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The Events that Led to the 40 Hours of Work in a Week

Many companies did not have their employees working for 40 hours in a week. You will still have some workers who work for over 48 hours in a week with the set working hours being 40 hours, which is 8 hours a day for five days. The 40 hour work week did not come easy, and from below, you will learn more on what led to this.

Own who was a Welsh manufacturer suggested that a day should be divided into three equal sections with 8 hours back in 1817. The first part of the day would be for working, the other part would be for recreation, and the other would be for rest. Many of the nations in Europe did not like the idea, but later in the US, it gained popularity. The Congress later in 1866 passed the law, but it did not take charge.

In 1867, workers requested the Illinois Legislature to limit the working hours to 8 hours. The law was passed, but there are those who could sign a deal with their employers for longer hours. Many were not excited by this, and it led to a massive strike in Chicago on the 1st of May, and this spread to other nations in Europe. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant said that each company should pay a stable wage to their workers and the working hours would be 8 hours in a day.

The 1870s and the 1880s had some action of the trade unions, and the labor organizations as they championed for the 8 work hours in a day and they could hold a strike each year on the 1st of May. In 1886, a strike was organized that caused deaths and injuries of both the police and the workers.

The Ford Motor Company instituted the 8 hours of work with a better wage in 1914, but the workers still worked for six days. This company could send people to evaluate the homes of their employees to see whether they deserved the better wages. In 1916 more industries instituted the 40 work week. It thus led to a strike of 4 million American workers who had not received this right.

In 1937, the General Motors Company had still not instituted the eight working hours with better pay. They had poor working conditions for their workers. The working hours of the workers of the GMC were reduced when they went on a strike during the Great Depression.

President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which brought the reduction on the working hours to 44 in 1938. In 1940, the FLSA was amended by the Congress to 40 working hours.