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and restricts the ratio to the journeymen; it requires three, four, or five years of apprenticeship, and enjoins the journeymen to aid and instruct the apprentice. It prohibits the employer from keeping the apprentice at one operation, but requires, as do the machinists, that the employer shall change him to another machine every six months. The object is twofold: the number of apprentices is limited in order that the trade may not be overcrowded and wages reduced; and an all-round education of the apprentice is stipulated in order that the union man may become a better mechanic than the non-union man. These are undoubted restrictions on the employer; they prevent him from specializing his workmen and adopting that minute division of la: bor which the economist sets forth as a fruitful instrument of wealth-production. But it is evident that they are necessary to the existence of the union, that their motive is self-protection, and that, by way of a method immediately restrictive, their ultimate result is to raise the general efficiency of the union mechanic.
As regards profit-sharing, evidently the offer must come from the employers. It is one form of the inducements which they offer to their managers and workers to engage more actively in the production of wealth. It scarcely needs an association of the workmen, and, if it did, such an association would not be a trade union.
The only other form that a union could adopt in order, as an association, to promote production would be that of a cooperative society or corporation. Indeed, this is what almost every organized trade in the United States has done at one time or another in its history, The experiments have either failed or have been disasters if they succeeded. When the union takes the risks and responsibilities of production, it becomes, not a co-operator with the employer, but a competitor. Herein is failure. If it succeeds, then it raises up in its own ranks an element interested in profits rather than wages. This element becomes exclusive, treats its fellow-members as employees, hires outsiders if it can get them cheaper, and, sooner or later, goes over to the other employers or is expelled by such remnant of the union as survives. The melders and the coopers have furnished illustrious warnings of this kind to unions not to engage in production, with its motive of profits. By painful experiment, or by the experience of others, the unions have generally come to the point of confining their attention to wages--that is to distribution-leaving to employers the questions of production. This may be unfortunate. The resulting policies may seem unreasonable, If so, it is because industrial conditions have
separated those interested in the production of wealth from those interested in its distribution. The labor union is a protest on the part of the latter. Its policies are necessarily restrictive, but the restrictions vary in extent, partly with the extent to which the separation has been carried, partly with the extent to which the union dominates. Where the separation has been bridged by conciliation or where the union has been weakened or suppressed, the restrictions have been lessened, but their essential restrictiveness remains in the very protective nature of the trade union itself.
The methods of unions cannot be un. derstood except in terms of conflict. This is true not only of strikes but also of the methods used to retain the winnings of strikes. The conflict continues after the strike is won. Consequently, to the experienced members, more important than wages is the preservation of their union. New and inexperienced unions fall in pieces after a strike is won. Their members have a juvenile faith in promises. But with experience they learn that it is the union rather than the promises that they must rely upon. Take the minimum wage. The employer agrees to pay not less than a certain amount by the day or hour. But the agreement is not a contract in law. It cannot be enforced in court. It has probably been made under duress-that is, under a strike or threat of a strike. Furthermore, it applies only to union members. If the employer agrees to pay it to non-members and if he lives up to his agreement, the state of conflict ceases and the union need go no further. This is the case with the railroad brotherhoods—the engineers, firemen, conductors and trainmen. They deal with corporations conducted like governments. Their scale of wages is like a legislative enactment fixing a uniform rate of pay for gov. ernment employees over a vast area. The scale is issued as a general order from the highest authority to all subordinates who hire and discharge these classes of em. ployees. The positions themselves are weil defined—there is but one man, and no chance to divide up his work among a set of helpers. The superintendent is not expected to pay less or to pay more, nor to change his force in order to get cheaper help. Years of experience have shown the railway brotherhoods that they can rely upon a promise so far removed as this one is from the ordinary treatment of labor as a commodity fluctuating upon demand and supply. A successful strike or threat is as good as a contract. Consequently the brotherhoods do not go further and demand that irritating restriction so naturally presented by employers, the “closed shop.”
