The Role Of Industrial Society During The Industrial Revolution Of The 18th Century

940 Words 4 Pages
The Industrial Revolution of the 18th century brought a rapid expansion of industrial society to Europe, and specifically Britain. Industrialization lead to a large increase in the work force, as people moved from rural areas to urban city centers. As businesses rushed to capitalize on the market they hired workers without any systematic hiring scheme or contract. To maximize profit on the part of the owners, employees would be forced to work long shifts for very low pay. Working conditions in the factories of Europe during the Industrial Revolution were far from adequate and posed a major health threat to anyone working in them. Because workers had no official contract with their employers, no compensation was given when a worker fell sick, …show more content…
Employers lost money when their workers went on strike, so in 1799 the Combination Act was passed in England, which banned trade unions and collective bargaining. The Combination Act was passed partially due to a fear of democracy and fear that industry might be held ransom by the workers during a time of war. However, there was also an element of classism and lack of understanding on the part of the upper class as to how an industrial society should function. Despite the restrictions, many groups of workers still met to discuss working conditions and other issues, especially in London. Great displeasure in the workplace led to the 1820 Rising in Scotland, where over 60 000 workers went on strike. Repeals were made to the acts, but the Combination Act of 1825 greatly restricted their activity. One of the first unions to bring together workers of various trades was the General Union of Trades, also known as the Philanthropic Society, as trade unions were still …show more content…
The employer and employee stand on more level ground when the employee has a trade union behind them. Power comes in numbers, so if one worker goes on strike because they are being treated unfairly, the employer is unlikely to negotiate, however if the entire work force goes on strike they are in a much more difficult position and will be much more likely to listen to the displeasures of their employees. While most trade unions in Canada have the right to strike, a vote must first be held amongst union members and due notice must be given to the employer to make the strike legal. These additional steps prevent ‘heat of the moment’ strikes from occur and attempt to make the disruption to work easier to handle for the business unit. Unions have several negotiating tools that they can use with accordance to the law in Canada. A few examples of these tools include; picketing, striking and working to

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