The President and Fellows of Harvard College

The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day: A Capitalist Vision of Liberation through Managed Work Reduction
Author(s): Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt
Source: The Business History Review, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Autumn, 1992), pp. 475-522
Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt
Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day: A Capitalist Vision
of Liberation through Managed
Work Reduction
Historians have recently tried to explain why the century-
long work-reduction movement ended in the 1940s. A his-
tory of Kellogg’s six-hour day program reveals that the loss
of business and management support contributed to this
demise. Mainstream corporations such as Kellogg’s once
thought that managed work reduction would save capital-
ism, and they developed a capitalist vision of freedom from
work remarkably similar to recent socialist writings. But
Kellogg’s management reversed course and ultimately
opposed the six-hour day. Instead they developed more
conventional corporate views: that industrial progress is
defined by more work for more people, that increasing the
number of jobs is a primary economic goal (but not the
responsibility of the individual firm), and that work can be
perfected to become the most satisfying part of life.
Tr|Jhe economist John Owen has sparked a flurry of scholarly
I activity with his observation that “employed Americans have
had no net gain in their leisure . . . since the end of World War
II.”1 Following his lead, historians have recently begun to strug-
gle with the obvious questions that this observation raises; why,
for example, did the century-long work-reduction movement end
or become dormant in the United States-and indeed in the West-
ern, industrialized world? David Roediger and Philip Foner main-
tain that the work-reduction movement is not totally dead, but
BENJAMIN KLINE HUNNICUTT is professor at the University of Iowa.
1John D. Owen, “Workweeks and Leisure: An Analysis of Trends, 1948-75,”
Monthly Labor Review 48 (Aug. 1976): 3-8, and Owen, Working Hours: An Economic
Analysis (Lexington, Mass., 1979), passim; Benjamin K. Hunnicutt, “The End of
Shorter Hours,” Labor History 25 (Summer 1984): 373-404.
Business History Review 66 (Summer 1992): 475-522. ? 1992 by The President and
Fellows of Harvard College.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 476
they agree that it has been “long moribund,” and they try to
account for the “paucity of postwar progress” in the United States
in their excellent history, Our Own Time. Roediger and Foner go
so far as to attempt to “reinterpret U.S. labor history” by trying to
determine why “shorter hours [was] a crucial liberal reform from
the 1830s to the 1930s, but since then has dropped from view.”
Writing about developments in France and Britain, Gary Cross
expands the scope of investigation, concluding that “The era of the
progressive reduction of worktime, at least for now, has come to an
end. “2
They and other historians suggest that, in addition to changes
in politics and in the labor movement, changes in business person-
nel practices and management philosophy played a role in this
phenomenon. The fiercest opposition to work reductions came
from business and industrial managers in the nineteenth century,
and “corporate liberalism [has] proved ultimately illiberal where
the working week was concerned” since the Great Depression.
Historians nevertheless see the brief interest in shorter hours
among welfare capitalists and industrialists such as Henry Ford
after 1914 and within movements such as scientific management
(or “reformed Taylorism”) through the 1920s as factors contribut-
ing in a limited way to work reduction during the period-
especially in the 1910s, when claims were made about the positive
relationship between shorter hours and increased efficiency
(resulting from reduced fatigue).3
Thus historians include the collapse of business and manage-
ment’s brief support in the long and still-tentative list of causes
that may have contributed to the end of the quest for shorter
hours. But such a claim is controversial, both as historical explana-
tion and as economic theory. The Harvard economist Juliet Schor
argues, along traditional Marxist lines, that “capitalist economies
2 David Roediger and Philip Foner, Our Own Time: A History of American Labor
and the Working Day (New York, 1989), xi, 259; Gary Cross, “Worktime and Industri-
alization: An Introduction,” in Worktime and Industrialization: An International His-
tory, ed. Gary Cross (Philadelphia, Pa., 1988), 2, 16.
3 For the quotation, see David R. Roediger, “The Limits of Corporate Reform:
Fordism, Taylorism, and the Working Week in the United States, 1914-1929,” in
Cross, ed., Worktime and Industrialization, 136; see also Roediger and Foner, Our
Own Time, 232-42; Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, Work Without End: Abandoning
Shorter Hours for the Right to Work (Philadelphia, Pa., 1988), 22, 23. Gary Cross cites
Lord Leverhulme’s The Six-Hour Day & Other Industrial Questions (London, 1918),
as a British example of industrialists’ support of work reduction growing out of indus-
trial welfare and work science movements.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 477
systematically over provide goods and services and under provide
leisure…. [T]he structure of capitalism inhibits the growth of
leisure…. [and has] a bias toward … ‘long-hour jobs,’ because
long hours facilitate management’s control over labor.” Schor con-
cludes that “capitalism will oppose hours reductions, ceteris pari-
bus, because they raise the cost of controlling labor.”4
Moreover, after giving it a considerable amount of attention in
their book, Roediger and Foner conclude that management sup-
port of work reduction was of limited importance historically-that
“Ford’s actions [reducing hours in his plants] neither reflected nor
sparked a broader tendency toward voluntary reduction of hours
[in the 1910s]” and that “as a whole, these years [through the
1920s] of optimal conditions for voluntary reform by employers
produced only meager reductions in the working week.” Roediger
insists that Ford’s experiment was the “limit of corporate reform”
as it related to hours reduction.5
But a careful, detailed history of voluntary reductions of work
time by employers in the 1930s reveals that business support was
somewhat more significant than Roediger and Foner admit and
thus that its withdrawal was more important in explaining the end
of shorter hours. The high-water mark of corporate reform was not
reached in Ford’s automobile plants during the 1920s, but rather
during the early 1930s in the voluntary “work-sharing” efforts of
business people, managers, associations, and politicians through-
out the nation to combat the unemployment of the Depression and
in the half-dozen major firms that voluntarily reduced hours below
4 Juliet B. Schor, “Toil and Trouble: Leisure in a Capitalist Economy,” unpub. MS,
dated May 1987, author’s copy. In her recent and widely publicized book, The Over-
worked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (New York, 1991), economist
Schor argues persuasively that leisure has actually declined since 1976-an argument
that Bill Clinton adapted to the 1992 presidential campaign with his slogan, “Americans
are working harder for less” now than when Ronald Reagan was elected. The result,
according to Schor, is that the average worker works a full month more today. Schor
concludes that the historical process of work reduction has not only halted in the
United States, but that it has actually reversed, and that Americans are steadily losing
leisure. She then joins historians in their attempt to explain the phenomenon, discuss-
ing the role of consumerism, the structure of capitalism, and labor’s changing positions
on the length of the work day.
5 Roediger and Foner, Our Own Time, 193, 211, for the first quotation; Roediger,
“The Limits of Corporate Reform,” for the second.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 478
forty a week for an extended period.6 Of special importance were
exceptional industrial managers such as W. K. Kellogg of the
cereal company and Paul Litchfield of Goodyear Tire who, build-
ing directly on Ford’s experiments, reduced the workday to six
hours in their plants.7
A detailed history of these events may also raise problems for
the traditional Marxist generalization that capitalism always
“underproduces leisure.” Although it will substantiate that claim
historically, such an investigation will also show that a shorter-
hours policy is logically consistent with sound corporate practices,
that mainstream corporations once established personnel policies
based on the belief that managed work reduction would be the
salvation of capitalism, and that a vision of personal freedom
through capitalism emerged in the process that is remarkably sim-
ilar in certain respects to some of the early socialists’ writings,
recently rediscovered by European Marxists.
In fact, as Roediger notes, Ford’s voluntary reductions of
working hours in his plants made him a hero of the Left for a few
years, during which time prominent socialists recognized a nascent
convergence of socialist theory and capitalist personnel practices.8
The convergence of socialism and capitalism around work reduc-
tion may be seen in even more dramatic fashion from a historical
vantage point that reveals corporate labor policies established in
the 1930s by such firms as Kellogg’s foreshadowing socialist theo-
ries that have recently re-emerged from the Left.
Finally, such a detailed history may shed some new light on
the evolution of modem management philosophy and personnel
strategies, particularly industry’s acceptance of the “human rela-
tions school” of management during the 1950s and 1960s. After
leading the nation in shorter hours with the voluntary establish-
ment of the six-hour day during the 1930s, Kellogg management
reversed course after 1940 and spent over forty years trying to
eliminate the “short schedule.” In their attempts to find alterna-
tives to shorter hours and to lure their employees back to the
eight-hour day, Kellogg management developed new strategies to
6 See Hunnicutt, Work Without End, 147-58, for support of this position. By con-
trast, in more traditional fashion Foner dismisses business work-sharing during the
Depression as simply a dodge to cut wages; see Roediger and Foner, Our Own Time,
7 Several other major industrial firms voluntarily cut weekly hours to forty and then
to thirty in 1930 and 1931. Hunnicutt, Work Without End, 148.
8 Roediger, “The Limits of Corporate Reform,” 135-37.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 479
motivate workers and to provide new job incentives. At Kellogg’s,
opposition to shorter hours evolved into management principles
that are recognizable as central tenets of modem business philos-
ophy: for example, that industrial progress means more work, not
less, for more people; that increasing the number of jobs is a pri-
mary goal of the economy in general but not the responsibility of
the individual firm; and that work may be so perfected that it
becomes not only the “central focus of life,” but also one of life’s
most satisfying benefits-basic tenets of the human relations
school. In the 1950s, Kellogg’s was an early and strong advocate of
human relations management principles, in part in reaction to the
threat of its own creation, the six-hour day.9
Kellogg’s experiment with the six-hour day provides a micro-
cosm in which to investigate in detail how modem assumptions
about work and work management evolved. This study makes no
claim that Kellogg’s is perfectly representative of the modern cor-
poration or that developments in modern management are exclu-
sively a reaction to the threat of work reduction. It does, however,
offer the insight that common management assumptions about
work, like the Marxists’ assumptions about leisure under capital-
ism, are historically relative, of fairly recent coinage, and hence
not economic or political absolutes. In fact, a well-constructed set
of practical alternatives was once contained in Kellogg’s six-hour
Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day
On 24 November 1930, Lewis J. Brown, president of the Kellogg
Company, announced that beginning on 1 December the Battle
Creek plant, in the heart of central Michigan’s industrial corridor
and the largest manufacturer of ready-to-eat cereals in the world,
employing nearly 1,500 workers, would institute a six-hour day.10
9Jeyland T. Mortimer, Changing Attitudes toward Work (Minneapolis, Minn.,
1979), 14, 15. See also Daniel Yankelovich, “Work, Values, and the New Breed,” and
Clark Kerr, “Introduction,” both found in Work in America: The Decade Ahead, ed.
Clark Kerr and Jerome M. Rosow (New York, 1979), and passim.
‘O “Kellogg Company Announces Six-Hour Day and Basic Pay Raise to Aid Employ-
ment: Takes World Leadership in Inauguration of New Industrial Work Policy,” Battle
Creek Moon-Journal [hereafter Moon-Journal], 24 Nov. 1930. See also memo to Wal-
ter C. Hasselhorn from E. H. McKay, 7 Sept. 1933, Local #3 of the American Feder-
ation of Grain Miller’s Archives, Battle Creek, Michigan [hereafter cited as Local #3
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 480
According to Brown, the result would be the hiring of an entirely
new shift of workers, the fourth. This would help relieve the
unemployment situation in Battle Creek and would serve as a
model for the solution of the nation’s problems.” W. K. Kellogg,
the company owner, told Battle Creek mayor William Penty that,
“if we put in four six-hour shifts … instead of three eight-hour
shifts, this will give work and paychecks to the heads of three hun-
dred more families in Battle Creek.”12
Brown explained that, in order to maintain the workers’ pur-
chasing power, the minimum daily wage for a male employee
would be raised to four dollars. For other workers, the loss of two
hours of work per day would be partially offset by a 12.5 percent
increase in the basic hourly wage, which, Brown argued, would
“give Kellogg employees … a purchasing power, in view of price
declines, exceeding that enjoyed a year ago for eight hours of
work. “13
The issue of total weekly wages was complicated by the sea-
sonal nature of cereal sales and production; a thirty-hour week
alternated seasonally with thirty-six hours. (A saying was common
at Kellogg’s that people ate hot cereal during the winter and cold
cereal during the summer.) Kellogg’s focused on the fact that it
would be “paying the highest rate per hour of any of the larger
firms in our city-and much greater than the average throughout
the country.”14 Moreover, a year after the institution of thirty
hours, Kellogg’s again raised hourly wages by 12.5 percent,
strengthening their claim of offering the highest hourly pay. The
issue of hourly pay as distinct from total weekly earnings was still
critical in the 1930s, reflecting workers’ continuing perception of
shorter hours as a benefit on a par with wages.