But take the building tra:les. Here the graphical Union was able to prevent the cardinal principle of unionism is the re- introduction of women. Consequently fusal to work with non-union men. The men were transferred to the machine, employer is restricted to those who are reducing their hours of labor from ten willing to join the union and whom the or twelve to seven and one-half or eight union is willing to admit. Waiving per day and increasing their wages. At questions of law and ethics, look at the the same time the cost of composition economics. Here is an industry decen- was reduced 80 per cent, and the size of tralized to the furthest extent. A gen- papers was increased and their price eral contractor agrees to put up a build. was reduced. The benefit of the inven. ing. He lets ont most of the work in 10 tion was thus distributed among the four to 30 sub-contracts by competition to the parties to the transaction—to the iuvenlowest bidders. These sub-contractors tor in royalties and dividends, to the have little or no capital; their work is publisher in profits, to the public in narrowly specialized; labor is their largest prices, and to the printer in wages. Thus item of cost; they tend to become simply the machine came in on its merits as a brokers on the labor market; their jobs means of increasing speed and not as a last for but a few days or weeks; they means of substituting cheap labor. hire men by the hour and lay them off on The cigarmaking machines are differthe half-hour, according to the weather ent. They increase the rate of output or the supply of material or the progress not more that 50 per cent, and there of other trades. Here is the ideal labor are good cigarmakers whose speed on market from the standpoint of demand hand work is equal to that of the maand supply. It is like that of the bulls chine. The profit on these machines has and bears in the wheat-pit, while railroad come from the substitution of girls at $7 employment is like the market for post- for men at $18. These machines come age stamps. It is not surprising that into the trade not as labor-saving but as building mechanics are extreme and per- wage-saving devices. The benefit does emptory in their restrictions. Their not go to the inventor, the manufacturer, minimum wage would be impossible if and the consumer, but not to the worklabor could be thrown in and out of this man. The Cigarmakers' Union has remarket at the will of the struggling sisted them, and, though permitting its brokers. Hence their insistence on the members to work on them, refuses to one great restriction that supports all grant the union label to manufacturers others-the closed shop. Their mem- using them. It may be said that the bers they can control—they can fine, union made a mistake and should have suspend, or expel the one who works for welcomed these inventions as the printless than the minimum. But if the con- ers welcomed the linotype. But there is tractor is free to employ the expelled a difference between welcoming a mamembers, their discipline is gone. The chine that lightens your work and contractor who can import and hire out- welcoming one that takes your job. And siders can get the contracts, and the the public, which, in its desire for cheap others must do the same
or lose the products, sees no distinction between an business. Sentiment is excluded, and invention that shares its benefits with the the benevolent contractor must come workmen and one that makes their down to the level of the lowest. Under daughters their own competitors, is not a these conditions the closed shop restric- disinterested critic of the workman's retion is the necessary protection of the strictions on machinery. The linotype in minimum wage.
newspaper offices is an exception to the Take machinery and the division of rule. Skilled workmen in general have labor. The superficial effects of their seen machinery and division of labor introduction are well known. They in- make way for girls and immigrants. The crease the production of goods and de- union opposition has been a losing fight. crease the cost. But there lurk in this They have the consolation of cheaper statement two entirely opposite effects. products but this they cannot realize if One is the increase in the output of the they are displaced by cheaper labor. workman, and the other is the substi. So much for the introduction of matution of cheap labor. Perhaps no me- chinery. When once introduced, inchanical invention has worked a greater stances may be found where unions revolution than the invention of the stand in the way of their unrestricted linotype in the printing trade. It has output. These restrictions apply, howincreased the speed of the operator at ever, to machines whose speed depends least fivefold. But it made possible a mainly on the work of the operator, and three months' apprenticeship of girls in not to automatic machines. Thus the place of a three years' apprenticeship of machinists' union hold to the one-manboys. Yet this substitution did not occur one-machine tradition of the craft, but in newspaper offices, because the Typo- they interpret their rule to apply only
where the machine requires constant attention. The disagreement with the employer grows out of the fact that this line of division is indefinite, and is continually moving forward as machines become more automatic. The bituminous mine workers hedge the undercutting machines about with many rules, limiting the number of “runs” in a day, limiting the number of hours per day, increasing the number of men to the machine, and reducing the differential between the price per ton for pick mining and the price for machine mining. These rules tend to transfer much of the benefit of machinery to the wage-earner, giving him more wages for less work. They also restrict the intoduction of the machines by lessening the profits on them, but this must necessarily occur to a certain extent in any case if the gain of a machine is shared with the wage-earner. Some of the miners' restrictions are unjustifiable, because they go farther than needed for this purpose.
