When there were some stiff conditions for the laborers, in the absence of laws to protect them from the oppression of employers, several laws were passed at different times in history. One such is the Adamson Act of 1916. Historyplex decodes this Act for your better understanding.
To this day…
The headquarters of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) still retains the hard-copy of the Adamson Act which was passed by President Wilson. The pen used to sign the Act is also a prized possession of BLET.
With Woodrow Wilson embarking the power as President, there came the phase of New Freedom, which called for several reforms. One of these was the enactment of an eight-hour working day for the railroad employees, which was instituted and enacted in 1916. With this deduction in the working hours, there was no deduction in the pay of these employees. This meant that the workers were expected to complete a 40-hour working term each week, and any overtime would be rewarded and compensated for. This came to be known as the Adamson Act. The Adamson Act of 1916 is also known as the Eight-hour Standard Workday Act.
Let’s check out some important aspects related to this landmark Act.
ADAMSON ACT-1916: Summary and Significance
ADAMSON ACT: What Did it Do?
Although there is no concrete evidence, it can be stated that when Ford Motor Company reduced its working hours from nine to eight, many other competitors trod the same line, because of the company’s rapid increase in quality and productivity. The employers had initially suggested a pay hike instead of the reduction of working hours. However, sooner than later, Wilson facilitated the enactment of this Act anyway.