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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
WOMEN’S BUREAU
Bulletin No. 176

Application of Labor Legislation
to the Fruit and Vegetable Canning
and Preserving Industries




UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary

WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director

+

Application of Labor Legislation
to the Fruit and Vegetable Canning
and Preserving Industries

Sjrcs qt
Bulletin

of the

Women’s Bureau

No. 176

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1940

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.




Price 20 cents

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CONTENTS

•*

^

*
■*

*

Letter of transmittal
vn
Salient facts
The canning of vegetables and deciduous fruits_____________________
Cold-packed and frosted fruits and vegetables______________________
The citrus-canning industry
The dried-fruit industry
The Hawaiian pineapple-canning industry
16
Scope of survey
Product coverage
Plant and employee coverage___________________
Information secured
22
The canning of vegetables and deciduous fruits
25
Products canned
25
Extent of season, peak load, and period canneries are open__________
One-seasonal-vegetable canneries.
27
Two-seasonal-vegetable canneries
40
Three-or-more seasonal-vegetable canneries_____________________
Fruit canneries
42
Seasonal-vegetable-and-fruit canneries
44
Nonseasonal-product canneries
44
Seasonal-and-nonseasonal-product canneries___________________
In summary
Other businesses operated by canners
Employer coverage in State unemployment compensation laws______
Location of canneries
Size of community
Fair Labor Standards Act coverage ofcanneries_________________
Distance between canneries and producing farms_______________
The cannery worker
57
Character of work and number and sex of workers______________
Preparation of vegetables
57
Preparation of fruits
60
Other occupations
61
Numbers employed in canning season and at other times___
Individual worker’s amount of employment_____
__
Sources of seasonal labor supply___ ____
Hours worked________________________ _____________
Method of securing data
69
Hours worked, 1938, and State hour regulation____________
Hours worked, season of 1939
Hourly earnings
88
Systems of wage payment
88
State minimum-wage provisions for canneries______________
Union organization
90
Fair Labor Standards Act__
Hourly earnings, season of 1938
Earnings in various sections ofCalifornia___________________
Effects of State wage regulation, 1938
Hourly earnings, season of 1939
Hourly earnings in 1938 and in 1939—Identical plants_____
Weekly earnings in 1938
Annual earnings of individual workers in 1937__________________
Employee eligibility under State unemployment compensation laws-Labor costs
117
Costs in fresh-vegetable canneries____________
-_____________
Costs on other products
Canned goods and the Public Contracts Act




in

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108
111
112
114
118
121
122

CONTENTS

IV

Page

Cold-packed and frosted fruits and vegetables---------------------------------------Cold-packed fruits------------- -----------------------------------------------------------Frosted fruits and vegetables----------------------------------------------------------Plants visited
Hours worked--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hourly earnings-----------------------------------------------------------------------------The canning of citrus fruits and juices in 1939---------------------------------------Pack and employee coverage----------------------------------------------------------Size of community and distance of cannery from fruit supply - -.......
Length of season-------------------------------------------------------------—
Source of seasonal labor supply------------------------------------------------Hours worked--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hourly earnings------------------------------------- --------------------------------- -----The dried-fruit industry----- .----------------------------------------------------------------Preparation of dried fruit
Length of packing season---------------------------------------------------------------Location of packing plants-------------------------------------------------------------Hours worked--------------------------------------------------------------------------------In 1938 season------------------------------------------------------------------------In 1939 season
Earnings---------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------Season of 1938-- -----------------------------------------------------------------Season of 1939
Annual earnings and number of weeks worked..-----------------------Hawaiian pineapple-canning industry----------------- -----------------------Length of canning season
Occupations---------------- -----------------------------------------------------------Race---------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------Source of seasonal labor- .
—--------------- . —
Hours worked in pay-roll week------------------------------------------ -----Hourly earnings----------------------------------------------------------- .----------Week’s earnings----------------------------------------------------------------------Year’s earnings-----------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix—Schedule forms-------- --------------------------------------------------------

125
125
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126
126
128
130
130
131
131
133
134
135
138
138
139
140
141
141
142
142
142
143
144
149
149
149
151
151
152

152
154
154
156

TABLES
I. Amount of products canned or preserved in 1937 and amount
produced by plants included in 1938 and 1939 surveys------II. Number of plants and of employees in vegetable and fruit
canning and preserving in 1937 and number included in
1938 and 1939 surveys, by State--------------- III. Number of weeks over which canneries operated in 1937 and
number of days on which canning was done, by type of pack.
IV. Number of plants employing a specified minimum number of
workers in a specified number of weeks as provided in State
unemployment compensation laws, by type of pack---------V. Number of plants employing a specified minimum number of
workers in a specified number of weeks as provided in State
unemployment compensation laws, by State---------------VI. Distribution of plants and of total pack in 1937 according
to size of community, by State—Canned vegetables and
fruits —
VII. Occupation and sex of employees, by product canned or
packed—1938 survey.- ----------------------------------------------- VIII. Average number of employees per plant during and out of
the canning season in the principal canning States, by type
of pack
65
IX. Percent distribution of employees according to number of
weeks they worked in 1937, by type of pack---------------X. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Tomatoes
and tomato products—
XI.Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Corn .
XII. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Peas----XIII. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Green beans.




21
22
28
52
53
55
62

67
71
73
74
76

CONTENTS

V
Page

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j

XIV. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Spinach;
asparagus; sauerkraut
77
XV. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Pickles;
78
olives
XVI. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Large fruits;
small fruits
79
XVII. Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—Jams, jellies,
preserves, and fruit juices; pork and beans__________________
80
XVIII. Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by
product and by State (identical plants inmost cases)______
82
XIX. Hours worked by all employees, 1939 season, in Arkansas,
Florida, and Texas—Tomatoes and tomato products; string
beans; spinach
88
XX. Average hourly earnings of total, men, and women employees,
1938 season, by product canned ___________________________
91
XXI. Average hourly earnings of all employees, 1938 season, by type
of plant and product canned _______________________________
93
XXII. Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Tomatoes and tomato products____________________
94
XXITI. Distribution of total, men, and women employees, according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Corn:_____________________________________________
95
XXIV. Distribution of total, men, and women employees, according
to hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Peas ____________________________________________
96
XXV. Distribution of total, men, and women employees, according
to hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Green beans__________________________
XXVI. Distribution of total, men, and women employees, according
to hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Large fruits; small fruits
99
XXVII. Distribution of total, men, and women employees, according
to hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Jams, jellies, preserves, fruit juices_____ __________
100
XXVIII. Hourly earnings in the various occupations in three areas in
California, 1938 season_________________________ ____________
101
XXTX. Average hourly earnings of all employees, 1939 season, by
State, size of locality, and distance from source of supply—
Tomatoes and tomato products
106
XXX. Comparison of hourly earnings of all employees in identical
plants, seasons of 1938 and 1939, by product and State __
109
XXXI. Average week’s earnings of men and women, 1938 season, by
product and State
111
XXXII. Year’s earnings of individual employees in 1937, by weeks
t
worked—All cannery workers
113
XXXIII. Relation of labor costs to total costs, by type of pack and by
State, 1938_______________________________________________
120
XXXIV. Hours worked by all employees, 1939 season, by State—Coldpacked and frosted products
127
XXXV. Distribution of all employees according to hourly earnings,
1939 season, by State and population group—Cold-packed
and frosted products
129
XXXVI. Number of establishments visited and number of persons they
employed, 1938-39 season, by State—Citrus-fruit products.
131
XXXVII. Number of weeks over which canneries operated in 1938 and in
1939, and number of days on which canning was done, by
State—Citrus-fruit products
132
XNXVTTT. Hours worked by all employees, 1939 season, by State—Citrusfruit products
135
XXXIX. Distribution of all employees according to hourly earnings,
1939 season, by State and population group—Citrus-fruit
products
136
XL. Distribution of plants and of total pack in 1937 according to
size of community, by State—Dried fruits__________________
140




VT

CONTENTS

XLI. Hours worked by all employees, 1938 season, by State—Dried
fruits
]41
XLII. Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by
State—Dried fruits (identical plants in most cases)________
XLIII. Distribution of total, men, and women employees according
to hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by
State—Dried fruits
143
XLIV. Distribution of all employees according to hourly earnings,
1939 season, by State and population group—Dried fruits-XLV. Average year’s earnings of employees in 1937, by weeks worked
and by State—Dried fruits ______________________________
XLVI. Year’s earnings of individual employees in 1937, by State—
Dried fruits___________
XLVII. Distribution of women and men according to hours worked in
one week in 1939—Pineapple canning
152
XLVIII. Hourly earnings of workers, by sex and occupational group—
Pineapple canning________________
XLIX. Number of weeks worked and amount earned in year, by men
and women—Pineapple canning
155

Page
142

144
145
146

153

CHARTS
I. Period over which specified products were canned in principal canning
States, 1937:
A. Canneries packing one seasonal vegetable___________________
B. Canneries packing two seasonal vegetables__________________
C. Canneries packing three or more seasonal vegetables________
D. Canneries packing fresh fruits only
31
E. Canneries packing seasonal fruits and seasonal vegetables___
F. Canneries packing seasonal and nonseasonal vegetables______
G. Canneries packing seasonal and nonseasonal products of all
week in 1937 in principal canning States:
A. Canneries packing one seasonal vegetable:
1. Tomatoes
35
2. Corn
37
3. Peas
39
B. Canneries packing two seasonal vegetables__________________
C. Canneries packing three or more seasonal vegetables________
D. Canneries packing fresh fruits only_______________
E. Canneries packing seasonal fruits and seasonal vegetables___
F. Canneries packing seasonal and nonseasonal vegetables______
G. Canneries packing seasonal and nonseasonal products of all
kinds____________________________________________________
III. Employment trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938_
IV. Pay-roll trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938____




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43
45
48
148
148

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department

oe

Labor,

Women’s Bureau,

Washington, May 21, 1940.
Madam: I have the honor to transmit herewith a study of the appli­
cation of labor and social legislation to the canning and preserving
of fruits and vegetables. This study was made in order that current
facts would be available to guide Federal and State administrators
in the application of specific laws to these industries. So urgent was
the demand for this information that 1938 data were issued in pre­
liminary form in December. This report combines the earlier survey
with the survey of 1939.
Women’s Bureau funds were supplemented in part by funds from
the Division of Public Contracts and from the Wage and Hour Divi­
sion. The report was made possible by the courteous cooperation
of the National Canners Association and almost 700 employers.
The survey was directed by Bertha M. Nienburg, chief economist
of the Bureau. The field work in the Middle West was supervised
by Caroline Manning and on the Pacific coast and in Hawaii by Ethel
Erickson. Isadore Spring supervised the statistical compilations.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.




VII

Chart l-G.—Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937
[Each bar indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a State; as different canneries began and ended on different dates, the over-all period is longer than that during which
any individual plant canned.]
B

Canneries packing SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL PRODUCTS OF ALL KINDS
Jan.

Feb.
vo

Mar.

o r­ vO f*'* O C"
H CV CV
H OiOi

Apr.

June

May

July

O PU"\ CM ON \D
iH r-1 CV Hto»ncvo
HHW
H CV

HH

n

Aug.
C"

n

CALIFORNIA
Seasonal vegetables

spinach

Sept.

eas
^

| asparagus

Oct.

Dec.

Nov.

iH CO sf H CO
CV (J"0
O
f- ^HCOvtH
H CV CV
HrlOi
HfVn 'O H o cv
rl H CV
cv
tomatoes

green beans

spinach
apricots
Fresh fruits

1 prunes 1
,
J—*---------- * peaches

cherries

L

Non-seasonal fresh vegetables

potatoes

fruit cocktail

beets

porn Jkin

park & b.

preserves

Non-seasonal products
dry beans and hominy all year■W

dry prunes

olives

ILLINOIS
Seasonal vegetables

tomatoes

asparagus
peas

Non-seasonal products
dry pea s

Non-seasonal fresh vegetables




porlc & beans

dry be ans, spa,ghetti, sou p,all ye ar
____________1

a toes

purr pkin

1./ As used on these charts "all year" signifies canning at convenient times during the
year.

4

n

June

,Or*'vOC'-OCr\OfWASHINGTON

lima beans
asparagus

Seasonal vegetables

cherries
berries

Fresh fruits

Non-seasonal fresh vegetable;
and non-seasonal products

gr. beans

carrots

pork and beans, kraut, pickles, preserves
VI

+ *. I 1

apple3

pears
grapes

pump.

Et Y*

tomatoes

Seasonal vegetables and beets

beets

hominy
Non-seasonal products




spaghetti
kraut

hominy

kraut

hominy
ipaghetti

Chart l-G.—Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937
[Each bar indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a State; as different canneries began and ended on different dates, the over-all period is longer than that during which
any individual plant canned.]

Canneries packing SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL PRODUCTS OF ALL KINDS—Continued
June

MARYLAND
Seasonal vegetables

tomatoes

green beans
spinach, all year

Non-seasonal products
and mixed vegetables

mixed

dry beans
ary peas

Seasonal and non-seasonal
vegetables and nonseasonal products

Fresh fruits and
preserves
NEW JERSEY
Seasonal and non-seasonal
vegetables and nonseasonal products

tomatoes

green beans
carrots,beets, kraut, pork and beans,
all year

|

asparagus
apples

apples

preserves all year

beans,
year

asparagus

pears

tomatoes

INDIANA
Non-seasonal products
and tomatoes

dry beans, pork and beans, hominy, all year

tomatoes

As used on these charts ’’all year" signifies canning at convenient times during the year.




pimentoes

puraj kin

Application of Labor Legislation to the Fruit
and

Vegetable Canning and Preserving
Industries
SALIENT FACTS

Labor legislation must be framed in general terms to insure the
inclusion of all contemplated groups. In its application to specific
industries, however, differences in industrial operations require con­
sideration if the protection or benefits the law is intended to bestow
on workers are to be achieved generally. It is well known that the
industries of canning and preserving fresh fruits and vegetables have
distinctive problems due to the uncertainty of weather conditions
that affect the periods of crop maturity and the size and quality of
the crop. The more than 300,000 wage earners who find some em­
ployment during the year in these industries can be benefited by labor
legislation only as such legislation takes into consideration the in­
dustries’ peculiar and recurrent daily and seasonal uncer tain ties.
While surveys of canning and preserving have been made in specific
States from time to time, no current facts have been available in this
period of enactment of new National labor legislation and additional
State minimum-wage legislation to guide Federal and State adminis­
trators in the application of specific laws to these industries. Maxi­
mum-hour and minimum-wage laws for women and minors applicable
to canning and preserving have been in effect in some States for more
than 20 years. In the last 7 years, however, other States with
canning and preserving plants have enacted such legislation. These
food industries are included under the old age insurance and unem­
ployment compensation provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935.
The Public Contracts Act of 1936 calls for the establishment of a
minimum in rates of pay and a maximum in hours of work on Govern­
ment contracts, many of which include canned and preserved foods.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, regulating wages and hours
in industries engaged in interstate commerce, has special provisions
relating to these industries.
The Women’s Bureau has secured information essential to the
application of these several Federal and the various State laws to
canning and preserving. This was made possible by the cooperation




2

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

of members of the industry and their State and National associ­
ations, who gave access to all available essential records. The study,
inaugurated in 1938 prior to the enactment of the Fair Labor Stand­
ards Act, was supplemented by a follow-up survey in 1939 to secure
additional facts pertinent to the interpretation of that act. The
survey covered 693 plants, in 19 States, that employed in a maximum
month 153,328 persons. These plants canned, preserved, coldpacked, frosted, or dried 40 percent or more of the principal products
so preserved in Continental United States. In addition 4 Hawaiian
pineapple canneries, employing 12,650 persons, were visited. The
detailed presentation of facts concerning the location of canning and
preserving plants, the products handled, length of season, numbers
employed, peak loads, hours worked, hourly earnings, annual earnings,
and labor costs will be found in the body of the report. There is
here presented a brief summary of the application of the several
Federal and State laws to these industries as revealed by the detailed
study of each industry.
THE CANNING OF VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS
HOUR REGULATIONS

Effect of State Regulation.
State regulation of hours has applied to women and minors in
canning plants for a longer time than other wage and hour legislation.
While women comprise from about 30 percent to 70 percent of the
production staff, depending on the kind of product canned, they are
engaged in occupations essential to the continuous performance of
canning. Their presence on the canning line is necessary for. the
operation of the other sections of the line; their hours affect the hours
of many men employees.
Canners usually have requested special privileges or complete ex­
emption from State hour laws. Their requests have been based on
the perishability of vegetables and fruits and their inability to control
crop congestion at the cannery when weather conditions bring the
crop suddenly to the perfect canning stage. Though some canners
have done much to prevent congestion by staggering the planting
time and scattering the fields to avail themselves of different weather
conditions, and, when two or more plants are operated by one firm, by
distributing produce from the maturing fields to their several plants,
all believe that some crop congestion is inevitable.
The survey of employment conditions in 1937, the best canning year
for some time, revealed that all seasonal-product canneries have peak
loads; that is, weeks in which crops reach the cannery in far greater
volume than at other times. As it is the practice to can crops when




SALIENT FACTS

3

perfect, to attain the best quality and to avoid spoilage, heavy de­
liveries of fruits or vegetables at the cannery bring about the period
of peak activity. During 1937 peak operations lasted not more than
4 weeks in the majority of plants, and on the larger number of products
they lasted hut 2 or 3 weeks.
In the past, States have modified their hour laws for women in
several ways to meet this condition. California, Wisconsin, and Ar­
kansas laws have the same basic hours for canning as for other
manufacturing industries, but canneries are permitted to employ
women longer if they pay overtime for the additional hours. In Cali­
fornia the daily hours are 8; over 8 up to 12 hours must be paid for at
time and a quarter, and over 12 hours at double time. Wisconsin
permits 8 emergency days of 11 hours with a 60-hour week in pea
canneries and a day of 10 hours in other canneries, if time and a half
is paid for daily hours in excess of 9. In Arkansas overtime may be
worked by women if hours of more than 9 a day and 64 a week are
paid for at time and a half, the period of overtime being limited to 90
days.
Other States extend the hours that canneries may employ women
during specified periods beyond the maximum for other manufacture
and do not require overtime rates. In Illinois, with an 8-hour day
and a 48-hour week, canneries may operate for 10 hours a day and
60 a week from June 1 to October 15. New York also has an 8-48
hour law, but in canneries a 10-hour day and 60-hour week applies
from June 15 to October 15, and permits may be secured to work
women 12 hours a day and 66 a week from June 25 to August 5.
Minnesota exempts canneries from the 54-hour law if employment
lasts not more than 75 days. Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia,
and Washington exempt canneries entirely from the State hour laws.
These State hour laws and regulations were in effect before and
during the 1938 canning season. The only Federal law affecting hours
of employment was the Public Contracts Act, which was confined to
firms having Government contracts in excess of $10,000. Canneries
with such contracts may employ people more than 8 hours a day or
40 hours a week on Government contracts only if overtime at not
less than one and a half times the regular rate is paid.
While crop and market conditions and certain other influences are
factors in determining actual hours of work, the hours of operation
in an active week in 1938 reflect to some extent the effects of many
years under such laws. The California plan of overtime payment for
hours in excess of 48 a week has not limited hours for women to 48,
though the largest proportion work less than that; rather it has
tended to limit the overtime to within 8 hours a week for all but a
proportionately few women. Men’s hours are not covered by State




4

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

regulation, but the shortening of women’s hours has a tendency to
lower the proportion of men who work long hours as compared with
conditions in States without such regulation.
Wisconsin too requires overtime pay for hours beyond the legal
maximum (9 a day and 54 a week), to eliminate over-long hours in
canneries. Very few women worked overtime on the State’s most
important crops in 1938. The hours of many men employees were
excessive when the pea crop was canned, due unquestionably to the
much larger proportion of men than of women employed in pea
canning. In Arkansas, which also regulates hours by extra payments,
comparatively few women or men were employed beyond the time
at which overtime rates for women begin.
New York and Illinois have extended operating hours for women in
canneries to 10 a day and 60 a week, New York allowing 12 hours a
day and 66 a week on permit. One result of this type of hour regu­
lation is that New York State vegetable canneries hold the record for
the longest hours of employment of women in 1938 among all States
reporting. Illinois canneries, however, seldom employed women as
long as 60 hours during the season. In States that entirely exempt
canneries or are without hour regulations, there was a marked tendency
to employ a considerable proportion of women over 48 but under 56
hours and a smaller proportion beyond 56 hours.
The many tables on hours worked in the body of the report
and the appendix 1 indicate clearly that State regulations requir­
ing overtime pay for women after 48 or 54 hours are more effec­
tive in reducing hours of work for women and for men than is a
definite restriction of hours to 60.

Effect of Public Contracts Act.
The payment of overtime rates after 8 hours daily or 40 hours weekly
is a provision of the Public Contracts Act for Government contracts
of over $10,000. Because California canners were accustomed to
pay higher rates for hours in excess of 8, as were Washington canners
through union agreements, and Wisconsin canners for hours in excess
of 9, canneries in these three States continued to bid on Government
contracts, either directly or through brokers, after the passage of the
Public Contracts Act. Reports from other States are that an unwill­
ingness exists among canners to bid for contracts that would bring
them under the overtime provisions of the act. Unstandardized
Government purchasing practices for subsistence items render it a
simple matter to supply canned food to Government agencies and
remain outside the present provisions of the Public Contracts Act.
1 Appendix tables available in the Women’s Bureau.




^

SALIENT FACTS

5

Effect of Fair Labor Standards Act.a
The Fair Labor Standards Act was in effect during the 1939 canning
season but did not apply to canneries in rural communities that
were within 10 miles of the fields from which produce was received.
While location within an unincorporated community of under 2,500
population (according to the 1930 Census) is definite, relationship
to fields from which produce is procured is a variable. The yield in
different fields from year to year because of variable weather condi­
tions, differences in market demands, and cannery requirements may
cause the distance from cannery to producing fields to change from
year to year. This situation, coupled with the belief of canners in
incorporated towns adjacent to other canneries in unincorporated
areas that the 1939 definition of “area of production” was unfair,
threw a cloud of doubt over opinion as to what canneries were covered
by the act. According to the data supplied in the 1939 study, about
three-fifths were in communities of under 2,500 population, hut only
one-third were so situated and obtained all produce within 10 miles.
As already stated, the Fair Labor Standards Act permits canneries
engaged on perishable or seasonal fresh fruits or vegetables to work
14 weeks of unlimited hours without the payment of overtime rates.
As a matter of fact, periods of peak operation are of short duration and
seldom exceed 4 weeks, so the period in which long hours are per­
mitted by the act is far beyond the real needs of the canning industry.
On the other hand, the peak period of operation results in very long
hours for a considerable proportion of the workers on every perishable
product in many States. When peas were canned in 1939, hours
exceeded 56 for from 7 percent of the workers in Iowa to about 50
percent of those in Minnesota. In tomato and tomato-products
canning in 1939 the proportion of workers employed in excess of 56
hours ranged from 5 percent in Arkansas to 47 percent in New York;
on corn canning, from 31 percent in Indiana and Minnesota to 56
percent in New York. These figures include canneries within and
outside of the areas of production. Division by location of canneries
in rural areas or in towns of 2,500 population or more shows little
difference in the proportion of workers employed in excess of 56 hours
in an active week. In tomato canneries in rural areas, 29 percent of
all with hours reported, as compared with 32 percent of those in towns
of 2,500 or more, worked in excess of 56 hours. In rural corn can­
neries 38 percent of the employees, as compared with 35 percent of
those in town canneries, worked over 56 hours, whereas in rural pea
canneries the proportion with such hours was 43 percent as contrasted
with 37 percent in town pea canneries.
a See note, p. 17.




6

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
While prevailing hours in an active week were longer in 1939
than in 1938, the picture of near-peak operations leads to the
conclusion that little success has been attained by canneries
in keeping operating hours of all workers within 56, in spite of
attempts at planting control and present cold-storage facilities.

Long hours of work are sometimes required by a shortage of labor,
but in the canneries of every State, on every product, there were
many employees who worked under 40 hours in the same week that
others worked over 56 hours. The heavy load was carried by only a
part of the operating staff. It is a canning practice in almost all
plants to hire workers before the crop load arrives and employ them
part time, thus insuring an adequate supply of workers for the peak
period. There was no indication of any shortage of workers, even for
very irregular weeks of employment, though the survey took no ac­
counting of skills required and the availability of skilled workers.
WAGE REGULATIONS

Rates of pay and earnings of cannery employees were influenced by
State minimum-wage orders for women in 1938 and by such orders
and the Fair Labor Standards Act during the 1939 season. Ten of
the States included in the survey have minimum-wage laws, but only
States in which the statute has been on the books many years have
issued wage orders covering women employed in canneries. These
States are Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Washington, and
Arkansas.
Effect of State Minimum-Wage Orders.
Wisconsin and Minnesota minimum-wage commissions provide a
fixed minimum rate for experienced women but vary the rate with
the size of the community. Other State commissions fix the same
rate for all canneries. Both Wisconsin and California orders make
provision for piece-rate payments providing such rates yield to half
the experienced women the specified minimum time rate in California,
and 3 cents more than the time-rate minimum in Wisconsin. In
California, canners must elect to operate under the piece-rate system,
whereupon their pay rolls are audited each week to insure compliance
with the order.
The influence of these State wage orders that have been in effect
many years is reflected in hourly earnings for the 1938 season. Though
most Wisconsin pea canneries were in the smaller communities, where
a minimum wage of 20 cents an hour is required for canneries, rela­
tively few women were paid so little, the prevailing rates in 1938 being
22/4 cents and 25 cents. The rate of 22)4 cents was the minimum for
canneries in larger communities. Nor did Minnesota pea canneries
take advantage of lower minimum rates for their rural communities.




SALIENT FACTS

7

Though most of the pea canneries were in communities of under
3,000 population or 3,000 and under 5,000, where the minimum rates
fixed were 24 cents and 27 cents an hour, respectively, the larger
numbers of women received 25 cents, 30 cents, 32% cents, or 35 cents
an hour. In contrast, pea canneries in New York, a State with a
minimum-wage law but with no rates set for canneries in 1938, paid
20 cents or less to 17 percent of the women employed. In Maryland,
without a State minimum-wage law, over three-fourths (78 percent)
of the women workers on peas had hourly earnings of 20 cents or less.
In California, two-thirds of the canneries elected to operate on the
piece-rate system that guarantees that at least 50 percent of the
experienced women workers will earn the time-rate minimum of
33% cents or the difference will be divided among all women workers.
Many California canneries were union plants in 1938, and their basic
minimum rates for women were 42% cents for time workers and 44
cents for 50 percent of all piece workers. These rates unquestionably
raised the level of earnings of California women cannery workers.
The effects of the State method of operating a minimum-wage law can
be seen clearly in the 1938 earnings distribution. The basic piecerate system in operation brought about a wide spread in earnings
with no concentration at the minimum time or basic piece rate. Ten
percent of the women employed on large fruits and 12 percent of those
on tomatoes earned less than the minimum rate of 33% cents an hour.
Some of these women were especially licensed handicapped workers
and learners, but others were women who could not make the State
minimum at prevailing piece rates. At the other end of the earnings
scale, over 25 percent of the women earned 42% cents to 44 cents in
preparing large fruits, and 30 percent earned such amounts on to­
matoes. As many as 20 percent earned at least 53 cents an hour on
large fruits.
All wage data assembled in the detailed report reveal that State
minimum-wage orders for women workers have raised materially
the level of earnings of women cannery employees above that in
States without such orders.

When orders fix a flat minimum time rate for all experienced women
workers in canneries, such orders set a bottom below which wages do
not fall and above which wages rise for large occupational groups
rather than individuals, as conditions warrant. The piece-rate system
with a guarantee of a basic rate to at least 50 percent of the workers
permits a higher basic rate than can be secured on the flat-rate basis
but does not operate to set a bottom below which earnings cannot fall.
Rather it serves to protect all women from piece rates too low to yield
fair amounts to the woman of average speed, and it continues the
wide spread in earnings that differences in operating abilities of workers
bring about. The relative expenditure for the labor of women and
227123”—10------ 2




8

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

men in California canneries exceeds that in canneries putting up the
same products in other States.
Effect of Fair Labor Standards Act.®
The Fair Labor Standards Act was in effect in the case of all can­
neries outside the “area of production” in the season of 1939. Accord­
ing to its provisions all workers, regardless of sex, were to be paid at
least 25 cents an hour if the cannery was in a community of 2,500 or
more population and was more than 10 miles from the fields where
the produce was secured.
The immediate effect of this act was to decrease the numbers
of workers earning under 25 cents an hour and to raise slightly
the total amount paid out to workers.

In the same tomato-canning firms in Indiana the wage bill for 1939
was greater by about 4 percent than that for 1938 and the number of
workers earning under 25 cents decreased from 14 percent to 5 per­
cent. In Maryland tomato canneries the proportion earning under
25 cents was reduced from 51 percent to 29 percent and the wage bill
was raised by 5 percent. In Illinois the change was from 17 percent
to 12 percent earning under 25 cents on tomatoes. In both New
York and Wisconsin, while 19 percent and 43 percent, respectively,
earned less than 25 cents on tomatoes in 1938, in 1939 almost no one
earned less than 25 cents. Corresponding decreases occurred on
other products and in various States.
Unaffected by the act were canneries in communities of under
2,500 that stated they secured all their produce from a distance of
not more than 10 miles. Over 90 percent of all employees in Arkansas
and Virginia tomato canneries earned less than the minimum, and
almost three-fourths of those in Texas did so, though most Texas
canneries were outside the area of production as defined by the
Administrator. Forty-seven percent of Maryland tomato workers
in towns of under 2,500 earned less than 25 cents, though in this
State, too, not all canneries secured their tomatoes solely within a
10-mile radius.
Canneries paying more than the minimum rate set by the
Fair Labor Standards Act did not reduce rates whether or not
they came under the wage provisions of the act. As a result,
wide variations still occur in the amount paid to workers can­
ning the same product in different States.

On tomatoes and tomato products processed inside the area of pro­
duction the range in average earnings of the workers in 1939 was from
15.5 cents an hour in Arkansas to 30.3 cents in Illinois. In plants
outside the production area the range was from 21.2 cents in Texas11
11 See note, p. 17.




«

%.

p

£

SALIENT FACTS

9

tomato canneries to 47.3 cents in California tomato canneries. On
corn canning the range of earnings as between States and between
canneries included and excluded by the act was narrow. But on
peas, in canneries outside the provisions of the act, average hourly
earnings ranged from about 14 cents in Virginia to about 50 cents in
Washington. In pea canneries within the coverage of the act
the rates varied from nearly 26 cents in Arkansas and Virginia,
and 27 cents in Maryland, to more than 44 cents in Washington.
On green and wax beans, canneries that come under the act paid rates
yielding average earnings of 20 cents in Texas, approximately 25 cents
in Arkansas, Illinois, and Maryland, and over 46 cents in California
and Washington.
Competition is possible under such variations in wages partly
because of differences in plant efficiency and in product quality, but
also because labor costs are only a small part of total operating costs
in vegetable canning. The relation of labor costs to total costs
varies not with size of community nor with the low- or high-wage
levels of States but between canneries in the same State. In spite of
variations there is a marked tendency for this cost relation on the
same product to mass at about similar proportions in many canneries.
For example, on tomatoes and tomato products, labor costs frequently
were between 9 percent and 12 percent of total costs; in Wisconsin
pea canneries the labor costs usually were from 8 percent to 12 percent
of the total; on corn, concentration was at 10 percent but under 12
percent of total costs. Labor costs on canning small fruits usually
were low, but California labor costs on large fruits often approximated
25 percent of total costs.
While data on 1939 labor costs were limited, as books had not been
closed at the time the plants were visited, the indications are that
there was no general increase over 1938 in the proportion labor costs
were of total costs.
For the 1940 canning season there is required by the Fair Labor
Standards Act an advance in the minimum rate for all workers outside
the area of production from 25 cents to 30 cents an hour. This
advance will increase the rates for a material proportion of cannery
workers in all States but California, Oregon, and Washington, in
which State wage orders have set minimums of respectively 33 % cents,
35 cents, and 37% cents an hour.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAWS

Unemployment compensation laws in the 13 canning States included
in the 1938 survey vary widely as to employer coverage, employeeeligibility requirements, and methods of determining the amounts of
benefit payments. Five States included have special provisions for
seasonal employment that affect the canning industry. In addition,




10

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Wisconsin disqualifies individuals employed solely within the active
canning season by an employer engaged in canning fresh perishable
fruits and vegetables.
Employer coverage is based either on the number of weeks in which
a specific number of workers are employed or on the numbers em­
ployed. As of December 1939, nine States based employer coverage
on employment varying from one or more to eight or more persons in
each of 20 weeks. Wisconsin employers were covered when they
employed six or more workers in each of 18 weeks, Iowa employers
eight or more workers in each of 15 weeks, while the New York law
includes all employers of four or more persons on each of 15 days.
The Ohio law covers any employer giving work to three or more
persons for any length of time. Under these laws, 32 percent of
Iowa canners reporting in the survey, 33 percent of those in Virginia,
55 percent in Maryland, 56 percent in Indiana, 70 percent in Wiscon­
sin, 83 percent in Illinois, 92 percent in California, and 100 percent
in the six other States were included under existing State unemploy­
ment compensation laws.
Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington make spe­
cial provisions for seasonal workers, but they define such workers
variously. These provisions usually limit unemployment benefits
to the seasonal period of operation.
Employee eligibility for unemployment benefits is determined in
all 13 States on one of two bases: Either the wages received in some
specified past period, as a multiple of the weekly benefit amount or
a flat amount, or the duration of employment. According to records
made available in the survey the proportion of workers covered is as
varied as the proportion of canners. For example, only 7 percent of
the workers employed during the year in Illinois canneries were
eligible, though 83 percent of the firms had been covered, as compared
with 25 percent of the employees in Washington.
The fact that almost two-thirds of the more than 161,000 cannery
workers reporting weeks worked in 1937 were employed less than 8
weeks makes very difficult the application of unemployment compensa­
tion laws to cannery workers as such. While many men employees
had work elsewhere during the year, their chief employment was on
farms or at odd jobs in the towns. As the principal source of the
woman labor supply was the town, village, or farm housewife and
her daughter, employment opportunities in other fields for these women
necessarily were limited.
COLD-PACKED AND FROSTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Cold-packed fruits for use of jam and preserve manufacturers, pie
bakers, ice-cream makers, and soda-fountain supply houses com-




«

<

SALIENT FACTS

11

prised less than 1 percent of the total value of all canned and preserved
fruits and vegetables, according to the 1937 Census. While some
firms engage solely in this type of preserving for wholesale consump­
tion, other firms do cold preserving with other canning operations or
as a part of fresh-fruit packing or apple evaporating.
Frosted fruits and vegetables, that is, produce frozen quickly at
temperatures from zero to 50 degrees below to preserve their original
fresh condition and packaged for the retail market, constituted less
than 1 percent of the total value of all canned and preserved products
in 1937 but have increased materially in volume and value in the last
few years. Today canners perform all preparation and freezing oper­
ations, so these products have become a part of the canning industry,
though in many cases they are marketed by firms holding the quickfreeze patents.
The processes of preparing a fruit or vegetable for preserving by
cold are the same as those used in preparing the specific product for
canning. Canners today prepare all the frosted fruits and vegetables
and part of those that are cold packed. Just as the States of Washing­
ton and Oregon, the most important producers of cold-packed and
frosted fruits and vegetables, include plants making these products with
canneries under their respective State minimum-wage laws, so Federal
labor legislation may be considered as having the same general appli­
cation to plants engaging in preserving fruits and vegetables by cold
as to canneries preserving foods by means of heat. Attention need
only be called to the fact that every effort is exerted to quick-freeze
berries, peas, and other perishable foods as soon as possible after pack­
ing, and this has a tendency to increase the numbers working long
hours for the brief freezing period.
The two leading Northwestern States were not affected by the
25-cent minimum of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1939, and will
be unaffected by the 30-cent minimum in 1940, as their State minimumwage rates are higher than these amounts. With one exception, in
other States the concentration of earnings at 25 cents an hour in 1939
vvoidd appear indicative of Fair Labor Standards Act influence.
THE CITRUS-CANNING INDUSTRY
Conditions surrounding the citrus-canning industry are markedly
different from those affecting deciduous-fruit canning. Citrus fruit
and juice canning is highly centralized; by far the largest volume is
done in limited areas in Florida, Texas, and California. Its operations
cover an extended period of each year. In Florida the canning period
runs from December to July, with possibly a month’s variation at
either end in different years; in 1939 the average period of canning




12

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

was 30 weeks. The season is shorter in Texas, generally from January
to April or May; in 1939 it averaged 16 weeks in the canneries re­
porting. California, whose canned citrus production is but 10 per­
cent of the total, operates on citrus juices the year around.
Oranges and grapefruit may be stored on the trees, weather per­
mitting. As culls are largely used for canning, their arrival at the
cannery may be regulated in relation to plant capacity. Though a
seasonal industry, citrus canning can be operated without peak loads
under normal weather conditions.
State hour or minimum-wage regulations have had little part in
determining labor conditions in the citrus-canning industry. Florida,
the most important citrus-canning State, has no State hour or wage
law. Texas has a 54-hour law applicable to women, with provision
for longer hours, at double the rate, in “extraordinary emergencies”;
however, as Texas canneries put up juices primarily, on which men
only are employed as productive workers, the women in Texas citrus
plants are few. California has had wage and hour laws for women
for many years, but her canned citrus production is largely lemon
and orange juice, and women are employed, in small numbers only,
on packaging by-products.
In the main, therefore, the Fair Labor Standards Act was the first
wage and hour regulatory measure applicable to the citrus-canning
industry.
EFFECTS OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT*

Citrus canneries in Florida and Texas included in the survey were
situated almost equally in rural communities and in incorporated
towns of 2,500 population and over, while all California plants were in
incorporated areas. However, only a fourth of the canneries in rural
areas secured all their citrus fruit in the “immediate locality”; that is,
not more than 10 miles from the cannery. Consequently, most of the
citrus plants surveyed were subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act
in their 1939 season.
Hour Regulations.
According to the act, canneries outside the area of production are
exempt from the hours restriction for a period of 14 weeks, during
which they need not pay overtime rates. In a sample period of active
operation in citrus-juice plants, almost two-fifths of the employees
worked in excess of 56 hours. The overtime was most general in
Texas, where almost half the workers were employed over 56 hours.
In Florida the proportion was two-fifths, and in California it was but
one-sixth of the total. While overtime was being worked by some
employees, as many as 31 percent worked less than 40 hours. Men
a See note, p. 17.




SALIENT FACTS

*
g

*

13

are used almost entirely in these plants to handle large quantities of
fruit, tend the juicing machines, truck the cars, and dispose of the
peel.
In plants canning only citrus-fruit sections, large numbers of women
are employed to do the hand operations of cutting segments apart and
placing them in cans. In these plants the proportion employed over
56 hours was 14 percent in Florida and 36 percent in Texas. Where
firms in Florida canned both sections and juice, 24 percent of all
employees worked over 56 hours in an active canning week, though
about a fourth of the employees worked under 40 hours in the same
week.
Hours worked did not depend on the size of the community in which
the plant was situated. In Florida a far larger proportion of workers
were employed over 56 hours in rural citrus-juice plants than in plants
in towns of 2,500 or more. There was little difference in the hours
worked in rural areas and in towns in Florida plants canning citrusfruit sections.
In the 45 citrus plants included in the survey there were only 3, all
in Texas, that employed no one over 56 hours in the 1939 season.
Two California plants paid on a semimonthly basis, making it impos­
sible to determine weekly overtime. In the 36 citrus canneries covered
by the Fair Labor Standards Act and in which people were employed
over 56 hours in the active week surveyed, 2 Florida and 2 California
firms paid time and a half for work in excess of 44 hours, 4 Texas
firms paid time and a half for work in excess of 56 hours, and 28 firms
paid no higher rate for overtime work.
Wage Regulations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act brought about a marked concentra­
tion of earnings at the 25-cent minimum in citrus-fruit plants, juice
plants, and plants canning both products. However, a sixth of the
workers on citrus fruit and one-fifth of those on citrus fruit and juice
in Florida canneries in towns of 2,500 and over did not earn the mini­
mum, and three-tenths of the workers in rural Texas juice canneries
subject to the act earned less than the 25-cent rate. Most of the
workers earning under 25 cents in Florida canneries were women,
whereas in Texas practically all paid such amounts were men. In
California earnings began at 25 cents; the few women employees
earned 35 cents or more, whereas the larger number of men employed
earned at least 40 cents.
The proportion of workers in the plants reporting whose earnings
would be raised in the 1940 season to the 30-cent minimum of the Fair
Labor Standards Act would be about 55 percent in citrus-juice plants,
63 percent in fruit canneries, and 70 percent in canneries putting up
both juice and fruit.




14

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

THE DRIED-FRUIT INDUSTRY
The dried-fruit industry is concerned with the recleaning, processing,
and packaging of sun-dried fruit delivered to the packing house and
with the preparing and evaporating of fresh apples at the packing
house. While its raw materials are seasonal and must be cleaned be­
fore spoilage takes place, the urgency that controls the canning and
freezing of fruit is not a factor in packaging products already dried or
in preparing apples for evaporation. Without peak load there is no
short period of peak operation as in canning, though there is a busy
fall period with pay-roll increases for from 5 to 8 weeks.
California plants that pack many kinds of dried fruit operate the
greater part of the year; others pack a few varieties for a short period
only. In New York the apple-evaporating season runs from August
into December, in Washington from the middle of October to April.
No plant reporting operated less than 10 weeks, and the majority in
California packed for three-fourths of the year or longer.
HOUR REGULATIONS

Effect of State Hour Laws.
State hour regulations for women and minors have been applicable
to California dried-fruit packing for many years. In Washington
employees are exempt from the State maximum-hour law, but a wage
regulation requires the payment of overtime after 10 hours of work.
New York evaporated-apple plants are believed subject to the State’s
8-48 hour law, as no special exemption is granted them in the law.
The effect of these State regulations is seen clearly in the dried-fruit
industry. During an active week in the fall of 1938 nearly 70 percent
of the women employees in reporting plants in California worked less
than 48 hours, and 2 percent worked over 48 hours. In New York
the hours for most women fell between 44 and 48. However, in
Washington 39 percent of the women employees worked in excess of
48 hours, but under 56, in an active packing week.
Effect of Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Administrator of the Fair Labor Standards Act defines as
seasonal industries those “handling, extracting, or processing of
materials during a season or seasons occurring in regularly, annually
recurring part or parts of the year” and producing “50 percent or
more of their annual output in a period or periods amounting in the
aggregate to not more than 14 workweeks.”2 Such industries may
employ workers 12 hours a day and 56 hours a week, after which over2 Since this report went to press, this amendment was revised to read “receives for packing or storing
50 percent or more of the annual volume in a period or periods amounting in the aggregate to not more
than 14 workweeks/'




SALIENT FACTS

15

time rates must be paid. While weekly production records were not
available for all plants, California’s dried-fruit-plant pay rolls indicate
that 20 of the 27 plants reporting paid out half their labor bill in
14 weeks, the remaining 7 paying from 40 percent to 48 percent in
such period. It would appear, then, that the majority of Cali­
fornia dried-fruit plants would be considered seasonal under the
definition just cited. All plants receiving fresh apples for evaporation
would be subject to the same provisions as canning plants, that is,
by total exemption from the Wage and Hour Law if within the “area
of production” or by exemption during 14 weeks from the maximumhours and overtime-pay provisions of the act.
A comparison of the number of employees who worked specific hours
in 1938 and 1939 was made for dried-fruit plants. The proportion
working over 56 hours in California houses was reduced from 12
percent in 1938 to 3 percent in 1939; the number of employees in
California plants working over 44 hours was reduced from 64 percent
in 1938 to 12 percent in 1939. In Washington apple-evaporating
plants, 8 percent worked over 56 hours in 1939 as against 15 percent
in 1938. New York firms employed 11 percent in 1939, in contrast
to 20 percent in 1938, more than 56 hours a week.
WAGE REGULATIONS

Effect of State Minimum-Wage Regulations.
The California mini mum-wage rate is 33% cents an hour for ex­
perienced women and minors; 4 weeks are allowed in which to become
experienced. The Washington minimum-wage rate is 27% cents.
New York’s Industrial Commission has not as yet set a rate for driedfruit plants.
About one-eighth of the women in California dried-fruit plants
earned exactly the State minimum of 33% cents an hour. Only
2 percent earned smaller amounts and three-fourths earned 40 cents
and over. In Washington there was no concentration at the State
minimum; women employees earned from under 10 cents to 50 cents
an hour. Practically all women whose earnings were reported in
New York evaporated-apple plants earned 25 cents an horn in 1938.
Effect of Fair Labor Standards Act.
The State minimum-wage rate and union agreements in effect in
California called for higher wage rates in 1939 than those required
by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Practically all employees in
California packing houses continued to earn more than 30 cents an
hour, almost three-fifths receiving 50 cents or more. In Washington’s
rural apple plants more than one-fourth of the workers earned less
than 30 cents, and 8 percent earned even less than 25 cents. Plants




16

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

in towns of 2,500 population and over in Washington paid more than
three-fifths of their workers 30 to 35 cents an hour; no one in town
plants received under 30 cents. Practically all New York plants
were in rural communities. About one-eighth of their employees
earned under 25 cents an hour, and more than seven-tenths earned
exactly 25 cents, in the 1939 season.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

The widely differing employer-coverage provisions in the unem­
ployment compensation laws of California, New York, and Washing­
ton result in complete coverage of the evaporated-fruit plants in
New York, almost complete coverage of all in California, and twothirds coverage of those in Washington. New York and Washington
have special provisions for seasonal industries and workers. In
New York a seasonal worker, defined as one ordinarily engaged in a
seasonal industry and not engaged in any other work, is entitled to
unemployment compensation during only the longest seasonal periods
of operation, and duration of benefits is modified in proportion to
the longest seasonal periods. In Washington a seasonal worker,
defined as one who has a base year credit of which at least 80 percent
has been earned in seasonal employment, is entitled to benefits only
during the seasonal period of operation.
Employee eligibility is determined in California and Washington
on a flat amount that must have been earned during the four quarters
preceding the benefit period; in New York, on 25 times the weekly
benefit earned in the calendar year. If all California dried-fruit
plants were included under the law, only 31 percent of their employees
had sufficient year’s earnings to entitle them to coverage. Had there
been complete coverage of employers in Washington, there would
have been but 38 percent coverage of employees. Available data
do not permit determination of the New York employee coverage.
THE HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE-CANNING INDUSTRY
Hawaii has seven pineapple canneries, three of which pack about
80 percent of the output. A recent survey covered conditions in two
large and two small plants, respectively in a city and in a small rural
community. All were operating under the terms of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.
From the end of June to the middle of August, Hawaiian pineapple
canneries operate with two and three shifts a day. While peak and
near-peak employment occurred in 8 weeks in 1938, the pay rolls were
below 50 percent of the maximum in 42 weeks, in practically all of
these less than 25 percent of the maximum.




