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and restricts the ratio to the journey. separated those interested in the producmen; it requires three, four, or five years tion of wealth from those interested in its of apprenticeship, and enjoins the jour- distribution. The labor union is a proneymen to aid and instruct the appren- test on the part of the latter. Its policies, tice. It prohibits the employer from are necessarily restrictive, but the restrickeeping the apprentice at one operation, tions vary in extent, partly with the exbut requires, as do the machinists, that tent to which the separation has been the employer shall change him to another carried, partly with the extent to which machine every six months. The object is the union dominates. Where the separatwofold: the number of apprentices is tion has been bridged by conciliation or limited in order that the trade may not where the union has been weakened or be overcrowded and wages reduced; and suppressed, the restrictions have been an all-round education of the apprentice lessened, but their essential restrictiveis stipulated in order that the union man ness remains in the very protective nature may become a better mechanic than the of the trade union itself. non-union man. These are undoubted The methods of unions cannot be unrestrictions on the employer; they pre- derstood except in terms of conflict. This vent him from specializing his workmen is true not only of strikes but also of the and adopting that minute division of la: methods used to retain the winnings of bor which the economist sets forth as a strikes. The conflict continues after the fruitful instrument of wealth-production. strike is won. Consequently, to the exBut it is evident that they are necessary perienced members, more important than to the existence of the union, that their wages is the preservation of their union. motive is self-protection, and that, by way New and inexperienced unions fall in of a method immediately restrictive, their pieces after a strike is won. Their memultimate result is to raise the general effi- bers have a juvenile faith in promises. ciency of the union mechanic.
But with experience they learn that it is As regards profit-sharing, evidently the the union rather than the promises that offer must come from the employers. It they must rely upon. Take the minimum is one form of the inducements which they wage. The employer agrees to pay not offer to their managers and workers to less than a certain amount by the day or engage more actively in the production of hour. But the agreement is not a conwealth. It scarcely needs an association tract in law. It cannot be enforced in of the workmen, and, if it did, such an court. It has probably been made under association would not be a trade union. duress-that is, under a strike or threat of
The only other form that a union could a strike. Furthermore, it applies only to adopt in order, as an association, to pro
union members. If the employer agrees mote production would be that of a co- to pay it to non-members and if he lives operative society or corporation. Indeed, up to his agreement, the state of conflict this is what almost every organized trade ceases and the union need go no further. in the United States has done at one time This is the case with the railroad brotheror another in its history. The experi- hoods—the engineers, firemen, conductors ments have either failed or have been dis- and trainmen. They deal with corporaasters if they succeeded. When the union tions conducted like governments. Their takes the risks and responsibilities of pro- scale of wages is like a legislative enactduction, it becomes, not a co-operator ment fixing a uniform rate of pay for gov. with the employer, but a competitor. ernment employees over a vast area. The Herein is failure. If it succeeds, then it scale is issued as a general order from the raises up in its own ranks an element in- highest authority to all subordinates who terested in profits rather than wages. This hire and discharge these classes of em. element becomes exclusive, treats its fel- ployees. The positions themselves are low-members as employees, hires outsiders weil defined—there is but one man, and if it can get them cheaper, and, sooner or no chance to divide up his work among a later, goes over to the other employers or set of helpers. The superintendent is not is expelled by such remnant of the union expected to pay less or to pay more, nor as survives. The molders and the coopers to change his force in order to get cheaper have furnished illustrious warnings of help. Years of experience have shown this kind to unions not to engage in pro- the railway brotherhoods that they can duction, with its motive of profits. By rely upon a promise so far removed as this painful experiment, or by the experience one is from the ordinary treatment of laof others, the unions have generally come bor as a commodity fluctuating upon deto the point of confining their attention mand and supply. A successful strike or to wages—that is to distribution-leaving threat is as good as a contract. Conseto employers the questions of production. quently the brotherhoods do not go furThis may be unfortunate. The resulting ther and demand that irritating restricpolicies may seem unreasonable, If so, tion so naturally presented by employers, it is because industrial conditions have the "closed shop."
