The Keating Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 aimed to prevent the exploitation of children by banning the sale and shipment of goods produced by workers under age 16 in mines and under age 14 in factories, canneries and stores. The act also restricted children under 16 from working more than eight hours daily between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and limited them to a six-day workweek.
The act was inspired by a census in 1900, which reported that roughly two million children were employed in the United States, exposing them to poor health and environmental conditions. They were typically immigrant children living in poverty and working more than 12 hours a day. The children had a high risk of injuries and illness and sacrificed attending school to help support their families. The act was backed in congress by Representatives Robert Latham Owen and Edward Keating and legalized by President Woodrow Wilson.
To effectively regulate child workers, the act also established a force of inspectors who could perform periodic evaluations without giving notice. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce were charged with creating an advisory board to define and update child labor regulations. However, the Supreme Court considered the act unconstitutional because the child labor agenda took advantage of the federal government's powers to regulate interstate trade.Learn More
According to environmental lawyer Diane Saxe, factories that wish to reduce emissions can practice either pollution prevention or pollution control. Pollution prevention means changing the way a factory operates so that it produces very little or none of a particular pollutant. This usually involves eliminating a certain chemical or material from its operations. Pollution control involves installing equipment that captures pollutants before they enter the environment.Full Answer >
Henry Ford treated his workers with care, having implemented a $5 daily wage for the workers in 1914. The amount was almost twice the rate other car factories paid their workers. Ford believed that increasing the pay would make the workers happier and encourage them to work faster.Full Answer >
Although many conditions can lead to labor unrest, the most common are poor and dangerous working conditions, unfair pay for the labor provided and income inequality among workers. American labor unrest in the late-19th and early-20th century came from a shift in socioeconomic status among laborers.Full Answer >
During the Industrial Revolution, labor unions played a critical role in empowering workers. Not only were they effective in helping improve factory conditions and pay rates, they offered workers an important entry point into the political sphere, where they came to embody a powerful constituency with demands and views that required representation. As stated by History-World.org., unions thus helped workers gain “the right to vote and expand their political power.”Full Answer >