SALIENT FACTS

17

The work plan of all canneries is based on an 8-hour day for 5 days
a week, with 4 hours on Saturday, or 44 hours a week in conformity
with the Fair Labor Standards Act. During a week in the heaviest
canning period of the 1939 season, 24 percent of the women and 57
percent of the men in the cannery departments worked more than
scheduled hours; in the warehouse about 20 percent of the men and
3 percent of the women worked more than 44 hours. Even in this
peak week, however, a material proportion of the employees worked
under 40 hours.
In the Honolulu canneries the minimum hourly rate for women
was 30 cents, for men 37.5 cents; in the Maui canneries it was 26 cents
for women, 32.5 cents for men. As an actual condition, one-seventh
of all the women whose earnings were reported were paid less than
30 cents an hour, though very few men earned such amounts in the
1939 season. Women’s earnings were concentrated at 30 and under
35 cents, while over 70 percent of the men earned 35 and under 45
cents. Time over 44 hours usually was paid for at time and a half
and double time.

Note.—The statistical data contained in this report were transmitted to the Wage and Hour Division
of the Department of Labor in January 1940. The Division held public hearings on its regulation concern­
ing “area of production” as stated in section 536, 2 (d) of part 536 of the Administrator’s regulations and as
described in the text of this report. On July 24 the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division with­
drew this regulation and redefined “area of production” for fresh fruit and vegetable handling and first
processing. Under the new definition, effective October 1, 1940, “establishments having 10 or fewer em­
ployees and obtaining their fruits and vegetables from farms in the vicinity” are within the area of produc­
tion and thereby exempt from the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.







Application of Labor Legislation to the Fruit
and

Vegetable Canning and Preserving
Industries
SCOPE OF SURVEY

In order that the 1938 survey of the canning and dried-fruit packing
industries might serve the several purposes for which it was intended,
the study was planned to secure data from a representative propor­
tion of plants producing the major food products purchased by the
United States Government, which are also the major canned or dried
vegetables, deciduous fruits, or other preserved food products pur­
chased by the public at large. Because plants producing major
products also canned or dried other fruits or vegetables, the list of
products included in the survey is long.
The first survey, made in 1938, was confined to the 13 States whose
canned or dried product comprised two-thirds or more of the same
major product for the entire country. These States are California,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The supplemental survey of 1939 added Arkansas, Florida, and
Texas to the State coverage of canned vegetables. Also included in
this survey were citrus fruit and juice canneries in Florida, Texas, and
California, and plants engaged primarily in the cold-packing or
freezing of fruits and vegetables. Hawaiian pineapple canneries were
covered in a survey of Hawaiian industries in general.
PRODUCT COVERAGE
Not all plants in the States chosen for study were included. The
surveys covered 693 plants in Continental United States and 4 plants
in Hawaii.1 The 1938 survey was so planned that field investigators
visited each State at the maturity of the State’s most important
canning crop. As a consequence, 1938 data were secured from a
larger proportion of plants canning the major product in each State
than from plants canning the State’s minor products either earlier
or later in the year. The supplemental survey, in October, Novem­
ber, and December 1939, was made after most of the seasonal vege­
table and deciduous fruit plants had ceased canning; consequently,
1 The 4 Hawaiian canneries are considered separately (see p. 149) and are not included in the body of this
report.




19

20

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

the season’s data were available for all plants included in the 1938
survey that operated in 1939. Because a material number did not
operate m 1939, or operated on fewer products than in 1938, some new
firms were added m order to make the 1939 sample adequate
The canneries included produced, in number of cases, 46X percent
ol the canned-tomato pack of the entire country in 1937 42 percent
of the corn pack, and 40 percent of the pea pack. These were the
three principal fresh vegetables canned in the United States In
addition, the survey included plants canning 43 percent of all the
beets, 39 percent of the kraut and juice, and large proportions of
other seasonal and nonseasonal vegetables. Plants canning in the
aggregate 50 percent or more of the peach, apricot, and grape-juice
pack of the country m 1937 were surveyed, and the 1939 coverage of
citrus juices was almost three-fourths, the coverage of citrus fruits
about one-fourth, of the 1937 census-recorded pack.
The coverage of dried prunes, peaches, apricots, and raisins, in
number of pounds, exceeded 40 percent of the country’s production
m 1937. Evaporated apple coverage was less, 30 percent, in 1938but it was almost 50 percent in 1939. As the census gives figures for
cold-pack and frozen vegetables and fruits in money value only the
survey’s coverage of these cannot be stated, but 55 plants were
included m 1939.
The products canned or dried by the plants included in the survey
are listed in table I.2 All these products were prepared in canneries
or dried-fruit plants; none were produced primarily in plants engaged
solely m the manufacture of spaghetti or other nonseasonal vegetables.
PLANT AND EMPLOYEE COVERAGE
Of the 693 canneries and dried-fruit-packing plants covered in the
surveys, 394 were the sole plants operated by their respective firms
the remaining 299 were operated by only 99 firms. The latter were
so selected as to provide a representative sample of the canneries
operated by each of these firms.
because of the wide variation from month to month in the numbers
employed in canneries, averages have little or no significance. The
maximum number of wage earners in any one month, as shown by
the census of 1937, was 317,326; the maximum number employed bv
the firms scheduled was 153,328, or 48 percent of the number reported
by the census. A small number of office workers and of employees
solely in maintenance jobs were not included in the 1938 studv but
were included in that of 1939.




rai™t-pudding' "in° &

*

*

21

SCOPE OF SURVEY
Table

I.—Amount of products canned or preserved in 1937 and amount produced
by plants included in 1988 and 1939 surveys
Total pack in plants
included in surveys 1* 4 * 6 7 8 9
2
Total pack
in 1937 i

Product

Amount pro­ Percent of
duced
total
Cases
200, 092,153

Pears._.

___

_______ ______________ . . -------

.

___ _________

3, 275,102
479, 671
1,185, 062
4, 791, 623
2, 518,188
1,368, 931
1,467, 362
481,314
362, 627
4 1,872, 082
186, 614
462, 985
1, 719, 523
2, 007, 581
7,190, 793

33.4
21.3
27.7
26.1
46.3
49.7
43.3
32.0
22.0
38.9
29. 8
26.8
31. 5
17.0
34.7

5 29, 203, 522

45.8

6, 757, 532
1, 669, 678
3,142,452
892, 540
590, 009
541, 363
202, 930
100,019
1,071, 929
847, 821
8, 245, 564
1, 286, 736
846, 943
3,008, 006

49.7
32.3
54.1
32.2
20.8
16.1
11.1
34.1
32.0
50.8
74.8
26.1
73.5
50.3

Pounds
1,160, 489, 002

Carrots___

46.5
42.0
39.7

13, 596,062
5, 166,106
5, 806, 377
2, 772, 427
2, 839, 635
3, 369, 265
1, 825, 759
292, 720
3, 348, 405
1,669, 419
11, 018, 957
4. 927, 970
1,152,132
5,979, 251

Spinach___ ______ ____ ____

25,630,169
10, 940, 734
9, 692, 279

63, 764,485

Beans:

37.8

55, 097,095
26, 052, 452
24, 412, 350
9, 791, 734
2, 248, 407
4, 276, 060
18, 352, 047
5,433, 876
2, 753, 876
3,386, 362
1, 505, 273
1,645, 852
4, 816, 559
626, 205
1, 726, 562
5,453,692
11,815,083
20, 698, 668

Tomatoes and tomato products_______ ____ ________________

Cases
3 75,632,640

Pounds
7 723, 005,697

62.3

63,934, 564
70, 643,022
53, 517,429
57, 929, 527
10, 771,060
441, 777, 393
449, 203, 309
12, 712,698

19,289, 753
36, 713,174
8, 695, 753
25, 775,173
3, 415,287
8185,039,057
292,171, 988
18, 264, 565
9133,640,947

30.2
52.0
16.2
44.5
31.7
41.8
65.0
143.6

1 U. S. Census of Manufactures, 1937.
2 Excludes cold-packed and frozen vegetables and fruit plants. See p. 125.
314 canneries packing 1 or more vegetables did not report amount of pack. Nor are there included cases
of products for which the census gives money value only.
4 Bulk kraut not included.
* 7 firms did not report pack.
6 Includes small amount of other juices.
7 4 firms did not report pack.
8 Excludes 23,318 cases, number of pounds not reported.
910 firms reported amount of all types of dried fruit combined.




22

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Table II shows the number of plants and of employees in the month
of maximum employment, in each State covered by the surveys, com­
pared with the 1937 census report on these States.' While the propor­
tion of employees covered in California is larger than that shown by
the census, this is due to the larger proportion of dried-fruit pack
covered in. the State, California’s representation in each canned
product being closely related to the census proportion. Indiana,
however, has a larger proportionate representation than the census’
due to a large coverage on the tomato pack.
II.—Number of plants and of employees in vegetable and fruit canning
and preserving in 1937 and number included in 1938 and 1939 surveys, by State

Table

Total in United States 1
State

Total included in surveys

Employees in
maximum month

Plants

Employees in
maximum month

Plants

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total_________ ______

2,772

100.0

2 317,326

100.0

3 4 693

100.0

4 153,328

Arkansas-. _____________
California. _________
Florida
Illinois.. ..
Indiana________ _____ _
Iowa
Maryland..................................
Michigan____ ____
Minnesota
New Jersey and Pennsylvania____
___________
New York___________
Ohio______________
Oregon
Texas____ ___________ ..
Virginia_______ ____
Washington_________ __ _
Wisconsin _________________
All other

82
406
62
107
189
60
221
74
44

3.0
14.6
2.2
3.9
6.8
2.2
8.0
2.7
1.6

5,733
81,029
9,529
17, 488
30, 514
9,009
25, 646
9, 214
11,022

1.8
25.5
3.0
5.5
9.6
2.8
8.1
2.9
3.5

33
112
25
41
74
28
77
8
17

4.8
16.1
3.6
5.9
10.6
4.0
11.1
1. 2
2. 5

2, 841
45, 633
5,190
7, 662
18,306
4, 275
9,909
l'334
6,885

141
234
115
69
75
120
87
169
517

5.1
8.4
4. 1
2.5
2. 7
4.3
3.1
6. 1
18.7

19, 525
20,631
10, 032
14, 397
5,412
9, 320
11, 158
23, 664
47, 865

6.2
6.5
3.2
4.5
1.7
2.9
3.5
7.5
15.1

8
88
15
6
25
35
31
69

1.2
12.7
2.2
.9
3.6
5.1
4.5
9.9

9, 299
12, 467
2, 613
T 743
3, 553
3^ 491
7, 545
10, 307

100.0
30.4
3. 5
12. 2
2. 8
6 6

4. 2
8.3
1. 7
1. 2
2. 4
2. 3
5.0
6.9

• U. S. Census of Manufactures, 1937.
2 Month of maximum employment varied in different States; maximum for United States is not the
total of numbers shown for States.
3 Includes 10 not reporting number of employees.
4 Tennessee included in total; not shown separately.

INFORMATION SECURED
The information presented in this study is from plant records of the
years 1937, 1938, and 1939. When agents of the Women’s Bureau
visited several hundred canneries in 13 States in 1938—their visits
so planned as to coincide in each case with the maturity of the State’s
most important canning crop—they copied, with the courteous co­
operation of the management, the pay-roll record for a recent active
week of hours worked and earnings received by each employee, by
sex and occupation. In addition they secured from the previous
year’s records the numbers of employees and the total amounts paid
in wages, week by week; and for the year as a whole the total output
of each product, the period over which each product was canned,
and the number of days on which actual canning was done. It had
been planned to get, for each week, the total pack and the man-hours,
but this was found too time-consuming. Also supplied by the




SCOPE OE SURVEY

23

management were the 1937 data compiled for social-security purposes,
showing the weeks worked and the total earnings in the year of each
person employed in 1937, by sex and occupation.
In the follow-up visits made in 1939 to the same plants, an active
week’s pay roll from recent records was copied. There were re­
quested, also, the total output, canning period, and number of canning
days, by product, in 1938; and for all 3 years—1937, 1938, and 1939
the total labor costs and total operating costs. To compensate for
plants not canning in 1939, a few plants not visited before were
scheduled and a week’s pay-roll record was copied. Further, in 1939
Florida, Arkansas, and Texas were added to the State coverage of
canned vegetables,3 as already mentioned; and citrus fruit and juice
canning and cold-packing and freezing were added to the branches
of industry covered.
.
.
In all plants the source of seasonal labor supply was inquired into,
as were facts concerning any other businesses of independent canners
and the amount of trade-union organization in the plants. In the 1938
survey, questions were asked concerning Government contracts
secured since January 1936. In 1939 particular stress was laid on
the plant location; that is, whether the physical plant was within a
town of specified size or an unincorporated area. Inquiry was made
also concerning the distance of the canning plant from sources of
supply of fruits and vegetables.4
The study divides itself naturally into several surveys of branch
industries with different processes and products; that is, into the
canning of vegetables and deciduous fruits, the canning of citrus
fruits and juices, the drying of fruits, and the cold packing or freezing
of fruits and vegetables. For simplification in treatment, each of
the branch industries will be considered separately in the body of
this report. Hawaiian canneries are discussed as a separate section.
■ These States are not included in the graphs, which were prepared before the 1939 survey—made in Oc­
tober, November, and December—was undertaken.
* See appendix, pp. 156 to 362, for schedules.

227123°—40-




-a

Chart I A.

Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937

[Each bar indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a State; as

on different dates, the over-all period is longer than that during which

,

Feb.

Mar.

o^o (no vO
o
o no t"
H oj n
H C\ W
H C\ (\
ASPARAGUS
PEAS

Apr.

May

July

June

O CrH CO.W^ CV <T inoiO'^o
HHC\
<H Oi OJ
«H fH C\i

Ceaif.p

O Is-

Aug.

Oct.

CO IT
HHOi

cj

N.Y. |

I
I

c alif.

I
'.....

Md. m

I

l_

Va. I

I

111. I

I

I nd. [

I

Iowa £
Md.




I

ZD
Oh lo

BEANS

o vO o~\ o Of^OC'
rH CM C\

I

Ind. I

CORN

Nov.

I

Wi3 • c
TOMATOES

Sept.

H C-' ^ rH to
iH Oi CV

N.Y. □

□
I

I

______I

<

Dec.
i—1 CD -sf
H H CV

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Canneries packing ONE SEASONAL VEGETABLE
Jan.

K)

THE CANNING OF VEGETABLES AND
DECIDUOUS FRUITS
PRODUCTS CANNED
Of the 580 plants canning vegetables and deciduous fruits, about
3 in 10 (32 percent) canned one seasonal vegetable only. Tomatoes
and seasonal tomato products were not only canned in largest volume
but were the product canned by the most plants among those canning
only one vegetable. This is due to the wide area in which tomatoes
for canning are grown, as well as to the extensive consumer demand
for canned-tomato products. Relatively few canners operated solely
on corn, or on peas, beans, or asparagus.
More than 10 percent of the plants extended the period of operation
by canning two seasonal vegetables, the most usual combinations
being peas and corn, peas and beans, peas and tomatoes, corn and
tomatoes; or asparagus and corn, asparagus and tomatoes; or beans
with corn or with tomatoes. Relatively few canners put up three
or more seasonal vegetables. In Illinois and Maryland, peas, beans,
tomatoes, and corn formed a usual combination in the three-or-morevegetable canning plants. In New York, broccoli and asparagus
were added to these, and in California spinach was substituted
for broccoli.
Only 3 percent of the plants surveyed canned seasonal fruits only.
Fruit cocktail and fruit salad are considered seasonal-fruit combina­
tions, primarily because they are more generally put up in the peachpear season than later, though they can be put up at any time in the
year. Seasonal fruits and seasonal vegetables were canned by only
6 percent of the plants scheduled.
For the purposes of this study the Bureau adopted the definition
of “seasonal products” appearing in the N. R. A. code for the canning
industry. This definition is as follows: “The term ‘seasonal product’
means and includes all fruits and vegetables which are required in a
fresh condition for packing, and which after reaching proper canning
maturity or being harvested or taken would not deteriorate in quality,
grade, or suitability for packing in such required fresh condition
within 48 hours.” 5
Beets, carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, kraut, and pickles are
considered nonseasonal fresh vegetables in this study. Seven percent
of the plants included packed nonseasonal vegetables only. Other
nonseasonal products packed by canning plants were dried beans of
many varieties, hominy, spaghetti, and similar products. Plants
packing only nonseasonal products of such types were not included
in this survey. Jams, jellies, preserves, and grape juices, considered
nonseasonal fruit products, were made by about 5 percent of the
plants scheduled. Olives were canned or bottled by 13 plants covered.
The second largest number of canneries in the survey put up both
seasonal and nonseasonal fruit and vegetables of many kinds. The 32
5 National Recovery Administration. Code of Fair Competition for the Canning Industry.
p. 33. 1934.




25

Sec. 7t

26

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

percent .just, reported as canning one seasonal vegetable only are
followed closely by the almost 30 percent canning many products of a
seasonal and nonseasonal nature.
To summarize: When all canneries putting up seasonal products
only are combined, they comprise 57 percent of all the plants scheduledcanneries putting up seasonal and nonseasonal products comprise
nearly 30 percent of the total; and plants putting up jams jellies
•juices, nonseasonal vegetables, or olives, 14 percent. These differences
in products bring about such wide variations in operating conditions
m canneries that the data hereinafter presented will be reviewed bv
the type of pack.
J
EXTENT OF SEASON, PEAK LOAD, AND PERIOD CANNERIES
ARE OPEN
The period over which produce is canned in the different areas de­
pends primarily on the kind of product or the combination of products
and the length of the growing season. But the length of the period
is modified by marketing factors such as the size of the inventory the
abundance of the crop, the prices in the fresh-produce markets. ’ Like
other industries, canned goods are sold today largely on a hand-tomouth basis. If there is a large carry-over of any particular canned
product, many plants will not can that product the next season and
others will can only if the farmers’ prices become advantageous If
the preceding year was good as to price and demand, much canning
will be done even on a relatively high-priced produce market- or
bumper crops may cause such low fresh-produce prices as to bring
many canneries into production. What is canned, as well as the
amount canned, depends on the judgment of each canner as to whether
the combination of existing factors will yield him a reasonable profit
Many small canners are farmers who become canners when the
fresh market is oversupplied, in order to preserve their own and their
neighbors surplus crop. Canners desiring to develop a reputation for
a standard grade of product may own their farms or orchards but
more often they contract with farmers for their crop at planting season
bometimes such canners own greenhouses and supply the small plants
to farmers, but more often they distribute the variety and quality of
seed desired and control the planting period. This is 'done not only to
maintain standards of product but to exercise some control over yield
and maturing period to assure the widest spread of crop matiirity
On fruits there may be fixed contracts between canner and grower
providing tor the entire crop at a minimum price, with surplusage if
the market price is higher than anticipated. But term contracts
are more frequent. The fruit buyer visits the fruit farm in the spring
and quotes a price 3 or 4 weeks before the crop is ripe. When the
canner has signed up the grower, the grower takes the canner’s orders
as to how much fruit should be picked each day.
Before and after canning, the plants employ'some workers to overhauf equipment, ship goods, or maintain the plant. The period over
which such employment is given depends on the size of the cannery




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

27

the amount of equipment to be overhauled, and the method of disposal
of canned goods. All canneries that stop canning operations for part
of the year must employ men to close up the plant and, when canning
is to be resumed, to get the machinery and plant into condition for
operation. Under present marketing conditions, many firms have to
warehouse their canned product, which may mean labeling goods
and shipping them throughout the year. In rural Maryland and
Virginia small canners sell through a “field broker,” who takes over
their products so that no stock is held.
Nineteen thirty-seven is considered the best canning year in some
time.6 Figures available to date indicate that it was better than 1938
on most important products. Reports from Women’s Bureau field
agents show fewer plants canning in 1939 than in 1938, which indicates
that 1939 also will show lower amounts canned than in 1937. Conse­
quently, the season of 1937 would seem to show the industry at its
1930-40 high level of operation and the length of the season and the
demand for time and personnel may be considered representative of a
good canning year.
Charts I-A to I-G show the duration of canning in each State, on
each product or combination of products. Not all plants in a State
begin canning in the same week or end in the same week; the over-all
spread shown on the charts is greater, therefore, than the average
number of weeks of packing given in table III. (For chart I-G see
frontispiece.)
Because weather conditions may cause crops to mature quickly in
spite of efforts at planting and harvesting control, and because mature
crops usually must be canned when perfect if best-quality product is
to be attained and loss is to be at a minimum, most canneries have a
period when the crop to be canned is at its height. This is known as
peak load and the period as that of peak operation. As amount of
pack week by week, and hours worked by each employee for each
week in the year, could not be compiled, the best measure of peak
load is the total amount paid out to workers in a week. On charts
II-A to II-G, 100 is the point at which the combined pay rolls were
at their peak in 1937, and the dotted curved line marks the rise and
fall in outlay for services as related to the peak. Similarly, the
unbroken line marks the numbers employed, 100 representing the
maximum employment in the year.7
ONE-SEASONAL-VEGETABLE CANNERIES

No plant canning one vegetable only canned so long as 14 weeks in
1937; in fact, the average number of weeks over which tomato and
tomato products were canned was but 8 weeks; the average period of
pea or com canning was but 5 weeks. Asparagus and beans had an
average period of 8 weeks. These facts are shown in table III.
8 For amount of pack, 1932 to 1938, see table I in mimeographed appendix to this report, available from
Women’s Bureau on request.
7 Attention is called to the fact that the scale (ratio) is unevenly spaced so as to give the same slant to the
curve where increases or decreases amount to the same percent of change. This scale gives a truer picture of
the change from week to week than is possible with the more familiar arithmetic scale, the latter showing
progression by equal differences, the former by equal ratios.




I able III.

Type of pack

Total___ ____
1 seasonal vegetable only...
Tomatoes and tomato produets_________
Corn..................... ...
Peas_______ ________

Total
number
of
plants

Under 6 weeks

Number
of plants
report­
ing

Average
number

Number
of plants

weeks

ing

Average
number
of days

Total
number
of plants

6, under 10 weeks

Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Days

Total
number
of plants

580

501

183

157

8~

147

29

124
35
18

102
35
15

8

92
35
15

30
24
22
49

1

62

59

11

49

49

22

37
16

33
13

17
20

31
11

94

1

409

8
2 seasonal vegetables only___
3 or more seasonal vegetables
only.. _____________ ____
Fruits only_______
Seasonal fruits and seasonal
vegetables___________
Seasonal and nonseasonal products of all kinds_____
Nonseasonal vegetables____
Jams, jellies, preserves, and
fruit juices____________
Olives............. .

Weeks of canning

Days on which canning was done

54

33

33

20

26

151
24

32
37

113
13

130
115

27
13

20
11

49
27

11
8

278
100

Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Days

106

Total
number
of plants

Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Days

89

19

75

68

31

29

27

43

16
23

17
21

59
12

52
12

26

24

40

1

31
29
30
37

3

3

67

18

39

27

24

1

37
34

12

11

52
67

1

1

52

44
14

10

48

1

102

170
39

53

10, under 14 weeks

1

1

20
3

3

30

63

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Weeks over which
plant canned




00

dumber of weeks over which canneries operated in 1937 and number of days on which canning was done, by type of pack

---------------------------- --------------------------------- ------- —

—

Weeks of canning—Continued

Type of pack

Total----------------------- ---------------------------------

Tomatoes and tomato products----------------------Peas*
________ ”” Hill 11
Other................-...........................................—.............
2 seasonal vegetables only------------------------------------3 or more seasonal vegetables only------------------------Seasonal and nonseasonal products of all kinds-------Nonseasonal vegetables................ .....................................




Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Total
number
of plants

Days

Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Total
number
of plants

Days

— —

— ——-

)..............

1
1
1

69
49
51

3
1

3
1

66
64

2

2

51

8
13
4
20
53
3
2
5

6
12
4
15
43
3

83
78
111
95
89
55

2
8
23
3

3

58

1

4

Average days
worked
Number
of plants

Days

93
—

—
—

— -.............. —

.......... .......
________ —.............. — — -.............. — —
2
1
1

Days

----------- — —
—
..........

__ _

_____ _____

Number
of plants

Total
number
of plants

41

108

10

Average days
worked

— —

________

4
2
7
20

102
154
143
136

1

140

i
57
14
18
3

36
6
11
2

206
196
278
194

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Total
number
of plants

39 to 52 weeks

26, under 39 weeks

15, under 26 weeks

14 weeks

to

co

Chart l-B—Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937

CO

(Each bar indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a State; as different canneries began and ended on different dates, the over-all period is longer than that during which
any individual plant canned.]

o

Canneries packin3 TWO SEASONAL VEGETABLES

h

cv n

Feb.

Mar.

vO r'i o C"
H CV CV
cH CV CV

Apr.

May

June

July

Sept.

Aug.

Oct.

PEAS AND CORN

p

Md.

i—1

c ___ 1
r........p‘ i
__ p 1
N.Y.f
p
) U
l_Lj
Bis.
1__ L_
Bis.
pP
H
G
ms. r
P
j
uJ]

Minn.

PEAS AND GREEN BEANS
PEAS AND LIMA BEANS
PEAS AND TOMATOES
ASPARAGUS AND CORN

N.Y. |

ni-IZ

A

P

—

|

1

1
Iowa |

GREEN BEANS AND CORN

G.

CORN AND LIMA BEANS
BEANS AND TOMATOES

td.j

b

'

|

1

JN b

Ud- 1
I

T.

c.

[
°l

,

C

II

L I

'

i

-J |t

I
Md.j

B

1

T

TOMATOES AND CORN




Nov.

H CO 1ACVO' IA ^ (>\D c^o r- ^h Cr-l CO -VH ©
CVCPVJf^O v£>
O t"
H H CV
i—1 CV CV
H H CV
H rl CV tn
H (V CV
H H CV
HCVC^
H CV CV

Ind.

1

|T|

c.|

ad.|
-------- -—j~t1
V------------1--------------

i

Dec.
00
H H CV
r-t

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AN1) PRESERVING

Jan.

V

Chart |_c._Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937
•
V.
J
„ otfttc- as different canneries began and ended on different dates, the over-all period is longer than that during which
[Each bar indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a
.
any indiTidufti plant canned.]

Canneries packing THREE OR MORE SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Apr.

Feb.

Jan.

June

Hay

Aug.

July

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

'33?}

imoiC
rH OJ
beans, tomatoes,

□

Ind.

and corn

Md.|

PEAS, BEANS, TOMATOES,
AND CORN

N.T. C

PEAS, BEANS, TOMATOES, CORN,
BROCCOLI,AND ASPARAGUS

Chart l-D.—Canneries packing FRESH FRUITS ONLY
Feb.
> tr\ O

OPtOt' orv\oO~

_
Apr.

..
May

»-----June

July

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

U-N O} OS vO |TA O
rlHNPI

I <N

California

All F

ALL FRUITS
FRUIT COCKTAIL AND SALAD ]

SEASONAL FRUITS AND BERRIES

Sept.
Se

flue.
Aug.

Washington

APPLES

CI,o„ 1-E.—Cannerie,^packing SEASONAL FRUITS AND SEASONAL VEGETABLES
HtO'AWO' UT C\J CT' vO c^O D—-T «H
rtH (N n
H rl (V
H cw cw

t'3fdS

Dec.

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

peas,

Dec.

cvff"Ono
>4 H tC
H WW
HHOi

California

SEASONAL VEGETABLES
SEASONAL FRUITS
New York

SEASONAL VEGETABLES
SEASONAL FRUITS




CC

CO

Chart I F.—Period Over Which Specified Products Were Canned in Principal Canning States, 1937
Each ba, indicates dates on which canning began and ended in a State; as

and^ended on different dates, the over-all period is ,onger than that during which

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

June

_

July

Aug.

»r» tv o> vO

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

'•^wv'cvo'vqo^ovocnof' ^Hto sf
-4'-*fv

H(\r

H (V (V

H H PJ

INDIANA
Seasonal vegetables

peas

wax ana green
beans

if

spinach

tomatoes

Non-seasonal vegetables
pumpkin

ILLINOIS
Seasonal vegetables

tomatoe s[

peas

jcarrots, peas and carrots
ln_d------ 1
pumpkins|

Non-seasonal vegetables

succotash
MARYLAND
Seasonal vegetables

wax and green beans
spinach

Non-seasonal vegetables




lima beans
rn
tomatoes"

~T peas

beets, all year
potatoes

peas and carr5~
yams
_______
! succotash I IkrautJ

J

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Canneries packing SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL VEGETABLES

N3

June
H C\i CV

sO

O

rl W <AN O'

<n O

^ rH

^HtOm

NEW YORK
Seasonal vegetables

(Hina, green, and wax beans

WISCONSIN

corn, lima beans
tomatoes
wax and green bean3

Seasonal vegetables

kraut

mixed vegetables
beets

tomatoes
Seasonal vegetables
and succotash-




beets

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

carrots

Non-seasonal vegetables

Non-seasonal vegetables

| tomatoes

GO

cc

34

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Tomatoes and Tomato Products.
Tomato products, that is, canned tomatoes, tomato pulp, puree,
paste, and juice, were canned for 6 and under 10 weeks by 58 percent
of the firms reporting the 1937 season, and on an average of 31 days
during the period reported. Twenty-five percent canned 10 and
under 14 weeks, and on an average of 40 days, while 17 percent canned
for a period of less than 6 weeks. The shortest period of canning
in any plant was 3 weeks. Within one State some plants canned toma­
toes for but 3 weeks while others canned for 10 weeks; in another State
some canned for 5 weeks and others for 12; in still another the spread
was from 6 to 13 weeks. Except in canneries packing for the shortest
period, the average number of days of tomato canning was 4 and a
fraction a week, whether the number of weeks of pack was 5 or 13.
Though the average number of weeks in which these plants canned
tomatoes was 8, the average number of weeks in which they gave
employment to one or more persons was 27.
Peak period.—On tomato products the peak week of canning in 1937,
according to the amount of the pay rolls, was the second week in
September in Indiana and Ohio. In Maryland it was the third week
in August and in Virginia it was the second week in August, whereas in
California it was as late as the second week in October.
In Indiana the number of employees jumped from one-fourth of the
maximum to three-fourths of the maximum between August 14 and
August 21, though the pay rolls increased to only one-half, indicating
short time for many employees in this week. In the following week
employment reached 85 percent, but the amount of wages was but 63
percent of the peak. The next week employment almost reached its
peak, but the pay rolls were 87 percent. The week ending September
11 was the peak in numbers and in wage payments. An immediate
drop followed, to 89 in employment and 80 in pay rolls. From this
week on pay rolls decreased rapidly and numbers employed less rapidly
until only the clean-up and warehouse crews were left. At most the
period of heavy tomato pack was not more than 3 weeks in Indiana in
1937.
Analysis of chart II-A shows that Maryland and Virginia could not
claim more than 2 weeks of heavy load and that California’s load was
concentrated in 4 weeks. Ohio had but 2 weeks of load when pay rolls
were at peak or near the peak.
When canning of tomato products ended, many plants closed down
at once and entirely. Others employed a few persons during at least
half of the year, the minimum number in any plant being two.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

35

Chart 11—A.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

1. Canneries packing ONE SEASONAL VEGETABLE—TOMATOES
Employment

Earnings

CALIFORNIA

T—TT

INDIANA

TT' I

MARYLAND

OHIO

~»~t r

VIRGINIA




I I I

36

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Corn Canneries.
Table III shows clearly that corn was canned in the majority of
plants in 6 weeks or less. This was true whether the cannery was in
Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, or Minnesota. Nor were these weeks of
6-day canning; in most plants the average number of canning days a
week was under 5. The longest period over which any plant canned
corn in 1937 was 8 weeks on an average of 4.6 days a week.
In spite of the very short period of active canning, the average com
cannery gave some employment in 26 weeks. The' maximum number
employed after canning averaged 5 to the plant; the minimum was 1.
Peak period.—Iowa corn canneries began to take on employees in
the week ending August 14. In the next week they doubled the staff,
and though the force now comprised three-fourths of the maximum
number, the amount of wages paid was considerably less than half
the maximum. The next week numbers employed reached 92 percent
of the peak, pay rolls 82 percent, and in the week ending September 4
both employment and pay rolls reached the peak. But the following
week the amount paid out was cut in half, the numbers employed were
cut by one-fifth, and in the week following that very little canning was
done. Again it was a matter of 3 weeks of heavy employment for the
larger number of workers.
The picture of corn canning for Illinois and Indiana shows a total
of 3 weeks of peak or near-peak pay rolls. In both States workers
were employed in larger numbers than the pay-roll indexes indicate
could have worked full time.
Corn canning in Maryland has a somewhat different curve. Wage
earners^ were taken <m in the first week of August but earned very
little. _ The increase in numbers was rapid, the peak being reached in
the third week of August. The very next week the pay rolls were cut
in half; they were restored to three-fourths of the peak in the week
following, only to drop to one-fourth in the week after that. This
irregular curve may be due to the Baltimore practice of having can­
nery brokers at the freight depot pick up carloads of produce passing
through Baltimore on route to New York and diverted at Baltimore
because the Now York market was glutted. However, Maryland’s
corn canneries had but one week when pay rolls were as much as
four-fifths of the maximum.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

37

Chart II—A.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

2. Canneries packing ONE SEASONAL VEGETABLE—CORN
EarningsILLINOIS

10

r




June

38

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Pea Canneries.
Pea canneries also had very short periods of pack. Almost all the
plants reporting canned peas for less than 6 weeks, 5 weeks being the
period in the largest number of canneries. Here again they were not
6-day weeks, except where the cannery was open but 2 weeks. The
usual workweek was approximately one of 5 days. Pea canning
began a week earlier in New York than in Wisconsin, and closed a
week earlier, but the over-all canning period was the same.
While some pea canneries had employees at the plant all the year,
others closed down entirely. The average number of weeks in which
those reporting had someone employed was 41.
Peak period.—Pea canneries had an even shorter period of peak
than corn canneries. New York canneries increased wage earners to
81 percent of the peak in the week ending July 3 and increased pay
rolls to 76 percent. Two weeks later they reached their peak in both
employment and pay rolls. But the following week the force was cut
to less than one-half, the amount paid out to less than one-fourth;
in other words, there was hardly 2 weeks’ rush. In Wisconsin the
force of employees was increased from 35 percent of the peak to 99
percent in 1 week in July and the pay rolls rose from 22 percent to
the peak. The force was held together for 2 weeks, but in the second
week the pay rolls dropped by one-fifth from the peak. In the next
week only one-half of the peak amount was paid to about seventenths of the maximum staff.
Other One-Vegetable Canneries.
Asparagus only is canned by a few firms in California. In 1937
these firms canned in 10 or 11 weeks and the number of days averaged
over 6 a week. The few bean canneries reporting operated shorter
periods and for fewer days a week.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

39

Chart II—A.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

3. Canneries packing ONE SEASONAL VEGETABLE—PEAS
Employment _________

Earnlnge

WISCONSIN

ITT

227123°—40-




4

17,r

40

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
TWO-SEASONAL-VEGETABLE CANNERIES

The vegetables canned by many plants that extend their canning
season by putting up two vegetables are peas and corn. In Maryland
this gives a canning season from the first week in June to the last week
in September. In other States, peas are canned in July and corn in
August and September, with 2 weeks or more between packs. Peas
combined with green beans give a continuous pack period from the
beginning of July through September in Wisconsin. Beans and
tomatoes can be canned without time lapse in Indiana and Maryland.
Tomatoes and corn are canned in Indiana and Maryland, but the
seasons so overlap that not 2 months of canning is done. Other over­
all canning periods are shown on chart I-B.
Considered as a group, canneries putting up two seasonal vegetables
canned 7 weeks or longer, the average number of weeks for the plants
reporting being 11. The average number of days on which canning
was done was 49, or an average of about 4% days a week. In Wisconsin,
where many of these two-vegetable canneries were situated, length
of canning period varied from 7 weeks to 13 weeks, but in neither
the total group nor in Wisconsin did days of canning reach 5 a week.
In Minnesota two-vegetable plants ranged in canning periods from 8
to 10 weeks of 5 or almost 5 days a week. In Maryland the only
cannery working 7 weeks canned on 6 days of the week; other Mary­
land plants canned for 10, 11, and 12 weeks, but for not more than
41 days a week.
/,
Peak period.—The peak week in Maryland was the first week in
September, that of September 4; the numbers of employees were
close to the peak for 2 weeks before and 1 week following this. The
amount paid out, however, was seven-eighths of the peak in the third
week of August, dropped to less than two-thirds the following week,
reached the peak, and dropped to 78 percent of maximum the second
week of September. There was no noticeable rush in the June and
July canning period of peas or beans.
In Wisconsin, however, peas were the rush-period crop and the
canning of green beans, limas, or com was secondary. The peak for
the two-vegetable pack in Wisconsin occurred in the second week of
July, the pay roll increasing by about 100 percent in 1 week. While
most of the employees were kept another week, the pay roll dropped
by a third. Extending the canning period by the addition of another
vegetable obviously does not increase the number of weeks of peak
operation.
As in the one-vegetable canneries, some of the two-vegetable
canneries closed down soon after operations were completed and
others gave employment to at least one person the entire year. The
average number of weeks those reporting had anyone employed was
43, as compared with an 11-week canning period.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

41

Chart II—B.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing TWO SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Employment

i.

Eamlng6

MARYLAND

WISCONSIN

Chart II—C.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing THREE OR MORE SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Employment - ■■ ■

INDIANA




■■

Earnings

42

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
THREE-OR-MORE-SEASONAL-VEGETABLE CANNERIES

I he three-or-more-seasonal-vegetable cannery had a long canning
season in California, for spinach is used as both an early and a late
crop; it can be planted to be canned in March and in November.
In New York, canneries that added broccoli to their pack also ex­
tended canning into November, after beginning with asparagus in
May. These products make possible about a half-year of canning
operations in both States. Canneries in areas in which these three
products were not grown began with peas in June and canned products
that overlapped in maturing periods into late September or October
Some Maryland firms canned for 20 to 28 weeks. In Illinois one
cannery ran for 11 weeks, while in Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin
operations of all plants fell within 13 weeks.
The average number of weeks of canning in plants putting up three
or more seasonal vegetables was 17; those reporting canned, on an
average, 67 days in those weeks. These canneries had someone
employed in an average of 41 weeks, with wide variations in both
minimum and maximum number in the off season.
Peak period.—In Indiana there were 3 weeks of peak or near-peak
employment and pay rolls. In Maryland, while numbers employed
were lour-fifths or more of peak for 3 weeks, pay rolls did not reach
three-fourths of the maximum in any but the peak week. The addi­
tion of more vegetables tends to spread employment rather than to
increase the periods of congestion.
FRUIT CANNERIES

Only a few of the canneries surveyed, 16 in all, canned fruits only;
these were large plants, however. The average canning time for
these plants in California and Washington was 20 weeks, or 94 days.
None operated for less than 6 weeks; two Washington plants canned
for over half the year.
In California the season of peak and near-peak operation was
earliei and shorter than that in Washington. With ono oxcoption
the average days a week that the plants canned were from 5 to 6. ’




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

43

Chart 11—D.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing FRESH FRUITS ONLY
Employment .....................

Earnings------

CALIFORNIA

Chart II—E.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing SEASONAL FRUITS AND SEASONAL VEGETABLES
F>pl oywftnt.

CALIFORNIA

NEW YORK




■

Earnings

44

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
SEASONAL-VEGETABLE-AND-FRUIT CANNERIES

When seasonal vegetables and fruits both were canned in Arkansas,
California, New York, and Texas, the average canning period was 20
weeks. The days on which canning was done in the firms reporting
on this averaged 102. The majority of the plants canned on 5 and
a fraction days a week. One-fourth of the plants canned for 26 and
under 39 weeks, averaging 143 days. Some plants were open the
entire year.
In California the peak week came in the middle of August. While
the number of employees was over nine-tenths of the maximum the
week before and for 2 weeks later, the amount paid out did not
exceed 86 percent of peak in any of these weeks. In New York the
peak week of employment on fruits and vegetables was the first week
in September, while the peak week in amount paid out was 2 weeks
later. High pay rolls were found in only 2 weeks, though employ­
ment was high in about 4 weeks.
NONSEASONAL-PRODUCT CANNERIES

As has been stated, nonseasonal vegetables such as kraut and
pickles were the sole output of 39 canneries included in the survey.
For those reporting on period of pack the average was 37 weeks.
As is clear from table III, there is a wide difference between plants
in the period of canning, which ranged from 7 weeks to 52 weeks.
Even the average days a week on which canning was done varied
from less than 3 to 5}<j.
Olives, like kraut and pickles, are held in a briny solution a number
of weeks before being canned. Consequently,’ the canning may
extend over a considerable period, though the average time over
which the plants canned was 27 weeks and the average number of
days for those reporting was 100. The number of days a week averaged
less than 4 for the majority of plants reporting.
Jams, jellies, preserves, and juices were the sole products in the
case of 27 firms. The firms reporting over-all preserving period
operated at least 39 weeks, the average being 49 weeks, with preserving
done on 278 days. The average number of days a week varied from
just under 5 in Pennsylvania to just under 6 in New York and in
Ohio.
Regardless of the number of weeks in which preserving was done,
jam, jelly, and juice plants all had employees in the plants the entire
year.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

45

Chart II—F.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL VEGETABLES

Employment

Earnings

ILLINOIS

INDIANA

MARYLAND

KEY/ YORK

WISCONSIN




■n-v

46

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
SEASONAL-AND-NONSEASONAL-PRODUCT CANNERIES

Plants falling in this group (charts II-F and I-F and G) range
from canneries that add to seasonal tomato products such manu­
factures as catsup, chili sauce, tomato sauce, or soup of which to­
matoes are the essential base, to canneries that put up a variety of
seasonal products and use dry-bean products, fruit cocktail, jams,
jellies and preserves, beets and carrots, and other nonseasonal vege­
tables, or other products to fill in the periods between seasonalproduct canning. By such efforts the period of plant operation was
extended, by 34 percent of the firms reporting, to three-fourths of the
year or more, and to an average of 206 days. For all firms reporting,
the average number of weeks over which canning was spread was 32,
more than double the time of most plants that operated on seasonal
products only. Many plants employed some workers in each of the
52 weeks. (For chart I-G see frontispiece.)
Wisconsin plants canned only different seasonal and fresh non­
seasonal vegetable products (beets, carrots, and so forth) during the
year. The combinations used resulted in 17 weeks, a third of the
year, of employment that was one-half or more of the July peak.
The total pay roll had that relation to the peak pay roll for only 8
weeks, and in only 3 weeks was it four-fifths or more of the peak.
In Maryland the vegetable combinations canned gave employment
to one-half or more of the peak number of employees for 9 weeks,
with comparable total pay rolls for 10 weeks. In only 2 weeks was
the pay roll at peak or near-peak.
In Indiana and Illinois the canning plants show very different
results for those canning fresh vegetables, whether seasonal or non­
seasonal, and those adding dried beans, spaghetti, or other secondary
products to seasonal packs. Indiana canneries in the first group
employed less than 10 percent of the maximum number in 29 weeks
of the year; in the second group employment fell below 20 percent of
the peak in only 5 weeks. The peak period of employment was no
longer in one group of canneries than in the other, but the location
of the curve in chart II-G shows how greatly employment for some
workers was stabilized by the variety of products. The comparison
is even more striking in the case of Illinois. Employment in the
Illinois canneries putting up seasonal and fresh nonseasonal vegetables
was below 10 percent of the maximum in 34 weeks—below even 3
percent in 25 of these weeks—whereas in plants canning the dried
products also it was less than 50 percent of the maximum in only
one week.
In California such combinations of fruits, vegetables, and fruit
salad and cocktail, beets, pumpkin, cauliflower, pickles, or mayonnaise
brought about employment of at least 50 percent of the maximum in
10 weeks, and of at least 20 percent in another 14 weeks. Total pay
rolls reached one-half or more of their maximum in 9 weeks. Wash­
ington canneries reported 8 weeks with one-half or more of the peak
employment and 6 weeks with one-half or more of the peak pay rolls.
In only 4 weeks were the total pay rolls four-fifths or more of the peak
in either State.
In New York State apple products, tomato products, beets and
carrots, pumpkin, and spaghetti serve as in-between or end products




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

47

in the plants surveyed. In these plants there were 11 weeks in which
employment reached one-half or more of the peak, but the amounts
paid out in wages were one-half or more of the peak pay rolls in only
6 weeks.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, though the plants reported a
decided peak in employment in only 1 week, the number of employees
was 40 percent or more of that peak in all but 7 weeks. In many
weeks the pay rolls were between 35 percent and 37% percent of their
peak.
The addition of nonseasonal products did not lengthen the work­
week. In no plant did the week average 6 days, and in the majority
of the plants the average for the season was less than 5 days.
Nor did such additional products increase the period of peak or near
peak load. Four-fifths or more of the peak pay rolls in the various
States extended over 2, 3, or 4 weeks. The exceptions were New
York, where the peak for all plants extended over 7 weeks when fresh
vegetables of seasonal and nonseasonal varieties were canned, and
Illinois, where plants canning all types of products had a peak or near­
peak load for 6 weeks.




