a pamphlet calling for the working day to be limited to eight hours. Mann formed an organisation, the Eight Hour League, which successfully pressured the Trades Union Congress to adopt the eight-hour day as a key goal. The British socialist economist Sidney Webb and the scholar Harold Cox co-wrote a book supporting the "Eight Hours Movement" in Britain.[13] The first group of Workers to achieve the 8 hour day were the Beckton [ East London] Gas workers after the strike led by the leadership of Wil Thorne, a member of the Social Democratic Foundation. The strike action was initiated in March 31st 1889 after the introduction of compulsory 18 hour shifts, up from previous 12 hours. Under the slogan of " shorten ours hours to prolong our lives" Wil Thorne the strike spread to other gas works. He petitioned the bosses after a strike of some weeks, the bosses capitulated and three shifts of 8 hours replaced two shifts of 12 hours. Wil Thorne founded the Gas workers and general labourers Union, which evolved into the modern GMB union.

North America


The labour movement in Canada tracked progress in the US and UK. In 1890, the Federation of Labour took up this issue, hoping to organise participation in May Day.[14]


The Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 produced the Constitution of 1917, which contained Article 123 that gave workers the right to organise labour unions and to strike. It also provided protection for women and children, the eight-hour day, and a living wage. See Mexican labour law.

United States

In the United States, Philadelphia carpenters went on strike in 1791 for the ten-hour day. By the 1830s, this had become a general demand. In 1835, workers in Philadelphia organised the first general strike in North America, led by Irish coal heavers. Their banners read, From 6 to 6, ten hours work and two hours for meals.[15] Labour movement publications called for an eight-hour day as early as 1836. Boston ship carpenters, although not unionised, achieved an eight-hour day in 1842.

In 1864, the eight-hour day quickly became a central demand of the Chicago labour movement. The Illinois legislature passed a law in early 1867 granting an eight-hour day but had so many loopholes that it was largely ineffective. A citywide strike that began on 1 May 1867 shut down the city's economy for a week before collapsing.

On 25 June 1868, Congress passed an eight-hour law for federal employees[16][17] which was also of limited effectiveness. It established an eight-hour workday for labourers and mechanics employed by the Federal Government. President Andrew Johnson had vetoed the act but it was passed over his veto. Johnson told a Workingmen's party delegation that he couldn't directly commit himself to an eight-hour day, he nevertheless told the same delegation that he greatly favoured the "shortest number of hours consistent with the interests of all." According to Richard F. Selcer, however, the intentions behind the law were "immediately frustrated" as wages were cut by 20%.[18]

On 19 May 1869, President Ulysses Grant issued a National Eight Hour Law Proclamation.[19]

In August 1866, the National Labor Union at Baltimore passed a resolution that said, "The first and great necessity of the present to free labour of this country from capitalist slavery, is the passing of a law by which eight hours shall be the normal working day in all States of the American Union. We are resolved to put forth all our strength until this glorious result is achieved."

During the 1870s, eight hours became a central demand, especially among labour organisers, with a network of Eight-Hour Leagues which held rallies and parades. A hundred thousand workers in New York City struck and won the eight-hour day in 1872, mostly for building trades workers. In Chicago, Albert Parsons became recording secretary of the Chicago Eight-Hour League in 1878, and was appointed a member of a national eight-hour committee in 1880.

At its convention in Chicago in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions resolved that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labour from and after May 1, 1886, and that we recommend to labour organisations throughout this jurisdiction that they so direct their laws as to conform to this resolution by the time named."

The leadership of the Knights of Labor, under Terence V. Powderly, rejected appeals to join the movement as a whole, but many local Knights assemblies joined the strike call including Chicago, Cincinnati and Milwaukee. On 1 May 1886, Albert Parsons, head of the Chicago Knights of Labor, with his wife Lucy Parsons and two children, led 80,000 people down Michigan Avenue, Chicago, in what is regarded as the first modern May Day Parade, with the cry, "Eight-hour day with no cut in pay." In support of the eight-hour day. In the next few days they were joined nationwide by 350,000 workers who went on strike at 1,200 factories, including 70,000 in Chicago, 45,000 in New York, 32,000 in Cincinnati, and additional thousands in other cities. Some workers gained shorter hours (eight or nine) with no reduction in pay; others accepted pay cuts with the reduction in hours.

