On May 1, 1926 the Ford Motor Company adopts a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories.  A few months later in August, the office workers received the same benefit.  For has been innovative in its labor policies before.  In 1914 during a period of high unemployment, Ford announced a minimum wage of $5 per eight-hour day for its male workers.  This was an increase from $2.34 for nine hours.  This policy was adopted for female workers in 1916. These policies served to boost productivity and company loyalty.

Men on the assembly line at a Ford factory in Chicago in 1926.

Men on the assembly line at a Ford factory in Chicago in 1926.

Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son and company president explained

“Every man needs more than one day a eek for rest and recreation… The Ford Company always has sought to promote [an] ideal home life for its employees.  We believe that in order to live properly every man should have more time to spend with his family.”

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford also admitted that the five-day workweek was also to increase productivity.  The workers time was reduced but were expected to work with more effort when on the job.

Manufacturers all over the country followed Ford’s lead and soon the Monday-to-Friday workweek became the standard.

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7 responses

  1. Elle Knowles says:

    Two years later women got that same respect! Tsk tsk tsk! ~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jazzfeathers says:

    Ford sure had some revolutionary ideas about work and business. I wish there were similar pioneers today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Birgit says:

    Now they should readopt this. There is so much that the average joe is expected to do and if he/she doesn’t they are out of job. 2 days to be off should be the norm

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  4. I knew Ford was an innovator, but never realized he was the 1st to use a 40 hour week. Thank you Mr. Ford!
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kristin says:

    My grandfather worked at Fords in Detroit at the time those changes were being made. I never realized it before.

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