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Questions tagged [labour-history]

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Given the direct involvement of tech companies has there been any strikes over tech companies’ participation in surveillance culture?

Google employees have staged a mass strike over sexual harassment. This obviously fits into a tradition of labour disputes and is a conflict over contemporary mores. However, the article does ...
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1answer
27 views

Has The USPS / APWU Ever Had A Strike Since 1970?

Here in Canada we presently have the CUPW engaged in a strike which is disrupting mail delivery. I talked to one of my friends in the US, and he was surprised to hear of a strike. Apparently they don'...
8
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1answer
157 views

Did indentured servants in British North America have job security?

Most people know about the practice of Indentured Servitude in the British North American colonies - that workers would receive "free" passage to the Colonies in exchange for working for the ...
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4answers
2k views

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries? Was it because the sailors in the Royal Navy and privateers were not satisfied with their pay? Was it because since many wars were ...
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0answers
117 views

What happened to railroad workers whose jobs became redundant?

In the early 20th century, the steam locomotive was the king of land transportation. The railroad industry was one of the largest employers in the US, employing massive numbers of workers to build and ...
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0answers
53 views

Did the journeyman system exist?

Answers on apprentice contracts and mastery elsewhere leads me to ask if the journeyman system ever existed in European guild labour systems, and its broad manner of operation?
5
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1answer
170 views

When did singing at work fall in and out of vogue in western civilization?

As far as I can tell, virtually nobody persistently sings at work. Especially not as in a semi-formal group effort such as a barbershop quartet or a call-and -response sea shanty. I was taught in ...
3
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1answer
239 views

Under Catherine the Great were all officers appointed for five years?

I noticed that the chief commandants of Kamchatka seemed to serve terms of about five years (Koselev 1802-1807, Petrovskii 1807-1813, Rudakov 1813-1817). These seem to have been Majors-General (rank ...
2
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1answer
154 views

How did the Russian-American Company hire serfs?

In the Russian Empire until 1861 the estate of serfdom kept most of the country's population the property of others. This cheap labor was attractive to capitalist enterprises like the Russian-American ...
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0answers
32 views

How old were the youngest employees of the Russian-American Company?

The Russian-American Company, founded 1799, employed some real lowlifes. Golovnin about 1810 found them "composed for the most part of dissolute persons, many of whom have been flogged with the knout ...
6
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1answer
155 views

Were the officers assigned to Kamchatka being punished?

The Russian Imperial army and navy had to build frontier outposts in very remote locations such as Kamchatka. During the Catherine the Great/Paul/Alexander period (1762-1825), the few ostrogs and ...
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0answers
134 views

Did New York skyscrapers construction workers take any industrial action over safety concerns?

This video talks about the construction of New York's skyscrapers such as the Chrysler Building and Empire State by the 'roughnecks', a specialized set of construction workers who worked high in the ...
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1answer
502 views

How many hours a week did the Tolpuddle Martyrs work?

I can find lots of references to the pay rate of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (originally 10 shillings a week, then reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six) but how many hours a ...
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2answers
524 views

In historical slave societies, what jobs were left over for poor free laborers?

And what laws or institutions sprang up to deal with them? Slaves have the effect of depressing wages for poor workers. If this has been a universal, I'm curious whether slave-owning cultures have ...
5
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1answer
111 views

Was every man compelled to follow his father's occupation in ancient Egypt?

Adam Smith wrote that in ancient Egypt: every man was bound by a principle of religion to follow the occupation of his father, and was supposed to commit the most horrid sacrilege if he changed it ...
8
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1answer
477 views

How successful (or not) was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 concerning employment discrimination?

In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which greatly increased the federal government’s power concerning personal property. Using the Commerce Clause and the recent SCOTUS decision in Wickard v....
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3answers
362 views

Was American slavery economically advantageous primarily due to being able to also sell offspring?

It seems to me that the cost of a slave, which might have been 800 dollars, was something like 2 or 3 years salary for a Chinese laborer on the transcontinental railroad project -- they made literally ...
6
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5answers
852 views

When have salaries been paid in kind, not cash? [closed]

Formal jobs of the present day pay primarily cash wages, but a great number of historical employees earned primarily food, housing, goods from a company store, scrip, or debt repayment. These non-...
4
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1answer
603 views

How were native laborers on California ranchos treated?

The ranchos established during the Mexican period of California history relied on the labor of native Americans. Unlike the Mission properties, ranchos did not attempt to prevent workers from escaping ...
3
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1answer
175 views

Did any plantation/hacienda/fazenda owner free all his slaves?

The North and South American masters that kept slaves are today criticized for it. Their income of course depended on slave labor. Anywhere in the Americas, did any of them free their slaves -- not at ...
9
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1answer
373 views

What was the largest strike, by % of a country's population, in history?