Artist impression of the bomb explosion in Haymarket Square

On 3 May 1886, August Spies, editor of the Arbeiter-Zeitung (Workers Newspaper), spoke at a meeting of 6,000 workers, and afterwards many of them moved down the street to harass strikebreakers at the McCormick plant in Chicago. The police arrived, opened fire, and killed four people, wounding many more. At a subsequent rally on 4 May to protest this violence, a bomb exploded at the Haymarket Square. Hundreds of labour activists were rounded up and the prominent labour leaders arrested, tried, convicted, and executed giving the movement its first martyrs. On 26 June 1893 Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld set the remaining leader free, and granted full pardons to all those tried claiming they were innocent of the crime for which they had been tried and the hanged men had been the victims of "hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge".

The American Federation of Labor, meeting in St Louis in December 1888, set 1 May 1890 as the day that American workers should work no more than eight hours. The International Workingmen's Association (Second International), meeting in Paris in 1889, endorsed the date for international demonstrations, thus starting the international tradition of May Day.

The United Mine Workers won an eight-hour day in 1898.

The Building Trades Council (BTC) of San Francisco, under the leadership of P. H. McCarthy, won the eight-hour day in 1900 when the BTC unilaterally declared that its members would work only eight hours a day for $3 a day. When the mill resisted, the BTC began organising mill workers; the employers responded by locking out 8,000 employees throughout the Bay Area. The BTC, in return, established a union planing mill from which construction employers could obtain supplies – or face boycotts and sympathy strikes if they did not. The mill owners went to arbitration, where the union won the eight-hour day, a closed shop for all skilled workers, and an arbitration panel to resolve future disputes. In return, the union agreed to refuse to work with material produced by non-union planing mills or those that paid less than the Bay Area employers.

By 1905, the eight-hour day was widely installed in the printing trades – see International Typographical Union (section) – but the vast majority of Americans worked 12- to 14-hour days.

In the 1912 Presidential Election Teddy Roosevelts Progressive Party campaign platform included the eight-hour work day.

On 5 January 1914, the Ford Motor Company took the radical step of doubling pay to $5 a day and cut shifts from nine hours to eight, moves that were not popular with rival companies, although seeing the increase in Ford's productivity, and a significant increase in profit margin (from $30 million to $60 million in two years), most soon followed suit.[20][21][22][23]

In the summer of 1915, amid increased labour demand for World War I, a series of strikes demanding the eight-hour day began in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They were so successful that they spread throughout the Northeast.[24]

The United States Adamson Act in 1916 established an eight-hour day, with additional pay for overtime, for railroad workers. This was the first federal law that regulated the hours of workers in private companies. The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Act in Wilson v. New, 243 U.S. 332 (1917).

The eight-hour day might have been realised for many working people in the US in 1937, when what became the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S. Code Chapter 8) was first proposed under the New Deal. As enacted, the act applied to industries whose combined employment represented about twenty percent of the US labour force. In those industries, it set the maximum workweek at 40 hours,[25] but provided that employees working beyond 40 hours a week would receive additional overtime bonus salaries.[26]

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico in May 1899, while under US administration, General George W. Davis acceded to Island demands and decreed freedom of assembly, speech, press, religion and an eight-hour day for government employees.



Melbourne eight hour day march-c1900
Eight-hour day march circa 1900, outside Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne.

The Australian gold rushes attracted many skilled tradesmen to Australia. Some of them had been active in the chartism movement, and subsequently became prominent in the campaign for better working conditions in the Australian colonies. Workers began winning an eight-hour day in various companies and industries in the 1850s.

8hoursday banner 1856
Eight-hour day banner, Melbourne, 1856

The Stonemasons' Society in Sydney issued an ultimatum to employers on 18 August 1855 saying that after six months masons would work only an eight-hour day. Due to the rapid increase in population caused by the gold rushes, many buildings were being constructed, so skilled labour was scarce. Stonemasons working on the Holy Trinity Church and the Mariners' Church (an evangelical mission to seafarers), decided not to wait and pre-emptively went on strike, thus winning the eight-hour day. They celebrated with a victory dinner on 1 October 1855 which to this day is celebrated as a Labour Day holiday in the state of New South Wales. When the six-month ultimatum expired in February 1856, stonemasons generally agitated for a reduction of hours. Although opposed by employers, a two-week strike on the construction of Tooth's Brewery on Parramatta Road proved effective, and stonemasons won an eight-hour day by early March 1856, but with a reduction in wages to match.[27]