Doubtless the most familiar and wide. spread criticism of unions is the one that they hold back the ambitious and energetic workman and prevent him from making the most of his abilities. I have examined a large number of cases where this charge is made, and have usually found that it is one-half of the truth. The other half is in the circumstances of modern industry which take away from the more energetic workman the fruits of his energy and drive the slower workman beyond the point of endurance. In the first place, the criticism is seldom made by employers whose emphasis is on the quality of their product. Such employers are sometimes found to encourage the union, and even openly to agree with it, in limiting the amount of work to be done in a given time. If they can succeed in this, they can increase the expenses of their competitors who emphasize quantity instead of quality. In the building trades the “legitimate” builder often looks with favor on the union rules which restrict the speed of workmen employed by the “speculative” builder. The limitation seldom affects his own work, because men cannot do good work if they hurry. A similar division between employers is found in the clothing trade, in pottery, and in almost every trade where the quality of the work depends on the care of the workman and not on automatic machinery. Even in non-union establishments the same is true. The manufacturer of a widely advertised cigar prohibits his girls from earning more than $7 a week, when the best of them could earn $10 or more at the piece rates paid. In these cases the restriction on output is necessary if the
manufacturer cares to uphold the reputation of his product.
The illustration shows the double meaning of terms when we speak of the "ambitious," the “capable," or the "skillful” workman. “Ability" may mean ability to reach a high speed and thus turn out a great quantity of product, or it may mean ability to improve and to maintain a good quality of work. Modern industry, with its world market, its stress of competition, and its lack of responsibility to the consumer, has run to cheap products, low costs, and enor. mous speed of workmanship. A partial reaction is occurring, as seen in laws against adulteration, and in the large development of proprietary goods and advertised trademarks, and there is a sentimental reaction in the arts and crafts movement. This is from the standpoint of the consumer and the manufacturer. From the standpoint of the workman the reaction appears in the effort to restrict speed.
It is minute division of labor and extreme specialization that have brought forth this high speed of modern industry. The skilled mechanic who turns from one operation to another may be competent, but he is not expeditious. When his work is split up and specialized, two important changes occur.
