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Immigrants at Work. Where are the Streets of Gold? When immigrants stepped onto American soil, what most faced was different from everything they had.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigrants at Work. Where are the Streets of Gold? When immigrants stepped onto American soil, what most faced was different from everything they had."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigrants at Work

2 Where are the Streets of Gold? When immigrants stepped onto American soil, what most faced was different from everything they had ever known. Many would end up working in factories, doing repetitious work from early morning until late at night. Some of these new life changes tested all of their abilities - _____________________________________________ From the moment the immigrants stepped off the boat, one of many goals was finding a ______. intelligence, physical strength, patience, and courage. job

3 State of the Nation... Late 1800s: Farming land in Americas western and southern states had been settled, by previous immigrants, and the focus of the country was now turning its energies to _____________ its cities and _______________ goods. Most immigrants took any kind of work they could find. – There were plenty of factory jobs, especially in the east and northeast. – For those interested, there was always work available for a man who was willing to do the backbreaking work of a laborer – _____________________________________________. building manufacturing digging coal, laying railroad tracks, or paving streets

4 They Call it Work for a Reason...Right? Not Quite Todays Standards: A job in those days did not mean working from nine oclock in the morning until five oclock at night with an hour off for lunch and a two- week paid vacation. – Most workers at that time were treated terribly – but the immigrants, who could not speak English well and were _______________ to work – were exploited the most. – Men and women alike were often forced to work _______ hours a day. – There were no laws to protect people from ____________ or _____________ working conditions. – In return for their work, immigrants would receive ____________ weekly paychecks which could hardly make ends meet. desperate 10 – 12 dangerous unhealthy minimum

5 They Call it Work for a Reason...Right? Not Quite Todays Standards: – Sometimes, children were forced to work to help pay the bills and so that their family would have enough to eat. – At this time there were some laws against child labor, but often time employers _____________ these regulations. Pauline Newman (immigrant from Lithuania) – she was 8 years old when she took a job in a factory that made shirts. Her weekly salary was ________. She later recalled this experience: We started at seven-thirty in the morning and during the busy season we worked until nine in the evening. They didnt pay you any overtime... The employers were always tipped off if there was going to be an inspection. Quick theyd say, into the boxes! And we children would climb into the big boxes the finished shirts were stored in. Then some shirts were piled on top of us, and when the inspector came – no children. ignored $1.50

6 They Call it Work for a Reason...Right? Working Conditions: For everyone, conditions in the factories were terrible. – Bosses watched over the workers, and many employers did not allow workers to ________ to the people sitting next to them. – In some factories, workers were even limited as to how often they could go to the ______________ and how much time they could spend there. – The factory owners were determined to ____________ as much work as they possibly could out of these poor men, women, and children. – It was not uncommon for employers to post a sign that said, If you dont come in on Sunday, dont come in on Monday. (In other words, if the boss had work that needed to be done, you were expected to work seven days a week)... talk squeeze bathroom More Details Coming Up!!!!

7 They Call it Work for a Reason...Right? Other Working Problems: I Quit, Well Not Really... – Being docked (having some wages taken away) or being fired might mean not having enough money to pay the rent or even to buy milk for the familys children. – When people did lose their jobs, there was no unemployment insurance, no welfare, and no pensions. – Many young children worked during the _____ and went to school at ______. – Often times babies died because parents could not ________ to take them to the doctor. nightday afford

8 Ethnic Workers Italians: – Worked as laborers, building railroads, tunnels, subways, and streets. – Opened candy stores and fruit stands – Worked as barbers – Made and sold artificial flowers – Older men made money as organ grinders – Young boys shined shoes Greeks: – Some were farmers at home, but eventually moved to large cities where they could find new jobs – Many started out as street peddlers, selling fruits and vegetables – Some shined shoes – Others worked in factories and railroad construction gangs.