48

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Chart II—G.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packins SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL PRODUCTS OF
ALL KINDS
CALIFORNIA

ILLINOIS

r

INDIA*IA

\

-

. .

.

—T--- 1--- 1--- -t ,




,

-i i

r i

,

,

,

-T , ,

,

—,—,—,__

,

,

,

~T~'—1--- “i—i—i—i—i

A

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

49

Chart II—G.—Fluctuation of Employment and Amount Paid to Cannery Workers Each
Week in 1937 in Principal Canning States

Canneries packing SEASONAL AND NON-SEASONAL PRODUCTS OF
ALL KINDS—Continued
Employment

I’E'.Y JERSEY and PENNSYLVANIA

:l YORK

OHIO

WASHINGTON

s




Earnings

50

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
IN SUMMARY

The number of weeks in which canning is done increases with the
number of seasonal products canned and is materially increased by
the addition of nonseasonal products. From an average canning
season in 1937 of 5 weeks, when the only vegetable canned was corn
or peas, and 8 weeks, when tomatoes were canned, the average was
extended to 11 weeks when one other vegetable was added, and to
17 when three or more vegetables were canned. The addition of
fruits brought the average number of canning weeks in the year to 20.
Olives were canned over an average of 27 weeks; seasonal and non­
seasonal products of all kinds, 32 weeks; and jams and jellies, 49 weeks.
For the various products the longest canning period reported by any
cannery was as follows: 8 weeks for corn or peas, 13 for tomatoes
and tomato products, 23 weeks for two seasonal vegetables, 28 for
three or more seasonal vegetables, 30 for fruits and seasonal vegetables,
40 for olive canning, and 52 for the canning of seasonal and nonsea­
sonal products of all kinds, nonseasonal vegetables, or jams, jellies,
and preserves.
During the. season the average number of days a week on which
canning was done was less than 5 on tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, and
in two-vegetable and three-or-more-vegetable canneries, in nonseasonal-vegetable plants, olive factories, and plants canning all
types of product. Days a week averaged 5 and 5.3 in all other groups
but asparagus canneries, in which the average week was one of 6.3
days.
All seasonal-product canneries have peak loads, but the periods
of heavy deliveries of perishable products do not exceed 4 weeks in the
majority of plants and in most groups are of but 2 or 3 weeks’ duration.
In almost all States there is a heavy increase in numbers employed
before the height of the season is reached; this practice insures a supply
of workers when the load comes. There is no indication of shortage
of workers even when work is irregular during the week.
While the majority of one-seasonal-vegetable canneries close the
plant for half the year, two-seasonal-vegetable plants give employ­
ment to someone in an average of 43 weeks, and plants canning sea­
sonal and nonseasonal vegetables, and seasonal and nonseasonal prod­
ucts of all kinds have persons on the pay roll in an average of 50
weeks and 52 weeks, respectively.
OTHER BUSINESSES OPERATED BY CANNERS
The shortness of the canning season, especially when only one prod­
uct is canned, naturally brings up the question as to what these
canners do the remainder of the year. The question was asked the
independent canner operating his own cannery and did not refer to
members of canning corporations who may have devoted little time
to the actual canning business.
One hundred and twenty-four canners stated that they operated
one or more other businesses during the year. The larger proportion
of these were among Maryland and Virginia tomato canners. In
Maryland 23 canners considered their farming, oyster packing, or
general-store keeping of as much importance to their income as
canning; 4 grew tomatoes and other crops for canning; and 11 regarded




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

51

sawmill operation, an insurance agency, store keeping, or farming as
incidental to their canning operations. Among Virginia canners there
were few who did not farm, keep a store, operate fish canneries or saw
mills, conduct legal practice, act as station master, or conduct other
local businesses apart from canning.
In New York State about three-tenths of the canners reporting
operated farms in connection with their canneries, and a few also
operated cold-storage warehouses or wholesale-distribution services.
In Indiana about 14 percent reported a second business; wholesale
and retail groceries, trucking, retailing of coal, and farming were
some of the businesses conducted.
In California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other
States there was little secondary business carried on except the
operation of greenhouses for canning crops, farming, and fruit
growing.
EMPLOYER COVERAGE IN STATE UNEMPLOYMENT
COMPENSATION LAWS
In the 13 States included in the 1938 survey an employer is covered
by the State unemployment compensation law if he employs—
1. Eight or more workers within each of 20 weeks in Indiana, New Jersey,
Virginia-, and Washington.
2. Six or more workers within each of 20 weeks in Illinois. (This provision
became effective January 1, 1940. Prior to that date employers were
covered who employed eight or more workers within each of 20 weeks.)
3. Four or more workers within each of 20 weeks in California and Maryland.
4. One or more workers within each of 20 weeks in Minnesota and
Pennsylvania.
5. Six or more workers within each of 18 weeks in Wisconsin. (If employer’s
records do not permit an accurate count, employer will be covered if
his total annual pay roll is $6,000 or more.)
6. Eight or more workers within each of 15 weeks in Iowa.
7. Four or more workers on each of 15 days in New York.
8. Three or more workers at any one time in Ohio.

Table IV shows the number of plants in the siuwey reporting the
minimum number of employees for the weeks here specified, by type
of product canned.
All canneries scheduled would be covered if the New York provision
of four persons employed for 15 days or more were applicable uni­
versally. The Minnesota and Pennsylvania provision of one or
more persons for 20 weeks would cover 85 percent of all canneries
combined and of the total for each type of product but seasonal
vegetables, where the percent is less. The provisions of other States
would reduce the coverage to about three-fourths of the canneries
reporting.
The provisions of the unemployment compensation laws in effect
today in the various States in which firms were surveyed cover the
following proportions of the canneries included in the study: Cali­
fornia, 92 percent; Illinois, 83 percent; Indiana, 56 percent; Iowa,
32 percent; Maiyland, 55 percent; Wisconsin, 70 percent; Virginia,
33 percent; and in the remaining 6 States, 100 percent.
Unemployment compensation laws in the several States vary not
only as to employer coverage but as to employee-eligibility require­
ments. As the latter are based on wages received in one specific
period, this application to the canning industry will be considered
after earnings in canneries have been discussed.




Table IV.—Number of plants employing a specified minimum number of workers in a specified number of weeks as provided in State

unemployment compensation laws, by type of pack

Type of pack

20 weeks or more

15 days
or more

15 weeks or more

18 weeks or more

1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 4 or more
persons
persons persons
persons persons
persons
persons
persons
persons persons
persons persons persons
316

269

244

228

205

271

250

236

212

278

262

247

227

316

140

96

75

63

47

98

80

68

51

104

90

77

60

140

1 vegetable
2 vegetables-- _ _____
3 or more vegetables

89
29
22

53
23
20

35
22
18

27
19
17

17
14
16

55
23
20

40
22
18

30
21
17

19
15
17

58
25
21

47
23
20

37
21
19

25
17
18

89
29
22

Fruits only________ ____
Seasonal fruits and seasonal
vegetables ______ ____
Seasonal andnonseasonal products of all kinds
Nonseasonal vegetables
Jams, jellies, preserves, and
fruit juices-_..............................
Olives

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

13

21

20

20

20

17

20

20

20

17

20

20

20

19

21

104
17

103
16

101
15

99
14

96
13

103
16

102
15

100
15

98
14

104
16

104
15

102
15

100
15

104
17

13
8

13
8

12
8

12
7

12
7

13
8

12
8

12
8

12
7

13
8

12
8

12
8

12
8

13
8

Total
Seasonal vegetables only




LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Number of plants employing specified number of workers 1 or more days in—
Total
number
of plants
reporting

Table

V.—Number of plants employing a specified minimum number of workers in a specified number of weeks as provided in State unemploy­
ment compensation laws, by State
Number of plants employing specified number of workers 1 or more days in-

State

20 weeks or more

18 weeks or more

15 days
or more

15 weeks or more

1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 1 or more 4 or more 6 or more 8 or more 4 or more
persons
persons persons
persons persons
persons
persons persons
persons
persons
persons
persons persons
Total__________ ____
California _ .
Illinois.,.
Indiana
Iowa___ . _
Maryland
Minnesota.. _ __
... ...
NewjJJerseyand Pennsylvania..
New York..
Ohio___
...
Virginia
Washington _____ ______ ._
Wisconsin. _




316

269

244

228

205

271

250

236

212

278

262

247

227

316

64
12
52
19
60
2
5
59
9
3
8
23

63
12
47
10
35
2
5
56
9
1
8
21

59
12
39
3
33
2
5
55
9
1
8
18

58
10
35
2
32
2
5
51
9
1
8
15

56
9
29
1
28
2
5
47
7
1
8
12

63
12
47
12
35
2
5
56
9
1
8
21

59
12
40
6
33
2
5
55
9
1
8
20

59
10
38
4
32
2
5
52
9
1
8
16

57
9
30
2
30
2
5
48
7
1
8
13

64
12
48
14
36
2
5
57
9
1
8
22

61
12
43
10
35
2
5
55
9
1
8
21

60
10
38
8
33
2
5
54
9
1
8
19

59
10
33
6
31
2
5
51
7
1
8
14

64
12
52
19
60
2
5
59
9
3
8
23

-

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

Total
number
of plants

in
to

54

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

LOCATION OF CANNERIES
Canneries are situated in widely different places. They may be
large brick structures on the waterfront or near the railway freight
terminal of a metropolis, or the thin black stem of a smokestack on a
typical low gray shed may be sited in a field several miles from a town.
SIZE OF COMMUNITY

Of 594 plants with location reported, well over half were in rural
areas. A rural area is one with a population of under 2,500. The
cannery may be in a town of under 2,500, on the unincorporated edge
of a town or city, or in the midst of farms. In Virginia all but 3 of the
canneries visited were strictly rural; in Arkansas almost four-fifths
and in Maryland two-thirds were rural. In Wisconsin and in New
York roughly three-fifths were so reported, while in Indiana the pro­
portion was seven-tenths. In California, Ohio, Washington, and
Pennsylvania, the proportion of plants in rural areas was one-fourth or
less of all surveyed .
Table VI shows number of canneries that reported pack as well as
locality. Of the 537 plants reporting, 14 percent were in towns of
2,500 and under 5,000 population, 10 percent in towns of 5,000 and
under 10,000, 8 percent in towns of 10,000 and under 50,000, and 11
percent in cities of 50,000 and over. The largest proportion of can­
neries in cities of 50,000 and over was in California. The 306 canneries
in rural areas, while 57 percent of the plants reporting, canned but 28
percent of the pack. The 58 plants in cities of 50,000 or more, only
11 percent of all reporting, canned 31 percent of the pack.
States in which the rural canneries reporting packed half or more of
the State’s total pack in 1937 were Arkansas, Iowa, and Virginia.
States in which a third but not half was packed in rural canneries were
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. Forty percent
or more of the pack of California, Florida, Indiana, and New Jersey
and Pennsylvania canneries was put up by plants in cities of 50,000
and over. Forty percent or more of Washington’s and Virginia’s pro­
duction was by canneries in towns of 10,000 and under 50,000.
Three-fourths of the plants reporting that canned one vegetable
only, and almost as large a proportion of those canning two vegetables,
were in rural communities. Only five of the canneries putting up
nothing but tomatoes were in cities of 50,000 and over. No cannery
producing corn or peas only, and no two-seasonal-vegetable cannery,
was in a community with 50,000 or more population.
_
The fruit canneries scheduled were in communities of all sizes, the
largest proportion being in towns of 10,000 and under 50,000. When
seasonal fruits and vegetables both were canned, 33 percent in the
1938 survey were in rural communities and the remainder in cities or
towns of various sizes. The proportion of such canneries in rural areas
in New York exceeded the proportion in California.
Nonseasonal vegetables such as kraut and pickles were canned both
in rural areas and in cities of 100,000 and over, as well as in com­
munities between these extremes.




4

Table VI —Distribution of plants and of total pack in 1937 according to size of community, by State—Canned vegetables and fruits
Plants in areas with population of—

227123

All plants reporting
Under 2,500
State

Num­
ber of
plants

Amount
of pack
(cases)

Number of
plants

Amount
of pack
(cases)

2,500, under 5,000
Number of
plants

Amount
of pack
(cases)

5,000, under 10,000

10,000, under 50,000 50,000, under 100,000

Number of
plants

Num­
ber of
plants

Amount
of pack
(cases)

Amount
of pack
(cases)

Num­
ber of
plants




100,000 and over
Num­
ber of
plants

Amount
of pack
(cases)

14
2.6

7,150,715
7.3

44
8.2

23, 235, 857
23.6

11
15.3

6, 069, 543
25.1

13
18.1
1

3
4.5

5,121,477
21.2
219. 318
66.5
562, 584
10.2
4, 765, 202
33.7

8
11.4

1,686, 889
17.2

2

8, 990, 581
89.2
1, 383, 624
12.6
281, 397
16.1

1
1
1.5
1
3.6

984, 289
7.0
68,092
3.2

3
4.8
6

7
28,791
1
0.5
1.6
base too small,

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS

45 10,829,244
73 14,187, 880
55 15,167, 334
306 27, 533, 875
i 537
98,104,905
Total—Number
8.4
11.0
15.5
13.6
14.5
10.3
28.1
57.1
100.0
100.0
Percent________
1
184,942
147, 235
3
340,148
3
26
909, 236
Arkansas—Number___ _____
33
1, 581, 561
9.3
3.0
11.7
9.1
21.5
9.1
57.5
78.8
Percent____ ____
100.0
100.0
10
4,178,196
2, 752, 598
9
2, 370,480
9
3, 715, 710
20
C alifornia—Number
72 24, 208, 004
17.3
13.9
11.4
9.8
12.5
15.3
12.5
27.8
Percent
100.0
100.0
13,000
1
3,513
2
93,875
1
Florida—Number_ ________
_
329, 706
5
3.9
28.5
1.1
Percent.....................
«
100.0
2
978, 635
349,949
1, 304, 073
4
2, 333, 764
6
11
Illinois—Number__________ _
24
5, 529,005
17. 7
6.3
23.6
42. 2
Percent. _
100.0
m
8
2, 029,180
3
850, 666
796, 531
47
4,730, 789
5
Indiana—Number _________
67 14,156, 657
6.0
11.9
14.3
7.5
5.6
4.5
70.1
33.4
Percent
100.0
100.0
3
244, 413
81, 540
677, 475
2
16
1, 084, 373
6
Iowa—Number
2,155,893
28
'50.3
10.7
11.3
3.8
31.4
7.1
21.4
57.1
Percent_________ _____
100.0
100.0
169, 604
3, 963,627
2
706, 707
8
2,986, 379
7
45
Maryland—Number
9, 513,206
70
41.7
2.9
1.8
7.8
11.4
10.0
64.3
31.4
Percent_
_
____
100.0
100.0
2
292,138
590,939
2
3
1, 249,802
9
1,992,841
M innesota—Number________
4,125,720
16
7.1
14.3
30.3
48. 3
Percent
100. 0
«
New Jersey and Pennsylvania—
462, 771
521,059
1
100,885
1
1
Number________________
5 10,075, 296
4.6
5.2
1.0
Percent__________ _______
«
100.0
488,122
1, 323,147
3
8
3, 226,648
37
4, 537, 272
11
New York—Number.. ______
62 10,958, 813
4.5
12.1
4.8
29.4
12.9
41.4
17.7
59.7
Percent
100. 0
100.0
882, 209
472, 525
1
2
106, 784
4
1, 742, 915
Ohio—Number.. ________ .
13
50.6
27.1
6.1
100.0
e>
Percent__________ ____
306, 500
1
740,935
525,161
5
7
551, 837
3
2,124, 433
Texas—Number
...
16
14.4
34.9
24.7
26.0
«
100.0
Percent
726,000
2
7,000
42
796, 664
1
1, 529,664
Virginia—Number_____ ___
3 45
' 0. 5
47.5
4.4
52.1
2.2
93 3
100.0
Percent_____ _
100.0
1, 810, 510
448, 694
5
546,831
2
723, 224
2
3
3, 754, 044
Washington—Number.. ____
19
12.0
48.2
14.6
19. 3
100.0
Percent___ ...
«
6
1,475, 288
505, 740
1, 349, 565
6
10
39
2,960, 604
6,319, 988
Wisconsin—Number____ .
62
23.3
8.0
9.7
9.7
21.4
62.9
46.8
16.1
100.0
100.0
Percent
a Percent distribution not computed;
■ 594 canneries reported plant location; of these, 537 reported also complete pack figures for 1937.
3 14 firms included in Virginia that did not report other pertinent data were excluded from tables I and IT.

Amount
of pack
(cases)

d

H
w

224, 785
6.0

Oi

Oi

56

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT COVERAGE OF CANNERIES ■

Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 exempts from
both minimum-wage and maximum-hours sections of the act “any
individual employed within the area of production (as defined by the
Administrator) engaged in * * * canning of agricultural or horti­
cultural commodities for market,” and in canneries outside such area
neither hour provisions nor overtime-pay provisions shall apply during
seasonal operations during a period or periods of not more than 14
workweeks in the aggregate in any calendar year.
On April 19, 1939, the Administrator of the act redefined the term
“area of production.” Under this, an individual is to be regarded as
employed in the area of production if he works in an establishment
situated in the open country or in a rural community and which ob­
tains all its products from farms in its immediate locality. Further
definition of “open country” or “rural community” is that it shall not
include any city or town of 2,500 or greater population, according to
the United States census of 1930, and “immediate locality” shall not
include any distance of more than 10 miles (sec. 536.2 (e)).
This definition makes it essential to know not only that a cannery is
in a rural community but that the distance from the cannery to its
source of raw-materials supply is not over 10 miles, before it can be
stated that the employees are exempt from the minimum-wage and
maximum-hours provisions of the act.

,

*

DISTANCE BETWEEN CANNERIES AND PRODUCING FARMS

As has been stated, canners may secure part of their produce from
their own farms or orchards, contract with farmers for their crop at
planting or fruit-growing season, or purchase from a number of farmers
when the season of crop maturity arrives. The importance of each
source of supply varies with yield in the different fields and with market
conditions. Weather conditions may spoil produce on owned or con­
tracted farms in one area and force purchase from distant areas.
Then again, a good market for canned goods may bring about more
extensive canning and purchasing of crops from a larger number of
fields; a poor market may lessen the area from which produce is se­
cured. Firms with several factories try to balance the canneries’ loads
by distributing crops that mature abundantly in any one area over the
several canneries, giving a. wider spread of source material than is pos­
sible where a cannery is separately owned. These factors make the
relation between canneries and farms not a fixed one for any two
periods.
In the 1939 survey each canner was asked the usual or most common distance, and the longest distance, to farms producing the im­
portant canning produce for his cannery. Time did not permit any
check-up on these statements by visits to all contributing farms.
Only canneries packing seasonal products in whole or in part were
visited. Of 487 plants reporting, 300 were in communites of under
2,500, a slightly larger proportion than when nonseasonal canneries
were included in the total. Twenty-three of these canners in the
rural districts declined to make any statement concerning the distance
between field and cannery. Of those reporting longest distance, 55
a See note, p. 17.




t

_

VEGETABLES AKD DECIDUOUS EKUITS

57

percent secured all produce from farms not over 10 miles away, 18
percent from farms some of which were from 11 to 25 miles distant.
The proportion securing raw materials from farms at a greater distance
decreased with the distance, 10 percent having their farthest source
from 26 to 50 miles away, 6 percent from 50 to 100 miles away, and
3 percent at a distance of over 100 miles.
According to this 1939 survey of seasonal-vegetable and deciduousfruit plants, therefore, about one-third of the seasonal canneries would
be exempt from both the minimum-wage and the maximum-hours
provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Almost three-fifths of the
plants canning one vegetable only would be exempt. About one-half
of the two-vegetable canneries and one-fourth of the three-or-morevegetable canneries come within the Administrator’s definition of area
of production, while the exempt group drops to 18 percent when fruits
as well as vegetables are canned.
THE CANNERY WORKER
CHARACTER OF WORK AND NUMBER AND SEX OF WORKERS

Though the detailed technical aspects of canning the several
products vary, the general processes to which fruits and vegetables
are subjected in canning are the same. The fresh fruits and. vegetables
are weighed, inspected, washed, and prepared for canning. They
are put into cans with or without sirup or brine. Some are blanched
before canning or are passed through an exhaust box to preheat the
contents in order that a partial vacuum may be created after cooking
and cooling. The filled cans go to a closing or double-seaming machine
where the edge of the cover and the can are crimped together and
rolled. This machine is the key machine in a canning establishment,
for its speed determines the amount of produce that can be handled in
a given time. The cans are then processed in a process retort, if
cooking at temperatures higher than boiling point is required, or they
may be put into open, kettles at boiling temperatures. Immediately
after sterilization the cans are cooled by passing through cold water
or being sprayed with it. Later they are labeled by an automatic
machine, packed in boxes, and shipped. Or they may be stored, and
labeled later when sold.
In the best-equipped canneries there is a minimum of hand labor.
All machines are set up in a line leading to the double-seaming ma­
chine, and the product and waste are carried forward on conveyer
belts. Empty cans come to canning tables by conveyers from a loft
above or may come from the railroad car directly to the tables.
In canneries with a minimum of equipment, hand trucking becomes
of major importance, for produce and cans must be trucked from one
process to the next.
PREPARATION OF VEGETABLES

The major differences in the work to be done on any product occur
in the preparation department. As these differences affect the num­
bers of men and women employed, the preparation processes on the
several vegetables and fruits will be described in detail.




58

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Tomatoes and Tomato Products.
Tomatoes are washed thoroughly and passed through a scalder to
loosen the skins. After cooling they go to peelers’ tables, where hand
peelers skin the tomatoes. There is a machine peeler in use, but hand
labor still is prevalent in skinning tomatoes. When tomato juice,
paste, or puree is the end product, the skin, seeds, and core are sep­
arated from the pulp and juice by a machine called a cyclone, in which
a revolving paddle presses the desired material through fine screening.
In the 166 canneries from which a tomato pay roll for 1938 was
secured, 47 percent of the 31,329 employees were preparers. All but
447 of these were women. On no other vegetable product canned
are so many women employed.
Tomatoes are often hand packed; that is, those of largest size are
sorted out and put into cans by hand. Standard grades usually are
machine packed. Hand packing increases the number of women in
the canning department; there were 1,164, as compared with 427
men, in the tomato canneries scheduled.
Corn.
Preparing corn for canning consists of husking by hand or machine,
washing, trimming the ears to remove damaged kernels, cutting or
scraping the kernels off the cob by hand or machine, and again wash­
ing the kernels or the cut mixture to remove remaining pieces of silk.
These operations employ 40 percent of the productive force. Because
hand husking or cutting requires muscular strength, more men are
employed in corn preparation than in that of other crops, men being
17){ percent of the corn preparers.
After the washed kernels are drained, they are put into cans with
hot brine; the cut mixture is mixed with brine and heated in kettles
and the hot mixture is put into cans. This requires 3 percent of the
workers, and is done by both men and women.
Peas.
The first process in preparing peas is to feed vines with pods into a
viner, which removes the vines and shells the peas. These viners are
operated by men. The shelled peas pass over a series of machines that
clean away leaves and foreign substances, wash the peas, and sift
them according to size. The peas pass on moving belts before women
inspectors who pick out anything that the machines have missed.
Peas may be graded for quality in specific gravity tanks. They are
then blanched and rinsed and put mechanically into cans with hot
brine. Viners comprise about 17 percent of the operating staff; the
preparers, nine-tenths of whom are women, are only 21 percent of the
employees. Filling of cans requires but 3 percent of the workers.
Green Beans.
Preparing green or wax beans is a different process. The beans
may be put through a snipping machine that cuts off the ends, but
many canners prefer to have the snipping done by hand. Beans are
graded according to size in a rotating cylinder grader or by hand, and
pass before women inspectors on a moving belt. After a blanching




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

59

and cooling, they are cut into pieces, stripped, or packed whole by
machine. When beans are canned upright, girls shape a handful into
a mold which squeezes them into the can. Thirty-six percent of all
workers are preparers and 6 percent fill cans. The vast majority
of these workers are women.
Home work is said to be employed in New York on bean snipping.
In Virginia, tomatoes are prepared and pressure-cooked at home for
small canners.
Lima Beans.
Lima beans are handled in much the same way as peas, passing
through a viner and then through the cleaning, sorting, and grading
machines. When lima beans are picked over by color and filled into
cans by hand, the proportion of women preparers is large.
Spinach.
On arrival at the cannery spinach is weighed, trimmed, and sorted
for removal of roots and yellow leaves. It is inspected, washed,
blanched, and rewashed before going into cans. Well over half the
workers are preparers. Because can filling is done by hand, women
outnumber men in this occupation, which employs about 10 percent
of the workers.
Asparagus.
Asparagus is carefully graded for size by hand; it is cut and washed
mechanically and then blanched. One-third of the workers are pre­
parers. Because women cup the asparagus by hand to put it into
cans, most of the can fillers are women and 27K percent of all em­
ployees are in the canning department.
Baked Beans.
Beans first pass on moving belts before inspectors who remove all
irregular beans; they then go into tanks for soaking. After blanching,
they are put in cans, to each of which is added a piece of cooked pork,
or tomato pulp, or both. Though women do both the sorting and the
packing, the numbers required are relatively small.
Sauerkraut.
Cabbage is trimmed by hand, cored and sliced by machine. It is
then packed in barrels with salt. After adequate seasoning, much of
it is canned, the remainder being marketed in bulk. The handling of
the brine and other general labor about the plant employs most of the
workers. However, about 30 percent prepare the cabbage and 12
percent put it in cans.
Pickles.
On pickles, too, general plant work engages most of the employees.
Cucumbers are sorted for size before being put in a preliminary brining
vat. Here fermentation takes place for from 4 to 6 weeks. After­
ward the salt content is increased and pickles may be held indefinitely.




60

LABOR LEGISLATION ANTI CANNING AND PRESERVING

Before the cucumbers are placed in vinegar, women sort them as they
pass on a moving belt. Size grading is done by machine. Pickles are
then given several water soakings until free of salt. The final opera­
tion is that of filling jars with the specific types of pickles.
PREPARATION OF FRUITS

Large Fruits.
At one time all fruits were peeled, halved, and pitted or cored by
hand by women. Today peaches may be halved and pitted by hand or
by machine. When done by hand, a fruit-cutting knife is used for
cutting and a spoon-shaped knife to cut the flesh from the pit of a cling­
stone peach. One type of machine cuts and pits the peach; another
type cuts the fruit in half, after which women place it in a second
machine which removes the halved pits. The halved and pitted
peaches, having been sorted as to ripeness, then go to a hot lye sprayer
or bath, which removes the skins; a thorough washing follows, and
then a blanching. The fruit passes on a belt before sorters who remove
blemished pieces. Trimmers cut out bruised portions, the remainder
being used for pie fruit. If peaches are to be sliced, they go to a
slicing machine, a tender placing halves upside down for the machine.
Other fruit is graded by shaker machines and passes by inspectors to
canning tables, where women fill the cans according to color, size, and
texture of fruit, and weigh them. The cans are drained of water in the
cooking department and automatically filled by sirup machines, and
then go to exhaust boxes and double seamers.
Apricots are still halved and pitted by hand. They are not peeled.
Other processes are similar to peach canning. Pears may be peeled,
halved, and cored by machine or by hand. When done by hand, they
are graded after peeling; when by machine, before peeling.
Of all persons reported, almost three-tenths (28 percent) were
engaged in fruit preparing and about a fifth in can filling. Occupation
was not reported for a fourth of the workers. Women are 65 percent of
fruit-canning employees.
Small Fruits.
Cherries are stemmed by hand or by machine. They are washed by
machine, sorted by hand, and graded for size by machine. All pitting
is done by automatic machines. Berries are handled as little as possi­
ble. Strawberries must be hulled unless they are picked without
stems. But sorting constitutes the chief hand process on blackberries,
raspberries, and other berries. Here also women comprise twothirds of the wage earners.
Fruit Salad and Cocktail.
Fruits for salad or cocktail are put up during peach and pear season,
that is, in August and September, though they may be put up at any
time of the year. The fresh fruit is sliced. To this is added for salad
the proper number of pieces of sliced pineapple, apricots, and mara­
schino cherries. Girls put the several different kinds of fruit into the
cans by hand, after which the sirup is added. Cocktail fruits are
handled in the same way except that the fruit is diced and grapes may
be added.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS ERUITS

61

Grape Juice.
Clusters of grapes are washed and passed over belts to a crushing
machine. Mechanical “fingers” draw out the stems from the crushed
fruit. The crushed fruit is heated, then pressed, sterilized, and bottled
in carboys for storage. After 2 months or more the solids are precip­
itated, and the juice is bottled, labeled, and cased.
Olives.
In California olives are picked from October 1 to December 1.
Olives are sensitive to bruising. If they cannot be put into vats as
soon as they reach the cannery, they are stored temporarily in dilute
brine. Machine grading according to size and for color is done, usually
before pickling. During the pickling process olives are given several
applications of dilute lye, and are finally leached with water and then
stored in brine. The pickled fruit is again graded for color and quality.
Women inspect the fruit as they place it in cans, removing any soft or
bitter fruit Other processes are the same as for other canned fruits,
namely, exhausting and sterilizing. Women constitute about threefifths of the employees.
OTHER OCCUPATIONS

In table VII men and women reported as preparers, can fillers,
doing cooking, or handling empty cans are entered as in those depart­
ments. The warehouse department comprises workers who stack the
filled cans from trays, operate the labeling machine, and pack boxes for
shipment. Even in large well-equipped canneries there are many
jobs that machines cannot do and that employ workers of little skill,
generally called laborers. In the average cannery it is customary to
shift both men and women from job to job, if the work is paid by the
hour; this is especially true of smaller canneries or those fitting nonseasonal products into a seasonal pack. Workers so shifted are listed
in table VII as general factory workers and may have been doing
anything but the most skilled work.
Because the results of this survey were to be used by the Public
Contracts Administration, men whose sole job was of a custodial or
maintenance nature were not included in the 1938 survey. Comparison
with 1939 figures, which included all employees, indicates that such
men were very few during the canning period, as everyone had to help
with the manufacture when canning was at its height. Office workers
were not included in the 1938 survey, but office as well as custodial
and maintenance workers were included in 1939.
NUMBERS EMPLOYED IN CANNING SEASON
AND AT OTHER TIMES

Canners packing the same products do not necessarily begin can­
ning on the same date nor end on the same date. Consequently,
the course of plant operations from week to week as indicated on the
charts shows a wider spread of employment than is likely to be true
of any individual plant. It also lowers somewhat the height of the
peak, for the peak week in different plants may be a week earlier or
later though they are canning in the same locality. Table VIII shows




Table

VII.—Occupation and sex of employees, by product canned or packed—1938 survey

05

Product
Tomatoes and
tomato prod­
ucts

Corn

Peas

Green beans

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Number of plants _
Total employees______
Men______ _____
Women____ ____

166
31,329
12, 238
19, 091

100.0
39.1
60.9

101
19, 486
10, 228
9,258

100.0
52.5
47.5

121
21, 091
14, 794
6, 297

100.0
70.1
29.9

65
11, 359
3,888
7, 471

100.0
34.2
65.8

Preparation department—Total
Men_________________
W omen... _____
Canning department—Total __
Men. _________
Women______ __
Empty-can department—Total
Men
..
________
Women_________ _
Cooking department—Total
Men... _ ...
Women_________
General factory—Total .
Men.. ____ __
Women. _
Laborers—Total
._
Men... _____________
Women ____
Warehouse department—Total ...
Men_________
_
Women_____ _____
Viners—Total...
Men_________
Women______________
Foremen and foreladies—Total.. .
Men__________
Women_________ ___
Occupation not reported—Total
Men______________ _________
Women______________________

14,824
447
14,377
1, 591
427
1,164
208
160
48
623
610
13
7,097
4,842
2,255
1, 425
1,396
29
1,801
1,407
394

1 Less than 0.05 percent.



246
174
72
3,514
2, 775
739

47.3
5.1
...

2.0
22.7
4.5
5.7

.8
11.2

7,801
1,366
6,435
563
344
219
456
223
233
551
543
8
4, 551
2,676
1,875
2,494
2,483
11
1,168
1,046
122
1
1
357
338
19
1, 544
1,208
336

40.0
2.9
2.3
2.8
23.4
12.8
6.0
«
1.8
7.9

4, 468
260
4, 208
714
521
193
524
213
311
518
518

21.2

5,992
4,549
1,443
1,414
1, 412
2
1,934
1,825
109
3, 547
3, 544
3
358
332
26
1,622
1,620
2

28.4

3.4
2.5
2.5

6.7
9.2

7.7

Num­
ber
5
530
176
354

4,072
137
3,935
722
118
604
85
46
39
118
118

35.8

1.0

4
4

4,918
2,143
2,775
159
126
33
471
403
68

43.3

281
148
133

6.4

220
1
219
1
1

1.4
4.1

.8
6.4

Asparagus

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

156.6
33.2
66.8

17
6,036
1,820
4, 216

100.0
30.2
69.8

15
5, 444
1, 954
3, 490

41.5

3,495
240
3, 255
626
91
535
12
12

57.9

.8

91
91

53.6

.2

11
11

2.1

8
8
87
70
17
727
727

Spinach

Per­
cent

.7

16.8
1.7

Lima beans

1.5

5
3
2

.9

Per­
cent

100.0
35.9
64.1

1,820
388
1,432
1,496
27
1,469

27.5

1.5

95
95

1.7

712
383
329
64
64

11.8

14.2

222
213
9

3.7

774
508
266
38
37
1
194
188
6

17
9
8
797
717
80

.3

22
9
13
1,005
702
303

.4

10.4

33.4

.2

1.1

13.2

.7
3.6

18.5

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERV IN G

Occupation and sex

Product

Occupation and sex

Pork and beans

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Number of plants-----------Total employees-------------Men______ _______ _
Women_____________

7
1,315
972
343

100.0
73.9
26.1

41
2,387
1, 230
1,157

Preparation department—Total.
Men....... ................................... .
Women---------------------------Canning department—Total----Men________ ____ ______ —
Women__________________
Empty-can department—TotalMen_____________________
Women. -------------------------Cooking department—Total—
Men_________ _______ ____
Women--------------- --------—
General factory—Total-----------Men_____________________
Women---------------------------Laborers—Total______________
Men_____________________
Women----------------- ------Warehouse department—Total _.
Men_____________________
Women---------------------------Viners—Total-----------------------Men........................ ..................
Women.................. .............. Foremen and foreladies—Total.
Men....__________________
Women____________ ____
Occupation not reported—Total
Men---- --------------------------Women—...............................

175
2
173
144
65
79
11
11

13.3

64
64

4.9

337
296
41
69
69

25.6

458
435
23

34.8




11.0
.8

5.2

Per­
cent

100.0
51.5
48.5

698
80
618
281
70
211
12
10
.
2
83
83

29.2

824
706
118
80
80

34.5

182
96
86

7.6

11.8
.5
3.5

3.4

Num­
ber
24
1,281
543
738
215
20
195
265
32
233
6
5
1
46
46
363
245
118
83
83

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

100.0
42.4
57.6

41
29, 256
10, 290
18, 966

ioo.o
35.2
64.8

17
3,153
986
2,167

100.0
31.3
68.7

27.9

1,147

36.4

21.1

1, 147
257
32
225

16.8
20.7
.5
3.6
28.3
6.5

~ 128’ ’’’io.’o’
59
69

8, 164
247
7,917'
6,184
858
5,326
49
47
2
457
457

.2
1.6

5,"855’ ”20.’6’
2,389
3, 466
151
.5
151
666
652
14

8.2

2.3

..............
.9
27
27
"’933_
368
565
10
10
95
88
7

Num­
ber
21
1, 538
576
962

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

100.0
37.5
62.5

37
6,113
3,015
3,098

100.0
49.3
50.7

684
35
649
667
79
588
15
15

11.2

4.4

36
36

.6

19. 8

1, 252
71
1,181
90
90

20.5

109
94
15

1.8

347
11
336
222
12
210
3
3

22.6

68
68

”29.’6" ”’365’
121
184
.3
57
52
5
3.0
51
32
19

14.4
.2

3.7
3.3

10.9
.2

1.5

Jams, jellies,
preserves, and
fruit juices
Num­
ber
24
1,069
469
600
95
1
94
55
13
42
2
1
1
65
64
1
524
118
406
13
13
101

Per­
cent
100.6
43.9
56.1
8.9
5.1
.2
6.1
49. 0
1.2
9.4

64
37

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Num­
ber

Dried fruits

Olives

Small fruits

Large fruits

Pickles

Sauerkraut

—
32
30
2
25
26

2.4
1.9

34
31
3
193
74
119

1.4
8.1

33
30
3
142
23
119

2.6
11.1

77
6
71
7, 653
5,483
2, 170

.3
26.2

10
9
1
674
452
222

.3
21.4

10
6
469
267
202

30.5

11
20
3, 229
2,584
645

52.8

11
4
199
184
15

18.6

Gw

03

64

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

the average number of employees per plant in the minimum week,
the maximum, and all weeks combined, when the numbers employed
in the various weeks are totaled for all plants canning the same
product or combination of products. It indicates the variations in
the important States.
Obviously, the numbers employed before and after the canning
season are insignificant. When one or two seasonal vegetables are
canned, an average of only 3 persons per plant (ranging in the various
States from 1 to 7) have employment during the weeks in which the
plant is getting ready for the canning season or is clearing up after­
ward. These may be master mechanics who overhaul the machinery
and equipment, or shippers, or custodial men. Even when prepara­
tions for the season are in full swing, the numbers at work in these
one-or-two-seasonal-vegetable plants are very small, averaging not
quite 6 to the plant for all reporting and as many as 12 to the plant in
only 1 State.
These numbers are increased rapidly as the canning begins until the
maximum week in tomato products, for example, finds an average of
170 wage earners to the plant, and a much larger average in the Indiana
plants. The average employment on peas at the peak is about the
same as that for tomatoes, and does not vary in New York and Wis­
consin. Corn canners and those putting up two seasonal vegetables
average respectively 129 and 139 in the maximum week. In these
short-season establishments the maximum number employed ranges
from less than 10 times to more than 20 times the number in the week
of minimum employment.
Indiana plants canning three or more seasonal vegetables, and
plants in all States canning some nonseasonal vegetables in addition,
being larger units, employ a few more in the off season. But at best,
employment for the greater part of the year is offered to only a few
persons.
Only where full-year operation is the practice of the canner are any
considerable number of workers given employment over an extended
period. In plants canning all kinds of seasonal and nonseasonal
products, the average number employed in the week of least employ­
ment in the canning season is 95 a plant. Employment reaches 432
per plant in the maximum week, and averages 182 per plant over the
year. Table VIII shows conclusively that this type of operation—a
variety of products spread out over the year—also reduces the peaks
when these plants can seasonal products. Under this system the
maximum week requires the work of but 5 times as many employees
as the minimum week, whereas in seasonal-fruit-and-vegetable plants
the maximum week has 33 times the number of employees in the
minimum week. In two-vegetable plants in the season the maximum
is approximately 10 times the minimum, and in the one-vegetable
and the all-fruit canneries it varies from less than 4 times in one State
in the vegetable group to almost 40 times in the fruit group as a whole.
A clear picture of the fluctuation in numbers employed week by week
in the several States on different products may be obtained from the
charts already presented and discussed. In these charts the maxi­
mum number employed in any one week is represented in each State
by 100, and the numbers employed in all other weeks are related to
that peak.




65

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

Table VIII.—Average number of employees per plant during and out of the canning

season in the principal canning States, by type of pack
Before and after canning season i
Average number of persons per
plant in—

Number
reporting

One seasonal vegetable
only:
Tomatoes and tomato
products...... ..........

During canning season
Average number of persons per
plant in—

Week of Average
Week of Average Week of
Week of
minimum maximum
minimum maximum
of all
of all
employ­
employ­
employ­
employ­
weeks
weeks
ment
ment
ment
ment

4
29.
22

2

6

3

8

170

77

3

.

63

12
10
2

1
6
1

16
10
10

188
230
86

109
122
50

<*>
1

5

3

9

129

71

13
5

3

4
10

1
7

9
40

129
145

70
99

6

1

6

3

14

176

91

9
9

1
2

5
8

3
4

14
12

122
155

56
65

7
8.

8

21
11

13
4

30
20

340
147

150
72

13

24

951

205

Seasonal fruits and season­
al vegetables---------------

21

22

New York----------------

17
4

26
10

887
138

Seasonal and nonseasonal
vegetables------------------

33

15

244

76

25
17
19
17
8

334
257
232
388
180

150
85
85
134
59

71

95.

432

182

14
5
7
8

34
198
61
25
900
22
18

857
400
432
306
2, 545
197
107
334

250
285
140
160
1,198
65
48
87

Corn................................

Two seasonal vegetables
only:

Three or more seasonal
vegetables:

20

3
6

8
6
9
Seasonal and nonseasonal
products of all kinds-----

1

1

9

3

6
6

14
13

8
9

19

26

23

3

26
4
Washington------------

3

725

la

1

209
252
59

i Figures cover entire range of periods reported,
i Not 1 person per plant.

INDIVIDUAL WORKER’S AMOUNT OF EMPLOYMENT

The changes in the numbers employed discussed in the foregoing
pages and illustrated on chart II indicate the fluctuation m employ­
ment from week to week in the canning industry; in other words, the
industry’s variable demand for workers. But they do not show how
many weeks of work each person employed actually had a matter ol




66

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

vital importance to the individual, though obviously he or she cannot
have work for longer than the production curve of the industry war­
rants. To secure some information on this, the Women’s Bureau
transcribed from the records of 381 canneries—all that had such
records—the number of weeks each individual whose name appeared
on a pay roll worked for that plant in 1937.
In one area, the Stockton canning area in California, all firms were
canvassed to determine how much shifting of individuals from firm
to firm there was during a season. It was found that 6 percent of the
wage earners had been employed in more than one cannery in the
1937 season, transfers taking place when a cannery putting up earlv
and summer vegetables and fruits slowed down operations and
another cannery in the community continued on tomato products
Whenever a community’s canneries afford the worker opportunity of
continuing his or her employment in such manner, there will be some
extension of individual employment. Migrants, too, may work in
several seasonal-product canneries in several communities. How­
ever, with the height of the season coming in August in all but pea
and asparagus canneries, not many new people will be taken on when
the peak is over.
There were 161,849 wage earners on the pay rolls of 1937 in the 381
plants.whose record of individual workers’ employment was complete.
Applying to these 381 plants the 6-percent duplication as found in
the Stockton area, the number of persons on these pay rolls at some
time m the year averaged 399 to a plant, whereas the average number
m the week of maximum employment in the 609 canneries included
m the survey was about 229 to a plant. There would seem to be no
question as to the abundance of the labor supply, though the quantity
may be in no way indicative of the quality.
Grouping all types of plants together, a third of the employees on
pay rolls during the year worked under 4 weeks and almost a
third (31 percent) worked 4 and under 8 weeks. Thus a large majorityi 64 percent, had less than 8 weeks of employment in canning
plants considered as a group. Sixteen percent had work for 8 and
under 12 weeks, and another 7 percent for 12 and under 16. Only
3 percent worked 46 weeks or more in the year, that is, had approxi­
mately a full year’s employment. And only 4 percent of the nearly
162,000 employees with weeks worked reported had employment in
the same plant for three-fourths or more of the year.
How are these employment figures for the industry modified for
the groups of plants packing different combinations of products?
Naturally the length of the canning or packing season as shown in
table III is the determining factor in the number of weeks of employ­
ment for the individual. And yet, regardless of the length of the
canning season, at least one-fifth of the employees in every group
worked fewer than 4 weeks, and at least one-fourth worked 4 weeks
but not so many as 8. In the one-vegetable canning plants, 83 per­
cent of the employees worked less than 8 weeks—the average period
over which these canneries packed—in 1937. This proportion was
reduced to 77. percent in the two-vegetable plants and to 70 percent
m those canning three or more vegetables. When fruits only were
canned, the proportion working under 8 weeks dropped to 58 percentwhen seasonal vegetables and fruits were combined, to 55 percent.




