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RECENT FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS.
Report of the Department of Labor of the Dominion of Canada for the
year ended June 30, 1906. 127 pp. The first of the fourteen sections which comprise this report consists of a general review of the material published during the year in the various issues of the Labor Gazette, a monthly devoted to industrial and labor conditions throughout Canada and printed in both English and French.
From a statement relative to the labor-organization movement in Canada, it appears that in 1903 there were 276 unions formed and 54 dissolved, in 1904 there were 152 unions formed and 104 dissolved, and in 1905 there were 103 unions formed and 101 dissolved. In 1905 in the several provinces of the Dominion there were 220 employers' associations.
The section of the report devoted to conciliation and arbitration shows that the intervention of the department of labor, under the Conciliation Act of 1900, was requested in the settlement of labor disputes involving 974 working people on 5 occasions during the year 1905-6, and that since the passage of the act in July, 1900, intervention has been requested on 39 occasions.
During the year the “fair-wages” officers of the department prepared fair-wages schedules for insertion in 147 separate contracts, which were awarded, or were about to be awarded, during the year. Of this number, 41 were in connection with public buildings or works being executed under contract for the department of public works, 95 in connection with contracts or subsidy agreements entered into with the department of railways and canals, 8 for contracts awarded by the department of marine and fisheries, and 3 for insertion in contracts awarded by the commissioners of the Transcontinental Railway. In every case the rates of wages fixed in the fair-wages schedules were based upon what were considered fair rates in the localities in which the work was to be undertaken. Since the establishment of the department of labor, in 1900, the fair-wages officers have prepared some 785 fair-wages schedules for public contract work.
The Annual Report of the Department of Labor for the year ended June 30, 1905, made the following statement in regard to the Railway Labor Disputes Act, which was passed on July 12, 1903:
It was believed that the measure, providing, as it did, the machinery whereby a public inquiry might be made under oath as to the causes underlying any difference between a railway company and any of its employees, with a view to bringing about an adjustment of these differences, the mere existence of the measure would of itself be a means of averting strikes and lockouts on the railways of the Dominion. That the expectation of Parliament in this regard has been thus far realized is well evidenced from the fact that since the passing of the act (now two years ago) there has not becn a single strike on any of the railroads of the Dominion of such a nature as to seriously affect transportation.
The present report states that the experience of the past year (1905-6) has only helped to confirm the view expressed in the above statement as to the probable effect of the passing of the Railway Labor Disputes Act, and that the assertion still remains true that since the passing of the act there has not been a single strike on any of the railroads of the Dominion of such a nature as to seriously affect transportation. During the year 1904-5 there was occasion to apply the provisions of the act to a threatened strike of telegraphers on the Grand Trunk Railway, and in that case the act proved effective as a means of preventing the threatened strike.
In the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, an industrial undertaking in which the government of Canada is concerned, it became essential in the interests of labor that adequate provision should be made in the acts of Parliament applicable to this particular undertaking, for the protection of the thousands of workmen likely to be employed for six or seven years in connection with the work. As a consequence measures were enacted which require that in the contracts awarded in connection with the construction of this work provision shall be made for the payment of fair wages to the workmen (such wages as are paid for similar labor in the district in which the work is being performed); that there shall be proper medical and sanitary supervision of construction camps; that the sale or improper use of intoxicating liquors about the work shall be forbidden; that there shall be prompt and full payment of all wage claims, etc., and that the contractors shall, as far as possible, use only materials, supplies, etc., manufactured or produced in Canada.
During the fiscal year 1905-6 there were 130 labor disputes in Canada, which involved 13,363 working people directly and 5,150 working people indirectly. The loss of time amounted approximately to 343,800 working days. The disputes affected 501 establishments directly and 36 indirectly. The principal causes of disputes were demands for increase in wages and against the employment of particular persons, Of the 116 disputes which were terminated during the fiscal year, 55 were settled by negotiations between the parties concerned, 27 by the employment of other work people in the places of the strikers, 19 by the resumption of work without negotiations, 5 by conciliation, and the remainder by other methods. There were 48 strikes which resulted in favor of the employers, 37 in vor of the emp! 18 were compromised, 2 were partly success
ful for the strikers, and the results of the remaining strikes were indefinite or unknown. During the years 1901 to 1905 there were 577 trade disputes in Canada--104 in 1901, 123 in 1902, 160 in 1903, 103 in 1904, and 87 in 1905. Out of the total disputes during the period, the causes of 238 of them related to wages and hours of labor; 283 disputes were settled by negotiations between the parties concerned, and 54 by conciliation or arbitration; 194 disputes resulted in favor of employers, 175 in favor of employees, and 143 were settled by compromise.
There were in Canada during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1906, 1,071 fatal and 2,758 nonfatal industrial accidents. Of fatal accidents the greatest number (219) was in the railway service, and of nonfatal accidents the greatest number (549) was in the metal trades. Mining had 100 fatal and 151 nonfatal accidents, while in lumbering there were 103 fatal and 186 nonfatal accidents.
Accounts are given in two sections of the report of the action of the department of labor in reference to false representations to induce or deter immigration to the Dominion and of the administration of the alien labor laws.
