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Textbook Readings: Yeoman Theory, Skilled Workers (Coopers, Iron Moulders and ITU) and Exerts from the Working Class Experience

8 Pages

Labour Studies
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David Goutor

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Labour Studies Final Exam Notes th Chapter 1 Readings: Farm Households and Wage Labour in the Northeastern Maritimes in the Early 19 Century by Rusty Bittermann -the theory of the yeoman, they believed that free land gave rise to riches -important characteristic for yeoman was independence, since most of the Yeomen were independent workers and were their own boss and sustained from using the environment around them -combination of abundant land and labour in order to live, self-sufficiency of rural households -the image of the independent yeoman was only a reflection of reality experienced by some residents -the yeoman life, which was acquiring one’s own set of land, was more likely to happen in the new land (North America) compared to the Old Land (Great Britain). However, problems began to arise, and some people who experience the yeoman experience, only experienced it for part of their lives -Farm making in the New World had 3 classes, otherwise known as the 3 tier typology of agriculture: 1) People with capital and/or credit to hire people to help with land clearing and construction 2) People with means to support them during the start-up period of farm making 3) People who were forced to work to sustain themselves while they were farm making -A majority of the people that moved to the New Land fell into the third category of people, meaning that most of the people that moved to the new world ended up working for others to sustain themselves -the new emigrates that arrived at the New Land, had trouble finding work and could not find an area to establish themselves , and often had to work many years in neighbouring farms before they could afford their own farm and continue forward in life -Lord Selkirk described that the man of the house would have to go out to work to feed his family and sustain enough credit to help purchase the materials necessary to run a farm -Journals entries show that a new farmer that came to Canada would endure many years of farming or working for someone else before they were able to make their own living off of their farm -Many people could not gather enough resources in order to live the yeoman life, and even when they did it would take decades before they were able to live a comfortable life -Many variables such as weather and the livestock of the farm could have drastic changes on the farmers, one year they could enjoy a year of independence, the next year they could be plunged into debt or rely on the dependence of others -Most farmers were only able to pay their debts through labour, although some of them did so through a combination of labour as well as sale of “surpluses” in which case surpluses were the most expensive food and the profit would be used to purchase cheaper foods -Most families could not secure enough money to make a proper living, since they could not hold their own when it came to paying for the food resources -There was still the spectrum that appeared for the farmers, on one end there were farmers who were well off, could self-sustain themselves (commercial core of the agriculture industry)and then on the other hand there were farm households that were not even able to meet the daily food costs for the family -Kavanaugh, a merchant in the area, began to diversify the workforce; since the workers were paid different workers based off of the diversity of the job (people were paid differently based off of the job they did such as moving, knitting, raising the cattle or rafting timber) and the gender of the worker -Most of the work came from agriculture; timber trade and fishery were the most important economic jobs -People paid different wages for year round workers depending on their ages, for example, male servants usually made at least 30-40 shillings per month whereas female servants only made 12- 15 shillings -The growth of machinery eliminated many jobs held by manual labourers -wage employment first happened in the fields, since there was a high demand for labour, but these labour contracts were very informal, which changed on a daily basis because most of these workers worked for people that they knew -First division of labour was noticed in the timber trading and shipbuilding industry since this industry was strictly for male workers and the areas where these people work were very different (the work took place in areas very far from the agricultural/farm areas and this job was seasonal) -Men working in the shipbuilding industry were usually bunkhouse men (meaning that they lived in the area for an extended period of time, wages were paid based off of skilled labour) -The Canadian fishery business in Nova Scotia was not very successful with little job opportunities, and most of these Canadians eventually worked for American fishing fleets/vessels. There was a division of labour, since most of these jobs were for men (the women only worked on fisheries that were close to their home). There were contracts for the men involved and the pay was usually on a monthly basis or based off of what they were able to catch -In the 1820’s one of the most important industries became the coal industry, since there was a lot of capital to be gained and more machinery used for it. However, there was a demand for non-skilled labourers in the coal market -Another popular workforce was the demand for a domestic servant and it was a heterogeneous workforce and many farm men and women spent at least part of their lives serving in the domestic servant industry -Most workers juggled life, doing labour work for someone else and then returning home later to tend to their own farmland. Any job that was close to the farmhouse allowed for more flexibility since they had the discretion in choosing their own hours of employment -Other jobs such as ship building, timber industry or being employed by the American fishing fleets had little to no flexibility since they were considerately far away from the homes. If men were employed in this business (since some of these industries were limited to men only), the women had to take care of the farmland back home for extended periods of time -With the expansion of the railway business and coal industry, many farmland men and boys were leaving their farmlands behind and seeking jobs that were farther away leaving most of the housekeeping duties of the farm to the women -Demand of the market shaped by the different factors and the different growing industries -The men’s wage was important, since it was not high enough, this mean that the children had to help supplement the wage income for the family. Most people that worked away from their home -For many of the younger people, they saved up the wages that they have earned for the future (used to finance their farmland) and the people that worked away from home usually sent their finances home. For many of these workers, living and working far away from home was normal, since it was the only way to earn money in order to finance the farm in the future -Waged work during this era can be classified as multiformity, meaning that it could take or occur in many forms; employment could range from being on a daily basis, or for extended period of time, could work with a heterogeneous group (age, gender, class) -Working contracts were not structured, if you worked for a relative or a mutual friend, then there would be advantageous or negotiable terms for wages. Many workers were in debt so they had to work for their landlords, and were money orientated -Some farmers in the North Eastern Maritimes just focused solely on the wage market in order to sustain themselves and their family, since it was very tiring to both seek income as well as maintain a farmland, but demand for labour was constantly changing and having a farmland to fall back on was a safe idea The Honest Workingman and Worker’s Control: The Experience of Toronto Skilled Workers 1860-1892 th -In the 19 century, skilled workers had a lot of power and played key roles in community affairs, politics, and on the job -3 main focuses for the unions include: Coopers International Union, International Typographical Union and the Iron Molders International Union -The skilled workers during this era were “veterans of industrial life” having played an important role in shaping the industrial workplace and were highly disciplined and highly regarded 1) Cooper International Union -ultimately suffered the same fate as the shoemakers, when they saw their craft destroyed by the rise of factory production, the rise of mechanization as well as the depression and all-out employer offensive -The Cooper International Union was created to avoid the same fate that happened to the ship carpenters and ship caulkers, who fell victim to the new age of iron and steam -new union headed in Cleveland and the organization had leaders that were deeply embedded in the labour reform -John Hewitt, the Vice President of Coopers International Union helped to create the Toronto Trades Assembly and the Canadian Labour Union and was an advocate of the nine hour movement -led to the creation of sick and death benefits, as well as international strike funds -Coopers were skilled workers who possessed a significant degree of control over the quality and quality of the products that they produced, control over the wage payments and the ability to determine the individual wages and hours, there was no collective bargaining -unions met together and arrived at what they thought was a fair price for the workers, and either the management accepted the new rate or the workers would go on strike. Usually the unions would not run into any trouble during good economic times -Skilled workers carried a sense of pride themselves, since they held themselves in the same regard as their bosses. -the Coopers had a lot of power since they not only controlled the wages and hours of the workers, they also were able to restrict the production when work was short -Reached a peak number of 8000 people in the Coopers, but then the decline was due to 2 major reasons: the depression and the concerted employer’s assault on the trade. Standard oil came in to major cities such as New York and Cleveland where there were large amounts of Coopers and crushed the Coopers -In Ontario, the barrel making b
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