To the Editor:
Working conditions today are usually good and pretty safe, right? That's what we know, is that all factories are safe, that all of the laws are followed, and that everything is great. Look at what you are wearing today, maybe a jacket mad in the U.S., a t-shirt made in Malaysia, jeans made in Mexico, and socks made in China. To stay competitive, large companies contract out to manufacturers all over the world to buy at the lowest possible costs. This often ends in horrible working conditions for factory workers who make our clothing, both in other countries, and right here in the United States. I thought that the working conditions were perfectly fine here in the U.S. until my eyes were opened by the articles that I read on the internet and in books. In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution had a considerable effect on the working conditions of workers. A large labor surplus led to very low wages, and intense competition lowered the profit boundaries of industrialists. Industries such as the cotton trade were especially hard for workers to endure long hours of labor. The workplace was very hot, and the steam engines contributed further to the heat. Workers were exposed to the moving parts of the machines while they worked. Children often had to move in between these dangerous machines while they worked because they were small enough to fit between the tightly packed machinery. This led to the kids being put in a great deal of danger, and the death rates were very high. Added to the dangers of the work was the length. It was common for workers to work 12 hours or more a day. Exhaustion made the worker sluggish, which made the workplace even more dangerous. In 1819, the Factory Act was passed to limit the hours worked by children to a maximum of 12 hours a day. Then in 1833 another Factory Act was passed that banned children under 9 from working in the textiles industry and 10-13 year olds limited to a 48-hour week. In 1844 yet...
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