Define the rule of the employers during the Industrial revolution

Define the rule of the employers during the Industrial revolution

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, employers were in virtually complete control of their employees and employees lives’. Government intervention to make the work place safe would not occur for several decades and factories were little more than slave shops under a different term. Typically, employees would have no rights at all regarding their employment and were forced to work in deplorable conditions: factories with insufficient light and unsafe work conditions. Many had no ventilation and were fire hazards because of the combustible materials that were used. Employees were forced to work long hours based on production needs and no thought was given to employee health or well-being.

In many instances, the employer would create company towns in the region near their factories. The company would own all houses, markets and goods in the community. The company would then charge exorbitant rates for rent, food and goods making it virtually impossible for employees to get ahead. In many cases, the employee would work for a year only to owe the company money at the end of the year. This was done as a means to keep people from moving to other factories or other communities.  In addition, the law allowed people to be sent to prison for their debts and the debts of the parents to be passed on to the children, so often several generations of a family would be virtually enslaved by their employer.

Wages that were paid were insufficient for a family to be fed and often parents and children worked in these sweatshops as a method of maintaining the family life. Children did not attend school or have any hope of a better life as they were sent in to the factories at very young ages. Women were often forced to leave children at home with an older sibling while they worked or were unable to work at all because of an infant or toddler in the home. Very young children placed a severe burden on the family because of the loss of wages and many children were abandoned to state-run orphanages in hopes that they would end up in a better life or to simply prevent a drag on the family’s income.

This was not a benevolent dictatorship. The employer often ruled with an iron-fist and lived in the lap of luxury while his employees died of disease and malnutrition brought on by his greed. Employers were also allowed without repercussion to discipline employees as they saw fit and often took great liberties with female employees who were afraid of losing their jobs if they did not comply.

Employers profited greatly during this time because labor was plentiful and they could make it cheap. Employers did not provide health care or disability for employees hurt or killed on the job.  Instead, the financial burden on their families was increased by the lack of income. And, people were hurt or maimed regularly by substandard equipment and poor conditions.

Another favorite tactic on employers early in the Industrial Revolution was to pay people according to the number of pieces that they could produce.  This was yet another manner of ruling with an iron fist. Employers could assign employees to good machines, which produced fast and accurate pieces, or old and worn out machines at their discretion. Young people had an advantage of being able to work faster and often would have made better wages, except that employers seized on the idea that children had fewer responsibilities and used this as an excuse to pay children less even though they were expected to carry the workload of an adult. Children who failed were often beaten.

During the American Civil War, proponents of slavery pointed out the inequities in the system and argued that Southern landowners often treated their slaves better than many employers treated their employees. They argued that a slave owner saw his slave as an investment and valued its contribution to his success and a business owner viewed his employees as an endless, replaceable commodity and took no personal responsibility for their safety, health or well-being.

What is and was the right of existence for the unions?

The UK was not initially a good place for unions to be. In 1799 and 1800, British Prime Minister William Pitt had a pair of acts passed called the combination acts which made it illegal for people to band together to try to get shorter working hours or more pay. Then, in 1817 Parliament against acted, this time making it illegal for a group of more than 50 people to meet together and order the arrest of anyone accused of spreading seditious libel, any untoward remarks regarding the Parliament or the Crown.  This severely hampered efforts for parliamentary reform as people were afraid to speak out.

Two years later, nearly 50,000 people gathered at St. Peter’s Field to hear subversive, pro-union newspaper editors and other union leaders talk about the need for reform and the local magistrate, backed by the British Army, attacked, purportedly in an effort to arrest one of the speaks. Several accounts say many of the soldiers were drunk when they attacked the crowd with their sabres.

As a result, Parliament instituted the Six Acts, which expanded the definitions of seditious libel and allowed permanent ceasing of a publication as means of punishment. It also changed the newspaper and stamp act so that even publications of purely opinion were subjected to the tax and provided local authorities with the right to seize people and arms accused of participating in a union gathering.

In 1824, the combination acts were repealed and met with a national outbreak of strikes, resulting in Parliment’s decision to pass a new combination act in 1835. This was the first significant legislation o legalize trade unions, though it made their scope very narrow. Trade unions could meet and discuss working conditions and pay only. Any other activities were considered a criminal conspiracy to restrict trade. The law also forbade unions from doing anything to obstruct or intimidate others. This was viewed as problematic as it gave the judiciary an unprecedented leeway in determining what activities violated the law.

The act remained the law of the land until 1867 when Benjamin Disraeli and others banded together to have the law changed so that a striking union could be charged only with breach of contract and the government in power created the Trade Union Congress. Though calls to allow a union member into the Congress were rejected, the move proved to be an advancement in the cause of unionism. Four years later, the government finally made trade unions legal.

In 1875 when Disraeli was named Prime Minister, as promised, he passed legislation making it legal for a union to do anything that an individual could do. This began the age of unionism and in 1880, Parliament passed legislation making management and employers responsible for the safety and well-being of the employees as long as their injury was not the result of actions by fellow workers.

In 1906, legislation as passed to prevent employers from suing unions when they had a loss of income as a result of a strike and in 1913 legislation made it clearly legal for the labor unions to contribute to the political party of their choice as determined by union leadership. In 1927, legislation was passed to prevent civil servants from joining unions affiliated with the Trade Union Congress and outlawed the use of sympathetic strikes and general strikes. That is, with minor revision, the state of the trade labor union today.

On which roles does the Globalization of the economy depend?

Globalization of the economy is a tricky business and highly dependent on the ability of workers and employers to adapt to the changing international labor market and the changing role of the industrialized world in the age of technology. There has been some effort made within the last two years to update the trade union system and encourage union modernization so that the workers can quickly be retrained with skills more appropriate to the emerging labor market.

