What Was Andrew Carnegie’s Workplace Like?

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According to several reports, Andrew Carnegie abused his employees, exposing them to gruelling hours, an unsafe workplace, and little compensation. Many of the workers in his steel mills worked for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and were fired when they were no longer physically capable of meeting the workplace’s demands.

Steel manufacture was how Andrew Carnegie made his fortune. He was the first manufacturer to have complete control over the creation of his product, from raw materials to refinement technique. As a result, he was able to construct a huge number of industries and provide jobs to individuals who were eager to work. Laborers who worked for Carnegie Steel, on the other hand, generally earned little wages and struggled to maintain a fair quality of living. These workers also put in long hours in hazardous factory conditions, which resulted in a high rate of injury.

Working conditions in Carnegie’s mills were so hazardous that steelwork accidents claimed the lives of 20% of men in Pittsburgh during the 1880s. When there were casualties, Carnegie came across as callous. When a machine burst, killing several of his employees, he was more concerned about the loss of production than about the lives lost. Despite these difficult working conditions, his staff were forced to take a 30% salary cut in 1892.

Many Carnegie employees worked 12 hours per day, seven days a week. Despite this, Carnegie would pressure them to work greater hours while lowering their pay. Those who were unable to meet the job’s physical requirements had their jobs terminated.

The Homestead Strike erupted as a result of these working conditions, with many strikers expressing their dissatisfaction with the working conditions and low pay in Carnegie’s steel factories. This bloody strike resulted in a dozen deaths and aided Carnegie and other corporate magnates in maintaining control over employees by denying them the ability to form unions. Carnegie wanted to resist unions and collective bargaining because he could earn more money by controlling his workers’ wages. Carnegie’s work had a significant impact on the workers’ rights movement.

Carnegie was also a philanthropist, which is a bit perplexing. In addition to being noted for his difficult working conditions and harsh treatment, he established 2,811 libraries throughout his lifetime, donated to numerous humanitarian institutions, and provided organs to 7,689 churches. Overall, Carnegie handed away the majority of his money, which would be worth more than $100 billion today.

Read more: Why Do NFL and NCAA Footballs Have Different Sizes?

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