Rules of a Factory in Berlin

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Rules of a Factory in Berlin:
The Analysis of Working in 1844

October 16, 2006

In the nineteenth century the working class had many struggles and hardships. Not only was the day-to-day life extremely strenuous outside of work, but while they were at work the employees had a set of precise rules to follow and abide by which were written by their employers. Some of these rules seem unclear to me because of how long ago they were enforced. But a lot of the rules are the same as rules for a workplace now. Just by reading the seventeenth chapter in our textbook, The West in the World, and a set of nineteen rules and regulations from the article, "Rules of a Factory in Berlin." I have learned, assumed, implied, and suggested many unsaid views of working the standard eleven-hour day in the nineteenth century.

It seemed to me that from the employers point of view they feel they are better than their employees and can do nothing wrong. In the article, "Rules of a Factory in Berlin," the first rule states that if an employee is two minutes or more late to work that person will not be able to work until the breakfast break, or the preceding break, is over; or they can work unpaid until then. Also if an employee is late by less than two minutes that employee will lose a half an hour's wages. To me these consequences seem too extensive because the employees are underpaid for the amount of work they do as it is. It is one thing to punish a worker for showing up late to work, but to take away a half an hour of his or her wages seems to extensive for me. These people worked eleven-hour days. A half an hour does not seem like too much time when someone works for that many hours each day, but the employees were working for almost nothing. After reading only the first rule I noticed that employers assume that they can set these kinds of rules,

and have their employees follow them because times were so rough that people would actually follow these...
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