From the start, Kellogg management faced the issue of overall
weekly remuneration head-on, challenging organized labor’s claim
that work-sharing schemes put all of the burden of unemployment
relief on the workers. Kellogg’s plan called for business and labor
to share the costs of shorter hours equally: workers by a modest
weekly pay cut and job rules concessions, Kellogg’s by increasing
hourly wages and expanding total payroll payments. In late 1932,
Moon-Journal, 24 Nov. 1930.
12 As quoted by Horace B. Powell, The Original Has This Signature-W. K. Kellogg
(Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1956), 188.
13 Moon-Journal, 24 Nov. 1930.
14 Ibid.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 481
an influential group of New England businessmen gained national
attention for offering exactly this “share the work, share the cost of
shorter hours” scheme, calling it the New Hampshire Plan-much
to the annoyance of Kellogg management, who tried to claim
credit. There is no doubt that Kellogg workers were paid less
weekly, at least until 1935 when Kellogg’s raised wages a third
time; but there is also no doubt that Kellogg hired more people
and paid out more total wages.15
The policy was in keeping with what Brown saw as Kellogg’s
tradition as a leader of industry. Brown reminded reporters that
Kellogg’s had been one of the first companies to institute the
eight-hour day, some twenty years earlier, and that it was one of
the first to try out the five-day week. As Brown saw it, Kellogg’s
was continuing to blaze the trail of industrial reform; the six-hour
day represented the company’s latest effort to “share the benefits”
of mechanization and increased productivity with workers and the
Brown and W. K. Kellogg cited Henry Ford’s leadership, not-
ing that over the years Ford developed a strong case for shorter
hours as a sound principle of industrial management. Ford had
already “proven” that workers gave their best service over the long
term if hours were shorter. He had shown that absenteeism, turn-
over, and accident rates improved and that a “more stable work-
force” resulted. He had also “demonstrated” that workers were
happier, more cooperative, and less given to militancy and unrest.
Brown and W. K. Kellogg agreed with Ford’s claims that institut-
ing shorter hours was “one of the finest cost-cutting moves ever
made,” paving the way to higher productivity and therefore to
15 A survey team from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau examined
Kellogg’s payroll books in mid-1932, comparing wages paid before the change to six
hours and after hourly wages had been increased a second time. They found that a total
of 77 percent of the workers received less weekly pay under the six-hour plan. Over 40
percent received between 10 and 20 percent less, nearly a third received between 0
and 10 percent less, and one in eleven over 20 percent less; forty-five workers (23 per-
cent) showed an increase in weekly wages. Ethel L. Best, A Study of a Change from 8
to 6 Hours of Work, Bulletin no. 105 of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of
Labor (Washington D.C., 1933). Letter to Mary Anderson, director of the Women’s
Bureau, from W. James McQuiston, dated 20 Jan. 1933, National Archives, U.S.
Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Raw Data, box 153, 22. Business Week, 27
April 1931, found that even though some workers were being paid less than in 1930,
still “more money [was] being distributed to Kellogg workers as a whole.” See also J.
G. Winant, “New Hampshire Plan,” Review of Reviews 86 (Nov. 1932): 24; 0. McKee,
Jr., “New Hampshire Does Her Bit,” National Republic 20 (Oct. 1932): 6.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 482
higher profits.16 Shorter hours constituted quintessentially good
Unlike Ford’s experiment with the five-day week in 1926,
Kellogg’s six-hour day was launched in an expanding market-
demand for cereal was still steady. Moreover, a week after four-
shift operations began, W. K. Kellogg announced that the
company would end 1930 with the greatest volume of sales in its
history. No one accused Kellogg of trying to limit production of
cereal, as critics had accused Ford of cutting hours in response to
soft demand for automobiles in 1926. Throughout the Depression,
Kellogg’s problem was to make enough cereal to meet demand.17
Still echoing Ford, Brown argued that, in addition to helping
to stabilize industry and to solve the unemployment problem in
Battle Creek, even shorter hours would provide “greater opportu-
nity for recreation and enjoyment-outside of business hours” and
would “mean better living and working conditions generally.”
Then Brown expanded on Ford’s ideas, claiming that the six-hour
day would “revolutionize continuous industry operations.”18 The
revolution would come because the balance of the workers’ lives
would shift from work. Such a watershed had been a long time
coming, even though it had been signaled by the eight-hour day
and by Ford’s five-day week. Now, with the advent of the six-hour
day, the center of life would henceforth reside in leisure-in free-
dom from necessity. Workers’ attention would shift from econom-
ics and job issues to concerns with freedom, and a new day of
liberty would dawn for the assembly line worker. The most likely
immediate beneficiaries of such a shift would be the family and the
community, but the company would also benefit.
Brown believed that the shorter-hours policy was destined to
be the wave of industrial management’s future. When he
announced the four-shift plan, Brown played openly to a larger,
national audience, asserting that: “we are going to start something
that has been talked about for years, but nobody has had courage
enough to do.”19
16 Moon-Journal, 24 Nov. 1930.
17 Battle Creek Enquirer, 24 Nov., 6-8 Dec. 1930; Moon-Journal, 1 Dec. 1930;
“Cereals: Six-Hour Day Helps Kellogg Co. Do More Work,” Newsweek 9 (16 Jan.
1937): 27.
18 Moon-Journal, 24 Nov. 1930.
19 Ibid.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 483
National Reaction
Brown was right; the business world was watching.2 Factory and
Industrial Management took special interest in the event,
announcing on the front cover of its December 1930 issue that this
was the “biggest piece of industrial news since Ford announced his
five-dollar-a-day policy.” The editors reiterated Brown’s point that
Kellogg’s experiment was on the cutting edge of industrial man-
Here lies our dilemma: On one side, millions of people wanting
goods and unable to buy them … ; on the other side, industry …
working at two-thirds capacity…. [Kellogg’s] sends an arrow to
the heart of the problem … to deny the ability of American indus-
try to shorten hours for the present and for the future is to deny all
the achievement of past generations…. We predict that this new
policy of the Kellogg Company will do more to stimulate leaders to
action and will make a far greater contribution to the solution of the
unemployment problem than all the feverish temporary expedients
being tried. American industry needs to apply … the best-known
management methods. It is significant that [Kellogg’s has] … the
courage and the vision to undertake the experiment. Industry can-
not turn back; it must go on developing new machinery and the
new social values that arise from it. Therein lies profit; therein lies
mass leisure, the next step…. 21
The magazine contacted leading political, industrial, and labor
leaders throughout the country to elicit their views. Without
exception, the comments were enthusiastic, similar in tone to
Factory and Industrial Management’s editorial.22
National interest in and the broad political consensus favoring
Kellogg’s experiment continued throughout 1931. President Her-
bert Hoover asked W. K. Kellogg to come to Washington to dis-
cuss the six-hour day. Senator David I. Walsh of Massachusetts, a
guest at the Battle Creek Sanatorium, visited the plant and told
company officials and the press that he “heartily approved” of the
plan and believed that it should be adopted by as many industries
as possible. Hugo Black later used Kellogg’s success to argue for
20 Business Week, 10 Dec. 1930.
21 “Kellogg Strikes at Unemployment,” Factory and Industrial Management 80
(Dec. 1930): 1148a, b.
22 Ibid.; Battle Creek Enquirer, 24 Nov., 6-8 Dec. 1930.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 484
passage of his thirty-hour, work-sharing bill in the U.S. Con-
The New York Times followed the Kellogg story through 1931,
reporting that the six-hour day was “a complete success.”24 Busi-
ness Week reported that employees were “completely sold on the
plan,” continuing: “Needless to say, Battle Creek has been a
Mecca for far-sighted business executives…. “25 Forbes pub-
lished a report by the managing editor, Chapin Hoskins, who vis-
ited Battle Creek early that year. Hoskins commented on the
widespread interest in the six-hour day-it was “the topic of dis-
cussion” in the business world. He told how W. K. Kellogg had
begun two years earlier to build an executive force of “younger
men” to carry the company through its “second quarter of exist-
ence and growth,” hiring Lewis J. Brown as the new president.
And it was Brown who had initiated this “striking formula of busi-
ness administration.” The fruit of the new “energetic and progres-
sive business administration” was simply “good management,” the
best example of which was the six-hour day; and “good manage-
ment … will probably, in time, bring the six-hour day elsewhere.
Nothing else can.”26
In the tradition of what David Roediger calls “Fordized Tay-
lorism,” Hoskins drew intricate “performance records” graphs and
analyzed the situation at Kellogg in terms of “mid-morning
swings,” “luncheon let-downs,” and “mid-afternoon peaks,” con-
cluding that average worker efficiency per hour had improved sub-
stantially with the introduction of four shifts a day. He concluded
that “the conquest of fatigue [might be] cumulative . . . [since] 83
cases of shredded whole wheat biscuit used to be packed in an
hour (under the eight-hour day). At the time of my visit, the num-
ber was 96 … 15 percent more cases… “27
23 Battle Creek Enquirer, 26 Nov. 1930; Powell, The Original Has This Signature,
188-97. See also J. M. Carmody to Hugo Black, 9 Dec. 1931, Hugo Black Papers,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. There is evidence that when the AFL execu-
tive committee drafted the six-hour bill in 1932, they used the existing six-hour exper-
iments in Battle Creek and Akron as models.
24 The New York Times, 15 April and 31 Oct. 1931; Powell, The Original Has This
Signature, 189. Unemployment still threatened jobs in Battle Creek, and Kellogg con-
tinued to look for innovative solutions; see The New York Times, 25 Sept. and 17 Oct.
1931. Still, the six-hour day was by far the most visible and successful of Kellogg’s
employment schemes.
25 Business Week, 27 April 1931.
6 Chapin Hoskins, “Is the Six-Hour Day Feasible?” Forbes, July 1931, 16-18, 28.
27 Ibid.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 485
Hoskins observed that the “pest of so many manufacturing plants,
unnecessary overtime that somehow takes on the appearance of
necessity,” had been eliminated at Kellogg’s. Previously, workers
had a “psychological incentive” to stretch out their jobs to win
overtime. Under the new plan, “there is an incentive for getting
all necessary work done within six-hours.” Under the “long hour
regime” when life centered in work, workers tended to see a pro-
duction bonus as an oppressive “speed-up.” But under the six-
hour plan, most workers were showing that they preferred to work
harder rather than longer for bonus pay.28
Like Brown and the editors of Factory and Industrial Manage-
ment, Hoskins observed that the “familiar spectre of technological
unemployment” had been raised by the Depression. There were
only “two ways out” of the mass unemployment that loomed.
“New industries, the large-scale fulfillment of new wants, . . .
must absorb the men and women released from older employ-
ment. Or hours of work must be shortened, so that more workers
will share in the jobs that do exist. This, of course not merely in
1931 but for many years to come.” Industrial management’s future
rested on the early realization that both paths were necessary.
What “thinking men in industry [were] saying is ‘Shorter hours for
men and longer hours for machines.’ ” The six-hour shift was des-
tined to become “one of the important shock absorbers of Ameri-
can industrial advance.”29
During the summer of 1931, Factory and Industrial Management
updated its earlier story, finding that the six-hour day had “won its
spurs.” The “true significance” of the six-hour day was that it rep-
a new way of life, and . . . that production is a means and not an
end, that our national increase of productivity makes it practical to
devote a greater share of life to living. [The six-hour day] recog-
nized the changed balance between leisure to live and productivity
to supply the means of living . .. and recognize[d] increased leisure
with security as the most logical increase in the standard of living.
[It was] the forerunner of a general movement aimed not only at
meeting the widespread unemployment … but at providing a
saner utilization of our resources of man power and machinery.30
28 Ibid.
29 Ibid.
30 Factory and Industrial Management 81 (31 May 1931): 775, 776.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 486
Thus several business and financial publications saw Kellogg’s
scheme as offering a permanent solution to technological unem-
ployment based on “elimination of the work, not the worker.”