Wages changed from a time basis to a piece basis, and the foreman can inspect the quality of output. Piece rates intensify the workman's motive to exertion by keeping the reward always in sight, and employers are surprised to find that the output is increased far beyond what they thought was possible. The men's earnings are often doubled and trebled; and the employer, ignorant of industrial psychology, concludes that they had been cheating him. He “cuts" the piece rate. But the men exert themselves still more, and then comes another cut, and so In a large establishment, with 20,000 or more piece rates, the workmen learned from a remark of the proprietor and the acts of the foreman that, no matter how much they exerted themselves, they could not expect to earn more than $2.65 a day. In one department of 70 men there were four ambitious ones who paid no heed to the hint, but strove to increase their earnings far above that limit. The foreman used them as a gauge on the others, and when he found a piece on which their earnings were excessive he cut the rate for all. At last the others organized a union, compelled these four to join, and adopted a rule that no man should earn more than $3 a day. All of them began to earn about $2.98 a day. Then the employer cried out that the union restricted output, which was one
half the truth, for they had both in- fessional or business man is just entering creased the output and restricted it. The his prime, the wage-earner is declining restriction began with the employer. and soon is discharged or transferred to This is not an exceptional case. It is an
lighter and less remunerative work. He old story, and ought not to need repeti- must give way to a younger man who can tion; but I have heard a great employer keep up with the pace. But trade union deny, in the presence of a large audience, and civil service restrictions protect him. that the piece rates in his establishment Freed from over-exertion in his earlier had been cut, when I knew of my own years, he holds on in the advanced ycars. observation that it had been done under These facts will be viewed differently accircumstances similar to the above-so cording as our standard is production or ignorant and far removed from their distribution. May it not be that some workmen are the heads of great corpora- future generation will look back with tions. I am not defending the restriction gratitude on the heresy that justifies reof output, much less denying it; I am ex- striction of output? plaining it. Unions are often compelled Some of the foregoing restrictions are to resort to it, and in some cases, like the supported by irritating shop rules which one above, they are organized for that interfere with the employer's efforts to impurpose alone. The policy is forced on
prove his plant and management. In the them in self-protection, at first against interest of industrial progress and the in. their wishes, but afterwards accepted as crease of production, the employer should something so self-evident that they do not have a free hand in these particulars. recognize it as a restriction. As long as But there is one form of restriction that is industry is conducted on prevailing stand- free from this objection-namely, reards, unions will spring up, will restrict striction on the hours of labor per day. or regulate output, will be “smashed," Here is the logical line of compromise. and will again spring up. The prevailing The bricklayers have recognized this standards really crush ambition, except principle perhaps more than any other for the very few who can become fore- American union, for they have yielded to men, by holding up a reward and then the employer on nearly all points of mansnatching it away as soon as the work- agement and have concentrated their deman is able to reach it. Instead of ap. mands on high rates for short hours. pealing to ambition, such standards rely Compared with the London bricklayer at on coercion: and employers are prone to 20 cents an hour for nine hours, the New mistake the feverish energy of unorgan. York bricklayer at 70 cents for eight ized workmen for loyalty when it is really hours is the cheaper workman; for not fear. In times of prosperity the speed of only is his exertion much greater, but his both union and non-union workmen is employer has specialized his work, has less than in periods of depression. The arranged an unremittent flow of brick whip of unemployment rather than the and mortar, and lays him off at any halfhope of reward is the inducement offered hour. Not a minute of his precious time by business methods.
is wasted, nor a stroke of his arm perThere is another fact of some significance mitted to lag. What is true of the brickregarding restrictions. Nearly all of the layers is true approximately of most typographical unions have removed re- American unions, compared at least with strictions on the output of the linotype their European brothers. By restricting machine, but there remain a few “locals”
the hours the employer gets unrestricted which limit their members to one-half or
output per hour. two-thirds of the unrestricted speed. In visiting some of the restricted newspaper offices I was surprised to see gray-haired
Oldest Railroads. men. This suggested a comparison of ages, and the returns from a dozen offices The oldest steam railway, says Lon. showed that in the unrestricted offices don Answers, which is still in existence is only two per cent of the operators were the Stockton & Darlington, which was over 50 years of age, while in the restrict- first opened in the year 1825. But ed offices 15 to 20 per cent were over 50. America can boast the possession of an The census of the Government Printing iron way still existing as part of the Office shows 22 per cent of the employees South Carolina & Georgia railway, which over 50, and 2 per cent over 70 years of was laid two years before that date, and age-a proportion about the same as that which is perhaps the only passenger line of the male population at large. This that ever was worked by wind power. grievance arises from every industry con- It is recorded that, with a favoring ducted on modern principles. Wage-earn- breeze, thirteen passengers and three tons ers are at their highest mark of earning of iron were carried at a rate of ten miles ability between the ages of 20 and 40.