As with other parts of the world, the concern among trade unions is that jobs traditionally left to them are now being outsourced to cheaper labor environments worldwide. If we are to adjust to this availability of cheap labor elsewhere, we must do so by changing the way we look at labor unions and evaluating the new markets that could be the modern labor frontiers.

One example of this might be to examine computer workers and administrative positions traditionally viewed as white collar work. These areas are the new growth industries and in recent years, the site of the most abuse of employees. In addition, these more advanced positions have traditionally had to negotiate salaries for themselves resulting in huge disparities person to person and based on gender, age, and other discriminatory factors.

For globalization to work the economy must be revitalizes and the United Kingdom must adjust its perceptions at home and abroad about the things that it will produce. No longer will mining and textiles be a major portion of the economy. Instead, if we are to accept our part in a global economy, we must identify new areas in which we can develop an unrivaled expertise and global reliance.

In a 2005 report, HM Treasury argued that the UK is in an unrivaled position worldwide to make the most of globalization in that we have the economic and trading ties to the entire world. In addition, we have a strong business, technology and macroeconomic base from which to begin our quest.

Not only must we train employees in the fast-growing areas of technology which will present the best opportunity for our people, but we must also reward innovation and creativity. The report calls for the support of workers who need to be retrained to join the global economy and the wise and efficient use of energy and resources as a means to prevent reliance on other countries for our energy needs.

Most importantly, we must rely on the well-established international trade that helped build and strengthen the economy in the first place. It is vitally important that the country not turn to isolationism as a manner of dealing with the threat of international competition. The problem is that many people promote the idea of protectionism as a way to avoid the international competition, but we know that this approach will only lead to a need to rejoin the world economy at a later date when we are less strong and able to do so. We must move forward now and implement change instead of hiding from it.

What is mundialism or anti globalization?

Mundialism is the process of building interconnected word governing bodies rather than integrating the existing nation-states into an interdependent global world. Proponents of mundialism argue that entities such as the International Court and a one-world government should be created rather than relying on the concept of nation-states.

Mundalism promoted the concept that what is right for the world as a whole is right for the individual citizens and the individual nations of the world. It argues that by working together for the common good, we can overcome economic, social and ideological differences for the betterment of all humankinds.

Anti-globalization can encompass a number of different policies, but largely it is the idea that the governments, economies and societies of the world should not be interdependent and that they should remain separate by distinct barriers including borders and cultural boundaries.

Anti-globalization proponents are perhaps the most extreme opponents of mundialism. They believe that the world is already too interconnected and that it would be better if we could simply draw the curtains up around our countries and keep the rest of the world argue.

Many argue that the world can never be as interdependent as promoted by mundialism and that it will always be divided by was and ideology. The idea, they say, is that human nature is competitive and that we cannot make all faiths and all political viewpoints get along. Some would even argue that the only way that mundialism could work would be with a strong world ruler, that someone would have to get the final deciding vote on right and wrong.

Mundialism supporters argue that if the nation’s of the world all expressed a true desire to work together in harmony the major strife points of the world could be eliminated and wars and border disputes could end.

Anti-globalization proponents call that pie in the sky nonsense. There will always be a competition for resources and for power. Those without it will strive for it via any means necessary and those who have it will seek to retain it.

Somewhere in there middle is where we actually are. There are some world organizations, like the International Criminal Court and there are some opponents to those organizations, like the United States. There are growing disputes worldwide over everything from economic gain to religion to claiming the land that sits beneath the polar icecaps.

And, neither theory adequately addresses what should be done about global problem areas like Rwanda and Darfur, places where the massacres keep happening, the land is destroyed and the people are unable to subsist, much less contribute to a world economy.

Describe the Trade union s structure and state why the unions are losing members.

Trade unions are designed to be very specific in their membership and then are loosely affiliated with the Trade union Congress. However, this specialization is contributing to the decline of the unions and the loss of members nationally.

Unions are supposed to be local, with members choosing a regional representative to speak to the specific concerns of their company or community. Then, the locals are affiliated with a national organization which is in turn affiliated with the national congress. But in recent years, with declining employment in regions once covered by the trade unions, even the largest of the unions are beginning to shrink or disappear entirely.  This is a factor of the changing work environment within the UK, as more and more people are working in quasi-professional positions not covered by the trade unions.

Furthermore, even locally, unions do not represent the universal political opinions that they once did. Neighbors now may agree on matters of union employment, but have vastly different opinions with regards to national politics and how the union should be influencing them. This diversity in the union has caused a loss of political power and a loss of interest within the membership.

In addition, the major concern facing trades people in 2007 is not something the union can do much to change.  Unions have had little impact in corporate decisions to close factories or move operations to other nations where the labor costs are more favorable. The days of the union being able to protect its workers and provide for a safer work environment, better benefits and a happier way of life are gone,

Instead, the unions continue to take dues from members, reducing their overall take home pay, but add no benefits. The days of the sweatshop are long gone and virtually every worked is provided the same protections under the law that a union worker can get in a union shop.  That is not to say that the union has outlived its usefulness, but rather that unions have accomplished their original goals of workplace safety and equal treatment for workers.

If unions seriously want to reverse the trend of losing membership, they must realize that they play an important role in the globalization process and update themselves to meet that need. Unions must be actively involved in retraining workers and helping them to find new means of gainful employment.  Unions must work in conjunction with business to find better ways to improve global competitiveness and to make employers understand the value of well-educated, highly-trained workers over cheap labor in an unregulated state.