Agitation was also occurring in Melbourne where the craft unions were more militant. Stonemasons working on Melbourne University organised to down tools on 21 April 1856 and march to Parliament House with other members of the building trade. The movement in Melbourne was led by veteran chartists and mason James Stephens, T.W. Vine and James Galloway. The government agreed that workers employed on public works should enjoy an eight-hour day with no loss of pay and Stonemasons celebrated with a holiday and procession on Monday 12 May 1856, when about 700 people marched with 19 trades involved. By 1858 the eight-hour day was firmly established in the building industry and by 1860 the eight-hour day was fairly widely worked in Victoria. From 1879 the eight-hour day was a public holiday in Victoria. The initial success in Melbourne led to the decision to organise a movement, to actively spread the eight-hour idea, and secure the condition generally.

In 1903 veteran socialist Tom Mann spoke to a crowd of a thousand people at the unveiling of the Eight Hour Day monument, funded by public subscription, on the south side of Parliament House on Spring St. It was relocated in 1923 to the corner of Victoria and Russell Streets outside Melbourne Trades Hall.

Wyalong eight hour day
Eight-hour day procession by miners in Wyalong, New South Wales – late 1890s

It took further campaigning and struggles by trade unions to extend the reduction in hours to all workers in Australia. In 1916 the Victoria Eight Hours Act was passed granting the eight-hour day to all workers in the state. The eight-hour day was not achieved nationally until the 1920s. The Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave approval of the 40-hour five-day working week nationally beginning on 1 January 1948. The achievement of the eight-hour day has been described by historian Rowan Cahill as "one of the great successes of the Australian working class during the nineteenth century, demonstrating to Australian workers that it was possible to successfully organise, mobilise, agitate, and exercise significant control over working conditions and quality of life. The Australian trade union movement grew out of eight-hour campaigning and the movement that developed to promote the principle."

The intertwined numbers 888 soon adorned the pediment of many union buildings around Australia. The Eight Hour March, which began on 21 April 1856, continued each year until 1951 in Melbourne, when the conservative Victorian Trades Hall Council decided to forgo the tradition for the Moomba festival on the Labour Day weekend. In capital cities and towns across Australia, Eight Hour day marches became a regular social event each year, with early marches often restricted to those workers who had won an eight-hour day.

New Zealand

Promoted by Samuel Duncan Parnell as early as 1840, when carpenter Samuel Parnell refused to work more than eight hours a day when erecting a store for merchant George Hunter. He successfully negotiated this working condition and campaigned for its extension in the infant Wellington community. A meeting of Wellington carpenters in October 1840 pledged "to maintain the eight-hour working day, and that anyone offending should be ducked into the harbour".

Parnell is reported to have said: "There are twenty-four hours per day given us; eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for men to do what little things they want for themselves." With tradesmen in short supply the employer was forced to accept Parnell's terms. Parnell later wrote, "the first strike for eight hours a day the world has ever seen, was settled on the spot".[28][29]

Emigrants to the new settlement of Dunedin, Otago, while onboard ship decided on a reduction of working hours. When the resident agent of the New Zealand Company, Captain Cargill, attempted to enforce a ten-hour day in January 1849 in Dunedin, he was unable to overcome the resistance of trades people under the leadership of house painter and plumber, Samuel Shaw. Building trades in Auckland achieved the eight-hour day on 1 September 1857 after agitation led by Chartist painter, William Griffin. For many years the eight-hour day was confined to craft tradesmen and unionised workers. Labour Day, which commemorates the introduction of the eight-hour day, became a national public holiday in 1899.

South America

A strike for the eight-hour day was held in May 1919 in Peru. In Uruguay, the eight-hour day was put in place in 1915 of several reforms implemented during the second term of president José Batlle y Ordóñez. It was introduced in Chile on 8 September 1924 at the demand of then-general Luis Altamirano as part of the Ruido de sables that culminated in the September Junta.