9 Ethnic Workers Jewish: – Many were often skilled workers – 50% of Jewish immigrants were in the clothing business, working at sewing machines at home and in factories – Some started out as peddlers, selling everything from eggs to buttons and thread – Others were writers, poets, playwrights, actors, actresses, and singers This created a rich cultural life in their communities

10 Manual Labor Miners: Immigrants who worked in coal mines experiences even harsher working conditions – The mines were usually in isolated areas, as a result the miners had no choice but to buy their food from overpriced stores owned by the mining company. – Miners sometimes lived in wooden ____________ with no running water, little heat in the winter, and beds with straw mattresses. – Most were afraid they could be fired at any time, so very few every ______________. George Palochek (Czechoslovakia, immigrated in 1912) – At 17 years old he started working in the mines – Earned $2.15 a week for ten hours of work a day, six days a week, and he had to buy his own tools. – The company charged him seven cents a day for the use of a lamp. – He and his fellow workers had to walk for an hour in order to get to work shacks complained

11 Manual Labor Miners: – Most mine owners not only cared little about their workers comfort, but they also had little consideration for their __________. George Palochek recalls his experience working in the mines below: Mules, who carried the coal out of the mines, were more valuable to the mine owners than those of their human workers. Additionally, there was no kind of safety in the mine... After you take the coal out, you have to pull the posts out. You have to know whether its boom, boom you hear – thats a fall going to come. If the posts start cracking, you go. Oh yes, you get a warning. But Ive witnessed lots of good guys, young fellows, who died from the mine. If you killed a mule, you got fired. Simply put, they had to buy a new mule. They dont have to buy a man. safety

12 Factory Labor Sweatshops: – Between 1880 and 1920 a shift in America from being mostly _____ and ___________ to being mostly ______ and __________. – Manufactured many different items, and sweatshop workers performed many different tasks. Sorted feathers to decorate ladies hats Glued paper petals onto stems to create artificial flowers Made soap Wrapped candy, rolled cigars, made boxes, or sorted and packed peanuts or pickles – Some originated in smaller places like apartment or small homes, while others were set up in warehouse locations specifically built for hundreds of workers. Regardless of size, all were considered dismal and oppressive places. Men, women, and children worked in sweatshops, however, the best positions usually went to men. rural agricultural urban industrial

13 Factory Labor Other Things made in Sweatshops: Garment sweatshops produced only clothing. Other sweatshops produced a wide range of items, including the following: Artifical flowers Wallets Collars Ties Cigars Handmade cigarettes Cardboard boxes Fur trimmings Toys Feather dusters Shoes and slippers Purses Umbrellas Buttons Feathered hats Christmas decorations Mops and brooms Envelopes Costume jewelry Dolls Gloves and mittens Socks

14 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Crowded, Dim, & Dirty: No matter how many workers were employed, it always seemed ________. Every inch of available space was taken up with people, machines, and raw material – Sometimes rooms were especially crowded because they were also living quarters. Sweatshops were poorly _____ and the windows were usually covered with ________ – if there were windows at all. Adding to the unclean atmosphere were the bathroom facilities – Toilets were usually ________ and often were located some distance away from the workers. – If they were close by the _______ was awful. – Workers were allowed only allowed only a few minutes reprieve from their nonstop labor to use the facilities. – Overall sweatshops were _________. crowded grime lit filthy smell dirty

15 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Hot or Cold with Noisy: Drinking water, usually ________________, might come only from a single tap in the hall outside – Drink this water or none at all. Well, in those days, there were vendors who came in with bottles of pop for 2 cents, and as much as you disliked to spend the two pennies you got the pop instead of the filthy water in the hall. (Pauline Newman) Sweatshops could also be ________, the machines so loud that conversation had to be kept to a minimum. In warm weather, sweatshops literally lived up to their names. – They were stifling hot, with little or no ventilation and nothing to create a cool breeze. In winter, the opposite was true. – There was heat from a single wood or coal stove, usually the one in which the presser heated his irons, but most of the sweatshop remained bitterly cold. warm and foul noisy

