40 Hour Week for Happier Home Life
Throughout early American history and into the 1860s the average was 11 hours with 12 to 14 not uncommon. In 1937, the 40 hour work week started to become the law, because workers protested and demanded it.
Why do we feel such a strong reaction when we see the old sign “40 Hour Week for a Happier Home Life.” Maybe because, so many of us have friends and family struggling to survive working part-time jobs. Constant underemployment is crushing working families in America.
What make a forty hour week so important? If you aren’t working forty hours a week, on one job, you are most likely living in poverty. This has happened to millions of people, all across our country. Working people have fallen from the middle class, into poverty, as their hours have been drastically cut. In 1990, 70% of retail workers were full-time, today 70% work part-time. This is increasing corporate profits, but working people and their families are being destroyed financially.
The American dream of a good job with 40 hours’ work, one they can feed their-families on and maybe buy a home, seems to have been sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed.
President Local 1439