See also


  1. ^ Chase, Eric. "The Brief Origins of May Day". Industrial Workers of the World. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  2. ^ "The Haymarket Martyrs". The Illinois Labor History Society. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  3. ^ Marx, Karl (1915). Capital: The process of capitalist production. Translated by Samuel Moore, Edward Bibbins Aveling, and Ernest Untermann. C. H. Kerr. p. 328.
  4. ^ Marx, Karl (1867). Das Kapital. p. 376.
  5. ^ Neocleous, Mark. "The Political Economy of the Dead: Marx's Vampires" (PDF). Brunel University. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  6. ^ s: Constitution of the International Labour Office
  7. ^ "8時間労働発祥の地神戸" [Kobe: Birthplace of the Eight-Hour Day] (in Japanese). City of Kobe. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Labor Standards Act". Ministry of Justice (Japan). 11 December 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ http://travailemploi.revues.org/4567/
  11. ^ "Az ipari munkások munkabérének ideiglenes megállapítása. A Forradalmi Kormányzótanács LXIV. számú rendelete" [Temporary determination of the industrial workers' wages. Decree No. 64 of the Revolutionary Governing Council.]. A Forradalmi Kormányzótanács és a népbiztosságok rendeletei [Decrees of the Revolutionary Governing Council and the people’s commissariats] (in Hungarian). Szocialista-Kommunista Munkások Magyarországi Pártja. 2: 32–33. 1919.
  12. ^ Dekret o 8-mio godzinnym dniu pracy
  13. ^ Sidney Webb. "The eight hours day". Open Library. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  14. ^ "The New Canadian Ship Railway". Hardware. 10 January 1890. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  15. ^ Philip S. Foner, History of the Labor Movement in the United States, Vol. 1, From Colonial Times to the Founding of The American Federation of Labor, International Publishers, 1975, pages 116–118
  16. ^ "United States v. Martin – 94 U.S. 400 (1876) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center". Supreme.justia.com. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  17. ^ "336 U.S. 281". Ftp.resource.org. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  18. ^ Richard F. Selcer (2006). Civil War America, 1850 To 1875. Infobase Publishing. p. 65.
  19. ^ "The Lines are Drawn". Chicagohistory.org. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  20. ^ New York Times "[Ford] Gives $10,000,000 To 26,000 Employees", The New York Times, 5 January 1914, accessed 23 April 2011.
  21. ^ Ford Motor Company "Henry Ford's $5-a-Day Revolution" Archived 6 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Ford, 5 January 1914, accessed 23 April 2011.
  22. ^ HispanicPundit "Economic Myths: The 5 Day Work Week And The 8 Hour Day", Hispanic Pundit, 21 September 2005, accessed 23 April 2011.
  23. ^ Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc. "Ford: Doubling the profit from 1914–1916", Hispanic Pundit, 1996, accessed 24 April 2011.
  24. ^ Philip Sheldon Foner (1982). History of the Labor Movement in the United States: 1915–1916, on the Eve of America's Entrance into World War I, Vol. 6. International Publishers Company, Incorporated. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-7178-0595-2. [A] ten-hour center like Bridgeport was converted overnight into an eight-hour community, a result that ten years of agitation under normal conditions might not have accomplished.
  25. ^ Jonathan Grossman (June 1978). "Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938: Maximum Struggle for a Minimum Wage". Monthly Labor Review. US Department of Labor. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  26. ^ "National Fair Labor Standards Act". Chron. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  27. ^ Cahill, Rowan. "The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit". Workers Online. Labor Council of N.S.W. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  28. ^ Roth, Bert. "Samuel Duncan Parnell". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  29. ^ Bert Roth (1966). "Eight-Hour-Day Movement (in New Zealand)". Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2017.

Further reading

External links

New Zealand

United States of America

1913 Paterson silk strike

The 1913 Paterson silk strike was a work stoppage involving silk mill workers in Paterson, New Jersey. The strike involved demands for establishment of an eight-hour day and improved working conditions. The strike began in February, 1913, and ended five months later, on July 28th. During the course of the strike, approximately 1,850 strikers were arrested, including Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) leaders William Dudley Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

1942 Edmonton municipal election

The 1942 municipal election was held November 12, 1942 to elect a mayor and five aldermen to sit on Edmonton City Council, three trustees to sit on the public school board and five trustees to sit on the separate school board. Voters also approved an eight-hour day for firefighters. The election would normally have been held on November 11 (the rule at the time being that the municipal election would be held on the second Wednesday of November), but was delayed by a day owing to the Armistice Day holiday.