16 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Larger Building Problems: The largest shops were usually located in factory buildings, also called ______ buildings because of their ___________. – Despite their greater size, loft buildings were often as uncomfortable, dark, and awkward as the small sweatshops in apartments or basements. – Owners liked to rent the top floors of loft buildings, in part because the rent was ______________ there an on the lower floors. – By using the upper floors owners saved by using natural sunlight instead of gas jets or electricity. (Windows were usually grimy overtime so defeated the savings some). If a sweatshop was on a high floor employees found it was difficult just getting to work. – Most of the lofted buildings had ________________ so narrow that only one person could ascend or descend at a time. – It sometimes took workers up to an ______ to get from the street to an upper floor – Some buildings had elevators but they could not accommodate many people. lofthigh ceilings cheaper staircases hour

17 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Long Hours, Short Breaks: Working days – six per week was the norm – began early and ended late. Meals were eaten in a _________, barely pausing the work. Sadie Frowne, a garment worker, wrote this in 1902: I get up at half-past five oclock every morning and make myself a cup of coffee on the oil stove. I eat a bit of bread and perhaps some fruit and then go to work. Often I get there soon after six oclock so as to be in good time, though the factory does not open until seven. At seven oclock we all sit down to our machines and the boss brings to each one the pile of work that he or she is to finish during the day.... This pile is put down beside the machine and as soon as the garment is done it is laid on the other side of the machine. Sometimes the work is not all finished by six oclock, and then the one who is behind must work overtime. hurry

18 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Tedious and Competitive: Adding to the dispiriting physical conditions and long hours was the sheer ___________ of the work. – Workers simply repeated one small part of a project over and over – making just cuffs on sleeves, perhaps, or stems for artificial roses. While simultaneously working the ________ pace expected by production bosses. Marie Ganz (Immigrant) describes: We sat in long rows, our bodies bent over the machines, the work we turned fell into wooden bins attached to the part of the machine facing us.... As each girl completed her part the garment was passed on to the next girl by Levinson [the shop boss], who was always walking back and forth urging us on. Should a girl lag behind he would prod her, sometimes pulling on the garment to hurry it on to another worker. Hurry! Dont you see that the sleevemaker soon will have no work? he would shout. This sort of thing created a spirit of competition for self-preservation that ended only when the worker, too weak to compete any longer with a stronger sister, broke down. Before many days I discovered another phase of the speed-up system. At the end of each week the girl who had turned in the least work was dropped from the payroll. Knowledge of this fact had the effect of keeping the girls working like mad. dullness frantic

19 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Low Pay: Workers also had to deal with poor pay and ________ work schedules. Some employees were expected to produce a certain ________ of finished goods in return for _________ salaries. The system worked like this: – Workers were paid according to the number of pieces they completed. – It was no uncommon thing.... for men to sit bent over a sewing machine continuously from eleven to fifteen hours a day in July weather to meet the quota demands. (Journalist Ray Stannard Baker) The money earned was never enough to cover more than the bare ______________. The average wage for women in the garment industry in 1910, working a hour day, six or seven days a week, was ____ dollars a week or _______dollars a year. A more experienced worker might earn an annual salary of ______ to ______ dollars. Men made slightly more. erratic quota fixed necessities $5 $250 $400 $350

20 Daily Life in a Sweatshop Low Pay: An urban family of four in 1910 may earn an annual salary of _________ dollars per year. Therefore if the family of 4 worked in the garment industry they would still be well below the _________level in society. Dont Come in on Monday Workers had uncertain schedules and no guarantees of future work. Workers could be fired for any number of reasons with no notice and no unemployment insurance to tide them over until another job was found. Extra pay for overtime did not exist. During busy seasons workers were sometimes expected to work ____ hour days, seven days a week. If the workers did not show up or work the hours they would be fired. $1,000 poverty 16

