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In 1896, 422 trade unions made returns regarding changes in wages and hours of labor of railway employees. Of these, 116 contained particulars of such changes and 306 had no changes to report. Altogether 1.217 persons were reported as affected by changes in rates of wages, bnt in the case of 144 the changes merely affected individual workmen. Of the remaining 1,073 persons, 1,000 had their wages advanced and 73 bad them reduced. The hours of labor were reduced in 50 cases where representations had been made by the board of trade. Returns from railway employees' unions show 98 cases of hours reduced and 13 of hours increased. So far as returned, the reductions affected 1,058 persons and the increases 44 persous. The average net reduction per week per employee was s} liours.
The data presented for 1894 and 1895 regarding seamen show a slight fall, while those for 1896 show a slight rise in wages.
PIECE PRICE LISTS AND SLIDING SCALES.—Piece price lists adopted or revised in 1894 are given for the shipbuilding, quarrying, cotton-weaving, lace, boot and shoe, clog, tailoring, printing, glass-bottle, and brush-making industries, and for dock labor. Piece price lists for 1895 are given for the shipbuilding, cotton-weaving, hosiery, boot and shoe, clog, tailoring, printing, and glass-bottle industries. Sliding scales are shown for the coal-mining industry, blast-furnace men, and iron and steel workers. Piece price lists for 1896 are given for the metal trades, cotton-spinning, cotton-weaving, hosiery, boot and shoe, clog, tailoring, printing, glass-bottle, basket, and brush industries, and for dock and river-side labor. One new sliding scale for coal miners is shown.
Drucksachen der Kommission für Arbeiterstatistik: Erhebungen Nr. X.
Zusammenstellung der Ergebnisse der Ermittelungen über die Arbeitsverhältnisse in der Kleider- und Wäsche-Konfektion. 110 PP.
This is the tenth of a series of investigations conducted by the commission on labor statistics of the German Empire. The nine preceding reports were reviewed in Bulletin No. 4. This report contains the results of an investigation into the labor conditions of garment workers. It treats of the garment industry according to the nature of the goods made, the localities where certain lines prevail, systems of work and employment, irregularity of employment, labor contracts and wage payments, earnings, and sanitary and moral conditions surrounding the garment workers. An appendix contains extracts from laws regulating garment work in Switzerland, Austria, England, France, and the United States. The information was obtained partly by the testimony of witnesses before the commission and partly by personal investigations by officials.
The report covers 13 manufacturing centers, 835 workshops and factories, and 4,143 dwellings where home work was done. Under the head of garment-making industry are included men's, boys', and women's clothing, cloaks, blouses, and overalls, light summer garments, and men's and women's furnishings, such as shirts, collars, cuffs, underwear, etc.
Three systems of work are considered, namely, factory work, shop work, and home work. Factory work, in connection with home work, is most common in the manufacture of men's furnishings, such as shirts, collars, cuffs, linen shirt fronts, and similar articles. Women's linens and underwear, laborers' blouses and overalls, and light summer clothing are also made in this way, but to a coinparatively small extent. This system is unknown in the inen's and boys' clothing industry. Shop work, in connection with home work, through the medium of the saire contractor, is found in all branches of the clothing industry in Berlin, Stettin, Breslau, and Erfurt.
Single men are, as a rule, employed in workshops and factories, married people at home work, and single females at factory, shop, and home work.
Coats and overcoats are made almost exclusively by males; pants, vests, overalls, and light summer garments are made mostly by females; while women's garments and all linens and underwear are made almost exclusively by females.
As to regularity of employment, those engaged in the manufacture of linens and underwear are least affected by changes of season. In the men's and boys' clothing industry work is almost entirely suspended for about 3 months each year. In the women's clothing industry, which consists chiefly of cloak making, employees work on full time for only about 6 or 7 months per year, and work is almost entirely suspended for 2 or 3 months.
The average hours of actual labor range from 9 to 11 per day in the factories and from 12 to 13 per day in the workshops. It is difficult to estimate the average working time of home work on account of the many interruptions occasioned by domestic duties. It is about 134 to 141 hours per day of actual labor. Sunday work, as a rule, is done only during a very busy season. At such times garment workers are engaged from 2 to 5 hours during the morning.
The rates of wages of time workers are, as a rule, uniform throughout the year, while those of piece workers vary with the demand. The earnings vary greatly with the nature of the work and the locality.
As to general health, the garment workers are unfortunately situated. Persons adopting this trade are generally those who are physically weak or are in poor health. The sanitary condition of workshops is not what may be desired. Overcrowding is frequent, and ventilating appliances are very rarely found. Of 350 factories and workshops visited in Berlin, over one half had less than 16 cubic meters (565 cubic feet) of air space per person; 5 per cent had 6 cubic meters (212 cubic feet), and some had only 3 and 4 cubic meters (106 and 141 cubic feet) air space per person. Of 3,046 dwelling workshops visited, about 1,000 were simultaneously used as living rooms, an equal number as kitchens, and about 900 were also bedrooms. In the remaining cases the workshops were used for two or more other purposes.