There were ten aldermen on city council, but five of the positions were already filled: Harry Ainlay (SS), James McCrie Douglas (SS), Gwendolen Clarke, Charles Gariepy, Guy Patterson were all elected to two-year terms in 1941 and were still in office.

There were seven trustees on the public school board, but four of the positions were already filled: Melvin Downey (SS), Roy Sutherland, Albert Ottewell (SS), and James Hyndman had been elected to two-year terms in 1941 and were still in office. On the separate board, two of the seven seats were occupied: Thomas Malone and William Wilde (SS) had been elected in 1941 and were still in office. Robert Tighe and Romeo Bouchard had also been elected in 1941, but Tighe had died and Bouchard had resigned. Accordingly, Joseph Gallant and J O Pilon were elected to one-year terms.

Alfred Allen (Australian politician)

Alfred Allen (1839 – 5 August 1917) was an Irish-born Australian politician.

Born in Belfast to soap and candle manufacturer William Bell Allen and Ruth Johnston Sayers, his family arrived in Sydney in 1841. He was dismissed from his apprenticeship to an engineers' firm after supporting early closing and the eight-hour day. He worked as an engineer, goldminer, farmer, printer, manufacturer and insurance salesman before his father's death in 1869 led him to take over the family business with his brother William Johnston Allen. He married Amelia Petford on 9 September 1861; they had four children. In 1887 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the Free Trade member for Paddington. He served until his defeat in 1894. Allen's father and brother were also members of the Assembly. He died in Waverley in 1917.

Allan Studholme

Allan Studholme (8 December 1846 – 28 July 1919) was a Canadian trade unionist and politician.

Born in England near Birmingham, Studholme worked from his childhood. He moved to Canada in 1878 living in Dundas and Guelph before settling in Hamilton in 1885 where he found work as a stove mounter. An active trade unionist from his days in Britain, Studholme became active in the Knights of Labour and believed that workers should be active in politics on a class basis.

After a short time in Australia and New Zealand he returned to Hamilton in 1901. As a result of his involvement in support of striking streetcar workers he was elected to the Ontario legislature from Hamilton East in a 1906 by-election as an Independent Labour MLA becoming the first Labour member of the Ontario legislature. He remained at Queen's Park until his death in 1919.

In the legislature, Studholme championed pro-worker legislation such as the eight-hour day, a minimum wage and helped bring the Workmen's Compensation Act into existence. He also supported progressive causes such as women's suffrage.

Australian labour movement

The Australian labour movement has its origins in the early 19th century and includes both trade unions and political activity. At its broadest, the movement encompasses an industrial wing (Australian unions) and a political wing (Australian Labor Party). Trade unions in Australia may be organised (i.e., formed) on the basis of craft unionism, general unionism, or industrial unionism. Almost all unions in Australia are affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), many of which have undergone a significant process of amalgamations, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The leadership and membership of unions hold and have at other times held a wide range of political views, including communist, socialist and right-wing views.

According to ABS figures, in August 2013, there were 1.7 million members of trade unions in relation to their main job (17% of all employees). A further 4% did not know whether they were trade union members or not, while 1% were trade union members not in conjunction with their main job. Of those who were a trade union member in relation to their main job, over two thirds (68%) had been members for five years or more. Trade union membership has steadily declined over recent years, with 2013 being the lowest proportion in the history of the ABS series. According to ACTU figures, the number of members of trade unions in 1983 was 2,376,900 but by 2002 it was 1,833,700, and declining.

The Australian Labor Party at both a federal and state/colony level pre-dates, among others, both the British Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party in party formation, government, and policy implementation. In particular, the 1910 federal election represented a number of firsts: it was Australia's first elected federal majority government; Australia's first elected Senate majority; the world's first Labour Party majority government at a national level; after the 1904 Chris Watson minority government the world's second Labour Party government at a national level; and the first time it controlled both houses of a bicameral legislature.

Constitutional Democratic Party

The Constitutional Democratic Party (Russian: Конституционно-демократическая партия, Konstitutsionno-Demokraticheskaya Partiya, K-D), also called Constitutional Democrats and formally the Party of People's Freedom, was a liberal political party in the Russian Empire encompassing constitutional monarchists and moderate republicans. Party members were called Kadets (or Cadets) from the abbreviation K-D of the party name. Konstantin Kavelin's and Boris Chicherin's writings formed the theoretical basis of the party's platform. Historian Pavel Miliukov was the party's leader throughout its existence.