21 Cost of Living

22 Daily Life in a Sweatshop The Survival of the Meanest: Many sweatshop bosses and managers had no ______________ for employees. – Workers endured frequent, even routine, mistreatment at the hands of their employers. – Employees were often unwilling to ____________ about mistreatment. – If workers wanted to stay employed they could not afford to rock the boat. – For the most part workers had to be on time, do their jobs, and keep their mouths shut even in the face of _______________________________. Bosses had many ways to take advantage of workers – Workers had to ______ for the items they used including their own _______________________________________________. – Additionally, ______________ were made from paychecks if workers used coat lockers or chairs and boxes to sit on while working. – Any ____________ goods meant docked pay as well. – Items that were made faulty could also result in workers losing money compassion complain unfairness, danger, and cruelty pay thread, needles, sewing machines, and electricity deductions damaged

23 Daily Life in a Sweatshop More Fines: Employees could be fined for even the smallest infractions of the rules: – If a worker arrived late, he/she could be docked a _______ for every minute he/she missed. – Any tardiness may make the worker miss _________ or earn only half of a full days salary. – If you spent too much time in the bathroom (longer than 2-3 minutes) you might receive a reduction in salary for that day. – Other tactics were to force workers to fill out time sheets to record productivity for the day, but these were easily ___________________. This resulted in earning no salary for that day. – Cruel bosses would ____________ to play tricks with their employees so that they would work longer hours in the day. penny lunch lost or misplaced alter clocks

24 Dangers in the Sweatshop Breeding Grounds for Disease: The crowded damp rooms and poor ___________ fostered diseases, contagious illnesses, and accelerated its spread. Besides filthy lavatories, many shops had no ___________________. Some did not even have running water Once picked up, disease traveled easily from workplace to home and beyond. The Tailors Disease: ______________, a serious respiratory disease at the time was the leading cause of death, and perhaps the most common contagious disease among sweatshop workers. Also known as ____ or consumption, tuberculosis was so prevalent in the garment trade that it was known as the tailors disease. sanitation sinks or washbasins Tuberculosis TB

25 Dangers in the Sweatshop Minor Injuries: Physical injury was commonplace for workers. Operating the 25 pound pressing irons could cause _________________________________________. Fingers could be pierced by a sewing machines. In soap factories, workers hands were damaged by caustic soda, so by the end of the day their fingers were ______________________. Most of the time workers ___________ the injuries and worked through the pain. spinal curvature, burns, or crushed fingers raw or bleeding ignored

26 Dangers in the Sweatshop Major Injuries: In sweatshops with large machines, as in textile factories that produced rolls of uncut cloth, serious accidents such as _________________ were more common. Most of the common serious injuries were sustained when ragged or loose clothing, or long hair carelessly left hanging down, got caught in large, fast-moving machines. – These accidents could easily result in an arm _____________________________. Children suffered especially high amounts of serious injury in the work place partly because of their ____________________________________________. boiler explosions ripped off, scalping, or even death small size, short attention spans, and lower stamina

27 Dangers in the Sweatshop Exhaustion: The health of sweatshop workers – children and adults alike – was jeopardized as well. One was succumbed to emotional illnesses such as _______________________. More common was an overall breakdown in health caused by sheer exhaustion. Fire Hazards: The fireproofing of most buildings was only effective for the buildings themselves; fire protecting might protect a buildings brick and steel, but still could easily destroy the lives and materials inside it. Garment sweatshops used fabric and machines used oil, both can be very ________________ material should a fire ignite. depression and stress flammable

28 Labor Unions Arise See Attached Handout...

29 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory ~Short Video~

30 Out of Tragedy, Comes Change Reaction: The fire shocked New York City and horrified the entire country. Newspaper reports began to examine not only the fire prevention deficiencies of the Triangle Building but those of other buildings and sweatshops. As the full extent of the dangers became clearer to the American public, they grew increasingly shocked and angered. Some good did come out of the tragedy – As a result of the fire, a number of significant safety laws were passed around the country. – Additionally, new concepts of social responsibility and labor legislation were developed and regulated. – These changes have helped make American working conditions the finest in the world today.


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