an hour. Above the latter age,
when the pro
In this country you find both the
cheapest and most expensive miles of tinction. It possesses in the Leckey inrailway ever constructed. The eight-mile cline the steepest gradient upon any main line known as the Wotton tramway, and line in the Kingdom. This is one in 37% which was built to the order of the late for a distance of more than two miles. Duke of Buckingham and Chandos cost There are few gradients in British lines only £1,400 per mile. It is of standard exceeding one in 60. The Midland has gauge, and is now used merely as a light also broken transportation records by railway.
dispatching in one day from Burton-onThe most costly piece of railway line Trent no fewer than 1,231 wagons loaded in the world is that between the Mansion with beer. House and Aldgate, on the Underground, The Great Western holds the British London. It cost nearly £2,000,000. Be- records for the longest regular non-stop tween Trinity square and King William run between Paddington and Plymouth statue the record rose to no less than 1,000 without stopping. The distance is 246 guineas a yard, or about £30 an inch. miles. The same railway also possesses
For cheap traveling the Trans-Siberian much the longest tunnel in the country. railway holds a world's record. In order The famous Severn tunnel, which took to encourage immigration into Siberia more time and money to construct than third-class fares are granted
almost any other in existence, is 7,664 Russian station on the line to Tobolsk yards in length. for a sum equivalent to four and sixpence. There is an Australian line which owns From Tobolsk on to the very edge of a most odd record. The New South Manchuria you can travel for 9 shillings. Wales line between Nyngan and Bourke Thus the emigrant can cover 6000 miles runs a distance of 126 miles in a mathefor 13s. 6d. This rate, which works out matically straight line over a plain level at about twenty miles per penny, is almost as a billiard table. certainly cheaper than the fares on the California line, the Pueblo & Beulah
American Wages. Valley. Passengers by this railway are weighed and carried the whole distance Secretary Wilson of the Department of for 3 farthings a pound.
Agriculture made a Thanksgiving address The most northerly railway line in which explains why wages in the United existence is the Ofoten, built across the States are high. Carried to its logical upper end of the Scandinavian peninsula conclusion, Mr. Wilson's statement of by a British company, to tap the great facts proves that wages should be a great iron ore beds which cover 300,000 acres. deal higher, and that the real wage cost At the frontier station between Norway of production is less in the United States and Sweden an enormous lall has been than anywhere else on the surface of the built into which the whole train runs globe. bodily, and which can be closed as a pro- One illustration which Mr. Wilson used tection against the weather. When was the production of rice. He said crossing the Arctic circle the engine driver that one American farm hand produces makes a point of blowing the whistle. more rice than 400 Chinamen. Wages in
What is--or was, before being taken China are 10 to 12 cents a day, making over by the Great Western-the smallest the money payment for the 400 Chinaindependent railway company in exist- men's day's labor $44 to $48. Paid at the ence was the Abingdon railway, a mile Chinese rate for the work which the and a half in length, and connecting performed, the American farm hand Abingdon with Radley. It was a paying should receive over $40 a day instead of concern, and fetched a very good price $1.50. when sold.
James J. Hill, president of the Great The Manila & Dagupan railway, which Northern and other railroads, has brought is to be found in the island of Luzon, has out similar facts proving the inadequacy some claim to be considered the most ele- of the pay of his railroad employees. A gant in existence. Certainly no other train gang on Mr. Hill's roads handles line can boast that all the sleepers are
than seven times as many ton solid mahogany.
miles of freight as the train gangs on The London & Northwestern, besides English, French and German railroads. being the richest of British railway com- The American engineers, firemen, conpanies—in fact, perhaps the richest in ductors and brakemen receive half again the world-can boast also of owning the or perhaps twice as much money as the largest engine works in existence. The European railroad men, and produce inclosed space at Crowe is 85 acres, and seven times the result. a little over 30 acres is under cover. The The reports from the Fall River cotton Midland has at Derby 26 acres of covered mills show a greater number of looms workshops.
and spindles attended by each woman The Midland has various claims to dis- and child than in the Lancashire cotton