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RECENT FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS.
Die Verhältnisse in der Kleider- und Wäschekonfektion. Herausge
geben vom K. K. Arbeitsstatistischen Amte im Handelsministerium. 1906. 102 pp.
This report is based upon the results of an investigation made by the Austrian bureau of labor statistics in 1899 in regard to conditions of production and labor in the clothing and garment industry, this being the first of a series of investigations made with special reference to home work. The work of investigation was in the hands of a special committee composed of representatives of the bureau of labor statistics, the ministry of commerce, the ministry of the interior, the ministry of justice, the superior sanitary commission, the labor inspection bureau, the manufacturers, the master workmen, and the wage-workers.
One hundred persons representing the several branches of the industry and the various industrial centers were examined by the special committee, the interrogatories being based upon special detailed schedules. The principal questions related to conditions of production and sale and to the economic and social conditions of the different classes of manufacturers, middlemen, and work people involved. The inquiries laid much stress on the subject of home work, with a view to its regulation or abolition. The report is divided into three parts, discussing respectively the manufacture of men's clothing and uniforms, of women's clothing, and of white goods and cravats.
The inquiry into the first branch of the subject disclosed a localization of certain kinds of manufacturing, as well as the specification in the cases of individual workmen. The manufacturers in some instances cut the cloth, sometimes by the aid of marking and cutting machines driven by steam; others give out the cloth in the piece, cutting being attended to by the contractor. The contractors were in part skilled workmen while others were mere business managers, taking no part in the actual work of manufacture.
One of the larger manufacturing firms, making all sorts of men's and children's garments, employed from 40 to 60 cutters, and used two cutting machines driven by steam. It had 160 contractors or middlemen in the immediate district, and no fewer than 360 in surrounding villages, besides 90 workers on cotton goods alone and 240
girls employed on children's clothing. It is estimated that the entire working force employed through these various contractors, etc., increased the total number of employees by approximately 850 persons, showing an average of fewer than 2 employees per contractor. Other firms reported contractors as having 2 or 3 workers, a few as many as 7 or 8, so that the proportion of woman and child labor would appear not to be large. Indeed a considerable a version to the home work system was expressed by some contractors and workmen, while on the other hand, the manufacturers generally expressed their pref. erence for the continuance of the present system and against its abolishment or restriction by legal enactment.
Employment appears to be more stable in recent years than formerly, work never being suspended entirely, even during the so-called dull season which usually occurs in April or May, the number of employees laid off during this period being comparatively small.
The data relating to wages show a considerable diversity of rates, generally depending upon locality, character of work, and skill of the workman. Cases are cited of a shop worker in Vienna whose maximum weekly earnings amounted to 13 crowns ($2.64) with board and lodging; and of a home worker in the same city, working on uniforms, occasionally assisted by his wife, whose average earnings were 18 crowns ($3.65) per week working 14 hours a day, which, during busy seasons were sometimes extended to 18 hours with an increase in earnings to a maximum of 24 crowns ($4.87) per week. The earnings of a home worker in another locality, assisted by his wife and frequently working from 17 to 18 hours a day, seldom exceeded 11 crowns ($2.23) a week. Other instances are given of 8 crowns ($1.62) as the maximum of the weekly earnings of pieceworkers, and 6 crowns ($1.22) and board and lodging of time workers. The best wages, as a rule, are said to be paid to those who are employed on articles intended for export.
The hours of labor vary, 12 being an average number reported for shop workers, working from 6 a. m. to 8 p. m. with three intervals for meals aggregating two hours. Other cases report commencing work at 5 a. m. and 5.45 a. m., continuing until broken off by nightfall.
The sanitary conditions surrounding the shop workers and homeworkers are described as generally very unsatisfactory. In a majority of cases the rooms were small, overcrowded, and poorly ventilated. Frequently the working rooms were also used as living rooms, bedrooms, or kitchens, or for all these purposes combined.
Attempts at organization among working people in this industry have so far produced rather indifferent results. Aside from a few sick-benefit associations, mention is made of a tailor's union in Prossnitz with a membership of 150 persons whose object is stated to be
Rapports sur l'Application des Lois Réglementant le Travail en 1905.
Direction du Travail, Ministère du Travail et de la Prévoyance
In this volume are found the summary reports of the members of the superior commission of labor and of the minister of labor and social providence, and the more detailed reports of the division inspectors of labor on the subject of the enforcement of certain laws of France affecting industrial conditions. These laws are three in number: The law of September 9, 1848, relates to the hours of labor of male adults only; that of June 12, 1893, amended by a law of July 11, 1903, is a general factory-inspection law, applying to all establishments considered in this report, and contains provisions for lighting, ventilation, and safety of employees in publicly owned workshops, as well as in those under private control; the act of March 30, 1900, which is in reality an amendment or revision of the law of November 2, 1892, has for its subject matter the regulation of the employment of women and children in industrial establishments. This last law also controls the hours of labor of adult males at work in establishments where women and children are employed.
