One point on which Henry Ford and Orthodox Jewry in America agree is the movement to introduce a five day industrial week.
The five day industrial week, advocated for some time by the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America and recently introduced by Henry Ford in his Detroit plant and by the Crowley Shipbuilding Company in its ship yards in Oakland, Cal., was urged in a statement issued by Dr. Bernard Drachman, president of the Alliance.
“I note with great pleasure the great progress which the idea of the Five-Day-Working-Week is evidently making in America,” the statement read. “As president of the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America, it was my privilege to propound this idea several years ago and to express the conviction that the work for the Five-Day-Working-Week will be found a permanent and satisfactory solution of the troublesome day of rest problem in this country, alike from the religious and economic point of view. The observance of two days in the week as days of rest will satisfy all demands that are made by religious bodies or by sociological organizations for the physical and spiritual welfare of the entire population without distinction as to race or creed.
“The last few weeks have brought striking evidence that the idea is taking root in the minds of the best thinkers in our land and of the warmest friends of our people as well as of the leading figures in the industrial world. The American Federation of Labor while not absolutely endorsing the Five-Day-Working-Week, has come out in favor of the gradual reduction of the hours of labor which can only lead ultimately to this goal. The adoption by Henry Ford of the Five-Day-Working Week for his vast army of employees is a great step forward in that direction. Although Mr. Ford, to our sorrow, can hardly be classed as a friend of our people, we must in justice divorce his present action from his otherwise narrow-minded policy and trust that his example in adopting the Five-Day-Week will be followed, as we believe it will be, by many other large employers of labor throughout the country. I rejoice also that the press throughout the country is favorably disposed and in a great number of instances, looks upon the idea as beneficial and feasible.
“The ideal to be attained, is of course the Five-Day Week, not only in industry but also in commerce. When this ideal is attained, America will be a glorious example to the entire world of a liberal and at the same time practical policy in regard to the labor and employment problem of the entire population and of the recognition of the right of all the people to sufficient time for recuperation and intellectual and spiritual opportunities. Towards the attainment of this sublime ideal, the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America pledges its continued assistance and cooperation.”
David Crowley, president of the Crowley Shipbuilding Company, announced the decision of his company to introduce the five-day-week with six days pay, an Associated Press despatch from Otkland, Cal., states. It was almost impossible for the men to get started on Saturday before it was time to quit, Mr. Crowley declared.