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Refine Your Search Year. Your list has reached the maximum number of items. Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. Class struggle on the home front : work, conflict and exploitation in the household. Class struggle on the homefront ;Work, conflict, and exploitation in the household. Class Struggle on the Home Front. Class struggle on the homefront : work, conflict, and exploitation in the household.

All rights reserved. Remember me on this computer. Cancel Forgot your password? Showing all editions for 'Class struggle on the homefront : work, conflict, and exploitation in the household'. Year 1 2 16 Language English. Displaying Editions 11 - 19 out of Established in , this was the eighth investigative enquiry into social, economic, and administrative issues. In some parts of the Dominion the employment of children of very tender years is still permitted. This injures the health, stunts the growth and prevents the proper education of such children, so that they cannot become healthy men and women or intelligent citizens.

It is believed that the regular employment in mills, factories and mines of children less than 14 years of age should be strictly forbidden. The darkest pages in the testimony … are those recording the beating and imprisonment of children employed in factories. Your Commissioners earnestly hope that these barbarous practices may be removed, and such treatment made a penal offence, so that Canadians may no longer rest under the reproach that the lash and the dungeon are accompaniments of manufacturing industry in the Dominion.

Class Struggle on the Homefront: Work, Conflict, and Exploitation in the Household

Their arrival was always anticipated, so there was little chance of a surprise inspection. James R. Did you find in many places where women were employed that they were working longer than the [ Ontario Factories Act ] contemplates? Not in a great number of places. I found that principally in woolen [ sic ] mills. No; in each case where I found them working that time the employers stated that they were not aware the Act had been in force, and they were waiting for some formal intimation about the matter.

Of course, they stated they would comply with the Act and reduce the hours of labour, so as not to exceed 60 hours. Yes; in some of them — in the cotton mills and some woolen mills, in cigar factories and knitting works, and some others.

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Well, I found about 40 girls under Girls are not allowed under 14 nor boys under I found six boys altogether nine years of age, and some ten or eleven. Long hours were only one source of complaint among factory workers. Punishments abounded and were often arbitrary. Civil suits were sometimes launched against labour activists and many labour leaders spent some time behind bars. In the 20th century, as the size and distribution of industries and corporations increased, managers came to rely heavily on intelligence gathered by industrial spies.

This is an array of services and benefits provided by the employer but generally outside of a collective agreement. Employers did not, however, sympathize with the unions themselves and were often ruthless in disposing of the organizations and their supporters. Women were on the frontlines of industrialization and the creation of a working class.

Women were employed for both types of work in Toronto in , when the Globe newspaper reported that some 4, women were either factory workers or they were engaged in outwork. The assumption that a patriarchal breadwinner brought home the bulk of the household wage was widespread and difficult to dislodge and, indeed, persists in some quarters today.

Children, too, were increasingly in demand in the industrial workforce, even sometimes taking jobs that had otherwise been the preserve of adult males. In cities like Montreal, living conditions were particularly bleak in the last 40 years of the century. Housing was of a poor quality and cramped; infant mortality rates were high, as were maternal mortality rates. Historian of the working-class, Brian Palmer, describes these domestic situations as potentially dangerous ones for women:.

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The underside of the adaptive families of Victorian Canada is a history of husbands deserting wives, of brutality in which women and children suffered the presence and power of abusive men, and of males and, occasionally, females appropriating the paid and unpaid labour of their spouses and offspring as well as availing themselves of sexual access to those who, emotionally and physically, had few resources to resist. By the end of the century, something like one-in-every-eight wage earners was a woman.

The systematization of cigar production allowed the penetration of what was once an adult male enclave by large numbers of boys, girls, and women. In an era when the population overall and the size of the labour force doubled, the number of gainfully employed women expanded even more rapidly. In the professions which include teaching and nursing , the numbers leapt from fewer than 20, to nearly 93,; clerical and sales workers exploded from 8, to just shy of , However, the number of women on farms was flat and, as a share of the population, that number was falling.

That is, the raising of families. While boys would rise through a process of apprenticeship through journeyman to adult worker and would continue on that rarely-broken path until they retired or died, girls and women entered and withdrew from the workforce more intermittently. Participation rates recover and peak once again when at least one of the children passes the age of 11 years. Historians have struggled to recover what class awareness and experience meant to women at this time. Statements of solidarity and a commitment to political and social reform were often tempered by the social conventions of the Victorian era.

While women might have challenged some of those limitations, they perpetuated others. It is safe to assume that these positions reflect the feelings of their female membership, as well as at least a considerable proportion of the male Knights. Historian of labour, Brian Palmer, has commented on this phenomenon:. Nor did the Order turn a blind eye to domestic violence and the ways in which men could take advantage of women sexually. Local assembly courts could try and convict members of the Knights of Labor for wife-beating, and the Ontario Order was a strong backer of the eventually successful campaign to enact seduction legislation.

What all of these studies reveal is that industrialism brought women and children along with men into the urban cauldron of change in the same era. Moreover, this constituted a perceived change in the long-standing rural and commercial way of doing things. Life courses changed, conditions of work were invented out of nothing, new anxieties replaced old, and there was — in this mesh of experiences — a realization that a new social class was emerging. Studies of the birth of working classes identify two aspects in particular: the shared experiences of belonging to a population dependent on wage-labour in an industrializing economy, and awareness of the same.

Loyalties cut across societies and cultures in many directions, muting the possibility of working people seeing themselves as members of a common socioeconomic category or class. One measure of that emerging and evolving class consciousness is the incidence of labour disruption in the 19th century. The pre-Confederation era saw a rapid rise in labour disputes, accelerating in the s. These principally involved small local associations of skilled craftsmen employed in factories. People of this generation could recall being independent craftsmen and transitioning into wage labour; now they were facing the mechanization of processes and a consequent devaluation of their hard-earned skills.

These workers were generally literate and aware of political and international events. They recognized that their struggles echoed those occurring in Britain and the United States. Every strike, in this context, was like a flare sent up from a ship in distress.

Class struggle?

Inevitably, others would respond. By , it is estimated that there were approximately labour organizations in Canada, some of them local, many of them international.

Virtually all of these were craft-based. As such, they perpetuated many of the associational rituals and practices from pre-industrial times. Marches, banners, oaths of loyalty, and the building of assembly halls were the most visible of these. Less obvious was the role that early unions played as social safety nets.

The importance of this role could be seen when industrial accidents — most spectacularly in coal mining disasters — snuffed out lives a hundred at a time. Providing for widows and orphans was thus core to their mandate and an important part of building identification between labour and its community. Management generally became more widespread and dignified as a career in its own right. This was apparent in many environments, even underground, where new techniques for extracting or winning coal enabled greater supervision. Starting at 78, in , the total number grew to 84, in , and , in The number of women in this category leapt from 3, in to 11, in The most well-known body of thought on this subject is the scientific management model pioneered by the American Frederick Winslow Taylor Sometimes referred to as Taylorism, these new approaches considered everything from the coordination of shift work, the positioning of machinery, and the inculcation of new industrial virtues like punctuality.