The Kadets' base of support were intellectuals and professionals while university professors and lawyers were particularly prominent within the party. A large number of Kadet party members were veterans of the zemstvo, local councils. The Constitutional Democratic Party formed from the merger of several liberal groupings, namely the Union of Liberation, the Union of Zemstvo Constitutionalists and the Union of Unions as well as the organization of bourgeois professionals and intellectuals, including teachers, lawyers, writers, physicians and engineers.The Kadets' liberal economic program favored the workers' right to an eight-hour day and the right to take strike action. The Kadets "were unwaveringly committed to full citizenship for all of Russia's minorities" and supported Jewish emancipation. The party drew significant support from Jews and Volga Germans and a significant number of each group were active party members.

Cripple Creek miners' strike of 1894

The Cripple Creek miners' strike of 1894 was a five-month strike by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) in Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA. It resulted in a victory for the union and was followed in 1903 by the Colorado Labor Wars. It is notable for being the only time in United States history when a state militia was called out (May/June 1894) in support of striking workers.The strike was characterized by firefights and use of dynamite, and ended after a standoff between the Colorado state militia and a private force working for owners of the mines. In the years after the strike, the WFM's popularity and power increased significantly through the region.

Cumberland Miners' Association

The Cumberland Miners' Association was a trade union in the United Kingdom.

The union was founded in 1872 as the West Cumberland Miners' Association, with its aims being the establishment of an eight-hour day, and improved safety. In 1906, it removed "West" from its name. Never a large organisation, in 1910 it had 6,326 members, based in Whitehaven and Workington. Its executive became dominated by the Independent Labour Party, and it thereby came to have considerable influence in elections in the county, with most Labour Party candidates being union members.In its early years, the union was a member of the Amalgamated Association of Miners; it later affiliated to the Miners Federation of Great Britain.

In 1945, the CMA became the Cumberland Area of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), with less autonomy than before. By the 1970s, it was the smallest area of the union, By the end of the miners' strike in 1985, its area contained only one pit and around 150 members. Later in the decade, it merged with the Lancashire Area of the NUM to form the North West Area.

Four-day week

A four-day week is an arrangement where a workplace or school has its employees or students work or attend school over the course of four days rather than the more customary five. This arrangement can be a part of flexible working hours, and is sometimes used to cut costs, as seen in the example of the so-called "4/10 work week," where employees work a normal 40 hours across four days, i.e. a "four-ten" week.In 2008, employees of the Utah state government all began working ten-hour days from Monday to Thursday.

By closing state government offices on Fridays, the state expected to save on operating costs such as electricity, heat, air conditioning, and gasoline for state-owned vehicles. Utah ended this practice however, in 2011, with the Utah Legislature overriding Governor Gary Herbert's veto of five-day work week legislation.Many local governments have had alternative schedules for many years.Public schools in Hawaii closed on 17 Fridays in 2010. Over 100 school districts in rural areas in the United States changed the school week to a four-day week; most also extended each school day by an hour or more. The changes were often made in order to save money on transportation, heating, and substitute teachers.More modest attempts to enact a 32-hour workweek (a four-day week and an eight-hour day combined) have remained elusive in the following 80 years despite pockets of residual support.In Gambia, a four-day workweek was introduced for public officials by president Yahya Jammeh, effective as of 1 February 2013. Working hours became Mondays through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with Friday foreseen as a day of rest to allow residents more time for prayer and agriculture. This regulation was abolished in early 2017 by his successor, president Adama Barrow, who decreed a half-day of work on Fridays.In 2016, a IT company in Romania, declared Monday as a day-off. As a result of reducing with 20% of working time, Friday has become much more productive. The employees said that three days off actually means 50% more free time than before.

Haymarket affair

The Haymarket affair (also known as the Haymarket massacre, Haymarket riot, or Haymarket Square riot) was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at the police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; dozens of others were wounded.

In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. The evidence was that one of the defendants may have built the bomb, but none of those on trial had thrown it. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois's new governor, John Peter Altgeld, pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

The Haymarket Affair is generally considered significant as the origin of International Workers' Day, held on May 1. According to labor studies professor William J. Adelman:

No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.