According to several observers, the true miracle of welfare capital-
ism was thereby revealed: leisure. Under the direction of enlight-
ened industrialists such as W. K. Kellogg, the exchange of goods,
services, and labor in the free market need not result in mindless
consumerism or eternal exploitation of people and resources by
government-supported capitalism. Rather, capitalism’s destiny was
revealed as a new freedom from work for more and more people,
achieved through the marketplace. Workers would be liberated by
increasingly higher wages and shorter hours for the final freedom
promised by the Declaration of Independence-the pursuit of
This liberation would be based on freedom, on the free choice
of the capitalist to reduce work time (admittedly also a sound man-
agement decision) and on the free choice of workers to cooperate
and accept shorter hours as a benefit, a normal good, on a par with
higher wages. Both the worker and the capitalist were making
rational choices in the free market and in their own self-interest.
The result would be a shift of the center of American life from
necessity to freedom.32
Kellogg’s Plan after Six Months
On 14 April 1931 Kellogg’s decided to make the six-hour day per-
manent, and Brown evaluated the experiment publicly. He felt
that the shorter-hours program was the rational response to mech-
anization. Efficient new machines produced more and thus pro-
vided workers with more things to buy-a sure boon if wages were
increased enough to enable workers to buy what they produced.
But just as important, machine efficiency entailed increased free-
dom from work, and employees on shorter schedules worked more
31 The most prominent exponent of this theory was Arthur 0. Dahlberg. His book,
Jobs, Machines, and Capitalism (New York, 1932), presented what Arthur Schlesinger
called the “most effective statement” of the position. See Schlesinger, The Coming of
the New Deal (Boston, Mass., 1959), 91. For a full treatment of his work, see Hunni-
cutt, Work Without End, 69-75.
32″Six-Hour Day Proves Success,” The Kellogg News, 21 April 1931; Lewis J.
Brown, “Operation of 6-Hour Day in Plants of the Kellogg Co.,” Monthly Labor
Review 32 (June 1931): 1414-21.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 487
efficiently and harder. Machine efficiency promoted worker effi-
ciency.33 Brown argued that under the six-hour day, workers were
decidedly more productive. He claimed that employees worked
with a will and with spirit in anticipation of the early quitting time,
and he bragged that they willingly accepted the “speed-ups,” pro-
duction quotas, and bonuses necessary to support work reduc-
Brown also noted that most jobs at Kellogg’s were repetitious
and “tend[ed] to become monotonous.” This was increasingly true
of all work in the new industrial state; since the advent of the
assembly line, romantic notions about enlarging worker control of
jobs and of joyous and free work were dangerous pipe dreams.
Because of the increased likelihood of boring jobs, work reduction
was even more important to keep workers motivated, productive,
and content. Since modern work was increasingly going to be
geared to the machine for greater efficiency, the best the worker
could hope for was less work.35
Brown described his ideal job with an analogy. Just as athletes
run a “relay race,” production workers of the future would perform
their tasks at top speed for shorter and shorter periods and then be
relieved before they used up their energy; the pace, not the work
itself, would be the focus of interest. The shorter the burst of
work, the better the work. Based on his experience at Kellogg’s,
Brown was convinced that workers on the line were ready to turn
from work to leisure to gain more control over their lives, for indi-
vidual self-expression, fulfillment, creativity, craftsmanship, and
community-fellowship-conversation-rewards that romantic
dreamers were hoping somehow to instill in moder jobs.36
Moreover, Brown believed that leisure was a powerful motiva-
tor. If workers were rewarded for good, hard work with a bonus
and with the right to leave work earlier, they would have an
incentive-freedom-that would move them at least as effectively
as cash. Brown believed that few workers thought that their work
33 Lewis J. Brown, “What of the Six-Hour Day?” pamphlet dated 1931, Presidential
Papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa [hereafter, Hoover
34 Business Week, 27 April 1931, 16. See also Battle Creek Enquirer, 15 April 1931.
35 “A Summary of the Kellogg Company’s Experience with the Shorter Working
Day (Four Shifts of Six Hours Each) at Battle Creek, Michigan,” pamphlet published
by the Kellogg Co. in 1935, copy mailed to the author by the Kellogg Co.
36 Brown, “Operation of 6-Hour Day in Plants of the Kellogg Co.,” 1414-21. See
also Brown, “What of the Six-Hour Day?”
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 488
was as interesting and “rewarding” as their time off. On the con-
trary, work was a means to an end for most Kellogg workers.37
Leisure, for Brown, had matured into an open-ended idea, akin to
“freedom,” and extended to include such things as rest, family life,
recreation, “education, music, . . . cultural studies, … resulting
in a more healthy, ambitious, alert, and aggressive working
force. “.3
Brown was sure that workers’ dissatisfaction with th speeded-up work, the loss of craftsmanship, and the bored repetition of the job was answered by the six-hour so Shorter hours was a lightning rod for worker discontent, at and dissipating it. But the shorter workday also energized ers, making them more “ambitious, alert, and aggressive.” was bound to be governed more and more by the machine become machinelike, and if the inhuman logic of the mark was to make work ever more alien, abstract, and cold, t best solution was to eliminate more and more of it for the ual worker, a solution that workers would and managemen accept in common cause.39
Control on the job, the issue at the bottom of most discontent and the basic reason for union successes, was m important by constant work reduction. Brown felt that w were willing to concede control at work in exchange for con expanding control over their lives; for, if a person had to w hours or fewer a day, the center of life, and thus concern control, would shift. Control at work would always be work was by definition loss of freedom and control compa time off. Realizing this, workers would eventually make t nal choice and prefer leisure’s greater freedom and control, by the enlightened personnel manager, over piecemeal eff modify the discipline of work, offered by the unions.
National Work-Sharing
After Brown’s departure, Kellogg’s maintained leadership a Newsweek called “the outstanding exponent of the six-hou 37 Battle Creek Enquirer, 15 April 1931.
38 Brown, “Operation of 6-Hour Day in Plants of the Kellogg Co.,” 1414 39 For general developments during the 1920s see Roediger, “The Limits o rate Reform,” 135, 136. See also Best, A Study of a Change from 8 to 6 HourThis content downloaded from on Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:06:46 UTC
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 489
Other businesses in Battle Creek and in Michigan followed suit, as
work-sharing became a national movement in 1932-37 with strong
business support initially and with militant labor support through
From 1931 through the early months of 1933, support for work
reduction reached its high-water mark in the United States. Her-
bert Hoover’s secretary of labor, William Doak, went so far as to
observe that “industry, in general, favored” shorter hours. Several
major industrial firms voluntarily cut weekly hours to forty and
then to thirty in 1930 and 1931. Some, such as Kellogg’s and Rem-
ington Rand, tried to maintain weekly wage levels, but others cut
per-capita wages while expanding their total payroll payments sig-
nificantly. The Industrial Conference Board made a survey of
1,718 business executives late in 1932, on the basis of which it
estimated that 50 percent of American industry had shortened
hours to save jobs.41
Hoover supported voluntary efforts to “share the work” in
1931 and 1932. In a speech to the National Conference of Business
and Industrial Committees in August 1932, Hoover called shorter
hours the fastest and most efficient way to create more jobs.
Responding to Hoover’s encouragement, the National Conference
created the Teagle Commission to promote work-sharing.42 The
“share-the-work” drive opened in September 1932 and grew
immediately into a national force with strong business support.
Even though the National Association of Manufacturers supported
the drive primarily as a hedge against labor’s push for national
shorter-hours legislation, public response to the idea and business
40 “Cereals: Six-Hour Day Helps Kellogg Co. Do More Work,” 27; Battle Creek
Enquirer, 4 Dec. 1930; Hunnicutt, Work Without End, chap. 5.
41 The New York Times, 2 Aug. 1932, 1, col. 8 for quotation; see also 3 March 1931,
6, col 3. Even before the widespread interest in “The New Leisure” surfaced in 1933-
34, the “unemployment or leisure” theme was sounded by prominent people such as
Henry Ford, in Moving Forward (New York, 1930), 16-88, especially chap. 5, entitled
“Unemployment or Leisure”; H. Ford and A. Crowther, “Unemployment or Leisure,”
The Saturday Evening Post 203 (2 Aug. 1930): 19; Ida Craven, “Leisure,” Encyclopedia
of Social Sciences (1932), 402-6; The New York Times, 30 July, 2 Oct. 1931; 2 Aug.
42 The New York Times, 2 Aug. 1932; letter to President Hoover from Walter S.
Gifford, director of the President’s Organization on Unemployment Relief, box 319, 1A
(3 Aug. 1932), and “Report of the President’s Organization on Unemployment Relief’
box 339, both in Hoover Papers; E. Dana Durand to W. C. Garner, 12 March 1931;
Wesley Mitchell to William C. Garner, member of the President’s Emergency Com-
mittee for Employment (PECE), 12 March 1931; “Statement on Spreading Work by the
President’s Organization on Unemployment Relief,” 1 Aug. 1932, all in Hoover Papers.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 490
cooperation were impressive. Assessing the movement, the U.S.
Department of Labor estimated that 25 percent of American work-
ers “held jobs on the plan.”43
The movement built momentum during the 1932 presidential
campaign. Both major parties included a shorter-hours plank in
their platforms. During the campaign, shorter hours was the most
important unemployment remedy discussed. Supporters were to
be found along the entire political spectrum, including most major
labor leaders and prominent business people.44
The shorter-hour momentum continued after the election. But
after a few half-hearted overtures to the Teagle Commission in
September and a lukewarm endorsement in October, the Ameri-
can Federation of Labor (AFL) leadership in executive council
rejected the Teagle campaign. Accusing business of cutting work-
ers’ pay whenever hours were cut, labor argued that business was
forcing workers to shoulder all the cost of the nation’s unemploy-
For two months, the New Hampshire Plan to “share the cost
of shorter hours” equally between management and labor seemed
to offer a work-sharing compromise. But that promise was short-
lived when Hugo Black introduced to the Seventy-Second Con-
gress the AFL’s bill to prohibit, in interstate or foreign commerce,
all goods produced by establishments where workers were
employed more than five days a week or six hours a day. Rapidly,
this legislation replaced wage-cutting as the issue separating labor
and business.
In the face of labor’s threat to legislate a thirty-hour week,
business support for work reduction began to recede, changing
rapidly to full-scale opposition. Labor abandoned its hopes for a
compromise along the lines of the New Hampshire Plan and
focused its efforts on legislation. With some important exceptions,
notably Kellogg’s, business abandoned work-sharing as a political
possibility. Companies promptly forgot about work reduction as a
43 The New York Times, 9, 10 Dec. 1932; 15 Jan. 1933; “Job Sharing: 5 Million
Helped by Work-Spreading, Teagle Committee Estimates,” Business Week 14 (1 Feb.
1933); “Spread-Work Plans Gain Ground on the Employment Front,” ibid. 11 (3 Aug.
1932): 7.
4 The New York Times, 16, 21, 26 May; 30 June; 30 July; 22 Sept.; 5 Oct. 1932; W.
Graf, Platforms of the Two Great Political Parties: 1932 to 1944 (Washington, D.C.,
comp. 1944), 336, 354; Robert F. Himmelberg, The Great Depression and American
Capitalism (Boston, Mass., 1968), 41; L. C. Walker, “The Share-the-Work Movement,”
Annals of the American Academy 165 (Jan. 1933): 13.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 491
management strategy or business philosophy, choosing instead to
reaffirm economic expansion as the way out of the Depression and
back to reemployment, turning from Chapin Hoskins’s “two ways
out” solution. Even before labor did, economists and business
people turned from work reduction to embrace Franklin
Roosevelt’s new policy of work creation by government action.
Increasingly, business interest in managing the declining
amount of work to be done in the new industrial state was replaced
by a recommitment to save work from further erosion and to mar-
shal the resources of industrial management and government to
ensure all Americans “full-time work.” In direct response to the
threat posed by labor’s thirty-hour bill, Roosevelt and his advisors
developed ideological and policy alternatives to work-sharing that
they consistently put forth as better unemployment remedies.
Whereas the work-reduction forces would have divided a shrink-
ing “lump of labor,” Roosevelt was more interested in increasing
total work effort and creating new jobs, by government stimulation
of the economy or public works if necessary. Whereas supporters
of shorter hours saw increased leisure as a basis of individual free-
dom and progress, the administration envisioned the government’s
acting to assure everyone the right to work a full-time job and
looked to secure work, not to the freedom from work, as the basis
for progress.
The political contest that raged over the Black-Connery mea-
sure (co-sponsored by Hugo Black in the Senate and William P.
