A Letter From the Union

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was my 8th grade Social Studies homework.

Submitted: October 10, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 10, 2016



June 12, 1909

Dear Management;


My name is Emily.  I am twenty-three years of age and have been working in your manufacturing plant for four years.  I turn yarn for you.  I live with my mother Agnes and my eleven year old sister Margot, who cleans fleece here.  Funds have dependably been tight, all the more so since my dad passed away a year back.  All we can rely on is our savings of ten dollars, Margot's weekly compensation of seventy-five pennies, and mine of eighty-six pennies.  I was selected by the staff to request that you give us higher wages, safer working conditions, shorter hours, and healthier working conditions.


Higher wages are inconceivably essential to us.  Families like mine could support themselves.  This is our main grievance.  Pennies a hour is simply insufficient.


As well we wish to have a more secure working environment.  It's extremely warm and the danger of heat stroke is high in many areas of the facility.  As you most likely are aware Marguerite, who printed price tags for your sweaters, lost two fingers and needed to take a job spinning thread as she was unable to type.  Charlene broke her wrist when it was caught between spokes of a spinning wheel and she was just twelve.  We could deliver countless other instances of perilous working conditions in your sweater plant bringing damage to your employees, including children.


Hours of reduced length and increased consistency would be another great improvement.  A large portion of us do not know when we will return home to our parents and children.


We work without any breaks for nourishment, restroom, or simply to get away from the heat as a general rule.  If we are sick, we come to work anyway since we need the compensation.  Disease spreads from individual to individual and family to family.  It is unhealthy.


Honestly your factory is minimally superior to a sweatshop and we the workers wish for better pay- - without us you would be nothing.



--The Union

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