The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument at the defendants' burial site in nearby Forest Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

Labour Day

Labour Day (Labor Day in the United States) is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

For most countries, Labour Day is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on 1 May. For other countries, Labour Day is celebrated on a different date, often one with special significance for the labour movement in that country. Labour Day is a public holiday in many countries.

In Canada and the United States, the holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of September and considered the unofficial end of summer, with summer vacations ending and students returning to school around then.

Letter Carriers' Monument

The Letter Carriers' Monument is a piece of public art by American artist Elliot Offner, located on a triangular plot formed by North 2nd Street, North Plankinton Avenue and West Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States. Created in 1989, the monument depicts three letter carriers and was commissioned in celebration of the centennial of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

The bronze sculpture depicts three figures representing letter carriers from across NALC's history: A white man with a mustache wearing a turn of the 20th century uniform (with an inscription on the jacket reading "Offner '89"); an African American man wearing a 1939 uniform (from the time of NALC's fiftieth anniversary); and a woman in a contemporary uniform. The sculpture is set on a black granite base, with the north and south faces of the base reading: "In honor of the men and women/ who have delivered for America/ in rain, sleet, and snow./ And in tribute to their Union,/ the National Association of Letter Carriers,/ founded across Plankinton Avenue/ from this site on August 30, 1889./ Dedicated August 30, 1989." The monument measures 66 x 67 x 56 inches, and was created in 1989.The sculpture is a tribute to the National Association of Letter Carriers, commissioned to celebrate the centennial of its founding. The group's history began when the United States Postal Service gave employment preference to veterans after the American Civil War. As a result, there were many veterans employed by the Postal Service across the United States. After the Postal Service administration refused to recognize the eight-hour day, a group of veteran Milwaukee postal workers organized 60 postal worker veterans from 18 states who met in a tavern on Plankinton Avenue (the building, now used for storage by Renaissance Books, formerly housed the headquarters of Manpower Inc.) on August 30, 1889, immediately following the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic in Milwaukee. The postal workers agreed to form the National Association of Letter Carriers, demanding an eight-hour work day, a higher pay scale, a pension plan, and service stripes for every four years of service.Elliot Offner was commissioned through the Franz Bader Gallery in New York to create the monument. He built the maquette in Cambridge, England while he was there as a visiting artist. He then worked with the Tallix Foundry in Beacon, New York to cast the sculpture. The work was sent to Milwaukee by truck from New York.

Centennial celebrations lasted four days and included a parade, exhibits and the dedication of the monument by Vincent R. Sombrotto, NALC's president. More than four thousand letter carriers and their families attended the festivities. The U.S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp (designed by Jack Davis) depicting three contemporary letter carriers, to commemorate the centennial day.

Buck and Palmer's 1995 Outdoor Sculpture in Milwaukee: A Cultural and Historical Guidebook observes: "The downtown Milwaukee site of the monument is correct in a historical sense, but unsuccessful in its public presence. Site considerations for the monument were overlooked and it stands on the small crowded triangle with annoying awkwardness."The sculpture is well maintained.

National Defence League

The National Defence League (NDL) was an independent conservative political party founded in 1891 by MLC Richard Baker in South Australia as an immediate response to the perceived threat from Labor. Though renamed the Australasian National League (ANL) in 1896, it was still often referred to by its former name. It lasted until after the 1910 election when it merged with the Liberal and Democratic Union and the Farmers and Producers Political Union to become the Liberal Union.

The NDL, composed of Adelaide businessmen, professional men and pastoralists, organised to oppose: Labor and the United Trades and Labour Council, perceived socialism, increased suffrage, the eight-hour day, state conciliation and arbitration, and single tax. The NDL stood for 'the preservation of law, order and property' and was opposed to 'all undue class influence in Parliament'.

The party's highest vote was 30.6 percent at the 1896 election. The party's most seats won was 20 seats (37.0% of seats) at the 1893 election or proportionally 17 of 42 seats (40.5% of seats) at the 1902 election.

Many candidates and MPs received election endorsement only rather than being chosen as an official candidate.

The current South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of South Australia claims on their website that their party had its origin under the NDL.

National Labor Union

The National Labor Union (NLU) was the first national labor federation in the United States. Founded in 1866 and dissolved in 1873, it paved the way for other organizations, such as the Knights of Labor and the AFL (American Federation of Labor). It was led by William H. Sylvis and Andrew Cameron.