Connery of Massachusetts in the House) reflected an ideological
division of the first importance, a division between views about
progress and about the fate of work in the Depression. With the
ascendancy of Roosevelt’s outlook on the importance of economic
recovery and vitality, and with business support of FDR’s position,
the vision of increased leisure as the basis of culture and a healthy
social order waned. With the coming of the “right to work full-
time,” made sure by government support, the politics of shorter
hours faded. With the emergence of the Second New Deal, the
shorter-hours process ran up against its first successful coalition of
adversaries, Roosevelt and American business (and, after 1938,
labor), and the salvaging of work from the steady erosion of shorter
hours began.45
45 S. Miller, Jr., “Labor and the Challenge of the New Leisure,” Harvard Business
Review 11 (1933): 462-67; The New York Times, 7 Oct., 4 Dec. 1932; 26 Jan. 1933;
“Labor’s Ultimatum to Industry: Thirty-hour Week,” Literary Digest 114 (10 Dec.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 492
Business abandoned its voluntary work-reduction experiment
to give support to Roosevelt’s work-creation efforts, resulting
eventually in the loss of welfare capitalism’s nascent vision of
expanding human freedom through the free labor market. The
support of business was critical to the New Deal’s success in dis-
covering new and more work for more people.
Thus the politics of work reduction versus work creation and
the loss of welfare capitalism’s advanced shorter-hours position,
represented by the New Hampshire Plan and by Kellogg’s, are
critically important in explaining why the shorter-hours process
ended in the United States.
Kellogg’s Six-Hour Salient
At the Kellogg plant, support for work reduction continued. The
shorter-hours rapprochement between management and workers
that Brown attempted to forge strengthened, and management’s
emerging shorter-hours strategy matured. Because the high tide of
management-labor agreement on a rational policy of work reduc-
tion receded in slow motion in Battle Creek, it is easier to see
there how and why business support turned into full-scale opposi-
tion. Since the six-hour day at Kellogg’s was one of the nation’s
and, indeed, one of history’s, shorter-hours salients, it is also pos-
sible to determine more precisely why shorter hours failed in the
United States and especially how that failure related to the newly
developing business philosophy of work creation and the new
political view of the importance of maintaining “full-time” work.
In 1935, after most business people and managers had given
up on a “rational policy of work reduction,” Kellogg’s took stock.
After “five years under the six-hour day,” Kellogg’s recommitted
itself to the short schedule, finding that the “burden [or overhead]
unit cost was reduced 25% . .. labor unit costs reduced 10% . . .
accidents reduced 41% . . . the severity of accidents (days lost per
accident) improved 51% . .. [and] 39% more people [were] work-
ing at Kellogg’s than in 1929.”
1932): 3-4; “Labor Will Fight,” Business Week 14-15 (14 Dec. 1932): 32; “The Labor
Army Takes The Field: A Shorter Work Week to Make Jobs,” Literary Digest 115 (15
April 1933): 6.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 494
Kellogg Employees Learn Archery at the Company Park * This park was one of
many recreational sites that W. K. Kellogg provided, both near the company and in the
countryside around Battle Creek. (Photograph reproduced courtesy of the Kellogg
This isn’t just a theory with us. We have proved it with five years’
actual experience. We have found that, with the shorter working
day, the efficiency and morale of our employees is [sic] so
increased, the accident and insurance rates are so improved, and
the unit cost of production is so lowered that we can afford to pay
as much for six hours as we formerly paid for eight.46
At the end of 1936, W. K. Kellogg boasted that the six-hour day
was “an unqualified success” and continued to insist that, if it were
put into general use, “employment would increase 20%” nation-
Implementing Brown and W. K. Kellogg’s management phi-
losophy, the company began to make concrete contributions to
their workers’ leisure. The company erected a substantial gymna-
sium and a recreation hall equipped with the latest sound and
4 “Kellogg Raises Wages,” Literary Digest 120 (Nov. 1935): 40. See also “Moral:
Fatter Wages: Kellogg Goes Back to 1930 Pay Scales, Retains 6-Hour Day; Other
Industries Advised to Study Plan,” Business Week, 16 Nov. 1939, 9. In Oct. 1935, the
company announced another raise, increasing the minimum wage to $4.50 a day and
the average worker’s hourly pay by five cents.
47 “A Summary of the Kellogg Company’s Experience with the Shorter Working
Day”; Business Week, 16 Nov. 1939, 9.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 495
motion picture equipment exclusively for their workers’ new lei-
sure. The company also developed an outdoor athletic park, a
“recreation park,” and forty acres of land outside town for
employee garden plots.48
W. K. Kellogg was personally interested in the perfection of
work through expanding leisure. In a letter to his grandson,
Kellogg wrote, “First of all … get plenty of sleep and recreation
. . “; he emphasized that leisure was essential for a sane life and
that work was only a means to living. He advised his grandson not
to be obsessed with working or to blunder into the common youth-
ful error that work was the be-all and end-all of life. Throughout
his own life, W. K. Kellogg observed, “I never learned to play,”
and he profoundly regretted his shyness, which he attributed to
his incapacity to enjoy life and people. He also encouraged Kellogg
workers to maintain contact with the Michigan soil-to remain on
their farms as long as possible or at least to tend one of the garden
plots that he offered free to Kellogg workers in the city.49
Like Lewis Brown, W. K. Kellogg was fascinated by the pos-
sibility of mass leisure and the utopian future at the end of the
process of work reduction. He believed that family, community,
and personal and public health should be the first beneficiaries of
the new wealth in time. He made an effort to influence workers to
spend their time in family, community, and church activities, and
he devoted a substantial portion of his own charitable contribu-
tions to leisure services promoting family and health.
Kellogg’s provision of daycare for workers’ children, play-
grounds on the plant premises, public parks, nature centers, and
community recreation facilities reflected his interest in workers’
welfare. Consistent with his family’s long-standing interest in pub-
lic health, and in competition with his brother’s work at the Battle
Creek Sanatorium, W. K. Kellogg promoted his own version of
public health based on recreation and exercise. A life-long bird
fancier, he donated land to establish a popular bird sanctuary near
48 “A Summary of the Kellogg Company’s Experience with the Shorter Working
Day.” See also “The Proof of the Pudding: Kellogg’s 15 Month Experience with the
6-Hour Day,” Factory and Industrial Management 82 (March 1932): 111, 112, 157-58.
49 Letter excerpts quoted in Powell, The Original Has This Signature, 203. The
Kellogg Co. published a slick biography of W. K. Kellogg in 1979 in which his trade-
mark phrase, “I never learned to play,” was interpreted as an endorsement of a life of
total work-turning W.K.’s plaintive remark on its head. In reality his familiar saying
was full of regret and repeated with the hope that others would not have to experience
life as he had, as total work and toil. “The Proof of the Pudding,” Factory and Indus-
trial Management, 157-58.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 496
Augusta, Michigan. He also donated land for the Kellogg (State)
Forest, established expressly for the purpose of wildlife conserva-
tion and public recreation (which he understood to include family
picnicking, hiking, nutting, trout fishing, hunting, trapping, bird
watching, and Christmas tree cutting). Under his influence, the
Kellogg Foundation supported numerous local and state recreation
projects-for example, camps, public swimming pools, parks,
playgrounds, and libraries-during the Depression.50
According to W. K. Kellogg, the “public sector” needed to
expand, not only for social welfare and public health, but also for
the future of freedom. Private industry (certain!y not government)
had to provide the necessities, work and wages, but private foun-
dations or, if necessary, the government should accommodate the
leisure of the people by providing free public places: a free people
with free time required free places. Indeed, government’s main
business was freedom, assuring life and liberty but, just as impor-
tant, providing for the free pursuit of happiness.
Abandonment of the the Six-Hour Day
by Kellogg’s Management
One of the most important reasons that Kellogg’s continued the
six-hour day through the 1930s was W. K. Kellogg. He was com-
mitted to shorter hours and to the vision of freedom through cap-
italism that he had tried to sell to Hoover, to the business world,
to Kellogg workers, and to Battle Creek. He and his managers
were so confident that they had built a rapport with Kellogg work-
ers based on the shorter-hours scheme that they were taken by
surprise when Kellogg’s was successfully organized by the National
Council of Grain Processors (NCGP) in 1937.
From management’s point of view, the principal reasons for
the union’s success were the vigorous work of the NCGP and the
AFL organizers and, based on the first union demands, the work-
ers’ desire for a plant-wide six-hour day. The reasons for the
union’s coming to Kellogg’s were of course more complex. Among
these were previous union successes in organizing other Battle
Creek plants, notably neighboring cereal plants, and the wildfire
of union activity in the region following such labor successes in
50 Interview with Howard Roe, union official of the American Federation of Grain
Millers, 4 June 1990; Powell, The Original Has This Signature, 269-76, 310-25.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 497
Washington as the Wagner Bill and the National Industrial Recov-
ery Act and the dramatic events in Detroit and Akron. But the
most important reason that Kellogg was organized was the
widespread worker desire for a voice in the operation of their
The historian David Brody has stressed workers’ acceptance of
welfare capitalism during the 1920s, noting that the Depression
“shattered” industrial paternalism. Irving Bernstein insists that,
notwithstanding all the benefits it offered, welfare capitalism
floundered because it did not address a fundamental worker desire
for democratic participation in the operation of the workplace. In
the case of Battle Creek, both interpretations have merit.51
Lewis Brown and W. K. Kellogg extended welfare capitalism
to its limits in their attempts to defuse the worker control issue.
Trying to shift the freedom and control focus from work to leisure,
arguing that increased rationalization of work was inevitable and
that freedom and control would expand to everyone’s satisfaction
in time off in the future, Kellogg management built on an idea that
the AFL developed during the late 1920s. For a while, Kellogg’s
succeeded, building a substantial worker following in the city. For
a while, increased worker control in the form of expanding leisure
competed with job control for the workers’ allegiance-facts that
add some support to Brody’s interpretation. But this pinnacle of
welfare capitalism was swamped by the tide of interest in work
control that swept the region in the last half of the 1930s, adding
support to Bernstein. Despite Kellogg’s best efforts, workers
remained as concerned about control of their work through their
union as with freedom and control through shorter hours. Manage-
ment failed to define the two freedoms as mutually exclusive
before the war. Wanting both, workers simply turned from man-
agement to the union to guard and expand these freedoms.
The existence of the six-hour day was not among the issues
troubling Kellogg workers, and they did not suddenly forget the
idea of increasing freedom through increased leisure in 1937. On
the contrary, workers were troubled that a few plant workers were
not allowed to work six hours, and the union remained vigilant
until after the Second World War, on guard for any indication that
management might erode “their” short shift.
51 David Brody, Workers in Industrial America (Madison, Wise., 1975), 63-78, 134,
chap. 6; Irving Bernstein, The Lean Years: A History of the American Worker, 1920-
1933 (Boston, Mass., 1960), 184-88.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 498
KeUogg’s On-Site Wading Pool In accordance with his view that workers should
devote leisure time to family and healthful activities, W. K. Kellogg provided many
outlets for such recreation. This wading pool was in the company park near the plant.
(Photograph reproduced courtesy of the Kellogg Company.)
After the union came to Kellogg’s, W. K. Kellogg withdrew
from the day-to-day management of his company, turning over
personnel matters to August E. Johansen, manager of industrial
relations, and Power Custer, factory personnel manager. He
appointed a Chicago banker, Watson Vanderploeg, as a director
that year, and in less than two years Kellogg turned over the pres-
idency to him. The new management was not encumbered with
W. K. Kellogg’s paternalism, but it also lacked his vision about
expanding freedom under capitalism. Not sharing his insights
about and commitment to work reduction, the new management
was unlikely to continue Kellogg’s experiment.52
52 The New York Times, 29 May 1957. The first meeting between the union and
management was held on 18 May 1937, at which W. K. Kellogg expressed his disap-
pointment. A variety of evidence exists that Kellogg was extremely disturbed and not
in control of the situation, weeping several times during the meeting, repeating “If only
they had come to me, I would have given them what they wanted.” The union records
show, however, that once the union was inevitable, W. K. Kellogg was “in sympathy”
with the Local. See typescript (no date), “Early Beginnings,” Local #3 Archives; see
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 499
When the first contract with the union was negotiated in 1937,
the new management reacted to the union’s position rather than
presenting its own coherent labor policy. For a variety of practical
reasons, a few workers (for example, night security guards, some
staff in the container department, and a few in the mechanical
department) had never been assigned to the short shift. Thus,
aside from organizational demands (a union shop), the first union
demand that management heard was for a “standard six-hour day.”