The danger of dwelling or tenement work as a medium for the spread of contagious diseases was also a subject of investigation. In the above-named dwelling workshops there were during two years 40 cases of diphtheria, 19 of measles, 23 of scarlet fever, and 5 of consumption.
As to the moral condition of garment workers, the commission found that females employed in this branch of industry compared favorably with those engaged in other vocations.
DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.
[This subject, begun in Bulletin No. 2, will be continued in successive issues, dealing with the decisions as they occur. All material parts of the decisions aro reproduced in the words of the courts, indicated when short by quotation marks, and when long by being printed solid. In order to save space, immaterial matter, needed simply by way of explanation, is given in the words of the editorial reviser.]
DECISIONS UNDER STATUTORY LAW.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTE-FELLOW-SERVANT ACT OF TEXAS-Missouri, Kansus and Teras Ry. Co. r. Hannig, 41 Southwestcrn Reporter, page 196.-Action was brought in the district court of Clay County, Tex., by William Hannig against the above-named rail. way company to recover damages for injuries received while in the employ of said company as a section hand. Hannig recovered a verdict and the railway company appealed the case to the court of civil appeals of the State, which rendered its decision May 12, 1897, and affirmed the judgment of the lower court.
The title of chapter 91, acts of 1893 (23d legislature), page 120, reads as follows:
An act to detine who are fellow-servants and who are not fellowservants, and to prohibit contracts between employer and employees, based upon the contingency of the injury or death of the employees, limiting the liability of the employer for damages.
The first and second sections of the act define who are and who are not fellow-servants, and the third section reads as follows:
SEC. 3. No contract made between the employer and employee, based upon the contingency of death or injury of the employee, limiting the liability of the employer under this act, or fixing damages to be recovered, shall be valid and binding.
This case depended upon the above-mentioned act, and one of the assignments of error made by the railway company in its appeal was that the act should have been declared unconstitutional under the provisions of section 35 of article III of the constitution of Texas, which reads as follows:
SECTION 35. No bill (except general appropriation bills, which may embrace the various subjects and accounts, for and on account of which moneys are appropriated) shall contain more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be so expressed.
The court of civil appeals, in affirming the decision of the lower court, overruled the point made as above and used the following language concerning it in its opinion, which was delivered by Chief Justice Tarlton:
The act of the twenty-third legislature (page 120), known as the "fellow-servants act," is not unconstitutional on the ground that it embraces more than one subject, both being expressed in the title. The prohibition referred to in the caption [title] and covered by the third section of the act does not constitute a different subject, but is merely auxiliary to the main purpose of the act authorizing a recovery by employees when injured by the master's negligence. In other words, the prohibition referred to in the title and in section 3 of the act is but one phase of the subject expressed in the title.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTE-LIABILITY OF CITY FOR DAMAGE BY MOB-Pennsylrania Company v. City of Chicago, and Yazoo and Mississippi Valley R. R. Co. v. Same, 81 Federal Reporter, page 317.—These were actions on the case against the city of Chicago, brought by the above-named companies, in the United States circuit court for the northern district of Illinois, under section 256a of chapter 38 of the revised statutes of Illinois of 1895. Said section reads as follows:
Whenever any building or other real or personal property, except propurty in transit, shall be destroyed or injured in consequence of any mob or riot composed of twelve or more persons, the city, or if not in a city, then the county in which such property was destroyed shall be liable to an action by or in behalf of the party whose property was thus destroyed or injured, for three-fourths of the damages sustained by reason thereof.
There is nothing in the report of these cases, as found in the Federal Reporter, to show whether the causes of action arose during a labor disturbance or a strike, but the clerk of the circuit court, in response to a communication from the Department of Labor, says: “According to the brief reference in the declaration in Pennsylvania Company v. City et al., the destruction of the property complained of occurred during the riots of July 6, 1894.” These riots grew out of the great “Chicago strike” of June-July, 1894. The circuit court rendered its decision June 1, 1897, and decided that the statute above quoted was constitutional and valid.
The opinion of the court was delivered by District Judge Grosscup, and the following is quoted therefrom:
The declaration avers the possession of property by the plaintiffs and its destruction within the city of Chicago, at the time named, in consequence of a mob of twelve or more persons, and there is in its averment substantially nothing more. The declaration in no feature proceeds upon any grounds of negligence or misconduct upon the part of the city or any of its agencies, nor upon the ground of any contract