Manufacturers’ Protective Association
Section Four prohibited the employment of children under the age of 14 in factories, workshops, and manufacturing businesses. Section Five limited the working-days of women to eight hours a day, and the work-week to a maximum of 48 hours.
The Manufacturers’ Protective Association (MPA) sponsored numerous court cases in Illinois in an attempt to overrule Section Five of the Sweatshop Law. They argues the the Illinois State Constitution prohibited any laws from focusing on a subject that was not included in the title or heading of the legislation. As the law was headed, “An act to regulate the employment of children…”, Section Five, the MPA argues, was not legal or enforceable. On May 14, 1895, they succeeded, as the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the Section unconstitutional.
In 1896, Illinois held a state election and Governor Altgeld failed to be reelected. As such, Florence Kelley was removed as Chief Factory Inspector, and it was revealed that Section Four of the Sweatshop Law was being massively violated in the state of Illinois, particularly in the glass industry.
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