Have you wondered how a standard eight-hour working schedule was set? Here are some important milestones that have shaped today’s work schedule:
- 1866: The National Labor Union asks Congress to pass a law mandating an eight-hour workday.
- 1867: The Illinois Legislature passes a law mandating an eight-hour workday. The same year, Chicago is witness of a strike regarding the subject in which police and demonstrators clashed.
- 1869: President Ulysses S. Grant issues a proclamation to guarantee stable wages and an eight-hour workday for government employees only.
- 1870s and 1880s: The eight-hour workday became a demand of labor unions across the country.
- 1886: Labor Unions celebrated a national strike, drawing over 300,000, to ask for a shorter workday. The strike particularly in Chicago becomes highly violent.
- 1890: The government starts tracking the number of hours workers put in per week.
- Late 19th century and early 20th century: Labor groups won the right to an eight-hour workday across industries at a local level.
- 1916: Railroad workers won the right to an eight-hour workday with the passage of the Adamson Act.
- 1950s: Most Americans see accomplished efforts for a set eight-hour workday.