The company initially refused, arguing that the few workers
affected preferred eight hours and the additional income. More-
over, according to management, those workers at Kellogg’s who
wanted to work eight hours had been gravitating to the five
departments that still scheduled eight-hour days. The union coun-
tered that these eight-hour workers, like all the other workers,
preferred shorter hours regardless of the costs but had not had the
opportunity to choose. After a formal vote of the workers involved
was taken, the union won its point (a sizable majority of eight-hour
workers voted for six hours), and most of the eight-hour employ-
ees went to a six-hour schedule. The new management felt that it
had lost important scheduling flexibility and began to re-evaluate
its policy.53
But the union failed to win its main objective in 1937, the
union shop. In exchange for refusing the union shop, Kellogg man-
agement conceded secondary issues that had a direct, negative
bearing on Kellogg’s six-hour experiment.
At the beginning of the six-hour day program, Lewis Brown
and W. K. Kellogg had put together a package of worker benefits
(higher wages and shorter hours) balanced by worker concessions
(such as elimination of overtime and shift differential pay and insti-
tution of the bonus system). Brown and Kellogg attempted to gain
the goodwill of the workers based on this package of benefits and
concessions, and they were convinced that their policies resulted
in extremely good relations with Kellogg’s workers throughout the
Depression. Worker support for the package was demonstrated
several times by company-wide votes on the six-hour policy and by
worker support for the bonus system after the union came.
also Moon-Journal, 8 June 1937. Nevertheless, after telling his tearful story to the
workers, W. K. Kellogg turned over actual negotiation to experienced, savvy negotia-
53 Battle Creek Enquirer, 16 and 17 June 1937.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 500
One of the more important worker concessions had been the
elimination of bonus pay for the night shift. Brown reasoned that,
because the short night shifts were attractive to some workers
(having all the daylight hours free was an incentive, according to
Brown), a free bidding procedure could take the place of forced
assignment or night bonuses. But in 1937 the union did not sup-
port, or had forgotten, Brown’s argument, and management, after
W. K. Kellogg’s disengagement, gave no appearance of tying
shorter hours and differential pay together. Therefore the union
demanded higher pay for night work in line with the practice in
standard eight-hour industries.
Brown and W. K. Kellogg’s most important innovation had
been to begin to replace overtime premium pay with the bonus
system. But by 1937 management had forgotten their predeces-
sors’ point that, given shorter hours, most workers would rather
work harder than longer for a pay bonus-Brown’s “relay race”
was a thing of the past, as far as management was concerned.
Nevertheless, the production bonus was left in place after
1937. A significant number of workers still agreed with Brown’s
principle, “work harder and more efficiently for more money
instead of longer,” preferring the “relay race” of intense work for
bonus pay and an earlier quitting time to the mind-numbing bore-
dom of long, slow hours. Indeed, the union tried to improve the
bonus system in 1937, pressing management to prohibit “foremen
and foreladies” from participation for obvious reasons. Agreement
was also reached in the first contract that “suitable work … be
provided for older employees unable to handle heavy or fast
work,” a provision that protected workers unable to keep up with
the fast-moving, bonus-driven line. Moreover, vacation pay was
computed on the basis of weekly pay plus the average (over the
year) weekly production bonus. The union was beginning to build
a structure of benefits based on the production bonus.54
But without Lewis Brown or W. K. Kellogg’s opposition,
workers saw no reason why they should not have overtime as well,
and the union pushed ahead with demands for time-and-a-half pay
for work over six hours a day and over thirty-six hours a week, for
Sunday, and for six major holidays. It is clear that, by 1937, the
union no longer thought of the production bonus as an alternative
to overtime pay, choosing instead to support both as the option
54 “1937 Contract between Kellogg and Local #20,388,” dated 23 June 1937, Local
#3 Archives; Moon-Journal, 18 June 1937.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 501
producing the largest paycheck. More than any other union
demand, this position jeopardized management support of the six-
hour day.
Having to pay two kinds of bonuses, management found labor
costs increasing. Moreover, under a uniform six-hour day, impor-
tant noncontinuous departments in the plant, such as the con-
tainer department, were not able to adjust to normal seasonal
fluctuations in production-periods of high overtime costs alter-
nated with periods of underutilization of the work force. More-
over, because of overtime possibilities, a number of workers were
losing interest in the production bonus. Few employees were
working both harder and longer to get two bonuses. Factions
developed between “rabbits” (often younger workers who worked
faster for the bonus but who were seen by some to be limiting
overtime) versus “work-hogs” (senior men and women who wanted
to enforce a slow work pace but to keep the extra overtime for
Thus, after W. K. Kellogg’s departure from active direction of
the company, Kellogg’s shorter-hour experiment began to unravel
from management’s point of view, and during the 1940s and 1950s
the company tried systematically to do away with the six-hour day.
In addition to the overtime problem, management discovered
other serious drawbacks. In the 1930s, when management
expected that the work-week and -day would continue to decline
nationwide, the six-hour schedule seemed less of a long-range
competitive disadvantage. But in the 1940s and 1950s, the eight-
hour day, forty-hour week held firm, and Kellogg’s management
found it harder to survive in a largely eight-hour industry. In
addition, as fixed labor costs (such as health insurance) rose, man-
agement found it increasingly expensive to employ the number of
workers required to operate four shifts, and they tried to reinstate
eight hours to reduce the work force.
But workers continued to hold on to what had become “their”
shorter-hour salient. After 1940, the story of Kellogg’s six-hour day
is a simple one-a straightforward tale of management’s attacking
and workers’ defending shorter hours, then of fall-back positions,
bargaining, and negotiations. Notwithstanding the simplicity of the
55 The union feared that management was planning to eliminate the six-hour day.
See “Minutes of a special meeting of the executive board,” 7 June 1938, and “Minutes
added May 3 1938,” both in Minute Book of Local #20,388 dated “From Nov. 15th
1937 to Dec. 31, 1938,” held by Local #3 Archives.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 502
story, what management offered and what workers accepted in
exchange for giving up the six-hour program are revealing.
The 1940s: A New Agreement between Management and Labor
In 1941 the union struck Kellogg’s for the first time. The strike
negotiations and resulting contract demonstrated that labor and
management were continuing to move away from the old shorter-
hours rapprochement-overtime was extended to more work peri-
ods, overtime and night-work differential rates increased, and
substantial fringe benefits (provided to employees regardless of the
amount of work performed) were granted.
The coming of the Second World War brought manpower
shortages, and Kellogg’s returned to three eight-hour shifts per
day on 28 February 1943. The company cited Franklin Roosevelt’s
executive order as authority for instituting the long work schedule
but promised workers that “adoption of the eight-hour shift is
effective only for the duration of the existing national emergency
and does not represent an abandonment of the six-hour work day
inaugurated at Kellogg’s in 1930.” The union agreed to this, and
the 1941 contract was amended.6
At the end of the war, Kellogg workers, fresh from the expe-
rience of long hours and big paychecks, nevertheless pressed the
company to honor its promise. The union wanted to avoid the
major layoffs in store with the return of the soldiers-Kellogg’s had
promised to protect the seniority of workers who entered the mil-
itary. But at the same time, workers were loath to give up the high
wartime wages. Therefore, even though the contract was not up
for renegotiation until August 1947, the union asked for a 22.5-
cent hourly pay raise (including a 10 percent cost-of-living raise) on
30 January 1946 “in order to partially off-set the decrease in take-
home pay” resulting from the return to six hours. The union main-
tained that the “gain in efficiency … that resulted from the
change to a 6-hour day” would pay for the raise.57
The company replied that any raise above the contractual cost-
56 The Kellogg News, Jan./Feb. 1943; “Agreement between Kellogg and Local
20,388, including amendments,” 1 March 1943, and “Temporary Amendments to Con-
tract” (1943), held by Local #3 Archives.
57 Memorandum, 8 Feb. 1946 and letter from Ed Pilsworth to William Green dated
2 March 1946, in file folder “1946-1947,” Local #3 Archives.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 503
of-living increase was out of the question, because “after experi-
ence with both 6 and 8-hour shifts, the company cannot agree …
that the 6-hour day was more efficient…. and [since] there was
no reduction in hourly rates on the occasion of the change … in
1943, . . . there [is] no justification in increasing hourly rates upon
the return to the 6-hour day.” Furthermore, since the union had
agreed to abolish the production bonus in favor of overtime, claims
about increased efficiency due to reduced hours were groundless.
The company pointed out that
it has not been the policy or agreement of the Union and the Com-
pany to establish a lower schedule of job rates in recognition of any
differences in efficiencies [between eight- and six-hour depart-
ments]…. In the case of the container department which has a
flexible 6 and 8 hour day, there has been no agreement to pay a
higher hourly rate while on 6-hour shifts, or a lower hourly rate for
an 8-hour day.58
The company had no intention of reopening the question of how
worker efficiency might be tied to shorter hours, having long since
abandoned Brown and W. K. Kellogg’s philosophy of paying a
premium for shorter, more productive work to discourage longer,
inefficient routines.
On the contrary, Kellogg management contended that, “if
[employees] want more ‘take home pay,’ [they] should work eight
hours instead of six hours, as most plants are now working,” and
they indicated that the company was willing to reopen contract
negotiations ahead of time to provide for the permanent eight-
hour day. Moreover, management added a hefty incentive in
1946, proposing that if workers accepted the eight-hour schedule,
the company would grant an additional ten-cent hourly raise above
the 5 percent cost-of-living raise provided for by the 1941 contract
(for a total raise near the 22.5-cent hourly increase demanded by
the union).59
The company did not object to the six-hour schedule because
it would have to pay more overtime. On the contrary, it agreed
with the union that a return to six hours would mean less overtime
for the average worker and a definite cut in the average weekly
paycheck. The company was more disturbed because it would
58 Ibid.
59 Ibid.; see also letter from William Green to Ed Pilsworth dated 12 March 1946 in
file folder “1946-1947,” held by Local #3 Archives.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 504
have to return to four daily shifts, hire more workers, find new
foremen and -women and supervisors, and pay more worker
The union then held two meetings in mid-April 1946, voting
on the company offer by secret ballot. Of the 1,917 votes cast,
1,477 (77 percent) were against retaining the eight-hour day, 440
in favor. From this vote and other evidence, it is clear that worker
factions were solidifying; men with seniority and in areas such as
the mechanical department and the power plant voted for more
work and more pay, whereas over 86 percent of the women and
most of the men in danger of being laid off voted for six hours.60
Contract renewal negotiations began early in 1947. Once more
the company argued for retaining eight hours, proposing that
another vote be taken and the issue decided department by
department. The union objected, insisting that “if the 8-hour day
was to be considered it should be effective for all or none of the
employees.”61 On 16 July, the union negotiating committee finally
agreed to take the department-by-department vote proposal back
to the membership. In exchange, the company agreed to limit the
vote on eight hours to the departments that had remained on the
eight-hour day since the war. The membership agreed to this
modified department-by-department vote, which was taken on 25
July 1947.62
After the vote, a majority of Kellogg workers were still on six
hours, but an important watershed had been reached-nearly half
of the male workers were on eight hours. Subsequently, the com-
pany identified the six-hour schedule with “women’s work” or
60 The union reported that 619 women and 858 men voted against eight hours, 93
women and 347 men voted for it. See letter from J. N. Cummings to William Green,
17 April 1946, in file folder “1946-1947,” Local #3 Archives. Cummings wrote that
“during our negotiations it was brought out that particularly the women like the six-
hour day because a great number of them were married, and that they could work at
the plant six hours and then go home …. The company said that they would be will-
ing to continue on a six-hour day for the women, if they so desired.”
61 “Memorandum of Minutes of 1st Meeting Regarding Contract Amendments
Thursday, June 12,” “Tuesday, July 8,” “June 18,” “July 2,” “Thursday July 10,” “Tues-
day July 17, 1947”; “Memorandum from the company to negotiations committee of
union,” dated 19 July 1947 in Negotiations Minutes 1947-1948, notebook held by Local
#3 Archives.
