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Labour Rights Statistics
Beginning Middle End
Union and
The right for In 1865, employers were under By 1992, the right for unions to exist and be
trade unions to no legal obligation to recognise recognised remained, but the increasing
exist and be the existence of labour unions. strength of employers reduced the power of
recognised as unions.
representing the
workforce.…read more

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Wage rises and increases in overtime By 1979, real wages of semiskilled and
and southern millworkers pay increased average earnings by unskilled workers fell by 80%, whereas the
averaged only 84 cents per day. 70% during WW2 . salaries of chief executives rose by 340%.
In 1991, 11% of US population lived below
poverty line, although this had decreased
from 20% in 1960.
Working hours. Both skilled and unskilled
workers often worked 12 hour
shifts.…read more

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There were five million more working By 1989, 73.2% of married women with
women in 1945 than in 1940, many of children aged between 6 and 17 were
whom were married women. working outside the home.
Female There were no career pathways After WW2 there were fewer The lack of female managers and executives
employment in for women as managers and in opportunities in professional became known as the glass ceiling.
professional, traditionally male professions, occupations, whereas the number of During the 1970s, only 4.…read more

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Pay. In 1900, male African American In 1935, 30% of African American In 1978 femaleheaded African American
workers earned an average of families were on relief compared to families earned a median income of under
45% the earnings of male white only 10% of white families, which $6000, which was below the poverty line.
workers. suggests that African American pay In 1991, the median earning of yearround,
was still much lower than whites. fulltime African American male works was
73% that of comparable white males.…read more

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Trade Union and Bargaining Rights ­ Federal Government Help/Hinder
Area of trade Beginning Middle End
union and
The right for Impact: Impact: Impact:
trade unions In 1865, employers were under no The Congress of Industrial Organisations The AFLCIO (est. 1955) was often
to exist and legal obligation to recognise the (est. 1937) was quite widely recognised recognised by employers.
be existence of labour unions. by employers.…read more

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Labour Impact: Impact: Impact:
negotiations Labour rights were limited to what During the 1920s, employers began By 1970, arbitration procedures had been
with workers could negotiate with their using "welfare capitalism" to appease established in several industries.
employers employers in their own workplace. workers so that they could discuss By 1992, the right to collective bargaining
(e.g.…read more

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This slowed unionisation, especially
in the south.
Air Traffic Controllers Strike (1981) ­
President Reagan sacked all striking
controllers, which reduced worker unity
and increased negative attitudes towards
strikes.…read more

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Pay and Working Conditions Rights ­ Federal Government Help/Hinder
Area of pay Beginning Middle End
and working
Pay. Impact: Impact: Impact:
Employers could cut wages without Real wages increased by 20% during By the end of the 1950s, the average
warning due to there being no WW1 . worker's income was 35% higher than in
significant legislation preventing Real wages steadily rose during the 1945 and 200% higher than in the 1920s.
them from doing so. 1920s .…read more

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In 1889, 2000 railway workers were La Follette Seaman's Act (1915) ­ President Nixon's Occupational Safety and
killed as a result of accidents. introduced safety requirements for Health Act (1970) ­ introduced health and
commercial ships. safety requirements for the workplace.
Until the 1890s, the courts
considered employer negligence
one of the normal risks borne by
the employee.
Sickness pay.…read more


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