Mines and quarries are not considered in this report, being under the mine inspection service, while factories connected with the production of army and navy supplies are under special regulations. The number of establishments coming within the purview of the present report is 511,783, a net increase of 2,934 as compared with the year 1904. Of these 255,457 employed females or a mixed working force, and 256,326 employed adult males only.
A tendency noted in previous years, namely, a diminution of the number of establishments employing a mixed working force, and
corresponding increase of the number employing adult males only, is observable in this report. This is explained by the fact that the elimination of women and children from the working force takes an establishment out from under the limitations of the laws of November 2, 1892, and March 30, 1900, which make 10 hours the limit of a day's work where women or children are employed, and allows the full 12-hour day of the law of 1848. Thus in the six-year period, 1900 to 1905, the number of establishments coming within the provisions of these laws decreased from 164,786 in the earlier year to 158,438 in the later, a decrease of 6,348. On the other hand, the same period shows an increase of 6,941—from 29,622 to 36,563-in the class of establishments coming under the law of 1848. The report ventures the prediction that unless something occurs to change the present trend, there will be a practical segregation of the working places for adult males and those in which women and children are employed,
except where labor is intimately interdependent. Two dangers are seen in this tendency-one the deprivation of industry of its sources of recruiting its labor supply; the other, the injury to the children in being thrown out of employment. The threat of employers to discharge children under 18 if the law limiting hours of labor is enforced is frequently made to inspectors.
Of the total number of establishments considered, 415,323, or 81.1 per cent, had from 1 to 5 employees; 70,427, or 13.8 per cent, had from 6 to 20; 21,331, or 4.2 per cent, had from 21 to 100; 4,235, or 0.8 per cent, had from 101 to 500; and 467, or 0.1 per cent, had more than 500 employees.
The total number of employees was 3,726,578, of whom 300,988 were males under 18 years of age, and 264,650 were females under 18; 797,483 were adult females, and 2,363,457, or 63.4 per cent of the entire number, were adult males. The percentage of females of all ages was 28.5.
Opinions are divided on the subject of the increase or decrease of the number of home workshops. If these employ only members of the family, under the control of a parent or guardian, and use only hand or foot power, they are not subject to inspection unless the manufacture is of a class designated as dangerous by the law. Actual statistics are impossible with the present inspection force, and the inspectors make divergent reports as to their movement. The desire to escape supervision and to procure very cheap labor leads some manufacturers to favor the giving out of work. Opposed to this tendency is a desire for uniformity of product and the regularity in output and the cheapness of machine production. Though unable to decide which of these tendencies actually prevailed at the time of the report, the labor commission renewed its recommendation of such changes in the inspection law as would provide for more extended protection of woman and child labor by means of an inspection of home industries similar to that exercised over industrial establishments,
The industrial employment of children under 13 years of age is prohibited, except that children who have attained the age of 12 years and have a proper medical certificate may be employed, on showing that they have completed a prescribed course of primary studies.
As already indicated, the hours of labor of adult males are fixed at a maximum of 12 per day by the law of 1848, while by the law of 1900 they may not exceed 10 hours for women or for persons under 18 years of age. The limitation to 10 hours also applies to males working in establishments with females and minors under 18. The number of establishments affected by each law is given above. Special
and temporary exceptions are allowed on proper request and showing of cause to the authorities. The report considers the question of the effect of the reduction of hours from 11 to 10 per day by the operation of the law of 1900. It was the prevalent opinion of the inspectors that the production had not been affected, either because a voluntary ten-hour day had been adopted prior to the time when the law came into operation, or because by a better organization of the establishment they were able to produce as much in 10 hours as had previously been produced in 11. In some of the smaller establishments, however, and particularly where the output is accurately measured by the speed of operation of a limited number of machines, a decrease was reported.
Reports of industrial accidents are required by law to be made in the first instance to the mayors of the communes, who in turn report to the inspectors. Accidents are of three classes—those causing death, those causing permanent disability, and those causing temporary disability. Accidents causing disability of not more than four days are not reported.
The following table shows the number and rate per thousand of accidents occurring in each industrial group, according to their gravity. Mines and quarries are not included, since under the French
a different inspection force has charge thereof. NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS OCCURRING AND RATE PER THOUSAND EMPLOYEES, BY
GROUPS OF INDUSTRIES, ACCORDING TO RESULTS, 1905.
Permanent. (exceeding per
ments having an industrial charac
and quarry labor).
18 585 142 183
30 1.030 32,281
30 539 106 273
• Less than five one-hundredths of one per thousante!
* Not reported.