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.
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.”
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.