Stephan Crivillaro majored in Labor Studies as a student at Queens College, and learned a great deal about the role of organized labor in American industry, and the of the dynamics of between and management relations.
He also learned a great deal about the history of organized labor. Before enrolling in the Labor Studies curriculum, Stephen Crivillaro always thought that labor unions had their origins in the twentieth century. But it was really in the mid- to late-1800s that the initial efforts to organize workers into units of collective bargaining began to make headway. Prior to that, most American workers worked ten hour shifts for six days at week, and that was the original goal of most organized labor: winning an eight hour day, five days a week, and at a reasonable wage.
During the early days of labor and its attempts to organize, there was disagreement on what the common goals should be. But the length of the work day and week were generally agreed upon. After some success with shorter days and work weeks, some workers, Stephen Crivillaro learned, adopted extreme ideas such as Marxism. Others were content to bargain collectively for small increases in their hourly wage, and a few benefits. But he saw that organized labor had, as a group, brought tremendous change to the workforce in America, and most of it for the better. Today most Americans enjoy higher wages, better hours, and improved working conditions, and in many instances employers pay for medical coverage and a couple of weeks of vacation each year.
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