Thursday, January 20, 2011

Factory Workers facing threw the same challenges today.

  Even in the world today, many people still face with the same exact problems as the factory workers during the 19th century. Basically it happens all around the world mostly women around the world. It's stated in a website that in many countries shelters , social assistance and health care started to impact in the lives of many women which makes 80% of the world poor.

Indonesia is a country that has been drastically affected by global capitalism. It is a country that for thirty years was run by the US-backed dictator Suharto, who was forced to quit due to militant mass action. Currently, Indonesia is one of the poorest countries in the world after the meltdown of its economy in 1997/1998.
The effects of poverty and globalization are clear in Indonesia-especially on the lives of women workers. In Indonesia, as in many countries throughout the world, corporations have set up free-trade zones where sweatshops operate with little regard for human rights. The following article details the conditions for women working in these sweatshops in Indonesia.
Indonesian women are concentrated in manufacturing, agriculture, trades and services, and make up 70-80% of the textile and garment industry. Official government policy holds that women are already emancipated. However, women do not have full status in society until they are married, and it is state policy that marriage and motherhood are the only acceptable roles for women. The ideal woman worker, according to a well-known saying in Indonesia, is "takut dan malu" or "fearful and shy".
Because of a large number of rural families that have been pushed off their land by the military to make way for private developments, and a sharp downturn in available work in agriculture, young rural women flock to the cities seeking jobs.
These women are considered the best workers and are hired by the large factories for their manual dexterity, supposed tolerance for monotonous tasks and greater obedience than women from urban areas. The majority of women factory workers in Indonesia are under 25 years old, single and poorly educated.
Working conditions
Textile and garment industry workers receive very low wages. The minimum wage is Rp5200 (US$2) per day. The government estimates that the minimum daily amount required to meet basic needs is Rp6200, but this figure is based on the lowest of living standards.
Many employers do not pay even the minimum wage, and women workers are paid less than the men in most industries.
A 1989 study of a range of factories in north Jakarta found that 72.55% of workers were paid below the minimum wage. Many companies get away with this by bribing government officials. It has been estimated that 2-10% of production costs is paid in wages, while 30% is paid in bribes.
Women's usual working conditions include long hours, abusive environments, unhealthy conditions and restrictions on the right to organize.
A recent study at a Bandung textile and garment factory found that the workers worked 12-14 hours each day. Another study of a Nike factory in Java found that women workers were permitted to have only two days off a month. In many factories, overtime is compulsory and paid erratically.
By law, workers are entitled to sick, religious, holiday, menstrual and pregnancy leave. In reality, they are rarely permitted to take any leave, and those who persist in doing so are fired. According to reports on Nike factories in Java, workers who are too ill to work are required to spend the day resting in the factory's mosque.
Workers often have money deducted from their wages for things such as fabric flaws and broken needles. At a shrimp paste factory in Java, the workers have to pay Rp50 for the "privilege" of washing the smell of shrimp paste off their hands.
Verbal, physical and sexual abuse are commonplace. A former supervisor at a Nike factory reported that he was trained to yell "Fuck you" and "Move, hurry, you stupid bitch" at the women workers.
Other reports of abuse include supervisors at a shoe factory hitting women workers on their behinds with the out-soles of shoes when they slowed, workers being punished at many factories by being made to run laps around the building, and at several Nike factories, women workers being forced by supervisors to run between their various work sites.
Industrial accidents are also commonplace. A company nurse told researchers that he regularly threw fingers out in the trash heap. In one factory, a 22-year-old woman was scalped when her hair caught on a conveyor belt. Workers rarely receive compensation, and when they do, it does not cover medical expenses.
The workers' low wages means that they also live in very poor conditions. Some factories provide accommodation for their workers, usually housing compounds consisting of large brick buildings which are severely overcrowded. At one Nike housing compound, each room houses 12 women. Each room contains six bunk beds and virtually no walking space.
It is common for workers' quarters to have only one or two toilets for 50 to 100 residents. Water is scarce in these quarters, and workers are often forced to buy expensive bottled water. A study of women workers in Malang found that 68% had no washing facilities or running water at home.
Not surprisingly, the health of women workers is generally very poor. Ailments commonly reported by women textile workers include iron deficiency anemia, depression, chronic tinnitus, occupational bronchitis, menstrual disorders, muscle strain disorders and hearing loss.
One survey estimated that 40.3% of women workers in Jakarta have iron deficiency anemia, 30% are infected with intestinal parasites and 88% are malnourished.
There is also mounting evidence that life-threatening disorders are being contracted at work. One study at a textile factory in Bandung revealed that some of the dye workers had bladder cancer, which has been linked to the carcinogens present in locally used dyestuffs.
Women have been at the forefront of struggles for workers' rights in Indonesia. Strikes in all industries have increased substantially over the past decade (in 1994, there were 1130 strikes), and there are numerous examples of the integral role of women in these protests.
Workers who take up the struggle are regularly intimidated, harassed and abused by the military, and are often sacked. In 1993, a woman named Marsinah who organised a strike at her textile factory was found floating, murdered, in a river near the factory.
In 1998, during the mass mobilizations, the Indonesian "government" finally made trade unions legal. Many women have joined the fight for worker's rights. One of the most notable feminists and trade union activists in Indonesia is Dita Sari. Sari is a former political prisoner who is now the chairperson of the Indonesian Popular Front for Labour Struggle. Many women have also joined the struggle for revolutionary change in Indonesia.   International solidarity with women who work in sweatshops and in labour struggles is imperative. Throughout North America, a campaign against sweatshops has been growing as part of a larger movement against globalization. Through international solidarity, women's and workers' rights will win over the interests of private greed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How was the Daily life for Factory Workers in the 19th Century?

