Handbill: call for solidarity
The struggle for a fair wage: handbill calling for support for the struggle of market assistants and fledgling workers in the book trade. Published by K. Sängerlaub, Leipzig. Printed by: C. Koppe printers, Leipzig, November 1912
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Photograph: Michael Setzpfandt


The A-Z of industrialisation

But look, when the corn is threshed, / that means: straw as a wage, / that means: for us the penny, / for the patron the thaler.

Georg Herwegh, Die Arbeiter an ihre Brüder, 1866

Wages are the compensation paid for a regularly performed work activity. In a production site (Factory) organised with the division of labour, those performing work activities are paid di_fferent wage amounts depending on their profession, the work performed, age and sex. A difference is made between a time wage, which depends on the number of hours worked, and piece or task wages, which depend on performance.

Conflicts relating to pay and working conditions remain a universal theme in our industrial society. The fight for a fair wage often leads to strikes and lock-outs as a means of waging industrial conflict. This handbill, printed in Leipzig in 1912 reads: “The market assistants and fledgling workers in the Leipzig book trade are involved in a difficult struggle for a one-pfennig raise. The business owners, mostly very rich millionaires, have rejected this legitimate demand”. This is followed by the closing demand: “Take a stand against this disgraceful impertinence and steer clear of these companies.”