Overtime rate

Overtime rate is a calculation of hours worked by a worker that exceed those hours defined for a standard workweek. This rate can have different meanings in different countries and jurisdictions, depending on how that jurisdiction's labor law defines overtime. In many jurisdictions, additional pay is mandated for certain classes of workers when this set number of hours is exceeded. In others, there is no concept of a standard workweek or analogous time period, and no additional pay for exceeding a set number of hours within that week.

The overtime rate calculates the ratio between employee overtime with the regular hours in a specific time period. Even if the work is planned or scheduled, it can still be considered overtime if it exceeds what is considered the standard workweek in that jurisdiction.

A high overtime rate is a good indicator of a temporary or permanent high workload, and can be a contentious issue in labor-management relations. It could result in a higher illness rate, lower safety rate, higher labor costs, and lower productivity.

Samuel Duncan Parnell

Samuel Duncan Parnell (19 February 1810 – 17 December 1890) was an early New Zealand settler often credited with the establishment of the eight-hour day in New Zealand.

Solidaridad Obrera (historical union)

Solidaridad Obrera (Spanish, meaning "Workers' Solidarity"; originally, in Catalan, Solidaritat Obrera) was a labor federation in Spain. It was initially formed on August 3, 1907, as a "pure syndicalist" federation, incorporating the structures of the Unió Local de Societats Obreres de Barcelona ("Local Union of Workers' Societies of Barcelona") with the purpose of reorganizing the Catalan trade unions. These unions were quite weak at the time, due to the failure of a 1902 general strike which had sought the eight-hour day and the recognition of the right to strike.

There were two constituent meetings of what was initially the Federació Local de Societats Obreres de Barcelona ("Local Federation of Workers' Societies of Barcelona", June 1907), which agreed to publish a common manifesto to constitute an organizing committee, which included Antoni Fabra, Josep Prat, and Tomás Herreros.

The federation established a rule that they would only enroll organizations composed exclusively of workers. They quickly acquired an enormous force among the working class, affiliating many Catalan workers' societies in the congress of September 6–8, 1908, and reconstituting themselves as Catalan Regional Workers' Solidarity. That same year the newspaper Solidaritat Obrera published a manifesto rejecting the proposed Anti-Terrorism Law of the government led by Antonio Maura. Though the federation initially spurned partisanship, and alignment with either the Marxist or anarchist brand of socialism, the congress held on June 13, 1909, brought approval of the general strike, and effective takeover by the anarcho-syndicalists in the federation.After a major general strike in Barcelona, which ended in the executions of several anarchists, the government repressed elements of the anarchist movement, these events being referred to as the "Tragic Week" (Spanish: la Semana Trágica; Catalan: la Setmana Tràgica). The following repression of workers' movements brought Solidaridad Obrera's activities to a virtual standstill.

The reestablished confederation held its second congress in Barcelona in 31 October–1 November 1910, in which it discussed widening its ambit to all of Spain, a sensitive decision because the rival Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) already had a sound foundation in the rest of Spain, although not in Catalonia, where it constituted a minority. By a wide margin, they voted to constitute themselves as a workers confederation throughout Spain: the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT, "National Workers' Confederation").

Thomas Thrower

Thomas Henry Thrower (28 June 1870 – 21 June 1917) was an Australian politician.

Born in Sydney to publican Frederick Palmer Thrower and Mary Ann Comerford, he became a cabinet maker. Around 1900 he married Catherine Newman, with whom he had five children. He was President of the Furniture Trades Union, secretary of the Trades and Labour Council and secretary of the Eight Hour Day Committee in 1900; later, from 1907 to 1910, he would be secretary of the Western Timbergetters Association. In 1904 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the Labor member for Macquarie; he served until 1907 and then again from 1910 to 1917. Thrower died at Redfern in 1917.

Wage labour

Wage labour (also wage labor in American English) is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour power under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages or salaries are market-determined.

In exchange for the money paid as wages (usual for short-term work-contracts) or salaries (in permanent employment contracts), the work product generally becomes the undifferentiated property of the employer, except for special cases such as the vesting of intellectual property patents in the United States where patent rights are usually vested in the employee personally responsible for the invention. A wage labourer is a person whose primary means of income is from the selling of their labour in this way.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.