Chldren working in factories

                       During the 19th century only men were allowed to vote, mostly about 80 percent of the population was only working class. There were also large families during the 19th century, which was bad because the wages were very low, during the late 19th century ever since the new industrial revolution it gave middle class people more jobs. Instead of them working in their own houses with their family they worked in factories. It caused a major change for all people. The Industrial Revolution caused child labor during the 19th century. Mostly there were more females working, when the children were working in the textile factories most of them only worked around 12 hours a day. 
                   Unfortunately during that time all the children weren't going to school, they mostly expected to go to the factories to work. In the early 19th century there was a new parliament for child labor. It was a law to ban children under 9 years old from working in the factories. Children who were 13 and over was expected to work no more than 69 hours a week which was according from the article. Fortunately during the 1900 all the way till 1914 the economy was ,more better since there was less unemployment. According to the article there was lesser unemployment till the mid 1970's.

Child Labor in factories

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Monday, November 15, 2010

How Did the Factory Workers Social Class Impact Their Lives?

This picture is a picture of factory wokers working in machines.

Even women and men works in the factorys.
This picture shows how small and uncomfortable the factory 's are.
         Most Factory Workers felt that the owners of the factories were taking advantages of them, since the workers wanted a fair amount of share in their profits, workers started labor shifts. It wasn't all factories that made them feel like they were being taking advantage but most were, some were fair. It's true the in the 19th century it was really a hard time for factory workers or any people working in general. Due to all the stress workers have been put up too it increased for frustration for the working classes. Most places in the United states according to the article that workers face very slow responds due to the health conditions depending which cities they lived in, this made problems come rapidly. With all the problems that were occurring it took a long time for owners to respond. Unfortunately the upper classes really gave no support for middle factory workers. No mater how hard working the factory workers pushed their effort it was difficult for them to have a higher raise for all their working. There were plenty of working classes that were hungry and a lot of desperate workers to gain money for them and their family, which is why children started working for child labor.

This Picture shows how the factory looks in the 19th century

Source from:

What Role did the factory workers play in the formation of our nation?


Women working in small working conditions
 in the factoryproducing clothes.
                             During the 1900's The United states had an important production of iron and steel, which also had Britain take place in. Mostly it was the United States that had most of the world’s production on Iron and steel. According to the article "The United states had about 23.6 percent of the world’s total against Britain which had about 18.5 %." Mostly what the United States also produced was cotton, corn and oil as well coal and the gold. The growth in the agriculture was also being experience by the United States. In Most of the areas in the United States they were many poor people. People who lived in the cities were mostly the Factory workers, they lived cities and towns that had the population about 2,500 people. Also Most of the factory workers they lived in the unsanitary tenements,cause of the Factory workers they helped produced all the production of the iron steel corn etc. With the rise of the industries clothing stores, catalogs, shopping by the telephone where made, it mostly made a huge rise for technology, as well with electricity  Most importantly the Factory workers helped make products more cheaper, as well workers made prodcuts more quicker. 
Source from:

Workers from the factoies all gathered up
protesting that their wages isn't fair enough