62 “Minutes of Contract Negotiations Meeting July 16, 1947,” in Negotiations Min-
utes 1947-1948 notebook and “Amended Contract Between Kellogg’s and Local
#20,388,” dated Aug. 1943; see also “1947 Amendments to the 1941 Contract Between
Kellogg’s and Local #20,388,” dated 24 July 1947; “1948 Amended Contract Between
Kellogg’s and Local #20,388,” dated 1 Aug. 1948, all in Local #3 Archives.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 505
“girls’ departments” and eight-hour departments with “men’s
departments,” hiring new employees accordingly. Older, sick, or
infirm employees were reassigned to light work in the six-hour
departments. Moreover, a new procedure was implemented
whereby individual six-hour departments could initiate a depart-
ment vote to go to eight hours by collecting names on a
petition-a procedure that allowed for votes to be taken regularly,
and that led to most departments’ changing over to eight hours
during the 1950s.63
From these events, it is clear that management was winning
the union over to “work longer for more money” and away from its
traditional concern for the unemployed or laid-off worker.
Whereas shorter hours had united workers at Kellogg’s for over
ten years, management, in alliance with senior male workers, was
now able to break that solidarity. Dividing workers (senior vs. jun-
ior, male vs. female, employed vs. unemployed or laid-off work-
ers) on the wage issue by rewarding senior workers who gave up
the six-hour schedule, management forged a new basis for agree-
ment, replacing the old shorter-hours rapprochement.
The new agreement was with a select group of established
workers who won higher wages and fringe benefits and the “exclu-
sion of further work reductions.” In return, the union accepted,
tacitly and then openly, management’s “need to trim the work
force.” After the 1940s, new contract provisions to protect the
“full-time” work of senior male workers were added. For example,
section 710 of the 1941 contract was modified in 1948, providing
that workers with fewer than five years’ seniority be laid off
“before reducing the hours of work for the balance of employees
in that division to less than five days” a week, thereby increasing
the lay-off threshold from thirty hours a week as provided by the
1941 contract to forty hours a week in eight-hour departments.64
63 The 1941 contract called for management to find “suitable work” for disabled
workers. Increasingly after 1947, the company interpreted this provision to mean “light
work” at six hours. The result was the segregation of older men, disabled workers, and
women in the six-hour departments. The union supported these developments, accept-
ing them as fulfilling the union contract. The vote initiation procedure was usually led
by senior workers intent on gaining more hours for more pay and opposed, often vio-
lently, by women and newly hired workers.
64 See section 709 in the 1969, 1966, 1964 Kellogg union contract, as well as section
710 in the 1959, 1957, and 1948 contract. See the “Contracts Between Kellogg Com-
pany and the American Federation of Grain Millers (AFL-CIO) and Local No. 3,” held
at Local #3 Archives. In 1941, the union had won a contract provision to lay off
employees with less than five years’ service “before reducing the hours of work for the
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 506
Management forgot W. K. Kellogg’s concern about local
unemployment and, denying the individual firm’s responsibility,
looked to government to deal with the “unemployed”-an
abstract, national problem. More concerned about guaranteeing
workers with seniority a “full week” and overtime than about
unemployment, the union acquiesced in a policy that reduced
Kellogg’s total payroll. Kellogg and Brown’s rapprochement with
Kellogg workers in the 1930s was based on elimination of the work
instead of the worker; the worker-management agreement after
the war was based on the elimination of jobs and the maintenance
of full-time work for the established few. Both the union and man-
agement agreed to leave the unemployment problem to the gov-
ernment. According to one woman who was an employee at the
time and still remembers these events, “the work-hogs won.”65
Motivation and the Bonus
The spread of the eight-hour day created motivation problems that
had been less bothersome under the six-hour schedule. Without
the package of worker incentives that W. K. Kellogg and Brown
had put together, the problem of poor worker performance
became chronic and nearly unmanageable.
In 1941 the union agreed, orally, to establish a committee
composed of union and company representatives to study the pos-
sibility of abolishing the bonus system, which the company had
found exceedingly difficult to manage, in favor of straight hourly
wages and overtime. Problems arose when new machines were
introduced and new production quotas had to be established;
indeed, the “bonus situation” was a source of so much discontent
and worker grievance after 1937 that the union established a
“Bonus Committee” to oversee the changing bonus criteria. Man-
agement was constantly trying to readjust base-line production
standards so that workers would not be paid for all the increases in
production occasioned by new machines, while offering a produc-
tion bonus that workers would accept. Moreover, because workers
were divided between those who supported the production bonus
balance of the employees in that division to less than 30 hours.” See “Agreement
Between Kellogg and Local 20,388, Including Amendments Effective March 1, 1943.”
65 Letter from retired Kellogg worker in author’s collection, letter no. 44.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 507
and those who supported overtime (and who began to raise the
spectre of “line speed-ups”), the bonus was a prime target for
company attack. As early as March 1939, the production bonus was
done away with in the mechanical department (a department with
many senior male workers and known for its interest in overtime),
and the 1941 contract included a provision for “the company .. .
to work out an arrangement whereby all the present production
bonuses will be eliminated and hourly rates installed comprising
the former base rate and average bonus.” The company was able
to divide workers on this issue and finally to convince the major-
ity to give up the production bonus in return for an across-the-
board pay raise and the promise of more overtime.6
After the production bonus was eliminated following the 1941
strike, company negotiators were concerned that workers would
no longer have a reason to keep up production levels; indeed, they
would have a powerful incentive to work more slowly and to
stretch out the work in hope of overtime. Therefore, management
insisted that the union promise that “present standards of… per-
formance will be maintained and that the company has the right
… to install better methods and . . . more efficient equipment
and . . . the efficiency of… operations will not be hindered …
by the Company’s not having an incentive bonus plan in opera-
tion. “67
But management was never able to regain the production lev-
els or the worker cooperation obtained under the production
bonus, notwithstanding the herculean efforts made by manage-
ment during the 1940s and 1950s and the promises extracted from
the union. And with the lengthening of the workday during the
1940s, workers were increasingly concerned with “coffee breaks”
and with the pace of work. They renewed their pre-Depression
struggle to free time from work but concentrated their efforts on
paid time at work (or paid time outside work such as vacations and
personal days) rather than on shorter hours.
In 1947 and 1948 the union pressed for longer lunch periods
and for two five-minute relief breaks, one before and one after
66 Minutes of 31 Jan., 1, 3, and 10 Feb. union meetings, in Minute Book of Local
#20,388 dated “From November 15th 1937 to December 31, 1938,” Local #3
67 Ibid., and “Agreement Between Kellogg and Local 20,388, Including Amend-
ments Effective March 1, 1943,” Article VII, paragraph g, Local #3 Archives. For the
elimination of the bonus in the mechanical department, see memorandum dated 17
July 1946, “To the Body of Local #20,388” in Local #3 Archives.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 508
lunch, that could “be used for smoking, personal relief, etc.” The
company, on the other hand, was increasingly concerned with a
wide variety of “lost time” (for example, from workers’ moving
their cars) and began closer, more autocratic supervision. More-
over, from management’s point of view, some workers seemed to
regard production delays only as occasions for extra work days and
overtime, rather than as problems. The leisurely pace in general
seemed geared more to nurturing the prospect of overtime than to
producing cereal. To management, the attention of the entire
work force seemed to be focused on the chances of Kellogg’s
working a long week. Exchanges about “lost time” became
Both the company and the union speculated that such prob-
lems were at least partially the result of the elimination of the pro-
duction bonus. Without such an incentive, workers seemed less
motivated and careful about their work. When the union opposed
“the possibility of having a bonus plan [identical with] the one in
effect years ago,” the company explained that, although they also
did not think it was wise to return to the old bonus, they “would
insist on finding some method of gaining the same accomplish-
ments.” The company and union then agreed on a bonus plan that
divided increases in productivity “equally between employees and
company,” and the “Production Incentive Plan” went into effect
on 1 August 1947.69
The plan immediately proved unworkable. Since the incentive
bonus was paid out to groups of employees rather than to individ-
ual workers, it did not function as well as the old production
bonus. (It was one of Frederick Taylor’s basic points, with which
Lewis Brown agreed, that, in order for a production bonus to
work, it had to be based on an individual’s performance.) Over-
time remained a problem. Overtime pay showed up in the weekly
paycheck, but the incentive bonus was a distant and unsure goal,
determined by several factors, such as the introduction of new
6 “1948 Amended Contract Between Kellogg’s and Local #20,388” dated 1 Aug.
1948. Memo from R. S. Poole to “Kellogg Men and Women,” dated 21 Feb. 1947, and
“Notes of Meeting on Contract Negotiations June 18, 1947” in Negotiations Minutes
1947-1948, Local #3 Archives.
69 “Minutes of 1st Meeting Regarding Contract Amendments, June 12, 1947,” “July
19, 1947”; “Minutes of Contract Negotiations Committee Meeting, July 10,” “July 14
1947”; “Suggestions Committee for Productivity Improvement”; “Production Incentive
Plan, Aug. 29, 1947,” “Art-Wages” dated 10 July 1947 in Negotiations Minutes 1947-
1948, Local #3 Archives.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 509
machines and other workers’ performance, outside the individual
worker’s control. Despite its best efforts to offer financial incen-
tives to increase worker performance, the company still faced a
work force extremely interested in Kellogg’s working a long
December 1948 found the company still searching for a work-
able incentive plan, spending a “considerable amount of time” try-
ing to deal with workers’ inattention to the job, “shirking,” and
preoccupation with overtime. Power Custer and others became
impatient with the lack of results from the union’s efforts to per-
suade workers and, threatening to discharge workers for careless-
ness and inattention, began to hand out “yellow slips” (discharge
threats) as a way to control spoilage and product contamination.
This caused more acrimonious exchanges, with the union accusing
Custer of”unreasonable and inhuman” tactics.71
At this juncture, a desperate management proposed that pro-
duction be improved by controlling waste and spoilage, retrieving
a previously discarded suggestion made by a joint company-union
committee. During 1949, the company built on the idea, develop-
ing the “Waste Savings Bonus Plan.” Rather than offering a bonus
based on the amount of production, the Waste Savings Bonus Plan
placed monetary incentives on quality of production. Payments
built up for departments and were paid out quarterly to individual
workers at a rate proportional to the worker’s hourly base pay.
The Waste Savings Bonus Plan was in operation fewer than
eight years. After the first two years, management realized that its
cost far exceeded the benefits, primarily because workers were
able to claim a large and unregulated share of increases in produc-
tivity resulting from new machinery and quality controls, while
also continuing to collect large overtime payments. The basic
problem remained: how to motivate individual workers by paying
a bonus to an entire department. It was not at all clear to manage-
ment that workers were motivated by the Waste Savings Plan,
only that they were collecting bonuses. By 1957, with new
machines on the way to the plant for a retooling of the production
line, management had had enough and offered workers a seven-
70 “Memorandum of Meeting with Negotiating Committee, Sept. 9, 1947,” in
Negotiations Minutes 1947-1948.
71 “Suggestions Committee for Productivity Improvement”; “Minutes of Meeting
With Union Negotiations Committee, Dec. 3, 1948”; letter from AFGM Local #3 to
P. D. Custer dated 9 Dec. 1948, in Negotiations Minutes 1947-1948, Local #3
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 510
cent hourly wage increase to give up the Waste Savings Bonus,
which the union accepted.72
Human Relations
Failing in their efforts to find a workable production bonus, discov-
ering that financial incentives were either ineffective or, as in the
case of overtime, counterproductive, and facing an entrenched
group of six-hour workers unmoved by the promise of more
money, Kellogg management was ready by the late 1950s to
embrace the new “human relations school” of work management.73
In 1957, Kellogg’s held a “Supervisory Management Develop-
ment” conference on leadership and initiated a contest for super-
visory personnel, offering a prize for the best essay on “How to
Motivate Workers.” The contest resulted in the publication in
1957 and 1958 of nearly one hundred written responses from man-
agement executives and foremen and -women, collected in two
pamphlets. Dealing largely with worker motivation, the pam-
phlets, “Leadership in the Kellogg Manner” (1957) and “Code for
Good Leadership” (1958), reiterated major principles of human
relations management.74
Kellogg’s personnel managers were aware of the “modern
trend toward sound management through human relations …”
and intended to apply the new principles to solve Kellogg’s prob-
lems and to deal with the entrenched six-hour workers. Having
72 Author’s interview with Howard Roe, executive vice-president, American Feder-
ation of Grain Millers, 9 Oct. 1990; author’s interview with Robert Willis, general
president of the American Federation of Grain Millers, 28 June 1990; author’s inter-
view with Jack Curtis, vice-president and personnel manager at Kellogg’s during the
1950s, on 22 Aug. 1990. See also Battle Creek Enquirer, 21 May 1951.
