How Green Was My Valley

Topics: Employment, Trade union, Coming out Pages: 2 (622 words) Published: November 17, 2005
Dwight David Eisenhower once said "Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice." In the novel, How Green Was My Valley, there are many work orientated issues concerning working conditions and low wages. The workers see this as very unfair so they began to revolt and create unions. Davy and his father decide to take a stand and speak out on this grievance. In the end a union was created due to the wrongness they are being subjected to. The changing nature of work including the decreasing wages and lack of job security in the 1700's led to the development of unions to create fairness in the working environment. The cause of the creation of unions is apparent as outsiders begin to come and ask for jobs offering lower pay. Davy explains "When those ironworkers gather round the pit for work, you will have some of them offering to work for less, and the manager will agree. You will see, now, and the older men and they with more pay will be put outside, too. You will be one if you are not careful" (p. 16). Davy shows Gwilym that the unfair managers will force them to either work with lower pay or be fired because of the new ironworkers coming in offering lower wages. This is one of the reasons why the changing nature of the working environment leads to the cause of unions. After the managers begin to take action and start laying off those who used to work for more pay, the workers begin to revolt eventually leading to a group who supports this cause, also known as a union. The unfair work ethic only left the workers with one choice, to revolt and start a new union. "A lot of the older and better-paid men got discharged without being told why……The ironworkers started work in the pit for not much more than some of the boys………My father and two other men went to see the manager and came back quiet and cheerless. There was nothing to be done, they said, only strike work" (p.17). The...
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