Table

IX.—Percent distribution of employees according to number of weeks they worked in 1937, by type of pack
Total employees

Employees with weeks worked reported
Percent1 who worked—

Total.. _____
Seasonal
Total

vegetables

381

165,643

45.7

181

53,691

51.2

112
43
26

27, 924
15, 215
10, 552

47.8
58.3
49.8

54.3

161,849

33.3

1 vegetable_____ __ ...
2 vegetables
3 or more vegetables_____
Fruits only_____
Seasonal fruits and seasonal
vegetables
_______ _
Seasonal and nonseasonal
products of all kinds
Nonseasonal vegetables
Jams, jellies, preserves, and
fruit juices___________ ____
Olives —____________ ____

48.8

51,133

38.8

39.4

52.2
41.7
50.2

25, 762
15,082
10, 289

39.8
36.3
40.0

42.7
40.2
30.1

15.5

6.7

3.8

0.7

2.3

0.3

1.3

1.0

14.2

3.2

1.4

.3

1.0

.1

.4

13.0
15.1
16.0

1.8
3.8
5.9

.7
1.5
3.0

.2
.2
.5

.5
1.2
1.8

.1
.1
.1

.4
.4
.4

1.9

21.6

.3

.4

4.8

.2
.4
.5

.2
.4
.7

7.7
.9
2.5

.6

.5

1.6

.6

.5

.1
1.4

0.1

0.8

1.1

.3

w

.3

.3
.2
.5

m
D)

.2
.2
.5
.7
.3

13

16, 389

36.6

63.4

16,134

23.3

34.3

20.6

12.3

4.0

.5

1.5

.2

.9

.6

17

20, 394

34.1

65.9

20, 372

27.2

27.9

21.3

9.6

7.2

.6

2.7

.5

1.0

.6

126
20

69, 372
1,623

47.0
55.4

53.0
44.6

68, 414
1, 623

34.2
22.9

25.1
26.7

13.6
15.8

7.3
8.2

4.6
3. 2

1.2
.7

3.2
3.2

.5
.8

2.1
3.9

1.6
3.1

.3
.4

1.2
2.2

1.7
4.3

3.6
4.7

17
7

2, 609
1, 565

47.0
39.0

53.0
61.0

2, 608
1, 565

21.9
23.3

32.6
24.7

17.4
14.3

3.9
7.2

3. 1
6.0

.9
1.5

1.9
5.6

.7
.9

1.9
3.0

3.2
3.6

.2
1.3

1.6
2.8

3.5
3.1

7.0
2.7

1 For numbers see appendix tables VII A to I, available on request.
* Less than 0.05 percent.




31.1

only—

.1

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Num­
ber of
plants Number Percent Percent
Number Un­ 4, un­ 8, un­ 12,
16,
21,
27,
33,
40,
46,
men women
der 4 der 8 der 12 un­
20
39
26
52
un­
un­
un­ un­
un­
un­
weeks weeks weeks der 16 der 20 weeks der 26 weeks der 33 der 39 weeks der 46 der 52 weeks
weeks weeks
weeks
weeks weeks
weeks weeks

Type ol pack

Weeks
worked
not re­
ported
(percent
of total
employ­
ees)

05
<1

68

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Though slightly larger proportions worked 8 and under 12 weeks,
and 12 and under 16 weeks, as the number of vegetables canned
increased, a very small proportion of workers employed in seasonalvegetable canning worked 16 weeks or more. Seasonal-fruit canners
employed 21 percent of their wage earners for 8 and under 12 weeks,
and 12 percent for 12 and under 16 weeks. The seasonal-fruit-andvegetable plants supplied 8 percent of their workers with employment
for 16 to 20 weeks, though 31 percent worked 8 and under 16 weeks.
When all types of seasonal and nonseasonal products were canned,
the type of pack employing much the largest group of workers, em­
ployment advantage took the form of a spread of more wage earners
over a large part of the year, but even here only 11 percent of the
employees had work for 26 weeks or more and only 7 percent worked
for 39 to 52 weeks.
Nonseasonal plants do employ a somewhat larger proportion of
workers the entire year, though the majority do not work much longer
than in seasonal plants. Nine percent of the wage earners in plants
canning nonseasonal vegetables had 46 weeks or more of employment;
jam and jelly plants employed 10){ percent for 46 weeks or more.
Table IX shows the proportions working specific numbers of weeks
in 1937, according to type of pack. In the appendix8 will be found
such distributions by State. California shows a better distribution
than other States in several types of canning.

,

SOURCES OF SEASONAL LABOR SUPPLY

Who are the people available for such highly seasonal short-time
employment? Time did not permit interviews with individual em­
ployees to determine their status. Instead, employers were asked
as to the source of their labor supply. As personnel histories of
seasonal employees were not a matter of record, the statements given
are the general ideas of the employers concerning their workers.
There seems to be agreement that since the depression the main
dependence for seasonal labor in the majority of canneries is the im­
mediate vicinity of the plant. The local people may be farmers or
members of farmers’ families, agricultural wage earners, local casual
labor in nearby towns, industrial labor not busy in summer, house­
wives, and students. Added to these neighborhood groups are the
migrants. While this term is used to describe persons who seek a
living in groups by following the crops, it is used also to include groups
that are brought out from a city by the canning company and housed
in company shelters during the season.
Men Seasonal Workers.
The character of the community determines largely the proportion
of workers of any specific status. Throughout the Middle West
almost all plants reported the employment of men who wore farmers or
local casual workers. Migrants were missing in Iowa, and were
mentioned by relatively few plants in other middle western States.
In Indiana and Illinois many canneries gave employment to industrial
workers from nearby factories. Wisconsin canneries made use of
student labor.
8 See tables VIIA to VII I, in mimeographed appendix to this report, available from Women’s Bureau on
request.




t

j

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

69

In Maryland local casual workers were the source of male labor
reported by the larger number of rural and town canneries. They
may have been employed as oyster shuckers, crab pickers, on the
roads, about the filling stations, or at any odd jobs the community
afforded. But almost half the plants reported migrants. These
were of two types. Some came up from the South in groups under
boss leadership and had been working on other crops; others were
obtained by cannery management from Baltimore and also camped
near the cannery.
In New York State the village and town casual workers and the
farmers each constituted an important source of male labor supply.
However, in some canneries agricultural wage earners, and in others
the industrial workers, were important sources of supply.
California canneries reported more migrant men than did canneries
in other States. Some of these men had worked in fruit-packing
houses, on grapes, in pruning and trimming orchards, or in other work
related to California’s crops. In Washington the local casual male
worker was likely to be a cannery worker during the summer.
Woman Labor Supply.
There was more uniformity in the States in the source of woman
labor supply than in the source of the seasonal male labor supply.
Housewives in the town or village and from nearby towns were re­
ported as a dependable source by over four-fifths of all canning plants,
and farmers’ wives and daughters by over three-fifths of the plants.
Further, the town housewives comprised three-fourths or more of the
women seasonal workers in 44 percent of the plants giving them
employment. More than-one-tenth of the plants reported women
casual laborers, meaning chiefly women available for domestic service,
and women industrial workers. Approximately 20 percent of all
plants reporting employed migrant women. The larger number of
such plants were in California, the women having worked earlier in
the year on crops elsewhere in the State. In Maryland the groups
brought into the State from the South were made up of women as
well as men, and women were brought from Baltimore. In New York
canning firms brought women, chiefly from Italian families, from
Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, and housed them in labor camps.
Girl students formed a small proportion of the canning force in all
States.
HOURS WORKED
METHOD OF SECURING DATA

Women’s Bureau field investigators consulted each employer visited
in 1938 concerning a period in that year when his plant was actively
canning one of the major products. From the pay-roll period chosen,
occupation, regular hours worked, overtime hours worked, method of
wage payment, rate of pay, and earnings were transcribed for each
employee. Any deductions for gloves, uniforms, and supplies were
noted, as were additions due to minimum-wage orders. As the week
selected was prior to October 24, 1938, the date on which the Fair
Labor Standards Act became effective, the wages and hours of workers,
though affected by State laws, represented conditions before the




70

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Federal Act went into effect. In 1939 a similar week’s records were
secured for the same plants, wherever possible, substitute plants
being scheduled when canneries surveyed in 1938 had not operated
in 1939. These 1939 pay rolls reflected the changes brought about
by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
While numerous canneries have excellent pay-roll records, the
pocket notebook still is the only bookkeeping record in many others.
When wage earners are paid by the hour, a record necessarily is kept
of the hours they work. When workers are employed at piece rates,
some factories keep a record of the amount of work done, the time
worked, and the amount paid; others record only the work done and
the amount paid. In some places the worker still is given a token or
small metal piece for each bucket of prepared produce turned in.
Some canners require women to turn in the tokens at the end of each
day, in order that a record of earnings may be kept by the day. In
other plants they are turned in to the office as the worker wants
money, in which case there is no record of days or hours worked and no
hourly earnings can be computed. Canners without bookkeepers
may simply record the total of what was paid out to piece workers
without any note as to number employed.
In California, though higher rates must be paid for overtime, the
amount of overtime need not be entered on the pay roll. Some firms
had adopted this method of computation for women piece workers,
optional under State regulations:
To count daily hours of regular time (1 to 8 a day) as 1 hour each; of overtime
(9 to 12 hours) as 1% hours each; and of double time (over 12 hours) as 2 hours
each. Thus 14 hours worked in one day would comprise 8 at the regular rate (8),
4 at 1)4 the rate (5), and 2 at double the rate (4), a total of 17 hours, instead of 14,
to be entered on the pay roll as the hours worked.

Totaled for the week with daily differences not shown, it was not
possible for the Women’s Bureau field agents to separate regular and
overtime hours without referring to each worker’s time card.
Wherever the token system of payment or a punch-card record of
amount done was the only accounting of piece workers, hours worked
and hourly earnings of such workers could not be ascertained.
HOURS WORKED, 1938, AND STATE HOUR REGULATION

State regulations limiting the hours of work of women were in
effect at the time of the 1938 survey in canneries in California, Illinois,
Pennsylvania, New York, and Wisconsin. Minnesota exempted can­
neries from the 54-hour law for a period not exceeding 75 days in the
year. Overtime rates for hours in excess of 8 a day were required in
California, Pennsylvania, and Washington (union plants only), and
for more than 9 hours in Wisconsin. The Illinois law set maximum
hours for women workers at 10 a day, 60 a week, from June 1 to
October 15. In New York the maximum hours are 10 a day, 60 a
week, from June 15 to October 15.
Hours worked are given in the tables following by the type of
product on which the hours were worked. A total is not made for
all products, as a pay roll on two or more different products was taken
from the same firm when it canned important quantities of such
products.




Table X.—Hours

worked by women, 1988 seasonr by State—TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS

227123

N umber and percent1 of women
Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

Total

California

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Maryland

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Virginia

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber
ber
ber
cent
ber
cent
cent
ber
cent
ber
cent
cent
ber
ber
cent
cent
ber
ber
cent
cent

5,884
64
667
32
306
749
43
1,453
45
74
i Computed for chief groups only.




52.8
.6
6. 0
3
2.7
6
6. 7
.4
13.0
.4
4 6
11. 2

2,762 ioo.o
24.8

256 100.6
2.3

2,212
1
197
3
86
4
156
5
83

163
7
13

7
5
3

80.1

5
33
7
3
12
1
10
2

63.7

7,336
3,’ 764 100.0
33.8
1,989
40
186
14
71
14
310
19
595
14
201
301
10

52.8

15.8

456
353 100.0
3.2
96
1
4
1
10
26
1
136
1
58
17
2

27.2

38.5
16.4

2,601
600 100.0
5.4
340
4
129
4
5
l
29
63
2
15
7
1

56.7

276
274 100.0
2. 5
249
3
5
7
5
1
4

90.9

2,924
2,192 100.0
19.7

785
785 100.0
7. 0

1,307
161

22.0

251 32.0
3
71 _____
1
18
7
48
1
223 28.4
24
62
76

102
1
11

482
7
53
9
102
6
162
14
319
3
151
826
58

14.6
37.7

100.0
63.4
_____

4
4
4
17
3
15

10.6

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Women with hours reported. 11,147 100.0
Percent distribution. ... ------ 100. 0

72

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Tomatoes and Tomato Products.
Canneries putting up tomatoes and tomato products gave employ­
ment for not as much as 40 hours to 44 percent of their employees
during an active canning week. Only in New York State and certain
States with relatively few employees did less than a third work short
hours. The proportion of women working under 40 hours (53 percent)
was greater than the proportion of men, the latter being 36 percent.
Some of the wage earners had work for less than 20 hours.
Another considerable group of women, 13 percent, worked over 48
and under 56 hours. Men in a similar proportion worked these hours.
States in which a workweek of this length was important were Iowa
and Ohio, where respectively 39 and 28 percent of the women worked
such hours; in Indiana and New York, respectively 16 and 15 percent
had a week of that duration.
A third concentration occurred at 60 and under 80 hours. New
York State employed 38 percent of its women tomato workers a week
of this length, and from 8 to 10 percent of the women in Indiana,
Virginia, and Ohio worked such hours. Further, New York employed
3 percent of its women workers 80 hours or more. Much larger pro­
portions of men worked these long hours.9
The State laws were observed closely in tomato canneries in the
period for which pay-roll records were taken. While the State maxi­
mum for New York canneries from June 15 to October 15 was a
10-hour day and 60-hour week, firms could secure permits for a 12hour day and a 66-hour week for women between June 25 and August
5. Apparently, few New York canneries availed themselves of that
privilege, though concentration did occur at 60 hours. In California
only 4 percent of the women in tomato canning worked longer than
48 hours, after which overtime rates began.
Corn.
Hours were short for one-third of the wage earners in corn canneries
in the pay-roll week recorded in the 1938 com season. In practically
every State more women than men had short hours. However,
though some two-fifths of the women corn canners worked under 40
hours, one-fifth worked over 48 and under 56, and another fifth
worked over 56 hours. Almost one-half the men worked over 56
hours. The week was especially long for women in Maryland,
Minnesota, and New York, where State laws exempted canneries or
permitted women to work 60 to 66 hours.
Peas.
In pea canneries 64 percent of the women worked under 40 hours,
8 percent worked over 44 and under 48, and 9 percent worked over
48 and under 56 hours. Seven percent worked 60 and under 80 hours.
The larger proportions working long hours were in New York, Iowa,
Maryland, and Indiana. Only New York State had an hour law that
governed canneries, and there 60 to 66 hours were permitted. In
Wisconsin few canneries had any need of the emergency days of 11
9 For hours of all employees and of men, see tables VIII A to VIIII in mimeographed appendix to this
report, available from Women's Bureau on request.




Table

XI.—Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State

CORN

Number and percent1 of women

Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

Illinois

Total

Indiana

Maryland

Iowa

Minnesota

New York

Washington

Wisconsin

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

9,258
8,904
100.0

100.0

1,775
1,710
19.2

100.0

1,066
1,053
11.8

100.0

895
876
9.8

100.0

1,053
796
8.9

100.0

3,163
3,163
35.5

100.0

885
885
9.9

100.0

95
95
1.1

100.0

326 __
326
3.7

3,640
54
257
Over 40, under 42 _ ---------------------------22
381
Over 42, under 44---------------------------------64
633
Over 44, under 48---------------------------------86
1,835
42
479
Over 56, under 60--. ---------------------60, under 80-- ------------------------------ 1,211
200
80 and over--------------- ---------------------------

40.9
.6
2.9
.2
4.3
.7
7.1
1.0
20.6
.5
5.4
13.6
2.2

46.6

513

58.6

31.1

95

100.0

271

Under 40----- ----------

---------- ------

i Computed for chief groups only.




856
34
33
7
153
13
175
1
393
41
4

50.1

10.2
23.0

491
11
104
4
60
35
36
3
201
3
44
58
3

19.1

11
io
1
61

9.9

155
2
1

19.5

23
3
37

98
2
27
148
5

11.2

170

16.9

’ 44
301
60

21.4
37^8

31.1
984
4
57
1
104
11
9.4
298
3
28.1
890
5
274
528 ~’m7~
4

275
3
32
31
1
26
79
81
32
25
172
128

19
10

8.9
9.2

2
24

19.4
14.5

..
83.1

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Per­
cent

Total women employees---------------Women with hours reported---------Percent distribution. ------------------

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

CO

Table

XII.—Hours worked by women, 1988 season, by State—PEAS

4^

Number and percent1 of women
California

Dlinois

Indiana

Iowa

Maryland

Minnesota

New York

Virginia

Washington Wisconsin

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber
cent ber cent ber cent
Total women employees___ 6, 297
Women with hours re­
ported_______ ________ 6, 293
Percent distribution......... 100.0
Under 40_______
40..............................
Over 40, under 42..
42_______________
Over 42, under 44
44_______________
Over 44, under 48..
48_______________
Over 48, under 56..
56_______________
Over 56, under 60..
60, under 80______
80 and over______

116 100.0
1.8

4,024
41
155
44
180
30
516
28
535
26
198
450

63.9
.7
2.5
.7
2.9
.5

66

1.0

1 Computed for chief groups only.




116

8.2

.4
8.5
.4
3.1
7.2

116

927
340 100.0
5.4
257

185 100.0
2.9

112
1.8

644 100.0
10.2
66.1

.....
.....

275
4
25
5
33

42.7

71
15.2

1
1
56

67
90
5

591

694
3
29

1
1
27

9

11

19.7

1,426

2,288

927 100.0 1,425 100.0
14.7
22.6

12
20

2
11.0

44

10.4

6
121

13. 1

5
124
5
162
15
63
254
39

48.7

29 100.0
0.5
100.0

229
3.6
199
.....
.....

...”

"19'

2,286
36.3
86.!

1,674
33
80
24
91
11
200

15
130
3
23

1
1

73.2

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERV IN G

Hours worked in pay-roll
week recorded

VEGETABLES AMD DECIDUOUS FRUITS

75

hours and weeks of 60 hours permitted by law; all but a few women
worked less than the 54-hour week that is the usual maximum.
Men worked much longer hours than did women in pea canneries.
More than half worked in excess of 56 hours in the pay-roll week
scheduled. These men were found in every State of importance in
the canning of peas. The only other group of any size worked under
40 hours in the week.
Green Beans.
Undertime was more prevalent than overtime in the canneries pack­
ing green beans in 1938. However, 18 percent of all employees worked
60 hours or more in the pay-roll period covered. The proportion of
men was especially large in New York and in Wisconsin, where
respectively 59 percent and 53 percent worked 60 hours or more. None
of the women in Wisconsin, but 15 percent of those in New York,
worked such long hours.
Spinach.
Reports of hours worked on spinach were secured in California and
Maryland canneries. About 40 percent of the men in California
worked over 48 hours, and a much larger proportion did so in Mary­
land. The proportion of women working overtime in California was
about 15 percent. Hour records of women piece workers in Mary­
land were too few to be indicative of hours worked.
Asparagus.
Reports from asparagus canneries in California and Illinois showed
that many employees had worked less than 40 hours. However, 22
percent of the men worked over 48 and under 56 hours and more than
10 percent worked 60 hours or more. Fewer than 5 percent of the
women exceeded 48 hours.
Sauerkraut.
New York and Wisconsin are the important sauerkraut States. In
New York these canneries could employ women for 10 hours daily
and 60 hours weekly from September 1 to December 1. However,
only 18 percent of all employees in firms reporting worked as long as
60 hours in the week of 1938, and very few women were employed as
many as 60 hours. In Wisconsin, plants could employ women 10
hours a day during emergency periods of not more than 4 weeks a
year, weekly hours not to exceed 55. No women were employed so
long as 56 hours in the week.
Pickles.
Only about 8 percent of all employees in pickle factories in 4 States
worked as long as 56 hours in the pay-roll period in 1938. These
employees were all men, 12 percent of whom worked 60 hours and
over. Women employees exceeded 48 hours only in California, where
the proportion was 37 percent. In that State hours over 8 and up to
12 were compensated at time and a quarter, and hours over 12 at
double time.




Table

XIII.—Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—GREEN BEANS

-A
05

Number and percent' of women
California

Total
Num­
ber

Total women employees___

. _

Percent distribution
Under 40_______
________ ___
40
Over 40, under 42
42
Over 42, under 44. _____________ ...
44
Over 44, under 48._ _
_ _
48.. .
Over 48, under 56_. _____
___ ____
56_______
Over 56, under 60. _
___
__________
60, under 80 __
__
_
80 and over.. ________________
1 Computed for chief groups only.




Per­
cent

7,450
7,029
100.0

100.0

3, 212
37
183
34
213
54
795
137
1,708
24
208
401
23

45.7
.5
2.6
.5
3.0
.8
11.3
1.9
24.3
.3
3.0
5.7
.3

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

344
344
4.9

100.0

217

63.1

3
3
1
4
1
77
10
22
6

Indiana
Num­
ber
561
171
2. 4
127
1
6
6
1
5

22.4

14
5
6

Per­
cent

100.0
74.3

Iowa
Num­
ber
131
131
1.9
43
6
4
4
21
34
1
9
9

Maryland

New York

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

100.0

1, 560
1, 529
21.8

100.0

1,785
1,785
25. 4

100.0
38.8

32.8

16.0
26.0

783
7
26
4
16
1
59
3
451
1
30
125
23

51.2

29.5

693
8
32
7
101
24
211
110
241
2
96
260

Washington
Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

347
347
4.9

100.0

2,722
2,722
38.7

196

56.5

5

----

...

11.8

13.5
14. 6

Wisconsin

3
35
11
96
1

10.1
27.7

1,153
15
107
23
80
6
447
11
820
11
45
4

Per­
cent

100.6
42.4

16.4
30.1

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

Table XIV.—Hours

worked by women, 1938 season, by State—SPINACH; ASPARAGUS; SAZjERKRAUT
Number and percent1 of women

Hours worked in pay-roll
week recorded

California

cent

ber

Percent

Maryland

ber

Percent

Total women emWomen with hours

Total

Number

3,906
100.0

100.0

3,823
97.9

100.0

83
2.1

100.0

3,489
100. 0

61.0

2,357

61.7

24
1

28.9

2,405
64
295
66
182
23
279
19
105
1
33
17

17
14.5
9.1
DO— --------—-----

10

-----------46

1 Computed for chief groups only.
2 Less than 0.05 percent.




11

10

36

43.4

Number

Percent

Illinois

Number

Percent

New Jersey
and Pennsylvania
Number

Percent

New York

Total

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

W isconsin

Num- Perber
cent

331

423

754

19

395

3,076

3,490

2,381

Percent distribution _

Percent

California

100.0

3,075
88.1

100.0

395
11.3

100.0

19
0.5

100.0

753
100.0

100.0

422
56.0

100.0

331
44.0

100.0

68.9
1.8
8.5
1.9
5.2
.7
8.0
.5
3.0
(2)
.9
.5

2,089
46
238
59
177
23
273
19
101
1
33
16

67.9

297
18
57
7
5

75.2

19

100.0

241
1
15
15
15
18
187
17
222

32.0
.1
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.4
24.8
2.3
29.5

111

26.3

130

39.3

3
18
1

.4
2.4
.1

3
18
1

6
4
1

11
1
3
18
117
16
122

4
14
12
27.7
28.9

70
1
100

21.1
30.2

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

ber

Sauerkraut

Asparagus

Spinach

Table

XV.—Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—PICKLES; OLIVES

■<!

Number and percent1 of women
Olives

Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded
Total

California

Illinois

Ohio

Wisconsin

Total

California

Num­
ber

Women with hours reported___

40
42
Over 42, under 44
44
48
Over 48, under 56 ___ ___
_ _
__
56____________________________________
1 Computed for chief groups only.




v

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

627
623
100.0

100.0

145
141
22.6

100.0

162
162
26.0

100.0

174
174
27.9

100.0

146
146
23.4

100.0

774
760
100.0

100.0

663
663
87.2

100.0

222
67
95
6
72
2
102
5
52

35.6
10.8
15.2
1.0
11.6
.3
16.4
.8
8.3

416
21
11
5
133
5
67
2
92
8

54.7
2.8
1.4
.7
17.5
.7
8.8
.3
12.1
1.1

377
1
6
5
133
3
55
2
73
8

19
36

25.5

13
16
5
52

78
25
11
3
2
43

36.9

48.1

26.5

53
34
24
1
40
22

30.5
19.5
23.0

72
8
24
5
16

49.3

21

14.4

16.4

56.9

New Jersey
and Pennsyl­
vania
Num­
ber

Ohio

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

73
73
9.6

100.0

38
24
3.2

100.0

15
20
5

20.5
27.4

24

2
12

16.4

19

26.0

20.1

100.0

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND CA N N IN G AND PRESERV IN G

Pickles

/

Table

XVI.-

-Hours worked by women, 1938 season, by State—LARGE FRUITS; SMALL FRl ITS
Number and percent1 of women
Small fruits

Large fruits
Hoars worked in pay-roll
week recorded

Total women employees.
Women with hours re­
ported
Percent distribution----Under 40________
40________ ______
Over 40, under 42.
42........ ......................
Over 42, under 44.
44_______________
Over 44, under 48.
48_______________
Over 48, under 56.
Over 56, under 60.
___
60, under 80______
80 and over----------

100.0

1

Percent

48.7
1.7
4.2
.7
4.2
.5
10.5
1.7
16.0
1.3
5.6
4.8

(a)

8,676
320
741
135
564
90
1,507
319
2,879
253
997
648

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

1,825
9.6

100.0

2,166
100.0

100.0

50.7

552

30.2

8.8

236
4
482
9
155

1,169
7
59
9
375
31
262
31
190

54.0
.3
2.7
.4
17.3
1.4
12.1
1.4
8.8

12
21

.6
1.0

6

58

6

is. 8

12.9
26.4

2

56
258

1

14.1

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

982

252

933

2,167

1,826

17,129
90.4

18, 954

9,228
326
799
141
800
94
1,989
328
3,034
255
1,053
906

Number
17,140

18,966

i Computed for chief groups only.
* Less than 0.05 percent.




Percent

Washington

New York

California

Total

932
43.0

100.0

252
11.6

100.0

982
45.3

100.0

478
2
4
2
309
30
103
3
1

51.3

133
1
4
2
16

52.8

558
4
51
5
50
1
154
14
128

56.8

33.2

5
14
61
2
14

24.2

7

15.7

___

VEGETABLES ABU DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Number

Washington

California

Total

-4
CD

Table

XVII—Hours worked, by women, 1938 season, by State—JAMS, JELLIES, PRESERVES, AND FRUIT JUICES• PORK
AND BEANS
’

Oo
O

Number and percent1 of women

Total

Num­
ber

New Jersey
and Penn­
sylvania

New York

Num­
ber

100.0

291
45.3

100.0

47
7.3

100.0

46
7.2

100.0

74
11.5

247
171
36
1
20
26
82
11
34

38.4
26.6
5.6
.2
3.1
4.0
12.8
1.7
5.3

97
141
5
1

33.3
48.5

21
20

44.7
42.6

18
1

39.1

23
1
27

2
13

.3
2.0

2
12

1 Computed for chief groups only.




Illinois

Per­
cent

Total women em­
ployees
670
Women with hours
reported.. ____
643
Percent distribution. 100.0
Under 40__________
40_______________
Over 40, under 42 _ _
42.___ _
Over 42, under 44______
44________
Over 44, under 48______
48___________
Over 48, under 56.. .
56
Over 56, under 60. ____ _
60, under 80___ _

California

Per­
cent

294

19
1
13

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

47

3

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

70

19

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

74

41.3

3
12
8

Pork and beans

Ohio

Num­
ber

Illinois

Indiana

Num­
ber

17
2.6

100.0

168
26.1

100.0

218
100.0

100.0

45
20.6

100.0

173
79.4

100.0

6
1

35.3

88
2
3

52.4

162
6
1

74.3
2.8
.5

23
2

51.1

139
4
1

80.3

9
3
27
5
4
1

4.1
1.4
12.4
2.3
1.8
.5

3
7

Per­
cent

168

31.1
36. 5

Total

Per­
cent

17
100.0

Washington

41.2

9
4
45
2
14
1

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

332

26.8

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

45

287

2
13
3
1
1

Num­ Per­
ber
cent

28.9

7
3
14
2
3

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit juices
Hours worked in pay-roll
week recorded

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

81

Olives.
Work beyond 48 hours was done chiefly by men in California olive
plants, though 44 percent of all men worked under 40 hours a week.
Very few women were employed longer than 48 hours.
Fruits.
When the larger fruits were canned in California and Washington—■
both States in which overtime rates were paid to women after 8
hours a day—28 percent of the women worked over 48 hours. Twelve
percent of the women worked over 44 and including 48 hours. Almost
half the women, but only 19 percent of the men, worked under 40
hours. Another 19 percent of the men were employed over 48 to 56
hours, and 43 percent exceeded 56 hours.
In the States reporting on the small fruits, cherries and berries,
there was much less overtime. However, 23 percent of the men em­
ployees worked over 56 hours in the pay period recorded.
Nonseasonal Products.
Hours were shorter on nonseasonal than on seasonal products.
In pork-and-bean packing only 5 percent of the men and only one
woman were reported to have worked as long as 56 hours. Almost
three-fourths of the women and two-fifths of the men worked under
40 hours in the week.
In California and Illinois jam and jelly plants few men and no
women worked over 40 hours in the pay-roll period taken in 1938.
Though numbers reported were small, hours were longer in Washing­
ton, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
HOURS WORKED, SEASON OF 1939

When the second visit was paid to seasonal-product canneries, the
Fair Labor Standards Act had been in effect the greater part of a year.
The hour records, therefore, were subject to the influence of that act.
As has been stated, canneries in rural communities and within 10
miles of the fields from which produce was secured were exempt from
the law, and others were permitted 14 weeks of overtime without
overtime pay while canning perishable or seasonal fresh fruits or
vegetables.
Table XVIII shows the hours worked by all employees in an active
week in 1938 and one in 1939 (not in all cases identical plants), by
type of product packed and for the principal producing States.
In 1938 tomato and tomato-product canneries in Indiana employed
about half their workers more than 44 hours in a week of active can­
ning. In 1939 this proportion was increased to 58 percent. In the
later year 37 percent, as compared with 27 percent in the earlier year,
worked over 56 hours. Considerably fewer persons were employed
short hours, that is, hours under 40, in 1939. As many Indiana
tomato canneries were in rural communities, this condition may reflect
differences in flow of tomatoes in the 2 years. In Maryland tomato
canneries, also, increased proportions of workers were employed over
44 hours and over 56 hours in 1939. This situation also prevailed in
California and Illinois, though not in other tomato-canning States




Table
_______

XVIII—Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by product and by State {identical plants in most cases)
TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS

OO

^* 40 * 42 * 44

Employees with hours worked reported

Total___________
Under 40... .
40__________
Over 40, under 42___
42...
__
Over 42, under 44______
44_______
Over 44, under 48____ .
.
48______ ____
Over 48, under 56___
56...
Over 56, under 60_______
60, under 80_____
80 and over^ _

California
1938

Illinois
1939

1938




1939

1938

Maryland
1938

1 Less than 0.05 percent.

1938

Iowa
1939

1938

1939

1938

1939
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number
Percent Number Percent Number Percent
8,049
4,544
100.0
100.0
487
100.0
984
100.0
8, 728
100.0
10,710
100.0
603
100.0
1,593
100.0
3,015
3,528
66.4
43.8
259
53.2
197
20.0
3,788
43.4
3,357
31.3
190
31.5
839
52.7
21
80
.5
1.0
8
1.6
24
2.4
60
.7
78
.7
1
.2
4
.3
261
243
5.7
3.0
19
3.9
15
1.5
314
3.6
318
3.0
10
1.6
34
2.1
15
81
.3
1.0
4
.8
1
.1
39
.4
44
.4
1
.2
3
.2
241
146
3.2
3.0
10
2.0
28
2.8
173
2.0
464
4.3
16
2.6
36
2.3
332
27
.6
4.1
35
7.2
9
.9
28
.3
254
2.4
1
.2
4
.3
302
6.6
623
7.7
21
4.3
74
7.5
572
6.6
615
38
5.7
6.3
87
5.5
14
115
.3
1.4
3
.6
12
1.2
46
.5
301
2.8
1
.2
4
.3
352
7.7
1,051
13. 1
51
10.5
186
18.9
1,313
15.0
1, 290
12.0
163
27.0
287
18.0
0)
4
78
1.0
2
.4
3
.3
40
.4
76
.7
1
.2
3
.2
109
2.4
525
6.5
17
3.5
190
19.3
484
5.5
910
8.5
78
12.9
65
4.1
175
3.9
1,000
12.4
58
11.9
190
19.3
1,509
17.3
2,148
20.1
91
15.1
181
11.4
103
2.3
152
1.9
55
5.6
362
4.1
855
8.0
12
2.0
46
2.9
Employees with hours worked reported—Continued

Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

Total______
Under 40_______
40_______________
Over 40, under 42
42_______________
Over 42, under 44_.
44_______________
Over 44, under 48..
48_______________
Over 48, under 56..
56_______________
Over 56, under 60 _.
60, under 80______
80 and over_______

Indiana
1939

New York

Virginia

1939
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number
Percent
1,988
100.0
2,550
100.0
4,121
100.0
4,828
100.0
661
100.0
611
100.0
1,006
50.6
1,049
41. 1
758
18.4
1,318
27.3
342
51.7
378
61.9
.9
10
.4
11
.3
23
.5
6
.9
180
9.0
113
4.4
63
1.5
297
6.2
31
4.7
8
1.3
12
.6
23
.9
11
.3
30
.6
2
.3
4
49
2. 5
76
3.0
112
2.7
157
3.3
12
1.8
24
3.9
6
.3
50
2.0
8
.2
46
1.0
14
2.1
5
98
4.9
236
9.3
202
4.9
187
3.9
44
6.7
23
3.8
6
.3
17
.7
19
.5
92
1.9
3
.5
4
264
13.3
463
18.2
427
10.4
413
8.6
76
11.5
50
8.2
7
.3
15
.6
5
.1
16
.3
3
.5
94
4. 7
129
5.1
243
5.9
240
5.0
33
5.0
43
7.0
11. 5
346
13.6
1,475
35.8
1.456
30.2
92
13.9
64
10. 5
.9
23
.9
787
19.1
553
11.5
3
.5
2
.3

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

Table XVIII.—Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by product and by State (identical plants in most cases)—Continued
CORN
Employees with hours worked reported
Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

1939

1938

1939

1938

1939

1938

1939

1938

Maryland

Iowa

Indiana

Hlinois

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent

40
42

_____________

44

80and over ... .__---- -------------

3, 826
1,462
38
73
11
195
15
369
11
706
8
158
571
209

100.0
38.2
1.0
1.9
.3
5.1
.4
9.6
.3
18.5
.2
4.1
14.9
5.5

3, 773
1, 526
10
187
36
63
35
202
25
413
13
285
665
313

100.0
40.4
.3
5.0
1.0
1.7
.9
5.4
.7
10.9
.3
7.6
17.6
8.3

2, 414
912
18
146
11
134
94
121
9
340
8
111
340
170

100.0
37.8
.7
6.0
.4
5.6
3.9
5.0
.4
14.1
.3
4.6
14.1
7.0

2,860
1,114
10
76
19
127
84
197
18
328
8
76
448
355

100.0
39.0
.3
2.7
.7
4.4
2.9
6.9
.6
11.5
.3
2.7
15.7
12.4

1,860
883
1
28
3
39
3
110
4
195
6
84
348
156

100.0
47.5
0)
1.5
.1
2.1
.1
5.9
.2
10.5
.3
4.5
18.7
8.4

1,753
460
3
52
2
54
5
81
2
232

100.0
26.2
.2
3.0
.1
3.1
.3
4. 6
.1
13. 2

124
509
229

7.1
29.0
13.1

2,180
395
4
21
1
41
5
70
2
335
8
118
806
374

100.0
18.1
.2
1.0
C1)
1.9
.2
3.2
(*)
15.4
.3
5.5
37.0
17.2

2,129
718
4
22
4
51
27
137
4
238
2
87
676
159

100.0
33.7
.2
1.0
.2
2.4
1. 3
6.4
.2
11.2
.1
4.1
31.8
7.5

Employees with hours worked reported-—Continued
Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

1939

1938

1939

1938

Wisconsin

New York

Minnesota

1939

1938

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total_____
Under 40_______
40______________
Over 40, under 42.
42______________
Over 42, under 44.
44_________ , —Over 44, under 48.
48______________
Over 48, under 56.
56______________
Over 56, under 60.
60, under 80-----80 and over...........
1 Less than 0.05 percent.




6,239
1,804
8
119
5
149
20
431

100.0
28.9
.1
1.9
(i)
2.4
.3
6.9

1.429

22.9

486
1,274
486

7.8
20.4
7.8

5, 766
2, 372
7
161
19
230
30
318
41
783
H
402
1,017
375

100.0
41.1
.1
2.8
.3
4.0
.5
5.5
.7
13.6
.2
7.0
17.6
6.5

1, 634
404
3
35

100.0
24.7
.2
2.1

35
2
39
81
134
32
37
334
498

2.1
.1
2.4
5.0
8.2
2.0
2.2
20.4
30.5

2,268
598
7
26
8
24
6
77
9
250
5
84
428
746

100.0
26.4
.3
1. 1
.4
1.1
.3
3.4
.4
11.0
.2
3.7
18.9
32.9

594
374
2
38
10
10
1
21

100.0
63.0
.3
6.4
1.7
1.7
.1
3.5

20

3.4

35
50
33

5.9
8.4
5.6

2,844
1,391
3
101
6
92
5
120
14
180
12
100
561
259

100.0
48.9
.1
3.6
.2
3.2
.2
4.2
.5
6.3
.4
3.5
19.7
9.1

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

Total

00
CO

Iable

XVIII.

Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1989 seasons, by product and by State (identical plants in most cases)—Continued
PEAS

0°
^

Employees with hours worked reported
Indiana

19 18

1939

1938

Iowa
1939

Minnesota

1938

1939

1938

1939

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number
Percent
Total______________
Under 40_____
40______
Over 40, under 42___ _
42________
Over 42, under 44 ...
44_________
Over 44, under 48 _____ _______
48____________________
Over 48, under 56_____
______
56___________________
Over 56, under 60______ ______
60, under 80- _ _____
80 and over_

1,276

100.0

1,347

100.0

680

100.0

1,138

100.0

432

100.0

193

100.0

4,229

100.0

3, 719

100.0

539
2
25
2
31

42.2
.1
1.9
.1
2.4

275
1
8
3
4
3
28
11
86
2
17
144
98

40.4
.1
1.2
.4
.6
.4
4.1
1.6
12.6
.3
2.5
21.2
14.4

411
7
18
1
14
169
89
6
106
2
30
160
125

36.1
.6
1.6
.1
1.2
14.9
7.8
.5
9.3
.2
2.6
14. 1
11.0

43.5

153

79.3

7

1.6

2

1.0

10.3
.5
12.8
. 1
5.0
15.1
9.2

48.8
1.0
2.6
.3
3.3
1.0
6.8
.4
11.4
.2
5.0
13.9
5.3

188

132
6
163
2
64
193
117

658
13
35
4
45
13
92
5
153
3
68
187
71

1
1
9
1
38
1
16
100
70

.2
.2
2.1
.2
8.8
.2
3.7
23.1
16.2

1,545
7
107
11
114
12
247
21
512
15
193
876
569

36.5
.2
2.5
.3
2.7
.3
5.8
.5
12.1
.4
4.6
20.7
13.5

1,256
9
70
9
75
8
128
6
309
7
178
902
762

33.8
.2
1.9
.2
2.0
.2
3.4
.2
8.3
.2
4.8
24.3
20.5

3

1.6

14

7.3

7

3.6

1
7
6

.5
3.6
3.1

Employees with hours worked reported—Continued
Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

New York
1938

Virginia
1939

1938

Washington
1939

1938

Wisconsin
1939

1938

1939

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total____
Under 40_____
40_________
Over 40, under 42
42_______
Over 42, under 44
44______
Over 44, under 48
48_______________________
Over 48, under 56__________ ____
56
Over 56, under 60
____ _
60, under 80
80 and over_____ ______




3,642

100.0

3,421

100.0

100

100.0

182

100.0

441

100.0

1,617

100.0

7,580

100.0

6,121

100.0

1,213
10
55
14
48
9
189
13
314
24
168
830
755

33.3
.3
1.5
.4
1.3
.2
5.2
.4
8.6
.7
4.6
22.8
20.7

1, 231
19
85
11
56
52
167
21
332
15
195
735
502

36.0
.6
2.5
.3
1.6
1.5
4.9
.6
9.7
.4
5.7
21.5
14.7

81
1
3

81.0
1.0
3.0

74

40.7

253

57.4
1.8

1.0
2.0
2.0
1.0
9.0

1.1
.5
5.5
.5
6.0

8

1
2
2
1
9

2
1
10
1
11

10
1
9

2.3
.1
2.0

8

4.4

47

10.6

4
49
22

2.2
26.9
12.1

6
69
38

1.4
15.6
8.6

663
5
48
6
32
13
86
15
214
14
93
323
105

41.0
.3
3.0
.4
2.0
.8
5.3
.9
13.2
.9
5.8
20.0
6.5

2,897
45
152
30
152
23
409
27
571
21
267
1,347
1,639

38.2
.6
2.0
.4
2.0
.3
5.4
.4
7.5
.3
3.5
17.8
21.6

2, 380
38
79
13
162
40
265
24
583
10
248
1, 334
945

38.9
.6
1.3
.2
2.6
.7
4.3
.4
9.5
.2
4.1
21.8
15.4

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERV IN G

Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

Illinois

Table XVITI.—Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by product and by State (identical plants in most cases)—Continued
GREEN BEANS
Employees with hours worked reported

1939

1938

1939

1938

1939

1938

Maryland

Iowa

California
Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
100.0

235

100.0

212

100.0

475

100.0

2,624

100.0

2,245

100.0

43.2

105
1
4

44.7
.4
1.7

62
6
5

29.2
2.8
2.3

.9
15.7
.4
18.7

5
24
12

2.i
10.2
5.1

2.3
9.9
19.8
1.4
7.5
.5
8.0
8.5
7.5

16.8
.2
2.1
.2
2.1

2
37
1
44

5
21
42
3
16
1
17
18
16

80
1
10
1
10
48
1
61
15
4
177
67

10.1
.2
12.8
3.2
.8
37.3
14.1

1,132
17
86
12
38
4
140
15
648
8
103
326
95

43.1
.6
3.3
.5
1.4
.1
5.3
.6
24. 7
.3
3.9
12.4
3.6

1,069
3
70
15
105
127
105
6
211
8
67

47.6
.1
3.1
.7
4.7
5.7
4.7
.3
9.4
.4
3.0
17.0
3.4

5

80 and over----------------------- -------------------------------------- -------------------

.9

11
4
17
2
119
12
53
89
1

2.0
.7
3.1
.4
21.6
2.2
9.6
16.2
.1

77

Employees with hours worked reported—Continued
Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

1939

1938

1939

1938

1939

1938

Wisconsin

Washington

New York

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
2,572

Total_______

56

______________ ______________

-

80and over..................... ............................ ........................... .........-.............—




100.0

2,598

100.0

592

100.0

534

100.0

3,716

100.0

2,977

100.0

814
8
37
8
112
24
238
114
342
10
142
587
136

31.6
.3
1.4
.3
4.4
.9
9.3
4.4
13.3
.4
5.5
22.8
5.3

1,399
59
96
18
76
18
176
16
300
8
105
273
54

53.8
2.3
3.7
.7
2.9
.7
6.8
.6
11.5
.3
4.0
10.5
2.1

292
2
5

49.3
.3
.8

50
4
12
2
18
1
25

9.4
.7
2.2
.4
3.4
.2
4.7

191
10
103
115
3

35.8
1.9
19.3
21.5
.6

1,369
18
130
25
102
7
485
12
923
14
100
335
196

36.8
.5
3.5
.7
2.7
.2
13.1
.3
24.8
.4
2.7
9.0
6. 3

1,649
13
107
20
103
75
148
43
291
38
161
209
120

55.4
.4
3.6
.7
3. 5
2.5
5.0
1. 4
9.8
1.3
5.4
7.0
4.0

14

2.4

51
14
137
3
44
30

8.6
2.4
23.1
.5
7.4
5.0

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U ITS

561
238

Total..____ ____________________________________________ —

Table XVIII.—Hours worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by product and by State (iidentical plants in most cases)—Continued

00
05

ASPARAGUS

SPINACH

Employees with hours worked reported
California
1938
Total. ______ ____________
Under 40_______
40_______________
Over 40, under 42____________
42_________
Over 42, under 44_____________
44_________
Over 44, under 48_____
48________
Over 48, under 56________
56_______________
Over 56, under 60______
60 under 80________________
80 and over_______ ______

No.
Pet.
4,880 100.0
2,655 54.4
74
1.5
300
6.1
70
1.4
277
5.7
45
.9
531 10.9
68
1.4
500 10.2
25
.5
126
2.6
204
4.2
5
.1

Employees with hours worked reported

Illinois
1939

No.
Pd.
6, 092 100.0
3,370 55.3
60
1.0
200
3.3
47
.8
272
4.5
187
3.1
739 12.1
99
1.6
715 11.7
38
.6
130
2.1
207
3.4
28
.5

1938

California
1939

1938

Maryland

1939

No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.
507 100.0 1,278 100.0 5, 369 100.0 4,780 100.0
334 65.9 1,042 81.5 2,949 54.9 2,194 45.9
18
3.6
8
.6
45
.8
239
5.0
61 12.0
25
2.0
91
1.7
501 10.5
8
1.6
4
.3
38
.7
20
.4
6
1.2
15
1.2
120
2.2
144
3.0
6
.5
55
1.0
175
3.7
20
3.9
23
1.8
680 12.7
476 10.0
3
.6
170
5
.4
3.2
39
.8
3.7
23
4.5
47
596 11.1
600 12.6
1
.1
1
.1
27
.5
22
.5
5
1.0
8
.6
317
5.9
116
2.4
20
3.9
65
5.1
250
4.7
4.9
233
8
1.6
29
2.3
31
.6
21
.4

LARGE FRUITS
Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

Employees with hours worked reported
California
1938

Total______________
40________________
Over 40, under 42_____
42__________ Over 42, under 44...
44_____________________
Over 44, under 48_______ ____
48_____________________
Over 48, under 56......... .............. .
56___________________________
Over 56, under 60____________________
60, under 80_________________________
80 and over. __________ - _______
1 Less than 0.05 percent.