This week, India had an enormous strike - up to 200 million people. Some links: Indian Workers Strike in Fight for Higher Wages(Guardian) Millions Indian Workers Strike(Al Jazeera) Real News ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What happened to UK national debt when the NHS was created?

The National Health Service (NHS) was created after World War II, so UK national debt must have been high (?) at that point. The creation of the NHS should have caused a great increase in national ...
3
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3answers
343 views

Was the Abolition of Slavery in the United States perceived and advertised as an effort to improve race relations or as an improvement to labour laws?

Firstly, a note: This is a genuine question born of real curiosity, and not an attempt to belittle either the modern socialist cause or the difficulties faced by non-Caucasians in the pre-Abolition (...
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2answers
660 views

How would prospective members join a medieval European guild?

On related lines, 1) How would a young person (young man) have selected a master with whom to apprentice? How did the matching up process work? 2) What motivated a master/practitioner to take on an ...
20
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1answer
1k views

What were the key factors to the fall of domestic socialism in the USA?

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s the United States saw the rise of trade union membership, the coming and going of the populist party, and watched the progressive era come to institute reforms ...
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1answer
170 views

In exchange for forbidding strikes, did Napoleon guarantee high wages?

According to Wikipedia citing Frank McLynn, Napoleon, Pimlico 1998 Ch 21, p482, strikes were forbidden by Napoleon I in exchange for a guarantee by employers that wages would remain high. How did ...
4
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1answer
206 views

Cattle handling in the 19th century

In the largest cattle raising countries - Australia and the USA, huge free ranging herds were kept. Nowadays, we use yards and crushes for husbandry activities such as drafting and calf marking (...
3
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2answers
272 views

What was Lester B. Pearson's motivation for instituting Canada's 40 hr. work week?

Back in the 1960s, Lester B. Pearson instituted Canada's 40-hour work week as well as 2 weeks vacation and a new minimum wage. However, his motivations for doing so at that time are not clear to me. ...
5
votes
1answer
435 views

Why was the Le Chapelier law annulled in Belgium?

The Le Chapelier Law was an important law in Belgium, as it implicitly disallowed the proletariat from associating, or organising a strike. As the parliament at the time (1864) was dominated by the ...
5
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1answer
994 views

What did farmers/laborers use for boots before modern rubber existed?

The need or usefulness to protect one's feet while doing certain duties in farming, heavy labor, and the like (such as construction with pointy things and hard edges everywhere), I am assuming has ...
1
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1answer
1k views

How did Asian Americans manage to become richer than an average American? [closed]

By "richer" I mean higher median income. Large-scale immigration of Asians to the United States began in the 19th century. In the beginning, most of them were poorer than an average American. ...
8
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2answers
699 views

What Happened to Hacker Culture After 1970?

"Hacker Culture" centers mainly around being really good at something for its own sake, especially in programming. I've read a lot about it, but what I read suggests that Hacker Culture no longer ...
3
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1answer
176 views

How did Americans adopt processed and off-site butchered meat for domestic consumption in their food supply?

Meats supplied for domestic consumption through the US supermarket system are either processed or pre-cut. This contrasts with other food cultures where meat is supplied as whole animals, or ...
8
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2answers
235 views

What is the meaning of “£10 per cent” in the early 19th century in relation to a wage (30/- fortnight)

Reading Hammond and Hammond (1919) The Skilled labourer I came across the expression of £10% in the quoted primary sources, ie, at 34: The Duke of Northumberland wrote to the H.O. on May 26 that work ...
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2answers
1k views

Was the enclosure responsible for the supply of factory workers in 18th and 19th Century England?

Were the enclosures of rural land responsible for the supply of workers to factories in the 18th and 19th century in England?
7
votes
3answers
589 views

During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
0
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2answers
243 views

Has the accounting services industry ever been disrupted in the U.S.?

What is the most-radical example of a disrupting service / model in the accounting business services industry? What I mean by disrupted is that someone has at some point taken such a radically ...
7
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3answers
867 views

Were labor shortages ever a problem for the railroads in the Old West?

Many different rail lines were built in the western United States from the 1850s onwards. Was construction ever delayed/canceled due to difficulty in finding workers, or due to workers leaving the ...
5
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1answer
91 views

Where can I find a PDF of the Commission on Industrial Relations?

Where can I find good primary source website? I need to find a PDF of the Commission on Industrial Relations. But, the only place that I can find it is within the University of Miami website, which ...
13
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3answers
336 views

What institutional precursors enabled labor unions to emerge in the United States?

What institutions and organizations existed in the United States before the structured and recognizable labor unions formed as a visible sign of organizations to come? How did these predecessor ...