Smugtown video study guide Study Guide Main Smugtown Video RochesterLabor.org

SHOES & CIGARETTES

Questions

  1. Should a worker have the right to strike without the risk of losing his or her job?
  2. Should a business owner have the right to hire replacement workers during a strike?
  3. The women at Kimball's worked on the "piece rate" system. Compare this system with other forms of compensation (e.g., wages, salaries, etc.).
  4. Why did the shoe industry disappear from Rochester?

Activities

  1. Gather all the shoes in your house and see where they were made. List the countries. Find out if they have an eight-hour day, minimum wage laws, or other worker protections.
  2. 600 cigarette workers roll and 500 workers pack one million cigarettes during a ten-hour workday: (a) How many cigarettes does each worker roll a day? (b) How many packs per hour do they roll and pack (assuming 20 cigarettes per pack)? (c) What is the piece rate per pack for a worker who earns $2 a week? For a worker who earns $11 a week?
  3. The shoe manufacturers formed an association. Do modern business have such organizations? What is their purpose? How do these associations differ from unions?

Vocabulary

federation

 

replacement worker

 

blacklist

 

lock-out

 

compensation

Glossary

piece-rate: payment of workers by the piece rather than by the hour or other time unit

Resources

Map/Guide, # 4, 6, 17, 46
Ruth Naparsteck, The Kimball Tobacco Company and the Anti-Tobacco Movement. (1998)
Blake McKelvey, Rochester: The Quest for Quality. (1956)