Washington
1939

1938

1939

1938

1939

No. Pet.
238 100.0
64 26.9
2
.8
2
.8

No. Pet.
613 100.0
437 71.3
1
.2
15
2.4
5
.8
10
1.6
16
2.6
25
4.1
27
4.4
41
6.7
3
.5
22
3.6
11
1.8

2

.8

15
1
31

6.3
.4
13.0

3
1.3
113 47.5
5
2.1
—
SMALL FRUITS

California
-----------------1938
1939
--------No. Pet. No. Pet.
1,116 100.0 1,006 ioo.o
53.2
578 51.8
535
14
1.2
71
7. 1
25
2.2
68
6.8
6
.5
18
1.8
150 13.4
2.8
28
8.3
11
1.0
83
102
9.1
46
5
.4
4
149 13.4
81
84
17
1.5
2
1.2
22
2.0
12
3.2
37
3.3
32
26
2.6

Employees with hours worked reported
California
1938

1939

No.
Pet.
No.
Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.
26, 511 100.0 32, 651 100.0 2, 628 100.0 3, 478 100.0 1,292 100.0 1,759 100.0
39. 3 9, 251 28.3
712 27.1 1,233 35.5
579 44.8 1.488 84.6
368
1.4
194
.6
7
.3
47
1.4
9
.7
9
.5
998
3.8
837
2.6
88
3.3
409 11.8
19
1.5
38
2.2
199
.8
186
.6
6
.2
4
.1
7
4
.3
.4
881
3.3 1,212
3.7
267 10.2
241
6.9
320 24.8
60
3.4
147
.6
170
9
.5
.3
9
.3
33
2.6
26
1.5
2,356
8.9 2, 543
7.8
563 21.4
330
9.5
189 14.6
32
1.8
440
373
1.6
1.1
19
.7
15
.4
10
.8
9
.5
4,680 17.7 5,113 15.7
330 12.6
490 14.1
77
6.0
53
3.0
321
.7
1.2
244
5
.2
23
0)
1
1.968
7.4 3.635 11.1
129
4.9
328
9. 4
12
.9
7
.4
3, 450 13.0 8,417 25.8
458 17.4
317
9.1
39
3.0
1.7
30
273
1.0
476
35
1.5
1.3
32
.9

New York
1938
No. Pet.
412 100.0
190 46.1
2
.5
5
1.2
2
.5
27
6.6
3
.7
13
3.2
16
3.9
72 17.5
5
45
32

1.2
10.9
7.8

1939

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND C A N N IN G AND PRESERVING

Hours worked in pay-roll week recorded

OLIVES
Employees with hours
w'orked reported

L1
>•
wC
O

M
L,
Q
Tfi
m

t>
H
£

§

►
§
°
^
^

^

Washington
1938

^

1939

No. Pet. No. Pet. No.
381 100.0 1,447 100.0 1,186
193 50.7
706 48.8
937
10
2.6
10
.7
6
1
.3
67
4.6
37
7
.5
6
11
2.9
59
4.1
76
1
.3
5
.3
46
13
3.4
202 14.0
42
2
.5
23
1.6
21
5.5
235 16.2
13
2
.1
2
11
2.9
61
4.2
3
78 20.5
64
4.4
16
40 10.5
6
.4
2

Pet.
100.0

791
s:l
6.4
3.9
3.5
1.1
.2
.3
1.3
.2

hm

s

|

#
<3
g

o

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

87

reporting hours. Table XVIII shows, however, that a fair-sized
proportion of employees in every State worked more than 56 hours in
a busy week of tomato canning in each year.
Corn canneries in Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin had increased
proportions of workers employed over 44 hours a week and over 56
hours a week in 1939 as compared with 1938. In these States the
larger number of com canneries were in rural communities. In
Illinois, Maryland, and New York canneries there was some decrease
in numbers employed over 44 hours, but in both years from one-fifth
to more than one-half of all employees in the States reporting worked
more than 56 hours.
The proportions working over 44 hours and over 56 hours decreased
from the 1938 to the 1939 season in every pea-cannery State but
Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington. Even so, in every State but
Iowa 43 percent or more of the employees worked longer than 44
hours in 1939. While about 25 percent worked over 56 hours in
Illinois and Indiana, 41 percent or more were employed these hours
in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, and New York.
Overtime continued in the 1939 season in California asparagus
canneries to about the same extent as in 1938, though overtime rates
were paid to women after 48 hours by State law and to all workers in
unionized plants. In canneries putting up peaches, pears, and other
large fruits, there were increases in the proportions working over 44
hours and over 56 hours in California, though not in Washington.
Over 63 percent of all California employees worked over 44 hours,
and 38 percent worked over 56 hours, in the active pay-roll week in
1939. In Washington the proportions were 44 percent and 19 percent,
respectively.
This survey did not reveal the individual canner’s efforts to attain
a greater spread in the maturing period of crops, nor any plans for
holding part of the crops in cold storage when delivery exceeds 48-hour
capacity. The figures indicate very little success in restricting hours
during the busy weeks to 48 or 56.
No hour data for 1938 were secured in Arkansas, Florida, and
Texas. The records obtained for 1939 indicate that Arkansas tomato
canneries had a poor season, for almost seven-eighths (87 percent) of
the employees in an active week worked less than 40 hours. About
6 percent worked over 44 and including 56 hours, and 5 percent ex­
ceeded 56. In the few Florida canneries packing tomatoes, 55 per­
cent of the employees worked under 40 hours, 9 percent over 44 to
56 hours, and 27 percent over 56 hours. Texas tomato canneries
had somewhat smaller proportions working the short hours and
larger proportions the very long ones, but employment for 44 hours,
or for between 44 and 56 hours, was less common. One-third worked
over 56 hours (almost one-tenth, even 80 or more) and not far from
one-half (47 percent) worked under 40 hours in an active week of
tomato canning in Texas.
The few reports of hours secured from Arkansas plants that canned
peas indicated that almost half the employees worked over 56 hours.
On string beans, however, more than three-fifths (62 percent) of the
Arkansas workers were employed fewer than 40 hours in this week
of active canning. Only 5 percent worked over 56 hours. Texas
string-bean canneries employed 43 percent of the workers under 40
hours, 33 percent 44 to 56 hours, and 21 percent over 56.
227123°—40——7




88

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Hour records for 1,457 workers on spinach were secured from
Arkansas canners, the number being almost equally divided between
canneries in rural communities and those in towns of 2,500 and over.
In the State as a whole almost two-thirds of the workers were em­
ployed fewer than 40 hours. More than one-fourth worked 44 to
5G hours, and only 3 percent exceeded 56. While the numbers re­
ported as canning spinach in Texas were small, the largest proportion
(two-thirds) worked under 40 hours, and one-fifth worked over 56
hours.
Table

XIX.- [Tours worked by all employees, 1939 season, in Arkansas, Florida,
and Texas 1
TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS; STRING BEANS; SPINACH
Employees with hours worked reported

Arkansas
j

P ercen t

3
o
M

o>
Ph

Num ber

3

N um ber

§
o
k

CJ
Ph

P ercen t

X3
i
3
&

Num ber

a
<x>
o
M
P-

a

3
£

Num ber

S-l
o>

1

P ercen t

2

2

'

N um ber

Texas
1

Texas

2 |

Arkansas

Spinach

i

Texas

String beans

j

Tomatoes and tomato products
^ Florida
Hours worked in pay-roll
Arkansas
week recorded

Total
Under 40
40_______
Over 40, under 42 _____
42______________ _
Over 42, under 44
44_____
. ..
Over 44, under 48
48__________
Over 48, under 56_ _ _
_
56
Over 56, under 60
60, under 80
80 and over_____________

405 100.0
351 86.7
1
6
3
10
1
11
2
10
10

170 100. 0 1,161 100.0
94 55.3
7
3
4
7
9
7
32 18.8
7

545 16.9
6
23
7
22
4
48
2
108 9.3
4
62
221 19.0
109 9.4

978 100.0

239 100.0 1,457 100.0

87 100.0

603 61.7
6
17

102 42.7

59 67.8

34
8
99 10 1
4
129 13.2
16
21
28
5

2
1
5
3
10.0
12
39 16.3
7
38 15.9
4

930 63.8
36
34

—

25 ““
5
210 14.4
59
17
24
4

1
15 17.2
3 —

1 These States were not covered in the 1938 survey.
2 Computed for chief groups only.

HOURLY EARNINGS
SYSTEMS OF WAGE PAYMENT

The degree of mechanization of cannery equipment determines the
extent to which workers are paid on an hourly basis. Wherever the
preparation of vegetables or fruits is done by hand, piece work, or
specific rates for amount of produce prepared, continues. Canners
believe that hand processes, in which output depends largely on indi­
vidual speed of operation, cannot be paid at a time rate without heavy
loss of output. But wherever the machine speed is fixed, the indi­
vidual worker must keep pace with the machine, and time rates
prevail. Key men and women usually are paid by the week or
month. Consequently, piece rates are found largely in tomato can­
neries, in spinach and asparagus plants, on apricots and cling peaches,
and on berries. In 1938, 38 percent of the employees in tomato
canneries included in the survey were piece workers; 59 percent in
pinach canneries and 54 percent in asparagus canneries were piece




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS BRUITS

89

workers. Less than 1 percent in pea canneries, less than 2 percent
in kraut plants, and but 3 percent in corn canneries worked by the
piece. Forty-five percent of the workers on large fruits and 30 percent
of those on small fruits were piece workers.
In some canneries a bonus is paid in addition to the regular rate.
This is based on output or on attendance and usually is paid at the
end of the season to a group of workers or to the entire staff. One
canning company is offering an annual wage agreement to certain
employees.
Cannery workers’ rates and earnings in the plants surveyed were
influenced by State minimum-wage orders and by union agreements
in 1938 and by the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1939.
STATE MINIMUM-WAGE PROVISIONS FOR CANNERIES

In 9 of the 13 States included in the 1938 survey State minimumwage laws for women were in effect, but only the States whose laws
dated earlier than 1918 had fixed rates for cannery workers. These
States are Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and Washington.
The Wisconsin cannery order has the following provisions for women
and minors 17 years of age and over:
Experienced worker is defined as a woman or minor who has worked as much
as one season or part of a season in the industry. Inexperienced women and
minors must not exceed 25 percent of total number of women and minors normally
employed.
Bates: Experienced workers—22cents an hour in cities of 5,000 population and
over; 20 cents an hour in cities of under 5,000.
Inexperienced workers—16 cents an hour.
Overtime rates: Experienced adults—Time and one-half the basic hourly
rate for over 9 hours of work; experienced minors—18
cents an hour.
If piece rates are paid, they must yield to 50 percent of the group so employed
3 cents an hour more than the minimum rates provided for experienced workers.
Hours: Regular—9 a day, 54 a week. Exceptions: 8 emergency days of 11 hours
each in pea canneries and 8 emergency days of 10 hours each in other
canneries; 60-hour week.
Before and after season: Women—9 a day and 50 a week; minors—8 a
day and 40 a week.

Minnesota has issued a blanket order applying to all industries in
the State but four. For experienced workers 18 years and over it is
as follows:
Cities of 50,000 or over:
Week of 36 to 48 hours, $15.00; over 48 or under 36 hours, 36 cents an hour.
Cities and towns of over 5,000, under 50,000:
Week of 36 to 48 hours, $13.50; over 48 or under 36 hours, 30 cents an hour.
Towns of 3,000 to 5,000:
Week of 36 to 48 hours, $12.00; over 48 or under 36 hours, 27 cents an hour.
Towns of under 3,000:
Week of 36 to 48 hours, $11.00; over 48 or under 36 hours, 24 cents an hour.
Lower rates are fixed for the first 3 months and the second 3 months of experi­
ence, and for minors.

The California Industrial Welfare Department has developed a
unique system of enforcement of its cannery wage orders in the more
than 20 years such orders have been in effect. Since July 1920,
experienced women and minors have been paid 33 K cents an hour




90

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

for 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. Those with experience of less
than 2 weeks on green fruits and vegetables and of less than 4 weeks
on dried fruits are inexperienced and receive 25 cents an hour. The
overtime rate is one and one-fourth times the regular rate for over
8 to 12 hours a day, and double the rate for over 12 hours. For work
on one day of rest, one and one-fourth times the regular rate must be
paid for the first 8 hours and double such one and one-fourth rate for
over 8 hours.
Because canners claimed that a time-rate system lowered the output
of women who had always been employed on a piece-rate basis, the
commission adopted the piece-rate audit system method of payment.
Employers have the choice of paying women on the minimum timerate basis cited above or on a piece-rate basis. If the employer
elects to pay any group on the piece-rate method, the following
requirements must be met: Piece rates paid on a process must yield to
50 percent of the workers on that process an average of 33% cents an
hour. All piece-rate pay rolls must be audited weekly by a repre­
sentative of the Industrial Welfare Division, the expenses involved
in such audit being borne by the employers who have chosen the
piece-rate system. In 1937, 101 plants filed such piece-rate audit
agreements. For discussion of this system see also p. 103.
Washington also has had minimum-wage orders for canneries for
many years. The order issued in May 1937 calls for the payment of
37/2 cents an hour.
UNION ORGANIZATION

The largest numbers of firms reporting union agreements were in
California and Washington. Here 46 percent or more of the plants
included were organized. On July 30, 1937, members of California
Processors and Growers, Inc., entered into agreement with local
cannery workers’ unions. The basic rates agreed upon were as
follows:
Women hour workers—42 % cents an hour.
Women piece workers—44 cents an hour (average for 50 percent of the
workers).
Men, all workers—52)4 cents an hour.

In Washington the basic hourly rate for women is 40 cents in the
union agreements. Where piece rates are paid, 50 percent of all
piece workers must average earnings of 42% cents an hour. Cooks
must get 57% and 52% cents an hour, sirup workers 52% cents, and
double-seamer men and mechanics 62 % cents an hour in a 1938
agreement. Overtime is paid at time and a half for over 8 to 12 hours
and double time for over 12 hours in both Pacific coast States.
Some cannery employee organization is found in every State
surveyed except Virginia, Iowa, and Minnesota. In New York and
Maryland the firm-employee organization would appear to be unaffili­
ated with a larger union. Each of the middle western States but
Iowa and Minnesota reported three to five organized canneries
among those surveyed. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania had
some organized plants; union contracts with firms were not secured
in these areas.




91

vegetabi.es and deciduous fruits
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT

The provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act became effective
after the close of the vegetable and deciduous-fruit canning season
in 1938. The effect of the minimum rate of 25 cents an hour may be
seen in the 1939 reports from canneries that considered themselves
outside the area of production—that is, subject to the act.
HOURLY EARNINGS, SEASON OF 1938“

Comparison of the average hourly earnings of men and women wage
earners is made in table XX by the product on which they were em­
ployed in 1938. Men’s average earnings were 35 cents or less on com,
peas, and green beans; they were over 35 and under 40 cents on
tomatoes, kraut, and pork and beans. Average earnings for men were
48 cents on small fruits (cherries and berries) and 50 to 52.5 cents on
asparagus and spinach, on pickles, olives, and large fruits, and on
jams, jellies, and juices.
Women workers averaged less than 25 cents on green beans only.
Average earnings were 25 and under 30 cents on corn and peas, 30 and
under 35 cents on tomatoes, kraut, and pork and beans, and 35 and
under 40 cents on pickles, jams and jellies, and olives. On small
fruits they were 42.8 cents, on asparagus and spinach between 43 and
44 cents, and on large fruits, 45 cents.
Table XX.—Average

hourly earnings of total, men, and women employees, 1938
season, by product canned
Number and earnings of employees reported

Product

Tomatoes and tomato products.
Peas...
... ____
_
Green beans______
..
_
Spinach_
_
___ _
___
Asparagus____
_
--------Pork and beans__ __ ______
Sauerkraut
Pickles_____ _ .
_
_
Large fruits_____
___
__
Small fruits___ ___ _ ___
Jams, jellies, preserves, and
fruit juices...
Olives_____ ____ ____________

Number
of plants

Men
Total
number

Women

Average
hourly
earnings
(cents)

Number

Average
hourly
earnings
(cents)

Number

Average
hourly
earnings
(cents) -

165
101
121
64
16
15
6
27
22
41
17

23,021
18, 910
20, 990
10, 768
5,608
5,411
1,131
1.62%
1,088
29,137
3,151

33.8
30.9
32.3
27.5
45.9
46.7
38.3
34.7
43.2
47.6
44.5

11,867
10, 006
14, 697
3.739
1,701
1,930
913
875
465
10.184
985

36.6
34.2
34.9
33.6
50.9
52.5
39.7
38.1
50.8
52.3
48.3

11,154
8. 904
6, 293
7. 029
3, 907
3. 481
218
750
623
18. 953
2,166

30.8
27.1
26.1
24.2
43.7
43.4
32.8
30.7
37. 5
45.0
42.8

26
18

1,174
1,262

44.2
44.2

531
502

52.0
51.4

643
760

37.9
39.5

Type of Plant.
When earnings are considered by type of cannery packing specific
products, it would appear at times that earnings arc higher in canneries
packing a wide range of product. For example, workers in plants that
confined their operations to one or more seasonal vegetables during10
10 For distribution of all employees on major products, by State, and average hourly earnings for all em«
nloyees and for men, by State, sec tables X to XVII in mimeographed appendix to this report, available
from Women's Bureau on request.




92

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

the year averaged not more than 30.1 cents an hour when canning
tomatoes, whereas when seasonal and nonsoasonal products of various
kinds were produced the average earnings when canning tomatoes
were 36.3 cents an hour. This increase in earnings was found in all
the large tomato-canning States but Maryland. In Maryland the
plants canning only tomatoes paid amounts that averaged 23.3 cents
an hour, whereas the canner of many products paid amounts that
averaged tomato workers but 21.4 cents an hour in 1938.
While earnings on corn also were higher in multiple-product plants
than when corn was the sole product or one of a few seasonal vege­
tables, this condition was not found uniformly in all important corn­
canning States. The difference by type of plant in the States canning
peas was so slight as to indicate no difference in wage standards on
this product.
A further study of earnings by product and State would seem to
indicate that the gain in earnings to workers in the multiple-product
plants is due more to a systematized organization of work than to
higher wage rates.
Table XXI shows average earnings by type of plant and product
canned.
Tomatoes and Tomato Products.
Of the 31,144 wage earners employed in the tomato canneries
scheduled, hourly earnings were reported for 23,021. No record of
hours was obtainable for 8,123, most of whom were women tomato
preparers in Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. Had it
been possible to compute hourly earnings for these preparers, the
figures for women might have been quite different.
Seventeen percent of all men and women reporting earned under
25 cents an hour; by far the largest proportions of these were employed
in the States of Maryland and Virginia. Fourteen percent earned
25 cents an hour and 10 percent earned 30 cents. A total of 39 per­
cent of the wage earners with hour records earned less than 30 cents
an hour. In Ohio no one, in California only 5 percent of the workers,
earned less than 30 cents an hour in the week recorded in 1938. In
New Jersey 14 percent, and in Iowa 30 percent, earned under 30 cents.
The proportion ran as high as 43 percent in New York State, 45
percent in Indiana, 51 percent in Illinois, 93 percent in Maryland, and
over 99 percent in Virginia. It is doubtful whether the inclusion of
more women preparers in the records would have reduced the per­
centage earning low wages in these States, for very few Maryland
or Illinois cannery women earned 30 cents an hour, though in Indiana
there was a concentration at 30 cents.
Table XXII furnishes further evidence that State standards of
wages determine earnings differentials on tomatoes. In Ohio tomato
canneries the hourly earnings of men had an arithmetic average of
47.8 cents; no fewer than 65 percent of the men earned 45 cents
an hour.
This heavy concentration at 45 cents caused the first quartile (the
point marking off the lowest one-fourth when all earnings are arranged




93

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS
Table

XXI.'—Average hourly earnings of all employees, 1938 season, by type of
plant and product canned
1 seasonal vegetable
only

Num­
ber of
plants

Product

Tomatoes and tomato prodnets
Corn___ __ _ ___ _ ___ __
Peas_____________________
Green beans_____ _____ _
Asparagus _________

2 seasonal vegetables
only

—_

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

87
33
17
4

6,506
4,494
3,133
426

28.1
29.0
33.3
25.5

12
29
32
10

899
6, 778
6.037
1,365

25.4
31.6
32.7
24.8

3

1,068

51.3

2

645

45.5

Seasonal fruits and sea­
sonal vegetables

Fruits only

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

4
2
1
7
5

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

1,202
111
81
3,235
2,207

49.3
28.3
19.4
47.5
49.1

16
4

11,410
444

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Tomatoes and tomato prod-

12
4

9,225
1,614

48.1
47.4

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

13
15
20
11
1
1

1,768
2, 312
2, 227
1, 493
227
266

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

30.1
28.3
28.2
31.4
41.7
42.4

Nonseasonal vegetables
Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

47.7
39.4

Jams, jellies, preserves, and

Product
Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

Tomatoes and tomato prod-

2
Jams, jellies, preserves, and
13

756

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ployees

21
13

1,356
430

35.5
37.4

15

37.2

Jams, jellies, preserves, Seasonal and nonseasonal
products of all kinds
and fruit juices

Olives




Num­
ber of
plants

1

Product

Olives___________ ____ _

3 or more seasonal vege­
tables only

43.3

159

32.7

19
2

877
35

46.8
41.2

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings
(cents)

Num­
ber of
plants

Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

49
24
50
38
8
4
6
6
7
13
9

12, 646
5, 326
9, 482
7,403
2,146
1,225
1,131
269
499
8,502
1,093

36.3
32.2
32.7
27.3
43.8
39.6
38.3
30.7
51.4
46.8
42.9

6

282
471

41.6
45.9

3

94

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

according to amount, from lowest to highest) and the third quartile
(similarly setting off the highest one-fourth) to differ by less than 5
cents, being respectively 45 cents and 49.6 cents. Another case of
concentration of men’s earnings was in California, where the average
was 53 cents, with the first quartile in the 52.5-cent group. In
contrast to these higher levels is the average of 24 cents an hour for
men in Maryland, with the first quartile at 20 cents and the third
at 27.5 cents; and in Indiana the average for men was 32.4 cents, with
the first quartile at 30 cents and the third quartile at 35 cents.
In some States there was more spread in earnings of women workers
on tomatoes than in earnings of men. In California women averaged
42.2 cents, with the first quartile at 35.7 cents and the third at 46.8
cents. In Ohio, there was a very narrow spread of women’s earnings
on tomatoes, almost half being 35 cents an hour; the arithmetic
average was 36.3 cents an hour, the first quartile was 35 cents, and
the third was 38.9 cents. In Maryland the average hourly earnings
of women were just below 20 cents, the first quartile was 16.8 cents,
and the third quartile 22.4 cents. Hourly earnings of Indiana women
had concentrations at 25, 27K, and 30 cents.
Table

XXII.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to hourly
earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS
Number reported

Hourly earnings
(cents)

All
em­
ploy­
ees

Men

Nui
Number of women with hourly earnings as specified in-

Wom­ Cali­ Illi­
for­
en
nia nois

Total. ______ 23, 021 11, 867 11,154 2,762
Average earn­
ings (cents).. 33.8
36.6
30.8 42.2
Under 20
20____ _____ _______
21, under 22-. _ ___
22, under 23___ ____
23, under 25
. _
25
26, under 27
27, under 28
28, under 29
29, under 30
30
31, under 32________
32, under 33______ _
33, under 34
34, under 35
35
36, under 37.................
37, under 38 _
38, under 39-- ___
39, under 40
40
41, under 42
42, under 43
43, under 44___
44, under 45___
45
46, under 47... .
_
47, under 48.. __ __
48, under 50
60—- - __________
51, under 52 . ... _
52, under 53 ............
53 and over. _______

1, 261
1, 494
83
992
184
3, 294
82
1, 303
94
151
2, 347
92
587
972
161
2, 731
188
349
179
202
1, 032
125
534
274
140
748
129
163
142
182
119
1, 166
1, 521




544
728
1
141
2
1,030
4
528
6
35
1, 390
2
474
704
8
2, 021
59
170
21
4
714
3
36
11
10
650
22
85
47
102
20
1,097
1,198

717
766
82
851
182
2,264
78
775
88
116
957
90
113
268
153
710
129
179
158
198
318
122
498
263
130
98
107
78
95
80
99
69
323

27
8
15
20
42
21
21
16
26
26
38
37
28
186
111
95
64
71
78
82
75
64
470
244
118
72
56
62
88
71
53
64
313

Indi­
Iowa
ana

257 3,764
29.7

25.8

25
2

238
471
29
225
91
1, 133
10
639
12
19
614
11
15
15
8
101
8
65
11
7
7
5
4
4
5
4
2
5
1
2

78
76
1
17
2
6
3

l

l

45

1
2

Mary­ New New
Jer­ York Ohio Vir­
land
ginia
sey

353

600

29.9

19.9

93
16
20
19
29
57
6
21
20
21
25
5
6
6
7
1

241
151
24
93
31
15
7
5
9
5
4
3
1
3
2
1
1
1
1
1

1

1

274 2,191
32.0

12
12
8
12
23
96
18
21
18
3
10
11
3
3
1
4
2
1
4
3
4
1
1
1
2

27.6
29
126
14
513
18
909
12
11
10
13
38
6
8
15
5
109
17
5
11
49
164

785

168

36.3

15.4

3

93
7
13
8
370
22
29
47
66

3

18

9
1
7
1
4
43
1
5

4

1

2

95

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

Corn.
Hourly earnings could be computed for almost all workers on corn
canning. Nine percent earned under 25 cents an hour, 18 percent
earned 25 cents, and 12% percent earned 26 and under 30 cents. In
Illinois, the most important corn-canning State according to the
Census of 1937, 40 percent of the wage earners earned 30 cents an
hour, and 15 percent earned less than 30 cents, in the week recorded
in 1938. The concentration was chiefly among women workers and
was at 30 cents an hour. In Maryland, which ranks fifth in corn
canning, more than a third (36 percent) of all workers earned under
25 cents, a fourth earned 25 cents, and another fourth earned 26
and under 30 cents; thus seven-eighths of all those employed earned
less than 30 cents an hour.
Average earnings of men on com in middle-western States other
than Illinois had a limited range, from 31.8 cents in Wisconsin to 36.8
cents in Minnesota. In Maryland the average earnings of men were
but 27.4 cents an hour. Women’s earnings in Maryland and Wis­
consin averaged between 21 and 22 cents an hour in 1938, in New York
and Indiana over 24 cents, and in Illinois and Minnesota over 29 cents.
Table

XXIII.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
CORN
Number of women with hourly earnings as
specified in—

Number reported
Hourly earnings
(cents)

All
em­
ploy­
ees

Men

Total___ _ ________ 18,910 10,006
_
Average
earnings
(cents)______ _____
30.9
34.2
Under 20
20
.

25

30

35

40

45’

50

-

..

________
.
____

8
988
2
609
27
64
___________________ 3, 381
' 7
2, 352
' 6
8
3,400
' 8
1,339
277
24
_______ ______________ 3,957
' 31
425
65
21
1,294
-13
108
11
84
. . ________ _______
104
33
22
21
2
142




9

10
65

5
66
11
2
690
3
633
4
5
1,629
4
1,005
273
22
3,384
29
419
54
15
1,182
6
105
4
71
96
29
18
21
2
142
2
10
65

Wom­ Illi­
nois
en

Indi­ Iowa Mary­ Min­ New Wash­ Wis­
ing­ con­
ne­
land
ana
sota York ton
sin

8,904 1,710 1,053

876

29.3

24.8

25.7

21.7

100

3
93

486

1

213

365
1
405

92

2

2

27.1

3
922
2
598
260
27
62
2,691
113
1
182
1,719
' 2
2
3
1, 771 1,014
4
4
334
2
4
4
2
2
573
64
2
2
6
3
11
6
6
112
8
7
7
2
3
7
7
13
12
8
8
4
4
4
4

834
118

796 3,163
29.4

885

95

326

24.6

35.8

21.1

72

62
482
2
3 1,008

171
2
124
27

803
1
3

2

3
747

6

332
1

6

502
2
11

1

11

93

1
1

96

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Peas.
Hourly earnings were obtained for almost all workers in the pea
canneries scheduled. Of the 20,990, one-tenth earned less than 25
cents and one-sixth earned 25 cents in the week recorded in 1938.
In all, one-third earned under 30 cents an hour. In Wisconsin, the most
important pea-packing State, the proportions at each of the lower
earnings levels were similar to those for all States. The greatest point
of concentration, however, was at 35 cents, the amount paid to the
larger number of men. The largest number of women in Wisconsin
pea canneries received 25 cents, the next largest 22}C cents.
Washington has recently come to the fore in pea canning. Though
the sample secured was small, the concentration of women’s earnings
at 40 cents and of men’s at 50 cents is indicative of union influence.
Maryland also is noted for its pea canning; here 31 percent of the
employees earned under 25 cents and 86 percent earned under 30
cents an hour.
Table

XXIY.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
PEAS
Number reported

Hourly earnings
(cents)

All
em­
ploy­
ees

Men Wom­ Cali­ Illi­
for­ nois
en
nia

Total _____ 20,990 14, 697 6,293
Average earnings (cents)- 32.3
34.9 26.1
Under 20____. _
20
22, under 23____
24, under 25____
25
27,
28,
29,
30
31,
32,

under 28- ___
under 29____
under 30____
under 32
under 33

35'
37, under 38____
40______

44, under 45.
45
48, under 49
50

238
880
6
906
76
7
3,499
93
1,208
29
24
2,017
36
1,703
36
46
5,668
44
621
107
38
2, 260
66
315
38
111
291
20
34
18
1
258
4
147
145




Number of women with hourly earnings as specified in-

15
223
699
181
4
2
893
13
55
21
4
3
776 2,723
13
80
906
302
23
6
17
7
1,689
328
35
1
277
1,426
36
46
5, 390
278
39
5
550
71
94
13
38
2,041
219
12
54
215
100
20
18
110
1
290
1
20
29
5
18
1
256
2
4
146
1
143
2

116

340

42.9

30.5

Indi­ Iowa Mary­ Min­ New Vir­ Wash­ Wis­
ing­
ne­
con­
land
ana
sin
sota York ginia ton
185

112

644

27.8 27.9

20.2

21

1
73

40.4

25.1

1

84
165

28

33
1

57

2
10

25

29

2,286

20.2

129
114

229

23.9

139
361

67

29

28.8

15

106

1
101
4
18

i
51

2

1
6

927 1,425

332 1,100
80
56
4
1
6
107
10
1
135
1
167

2

96
18
1

1

1

84
5
123
139
1

1
2

6
2

77
2
674
20
1
1,141

2

7
1
1
3

1
11

1
5
2
1

1
1

97

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

Green Beans.
Almost 45 percent of the workers on green beans earned under 25
cents an hour. This is a greater proportion than on any other product.
The proportion reached 63 percent in Maryland, most important in
green- and wax-bean canning, and was 57 percent in Wisconsin. In
New York, second State in importance in beans, 37 percent of the
workers earned less than 25 cents and 34 percent earned 25 cents. In
contrast, 55 percent of the workers in Washington earned 40 cents an
hour and 36 percent earned 50 cents in the canning of beans.
Table

XXV.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to hourly
earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
GREEN BEANS
Number reported

Hourly earnings
(cents)

Total
Average earn­
ings (cents)
Under 20
20___________

.

22^ under 23
23, under 25
25
26, under 27_
27, under 28
28, under 29 ______
29, under 30 . ...
30
31, under 32 .
____
32, under 33______
33, under 34
34, under 35-. ___
35______ ___ _______
36, under 37
37, under 38___ ___
38, under 39
40
41, under 42
42, under 43___ _____
44, under 45______
45_____ ____ _______
46, under 471
47, under 48
48, under 50_ _- ___ __
50________________
53 and over--------------

Number of women with hourly earnings as specified in—

All em­ Men Women Cali­
fornia
ployees
10,768 3,739
27.5
490
1,736
23
2,511
28
1,439
13
944
9
11
1,090
8
276
273
10
531
40
44
25
6
482
17
28
28
94
87
5
4
12
247
4
184
69

33.6
25
142
23
1
280
3
585
1
850
2
263
262
1
500
31
34
17
148
4
15
1
74
2
3
235
180
57

Indi­
ana

Iowa

Mary­
land

Wash­
ington

New
York

Wis­
consin

7,029

344

171

131

1,529

1,785

347

2,722

24.2

38.5

27.5

27.3

21.2

22.5

40.2

22.9

120
654

318
355
18
247
12
776
7
5

465
1,594
23
2,488
27
1,159
10
359
9
10
240
6
13
11
9
31
9
10
8
6
334
13
13
28
93
13
5
2
9
12
4
4
12

24
5
4
3
7
11
3
5
9
8
3
5
7
11
8
7
8
10
7
6
8
8
8
24
92
9
4
2
8
10
4
4
12

707

11

45
171

3

114

3
580
1
1,520
8
327
61

2
14
1
1

2
4

221
1

1
24
1
1
1

325
5
5
4
1
4

1
1

1
1

1

Spinach.11
The 2 States for which hourly earnings on spinach were reported for
5,608 wage earners in 1938 were California and Maryland. In
Maryland 72 percent of the workers, in California 4.2 percent, earned
under 30 cents an hour; in Maryland 41 percent, in California only a
little over 1 percent, earned less than 25 cents an hour. The average
11 For earnings in spinach, asparagus, pickles, olives, and nonseasonal vegetables, see tables XVIII, XIX,
and XXII in mimeographed appendix to this report, available from Women's Bureau on request.




98

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

earnings of men in spinach canning were 53.1 cents in California,
28 cents in Maryland. For women cleaning spinach and doing other
odd jobs, California's average was 44.2 cents and Maryland’s was
20.9 cents an hour.
Asparagus.11
While California ranks far ahead of other States in asparagus can­
ning, some reports were received from Illinois and New Jersey. In
Illinois, 71 percent of the 507 wage earners whose hours worked were
reported earned under 25 cents an hour; in California only 2 percent
had such earnings. The average for men in California canneries was
54.3cents an hour, with a 56-percent concentration at 52% cents.
In Illinois men averaged 26.2 cents an hour. Women working on
asparagus in Illinois averaged but 19.5 cents, with 74 percent concen­
trated at 17% cents. In California the average for women was
46.6 cents.
Nonseasonal Vegetable Products.11
No employee working on pork and beans in Illinois and Indiana
was reported as earning less than 27 cents an hour in the week recorded
in 1938. In fact, the average for Indiana women was 32.3 cents.
Concentration for men was at 45 cents and that for women at 27%
and 37% cents. Men’s average earnings were 39.1 cents in this State
with no earnings under 33 cents.
Figures on hourly earnings in sauerkraut were secured in New York
and Wisconsin. Comparatively few workers in either State earned
under 25 cents, though 17 percent in New York and 9 percent in
Wisconsin earned less than 30 cents. Men’s average earnings in
Wisconsin kraut factories were 44.2 cents an hour, women’s 33.6 cents
In New York men’s average was 33.6 cents and women’s was 28 4
cents.
Hourly earnings of workers in pickle factories were secured from four
States—California, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Very few workers
had earnings below 25 cents. In Ohio, however, almost a fourth
averaged 25 cents an hour. This was the first quartile point in wom­
en’s earnings in Ohio; in Illinois such point was 28 cents, in Wisconsin
32.5 cents, and in California 42.9 cents. The first quartile for men
workers in Ohio was 35.8 cents, in Illinois it was 40 cents, in Wisconsin
45.1 cents, and in California 52.5 cents, the last named being a point
of heavy concentration.
Fruits.12
Wage figures for large fruits, that is, apricots, peaches, pears, plums,
and so forth, were secured in California and Washington. In these
States and m New York figures for cherries and berries, called small
fruits, also were secured.
On large fruits only 1.7 percent of the workers earned under 25 cents
and only 4 percent earned less than 30 cents. In Washington the
points of concentration in women’s earnings were at 37% cents and
40 cents, in California concentrations began at the 35-cent group and
“ For distribution of all employees, by State, see tables XX and XXI in mimeoeraahed aDnendix to
this report, available from Women’s Bureau on request.
meograi ea aPPenai* t0




99

VEGETABLES AKD DECIDUOUS FRUITS

continued up to and including 53 cents or more. The earnings for
women in California averaged 45.3 cents, with the first quartile at
38.9 cents. In Washington the average earnings of women were
42.1 cents, with the lower quartile at 38 cents.
_
When cherries or berries were canned, New York plants paid less
than 25 cents an hour to 31 percent of the workers and less than
30 cents to 78 percent. In the two Pacific coast States only 5 of all the
employees, and these were in California, were paid under 30 cents.
In California 63 percent earned 50 cents and over, and in Washington
23 percent did so. On these small fruits the average earnings of men
were 29.4 cents in New York, 50.3 cents in Washington, and 54.2
cents in California. Women’s average earnings in New York State
were 22.1 cents; in Washington they were 40.3 cents and in California
51.1 cents.
Table XXVI.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to

hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
LARGE FRUITS; SMALL FRUITS
Small fruits

Large fruits

Hourly earnings
(cents)

Number reported

All
em­
ployees

Cali­
Men Women fornia

Total .
-- 29,137 10,184
Average earn52.3
47.6
ings (cents) _
43
26
13
24
23
54

2

67
85
80
95

1
1
1

101
148
164
312
208
214
35
38, under 39_
40_________ ____
41, under 42
44, under 45____
45

310
765
409
752
673
437
1,196
523
2, 263
1 534
1,077
1,570
512
435
376
947
417

48, under 49
51, under 52.........
53 and over

5,745




Number of
women with
hourly earnings
js specified in—

115
1
4
1
42
2
3
1
7
454
7
47
16
14
665
12
12
10
467
30
5 593
2, 079

Wash­
ington

18,953 17,128
45.0

45.3

43
26
13
24
23
39
52
54
66
85
79
95
125
101
148
164
197
207
210
277
310
723
407
749
672
430
742
516
2,216
1, 518
1,063
905
500
413
423
366
480
387
439
3,666

43
26
13
23
23
39
52
53
62
84
77
93
119
98
143
160
187
198
186
263
296
703
372
444
598
367
418
429
2,088
l' 408
'941
801
431
352
391
340
444
357
424
3, 582 ;

Number of women
with hourly earnings
as specified in—

Number reported

All
Cali­ New Wash­
Men Women fornia York ington
em­
ployees

1,825

3,151

985

2,166

932

252

982

42.1

44.5

48.3

42.8

51.1

22.1

40.3

1

74

74

74

25

25

25

27

27

27

1
4
1
2
2
6
3
5
4
10
9
24
14
14
20
35
305
74
63
324
87
128
110
122
104
69
61
32
26
36
30
15
84

191
2
3
2
1
62
3
7
11
13
37
24
81
172
52
655
39
71
44
42
198
40
40
42
45
227
59
331
531

68
1
1
59
2
1
1
18
1
2
1
1
10
4
1
3
125
2
7
2
6
187
8
275
199

123
1
2
2
1
3
1
6
11
12
19
23
79
171
51
645
35
71
43
39
73
38
33
40
39
40
51
56
332

123
1
2
2
1
2
1
5
11
10
17
18
13
19
17
37
23
52
38
38
39
35
27
36
34
39
50
54
312

1
1
1

1

________

_

1
2
5
66
152
34
607
12
19
5
1
34
3
6
4
5
1
1
2
20

100

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Jams, Jellies, Preserves, and Fruit Juices.12
Hourly earnings of 1,174 persons putting up jams, jellies, and
fruit juices were reported. Men’s average earnings ranged from 40 7
cents in New York to 60.9 cents in California. In no State did any
concentration of men’s earnings occur at below 40 cents, and in
California, Illinois, and Washington concentrations were at 50 cents
or above.
Women’s average earnings ranged from 28.1 cents in New York
to 43.6 cents in California. The point of concentration in California
was at 42K cents, in Washington it was at 40 cents, and in New York
at 25 cents, 27K cents, and 30 cents.
J-able .X_!lVII. Distribution of total, men, and woman employees according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and figures for women by State
JAMS, JELLIES, PRESERVES. FRUIT JUICES
Number of women with hourly earnings as
specified in—

Number reported
Hourly earnings
(cents)

All
em­
ployees

Total____ _______ ' 1,174
Average earnings
(cents)____________
44.2
25....
26, under 27________
27, under 28 ...............
28, under 29.. ____
29, under 30___
3031, under 32______
32, under 33___
33, under 34._
34, under 35.__ ...
35____________
36, under 37______
37, under 38...... ...... ..
38, under 39.... _
39, under 40.. ...
40 ___
41, under 42... _
42, under 43_________
43, under 44____ __
44, under 45... .
45 .
46, under 47..
47, under 48 ...
48, under 49______
49, under 50____
50_____
51, under 52________
52, under 53___ ...
53 and over.

20

Men

Wom­
en

Cali­
fornia

Illinois

New
Jersey
and
Penn­
sylva­
nia

New
York

531

643

291

47

46

37.9

43.6

38.6

39.8

28.1

1

19

Wash­
ington

74

52.0

Ohio

31.9

19

22
6
3
61
1
10
1

13
1

34

21

13

7

6

23
5
9
204
4
260
16
11
100
6
23
4
1
131
6
32
181

3

20
5
6
143
4
213
15
8
62
3
9
1

2

10

1

3
61
47
1
3
38
3
14
3
1
112
3
27
175

22
6
3
48

15

10

19
3
5
6

21

11

8

6
7
181
15
6
51
1
8

1
20

2
2

1

6

1

1
11
3
3
3

2

1

........

1 Not computed; base too small.

Olives.
Hourly earnings were secured for 1,262 wage earners in olive plants,
chiefly in California but with small numbers in New Jersey and Ohio,




101

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

which have been combined for tabulation. Men averaged 52.1 cents
an hour in California and 45 cents in the other States. Women
earned 40 cents and 36 cents an hour, respectively, in California and
the other States.
No worker earned less than 25 cents an hour—in fact, less than
1 percent had earnings below 30 cents; but 19, 18, and 17 percent
earned respectively 36 and under 40 cents, 40 cents, and 41 and under
45 cents. Most of the workers in these groups were women. Over
28 percent of the olive-plant workers earned 50 cents or more; well
over nine-tenths of this group were men.
EARNINGS IN VARIOUS SECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA

Though all plants in California are affected equally by minimumwage orders of the State Industrial Welfare Commission, the degree
of unionization differs in the several sections of the State. For this
reason separate tabulations have been made of the average hourly
earnings in the various occupations in canneries in these areas. Area
A is the San Francisco Bay area, including Stockton and Sacramento;
area B is the Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley; and area C
is the area south of the Tehachapi.
.
Earnings for men and women were highest in the San Francisco
area and lowest in that south of the Tehachapi. When paid a time
rate, women preparers of fruits and vegetables averaged 43.7 cents an
hour in area A, 40.5 cents in area B, and 36.6 cents in area C. At
piece rates women earned a few cents more per hour, but the areas
had the same relative rank. Table XXVIII shows separately the
earnings of men listed as processors, but most of the men were time
workers engaged in a wide variety of tasks. In area A such men
averaged 54.1 cents, in area B 48.2 cents, and in area C 40.1 cents an
hour in an active canning week in 1938.
Table XXVIII.—Hourly earnings in the various occupations in three areas in

California, 1938 season
Area G

Area B
Occupation

Number of plants (93)---- -------- ----Total number of employees
-------

Average
Average
Total em­ Average Total em­ hourly Total em­ hourly
hourly
ployees earnings
ployees earnings ployees
reported (cents)
reported
reported
(cents)
22

55

3, 239

2,426
450
1, 976

44.1
40.5
45.0

1, 393
284
1,109

38.8
36.6
39.4

6, 715
3, 081
2, 843
238
3,634
1, 282
2, 352

44.3
48.7
48. 2
55.6
40.6
39.0
41. 4

1,800
810
810

39.4
40. 1
40. 1

990
264
726

38.8
36.7
39.6

543

55.1

Preparers (women)---- -----Time workers__________
Piece workers, and both.