But take the building trales. 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 invening. He lets out 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 invenlowest 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 balls 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
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
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-man. boys. 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 at- manufacturer cares to uphold the reputatention. The disagreement with the tion of his product. employer grows out of the fact that this The illustration shows the double line of division is indefinite, and is con- meaning of terms when we speak of the tinually moving forward as machines be- "ambitious," the “capable," the come more automatic. The bituminous "skillful" workman. “Ability” may mine workers hedge the undercutting ma- mean ability to reach a high speed and chines about with many rules, limiting thus turn out a great quantity of product, the number of “runs” in a day, limiting or it may mean ability to improve and the number of hours per day, increasing to maintain a good quality of work. the number of men to the machine, Modern industry, with its world market, and reducing the differential between the its stress of competition, and its lack of price per ton for pick mining and the responsibility to the consumer, has run price for machine mining. These rules to cheap products, low costs, and enortend to transfer much of the benefit of mous speed of workmanship. A partial machinery to the wage-earner, giving him reaction is occurring, as seen in laws more wages for less work. They also re- against adulteration, and in the large strict the intoduction of the machines by development of proprietary goods and lessening the profits on them, but this advertised trademarks, and there is a must necessarily occur to a certain extent sentimental reaction in the arts and crafts in any case if the gain of a machine is movement. This is from the standpoint shared with the wage-earner. Some of of the consumer and the manufacturer. the miners' restrictions are unjustifiable, From the standpoint of the workman the because they go farther than needed for reaction appears in the effort to restrict this purpose.
speed. Doubtless the most familiar and wide- It is minate division of labor and exspread criticism of unions is the one that treme specialization that have brought they hold back the ambitious and ener- forth this high speed of modern industry. getic workman and prevent him from The skilled mechanic who turns from one making the most of his abilities. I have operation to another may be competent, examined a large number of cases where but he is not expeditious. When his this charge is made, and have usually work is split up and specialized, two imfound that it is one-half of the truth. The portant changes
Wages other half is in the circumstances of mod- changed from a time basis to a piece ern industry which take away from the basis, and the foreman can inspect the more energetic workman the fruits of his quality of output. Piece rates intensify energy and drive the slower workman the workman's motive to exertion by beyond the point of endurance. In the keeping the reward always in sight, and first place, the criticism is seldom made employers are surprised to find that the by employers whose emphasis is on the output is increased far beyond what they quality of their product. Such em- thought was possible. The men's earnployers are sometimes found to encourage ings are often doubled and trebled; and the union, and even openly to agree with the employer, ignorant of industrial it, in limiting the amount of work to psychology, concludes that they had been be done in a given time. If they can cheating him. He “cuts” the piece rate. succeed in this, they can increase the But the men exert themselves still more, expenses of their competitors who empha- and then comes another cut, and so size quantity instead of quality. In the In a large establishment, with 20,000 or building trades the "legitimate" builder more piece rates, the workmen learned often looks with favor on the union rules from a remark of the proprietor and the which restrict the speed of workmen acts of the foreman that, no matter how employed by the "speculative" builder. much they exerted themselves, they The limitation seldom affects his own could not expect to earn more than $2.65 work, because men cannot do good work a day. In one department of 70 men if they hurry. A similar division be- there were four ambitious ones who paid tween employers is found in the clothing no heed to the hint, but strove to increase trade, in pottery, and in almost every their earnings far above that limit. The trade where the quality of the work de- foreman used them as a gauge on the pends on the care of the workman and others, and when he found a piece on not on automatic machinery. Even in which their earnings were excessive he non-union establishments the same is cut the rate for all. At last the others true. The manufacturer of a widely organized a union, compelled these four advertised cigar prohibits his girls from to join, and adopted a rule that no man earning more than $7 a week, when the should earn more than $3 a day. All of best of them could earn $10 or more at them began to earn about $2.98 a day. the piece rates paid. In these cases the Then the employer cried out that the restriction on output is necessary if the union restricted output, which was one
half the truth, for they had both increased the output and restricted it. The restriction began with the employer.
