I am writing to you in concern of the conditions of the factories. I have interviewed a male and female worker and an Orphanage Director. An Owner And an overseer have also been spoken to about they way things are being run in the mill factory. It’s been long enough and the factories need to be changed now. The working hours are extremely long and the workers hardly get any sleep. I am surprised that none of the factory owners have changed this because it is in their interest why they should be changed.
If the workers have less hours working and more hours for sleep, rest and eating, the workers will perform better and the factory will produce a lot more products. From my sources I have found out that all the workers get up and work at three am and end at nine to ten pm. That’s over eighteen hours a day. What’s worse is they only get five hours of sleep. If you reduced the working hours and added more time for sleeping, the tasks would be completed with more speed. The wages for the workers are unreasonably low. From what I have heard the adults are given fifteen pence a week, and children earn five a week.
This needs to be changed quickly so that the children can feed themselves and the rest of their family if they need to. The workers also need enough money to buy new clothes and a bit extra for there own choice. The children get paid in tokens to spend in the factory shop. This is a good thing to have so the children don’t spend the wages on other things then the essential food and water. But the children need to have money in cash so they can buy clothes and other things they may need to keep healthy. At the moment the children are cheap labour for the factory.
I have noticed when I have visited some of the factories that there are some very young people working there. I have heard from some workers that there children as young as four years old working there. The overseer said there was only allowed to be over thirteen’s working. But that’s not true. The owner of the Orphanage who is selling the children to the factory also claims she is only selling over thirteen’s. That’s not correct either. What’s disturbing is that the Orphanage Director spends an alarming amount of her profit on alcohol.
I recommend that children should have to be 14 or over to work in the factories all over England. The employees need a nutritional and healthy diet to stay alive. But the foods the factories are serving in the extremely short lunch breaks seem to be very unhealthy. This has to be altered in order for the workers ability to be improved. The workers need to be able to use the lavatory when they need to. A young employee I interviewed said that the factory is hot, damp and it smells atrocious. It smells bad because the owner does not let the workers use the toilet often.
Another worker told me that there were people watching so they did not fall asleep or he would strike them with his belt. The child workers have to crawl under the machines and fix them because they are smaller than the adults who work there. One child told me that they don’t switch off the machines when the children crawl under and that they have no guards protecting them. That is outrageous. If the factory doesn’t want to keep buying more employees they won’t want to kill there workers buy not adding a simple guard.
Another factory inspector told me what he saw was happening to a young girl,” She was caught up by her apron, which wrapped around the shaft. She was whirled round and repeatedly forced between the shaft and the carding engine. (Her right leg was found some distance away). There are some good things about the factories like children given tokens to spend on nothing but food and some factory owners and industrialists subsidize housing and some even help financially with schooling.
The factories need to be changed in some very simple ways which will help by aiding the performance of a worker like less labour hours and more lunch and sleeping hours and food needs to become more healthy with nutritional ingredients. The factories at the moment have terribly bad working conditions with no fresh air witch can easily be ventilated with out ruining the cotton. There are many ways in which we can help the factories become a healthier and a more enjoyable place to work. I very much hope that you will help to improve these factories from this letter I have wrote you will change the bad things happening.