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The present report gives the results of an investigation of strikes and lockouts in the United States for the years 1901 to 1905, inclusive, together with summaries covering the twenty-five-year period from 1881 to 1905.
The terms “strike” and “lockout” as used in this report are thus defined:
A strike is a concerted withdrawal from work by a part or all of the employees of an establishment, or several establishments, to enforce a demand on the part of employees.
A lockout is a refusal on the part of an employer or several employers to permit a part or all of the employees to continue at work, such refusal being made to enforce a demand on the part of employers.
In their industrial effects these two classes of disturbances are practically the same, and the only difference between them is that in a strike the employees take the initiative in putting a stop to work, while in a lockout the initiative is taken by the employer.
Including the present, four investigations of strikes and lockouts have been made by the United States Bureau of Labor. The titles of the several reports and the years covered by each are as follows:
PERIODS COVERED BY THE STRIKE AND LOCKOUT REPORTS OF THE BUREAU
Title of report.
Period covered by the investigation.
January 1, 1881, to December 31, 1886.........
The present report gives statistics concerning strikes and lockouts that occurred in the period from 1901 to 1905, inclusive, in as great detail as space permits. In addition, the report summarizes the statistics of strikes and lockouts for the entire period of twenty-five years from 1881 to 1905.
The record of strikes and lockouts in the years preceding 1881 is incomplete. Such information as could be obtained from newspaper
and magazine files and from other publications was included in the Third Annual Report of this Bureau and repeated in the Sixteenth Annual Report, to which reports the reader is referred for the interesting though brief description of these early labor disturbances. From 1881 to 1905, however, the record of strikes and lockouts in the United States is approximately complete. It is believed that no labor disturbance of importance has escaped notice and inclusion in the reports of the Bureau.
In the general tables of this report and in the text tables drawn therefrom no strikes or lockouts are included which lasted less than a single day. These disturbances were considered of minor importance, and therefore were not fully investigated in the preceding investigations. The results of an investigation of these short strikes and lockouts covering the five years 1901 to 1905 are presented in a separate section in the text, pages 101 to 104. In conducting an investigation of this character it is extremely difficult to get any traces of these short disturbances after any considerable period of time has elapsed, and it would be equally difficult to secure any definite information concerning them, even if any traces of them could be obtained.
As strikes of less than a single day are more frequently wholly successful than longer strikes, the inclusion of these shorter strikes would increase to a small extent the percentage of successful strikes as given in the tables; but as these partial day strikes usually involve a comparatively small number of employees and small establishments, there would be very little other change of any consequence in the tables in this report if such strikes had been included.
In this period of twenty-five years there were 36,757 strikes and 1,546 lockouts in the United States, making a total of 38,303 disturbances of this character. As above indicated, disturbances of less than one day's duration are not included in these numbers.
Strikes occurred in 181,407 establishments and lockouts in 18,547 establishments, making a total of 199,954 establishments involved in these disturbances. The total number of persons who went out on strike during the twenty-five years was 6,728,048 and the number of persons locked out was 716,231, making a total of 7,444,279 persons striking and locked out.
Because of the dependence of one occupation upon another the cessation of work by strikers and employees locked out often renders it impossible for fellow-employees in the same establishment to continue work. The number of employees, including strikers, thrown out of work by strikes within this period of twenty-five years was 8,703,824, and the number thrown out of work by lockouts was 825,610, making a total of 9,529,434 persons thrown out of work by these labor disturbances in the establishments involved. In the above figures estab
involved in different strikes and lockouts. On the other hand, no attempt has been made to estimate the number of persons thrown out of work in establishments not involved in the disturbances but closely dependent in many ways on the establishment involved, as in furnishing material, etc. . Of the 36,757 strikes from 1881 to 1905, 68.99 per cent were ordered by labor organizations, and 31.01 per cent were begun either by employees who were not members of organizations, or who, if members of organizations, went on strike without the sanction of their organizations. Of the 181,407 establishments involved in strikes, 90.34 per cent were included in strikes ordered by organizations. Strikes ordered by labor organizations included 79.69 per cent of all strikers and 77.45 per cent of the total persons thrown out of work in establishments involved in strikes.
The average duration of strikes per establishment was 25.4 days and of lockouts 84.6 days. The strike or lockout does not, of course, always result in the closing of the establishment affected, but in strikes 111,343, or 61.38 per cent of all establishments involved, were closed an average of 20.1 days. In lockouts 12,658, or 68.25 per cent of all establishments involved, were closed an average of 40.4 days. The days here referred to are calendar days, including Sundays and holidays.
Employees who struck succeeded more often than they failed; thek succeeded in winning all the demands for which the strike was undertaken in 47.94 per cent of the establishments, succeeded partly in 15.28 per cent of the establishments, and failed to win any of their demands in 36.78 per cent of the establishments. On the other hand, employé ers succeeded more often than they failed when they locked out their employees. Lockouts resulted in favor of emplovers in 57.20 per cent of the establishments thus involved, succeeded partly in 10.71 per cent of the establishments, and failed in 32.09 per cent of the establishments.
Strikes ordered by labor organizations were wholly successful in 49.48 per cent of the establishments involved, partly successful in 15.87 per cent of the establishments, and failed in 34.65 per cent of the establishments. Strikes not ordered by labor organizations were wholly successful in 33.86 per cent of the establishments involved, partly successful in 9.83 per cent of the establishments, and failed in 56.31 per cent of the establishments.
Of the 8,703,824 employees thrown out of work by strikes, 90.57 per cent were males and 9.43 per cent were females. Of the 825,610 thrown out of work by lockouts, 84.18 per cent were males and 15.82 per cent were females.
As might naturally be expected, more strikes were occasioned by