This is not an exceptional case. It is an old story, and ought not to need repetition; but I have heard a great employer deny, in the presence of a large audience, that the piece rates in his establishment had been cut, when I knew of my own observation that it had been done under circumstances similar to the above—so ignorant and far removed from their workmen are the heads of great corporations. I am not defending the restriction of output, much less denying it; I am explaining it. Unions are often compelled to resort to it, and in some cases, like the one above, they are organized for that purpose alone. The policy is forced on them in self-protection, at first against their wishes, but afterwards accepted as something so self-evident that they do not recognize it as a restriction. As long as industry is conducted on prevailing standards, unions will spring up, will restrict or regulate output, will be "smashed," and will again spring up. The prevailing standards really crush ambition, except for the very few who can become foremen, by holding up a reward and then snatching it away as soon as the workman is able to reach it. Instead of appealing to ambition, such standards rely on coercion: and employers are prone to mistake the feverish energy of unorganized workmen for loyalty when it is really fear. In times of prosperity the speed of both union and non-union workmen is less than in periods of depression. The whip of unemployment rather than the hope of reward is the inducement offered by business methods.
There is another fact of some significance regarding restrictions. Nearly all of the typographical unions have removed restrictions on the output of the linotype machine, but there remain a few "locals” which limit their members to one-half or two-thirds of the unrestricted speed. In visiting some of the restricted newspaper offices I was surprised to see gray-haired men. This suggested a comparison of ages, and the returns from a dozen offices showed that in the unrestricted offices only two per cent of the operators were over 50 years of age, while in the restricted offices 15 to 20 per cent were over 50. The census of the Government Printing Office shows 22 per cent of the employees over 50, and 2 per cent over 70 years of age-a proportion about the same as that of the male population at large. This grievance arises from every industry conducted on modern principles. Wage-earners are at their highest mark of earning ability between the ages of 20 and 40. Above the latter age,
when the pro
fessional or business man is just entering his prime, the wage-earner is declining and soon is discharged or transferred to lighter and less remunerative work. He must give way to a younger man who can keep up with the pace. But trade union and civil service restrictions protect him. Freed from over-exertion in his earlier years, he holds on in the advanced ycars. These facts will be viewed differently according as our standard is production or distribution. May it not be that some future generation will look back with gratitude on the heresy that justifies restriction of output?
Some of the foregoing restrictions are supported by irritating shop rules which interfere with the employer's efforts to improve his plant and management. In the interest of industrial progress and the in. crease of production, the employer should have a free hand in these particulars. But there is one form of restriction that is free from this objection—namely, restriction on the hours of labor per day. Here is the logical line of compromise. The bricklayers have recognized this principle perhaps more than any other American union, for they have yielded to the employer on nearly all points of management and have concentrated their demands on high rates for short hours. Compared with the London bricklayer at 20 cents an hour for nine hours, the New York bricklayer at 70 cents for eight hours is the cheaper workman; for not only is his exertion much greater, but his employer has specialized his work, has arranged an unremittent flow of brick and mortar, and lays him off at any halfhour. Not a minute of his precious time is wasted, nor a stroke of his arm permitted to lag. What is true of the bricklayers is true approximately of most American unions, compared at least with their European brothers. By restricting the hours the employer gets unrestricted output per hour.
The oldest steam railway, says London Answers, which is still in existence is the Stockton & Darlington, which was first opened in the year 1825. But America can boast the possession of an iron way still existing as part of the South Carolina & Georgia railway, which was laid two years before that date, and which is perhaps the only passenger line that ever was worked by wind power. It is recorded that, with a favoring breeze, thirteen passengers and three tons of iron were carried at a rate of ten miles an hour.