11,064
1, 357
9,707

46.6
43.7
47.0

Other occupations--------------------Total men_________________
Time workers__________
Piece workers, and both.
Total women______________
Time workers__________
Piece workers, and both.

21, 220
11, 287
11,102
185
9, 933
4, 518
5,415

50.7
54.8
54.1
96.1
46. 1
45.2
47.0

44.8

120

Processors (men)_




39.2

44.4

9,261

32,827

102

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

EFFECTS OF STATE WAGE REGULATION,18 1938

No attempt was made to study the detailed application of minimumwage laws to canneries in California, Minnesota, Washington, and
Wisconsin, for such a study would have involved checking over, in
each cannery visited, each specific phase of the rulings. However
the hourly earnings themselves reflect the influence of State minimum
rates that have been in effect many years.
The minimum rate fixed bv the Wisconsin Industrial Commission
for experienced women and minors in canneries is 20 cents an hour
in towns of under 5,000 population and 22% cents in cities of larger
population. Though most of the Wisconsin pea plants included in
the survey were in the smaller communities, and though the State
allows lower rates for inexperienced workers, no woman on the week’s
pay rolls taken in Wisconsin pea canneries in 1938 earned less than
20 cents an hour. The rates paid the larger groups of women were
22% cents and 25 cents an hour. When corn was canned, 20 cents
and 22% cents were the prevailing earnings. On green and wax beans,
21 percent of the women earned 20 cents an hour and 56 percent
earned 22% cents.
In Minnesota, a competing pea-canning State, the minimum-wage
rates were set according to size of community, at 24 cents, 27 cents,
30 cents, and 36 cents for hours below 36 and above 48, with a scale
of weekly rates for hours of 36 to 48. The majority of the canneries
in the survey were in towns of under 5,000. While a few women in
pea canneries earned less than 24 cents, the larger number earned
25 cents, 30 cents, 32% cents, or 35 cents an hour. Of those canning
corn, 15 percent earned 25 cents, 32 percent 27% cents, 24 percent
30 cents, and 27 percent more than 30 cents.
In contrast, New York pea canneries paid 20 cents or less an hour
to 17 percent of all women employed. New York has a minimumwage law but no rates had been set for canneries in 1938. In Mary­
land, without a State wage law, more than three-fourths of the women
on peas earned 20 cents or less an hour.
While the effects of the California and Washington minimum-wage
laws for women are obliterated to some extent by the higher rates
paid in firms with union contracts, their influence can still be seen
in hourly earnings. Washington has a basic yielding rate of 37%
cents for women and minors in canneries, while the rates in the agree­
ments with the United Cannery Packing and Food Preservers’ Union
are 40 cents an hour for time workers and such piece rates as will
yield to at least 50 percent of all piece workers average earnings of
42% cents an hour. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that almost
all the women canning peas or green beans in Washington earned
40 cents an hour or more. On large fruits 8 percent earned under
37% cents, 17 percent earned the State minimum of 37% cents, and
18 percent the union hour minimum of 40 cents. However, there
was a wide spread above 40 cents, indicative of the opportunities
afforded piece workers when the basic yielding rates were high.14
is "For provisions of minimum-wage orders, see pp. 89 and 90.
u While Oregon canneries were not included in the 1938 survey, the State labor commissioner reported
average hourly earnings of women time workers to be 36.7 cents; of piece workers in the preparation depart­
ment, 38.2 cents; and of piece workers in the canning department, 42.3 cents. The State minimum-wage
rate is 35 cents an hour.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

103

As stated on page 90, the California Industrial Welfare Department
permits canneries to elect to pay women 33% cents an hour on a time
basis or piece rates that will yield to at least 50 percent of the workers
an average of 33% cents an hour. An employer who elects to operate
under the piece-rate system agrees to have his pay roll audited
weekly. If the preparation of fruits and vegetables is shown not to
have yielded 33% cents an hour to 50 percent of the women and minor
preparers, he agrees to add to the earnings of all women and minors
the percentage of increase necessary to make up this amount. Each
employer operating under this system shares the cost of the pay-roll
audits; in 1938 this cost was at the rate of $1 per 1,000 cases. In 1937,
the last year for which a State report is available, 101 plants chose
this system as against 47 that operated on a guaranteed time-rate
basis.
_
At the time of the Women’s Bureau survey, auditors from the
Division of Industrial Welfare were auditing books not only to deter­
mine adjustments necessary to maintain a minimum of 33% cents for
50 percent of the piece workers, as called for by State rulings, but
where plants had entered into agreements to pay higher basic rates
the State audited for these rates. However, record was made of the
sum that would have been added had all plants operated on a basis
of 33% cents an hour in 1937. This was $64,541.73, or approxi­
mately 24 percent of the total amount paid in the 101 plants employ­
ing in the peak week 43,500 women.16
The California commission issues special licenses for women physi­
cally defective by age or otherwise to work at less than the minimum
wage and to be excluded from the audit, though they do benefit by
audit adjustments. In 1937 these special licenses totaled 1,421.
The commission also permits a 2-week learner period at 25 cents an
hour.
In an active week of the 1938 season, of 17,128 women employed on
large fruits in reporting canneries, 10 percent earned under 33% cents;
of 2,762 employed on tomatoes, 12 percent had such earnings.
Only small percents earned exactly the State minimum of 33% cents.
The union-agreement minimums were 42% cents and 44 cents. Over
25 percent of the women on large fruits and 30 percent of those on
tomatoes earned from 42% cents to 44 cents, inclusive. As many as
20 percent earned 53 cents an hour or more on large fruits.
_
As the earnings data for other California crops are examined, it will
be seen that the basic-piece-rate system operating in this State serves to
bring about a wide spread of earnings. There is little of the concen­
tration at the minimum time rate or the basic piece rate that is found
in States that fix one rate for all experienced employees. Nor does it
prevent the earning by individuals of amounts below the minimum,
which the single minimum rate does prevent. While the California
system of permitting learners and of licensing handicapped workers
accounts for a small proportion of the women earning under 33% cents,
it does not account for the major proportion at these rates.
On the other hand, the California State minimum has been ma­
terially higher than the rates paid in middle western States over many
it California. Division of Industrial Welfare.
Season.

227123°—40-




-8

Report.

Fruit and Vegetable Canning Industry, 1937

104

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING ANI) PRESERVING

years and it made possible1 the higher rates in the private agreements
entered into by canneries in 1937. The relative expenditure for labor
in California canneries exceeds that in canneries putting up the same
products in other States. For example, on tomatoes and tomato prod­
ucts in 1938, California women averaged 42.2 cents, California men 53
cents; the next highest earnings were found in Ohio, where women
averaged 36.3 cents and men 47.8 cents an hour. The hourly earnings
of women on large fruits averaged 45.3 cents in California and 42.1
cents in Washington, a State with union agreements similar to those
of California canneries. On small fruits California women averaged
51.1 cents an hour, Washington women 40.3 cents, and New York
women 22.1 cents.
That there is more general benefit from a higher minimum rate with
allowance for piece-work differences than from a low minimum rate
covering all workers would seem to be true in an industry such as the
canning industry.
HOURLY EARNINGS, SEASON OF 1939

Representatives of the Women’s Bureau visited in 1939 the same
seasonal canneries that were surveyed in the 1938 season, but some
of these canneries had not operated in 1939. In order to make the
1939 figures representative of conditions on major products packed
in that year, other plants were substituted for those not canning.
Earnings data for 1939 will be quoted, therefore, for all plants sur­
veyed, but comparison of earnings in 1938 and 1939 will be made for
identical plants only.
In the canning season of 1939 all canneries outside the area of pro­
duction as defined by the Administrator of the Fair Labor Standards
Act were subject to the minimum-wage provisions of the act. All
workers, regardless of sex, were to be paid at least 25 cents an hour
in 1939.a
Tomatoes and Tomato Products.
Pay-roll data for tomato canning in 1939 were furnished by 216
firms employing 40,935 workers, for 32,251 of whom hours and
hourly earnings were available. These firms, in 11 States, packed
59 percent of the pack, as based on the National Canners’ Associa­
tion figures for 1938. When earnings of all employees in an active
tomato-canning week were averaged, the figures showed that workers
in Arkansas received 16.9 cents an hour, those in Virginia 17.3 cents,
in Texas 20.1 cents, in Florida 22.4 cents, in Maryland 25.4 cents’
and in Wisconsin 27.4 cents. At the upper level was California, with
average earnings of 47.3 cents, followed by Illinois with an average
of 41 cents. Indiana, Iowa, and New York paid rates that brought
earnings somewhat over 30 cents an hour.
Of the 32,251 tomato workers for whom hourly earnings were ob­
tained, 11 percent earned less than the Fair Labor Standards Act
minimum of 25 cents for the 1939 season. Eighty-five percent of
a See note, p. 17.




VEGETABLES AjSD DECIDUOUS ERUITS

105

the employees in Arkansas and 95 percent of those in Virginia earned
less than the minimum. All the canneries in Virginia were in com­
munities of under 2,500 population and all stated they secured their
tomatoes entirely within a 10-mile limit. The two Arkansas can­
neries in communities of over 2,500 population paid the 25-cent
minimum or above. More than 70 percent of the Texas tomatocannery workers earned under 25 cents. While part of these workers
were in the smaller rural communities, others were not. As the can­
neries in each of the tomato-growing areas of Texas drew from the
same source of supply and operated under the same conditions, firms
outside rural communities objected vigorously to the definition of
area of production and their competitors in rural communities agreed
with the reasonableness of their opposition.
Forty-seven percent of Maryland tomato workers in towns of under
2,500, m contrast to 7 percent m towns of 2,500 and over, earned
under 25 cents. In both groups 25 cents was paid to the larger
number of workers. A concentration at the 25-cent minimum oc­
curred also in Iowa and New York urban and rural canneries, and in
Wisconsin rural and Florida urban canneries. In California, Illinois,
and Indiana earning's of many workers were spread over higher
levels.
A comparison of the average earnings in tomato canneries in com­
munities of under 2,500 population, within and outside of the 10-mile
producing area, with those in larger communities is of interest. In
Indiana the rural tomato canneries reported that were within the
producing area paid amounts averaging 27.2 cents to all employees,
and rural canneries buying produce beyond the 10-mile limit paid
amounts averaging 30.8 cents an hour. These were higher than the
average for Indiana tomato canneries in towns of 5,000 and under
10.000 population. Only when the community in which the cannery
was situated reached the 25,000 population class were average earn­
ings higher than those paid in rural canneries more than 10 miles
distant from the field.
Maryland tomato canneries showed only two slight differences by
size of community. When situated within the area of production
the average was 22.6 cents, when in rural communities but outside
the 10-mile hniit it was 23.9 cents, and in communities of 2,500 and
over it was almost 27 cents.
In New York tomato canneries there was little difference in average
earnings between the rural canneries, whether within or outside of
the area of production, and those in towns of 5,000 to 10,000 popula­
tion. But the earnings were higher in canneries in towns of 2,500 to
5.000 and in cities of 100,000 and more.




106

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Table

XXIX.—Average hourly earnings of all employees, 1939 season, hy State,
size of locality, and distance from source of supply
TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS
Employees not
covered by law

State

Arkansas. _
California.
Florida___
Illinois___
Indiana. __
Iowa_____
Maryland.
New York.
Texas____
Virginia. .
Wisconsin.

Em­
ploy­
ees reported

443
8,046
170
984
10, 710
1,593
2, 550
4,822
1,161
656
1,116

In towns of
Aver­ under 2,500 and
10 miles or less
age
hourly from source of
supply
earnings
(cents)
Num­ Aver­
age
ber of hourly
em­
earn­
ployings
ees
(cents)
16.9
47.3
22.4
41.0
30.7
31.3
25.4
31.5
20.1

17.3
27.4

382
53
3,074
13
833
1,360
241
656

15.5
30.3
27.2
22.3
22.6

28.3
15.9
17.3

Employees covered by law

Total

In towns of
under 2,500 and
more than 10
miles from
source of
supply

In towns of
2,500 and over

Num­ Aver­
age
ber of hourly
em­
earn­
ploy­
ings
ees
(cents)

Num­ Aver­
age
ber of hourly
em­
earn­
ployings
ees
(cents)

Num­ Aver­
age
ber of hourly
em­
earn­
ployings
ees
(cents)

61
8, 046
170
931
7, 636
1, 580
1,717
3,462
920

25.4
47.3
22.4
41.6
32.0
31.4
26.6
32.8

I, He

30.8
26.3
23.9
28.3
22.7

61
5,780
132
931
4, 219
1, 306
1,629
3,175
671

20.6

27.8

118

24.0

2,266
38

45.4
15.6

21.2

3,417
274
88
287
249

27.4

998

25.4
48.1
24.3
41. 6
33.0
32.4
26.8
33.2

Corn.
Average earnings for all employees reported in corn-canning States
were not so diverse as those in tomato canning. The range was from
29.1 cents in Wisconsin to 33 cents in Illinois, based on reports from
122 canneries giving earnings for 21,595 persons, and packing in 1939
44 percent of the pack as reported for 1938 by the Canners’ Associa­
tion. Figures for the total pack of 1939 were not available when this
report was prepared. Less than 5 percent of the workers on corn
had earnings below 25 cents an hour in the week of active operation
reported. These were employed largely in communities of under
2,500 population. Employees in corn canneries in Indiana averaged
about 3 cents less in communities of under 2,500 population that were
within the area of production than in rural communities outside such
area. No other State averages showed even this much difference.
All Washington plants were outside the area of production.
Peas.
Average hourly earnings on peas in 1939 ranged from 21.9 cents in
Virginia to 44.8 cents in Washington, according to reports for 20,136
workers in 118 pea canneries. Very few workers earned under 25
cents an hour; those haying low rates were chiefly in rural communities
of Maryland and Virginia. In Wisconsin, the most important pea­
canning State, average earnings were 31.7 cents, with little difference
in the rural canneries whether within or without the area of production.
With the exception of Illinois and Washington, the average earnings
in communities within the area of production were less—considerably
so in Virginia- -than the earnings in communities outside of the area.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

107

Green and Wax Beans.
Earnings on beans in 1939 were reported by 81 canneries employing
10,362 workers in 9 States. There were three levels of earnings. In
Arkansas and Texas average earnings were under 25 cents, respectively
30 percent and over 40 percent of the employees in rural bean canneries
earning less than 25 cents. In Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New York,
and Wisconsin average earnings of all workers were 25 and under 30
cents; only in Maryland and New York rural canneries were 15
percent or more paid less than 25 cents. Arkansas was the only
State in which there was a great difference in average earnings between
communities within and outside of the area of production, 15.2 cents
and 25.3 cents, respectively.
Lima Beans.
Reports on earnings in lima beans were for 2,249 persons in 10
canneries. In Virginia the average hourly earnings were 19.5 cents,
in Maryland 24.5 cents, and in Illinois and Indiana just over 30 cents.
The Virginia workers were all employed in communities of under
2,500 population and within the 10-mile area. In Maryland larger
proportions of persons in towns of 2,500 and over than in rural com­
munities earned under 25 cents, but average earnings were very similar
in communities affected and those not affected by the wage-hour law.
Spinach.
Earnings reports on spinach were from 30 canneries in 5 States and
for 7,098 persons. In Texas the average earnings of the few reporting
were 20.9 cents. In Arkansas the very great majority were paid 25
cents, the average earnings being 25.2 and 25.3 cents in the two
population groups. Arkansas was the only State in which any plants
included were in the area of production. Maryland, with average
earnings of 26 cents, paid less than 25 cents to 17 percent of the workers
in communities of 2,500 and over. New York spinach workers all
earned over 25 cents an hour, with an average of 28 cents. In Cali­
fornia the average was 46.8 cents an hour.
Asparagus.
Reports from 23 asparagus canneries in California and Illinois,
employing 7,421 workers in 1939, supplied hourly earnings for 7,370
of those workers. In California the employees averaged 50.2 cents
an hour, about three-fifths earning 50 cents or more, regardless of size
of community. All plants in this State were outside of the area of
production. In Illinois the average was just under 30 cents an hour,
with 60 percent in rural and 43 percent in urban canneries earning
30 cents. The average earnings in plants covered by the law and in
those not covered were 30.1 and 26.6 cents, respectively.
Large Fruits.
California is the principal State in the canning of peaches, pears,
apricots, plums, and other large fruits. In 1939, reports were secured
from 41 California and Washington canneries employing 36,336 per­
sons. The workers reported averaged 47.1 cents in California and




108

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

46 cents in Washington in an active week in the 1939 season. Most
of the plants were in communities of 2,500 or more. Rural-commun­
ity canneries, in both States, apparently paid almost the same rates
as canneries in larger communities. The rates were at a level higher
than 25 cents before the Fair Labor Standards Act became effective;
only handicapped women or learners earned under 33% cents an hour.
Small Fruits.
Earnings reports on berries and cherries covered 13 firms in Cali­
fornia, Washington, and New York. The employees numbered 3,580,
and hourly earnings were reported for practically all. New York
canneries paid berry and cherry workers in rural canneries, all of which
were within the area of production, 20 cents, 25 cents, and 30 cents,
for the most part, yielding average earnings of 24.2 cents. In New
York communities of 2,500 and over only 9 percent were paid 20 cents,
and the average earnings of all were 28.1 cents. The Washington
berry and cherry plants were in urban communities, and the average
earnings were 42.9 cents for all workers, with no hourly rate under
26 cents. In California rural-community canneries, none of which
were outside the area of production, the average earnings were 38.2
cents, with 4 percent of the workers earning under 25 cents and 28
percent earning under 31 cents. Workers in communities of 2,500
or more population averaged 49.7 cents.
Olives.
Earnings in olive canneries in 1939 were reported by 14 California
firms and covered 1,030 employees. Average earnings of all were
about 45 cents an hour, though they were but 38.6 cents in plants in
communities of under 2,500 population, only 1 plant operating within
the area of production. No plant employed any worker at less than
the State minimum of 33% cents in these rural communities, and 35
cents was a prevailing rate. In the olive plants in towns of 2,500 and
over there was no point of earnings concentration, and average earn­
ings rose to 48% cents an hour.
HOURLY EARNINGS IN 1938 AND IN 1939—IDENTICAL PLANTS

A comparison of average hourly earnings and earnings distributions
of employees in plants for which data were obtained both in 1938 and
in 1939 shows, with certain exceptions, an increase in average hourly
earnings in 1939 over 1938. On tomatoes the increase in Indiana and
Maryland was between 4 and 5 percent, in Iowa less than 2 percent,
and in New York less than 1 percent. While 14 percent earned under
25 cents in Indiana tomato canneries in 1938, in 1939 this proportion
was reduced to 5 percent. The number receiving exactly 25 cents
increased by only 5 percent. In identical Maryland tomato canneries
51 percent of the employees earned under 25 cents in 1938 and 29 per­
cent had such earnings in 1939. In Illinois the change in the year in
proportion earning under 25 cents was from 17 percent to 12 percent,
in New York it was from 19 percent to practically none, and in
Wisconsin from 43 percent to none. Only Virginia tomato canneries
maintained the same proportion at under 25 cents; these canneries
were all in rural communities and all secured tomatoes from within
a 10-mile limit.




109

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS
Table

XXX.—Comparison of hourly earnings of all employees in identical plants,
seasons of 1938 and 1939, by product and State
TOMATOES AND TOMATO PRODUCTS
Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—

Hourly earnings
(cents)

Illinois
1938

1939

Indiana
1938

1939

Iowa
1938 1939

Total____ ___
Average earn­
ings (cents).-

34.1

32.7

29.7

30.9 34.1 34.6

Under 25.. _____
25
Over 25, under 30_
30- _____________
Over 30________

17.4
.4
24.6
2.2
55.4

12.0
8.6
25.2
1.4
52.8

14.4
16.8
11.9
22.6
34.3

5.1
21.5
16.0
15.8
41.6

276

349 7,411 9,676

532

Maryland

New York

1938

1938

1939

1939

732 1,205 1,412 3,421 3, 784
23.4

24.5

Virginia

Wisconsin

1938 1939 1938 1939
362

365

183

244

32.0

32.1 16.1 17.1 26.2 28.4

Percent of mploy es
____| 50.9 28.8 18.7
16.0 12.0 28.4 50.6 26.6
14.3 4.0 11.0
9.1
4.8
10.9 23.4
5.1
7.6
3.3
58.8 60.6
4.6
3.9 46.5

(0
96.1 96.7 43.2
45.4 2.5 1.9 21.3 34.0
6.4
.6
8.2 21.3
5.8
.6
.3 21.9 36.9
42.2
.3 1.1 5.5 7.8

CORN
Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—
Hourly earnings
(cents)

Illinois
1938

1939

Indiana
1938

1939

Iowa
1938 1939

Maryland

Minnesota New York Wiseonsin

1938

1938

1939

1939

1938 1939 1938 1939

Total
2,983 3,179 1, 307 1,579 997 1,040 1, 597 1,674 5, 357 5, 600 1,332 1,357 252 242
Average earnings (cents)-- 33.4 33.4 28.7 30.4 30.1 30.2 24.7 25.9 33.6 32.6 29.7 30.5 28.6 29.3

25
Over 25, under 30_
30_______________
Over 30 _- __

2.4
6.6
36.3
54.6

0.1
5.8
7.8
30.5
55.7

7.7
29.1
9.5
27.0
26.7

4.1
25.7
13.4
20.5
36.4

5.3
25.2
19.1
10.8
39.5

Percent of employees
4.6 38. 8 22. 5
1 2
28.6 25.7 33.2
9.1
13.5 22.6 30.3 10.1
16.5
8.6
8.2 14.7
36.8
4.3
5.7 64.9

12.7 50.7 51.4 2.0 43.4
17.3
.4
.2
.4 2.1
13.0 7.5 6.1 29.8 26.9
56.9 38.1 42.2 29.0 27.7

PEAS
Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—
Hourly earnings
(cents)

Illinois

1938

1939

Indiana

1938

1939

Iowa

1938 1939

Maryland

Minnesota

1938

1938

1939

1939

New
York
1938 1939

Wiscon­
sin
1938 1939

Total
1,198 1, 236
Average earnings (cents) _.. 35.5 34.7

32.5

37.9 33.8 34.9

35.8

35.4 30.4 31.6 32.1 31.9

0.1
4.2
3.5
22. 2
70.0

19.6
16.2
4.6
14.1
45.6

Percent of employees
4.3 2.0 3.1 30.1 12. 8
1. 0
25.1
15.0 35.8
7. 5
.4 16.4 17.1 39.3 30.2
3.2
22. 7
9.9 11.9
5.7
47.5 81.6 79.8
9.4 82.7
5.7

0. 2 6 6 2 8
6. 7 35. 1 33. 3 19 3
3.8
.3
.2 1.9 4.6
8. 2 14. 2 17. 2 8 1
81.2 43.9 46.4 62.7 57.8

25_________
Over 25, under 30._
30-Over 30

7.5
2.5
7.3
82.6

1 Less than 0.05 percent.




680

765

201

193 2, 040 1,983 3,890 3,719 3, 084 3,183 6,169 5, 337
25.5

26.8

110

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Table

XXX.—Comparison of hourly earnings of all employees in identical plants,
seasons 1938 and 1939 by product and State—Continued
GREEN BEANS
Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—

Hourly earnings (cents)
Maryland

Iowa
1938
Total. _____ ____ ________
Average earnings (cents)_____

1939

212
29.8

254
28.7

5.2
25______ _________________________
Over 25, under 30____ _________
30_____
_________________
Over 30

46.9
15.7
11.0
26.4

53.8
11.3
29.7
SPINACH

1938

1939

2, 432
23.8

2, 245
26. 1

New York
1938

1939

2, 297
26.0

1938

1939

1,829
28.8

Percent of employees
9. 7
33.2
59.9
7.6
57.5
38.0
21.5
18.3
1.9
7.9
9.6
9.3
3.0
4.9
17.6
ASPARAGUS

Wisconsin

3,067
25.8

2, 666
28.2

7.3
54.3
2.6
12.7
23. 1

55.0
11.8
1.1
16.1
16.0

0. 8
69.0
.8
9.2
20.3

LIMA BEANS

Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—
Hourly earnings (cents)
Maryland
1938
Total..
Average earnings (cents)

25
Over 25, under 30__________
30
Over 30_________________________

Illinois

1939

1938

Maryland

1939
301
26.5

1938

209
25.1

613
26.0

507
21.0

283
23.2

39.2
15.8
16.3
21.1
7.7

16. 5
41.9
25.3
7.3
9.0

Percent of employees
71.2
50. 2
22.1
88.0
41.3
.4
1.7
2.5
.2
.7
1.8
6.1
9.6
4.2

1939

Virginia
1938

1939

298
26.7

195
17.7

227
21.5

68.1
23.2
3.7
5.0

95.9
1.5
1.5
.5
.5

70.9
16.7
7.0
3.5
1.8

The same slight increase was found in average hourly earnings on
com and spinach, while workers on green and wax beans, the product
on which earnings were lowest in 1938, showed increases in average
hourly earnings in 1939 of approximately 10 percent in identical plants
in Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin. On green and wax beans
the proportion earning under 25 cents was reduced in Maryland
canneries from 60 percent to 10 percent, in New York canneries from
33 percent to 7 percent, and in Wisconsin canneries from 55 percent to
less than 1 percent.
Tn Maryland pea canneries the proportion earning under 25 cents
was reduced from 30 percent in 1938 to 13 percent in 1939, in Wiscon­
sin from 8 percent to 4 percent.
Maryland spinach canneries reduced the proportion receiving under
25 cents from about 40 percent in 1938 to about 17 percent in 1939.
In Maryland corn canneries such proportion was reduced from 39
percent to 23 percent; in Wisconsin com canneries, from 39 percent
to none.




111

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS
WEEKLY EARNINGS IN 1938

Weekly earnings have significance only as they are indicative of the
amount a worker may earn in a week of active canning operations,
and, obviously, as showing what the individual worker has to live on.'
The following table, therefore, gives the arithmetic average (the mean),
the median, and the first and third quartiles in the earnings series for
men and women, by product and by State.
Table

XXXI.—Average week’s earnings of men and women, 1938 season,
by product and State
Women’s average earnings 1

Men’s average earnings 1
Num­ Arith­
ber of metic
men re­ aver­
ported
age

Num­
First
Third ber of Arith­
metic
quar- Median quar- women aver­
tile
tile
reported age

California.
Illinois. _
Indiana
Iowa ....... _ _
Maryland___
New Jersey. _
New York. ..
Ohio. _ _____
Virginia

12,149
1,788
231
5,023
250
1,494
207
2, 003
616
537

$18. 55
23. 00
14. 25
16. 00
18.90
9.90
10. 55
29. 70
25. 95
6.40

$16.45
6. 35
9. 55
11.75
6.15
3. 65
19. 20
19. 60
4.15

$21. 95
14. 90
15. 30
18. 20
9.15
8.80
28. 30
25.25
6.40

$28. 65
19. 95
21. 50
25. 45
13. 50
14. 80
38.85
29. 90
8. 50

18,148
2, 763
517
7, 336
456
2,572
276
2,924
785
519

$9. 85
12. 55
6. 50
8. 25
11.85
7. 20
7. 25
13. 35
16. 30
5.40

$8.65
2. 25
4. 70
5.90
4.30
3. 35
9.10
12. 30
3.45

$12.60
5. 80
7.85
12. 55
6. 65
6. 40
12. 90
17. 05
5.00

$16. 35
10. 40
11.30
16.15
9. 40
9. 80
17. 05
19.60
7. 00

Illinois_____
Indiana ... _ _
Iowa
Maryland____
Minnesota.. ._
New York. ..
Washington___
Wisconsin __ _

10, 228
2,202
1,365
996
1,482
3,097
750
68
268

19.00
18. 50
16.95
17. 25
16. 75
20. 60
25.70
16. 50
15.90

12. 35
11.05
9. 75
11. 45
13. 35
18.60
10. 00
10.20

17.65
15. 00
15. 75
16. 60
20.15
27. 30
15.00
13.80

23.80
21.85
23. 95
21. 40
26. 55
33. 30
22. 00
21.45

9,258
1,775
1,066
895
1, 053
3,163
885
95
326

11. 50
10.55
9.50
10. 10
11.05
13. 45
13. 20
8. 20
5.25

7.65
7. 00
5.75
7. 80
10. 15
9. 60
7. 50
1.80

11.20
10.15
9. 40
11.45
13. 65
12. 30
8. 35
4.50

15.00
12. 20
14. 40
15. 00
17. 25
17. 85
9. 25
7.05

14, 794
160
986
495
324
1,698
3, 306
2, 221
71
Washington ...
214
Wisconsin____
5,319

20.75
20. 45
18. 80
19. 60
19. 95
15. 75
20. 75
21.95
7. 75
29. 30
22. 20

10.65
12. 65
8. 30
11.15
9. 75
13. 05
13. 60
5. 30
19. 90
13.95

21.00
18.90
17.10
20. 50
15. 40
19. 75
22.00
7. 20
30.15
21.85

29. 00
24. 25
26. 05
27. 20
20. 70
28. 00
29.05
10. 05
37.85
29.85

6,297
116
340
185
112
645
927
1,426
29
229
2,288

9.00
9.10
7. 85
12. 45
10. 40
8. 40
10. 45
10.10
3. 20
10.60
7.70

4.00
5. 35
5. 70
6. 55
5.85
6.15
7.10

9. 50
7. 70
9. 05
7. 90
8. 60
9. 25
9.65

14. 05
10. 55
16. 75
14. 55
10. 70
14.60
12.80

6.70
5.20

10.25
7. 35

14.10
10.10

California____
Indiana___ .
Iowa... _____
Maryland____
New York .
Washington___
Wisconsin___

3,867
'207
431
82
1,107
795
245
1,000

17. 75
28. 65
12. 50
18. 90
12.65
20. 65
22. 95
19.75

24. 00
3. 85
13.90
9. 20
15. 55
18. 25
13. 45

29. 65
13. 20
18.35
12. 80
20. 55
24.10
19. 90

33. 35
18. 65
24. 85
16. 30
24.85
29.35
25. 70

7,450
344
561
131
1. 560
l; 785
347
2, 722

9.15
15. 35
4. 35
10. 95
8. 30
9.60
15.10
8. 65

9.00
.75
8. 45
6. 20
8. 05
12. 30
6. 30

13. 85
2.45
12.05
8. 70
9. 65
13. 90
9.50

23. 40
7. 30
12. 85
10. 75
12.15
19. 65
11.00

California____
Maryland____

1, 791
1,555
236

22. 05
23. 65
11.30

18. 35
5.75

22.80
12.05

29. 40
16. 60

4,169
3,824
345

15. 90
16. 65
7.65

11.75
4. 65

16. 40
7.70

21.05
10. 35

1,954
1,825
112

23. 70
24.50
12.40

20.00
9.00

24. 40
11.25

28. 65
15. 40

3, 490
3,076
395

14.95
16. 30
4. 85

12. 30
1. 60

16. 50
6.05

20. 50
7.30

17

17. 25

19

6. 90

913
74
839

16. 05
20. 80
15.65

25. 50
20.05

332
45
287

8.15
13. 85
7.25

3.75

5.85

9.65

754
18. 80
423
17.30
14. 55
17.70
21.30
26. 70
331
20.85
15. 00
22. 20
computed where base is less than 50.

12.70
12. 45
13. 00

10.70
10.05

13.05
13.80

14. 50
16.55

Product and State

Tomatoes and to-

California ...
Illinois. _
Indiana. ____
Iowa
Maryland ...
Minnesota____
New York. __

California
Illinois
New Jersey and

Indiana. _____

885
New York. ..
513
Wisconsin____
372
1 Medians and quartiles not




17.10
11. 55

19.80
13.90

First
quartile

Third
Median quartile

112

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Table

XXXI.—Average week’s earnings of men and women, 1938 season,
by product and State—Continued
Men’s average earnings1

Product and State

Women’s average earnings1

Num­ Arith­
ber of metic
men re­ aver­
ported
age

First
quartile

481
174
133
98
76

$23. 25
27.20
20.90
21.65
20.50

$23. 95
17.25
17. 75
17.25

$28. 35
21.60
23. 25
20. 30

$32.45
25.15
27. 50
23.15

627
145
162
174
146

$14.80
19. 45
14.05
12.85
13. 35

$17. 40
12.10
10. 20
11.65

$18. 80
13. 85
11.25
13. 35

$22.95
18. 00
14. 85
16. 45

Large fruits. ...
10,290
California____ 9,487
Washington___
803

27.20
27. 30
25. 80

22.10
21.45

27.85
26.10

32. 85
29.95

18, 966
17,140
1,826

17.85
17.85
18. 20

11. 95
15. 20

17. 95
18.80

23. 35
22. 20

986
360
160
466

22.15
23.70
15. 20
23. 30

20.15
5. 20
17. 70

24. 50
14. 25
24.40

27. 65
23.15
28. 40

2,167
933
252
982

15. 25
18.10
8. 20
14. 35

13.10
4. 90
10.65

17.10
8. 35
15.15

22. 45
12. 10
18.60

542
131
80

22.25
22. 50
23. 00

14. 75
18. 65

23.95
22.65

29. 00
27. 50

670
294
47

15.35
16.95
13.80

15. 55

17. 45

18. 20

74
119
37
101

22.10
19. 75
24. 65
23. 50

19. 55
16. 50

22. 55
17. 85

25. 85
22. 60

14. 65
11.45

19. 40
11.85

24. 20

26. 66

15.10
10.95
15.15
15. 00

12. 30
11.05

19.85

70
74
17
168

12.20

15. 80

18.80

513
464

20. 60
20.75

27.15

774
663

13. 50
13.35

10.15

13. 55

17.20

38
11

17. 40
24.90

73
38

15. 45
12.65

13. 45

14. 40

17.35

Pickles
California
Illinois _
Ohio
Wisconsin____

California_____
New York____
Washington___

Num­ Arith­
Median Third ber of metic
quar- women aver­
tile reported
age

First
quartile

Median Third
quartile

Jams, jellies, and
California . ...
Illinois
New Jersey and
Pennsylvania
New York. __
Washington___
Olives_______ ...
California
New Jersey and

13.65

21.20

1 Medians and quartiles not computed where base is less than 50.

ANNUAL EARNINGS OF INDIVIDUAL WORKERS IN 1937

Only 5 percent of 179,008 workers whose names appeared on can­
nery pay rolls secured for the whole of 1937 received $600 or more as
wages from the employing plants in that year. In New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, where plants canning nonseasonal products were large,
the proportion reached 37.8 percent; in Ohio, almost 14 percent. But
in the States canning principally fresh fruits and vegetables the pro­
portion of wage earners receiving $600 or more in the year ranged from
less than 1 percent in Iowa to 5 percent in California and New York.
For the 2 percent who worked all 52 weeks in canning plants in 1937,
the average earnings were $1,078; for the 1 percent working 46 and
under 52 weeks the average earnings were $905. The employees work­
ing fewer than 39 weeks averaged less than $600 in the year, though
a large number of those who worked 21 and under 39 weeks earned
$600 or more.
What did less than 4 weeks of work in canneries net the workers in
earnings? The 53,820 persons reported with so little work, a third of
all, averaged $20.10 per person. Six States had an average of less
than this. For example, in Maryland these very short-period workers
averaged $10.55, in Illinois $15.50, in Indiana $15.90. But in New
York, Washington, California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota the average16
16 For year’s earnings of all employees in 1937, by weeks worked and by State, see table XXVI in mimeo­
graphed appendix to this report, available from Women’s Bureau on request.




Table

XXXII.— Year’s earnings of individual employees in 1937, by weeks worked—All cannery workers
Employees who worked in the year—

Em­
ployees
with
weeks
worked
report­
ed

Under
4
weeks

4,
under
8
weeks

100.0

381
161,849
100.0
$140.90

53,820
33.3
$20. 10

I, 631
3,094
1, 224
1, 767
1,202
561
2,134
242
3, 667
50, 260 25,152 10, 918
6,177
1. 9
0.8
1.1
0.3
1.3
0.7
2.3
1.0
0. 1
6. 7
3.8
31.1
15.5
$74.90 $149.10 $223. 35 $294.55 $298. 25 $374. 95 $446. 35 $492. 20 $593.15 $602.10 $708. 40 $905. 30 $1, 078.10

7. 3
5. 4

12, 290
9, 083

12,199
8' 718

15. 5
LL 8
8 6
18.7
8.2
4. 1
2.0
1.3
.9
.8

25, 433
19 420

11, 438
3 546
’ 881
128
10
2

89
359
3, 543
12, 703
12, 703
S, 961
11. 269
614
18
1

Total employees
Amount earned in year

Num­
ber

397
179, 008

Average earnings

$145. 30

27' 777
$100, under $200
$200, under $300

.

33, 443
14, 759
7, 347
3, 643
2, 343
1, 690
1, 438
1, 900
2 502
' 548
9

1.1

1.4
.3
(i)
«

29, 760
12, 563
6, 312
3,145
1, 989
1, 445
1, 288
1, 665
2, 223
' 461
61
6

8,
under
12
weeks

12,
under
16
weeks




20
weeks

21,
under
26
weeks

26
weeks

27,
under
33
weeks

33,
under
39
weeks

39
weeks

40,
under
46
weeks

46,
under
52
weeks

52
weeks

1

1
6
137
1. 189
2, 791
3, 387
12, 077
4, 457
1, 012
85
5
2

11
85
316
628
4,035
3. 548
1, 659
500
103
19
5
7

1

1
1

1
.

1 Less than 0.06 percent.

16,
under
20
weeks

13
56
198
1, 411
1,827
1,519
745
288
85
16
13
6

6
40
246
422
236
153
58
33
7
2

2

2
1
18
419
965
848
646
416
206
90
46
8

31
115
122
104
81
47
37
17
3
3

1
1

1

i

1
1

1
106
341
399
346
317
266
180
133
40
1

26
129
274
235
236
224
170
237
95
3

1
1

2
2
25
22
48
33
32
23
37
17
1

3
94
134
139
132
135
131
238
195
22
1

5
15
57
122
211
226
175
310
518
114
13
1

3
1
10
21
109
170
453
624
1, 340
315
44
4

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FR U IT S

Number of employees-

Per­
cent

co

114

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

total earnings of these under-4-weeks workers were in excess of the
average of $20.10 for all States surveyed.
The second largest group, those employed in a plant 4 weeks to 8
weeks, averaged earnings of $74.90 in the year. In Maryland men and
women working such period in a cannery averaged $40.90, and in New
Jersey and Pennsylvania $59.40. More than the general average for
the total was earned in Illinois, where earnings for 4 to 8 weeks of work
averaged $76.80, in Minnesota where they were $78.45, and in Cali­
fornia where they were $96.95.
The test made of the extent of transferring from plant to plant by
cannery workers (see p. 66) indicates that 6 percent have employment
in two plants in a season if the plants are in the same locality. Even
when allowance for such additional employment is made, it is clear
that the amount of annual earnings possible in the canning industries
is far too small to constitute more than a cash supplement to other
income for the great majority of the workers employed there.
EMPLOYEE ELIGIBILITY UNDER STATE UNEMPLOYMENT
COMPENSATION LAWS
Employer coverage under the unemployment compensation laws in
the 13 States included in the 1938 canning survey has been discussed
on page 51. _ Five of these States—namely, New York, Ohio, Minne­
sota, Virginia, and Washington—make general provisions for the
seasonal worker. In Minnesota the unit for seasonal determination
relates directly to the “first processing of seasonal agricultural prod­
ucts” when less than 26 weeks. In New York, Ohio, and Virginia
the determination may be by the occupation or industry when the
maximum operating period is, respectively, less than 1 year in the first
two States and less than 40 weeks in Virginia. In Washington sea­
%
sonal operations are defined as an—Employer or operating unit which customarily during approximately the same
period reduces employment so that total pay roll for continuous period of 2 calen­
dar months is less than 50 percent of total pay roll for consecutive 2 calendar
months of greatest employment during preceding 10 months.

These States further define “seasonal workers.” In New York and
Virginia they are employees ordinarily engaged in a seasonal industry
and not engaged in any other work. In Washington a seasonal worker
is one who lias a base year credit of which at least 80 percent has been
earned in seasonal employment.
In these States with special provision for seasonal industries the
unemployment compensation benefits are limited as follows:
a. Rights to apply only during longest seasonal period or periods of operation:
New York and Ohio. Duration of benefits to be modified in proportion to longest
seasonal period: New York. Agency to fix the number of weeks benefits may be
paid: Ohio.
b. Benefits payable only during seasonal period of operation: Washington.
c. Credits based on seasonal wages to be that proportion of such wages which
period of operations bears to calendar year, but such credits available for unem­
ployment at any time: Minnesota.
d. Agency to prescribe rules and to determine period during which benefits
shall be payable: Virginia.




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

115

Wisconsin disqualifies from the benefits of unemployment compen­
sation “Individuals employed solely within active canning season (as
determined by agency) of an employer engaged in canning fresh per­
ishable fruits and vegetables.” This disqualification does not apply
to individuals who earned $100 or more from other work within the 52
weeks before the canning employment.
In States with and without special rulings on seasonal industries,
employee eligibility for unemployment benefits is determined on one
of two bases: Either the wages received in some specified past period,
as a multiple of the weekly benefit amount or a flat amount, or the
length of employment.
The following listing gives the employee-eligibility requirements and
amount of benefits for the 13 canning States:
I. Eligibility requirements.

A.

On the basis of wages during a specified period:
1. As a multiple of the weekly benefit amount. (See II for benefit
amounts.)
a. Thirteen times the weekly benefit amount earned in the four
quarters preceding the benefit year: Pennsylvania.
b. Fifteen times the weekly benefit amount earned in the first
four out of the last five calendar quarters immediately preceding the
benefit year: Iowa.
c. Sixteen times the weekly benefit amount earned in the four
quarters preceding the benefit period: New Jersey and Virginia.
d. Twenty-five times the weekly benefit amount earned in the
calendar year: New York.

e. Thirty times the weekly benefit amount earned in the four
quarters preceding the benefit period: Minnesota.
/. Thirty times the weekly benefit amount earned in the calendar
year: Maryland.
2. As a flat amount.
a. Wages of $200 earned in the four quarters preceding the benefit
period: Washington.
b. Wages of $225 earned in the calendar year: Illinois.
c. Wages of $300 earned in the four quarters preceding the bene­
fit period: California.
d. Wages earned subsequent to last day of last base period, if
any, of $50 in each of three of first four of last five completed
calendar quarters, or totaling $250 in first four of last five completed
calendar quarters: Indiana.
B. On the basis of length of employment:
a. Employment in 20 weeks in the year preceding application for
benefits: Ohio.
b. Employment over 4 weeks (on at least 12 working days) or on a
monthly salary basis of more than 1 month, by employer from whose
account employee draws benefits (after employer becomes liable for
contribution): Wisconsin. (See foregoing text for employee disqualification.)




116

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

II. Amount of benefits.
1. Weekly benefit rate:
a. 50 percent of full-time weekly wages: Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
and Virginia.
Full-time weekly wages are defined as wages to be established as
the amount a claimant would earn if employed at the most recent
rate earned by him in the specified period and for the customary
scheduled full-time hours for his occupation in the enterprise in
which he was last employed in the specified period. If such a
rate would be unreasonable or arbitrary, or not readily determinable,
full-time weekly wages to be computed as one-thirteenth of highest
quarterly earnings in the specified period: Iowa, Pennsylvania, and
Virginia.
Fifty percent of “average weekly wage”; the average weekly wage
of an individual, for whose employment during the specified period
there -was a scheduled or customary full-time week and who was
employed in such employment at a fixed rate of pay, to be the
weekly wages obtainable for such full-time week at such rate of
pay; where a full-time week is established but not a rate of pay,
average weekly wage to be actual average of earnings in all full­
time weeks in the specified period; in all other cases to be actual
average of all weeks of any employment in the specified period:
Ohio.
b. Fifty percent of average weekly wage per employee; established as
actual average of earnings for all weeks of employment within the
specified period. The agency may prescribe alternate procedure where
workers’ total wages were less than $100 or total weeks of employment
were less than 10; or if application of the standard procedure would
prove inequitable in any given case: Wisconsin.
c. Calculated as specified proportion of total wages during the quarter
of highest earnings within the specified period:
1. One-twentieth (J4o): California, Illinois, and Washington.
2. One-twenty-third (J4s): New York.
3. One twenty-fifth (J4s): Indiana and Minnesota.
4. One-tw'enty-sixth (J4e): Maryland and New Jersey.
2. Weekly minimum amount of benefits:
a. $10.00: California.
b. $7.50: Pennsylvania.
c. $7.00: Illinois, New York, and Washington.
d. $6.00: Wisconsin.
e. $5.00: Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
/. $3.00: Virginia.
g. $2.00: Indiana (law permits the agency to adopt $5 minimum
but such action has not been taken).
h. $5.00 or full-time weekly wage, w'hichever is less: Iowa.
i. No minimum prescribed: Ohio.
3. Weekly maximum amount of benefits:
a. $15: Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
b. $16: Illinois.
c. $18: California.

