A minimum wage of $5

Monday 5th January 1914

A minimum wage of $5.00 per day was introduced by the Ford Motor Co., which was twice the amount they had paid the year before, and was substantially higher than Ford’s competitors were paying. This dramatic increase was made possible by Henry Ford’s moving assembly line that allowed him to build cars faster and cheaper than anyone else could. As the profits increased Ford’s workers shared in the wealth. Given that Ford would become a notorious enemy of trade unions in the 1930s and 1940s, this is somewhat ironic.

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