73 The mid-1940s to mid-1960s were the heyday of “human relations management.”
Building on the famous Hawthorne experiments of the late 1920s and 1930s, writers
such as M. S. Viteles accepted the view that workers were motivated primarily by irra-
tional emotions at work and emphasized “worker attitudes” and “leadership styles”
rather than wage or hours incentives. See Edwin Locke, “Job Attitudes In Historical
Perspective,” in Papers Dedicated to the Development of Modern Management, ed.
Daniel Wren and John Pearce (New York, 1986), passim. The classic book of the human
relations school was Douglas McGregor’s The Human Side of Enterprise (New York,
74 Kellogg’s encouraged management and foremen and -women to keep on hand a
copy of John Neuner and Benjamin Haynes’s book, Office Management: Principles and
Practices (Cincinnati, Ohio, 1953). Neuner and Haynes’s book was a human relations
textbook, one of many turned out during the period, and provided a summary of human
relations principles as good as most.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 511
failed with their other approaches to personnel problems, Kellogg
management was ready to accept the new ideas. Kellogg’s stressed
that a “happy attitude and high morale” were prerequisites for
“efficient production” and for improvements in turnover, absen-
teeism, and accident rates. Contributors to the pamphlets con-
cluded that management’s main task was to instill the right
attitude toward work in the workers, not to make improvements in
the actual work or to increase “external incentives” (such as higher
wages or shorter hours). Neglecting the nature of the work itself,
they turned toward supervision and “leadership” to propagandize
and “sell” work as a central value of life, satisfying in its own
Power Custer, now vice-president in charge of industrial rela-
tions, wrote that a good leader “tries hard to find ways of making
work a ‘good challenge’ [and] . . . avoids encouragement of an atti-
tude of’aiming low,’ or ‘less than best.'” For Custer, “leadership
[was] fundamentally the ability to influence the actions of others.
It means a keen knowledge of the basic motives” to which people
respond. The manager was a “full-time teacher” charged with the
responsibility to “install [sic] responsibility in [workers’] attitudes
toward their jobs by making them see their jobs are important to
themselves and to the Company.”76
Another “work manager” wrote that salesmanship was the
chief function of the workers’ “leader”-he or she “should be able
to sell the employee on the importance of doing his job correctly,
safely, and efficiently.” Another described leadership as “the abil-
ity to get others willingly to do what you want them to do-one
outstanding characteristic of a good leader is the way that he can
get to the workers, and get them to cooperate voluntarily by mak-
ing them want to work.” Another wrote of the importance of the
example of the true believer: “once people … believe in … your
own devotion to the job you can begin to be a leader.” Many used
the analogy of teamwork-not the teamwork of Brown’s relay race
but of an infinite game consisting of “setting higher and higher
goals and challenges to stretch the worker’s ability.” Reflecting the
general mood of the managers, one wrote that the most important
75 “Leadership in the Kellogg Manner.”
76 Locke, “Job Attitudes in Historical Perspective,” iv, 7, 301; “Leadership in the
Kellogg Manner”; “Code for Good Leadership,” passim.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 512
thing was “always have a job on hand for when one is com-
pleted. … A leader knows there is always a job to be done.”77
Personnel problems were usually caused by the “bothersome
worker[s]” who did not have the “proper attitude,” who did not
“realize the importance of their jobs. …” It was up to the “work
manager-leader” to convince workers that their jobs were worth
doing and doing well for their own sake. The primacy of work was
everything. The factory was a kind of “school house.” Its major
teaching, “be happy in your work,” was sound instruction for life;
for if an employee were unhappy at work, he or she was bound to
be miserable during time off. Several Kellogg managers observed
that, since work was obviously the center of life, it had to be sat-
isfying in order for the subordinate parts of life to be worthwhile.78
The new human relations strategy was a sharp contrast to pre-
vious efforts during the 1940s and early 1950s to motivate workers
through a variety of monetary bonuses. An even sharper contrast
may be seen by comparing human relations management with
Kellogg’s original six-hour experiment. Although each manage-
ment strategy was a reaction to and a partial rejection of the one
before, together they comprise a historical sequence held together
in part by management’s efforts to solve the problem of worker
During the Depression, Lewis Brown and W. K. Kellogg tried
to use work reduction to motivate workers and to build coopera-
tion and agreement within the plant. They believed that leisure
was a major benefit of working at Kellogg’s, nearly as important as
wages. Kellogg management employed a shorter-hours strategy to
win agreement from workers to increase productivity, an experi-
ment that enjoyed some success for nearly a decade. But after
abandoning shorter hours and uncoupling financial incentives from
work reduction (and higher hourly wages from shorter hours) in
the 1940s, Kellogg management again faced the problem of moti-
77 “Leadership in the Kellogg Manner.”
78 Ibid.; “Code for Good Leadership.” Sanford M. Jacoby, Employing Bureaucracy:
Managers Unions, and the Transformation of Work, 1900-1945 (New York, 1985).
Jacoby argues that industrial labor was “transformed” through a “historical process …
of bureaucratization” and the rise of personnel management as a profession. “Good
jobs” were the result, jobs with “stability, internal promotion, and impersonal, rule
bound procedures” (p. 2). But Kellogg’s personnel managers were not content with
mere changes in work’s form, and putting more faith on the intangibles, attitudes and
morale, tried to redeem work at the plant by convincing workers that work done with
the proper devotion was better than leisure-a “good job” was largely attitude, and a
right attitude to work was a precondition to the enjoyment of life.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 513
vation. Management tried several schemes to overhaul the pro-
duction bonus but was finally left with monetary incentives. When
money proved inadequate or counterproductive, management
turned to human relations, trying to “sell” work and to convince
themselves and others that work done with the right attitude and
proper expectations could be satisfying in itself. Management
acted in the fond hope that work would then blossom as the most
rewarding aspect of life and that productivity would naturally
increase in a world where work was a benefit, perhaps even a nor-
mal economic good.
Whereas Kellogg’s used work reduction as an incentive in the
1930s, the company came to use the “loss of work” or “denial of
overtime” as severe disciplines in the late 1950s. Whereas once
the company tried to “perfect work” by reducing the hours of
labor, later the company found that “a leader knows there is
always a job to be done.” Whereas once Kellogg’s tried to improve
the quality of life by providing leisure services and recreational
facilities to workers and the community, ultimately management
converted to the belief that, when workers had the right attitude
about working, the rest of life would automatically improve.
Whereas Brown and W. K. Kellogg felt that work was a means to
other more important ends (to a living wage and to “higher” kinds
of activities), Kellogg management accepted work as an absolute,
unquestioned value, an end in itself for which management was
the salesperson and industry the servant.
If work was the center of life, it was obviously foolish for work-
ers to think that less of it could be a good thing or, apart from
sickness or old age, that less rather than more work signified
human improvement. After the 1950s, management employed this
ideological argument to press for the elimination of the six-hour
day, adding it to the more practical justifications (for example,
fixed labor costs) that had existed since the early 1940s.
Whereas Kellogg’s support of work reduction had positioned
the company in the avant-garde of twentieth-century welfare cap-
italism in the 1930s, its glorification and mythologizing of work in
the 1950s was typical of a widespread twentieth-century business
and management response to mechanization and technological
unemployment. The fact that welfare capitalism gradually followed
Roosevelt, turning from work reduction to work creation, helps
explain more fully why “corporate liberalism [has] proved ultiThis content downloaded from on Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:06:46 UTC
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 514
mately illiberal where the working week was concerned” since the
Depression and contributes something toward explaining the end
of shorter hours.79
The Death of Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day
Even in the face of these developments, a strong-willed group of
workers held on to “their” six-hour day during the 1960s and
1970s. Composed largely of women, the group of six-hour maver-
icks did not share the new management view that work was or
should be life’s center. Following W. K. Kellogg’s older capitalist
vision of freedom, they continued to look to their time outside the
plant, to the family and the community, for the fulfillment that
management was claiming work offered. These women paid a
price for their obstinacy; they were accused by management of
being “problem workers” and were scorned by the men for being
weak and unable to “shoulder the load” of full-time work.
The six-hour men worked either in the “girls’ departments”
and so were also ostracized or in the few remaining six-hour
“men’s departments” such as the Bran Shed and the Tank Farm.
Even though the men’s group was well-defined, the situations of
its members were mixed. Some were among the most work-
motivated employees, holding a second job outside Kellogg’s or
trying to farm as well; a few six-hour men, like the women, were
authentic work-heretics-workers who openly took issue with the
“glory of work” ideology and who, rejecting long hours and over-
time, work without end, developed their own particuliar life-styles
and sets of values built on leisure-on family life and on assorted
avocations such as hunting, fishing, and even loafing or drinking.
Together with the women, these few men continued to champion
the rights of laid-off workers and to criticize their fellow workers
for being “work-hogs.” But, in an environment that expected work
to be the center and the most satisfying aspect of life, the few
remaining six-hour workers had little chance. Under increasing
siege, the group shrank through the 1960s and 1970s.
The final blow came after management decided that the work
it offered was not only a benefit for the workers at Kellogg’s but a
kind of public resource as well. Discovering that the jobs the com-
79 Author’s interview with W. James McQuiston, assistant to the vice-president in
charge of production until 1973.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 515
pany “provided” were just as important as the cereal it produced,
management began to use its “jobs resource” to bargain with the
city of Battle Creek and with the unions to get what it wanted.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kellogg’s was losing market
share. In January 1980, William E. LaMothe replaced Joe Lon-
ning as chairman of the board of directors. With LaMothe at the
helm, the company decided to expand and diversify. Planning to
build a $62 million home office as part of its expansion, Kellogg’s
demanded concessions from the city, the state, and Kellogg work-
ers as the price for Kellogg’s keeping its main office in Battle
Creek. The first demand was that the city of Battle Creek broaden
its tax base by incorporating its wealthiest suburb, Battle Creek
Township. LaMothe delivered an ultimatum that unless the
merger occurred, and unless the inner city were revitalized, the
company would “pull its main office out of Michigan. With it
would go 700 jobs.” A few small businesses and residents of the
township accused Kellogg’s of”intimidation” and “corporate black-
mail,” but the town’s labor unions, Chamber of Commerce,
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and
a majority of city officials backed the company.80
Succeeding with the city-township merger, the company
pressed for more public support, presenting the city with at least
five additional conditions for Kellogg’s staying in Michigan. In
addition to demanding that the city obtain a $16.8 million Urban
Development Action Grant from the federal government to revi-
talize the downtown area, the company pressured the Battle
Creek City Commission to grant the company a twelve-year, 50
percent property tax abatement. The company also assumed that
the state would give the city one million dollars to develop a “lin-
ear park system” throughout the city. But when governor James
Blanchard decided to use the earmarked Krammer Trust Funds to
create “summer jobs for youth,” Kellogg’s again threatened to take
“its” jobs out of Michigan. This sparked a fascinating debate over
how best to spend public money to provide more work in the
Again Kellogg’s prevailed, and the “linear park system” was
80 Battle Creek Enquirer, 10 Dec. 1979; 3, 4 Nov. 1982; Fortune 106 (29 Nov.
1982); letter from Christopher McNaughton, senior vice-president at Kellogg’s to Jim
Allen and Joe Sessions of AFGM, dated 5 Nov. 1982, in “1980s Notebook,” Local #3
Archives. Battle Creek Enquirer, 23, 25 May, 15 June 1983.
81 Battle Creek Enquirer, 23, 25 May, 15 June 1983.
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Employee Ball Diamonds * In addition to the two softball diamonds, this recreational area also held horse the lower left center, the edge of the rose garden is visible. (Photograph reproduced courtesy of the Kellogg I r
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 517
built with state funds through the downtown area, along the banks
of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo rivers. This linear park was not
designed for recreation, however. Built at Kellogg’s behest, it was
designed explicitly to “attract businesses” to Battle Creek and to
create more jobs-more work for more people. Few people use
the greenway today; the fine park has proved to be mostly for
show, standing as an adornment to Kellogg’s magnificent new edi-
fice. The park is certainly not an invitation to leisure or a better
life beyond work-it stands empty of the new corporate employ-
ees who spend sixty and more hours a week working in the new
headquarters. The park is above all a monument to work and to
keeping “Kellogg’s jobs” in Battle Creek. Kellogg’s new linear
park is the opposite of W. K. Kellogg’s old parks and forest pre-
serves. The parks that W. K. Kellogg built at the old plant and at
Gull Lake were expressly for the leisure of the people and a prep-
aration for the coming of “mass leisure.” They were “free places
for the free use of free people.”
