Law Office of Lowell Steiger

Birth of Workers’ Rights

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: November 17, 2006

Factual Factory- Stock Footage, (black & white) Washington D.C. March 4th, 1913. President Taft- his last day in office, decides to carry out the will of congress concerning worker’s rights. A new branch of government is formed to take care of these issues, The Department of Labor. “Challenge of Change”- immigrants are the first clients of the new department. They are the cheapest labor and are therefore treated horribly. Workers that try to make things better for themselves are met with hostility and violence. Within a year- the U.S. declares war against Europe. Employment services are created to man the war effort- women workers, child labor laws, minimum wages, 8 hour work days, and acknowledgement of employees is demanded. By the time the war is over a new industrial society is born. Within months 400 employment service representatives are out helping people find jobs. By the 1920’s society is booming on the surface- but underneath a storm is brewing. The stock market takes a crash. Mills, factories and rail roads are shut down. Millions of Americans wait in bread lines and soup kitchens. The President signs the Social Security Act, the Wage and Hour Act, out law child labor, the Unemployment Act and the Wagner Act.

Factual Factory- Stock Footage, (black & white/no sound) B-roll- KKK circle- each member is dressed in white robes with a white hood. They are each holding a torch, then they throw them into the middle of the circle where a huge cross is burning.

Factual Factory- Stock Footage, (black & white) 1917 President Wilson declares a state war between the U.S and Germany. Film shows him signing the bill, addressing congress and the public and he then gives a speech at the capitol in Washington. Wilson arrives in Paris at the Gare du Bois de Boulogne.

Factual Factory- Stock Footage, “Civil Rights” President Signs Historic Bill, footage shows Washington Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Equal rights started over 100 years ago with Lincoln and the Civil War. Blacks won their freedom then and won their dignity now. Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed by President Johnson. He calls for all Americans to back what he calls a turning point in history.

Factual Factory- Stock Footage, (black & white/no sound) B-roll, Gerogia- KKK meeting- Klu Klux leader gets a special robe.

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