Today in History: Ford Announces 8hr Day / $5

Credit: Ford Motor Company

Credit: Ford Motor Company

On January 05, 1914, Ford Motor Company announced that workers would only be required to work 8 hour days, and their minimum wage would be $5 a day. At the time factory labor was unregulated, and most employees worked 10-16 hour days for six days a week, earning far less money. Other local companies weren’t pleased with Ford’s doubling of daily wages, but after watching their productivity raise and their profit margins double ($30M to $60M) in two years, they soon made similar changes.

While Ford wasn’t the only company experimenting with shorter work days and high salaries, they gained great¬†notoriety¬†for it and sparked a large migration from south to north of people looking for well paying work. This was one of Ford’s many contributions to revolutionizing the way the world produced goods and did business.