In 1984 the company finally brought its threats to bear on the
cadre of six-hour workers, then numbering over 530 people. In
addition to diversification and expansion, part of LaMothe’s strat-
egy to meet the company’s loss of market share was to trim
Kellogg’s payroll. In May 1984, Kellogg’s board of directors threat-
ened to relocate if the six-hour workers did not vote for eight
hours, a threat the board reiterated until the balloting. Manage-
ment added that in any case it planned to decrease the “number
of employees . . . 25% [in] each [six-hour] Department … ,”
thereby reducing its total payroll by 160 workers immediately,
with projections over five years of a total reduction of 500 workers
(moving from a total work force of 2,500 to 2,000). Just as W. K.
Kellogg introduced the six-hour day to create more jobs, LaMothe
proposed abolishing the six-hour schedule in order to eliminate
jobs; the parallel is unmistakable.82
The American Federation of Grain Millers (AFGM) and Local
#3, conceding that jobs would have to be eliminated, pressed the
six-hour workers to give in. Under pressure from both the com-
pany and the union, the workers voted to give up the six-hour day
on 11 December 1984. The Battle Creek Enquirer quoted Joseph
82 “Memo” from Joe Sessions, AFGM business agent, to Local #3. In “1980s Note-
book” held by Local #3, Archives; Battle Creek Enquirer, 16 Dec. 1984. “Memo to All
Members of Local 3 from Kellogg Management, Incentive Package Applicable In Event
of Successful Vote for Eight Hours,” in “1980s Notebook,” Local #3 Archives.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt I 518
Sessions, AFGM Local business agent, as saying that “the mem-
bers did not like [to vote for eight hours], but they voted for it for
the pure fact of saving jobs at the Kellogg plant in Battle Creek. “83
As a part of the negotiations, the company worked out a “pro-
ductivity agreement” with the union, reaffirming and strengthen-
ing the agreement between management and labor that began
after the Second World War. In exchange for the workers’ giving
up the six-hour day and trimming the work force, the company
agreed to implement a $300 million modernization program to
automate the production line-eliminating even more jobs but
raising the pay of the protected workers. Again a historical paral-
lel presents itself. Whereas W. K. Kellogg understood progress as
more machines, shorter hours, and an expanded payroll, Kellogg
management came to understand increased productivity in terms
of more machines and fewer employees. For modern Kellogg man-
agement, the fewer the workers at the level of the individual firm,
the better, even if those increasingly few workers were paid and
received fringe benefits well above industry and regional averages.
And at Kellogg’s, labor is in solidarity with this strategy.84
Along with the vision of increased efficiency and productivity
through the elimination of workers, other more orthodox visions of
progress under capitalism came to Battle Creek. With no workers
questioning work’s centrality by their shorter-hour example and
with a production plant nearing full automation, work-as-the-
center-of-life became secure as an ideal, and management’s atten-
tion shifted from personnel management to product diversification
and corporate expansion.
Certainly, W. K. Kellogg wanted to sell as much cereal as
possible and devoted a good deal of his life to the effort. But his
energy and vision were limited compared to the current prophets
83 “Inter-union Correspondence, AFGM” from Joe Sessions, business agent for the
AFGM to Local #3, headed, “Six Hour Representatives,” 26 Oct. 1984. Local #20,388
was affiliated with the National Council of Grain Processors until July 1948, when the
AFL issued the local a charter in affiliation with the American Federation of Grain
Millers. Subsequently, the group was known as Local #3 of the AFGM.
84 Battle Creek Enquirer, 13, 16 Dec. 1984; “Memo” to All Members of Local 3
from Kellogg Management, “Incentive Package Applicable In Event of Successful Vote
for Eight Hours” in “1980s Notebook,” Local #3 Archives.
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 519
of diversification. Current Kellogg management’s more orthodox
capitalist vision of progress centers on eternal economic growth
and on continually finding new things for consumers to need, work
for, and buy. The vision centers on “New Products” (a phrase now
spoken in special, almost reverent tones) that may “create jobs”
and result in new and important work activities that build the
market, not detract from it. Today Kellogg’s management is ani-
mated by visions of unexplored galaxies of unknown new
products-of yet unimagined things for which to work, to be found
at the frontiers of science in gene-splicing and genetic engineer-
The idea of “the more work, the better” has evolved into one
of the most widely shared assumptions about modern economies.
Its corollary, that one of government’s major responsibilities is to
help create more work for more people and to replace work lost as
a result of technological advance, is widely endorsed across the
political spectrum. Instead of viewing human progress as tran-
scending work, necessity, and economic concerns, and far from
believing that increased freedom from toil is a constituent of that
progress, much of the industrial world shares the belief that work
is an end in itself, the ultimate measure of progress and the defi-
nition of prosperity. Capitalists, managers, and labor leaders have
ceased dreaming of further work reduction and of “necessity’s
obsolescence,” pining instead for a world full of enough work for
everyone or brooding about the “work famine” to come.86
Socialist writers joined capitalists and industrial managers in
the West in the praise of work and the dismissal of leisure after the
1930s. But socialist writers have tended to believe that perfect
work will come only with basic structural changes in the market
economy and through state controls. According to the majority of
socialist writers, capitalist control, manipulation, and exploitation
of workers naturally debases work; therefore leisure under capital-
ism will always be “devitalized” and necessarily enslaved. In order
for leisure to be free and worthwhile, work must first be perfected
by the state, the Party, or other “rational intervention.”
Since the late 1980s, however, new notes have been sounded
85 See, for example, “Less Snap, A Little Crackle-Any Pop?” Forbes 122 (4 Sept.
1978); Jack Willoughby, “The Snap, Crackle, Pop Defense,” ibid.: 135 (25 March 1985).
86 According to Louis Harris and Associates, the average American works 20 percent
more today than in 1973. Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, “No Time for God or Family,”
The Wall Street Journal, 4 Jan. 1990, Op Ed page.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 520
from the Left somewhat reminiscent of Kellogg management’s old
six-hour rhetoric, or at least a radical version of it. For example,
the internationally known Marxist Andre Gorz notes that:
relations, based on the bosses’ power over the workers, can survive
only if work is the employees’ main occupation. Their dependency
on their employer then comes to dominate their lives-which are
entirely organized and centered around work. But, if on the other
hand, work took up only 30 hours or less per week, it would
become just one activity among others which were equally impor-
tant or more important-the fundamental aim of keeping full-time
work as the norm [is] to maintain the relations of domination based
on the work ethic.87
Gorz goes on to observe that leisure, understood as a legitimate
form of industrial wealth (on a par with wages), was endorsed by
early socialist writers, especially Karl Marx. That such a notion fell
out of favor among socialists during the twentieth century is a
lapse that Gorz hopes to correct. To that end, he quotes a
nineteenth-century socialist:
where men heretofore laboured twelve hours they would now
labour six, and this is national wealth, this is national prosperity …
there is no way of adding to the wealth of a nation but by adding to
the facilities of living: so that wealth is liberty-liberty to seek
recreation-liberty to enjoy life-liberty to improve the mind: it is
disposable time and nothing more….
Gorz maintains that increased leisure is a legitimate basis for polit-
ical and economic reform, but he still concludes that leisure’s gain
must be consumption’s loss:
Reduction of work time has nothing to do with emancipation if it
merely leads to more time being spent on … consumption.
[Increased leisure] can be an emancipatory project only if combined
with contraction of economic and market activity and expansion of
activities performed for their own sake-for love, pleasure or satis-
faction, following personal passions, preferences, and vocations.88
The parallels between such re-emergent theories from the Left
and the old capitalist support of the six-hour day are remarkable.
Seen from a historical perspective, the avant-garde socialist now
87 Andre Gorz, Paths to Paradise: On the Liberation from Work (Boston, Mass.,
1985), 35; translation of Les chemins du paradis (1983). See also Herbert Marcuse, Eros
and Civilization (New York, 1962), preface.
88 Gorz, Paths to Paradise, 59; Gorz, Critique of Economic Reason (London, 1989);
translation of Metamorphoses du travail (1988).
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Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day / 521
appears to share capitalism’s aborted vision that, with progress to
the six-hour day, the center of workers’ lives would shift to free-
dom. Socialists (such as Gorz and Herbert Marcuse) and welfare
capitalists (such as W. K. Kellogg and Lewis Brown) appear to
agree that leisure rather than work is a “normal economic good”
that is, something of value produced by industrial progress, worth
working for. They also appear to agree, from entirely different
perspectives to be sure, that increased leisure has costs in terms
of the “contraction of economic and market activities” but pays off
in “the expansion of activities performed for their own sake.” Even
though workers must “pay a certain price” for free time, they
receive something of equal or greater value. Two widely accepted
modern notions-that the reduction of work-hours at the expense
of money wages is by definition exploitation of workers (from the
Left), and that work reduction is a tragedy because it stunts eco-
nomic growth (from the Right)-are thus questioned by each end
of the spectrum.
Both the old capitalist and the new socialist conclude, with
generations of Western industrial workers of the nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries, that the purpose of work is self-
evidently freedom. One works or, according to Gorz, “operates in
the ‘realm of necessity'” in order to be free to do better things
outside economics and the market. The just reward for successful
work is not more work, not even some fantastic perfect work con-
ceived as a normal economic good.
Agreeing about the value of work reduction and rejecting the
socialist and the capitalist myths of “perfect work,” the old welfare
capitalist and the avant-garde socialist still differ strongly about the
way to proceed. For Gorz state regulation or some form of “ratio-
nal intervention” (for example, laws) by the informed few (for
example, the Party) is required: “The solution is to reduce the
time taken up by socially determined work: let no one exercise
their professions for more than an average of four hours a day.”89
By contrast the 1930s capitalist work-sharers believed that,
whereas work reduction was a sound business decision and a part
of welfare capitalism, work reduction by law, through specific leg-
islation such as the Black-Connery thirty-hour bill, was anathema.
If the purpose of work reduction was to promote freedom, curtail-
ing the right to work was absurd-it was impossible to promote
89 Ibid., 77. Cf. Miller, “Labor and the Challenge of the New Leisure,” 462-67.
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Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt / 522
freedom by limiting freedom. For industrialists such as W. K.
Kellogg, shorter hours had to be a free-market choice, the result
of owner, manager, and worker agreeing together that a shorter-
hours plan was beneficial and worth the costs.
During the Depression, the issue of legislation divided labor
and business supporters of work reduction more than concern over
wages. From a historical perspective that permits one to compare
the actions of the 1930s welfare capitalist and the latest socialist
writings, reliance on the operation of the free labor market versus
state control appears again as the primary ideological difference.
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Business History
A U T U M N 1
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Published by the Harvard Business School
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Cover: Activities for the Growth of Leisure:
The Kellogg’s Company Band
W. K. Kellogg was one of several business leaders
in the 1930s who thought that the answer to unem-
ployment lay in shorter hours. Indeed, the compa-
ny’s management in that period believed that
technological advances would make increasing
leisure inevitable, and Kellogg himself devoted a
good deal of his fortune to providing recreational
sites and programs for his workers, anticipating
the growth offree time generated, in part, by the
company’s six-hour day. The company band,
shown on our front cover assembled on the steps
of the Kellogg’s plant in Battle Creek, Michigan,
was one of the dozens of employee activities that
W. K. Kellogg encouraged.
Back Cover: “The Original Bears This Signature”
The paternalistic bent evident in W. K. Kellogg’s
programs meshed with a clever advertising initia-
tive when he determined to distinguish his
cereal-originally called Sanitas Toasted Corn
Flakes-from those of its many imitators by creat-
ing a logo of his written name and the phrase “The
Original Bears This Signature.” An early version
of the statement appears in the advertisement for
Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes on our back cover.
(Illustrations reproduced courtesy of Kellogg’s,
Battle Creek, Mich.)
For an article on Kellogg’s six-hour day and the
shorter-hours movement in the United States, see
pp. 475-522.
? 1992 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College
All rights reserved.
ISSN 0007-6805
Second-class postage paid at Boston, Mass.
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550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
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The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

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Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

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Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

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