By Sheila Blackburn

The character of sweating and the origins of low pay laws are of primary social, financial and ethical value. even if tough to outline, sweating, in line with a decide upon committee tested to enquire the difficulty, was once characterized by way of lengthy hours, bad operating stipulations and notably by means of low pay. via the start of the 20 th century the govt anticipated that as much as a 3rd of the British team should be classed as sweated labour, and for the 1st time in a century started to take into consideration introducing laws to handle the problem.Whilst historians have written a lot on unemployment, poverty reduction and different such similar social and business matters, quite little paintings has been performed at the motives, volume and personality of sweated labour. That paintings which has been performed has tended to target the tailoring trades in London and Leeds, and fails to provide a wide evaluation of the phenomenon and the way it constructed and adjusted over time.In distinction, this quantity adopts a huge nationwide and long-run technique, delivering a extra holistic knowing of the topic. Rejecting the argument that sweating was once only a London or gender similar challenge, it paints an image of a common and continuously moving development of sweated labour around the state, that was once to ultimately convince the govt. to introduce laws within the type of the 1909 Trades Board Act. It was once this act, meant to wrestle sweated labour, which used to be to shape the cornerstone of low pay laws, and the barrier to the advent of a minimal salary, for the following ninety years.

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14 F. Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (Harmondsworth, 1987; first published 1845), p. 221. The Times, 7 November 1843, also condemned the practice of requiring sureties. 15 The police case on which Hood based his poem concerned trousers rather than shirts. It is probable that he considered that a shirt maker would gain more sympathy. Whilst trouser finishing was at the bottom of the unskilled social scale, the unskilled woman at the top finished shirts. The latter were widely considered to be impoverished gentlewomen worthy of assistance.

Also, to drive a hard bargain, and … to haggle … to beat down in price … Hence Jewing. A. , OED, Volume 8 (Oxford, 1989), p. 229. 23 Thomas Attwood utilised the phrase, ‘A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work’ when he presented the Chartists’ petition to Parliament: Hansard (Commons), 14 June 1839, col. 224. Thomas Carlyle popularised the motto in his Past and Present (1872; first published 1843), pp. 16, 171. Engels criticised those who accepted the slogan for not advocating the abolition of the wages system: F.

The editor of the MC, John Douglas Cook, published a laudatory article praising Messrs Nicholl and refused to print Mayhew’s reply. Mayhew had already quarrelled with Cook over the paper’s advocacy of free trade. Mayhew called a meeting of 1,500 tailors to expose the falsehoods. At the same time as denouncing Messrs Nicholl, he used the opportunity to criticise Messrs Moses: Thompson, ‘Mayhew and the Morning Chronicle’, pp. 34–8. 76 Beatrice Webb, for example, dismissed Mayhew’s work on the grounds that it was ‘good material spoilt by bad dressing …’: British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES), Passfield Papers, Beatrice Webb’s Manuscript Diary, August 1887.

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