As eligibility to receive unemployment benefits is calculated most
frequently on the basis of proportion of total wages received in the
quarter of highest earnings or on total earnings in year, it is not pos­




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

117

sible to determine, from individual annual earnings or weekly earnings
based on actual employment rather than on full-time hours, the pro­
portion of employees covered in the survey who would be eligible for
unemployment compensation. However, available data permit esti­
mates of the percent of cannery workers who would be eligible for
unemployment compensation in some States.
Washington makes eligible any employee whose annual earnings
were $200 or more in the four quarters preceding the benefit period.
According to the record of total earnings of 10,390 canning employees
secured, 25.2 percent earned as much as the $200 minimum in the four
quarters preceding an assumed benefit period. As they worked for
employers covered by the law, 25.2 percent in Washington were
eligible for unemployment benefits.
Under the provision of the Illinois law which provides that em­
ployees are eligible who receive $225 or more in the calendar year
preceding the benefit period, 7 percent of the cannery workers for
whom annual-earnings records were obtained would have been eligi­
ble for unemployment compensation had they been employed by
firms subject to the law. It will be noted, however, that two Illinois
canneries were outside the employer coverage of the Illinois unem­
ployment compensation law.
In Wisconsin, general employee eligibility is based on an employ­
ment of over 4 weeks by the employer from whose account employee
draws benefits. Almost two-thirds (64.5 percent) of the 11,802 for
whom employers’ records over the year were secured worked more
than 4 weeks for the canner reporting. However, an employer is not
covered by law unless he employs 6 or more workers within each of
18 weeks; by this ruling 7 of the 23 Wisconsin canneries reporting, and
their employees, were not covered. And again, all cannery workers
who are employed only during the season by fresh fruit and vegetable
canners and are not employed elsewhere during the year are exempt
from the State’s unemployment compensation law.
These examples serve to illustrate the widely different coverage of
canning employees and employers under present State unemployment
compensation laws.
LABOR COSTS
Cannery costs generally are divided into direct factory costs, factory
overhead, selling expense, and general expense. Under direct factory
costs are included the cost of green produce plus green-produce cart­
age or freight, and seed loss, condiments, cans and bottles, cases,
labels, fuel and power, labor costs, and social-security compensation,
Under factory overhead usually are listed general expenses in the
cannery and warehouse, including machine leases, maintenance and
depreciation, building insurance, and so forth, while under selling ex­
pense are included brokerage and commissions, advertising, all dis­
counts allowed, and selling costs. General expense includes adminis­
trative expenses, interest, and miscellaneous office expenses.
The Women’s Bureau did not secure an accounting of specific items
of cost in its survey of 1939. Rather it asked for direct labor cost,
that is, cost of all labor, whether unskilled, skilled, or supervisory,
entering into cannery operations, and for total cost covering all items




118

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

listed in the foregoing paragraph. Because most of the canneries
covered in the supplemental survey (that of 1939) were visited in
October and November, books for 1939 had not been closed and only
a few firms could state the total costs or the labor costs for the 1939
season. Reports for 1938 were secured most frequently, though there
were sufficient 1937 reports for purposes of comparison. Because
methods of figuring costs, especially with regard to inventory and
sales, differed from plant to plant, records of canneries that did not
include specific items had to be discarded. Plants canning nonseasonal products only were not visited in 1939.
Though costs of operation usually were secured for individual plants,
firms with several units sometimes made an accounting only for the
total operations of all their plants. As such totals served the pur­
poses of the study, the firm totals were accepted. In plants operat­
ing on one product, it was a simple matter to ascertain costs per unit
of production. In some very iarge plants producing many prod­
ucts, costs were kept carefully for each product. But most of the firms
canning several foods did not keep detailed cost statements by prod­
uct; rather, in making a full audit of their operations, many costs
were allotted to all products. As the labor cost per case on an aggre­
gate of products has no significance, it is not given in the cost tables.
COSTS IN FRESH-VEGETABLE CANNERIES

Adequate cost records were secured from 169 firms canning fresh
vegetables of seasonal and nonseasonal varieties. About a fourth
reported that their labor costs were less than 9 percent of their total
costs. The proportion with such low labor costs was larger among
canneries putting up two seasonal vegetables. Another fourth of all
the plants reported labor costs as 11 but under 13 percent of the total.
More of the single-vegetable canning plants reported this relation
than reported the smaller costs of less than 9 percent of the total.
Tomatoes and Tomato Products Only.
Cost records were furnished by 43 plants canning only tomatoes,
tomato pulp, puree, paste, or juice, or a combination of these. Rec­
ords were secured from plants in low-wage areas such as Arkansas and
Virginia as well as in other tomato-canning States. The relation of
labor costs to total costs was not controlled by size of community;
rather, the spread came within canneries in the same type of area. In
Indiana, for example, the lowest proportionate labor cost was 11 per­
cent, the highest 19.4 percent, both reported by canneries in rural
areas. In Maryland the labor costs ranged from 7 percent to 16 per­
cent of total costs, both reported by canneries in towns of over 2,500
population.
In spite of the extremes there was a marked tendency for the rela­
tion of labor costs to total costs from plant to plant to mass about
similar proportions: In Arkansas it was from 9 percent to 11.9 per­
cent; in Maryland, from 9.8 percent to 11.4 percent; in Virginia, from
8.3 percent to 11.2 percent. In Indiana, plants fell into two groups,
those with costs at 11 percent to 12 percent and those with costs at
15 percent to 18 percent. In California and Iowa, where few plants
reported costs on tomato products only, there was wide variance in
costs.




119

VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

While the relation of labor costs to total costs differed within the
same plant in 1937 and 1938, there was no regular trend noticeable m
plants reporting for these years. More plants reported lower relative
costs in 1938 than in 1937, but a fuller reporting of firms might have
shifted the trend. In the few plants reporting on 1939 costs, some
had slight increases and others decreases. The data available in the
fall of 1939 would not indicate any general increase in labor costs m
tomato-canning States.
,
. .
While a standard case of tomatoes is 24 No. 2 cans, tomato ]uice
and other tomato products are packed in containers of various sizes.
When stating the labor cost per case, the actual rather than the stand­
ard case frequently was used, making such figures on tomato products
of little value. In Maryland, however, labor costs on standard cases
of tomatoes were reported by a number of-firms and ranged fiom lO.o
cents to 15 cents a case. In Indiana, firms reporting on standard
cases had labor costs of 17.6 cents to 23.2 cents a case. In Virginia,
labor costs per case generally were 10 cents or less. On tomato puce,
Indiana and New York plants reported a cost of approximately 17
cents a case of No. 10 cans.
Peas Only.
Reports on costs of canning peas were secured for Wisconsin. In
towns of under 2,500 population the seven firms reporting showed
labor costs to be from 8.5 percent to 13.3 percent of total costs; while
two firms reported the lower figure, two others had labor costs of 11.5
percent of total. The cost of labor per case of peas ranged from 20
cents to 29.4 cents in 1938 in Wisconsin rural canneries. In canneries
in the larger communities the relation of labor costs to total did not
vary greatly from that in the small communities, ranging from 8.1
percent to 12.4 percent. Labor cost per case was figured at 14 cents
by one firm but at 20 cents and 21 cents by three other firms m the
larger communities.
Corn Only.
Nineteen corn-canning firms in five States supplied adequate reports
on labor costs and total costs for 1938. While the relation between
such costs ranged from 7.1 percent in one Minnesota plant to 19.2
percent in an Illinois cannery, the concentration was at 10 percent
to 12 percent of total costs. Canneries reporting approximately these
relative labor costs were in four of the States and in rural and town
jirG&s

*

.

The labor cost per case ran close to 16 and 17 cents in Maryland
and Iowa, but there were marked variations.
Two Vegetables.
Sixty canneries reported total costs and labor costs on operations
covering the canning of two vegetables in the 1938 season. The larg­
est single group reported labor costs that were from 5.6 percent to
8.8 percent of total costs, while almost as large a group had costs of
11 to 13 percent. Costs of 18 percent and 20 percent were found, but
these were isolated instances. No difference in relation of labor costs
to total costs existed between canneries in rural communities and
those in towns and cities of over 2,500 population.
227123°—40-




■9

120

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Three or More Vegetables.
The number of plants that reported costs on canning three or more
seasonal vegetables was small. When such nonseasonal vegetables as
pumpkin, cabbage, beets, or carrots were added to the pack appar­
ently there was more concentration at the lower levels though the
range ol labor costs again was from 7.8 percent to over 20 percent of
total costs.
1
Table

XXXIII.—Relation of labor costs to total costs, by type of pack and by
otate, 1988
d

___________

A—VEGETABLES (FRESH)

Type of pack and State

Total ___ _________________
Tomatoes and tomato products—total.
Arkapsas.....
California..
Indiana.
Iowa_____
Maryland..
New York.
Virginia___
Peas—W isconsin _.
Corn—total_____
Illinois____
Indiana___
Iowa______
Maryland..
Minnesota .
2 seasonal vegetables only—total..
Illinois_____
Indiana._
Maryland- .
Minnesota..
New York.
Texas_____
Virginia____
Washington..
Wisconsin. _
3 or more seasonal vegetables onlytotal___________
Arkansas_
_
California-..
Indiana.. ...
Iowa_______
Maryland..
New York...
Virginia____
Washington
Wisconsin__
Seasonal and nonseasonal (but fresh)
vegetables—total____________
Illinois____
Indiana___
Iowa_____
Maryland.
New York.
Texas_____
Virginia___
Wisconsin..




Num­
ber
•of
can­
ner­
ies
re­
port­
ing

Firms reporting relation of labor costs to total costs as­

un­

10,
9,
11
12,
13, | 14,
15,
under under under under under under under 18
per­
10
11
12
13
14
15
18
cent
per­ per- per­ per­ per­
per­
cent cent cent cent cent per. cent per­ and
cent over

der

121

VEGETABLES AND DECimJOUS FRUITS
Table

XXXIII.—Relation of labor costs to total costs, by type of pack and by
State, 1988—Continued

New York.

-

______

___

8

2

2
18
1
20
6
5

1
1 —■-

3
1
1 ’T 2 2

1

2

6

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1
1

5
3

T

1

1

!

1

4

4

1

3
3

6

3

j

1

4
”r

2

|

i

|

,

|

percent
16, under 17
percent
17, under 18
percent
18, under 19
percent
19, under 20
percent
20, under 21
percent
21, under 22
percent
22 percent
and over

percent

| 15, under 16

14, under 15

percent

eo

1

3
i2
1

Tt<
^ "d
•§1
fl *-

[

i

Arkansas._______

52

_

^

Total_________

|

12, under 13 i
|

[

j

|

9

U nder

State

Firms reporting relation of labor costs to total costs as—

percent
9, under 10
percent
10, under 11
percent
11, under 12
percent

N um ber of can ­
neries reporting

B.—SEASONAL FRUITS AND SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

2

0.—SEASONAL AND NONSEASONAL PRODUCTS OF ALL KINDS

Total_______ ____ ___

27
3
7
5
3
2
2
1
4

2

3
1
1

1

1

2

3

1

6

1
2

2

_____

2

_____

2

1

_____

4

1

—

2
1

1
1
1

1
1

1

1
1

1

i
1

1

2

1

1 Costs for 1937 season.
» Costs for 1939 season.

COSTS ON OTHER PRODUCTS

Seasonal Fruits and Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables.
So different are the costs of canning the several kinds of fruits that
there is no comparison in labor costs between berry canneries and those
putting up a full line of large fruits. In New York plants cold-packing
cherries and strawberries and canning raspberries and fruit juices, labor
costs ran as low as 5.5 percent of total costs, whereas California canners
putting up an assortment of fruits had labor costs as high as 25 percent
of total costs. In California and Washington labor costs per case of
No. 2h cans of peaches ranged from 24 cents to 55 cents according
to grade; on apricots from 27 cents to 61 cents; and on pears from 48
cents to 82 cents. In Arkansas labor costs on blackberries were
10 cents a case in 1938; and in New York, on an assortment of berries
and cherries, such costs were 15 cents a case.
_
When plants combine fruit canning and vegetable canning, the total
labor costs for many products obliterate the costs on any one product.
However, more than half the plants reporting costs on fruits or a
combination of fruits and vegetables, in contrast to only about onefifth of the plants reporting costs on vegetable canning only, had
labor costs that were 15 percent or more of total costs.
When nonseasonal products such as baked beans, sauerkraut, or
spaghetti are added to the production, the relation of labor costs to
total costs has a wide spread. However, the reports on costs from
this group of firms were limited, as plants producing nonseasonal
products in largest amount were not visited in 1939.




122

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Olives.
Olive costs were reported by eight California firms. Three reported
labor costs of 12.4 percent of total costs. This was the lowest figure
quoted, the highest being one firm’s report of 22 percent of total costs.
In summarizing the facts on labor costs in canneries, it is obvious
that relative labor costs are far less in vegetable, small-fruit, and fruitjuice canning than in other types of cannery operation. This is due
largely to the part green produce and can costs play in total costs.
These two items alone make up about half the cost in many vegetable
canneries. Labor costs are a more important item in California and
Washington fruit canneries and in plants putting up numerous kinds
of fruit and vegetable products.
CANNED GOODS AND THE PUBLIC CONTRACTS ACT
The United States Government is a heavy purchaser of canned
vegetables and fruits. Any contract in excess of $10,000 awarded as
a result of a bid submitted is subject to the Public Contracts Act
(Walsh-Healey Act) passed by the Seventy-fourth Congress. This
act provides that no person employed by a contractor “in the manu­
facture or furnishing of the materials, supplies, articles, or equipment
used in the performance of the contract shall be permitted to work
in excess of 8 hours in any one day or in excess of 40 hours in any one
week” unless the Secretary of Labor permits and such person is paid
the overtime rate set by the Secretary. The act also provides for the
establishment by the Secretary of Labor of minimum wages for the
industry based on prevailing minimum wages for persons employed
on similar work or in the particular or similar industries currently
operating in the locality in which the supplies arc to be manufactured
or furnished under contract. No such minimum rate has been
set for canning as of April 1, 1940. Until otherwise determined, the
rate of pay for overtime, that is, work in excess of 8 hours in any one
day or in excess of 40 hours in any one week, is one and one-half times
the basic hourly rate or piece rate received by the employee. The
act prohibits the employment of boys under 16 and girls under 18
years of age, and all convict labor on Government contracts subject
to it. It also requires the contractor to stipulate that no part of the
contract will be performed in plants, factories, buildings, or surround­
ings or under working conditions that are insanitary or hazardous
or dangerous to the health and safety of employees engaged in the
performance of such contract.
The major Governmental subsistence-purchasing units are the
Army, the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, the Navy,
the Marine Corps, the Veterans’ Administration, and the Depart­
ments of the Interior, Justice, and the Treasury. Their purchasing
practices differ. The Army buys canned food for commissary sale
at each post or station and for general issue at its six depots. The
Navy purchases are centralized in Washington for general issue,
though food for the commissary is purchased in the various localities!
The Marine Corps purchases canned food for the area east of the
Mississippi at Washington and for the area west of the Mississippi
at San Francisco. The Department of the Interior’s canned-food
purchases for the Indian Service and the National Park Service are




VEGETABLES AND DECIDUOUS FRUITS

123

centralized in Washington. The Department of Justice buys food
for each of its institutions at points near such places. The Treasury’s
food purchases for the institutions in the District of Columbia are
centralized in Washington.
Each Government organization observes a different canned-food­
purchasing practice. The Army depots buy for the Regular Army
and for the C. C. C. generally on a quarterly basis. Invitations for
bids for subsistence contracts may call for as many as 100 items,
and to obtain price advantage each item may be awarded individually.
While these food contracts amount to much more than $10,000 in
the aggregate, very few of the individual food-item contracts are
over $10,000 for a quarter. For commissary-sales stores the Army
makes some purchases under what is known as “order agreements.’’
These contracts arc made with manufacturers of national brands
who can show that their goods are demanded by commissary custo­
mers. The agreement stipulates that the Army is to receive the
lowest prevailing price for that brand of goods, after which agreement
each commissary can buy its own goods in quantities desired. As
these agreement's run for indefinite periods, the total sum of purchases
is large, though individual orders never reach $10,000. While the
Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors buys independently of
the Regular Army for maintenance of workers on projects, its district
offices follow the same general food-purchasing practices.
The Navy and the Veterans’ Administration purchase their heavilyconsumed canned items separately. A single contract for each item
covers country-wide requirements for a year. The contracts may be
awarded before, during, or after the canning season. As a result,
the Veterans’ Administration reported that in money value 53 M
percent of their contracts were over $10,000 in the fiscal year 1939,
though in number of contracts only 15.6 percent were over $10,000.
The officials of the Navy estimated that in money value 75 percent
of their contracts, but in number of contracts 50 percent, were over
$10,000. The Navy uses the “indefinite” contract on standard brands
for commissary sales; that is, the contract for branded goods at
specific rates, the same to be supplied at local commissary order for
an indefinite period.
While the Marine Corps purchases seasonal canned foods on an
annual basis and nonseasonal foods on a semiannual basis both
during and after the packing season, it reports that few contracts
are for sums over $10,000. The Interior Department, purchasing
canned goods quarterly, estimated that 5 percent of their contracts
and 40 percent of the money value were in amounts in excess of
$10,000. Neither the Department of Justice nor the Treasury, pur­
chasing canned food on quarterly and two-month bases, respectively,
awards large contracts.
Obviously these unstandardized purchasing practices on subsistence
items automatically eliminate contractors of some Government de­
partments from the Public Contracts Act and include within it con­
tractors of other departments. They also eliminate the large pro­
ducers of standard brands who secure “order” or “indefinite” contract
agreements. The system of calling for bids on small amounts of
many grocery items has made large grocery companies important
canned-food Government contractors. If these companies bid on
contracts of more than $10,000, they may secure the canned goods




124

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

from several canners, no one of which takes over $10,000 of the award,
though each may well be able to fill the entire contract. Nor is it
necessary, unless so specified in the invitation for bids, for any firm
to bid on amounts in excess of $10,000 though the quantity to be
purchased exceeds $10,000. As a result, an award for a specific item
may be given to several grocers, who in turn may buy the goods from
the same canner. As the Public Contracts Act applies to individual
contracts with individual contractors, such a canner would not be
covered by the law. Then again, canned goods purchased on a
quarterly basis may be already packed and therefore exempt. The
spirit of the Public Contracts Act can be defeated easily in the award­
ing of canned-food contracts.
As has been stated, at the time of the 1938 survey only the hour and
over-time provisions of the law were effective for contracts on canned
goods in excess of $10,000. Almost all canneries operating at sufficient
capacity to carry orders of this size employed some men and women
over 56 hours for some weeks in the 1938 canning season. Had these
canners held Government contracts on food being packed, they would
have had to pay time and a half to all persons working over 8 hours on
any day or over 40 hours in any week. Canners in Wisconsin have
been accustomed by State law to paying adult women time and a
half for over 9 hours of work; canners in California, time and a quar­
ter for oyer 8 up to 12 hours and double time for over 12 hours a day;
canners in Washington, time and a half for over 8 to 12 hours and
double time for hours over 12 in unionized firms only. Consequently,
the public contracts overtime-pay clause is no deterrent to bids for
Government food contracts by canners in Wisconsin and California
nor by some in Washington. Packers in other States are reluctant
to bid or to make quotations to wholesale grocers unless the food has
already been canned or the contract is not in excess of $10,000,
because the practice of overtime pay is not regularly in effect in their
plants.
At the time the canneries were visited in 1938, only about a third of
those reporting had Government contracts or had had such contracts
during the past year. This proportion was about two-fifths in New
York, Washington, and Wisconsin and was over one-half of all firms
reporting in California. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where
only a few plants were scheduled, 60 percent or more had Government
contracts. The contracts had been received by direct bidding by
canners in almost half (46 percent) of the cases; all other Government
work came through wholesale grocers or brokers. No attempt was
made to check on the value of the awarded contracts.




COLD-PACKED AND FROSTED FRUITS
AND VEGETABLES
Cold-Packed Fruits.
For many years berries and fruits have been cold-packed for the
use of jam and preserve manufacturers, pie bakers, ice-cream makers,
and soda-fountain-supply houses. The fruit is prepared as it is for
canning but is put into barrels or large tins that hold from 10 to 50
pounds. Both tins and barrels are put in a cold-storage warehouse,
where they are subjected to a slow-freezing process at temperatures
from zero to 30 degrees above, depending on the freezing point of the
product.
_
Because of the perishability of berries, this cold-packing is done
close to the berry fields. Some ice-cream and bakery houses do their
own packing; cold-storage warehouses give them space for the short
time necessary for preparing the fruit and a local crew of women is
hired. The fruit is then stored in the warehouse and shipped out at
order of the company concerned. Other firms make a specialty of
cold-packed products and sell them direct or through brokers, using
the local or the city cold-storage warehouse for the freezing of their
products. Some of these firms may pack fresh fruits. Then again,
canneries do cold-packing. A few canneries were found that coldpacked peas, beans, and corn for their own subsequent use in canning
mixed vegetables.
According to the 1937 Census, more than half the cold-packing of
fruits (based on value of product) is done in the Pacific Northwest,
that is, in Washington and Oregon. Michigan, Maryland, and New
York are States of next importance. Berry packing takes place also
in Tennessee and Virginia.
Frosted Fruits and Vegetables.
Methods of quick-freezing fruits and vegetables at temperatures
from zero to 50 degrees below to preserve their original fresh condition
have been developed only in recent years. The patents for these
processes are held by a few firms. These firms have found it neces­
sary, however, to tie up their freezing operations with canning opera­
tions. Only limited varieties or sizes of each fruit or vegetable are
adapted to quick-freeze; without the use of other varieties and sizes
in canning, waste would be prohibitive. Today canneries prepare
berries, peaches, and other fruits, peas, lima beans, and other vege­
tables for quick-freeze and for canning at the same time. Those
products selected for quick-freeze are packed in cartons instead of in
cans. The carton packing and weighing may be a hand or a machine
process. Cartons are then lieat-sealed and placed in freezers at
temperatures from zero to 50 degrees below. The quick-freeze may
be a portable unit quickly shifted to different locations. Sometimes




125

126

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

the prepared vegetables from several canneries are hauled to a central
freezing station. Individual containers are later cased and stored
at temperatures hovering about zero. The marketing is done by the
firm holding the patent and under its name.
The Pacific Northwest is the largest producer of frosted berries and
vegetables as it is of cold-packed fruits. In the search for the prod­
ucts suitable for quick-freezing, canners over a wide area have been
induced to undertake the preparation of fruits or vegetables for the
freezing process. It is stated that the number so engaged in 1938
was between 60 and 70 canners and that a rapid expansion was
expected by 1939.
Plants Visited.
Fifty-five plants were visited in 1939 that preserved fruits or
vegetables by cold rather than by heat as in canning: 46 packed fruit
for cold storage and 9 worked on quick-freeze produce. Of the 46 on
cold-packing, 16 handled no other fruit, 11 packed fresh fruit or
evaporated apples as well as cold-packing cherries or berries, 10 did
canning and cold-packing, and 9 did canning, cold-packing, and quick
freezing. The 9 firms that prepared the quick-freeze fruit and vege­
tables all were canning firms, though 4 of the plants merely prepared
produce for frosting or did the freezing for several canneries. Of the
55 plants included in the survey, therefore, 28 were canners, 11 were
fresh-fruit packers, and 16 engaged only in cold-packing of fruit or
engaged in it as secondary to a bakery or ice-cream business.
Plants visited that engaged only in cold-packing or did cold-packing
and fresh-fruit packing were in Michigan, New York, Oregon, Ten­
nessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Plants surveyed that
canned and did cold-packing or quick-freezing of fruits or vegetables
were in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Virginia,
Washington, and Wisconsin. While the larger number of plants
surveyed were in rural communities, the larger number of employees
were in town plants.
Because the processes of preparing fruits and vegetables for preser­
vation by cold are the same as those used in preparing these products
for canning, and because all frosted-fruit-and-vegetable packers and
many cold-packers are canners, only data that will indicate any
differences in wages and hours of workers on the cold processes will
be reported here.
.
Hours Worked.
Washington and Oregon are outstanding States in these preserving
industries, as they handle practically all varieties of fruits and vege­
tables that are cold-packed or frosted. Two-thirds (66 percent) of
the workers in Washington and over one-half (54 percent) of those in
Oregon were employed less than 40 hours in active weeks of cold-preserv­
ing in 1939; only 6 percent of Oregon employees and only 14 percent of
Washington employees worked more than 56 hours. While these are
larger proportions than worked in excess of 56 hours on the canning
of berries and cherries in California and Washington in 1939, whether
small fruits were canned, cold-packed, or frosted, the larger number
of workers were employed short hours.




Table

XXXIV.-- Hours worked by all employees, 1939 season, by State

COLD-PACKED A!\D FROSTED PRODUCTS

Number and percent 1 of all employees
Indiana, Minne­
sota, and
Wisconsin

Total

New York

Michigan

Washington

Virginia

Oregon

Percent
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total-.

7,965

100.0

Under 40_________
40________________
Over 40, under 42_.
42 _ ___________
Over 42, under 44-­
44__________ -­
Over 44, under 48­
48_______________
Over 48, under 56-­
56_______________
Over 56, under 60.
60, under 80--------80 and over______

3,846

48.3

100.0

890

177

59.2

337

36

12.0

7
1, 255
457

15.7

100.0
37.9

28

4
3
10

i Computed for chief groups only.

8
39
14

13.0

12
2
40
5
97
7
44
225
93

1,736

2,108

6
111
22

93
38
179

20

10.9
25.3
10.4

114
13
148
4
157
547
225

189

945

673
26
45
8
128

6

25.9
10.7

190
43
50
42
11

680

100.0

100.0

1,977

100.0

225

33.1

1,300
11
35
13
43
44
104
9
138
14
51
183
32

65.8

1
12
10.3

16.9

61
10
70
196
81

9.0
10.3
28.8
11.9

9.3

127




299

COLD-PACKED a n d f r o s t e d f r u it s a n d v e g e t a b l e s

Hours worked in pay­
roll week recorded

' 128

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

In New York State, where cold-packing of cherries and berries and
Irostmg oi peas, lima beans, and other vegetables is carried on 44
percent of the employees worked in excess of 56 hours. This propor­
tion also is higher than the proportion employed such hours in New
York canning, except on tomatoes and com. In Michigan cold
packing of cherries and berries, over 41 percent of the employees
worked m excess of 56 hours, though 38 percent were employed less
than 40 hours. A very large proportion of Virginia workers but
much smaller proportions in Tennessee and in Indiana, Minnesota
and Wisconsin, were employed over 56 hours.
The location of cold-packing or frosted-food plants in rural areas
or in towns had little effect on hours of employment.
Hourly Earnings.
Washington and Oregon have had State minimum-wage regulations
tor women and minors for many years, and some firms had union con­
tracts m 1939. As the Washington minimum-wage rate was 37 U cents
an hour only 3 percent of all workers earned less than that no one
earning below 28 cents. Almost half the Washington employees on
cold-pack or frosted fruits or vegetables earned 40 cents an hour more
than a fourth earned 50 cents an hour, and an eighth exceeded 50
cents m a week of active cold-preserving in 1939. There was little
difference m earnings in Washington plants between rural communi­
ties and towns In W ashmgton plants the wage scale was similar on
the two methods of preserving fruits and vegetables—whether carmine
or cold-preserving.
&
. Oregon’s minimum-wage rate for experienced women and minors
is 35 cents an hour. Thirty percent of those employed on cold proc­
esses earned this amount, and only 1 percent earned less, in an active
preserving week in 1939. Thirty percent earned 40 cents, and 15
percent earned 45 or 50 cents. While the average earnings in Oregon
cold-processing plants m rural communities were 5% cents less than in
town plants, no worker had earnings below 28 cents in either location
New York cold-processing plants paid 25 cents an hour to more than
nail their employees m an active preserving week in 1939 The 9
percent paid 20 cents were employed in plants in rural areas A sec­
ond point of earnings concentration in unincorporated areas was at
30 cents, and m the larger communities at 35 cents. Nevertheless
the average earnings of workers in towns of 2,500 and over were 29
cents, only slightly above the 28.5 cents in plants in rural areas. These
earnings differ but little from earnings on canning processes in New
Michigan plants included in the survey were cold-packing berries
cherries, and other fruits along with canning or fresh-fruit packing or
apple evaporating. Here too, more than half the employees earned
25 cents in an active week of 1939. The majority of those paid 20
cents (7.4 percent of the total) were employed in plants in rural com­
munities I he average earnings of workers in cold-packing plants in
towns of 2,500 and over were 28.2 cents, and in rural plants 26.2
0611 uS.

The hourly earnings in Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin cold­
preserving plants had to be thrown together to prevent disclosure of
individual records. The one rural plant reporting paid either 20 cents




129

COLD-PACKED AND FROSTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

or 25 cents an hour to its employees. In plants in incorporated towns
all employees received 25 cents an hour or more; 30 cents and 35
cents also were points of earnings concentration.
Virginia cold-packing and frosting plants paid 25 cents to 95 percent
of their workers, and practically all others were paid between 25 cents
and 35 cents an hour, in an active canning week in 1939. Reports
from Tennessee, however, showed the 275 employees for whom hours
data were available in that State to be earning 15 cents an hour or less.
XXXV.—Distribution of all employees according to hourly earnings, 1939
season, by State and population group—COLD-PACKED AND FROSTED
PRODUCTS

Table

Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—
Indiana,
Minne­
sota, and Michigan New York
Wisconsin

Oregon

Tennessee Virginia

Total__
65 234 223 734 1,266 1,074 757 979
Average earnings
(cents)___________ 20.9 30.8 26.2 28.2 28.5 29.0 38.7 44.3

275
—

319

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over

2,500

361

Towns of 2,500
and over
Towns of under

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over
Towns of under

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over
Towns of under

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over
Towns of under

1

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over
T ow ns of under

2,500

Towns of 2,500
and over
Towns of under

Towns of under

!

Hourly earnings (cents)

Washing­
ton

868 1,109

13.0 25.2 25.4 45.3 45.4

Percent of employees

81. 5

20

27.8

1.2

4.0

18.5 32.1 26.0 60.9 48.3
.9 15. 2
.3 4.7
30.3 19.7 18.1 29.0
9.8
.9 4.1
.6
15.4 8.5 8.7 6.4
35.__________ ________
6.4
.3
.2
.9 1.8 4. 1 3.0
40
____
____ ____
1.3
.1
.5
1.6
.8
45
.2
3.0
.5 2.2

25

_____________

30

____________________




0.1
61.4
4.0 0.1
.6
0.2
4.2
1.7
25.3 64.5 4.0
.2
.7
.1
2.0 2.5 51.7
.2
.7 27.2 4.9
.7
.9
1.6 4.1 36.4

100. 0 96. 7
.8 0. 3
1.7
.8 92. 5
2. 2
3.8
.6
.3

0.1
0.1

3.8
.5
. 1 7. 3
60.0 40. 5
1.3 4.1
.8 2.8
. 1 2.0
.3 37. 6 39.0

THE CANNING OF CITRUS FRUITS AND JUICES
IN 1939
The canning of citrus products is centered almost entirely in three
States: Florida, Texas, and California. Florida is the outstanding
citrus-canning State, producing over 95 percent of the canned grape­
fruit sections (as reported by National Canners’ Association), over
50 percent of the canned grapefruit juice, and 36 percent of the canned
orange juice as reported by the 1937 Census of Manufactures. Texas
cans a very small amount of grapefruit sections but over two-fifths of
the grapefruit juice. California’s canned-citrus production is only
10 percent of the total and is largely lemon and orange juice and citrus
byproducts.
Pack and Employee Coverage.
In making a study of the citrus-canning industry in 1939, agents of
the Women’s Bureau visited 45 plants in Florida, Texas, and Cali­
fornia. These plants employed a total of 6,714 persons in a week of
active operation in 1939. Their combined output was approximately
70 percent of the total canned citrus production as reported by the
1937 Census of Manufactures. The sample is greater for citrus juices,
which constitute two-thirds of the total canned citrus products, than
for citrus-fruit sections.
Thirty-three of the 45 plants included in the study canned only
citrus fruits, juices, or byproducts; 12 plants canned also vegetables.
The 33 plants whose sole output was citrus products were distributed
among the three States very much in accordance with the States’
importance in this industry: 4 orange- and lemon-juice plants in
California, which also made some citrus byproducts; 9 grape-fruitjuice plants (one canning orange juice also) in Texas; and 20 citrus
canneries in Florida (11 canning juice only, 6 canning both juice and
fruit, and 3 canning fruit only). Of the 12 establishments canning
vegetables as well as citrus products, 1 of the 2 in Florida canned
juice, the other fruit and juice, and 10 in Texas canned juice only in
6 cases, juice and fruit in 2 cases, and fruit only in 2.
The 6,714 employees in the plants covered represent a sample of at
least 45 percent of employment in the citrus-canning industry. This
is a conservative estimate based on 1937 Census figures of the maximum
number employed in any one month in the entire canning industry of
Florida and Texas. Florida’s canning industry is mainly citrus, and
the citrus industry is fairly important in Texas.
The table following shows the numbers of plants and employees
included in the survey, by State and product.
Because of the differences in the three States in season and product,
and the differences in operations between fruit canning and juice
canning, the following discussion deals separately with each State
and each type of product. In citrus-juice plants the operations are
130




131

CITRUS FRUITS AND JUICES IN 193 9

simple and highly mechanized, requiring relatively few employees to
turn out large quantities of juice; few if any women are employed in
these plants, and practically all operations are paid by the hour. In
the fruit plants there are many preparatory hand operations requiring
a relatively large number of employees, in most cases women paid on a
piece-work basis.
Table XXXVI.—Number of establishments visited and number of persons they

employed, 1988-89 season, by State
CITRUS-FRUIT PRODUCTS
Plants whose citrus products were—

State

Total
number
of plants

Total
number
of em­
ployees

i 45

6,714

31

2,009

11

2, 762

3

1,943

4
22
19

382
4, 945
1,387

4
12
15

382
800
827

7
4

2, 202
560

3

1,943

Total
Florida_____ ______
Texas_____________

Fruits

Juices
Number Number
of em­
of plants ployees

Fruits and juices

Number Number Number Number
of em­
of em­
of plants ployees of plants ployees

i 33 of these plants canned citrus products only.

Size of Community and Distance of Cannery From Fruit Supply.
The citrus-canning industry in Florida is situated mainly in the
central and west-central part of the State in Polk, Hillsborough,
Lake, and Orange Counties. The 20 Florida canneries in this survey
whose sole output was citrus products were equally divided between
towns of less than 2,500 population and those of 2,500 or more. The
longest distance of the 10 canneries in the smaller towns from their
supply of fresh fruit was reported in 9 cases. Only 3 obtained all
their fresh fruit within a radius of 10 miles; of the 3, only 1 canned
nothing but fruit from its own groves.
In Texas the industry is concentrated in one small region in the
lower Rio Grande Valley, in the southernmost tip of the, State. Here
9 canneries whose products were exclusively citrus were scheduled.
None of the 4 plants in towns of under 2,500 population obtained its
entire supply of fresh fruit from groves within 10 miles, though 3
stated that this was the usual distance. Only 1 got all its fresh fruit
from points within 10 miles, and this plant was in a town of 2,500
or more.
The very few establishments in California canning citrus products
solely are in the southern part of the State in towns of at least 5,000
inhabitants. The 4 plants included in the survey were in towns of
10,000 or more. Only 1 plant obtained all its fresh fruit within a
radius of 10 miles, and this was from its own groves.
Length of Season.
The citrus-canning season is a relatively long one, though it varies
considerably in the three States. California, the least important as a
citrus-canning State, has the longest period of active operation.




T"" xxx™-*-*'

i «**-“‘STSsitik’uV^P^uS mi

«'*» - »“

~

CO

to
Under 6 weeks

State
Number of
plants
reporting

Average
number
of weeks

Number of
plants
reporting

Average
number
of days

26

California_______
Florida.
Texas_______
Total______
California... __
Florida_____
Texas_____

Weeks of canning

Days on which canning

26

23

52
25
17

2

15
6

10, under 14 weeks
Average days worked
ber of
plants

Number of I
plants

Uays

1938

119

16

6, under 10 weeks

Average days worked
Average days worked
Total num­
Total number of
ber of
Number of
Number of
plants
Days
plants
Days
plants
plants

300
113
74

32

29

26

19
9

51
30
16

48
55
45

1939

2

145
151
87

7

52
59
Weeks of canning

14 weeks
State

15, under 26 weeks

Average days worked

Total num­
ber of
Number of
plants
plants

Days

26, under 39 weeks

Average days worked

Total num­
ber of • Number of
plants
plants

Days

39 to 52 weeks

Average days worked
Total num­
ber of
Number of
plants
Days
plants

Average days worked
Total num­
ber of
Number of
plants
Days
plants

1938

Total.

88

128

California_______

Florida________

300
215

Texas__________

1939
89

Total.

California.
Florida____

Texas______




77

59
104

166

300
213

LABOR LEG ISLA TIO N AND CA N N IN G AND PRESERV IN G

Weeks over which
plant canned

CITRUS FRUITS AND JUICES IN 1939

133

In fact, citrus canning is a year-round industry in California, rather
than a seasonal one, having an average of 51 canning weeks in 1939
and 52 in 1938, with an average of 300 canning days in each year.
This steady operation is due to the fact that lemons are a year-round
fruit and oranges nearly so, since the seasons for navels and Valencias 17
overlap and provide fresh fruit for practically the whole of the year.
The citrus canning season lasts in Florida for 6 or 7 months, in
Texas for only about 4 months. The Florida season usually runs
from December to July, with possibly a month’s variation at either
end. In Texas the season generally is from January to April or May.
The 17 Florida citrus plants reporting on canning period had an
average of 30 canning weeks in 1939. Plants reporting on the number
of days on which canning was done averaged 151 days, but the majority
canned on more days that this, 9 averaging 166 days and 4-averaging
213 days. The season was shorter in 1938. Of 16 plants reporting
for 1938, 7 had canned for less than 26 weeks, while in 1939 there
were only 4 of 19 plants that canned for so short a period. The 16
citrus canneries that reported on number of canning weeks in 1938
averaged 25 weeks; 15 that reported on number of days averaged 113
as the days on which canning wras done. A bare majority canned
more days than this, 6 averaging 128, 2 averaging 215.
The nine Texas citrus-juice plants covered in the study averaged 16
weeks of canning operations in 1939. The average for the seven
plants reporting days of canning was 87 days, four of these averaging
104 days in a period of 15 and under 26 weeks. Though the Texas
canneries reporting weeks of canning in 1938 averaged 1 more week
in 1938 than in 1939, the average canning days (reported by six
plants) were fewer, 74 as against 87.
To summarize: For 1939 the Florida citrus canneries reporting
averaged 30 weeks of canning, in contrast to 16 for the Texas plants;
and 151 canning days in contrast to 87 in Texas. The 1938 season
was not so long in either State; Florida’s canneries ran juice or fruit
on an average of 113 days, the Texas plants on an average of 74 days.
Source of Seasonal Labor Supply.
Citrus canneries have very different requirements as to the kind
and amount of labor needed when the season is on. Juice plants
require men almost exclusively- -to handle the large quantities of
fruit, tend the juicing machines, truck the cans, dispose of the peel.
Fruit plants require a large number of women to do the careful hand
operations of cutting apart the fruit segments or sections and placing
the prepared fruit in the cans.
Texas.—Texas citrus canneries employ men almost exclusively, as
their product is chiefly juice. The majority of the Texas canneries
included in the survey employed local casual laborers—the odd-job
men from the community—for at least half of their seasonal force.
Farmers and other agricultural wage earners supplied as much as
three-fourths of the labor in only two canneries, but some part of
the labor in four others. One cannery drew most of its men from
other industries during their dull periods and one other depended on
migrants for half to three-fourths of its seasonal force. Only one1
17 Season for navels approximately November to May; season for Valencias approximately April to
November.




134

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Texas cannery scheduled employed women, most of these coming
from nearby farms.
Florida.—The citrus canneries of Florida likewise drew mainly on
the local supply of casual laborers for their men employees. In 12
of the 19 citrus canneries that reported on source of labor supply this
group formed half or more of the force. Farmers and other agri­
cultural workers also were drawn upon to some extent; 13 firms used
this supply for some part of their seasonal force and two firms ob­
tained three-fourths or more of their employees from this group.
Florida canneries made much more use of migrant workers than did
the Texas plants. In 13 canneries some part of the force were mi­
grants, in four of these from half to three-fourths. In plants where
the fruit is canned, women are employed to separate the sections by
hand a,nd to place them in the cans. Nine of the 19 Florida citrus
canneries covered in this study employed women. In seven of these
the main source of labor supply was local housewives, and one other
plant obtained from 25 to 50 percent of its women employees from
this group. Eight canneries drew some of their women workers from
migrants, but in the majority of plants the proportion of these among
the total women employees was low, less than 25 percent. Six of the
nine canneries employing women used a small proportion of local
casual workers.
Hours Worked.
The data obtained in the survey included records of individual
earnings and hours worked in one full-time week in the 1939 season.
However, records of hours worked were not available for all employees.
This was especially true in Texas, where hour records were lacking
for more than a fourth of those included in the study. In Florida
there were no hour records for 10 percent of the employees covered;
in California records were lacking for 2 percent. Only 9 percent of the
45 citrus pay rolls copied were from canneries within the area of pro­
duction as defined by the Administrator of the Fair Labor Standards
Act and therefore were totally exempt from the law.
About half the workers in Texas juice plants and over a third of
those in fruit plants worked over 56 hours in the week reported. The
long hours were worked in 16 (1 wholly outside the law) of the 19
plants surveyed. It is important to note that three. Texas citrus
canneries employed no one in excess of 56 hours.
Of workers in Florida, about 41 percent in juice plants and 14 per­
cent in fruit plants worked more than 56 hours in the week. Only
2 of the 19 plants outside the area of production paid higher rates for
overtime, and in these plants overtime pay began after 44 hours.
In California juice plants a sixth of the employees worked over 56
hours; overtime was paid after 44 hours in 2 plants. There was no
report on 2 plants whose workers were paid semimonthly.
In Florida a far larger proportion of workers were employed 60
hours and over in rural citrus-juice plants than were so employed in
plants in towns of 2,500 and over. A similar but somewhat modified
condition existed in Texas juice plants. The same trend is noticed in
citrus-fruit plants.




135

CITE ITS FRUITS AND JUICES IN 19 39
Table

XXXVIII.—Hours worked, by all employees, 19S9 season, by State—
CITRUS-FRUIT PRODUCTS

CITRUS FRUITS

CITRUS
FRUITS
AND
JUICES

CITRUS-FRUIT JUICES

Hours worked in pay­
roll week recorded
Total
Total

Under 40
40 _________________
Over 40, under 42 ..... __
42
_________________
Over 42, under 44
44________
______
Over 14, under 56
56
_
Over 56_._ ____ ...