In this country you find both the
tinction. It possesses in the Leckey incline the steepest gradient upon any main line in the Kingdom. This is one in 37% for a distance of more than two miles. There are few gradients in British lines exceeding one in 60. The Midland has also broken transportation records by dispatching in one day from Burton-onTrent no fewer than 1,231 wagons loaded with beer.
The Great Western holds the British records for the longest regular non-stop run between Paddington and Plymouth without stopping. The distance is 246 miles. The same railway also possesses much the longest tunnel in the country. The famous Severn tunnel, which took more time and money to construct than almost any other in existence, is 7,664 yards in length.
There is an Australian line which owns a most odd record. The New South Wales line between Nyngan and Bourke runs a distance of 126 miles in a mathematically straight line over a plain level almost as a billiard table.
cheapest and most expensive miles of railway ever constructed. The eight-mile line known as the Wotton tramway, and which was built to the order of the late Duke of Buckingham and Chandos cost only £1,400 per mile. It is of standard gauge, and is now used merely as a light railway.
The most costly piece of railway line in the world is that between the Mansion House and Aldgate, on the Underground, London. It cost nearly £2,000,000. Between Trinity square and King William statue the record rose to no less than 1,000 guineas a yard, or about £30 an inch.
For cheap traveling the Trans-Siberian railway holds a world's record. In order to encourage immigration into Siberia third-class fares are granted from any Russian station on the line to Tobolsk for a sum equivalent to four and sixpence. From Tobolsk on to the very edge of Manchuria you can travel for 9 shillings. Thus the emigrant can cover 6000 miles for 13s. 6d. This rate, which works out at about twenty miles per penny, is certainly cheaper than the fares on the California line, the Pueblo & Beulah Valley. Passengers by this railway are weighed and carried the whole distance for 3 farthings a pound.
The most northerly railway line in existence is the Ofoten, built across the upper end of the Scandinavian peninsula by a British company, to tap the great iron ore beds which cover 300,000 acres. At the frontier station between Norway and Sweden an enormous lall has been built into which the whole train runs bodily, and which can be closed as a protection against the weather. When crossing the Arctic circle the engine driver makes a point of blowing the whistle.
What is-or was, before being taken over by the Great Western—the smallest independent railway company in existence was the Abingdon railway, a mile and a half in length, and connecting Abingdon with Radley. It was a paying concern, and fetched a very good price when sold.
The Manila & Dagupan railway, which is to be found in the island of Luzon, has some claim to be considered the most elegant in existence. Certainly no other line can boast that all the sleepers are solid mahogany.
The London & Northwestern, besides being the richest of British railway companies—in fact, perhaps the richest in the world—can boast also of owning the largest engine works in existence. The inclosed space at Crowe is 85 acres, and a little over 30 acres is under cover. The Midland has at Derby 26 acres of covered workshops.
The Midland has various claims to dis
Secretary Wilson of the Department of Agriculture made a Thanksgiving address which explains why wages in the United States are high. Carried to its logical conclusion, Mr. Wilson's statement of facts proves that wages should be a great deal higher, and that the real wage cost of production is less in the United States than anywhere else on the surface of the globe.
One illustration which Mr. Wilson used was the production of rice. He said that one American farm hand produces more rice than 400 Chinamen. Wages in China are 10 to 12 cents a day, making the money payment for the 400 Chinamen's day's labor $44 to $48. Paid at the Chinese rate for the work which he performed, the American farm hand should receive over $40 a day instead of $1.50.
James J. Hill, president of the Great Northern and other railroads, has brought out similar facts proving the inadequacy of the pay of his railroad employees. A train gang on Mr. Hill's roads handles more than seven times as many ton miles of freight as the train gangs on English, French and German railroads. The American engineers, firemen, conductors and brakemen receive half again or perhaps twice as much money as the European railroad men, and produce seven times the result.
The reports from the Fall River cotton mills show a greater number of looms and spindles attended by each woman and child than in the Lancashire cotton