Report of the Royal Commission on a Dispute Respecting Hours of Em
ployment between the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Ltd., and Operators at Toronto, Ontario. 1907. (Issued by the Department of Labor.) x, 102 pp.
This volume comprises the report of a commission appointed on February 2, 1907, to make inquiry into a dispute between the Bell Telephone Company of Canada and the operators employed in its offices at Toronto, with respect to wages and hours of employment and all matters affecting the merits of the said dispute and the right settlement thereof.
The commission in its inquiry into the causes, nature, and incidents of the strike examined 70 witnesses, and from the evidence obtained and from documents and correspondence submitted were made fully acquainted with the material facts and circumstances relevant to the controversy under consideration.
The cause of the strike of the operators, which commenced on January 31, 1907, was the decision of the telephone company, reached during the month of January, to enforce a new schedule of wages and hours whereby the hours of work were to be increased from 5 to 8 per day, and the manner in which this decision was made known to those whom it concerned.
At a meeting of the strikers, numbering over 400, held on the evening of February 1, a resolution was passed in which the operators requested the minister of labor “to cause a public inquiry to be made under oath into all matters in dispute between them and the said company, agreeing, that in case said inquiry is ordered, to return to the company's employ in order to prevent inconvenience to the public and a general disorganization of business, and to be bound by the finding of said board in all matters between themselves and the said company."
The intention of the Government to have inquiry made into the grievances of the operators, and the appointment of the commission having been announced, the operators, in accordance with the terms of the resolution they had passed, presented themselves for reemployment at the offices of the company on the morning of February 4. A large number were immediately taken on, and the strike, to all intents and purposes, was at an end.
The line of the commission's inquiry embraced the remuneration of work and cost of living, duration and intensity of work, methods of work and elements of nervous strain, opinions of leading physicians, etc.
Before the strike the operators were kept continuously at work at high pressure five hours per day. On January 24 a notice was posted in each of the several exchanges that from and after February 1 the operators would be expected to work eight hours each day, although at a slight increase in salary, but there was no assurance given that there would be any lessening of the pressure under which they would be obliged to work during the hours of employment. Against the proposed change the operators struck.
In the arrangement as finally come to before the commission, the total number of working hours was fixed at 7, spread over a period of 9 hours, divided as follows: 2 hours work, 1 hour relief, 11 hours work, 1 hour intermission, 2 hours work, 1 hour relief, and 11 hours work; and, further, the work would be at such a pressure as would . be moderate and not too great a tax upon the strength of the operators.
The commission also recommended the strict prohibition of overtime, the granting of a weekly half holiday as in other occupations, the prohibition of 7 days' continuous work (after working 6 days, before entering upon a subsequent day's work, there should be a break of at least 24 hours), the prohibition of young women from entering this class of employment until they have completed their eighteenth year, the examination of operators as to their health (especially as to their nervous system, throat, lungs, sight, hearing, and tendency toward tuberculosis), before being accepted by the company, and the adoption of various measures and devices for the additional comfort and health of the operators.
In conclusion the commission says:
In our opinion many of the difficulties inevitable to the successful operation of a large telephone exchange might be overcome and harmonious relations between the company and its employees pro
a permanent board of conciliation established, com
posed of representatives of the officials of the company and its operators, to which board questions concerning arrangement of hours, reliefs, overtime, discipline, and the like might be referred at stated intervals, an appeal to be had to the head officers of the company where matters in dispute might fail of successful settlement before the board.
Reiseberichte über Nordamerika erstattet von Kommissaren des König
lich Preuszischen Ministers für Ilandel und Gewerbe. 1906.
This volume is an account of the results of an investigation made in the year 1904 by a commission sent out by the Prussian ministry of commerce and industry to study the conditions of trade and technical education in the United States. The particular occasion of the undertaking at the time chosen was the opportunity afforded of prosecuting such an investigation in connection with the exhibits made at the international exposition of that year, at St. Louis, though the study was not confined to those exhibits.
The volume consists of a series of reports by various members of the commission covering different phases of the question. The first part is taken up by a somewhat general discussion of (a) the intermediate schools in their relation to commerce and industry; (6) the public schools and the training of teachers; (c) the training of industrial workers. Then follow accounts of the observations made with reference to education in industrial art and drafting, as this was shown in the patterns and products exhibited at St. Louis, the construction of machinery and the working of metals, shipbuilding, the textile industries, and ceramics, and an appendix containing a general discussion of a variety of economic and industrial questions. An article on the production of small tools and machinery of iron and steel is illustrated by 15 full-page plates.
Accidents that have Occurred on the Railways of the United Kingdom
during the year 1905. Report to the Secretary to the Board of Trade.
This volume presents a general report on the accidents that have occurred in the working of the railways of the United Kingdom during the year 1905. The accidents are grouped under three main heads, as follows: (1) Train accidents, as collisions, derailments, etc.; (2) accidents caused by the movement of trains and railway vehicles, exclusive of train accidents, and (3) accidents on railway premises not due to train accidents or to the movement of trains and railway vehicles. They are further subdivided in each of the three groups according as they relate to passengers, employees, and other persons.