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Source: Detroit Free Press

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 100th Anniversary of Henry Ford's $5 Day

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If there’s one day that created the modern 20th Century Detroit, it would be Jan. 5, 1914. On that day a century ago, Henry Ford shocked the nation by introducing the $5-a-day wage for Ford autoworkers.

That $5 Day roughly doubled what Ford and other industrialists had been paying their workers. Although it astonished and angered his peers, Ford calculated — correctly as it turned out — that paying so much would allow his workers to buy their own Ford cars, and reduce what had been a costly level of turnover in the company’s factories. It would create a loyal workforce that would boost productivity and profits to new heights.

The new wage rate set off seismic shifts in American society. A tidal influx of job candidates from the South and around the world flowed into Detroit. Factory jobs became prized, helping turn America into the world’s industrial colossus. Detroit and America were never the same.

To continue reading via the Detroit Free Press, go to: Henry Ford's $5 Day
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1/5/2014 12:00 AM