Florida

Texas

2,115

1,823

292

28.7
1.5
2.0
7.0
8.3
.4
34.8
.7
16.8

29.7
1.7
1.6
8.0
8.9
.3
35.7
.5
13.7

22.6
.3
4.5
.7
4.8
1.0
28.8
1.4
35.9

Total
1,817

Cali­
fornia

Florida

Texas

374

723

720

1,929

28.9
.4
2.4
2.5
1.8
3.5
17.5
2.4
40.6

29.3
.1
.7
.3
1.7
.6
15.2
4. 2
47.9

25.5
.6
1.1
.6
.7

Percent distribution
30.6
36.4
.4
.8
3.5
1.9
1.2
.5
2.5
5.3
1.7
.3
20.6
36.7
2.6
16.6
38.6

Total—
Florida

47.2
.2
24.0

Hourly Earnings.
The largest single group of workers, about half of those in each type
of citrus cannery, earned 25 and under 30 cents an hour. There was
little variation in the proportion within this 5-cent interval between
citrus fruit, citrus juice, and the two combined. The variation was
much greater in the percentage with earnings below 25 cents. In the
canneries whose products were both citrus fruit and juice, 19.9 percent
earned less than 25 cents an hour, as did 12.5 percent in the citrusfruit plants and 3.7 percent in the citrus-juice canneries. Average
hourly earnings in citrus-fruit canneries were 30.1 cents, in citrusjuice canneries 31 cents, and in the plants canning both fruit and
juice 27.6 cents.
Florida.—The average hourly earnings in Florida citrus canneries
varied from 27.6 cents in the plants canning both fruit and juice to
30.9 cents in those canning fruit only. The juice canneries fell
between these two, with average hourly earnings of 29 cents. Onefiftli of the employees in the canneries producing both juice and fruit
earned less than 25 cents. These canneries were in towns of 2,500
or more population and earnings were computed for 1,929 workers.
In the plants whose sole product was citrus fruits, 264 workers
(14.4 percent) earned less than 25 cents an hour. Over three-fifths
of these 264 employees worked in canneries in towns of 2,500 popula­
tion or more. The proportion earning less than 25 cents an hour in the
juice plants was much lower—0.8 percent; these were in towns of
2,500 or more. It is interesting to note that average hourly earnings
in the Florida fruit canneries in towns of less than 2,500 were higher
than those of any other group, irrespective of State, size of com­
munity, or product, with the exception of juice plants in the large
towns in southern California.
Texas.—Texas wrorkers, whether in fruit or juice canneries, had the
same average hourly earnings, 25.2 cents. There were none in the
fruit canneries who received less than 25 cents an hour, but 8.3
percent in the juice canneries did so. This group with earnings below
227123“—40------10




136

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

25 cents were all in canneries in towns of less than 2,500 population.
The heavy concentration of workers at 25 cents is especially marked
in Texas, where 97.3 percent of the employees in fruit canneries, and
80.7 percent of those in juice canneries, received 25 cents an hour.
California.—California differs radically from the other two citrus­
canning States in the matter of hourly earnings. The average
earnings per hour were 45.7 cents; no employee received less than 25
cents, only 1.9 percent of the total received less than 35 cents; about
85 percent were paid 40 cents an hour or more, 26 percent receiving
at least 50 cents.
XXXIX.—Distribution of all employees according to hourly earnings,
1989 season, by State and population group—CITRUS-FRUIT PRODUCTS

Table

CITRUS FRUITS

Hourly earn­
ings (cents)

Florida

CITRUS
FRUITS
AND
JUICES

CITRUS-FRUIT JUICES

Cali­
fornia

Texas

Florida

Texas

Florida

Towns Towns Towns Towns Towns Towns Towns Towns Towns
of 2,500
of
of
of 2,500 of 2,500
of 2,500
of
of
of 2,500
under
and
under
and
and
under
and
under
2,500
2,500
2,500
2,500
over
over
over
over
over
Total___
Average
earnmgs
(cents) _

20
25
26, under 30___
30_________ .
35
4041, under 45___
45
50 and over___

2,500 and

825

998

100

192

374

224

488

201

519

1,929

31.7

30.2

25.4

25.2

45.7

27.9

29.5

23.2

25.9 ‘

27.6

3.8
1.2
7.2
11.6
28. 1
7. 4
14.8
1.9
9.5
1.9
3.9
.7
1.9
6.1

10.8
.9
4.7
16.6
29.2
5.2
10.3
2.5
4.9
2.3
3.0
1.0
3.2
5.3

88.8
.2

21.9
28.0

Percent of employees
1 2
96.0
3.0

97.9
.5
1.6

1.0

0.3
.8
.8
3.5
9.9
29.1
2.7
21.9
5. 3
25.7

55.8
19. 6
7. 6
10.3
3.1
.4
.4
.4
.4
1.8

18.4
23.4
43 6
3. 3
5 3
1 4

25 9
.5
59.7
2.5

1.9

1.0

.8

.5

.2

1. 2

.2
1.6

1.0

.2

'.8

In Citrus-Juice Canneries.—Though a little over two-thirds of the
citrus plants included in this study were juice canneries, the number
of workers in juice plants was less than a third of all employees covered.
A comparatively small group of men operating machines can turn
out large quantities of juice, and relatively few key men are required.
The key men had higher rates of pay than those in less responsible
positions, though in Florida the average was only half a cent above
that for maintenance and custodial employees, 33.7 cents an hour
compared to 33.2 cents. Almost three-fifths of the employees in
Florida juice plants were general unskilled workers with average
hourly earnings of 27.2 cents.
In Texas juice canneries the key men averaged 30.8 cents an hour,
but 80 percent of the employees were general laborers, with an
average of 24.4 cents.




CITRUS FRUITS AND JUICES IN 19 39

137

Over three-fourths of the employees in the California juice canneries
were general unskilled laborers. Their average hourly earnings
were 44.3 cents. There were too few key men in the California
plants to make an average for them significant. California had a
few piece workers in its juice canneries, chiefly men doing burring.
Work in citrus-juice canneries is paid almost entirely on a time-work
basis.
In Citrus-Fruit Canneries.—The number of workers in fruit canneries
is much greater per plant and in relation to output than the number
in juice canneries. The fruit must be peeled, and the segments or sec­
tions must be cut apart and placed in the cans with considerable care
to prevent breaking them. Hand labor still is required for most of this
work of preparation, so the proportion of women piece workers usually
is large, particularly in Florida.
In the Florida citrus-fruit canneries over two-thirds of the em­
ployees, in Texas over two-fifths, were piece workers. In the Florida
canneries putting up fruit only, these piece workers had higher hourly
earnings (32.2 cents) than time workers had (28 cents). The pre­
parers (practically all the piece workers) had an average of 31.9 cents.
The next largest group were the general unskilled workers, whose
average was 27.7 cents. Those in key positions averaged 30.7 cents
an hour.
No records of hours worked were available for the piece workers in
Texas citrus-fruit canneries. Practically all other workers for whom
records were secured averaged 25 cents an hour. There were too few
key men for the computation of an average for that group.
In Fruit and Juice Canneries.—In the Florida plants canning both
citrus fruits and juices, 65 percent of the employees were piece workers.
In comparison with the piece workers in plants canning fruit only, this
group had low hourly earnings. Their average was 26.9 cents, com­
pared to 29.1 cents for the time workers. The preparers (largely
piece workers) also averaged 26.9 cents, slightly below the 27.5 cents
of the general unskilled group. The few key men averaged 35.1 cents
an hour.




THE DRIED-FRUIT INDUSTRY
As has been said in the statement on scope of the entire fruit-andvegetable-preserving study, there were included 41 dried-fruit-packing
plants that packed, on the basis of United States census figures for
1937, over three-fifths of the country’s dried fruit and gave some
employment to 7,237 persons. The industry is concentrated in Cali­
fornia, from which State all the 1937 apricot, fig, peach, pear, and rai­
sin packing was reported. California, also packs most of the prunes,
though other Pacific coast States report some volume. Apples are
the only fruit dried in a number of sections of the country. New York
and Washington apple-evaporating plants were included in the survey.
The drying of fruit, whether by the California sun or by dehydration
when done in connection with the orchard, is not covered by this study.
Only when the fruit is delivered to the packing house is the operation
considered an industrial rather than a farming process. While varying
in technical details, the handling of the various kinds of California
dried fruits is essentially the same. Apple evaporating is a distinct
industry.
PREPARATION OF DRIED FRUIT
Dried prunes, for example, are received and weighed and are graded
for size on shaker tables. They may be stored until the packing line
begins to run. Prunes are then sorted by hand as they pass on moving
belts before women. Then follows a heat processing, during which
the fruit is immersed in hot water or steam for a few minutes. The
prunes are then ready for packing in bags, cartons, or boxes. Wooden
box packs are compressed and closed.
The Government standards call for a maximum moisture content
in dried products. Often apricots are given a special processing to
attain the correct degree of swelling.
When raisins reach the packing house they are weighed and the
quality is determined by a sample test. They pass through a mechan­
ical stemmer operated by one or two men and from there go to
the shaker table, where they are freed from stems and waste. Raisins
are then graded by agitated screens and go through a mechanical
recleaner. They are then ready for packing.
Apples are sent to the evaporating plant from the orchards. There
they are peeled and cored by machine, and then pass before women
trimmers who trim out any blemishes. From this they go to a slicing
machine and then to kilns for evaporating. After drying they are
kept loose until ready for bagging. They are stored in large bags and
packed in retail-sized containers in the warehouse.
Women comprise half the workers in the dried-fruit plants surveyed.
138




DRIED FRUIT

139

LENGTH OF PACKING SEASON

,

\

Twenty-seven California plants reported the length of their operat­
ing season in 1937. For 26 it was three-fourths or more of the year
and for 1 it was less than half the year. Within this period 50 percent
or more of the annual pay roll was disbursed in 14 weeks in 20 plants,
whereas in the remaining 7 plants from 40 percent to 49 percent was
disbursed in this period. While pay-roll volume is not synonymous
with production volume, it is indicative of that volume and would
lead to the belief that most of the California dried-fruit-packing plants
would be considered “seasonal industries” according to the regulations
of the Administrator, and be subject to the exemptions under section
7 (b) (3) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.18
The evaporating of apples takes place over a period of much shorter
duration. Of the nine plants reporting weeks over which the drying
and packing were done, three operated 10 but under 14 weeks, one
on 30 days in 14 weeks, four averaged 72 days in 15 and under 26
weeks, and one as many as 108 days in 29 weeks. As apples are
brought to the evaporating plants as fresh, fruit, evaporating plants
may be covered by section 13 (a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act,
that is, if “within the area of production (as defined by the Adminis­
trator)” they are not covered by the wage and hour provisions of the
act; otherwise they are, though covered, permitted the same hours
exemption for 14 weeks as other perishable fruit industries.
Busy Season.
While spoilage occurs in dried fruit or fresh apples in the packing
house, the urgency of speed in preparation that is found in canneries
does not exist in packing houses. Instead of a sharp peak load,
operation becomes intensive gradually at the end of the summer
months. In California there were 5 weeks when pay rolls were
four-fifths or more of the maximum, with preceding and later weeks
showing a gradual increase and decrease. In Washington and New
York for 8 weeks the pay rolls were four-fifths or more of maximum,
indicating a fairly steady period of employment on apples.
1« SECTION 526.90 TEMPORARY REGULATION OF ADMINISTRATOR RELATING TO
EXEMPTIONS FOR INDUSTRIES OF A SEASONAL NATURE UNDER SECTION 7 (B) (3)
OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT.

4

£

(a) Subject to objection by any person interested as hereinafter provided in paragraph (d), the Adminis­
trator (without prejudice to the possible subsequent inclusion of other industries as of a seasonal nature
within the meaning of sec. 526.3) temporarily until January 31, 1939, finds the following industries to be of
a seasonal nature:
Industries which both:
(1) Engage in the handling, extracting, or processing of materials during a season or seasons occurring
in regularly, annually recurring part or parts of the year; and cease production, apart from the work of
maintenance, repair, and clerical employees, in the remainder of the year because of the fact that, owing
to climate or other natural conditions, the materials handled, extracted, or processed in the form in
which such materials are handled, extracted, or processed, are not available in the remainder of the
year; and which
(2) Produce 50 percent or more of their annual output in a period or periods amounting in the aggregate
to not more than 14 workweeks.
(b) Such industries may, until January 31, 1939. for a period or periods of not more than 14 workweeks in
the aggregate, employ employees 12 hours in any workday and 56 hours in any workweek without payment
of time and one-half; provided, however, that such employees receive compensation for employment in excess
of 12 hours in any workday, or for employment in excess of 56 hours in any workweek, as the case may be,
at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which they are employed. Industries seek­
ing exemption beyond January 31, 1939, must make application pursuant to Section 526.4.
Since this report went to press, this amendment was revised to read “receives for packing or storing 50
percent or more of the annual volume in a period or periods amounting in the aggregate to not more than
14 workweeks.”




140

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

LOCATION OF PACKING PLANTS
The majority of the California dried-fruit plants were in cities of
50,000 and over; about a fifth were in rural communities. Five of the
latter had a combined pack of less than 10 percent of the product of
all reporting in the State; New York’s apple-drying plants were
almost all in rural communities, and those reported in Washington
were equally divided between rural and city areas.
Table

XL.—Distribution of plants and of total pack in 1937 according to size of
community, by State—DRIED FRUITS
Plants in areas with population of—
All plants reporting
Under 2,500

State

Num­ Amount of Num­
ber of
pack
ber of
plants (pounds)
plants
Total:
Number.
i 37 723, 005, 697
Percent- 100.0
100.0
California:
Number_____
New York:
Number
Percent______
Washington:
Number. __ ..
Percent

29 710, 647,197
100.0
100.0

2,500, under 5,000

5,000, under 10,000

Amount of
pack
(pounds)

Num­
ber of
plants

Amount of
pack
(pounds)

Num­
ber of
plants

11
29.7

63,904,169
8.8

2
5.4

20,452, 541
2.8

5
13.5

100,945, 252
14.0

5
17.2

55, 225,669
7.8

2
6.9

20,452, 541
2.9

5
17.2

100, 945, 252
14.2

4

1,070,000
100.0

4

1,070, 000
100.0

4

11, 288, 500
100.0

2

Amount of
pack
(pounds)

7,608, 500
67.4
Plants in areas with population of—

10,000, under 50,000

California:
Number__________ _____ _____
Percent_____
.... _
Washington:
Number
Percent___
_________
_

Amount of
pack
(pounds)

Num­
ber of
plants

Amount of
pack
(pounds)

Num­
ber of
plants

2
5.4

Total:
Number__________ _____ _
Percent

50,000, under 100,000

Num­
ber of
plants

State

3,680, 000
0.5

14
37.8

429, 590, 803
59.4

3
8.1

104, 432, 932
14.4

14
48.3

429, 590, 803
60.5

3
10.3

104, 432,932
14.7

.
2

100,000 and over
Amount of
pack
(pounds)

3,680,000
32.6

1 Excludes 4 plants (2 in California and 2 in New York) that reported location but not complete pack
figures for 1937.

While no effort was made to check the statements of rural apple
driers as to distance from which apples were brought, the plants were
situated in the heart of apple sections. Some stated that apples
brought from more than 10 miles were not accepted.




141

DRIED FRUIT

HOURS WORKED
In 1938 Season.
State hour regulations of 8 a day and 48 a week have been applicable
to women and minors in California dried-fruit-packing houses for
many years. It is not surprising, therefore, to find but 2 percent of
the employees working longer than 48 hours in an active packing
week in the 1938 season. The largest proportion, nearly two-thirds,
worked 40 to 48 hours inclusive.
While reports were available for only a few women in New York
plants, the majority of these women worked between 42 and 48 hours
a week. As the New York 8-hour law for women does not exempt
evaporating plants, it is assumed that women in these plants are
subject to the State law.
In Washington, where no hour law covers drying plants, 39 percent
of all women reported worked over 48 and under 56 hours in an active
week in 1938.
Table

XLI.—Hours worked by all employees, 1988 season, by State—DRIED
FRUITS
MEN
Number and percent » of employees

Hours worked in pay-roll week
recorded

Total
Num­
ber

Total employees.Employees with
reported

_ ...
hours

Under 40______
40
Over 40, under 42 _
____ _
42________________________
Over 42, under 44 ___________
44______________ __ _______
Over 44, under 48 _____
48
56___________ _____ _________
Over 56, under 60. .. _ ______
80 and over... ____________

California
Per­
cent

3,012

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

New York
Num­
ber

2, 729

Per­
cent

Washington
Num­
ber

Per­
cent

39

3,006
100.0

100.0

2, 726
90. 7

100.0

38
1.3

450
73
22
12
48
26
268
804
530
38
179
475
81

15.0

418
70
20
12
44
19
251
793
457
30
136
397
79

15.3

2

8.9
26.7
17.6
15.8

29.1
16. 8

100.0

242

100.0

6
1
29.3
1
65.8

21.9

WOMEN
Total employees.._______
Employees with hours
reported. ________
_.
Percent distribution_____
Under 40_______
_____
40
Over 40, under 42______
42_____________________
44____ .
Over 44, under 48„. ................. .
48
Over 48, under 56 _ _________
56____________________________
Over 56, under 60____ _____ .
60, under 80 .... ......
__ __
80 and over________________
_
1 Computed for chief groups only.




3,093
3,080
100.0

2,581
100.0

.............
892
29.0
163
126
5
231
98
584
19.0
754
24.5
222
3
2

92

2, 568
83.4

100.0

808
148
112
5
141
93
452
751
56

420

31. 5

2

92
3.0

100.0

100.0

78

15

420
13.6

18.6

91

21.7

164

39.0

26.1
17.6
29. 2

4
41

44.6

16.7

142

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

In 1939 Season.
A comparison of the hours worked by all employees in 1938 and
in 1939 shows the influence of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In
1939 only 3 percent of California dried-fruit-packing employees
worked over 56 hours, as compared with 12 percent in 1938. As
some plants may have been subject to the 44-hour provisions of the
act, it is of interest to find that the proportion of all workers employed
over 44 hours dropped from 64 percent in 1938 to 11 percent in 1939.
Tn 'Washington evaporating plants, 8 percent in 1939 as compared
with 15 percent in 1938 worked over 56 hours. New York firms
reduced the proportion working over 56 hours from 20 percent to
11 percent.
worked by all employees, 1938 and 1939 seasons, by State—
DRIED FRUITS (identical plants in most cases)

Table XLTI.—Hours

Number and percent1 of employees
California
Hours worked in
pay-roll week
recorded

1938

New York
1939

1938

Washington
1939

1938

1939

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber
ber
ber
ber
ber
ber
cent
cent
cent
cent
cent
cent
Total___

5, 294 100.0

1,226
218
40 _
132
17
42 .
__________
Over 42, under 44­
185
44
112
Over 44, under 48....
703
1,544
48
Over 48, under 56--­
513
30
56
Over 56, under 60-..
138
397
79

23.2

13.3
29.2
9.7

6,242 100.0
1,663
359
187
201
306
2, 799
224
97
178
27
38
118
45

26.6

44.8

130 100.0
8
15
24
10
42
4
1
1
25

11.5
18.5
32.3

19.2

210 100.0
24
35

11.4
16.7

1
7
54
40
1
25

25.7
19.0

1
22

10.5

11.9

662 100.0

694

100.0

108
3
16

16.3

25.5

70
2
107
14
235
7
43
55
2

10.6

177
5
10
5
27
18
101
7
232
55
10
47

16.2
35.5

14.6
33.4

i Computed for chief groups only.

EARNINGS
Season of 1938.
Thirty-six plants, employing 6,085 wage earners, reported hourly
earnings for the fall of 1938. The average was 50 cents for men and
39.8 cents for women. While relatively few men received as little as
35 cents, nearly four-fifths (78.3 percent) were paid 50 cents or more.
In California dried-fruit packing, men averaged 51.5 cents, with
nearly a two-fifths concentration at 50 cents. The average earnings
of California women were 41.7 cents, with a concentration of about 10
percent at 33% cents, another at 40 cents, and more than a third re­
ceiving 42 cents an hour.
In Washington the average earnings of men were 35.9 cents, and of
women 31.1 cents. The concentration points of men’s earnings were
at 32% cents and 35 cents, of women’s earnings at 27% and 32% cents.
In New York apple evaporating, men averaged 33.7 cents an hour
and women 25.1 cents.




143

DRIED FRUIT

As for weekly earnings, the average for men in the week recorded
was $25 in California, $18.95 in New York, and $18.35 in Washington.
The average for women in the same week was $16.65 in California,
$10.65 in New York, and $14 in Washington.
XLIII.—Distribution of total, men, and women employees according to
hourly earnings, 1938 season, and fiqures for women by State—DRIED
FRUITS

Table

Number of women with hourly
earnings as specified in— *

Number reported
Hourly earnings (cents)
All em­
ployees
Total_____
.............. ___
Average earnings (cents)

.

Under 15____________
15________________________________
16, under 17______________ ______
17, under 18. ...
18, under 19________________
19, under 20. __ ___ ______
20___
21, under 22_____________
22, under 23___________
23, under 24.. _ __
24, under 25_______________
25__________________________
26, under 27_________________
27, under 28.
28, under 29_________________
29, under 30___________ ______
30___ _____ _____________________
31, under 32___
32, under 33____________________ _
33, under 34_________________
34, under 35_____ _______
35___________________________
36, under 37......
37, under 38. _________ _____
38, under 39____________ ___
39, under 40 _
40______
______________________
41, under 42_______________
42, under 43.......... ............
43, under 44
_
_
44, under 45
45_________________________ _________
46, under 47____ ______ ___ _
47, under 48
_________________
48, under 49____________________ _____ _
49, under 50__._________________
50
.
51, under 52
____ _______
52, under 53
53 and over___ _______ _______________ ...

6,085
44.7

.

5
2
1
2
2
3
3
9
5
9
22
125
14
74
20
13
71
15
174
307
43
186
57
126
34
36
683
69
961
50
87
164
33
41
34
23
1,078
46
774
684

Women

Califor­
nia

3,005
50.0

3, 080
39.8

2, 568
41.7

6
1
6
3
1
13
2
96

5
2
1
2
2
3
3
9
5
9
22
119
13
68
17
12
58
13
78

5
72
1
55
1
1
231
1
10
6
9
105
4
9
9
4
1,053
' 26
750
524

38
114
56
71
33
35
452
68
951
44
78
59
29
32
25
19
25
20
24
160

Men

New
York

Washing­
ton

92
25.1

420
31.1
5

2
3
9
9
16
2
2
1
26
2
15
89

91

12
66
16

1

31

23

26
444
61
946
40
77
59
28
30
25
17
20
24
160

5
1

1

Season of 1939.
Almost all employees in California dried-fruit packing earned over
30 cents an hour in 1939; about three-fifths received 50 cents and more.
These earnings were due to the State minimum-wage regulation and
union agreements rather than the minimum wage in the Fair Labor
Standards Act.
In Washington rural evaporated-apple plants paid 10 percent of
their employees less than 25 cents an hour in 1939, and paid a third
less than 30 cents. Plants in towns of 2,500 and over paid more than
three-fifths of their employees 30 to 35 cents an hour. No one in
these town packing houses received under 30 cents an hour. With




144

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

the exception of one small plant, all New York evaporating plants
were in rural communities; an eighth of the workers in these rural
canneries received under 25 cents an hour and over seven-tenths earned
exactly 25 cents.
Table XLIV.—Distribution

of all employees according to hourly earnings, 19S9
season, by State and population group—DRIED FRUITS
Employees with hourly earnings as specified in—

Hourly earnings (cents)

California
Towns of
under 2,500

Employees with hours
reported
Average earnings (cents)
Under 20__________ _
20_____________________ ____
21, under 25______
25______________________
26, under 30-_ ..
30...___
31, under 35________
35____________________
36, under 40________________
40
41, under 45 _______________
45
46, under 60_.._____ ________
50 and over_____
____ ...

413
44.1

New York

Washington

Towns of
2,500 and
over

Towns of
under 2,500

Towns of
2,500 and
over

5,829
48.6

197
26.2

113

Towns of
under 2,500

Towns of
2,500 and
over

552
32.8

36.5

2.5

4.3

5.6

2.0

3.4

Percent of employees

0.2
6.5
21.1
4.1
21.1
1. 2
1. 2
1.2
43.3

0.1
.1
.3
3.6
1.1
2.0
9.7
16.6
4.3
2.0
60.2

12.7
71.6
8.6

1.1

i Average and distribution not computed; base too small.

Annual Earnings and Number of Weeks Worked.
In spite of the longer operating period of dried-fruit plants, only
one-sixth of the 10,293 workers who were given any employment in
1937 in the 32 plants that had complete records had worked as many
as 39 weeks in the year. Less than one-fourth (24 percent) had a
half-year or more of work. As many as 43 percent worked under
8 weeks in the year.
In California any employer of 4 or more workers in each of 20 weeks
comes under the State unemployment compensation law. All but 1
of the 27 firms reporting did employ 4 or more persons in 20 weeks.
In Washington the requirement for employer coverage is employment
of 8 or more persons for each of 20 weeks; only 1 of the 3 plants report­
ing met this requirement. In New York an employer must give
work to 4 or more persons on each of 15 days; all evaporated-apple
plants surveyed were covered under the New York unemployment
compensation act.
As to the individual earnings in the year: In California, 52 weeks of
work brought earnings averaging $1,078.40; 39 weeks, $552.85; 26
weeks, $400.45. Only 31 percent of California packing-house em­
ployees with year’s earnings reported earned $300 or more. Members
of this group alone were eligible for State unemployment compensa­
tion. In Washington 38 percent earned $200 or over and therefore
were eligible for compensation in that State. Very few earned $500




S

Table. XLV.—Average

year's earnings of employees in 1937, by weeks worked and by State—DRIED FRUITS
Weeks worked in year

State

Total
reported Under 4, under 8, under 12, under 16, under
4 weeks 8 weeks 12 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks

Total:
Number of employees.
_____ 10,293
Percent distribution____ _____
100.0
Average year's earnings____ _ $272. 45

•
20
weeks

21, under
26 weeks

26
weeks

27, under 33, under
33 weeks 39 weeks

39
weeks

40, under 46, under
46 weeks 52 weeks

52
weeks

Average year's earnings

1,356
13.2
$151. 60

955
9.3
$210. 05

512
5.0
$278. 05

107
1.0
$310. 50

455
4.4
$350. 85

82
0.8
$375. 20

382
3.7
$424. 85

311
3.0
$530. 35

51
0.5
$552. 85

367
3.6
$612.35

782
520
7.6
5. 1
$849. 40 $1, 079. 50

9,464
100. 0
$282. 65

2, 061
21.8
$20. 95

2,105
22.2
$83. 25

1, 214
12.8
$156. 65

704
7.4
$220. 00

465
4.9
$279.90

102
1.1
$314.60

399
4.2
$361.80

57
.6
$400. 45

335
3.5
$437. 95

308
3.3
$530. 75

51
0.5
$552. 85

366
3.9
$612.15

516
781
8.3
5.5
$849. 30 $1, 078. 40

25
13.0
$23. 90

40
20. 7
$65. 95

59
30. 6
$128. 50

64
33.2
$154. 75

0.5
w

636
100. 0
$165.10

102
16.0
$8.00

80
12.6
$46.05

83
13.1
$93.65

187
29.4
$191. 60

46
7. 2
$257. 40

New York:

Washington:
Average year’s earnings----------

3
1.6
(■)

1

5
0.8

56
8.8
$273.00

25
3.9
$317. 70

44
6.9
$318. 45

0)
3
0.5
0)

1
0.2
0)

1
0.2
«

1
0.5

3
0. 5

DRIED FR U IT

2, 225
21.6
$81.60

100.0
$124. 15

California:
Number of employees...

2,188
21.3
$20. 40

i Not computed; base too small.




Oi

146

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

or more in Washington apple-evaporating plants. New York evapo­
rating plants employed their largest groups 8 to 12 or 12 to 16 weeks,
in which periods they averaged $128.50 and $154.75, respectively.
In New York employee eligibility is based on the multiple of the
weekly benefit amount earned in the calendar year; this cannot be
ascertained from assembled data.
Table

XLVI.—Year’s earnings of individual employees in 1937, by State—
DRIED FRUITS
Number and percent of employees with earnings as specified
Year’s earnings

California

Total

New York

Washington

Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Employees reported---------

10,416
$270. 80

100.0

9, 587
$280. 80

100.0

193
$124.15

100.0

636
$165.10

100.0

Under $5 ____________________
$5, under $10
$10, under $25---------- -------- - ___
$25, under $50
$50, under $75___ -___ ----$75, under $100
$100, under $200 - ________
$200, under $300
______
$300, under $400___ ___ ________
$400, under $500
$500, under $600

465
369
769
982
836
764
2,073
1,142
667
488
340
276
286
433
464
62

4.5
3.5
7.4
9.4
8.0
7.3
19.9
11.0
6.4
4.7
3.3
2.6
2.7
4.2
4.5
.6

408
341
715
901
792
707
1,828
966
613
469
335
273
286
431
460
62

4.3
3.6
7.5
9.4
8.3
7.4
19.1
10.1
6.4
4.9
3.5
2.8
3.0
4.5
4.8
.6

3
1
7
26
15
25
95
12
3
3
2

1.6
.5
3.6
13.5
7.8
13.0
49.2
6.2
1.6
1.6
1.0

54
27
47
55
29
32
150
164
51
16
3
3

8.5
4.2
7.4
8.6
4.6
5.0
23.6
25.8
8.0
2.5
.5

1

.5

$700j under $800
$1,000, and $1,500




2
3

.5




148

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Chart III.—Employment trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938
(Maximum week = 100)

I

.l-i-i..

I

M

l

I

I

I

l

Chart IV.—Pay-roll trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938
(Maximum week = 100)

Men's earnings

4
fomen's earning*
I

I .l-l—L.

Note—Charts III and IV, prepared for the report on Hawiian woman-employing industries and not
redrawn for the present canning study, have the familiar arithmetic scale and for that reason the curves
cannot be compared with Charts II-A to II-G. (See note 7 on p. 27.)




HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE-CANNING INDUSTRY
While the survey of Hawaiian canneries was carried on as part of a
general survey of woman-employing industries in Hawaii in 1939,
the data obtained were the same as those called for in the canning
survey of 1938 in Continental United States. Because the industry
is subject to the same Federal labor legislation as other seasonal
industries and is a competitor of other canned-fruit industries, the
material is incorporated as a part of the Nation-wide canning study.
The pineapple industry of Hawaii ranks next to the sugar industry
in the sales value of its products. The average pack in recent years
has been 6 million cases. Three of the canneries in Honolulu (Oahu)
pack.about 80 percent of the output; the four other canneries, on
Maui and Kauai, the remainder.
The survey covered two large Honolulu canneries and two smaller
canneries on Maui. While the latter were in rural areas, some fruit
was obtained beyond the 10-mile radius used to define “area of pro­
duction’' by the Administrator of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Length of Canning Season.
The three canneries reporting days on which canning was done in
1938 operated 214 days, 122 days, and 69 days, respectively.
There is no period when some pines are not maturing, but for about
8 weeks in midsummer—the end of June to about the middle of
August—the canneries are running at full speed, with two and three
shifts a day and for much of the time 7 days a week.
Employment figures week bv week for the year 1938 were available
for two large canneries. In these two plants there were more than
6,000 persons employed in 12 weeks and more than 9,000 in 8 of these
weeks. Taking the peak week, in which there were 11,613 employed,
as 100 percent, an index of employment for the 52 weeks has been
computed. In 37 of the 52 weeks the index of employment is 35 per­
cent or less of the maximum. This is apparent from a glance at the
plateau on either side of the peak of chart III.
Chart IY gives a picture of the trend of total earnings. It is signifi­
cant to note that earnings rise more sharply and fall even more
precipitously than employment. For only 1 week besides the peak
were earnings as much as 90 percent of the maximum, for 1 week they
were about 85 percent, for 2 weeks about 75 percent, and for 5 weeks
from 50 to 60 percent of the maximum. Thus there were 42 weeks in
which total earnings were less than 50 percent of the maximum. For
22 weeks the pay roll was less than 20 percent of the maximum, for
14 weeks it was 20 and under 25 percent, and for 6 weeks it was
25 to 40 percent.
Occupations.
On the plantations women help to prepare the slips, suckers, and
crowns for planting, and during the harvesting some are engaged in
cutting the crowns from the pines before the fruit is sent to the




149

150

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

cannery, but the employment of women in the fields is relatively
unimportant. In the canneries, however, women are almost as
numerous as men, and the preparation of the fruit and the packing
into cans are primarily women’s work.
The numbers of men and women employed in the four canneries
from which records were obtained are shown here by the general
occupational classes used for the tabulation of the data.
Type of work

types _ _
Cannery
_____
Warehouse
..
Supervisory.
Maintenance .
All

Factory office____

. _____
_
_
_______
..
_ ._______
-_______
_ ----- _______
_______
_
._____

Total

12, 650
8, 861
2, 404
264
556
421
144

Women

5, 975
5, 318
451
149
27
30

Men

6, 675
3, 543
1, 953
115
529
421
114

All occupations concerned with the handling, preparation, and
processing of the fruit are included in cannery labor. Men usually
are employed for the unloading of the fruit, the handling of empty
cans, the operations connected with the ginaca machine, in the pro­
cessing and cooking rooms, and as roustabouts in carrying, trucking,
and generally helping to maintain a smooth and steady flow of work.
The canning industry is highly mechanized and there is little heavy
work. Most of the women’s jobs are simple, and dexterity and speed
rather than skill seem to be the prime requisites.
The cannery operations begin on the receiving platform, where the
pineapples are dumped into bins and then fed to the ginaca machines.
Pines are fed singly to these machines, which grip the fruit, force it
against revolving knives that cut away the shell and eyes, hold it
while a rapidly dashing plunger extracts the core, and then dispatch
it to a conveyor as a symmetrical doughnut-like cylinder completely
denuded of its field shape and color. Other mechanical devices strip
and salvage all bits of fruit remaining in the shell for the crushedpineapple juice and by-products divisions.
Endless belts carry the pineapple cylinders past rows of whitecapped, aproned, and rubber-gloved women who inspect the fruit
and cut out with sharp knives particles of shell or foreign matter that
the ginaca did not reach. In another department the crushed and
broken bits salvaged from the shell are similarly inspected along belts.
Automatic machines cut the cylinders into slices and these move on
to the packing or canning tables, where women select and pack the
slices by hand into trays of “fancy,” “standard,” and other grades.
The trimming and packing operations are the work of women, but
from here on the processing is largely in the care of men.
The trays of cans pass under machines that automatically add the
proper quota of syrup, through exhaust boxes that expel air bubbles
to covering and seaming machines that seal them, and then through
the steam-pressure cooking equipment. After cooling they are ready
to go to the warehouse. Most of the processing is carried on by
automatic machines, and the men who set up and serve these machines
as mechanics are in the higher-wage groups.
Cans are stacked in the warehouse and stored until shipment. In
many cases labels and boxes are manufactured in the warehouse.
Labeling is a machine operation and women are employed to a con­
siderable extent tending the machines and packing the cans into the
shipping cases or boxes. Women make up about one-fifth of the



HAWAIIAN

PINEAPPLE CANNING

151

'

employees in the warehouse. Some of the warehouse jobs, such as
printing, certain box-making operations, and care of the machines,
are skilled, but much of the work is of an unskilled nature. The
maintenance group includes the janitors, matrons, engineers, firemen,
and general mechanics, responsible for the upkeep of the plant and its
equipment. Only 27 women were reported in this group—too few
for a separate job tabulation of wages; this was true also of the women
who were factory office clerks. The factory clerical group includes
such workers as pay-roll, shipping, and production clerks. The
administrative and selling offices were not covered. Outside labor
includes chiefly men working in the cannery yard, general employees
on the receiving and loading platforms, truck drivers, and helpers.
A high standard of sanitation and good working conditions seemed
to be generally accepted as a part of the pineapple-cannery morale.
Service facilities in the way of toilets, locker rooms, rest rooms, and
cafeterias are decidedly above the general industrial standards main­
tained by mainland plants.

L

Race.
The pineapple canneries recruit their labor supply chiefly from
workers whose racial descent is other than Caucasian. Race was
reported for all workers but about 2 percent. The largest group of
women and of men employees—about two-fifths in each case—were
Japanese. Chinese formed about one-fifth of the women and oneseventh of the men. Hawaiians were 7 percent of the men and 14
percent of the women. Caucasians were represented among women
employees by slightly less than 10 percent; Filipinos and Koreans by
less than 5 percent. Of these races, Caucasians comprised 13 percent
and Filipinos 19 percent of the men workers.
Earnings by race, in unpublished figures, indicate that racial
equality where earning opportunity is concerned is a practice as well
as a policy. In the four groups where numbers were large enough to
show a normal distribution—Caucasian, Hawaiian, Chinese, and
Japanese—there is no significant variation. The earnings of the
Caucasian women were a little lower than those of other races, but
among the men a higher proportion of the lunas (foremen) were
Caucasian, which tends to place this group at the top for men, and
this is true also of the mechanics. Except for this occupational
difference, the variations by race in the wage picture in the pineapple
canneries are only minor.

•

vj

Source of Seasonal Labor.
When cannery employment skyrockets in midsummer, the extra
seasonal labor is not recruited to any extent from the usual industrial
or agricultural sources. Managers reported that housewives, maids,
and high-school and college girls make up most of the extra female
supply. Maids flock from their regular jobs to the canneries, and
during the canning season many openings for domestics go unfilled.
Wives who do not seek employment outside the home at any other
time report to the cannery year after year for a few weeks of work to
help to swell the family budget.
For the extra men, the young Filipinos who work at odd jobs in
the towns and have irregular employment on the sugar and pineapple
plantations serve as one important source. Most of the other males
227123°—40--------11




152

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

are young men without regular jobs or students who are a part of the
surplus labor supply seeking employment wherever it may be forth­
coming.
Hours Worked in Pay-Roll Week.
The hours worked and the week’s earnings as tabulated for a 1-week
period are for one of the higli-peak weeks of the season and are not
representative of any season but this. The hourly rates, however, are
typical.
The summary table that follows shows for three canneries the hours
worked by all men and women, by cannery workers, and by warehouse
workers in one peak week.
Table XLVII.—Distribution

of women and men according to hours worked in one
week in 1939—PINEAPPLE CANNING
Women

Hours worked in pay-roll
week recorded

Employees with hours
reported:
N umber________
Percent
Under 20
20, under 30___ _________
30, under 40 _____
40, under 42
42, under 44________ _______
44, under 46____
_
46, under 48______ _

All em­
ployees

Cannery
labor

Men
Warehouse
labor

All em­
ployees

Cannery
labor

Warehouse
labor

5, 289
100.0

4, 742
100.0

343
100.0

6, 256
100. 0

3,248
100.0

1,893
100.0

3.6
4.7
18.6
7.3
40.6
5.2
17.3
1.5
1.3

3.7
4.9
18.0
4.4
44.8
3.8
18.3
1.5
.6

3.8
4.4
36.2
47.8
1.5
4.1
2.3

2.6
4.4
14.8
13.3
11.4
11.5
.12.3
10.1
19.6

2.3
3. 5
12.6
8. 1
12. 4
11.1
16.6

3. 9
7.4
25. 2
27. 1
12.8
11.1
5.5

19.8

6. 1

In all the canneries the scheduled hour or work plan was an 8-hour
day for 5 days with 4 hours on Saturday, making a 44-hour week.
Time in excess of these limits usually was paid for at time and a half
and double time. Tn the week for which pay rolls were taken, well
over one-half (57 percent) of the men and about one-fourth (24 per­
cent) of the women in the cannery departments worked more than
scheduled hours; in the warehouse about 20 percent of the men and
3 percent of the women worked more than regular hours. It is sig­
nificant that even in a peak period large proportions worked less than
44 hours. The percent of women working 48 hours and more in the
canneries was very small.
Hourly Earnings.
In the Honolulu canneries the minimum hourly rate was 30 cents
for women and 37.5 cents for men, while in the Maui canneries it was
26 cents for women and 32.5 cents for men. Hourly rates have in­
creased materially since the Women’s Bureau survey of 1927, which
showed 44 percent of the women to be receiving 15 cents an hour. In
1939 as many as 85 percent of the women received at least 30 cents
an hour.
For the women as a whole, the median—that is, the midpoint in a
distribution of earnings—is 31.6 cents, following the dominating group
of cannery labor. There is a marked concentration of earnings at 30




153

HAWAIIAN PINEAPWLK CANNING

and under 35 cents, a reflection of the 30-cent minimum rate for women
that was the standard in Oahu canneries. Except for women whose
jobs included some type of supervisory activity, the percent with
earnings of as much as 35 cents is decidedly small. An unpublished
tabulation of hourly earnings on a racial basis shows only a slight
deviation from the pattern for the group as a whole, as the median for
each race falls in the 31-and-under-32-cent interval. Table XLVIII
gives the hourly earnings, in 5-cent intervals, of the men and the
women in four canneries, by occupational group.
For the men the minimum hourly rate in the two largest canneries
in Honolulu, which had a preponderance in numbers, was 37.5 cents;
on Maui the minimum was 32.5 cents. For all men the median
earnings were 40.2 cents. The largest numbers of men—about 40
percent—had hourly earnings of 37 and under 40 cents, with the
proportion over 45 percent if only the men in the cannery and ware­
house (over four-fifths of all men employed) are considered. Men in
the warehouse who arc on piece work, usually the stacking or breaking
of can piles, had a median of 50.3 cents. In the cannery occupations
only about 11 percent of the men had earnings of as much as 45 cents
an hour.
Table

XLVIII.—Hourly earnings of workers, by sex and occupational group—
PINEAPPLE CANNING
WOMEN

Hourly earnings (cents)

All women

Number of women reported __ ..
Average earnings (cents)

____

Cannery
labor

i 5,975
31.6

Under 30______ ______________ _____ _
30, under 35________________ ___
35, under 40__________ _
40, under 45— _____
.... . _ .
_

14.7
79.0
3.8
1.3
1.0
.3

W arehouse
labor

5,318
31.6

Supervisory

451
30.4

Percent of women
14.2
82.6
1.3
.9

149
36.9

25.9
65.9
6.4
1.8

0.7
16.8
63.8
4. 0
&.o

MEN
Wareho ise labor
Hourly earnings (cents)

Number of men reported.. _ Average earnings (cents)__

Under 30______________
30, under 35____________ ____
35, under 40_____ ___________
40, under 45____ _________
45, under 50____ _____
50, under 55. ___ _____ _
55, under 60_____ ______ .
60, under 65________________
65 and over_____
_

Piece Main­
All men Cannery
labor
Time work (or tenance
both
work time and
piece)
6, 699
40.2

3, 542
39.7

1,663
38.4

0.1
4.9
43.4
28.2
9.5
6.1
2.9
1.4
3.5

0.1
7.3
49.0
32.5
6.2
3.1
1.0
.4
.5

0.2
3.5
56.8
23.0
12.7
2.5
.7
.2
.3

290
50.3

525
47.5

Super­
visory

420
48.0

110
53.8

109
46.3

1.8
9.1
16.4
30.0
11.8
9.1
21.8

4.6
40.4
11.0
22.0
12.8
4.6
2.8

Percent of men
0. 5
12.4
22.1
14.1
16.2
13.8
5.2
16.2

1 3
18.9
20.6
17.7
10.5
7.8
5.7
17.5

1 Of the 57 women not shown by department, 30 were factory office workers.




Office
(fac­
tory)

Out­
side

15.0
28.1
9.0
23.6
9.0
2.6
11.7

154

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

Week’s Earnings.
Week’s earnings in a peak week indicate what the industry offers
to its employees in the busiest season of the year. For women in the
Hawaiian pineapple canneries the amounts received in one of the
heaviest production weeks of the year tended to concentrate at $13
and under $14, with about 43 percent of the women in this interval.
Of all the women in the pay-roll week taken, 70 percent had received
$10 and under $15. Only in supervisory jobs were as many as one
woman m every five paid $15 or more for the week; in these jobs twothirds of the women earned $15 and under $20 and about one-sixth
earned $20 or more. The median earnings of women in the cannery
were $13.40 and in the warehouse $12.20. Hours were shorter in
the warehouse, which accounts partly for the lower median.
The busy season of which the week’s earnings are representative
showed a concentration of men’s wages in the intervals from $15 to
$20, more men being in the $15 and $16 groups than any other. Twothirds of the men had week’s earnings of less than $20. Earnings of
those in the supervisory, maintenance, outside, and office depart­
ments were decidedly higher than those in the cannery and ware­
house. A distribution by race showed no significant variation from
the general earnings figures.
Year’s Earnings.
For most of the workers the period over which earnings in the pine­
apple canneries are spread is short, so it is to be expected that the
amounts would be relatively low. The summary table of total
earnings shows that almost one-half of the employees had worked
for the firm in less than 12 weeks. Only about one-sixth of the men
and one-tenth of the women had earnings spread over the entire vear
The average earnings of men and of women by number of weeks
over which the work was spread are shown in table XLIX.
Since the employees were concentrated most heavily at 8 and under
12 weeks, followed by 52 weeks, earnings are shown in greater detail
for these groups in the same table.
The 52-week workers show a much greater discrepancy between the
sexes m the amounts earned than do the groups with less employ­
ment, women’s median earnings being only 42 percent of those of men.
In the _8-to-l 2-week group women who earned as much as $125
were few m number, comprising less than 2 percent of all women in
the group. Men had a much wider range of earnings and larger pro­
portions were in the higher wage intervals.




155

H A WAll AN PI A' K APPLE-CA N XIN G
Table

XLIX.

Number of weeks worked and amount earned in year, by men and
women—PINEAPPLE CANNING

WEEKS WORKED IN YEAR AND AVERAGE EARNINGS
Men

Women
Number of weeks

Total.

Average Number
earnings reported

Number
reported

_________________

Under 4 .. _____
4, under 8
. ___
8. under 12
12, under 16._____________ _ _________
16, under 20
___________________ 20____________________________________
21, under 26_____ _____ _____ _____
26
27, under 33------ -------------------------------33, under 39_. _ _ ------ ---__ ---------------39
40, under 46------------- ------------------------46, under 52------------ --------------------------52___________________________ _________

Percent

4,142

100.0

$115.00

5,171

100.0

$169. 00

191
536
1,217
580
142
18
105
23
329
142
20
75
333
431

4.6
12.9
29. 4
14.0
3.4
.4
2.5
.6
7.9
3.4
.5
1.8
8.1
10.4

15.00
50. 70
92. 65
115. 00
137. 00
(■>
174. 00
to
209. 00
254. 00
(i)
294. 00
358.00
370. 00

316
721
1,422
610
179
19
127
33
254
217
37
98
245
893

6.1
13.9
27.5
11.8
3.5
.4
2.5
.6
4.9
4.2
.7
1.9
4.7
17.3

16. 30
67. 40
128. 00
177.00
248. 00
«
280. 00
«
354.00
440. 00
486. 00
562. 00
586. 00
891. 00

Percent

Average
earnings

EARNINGS FOR WORK IN 8 AND UNDER 12 WEEKS
Men

Women
Total earnings
Number

Average earnings

_____

______ ---------------------------

$25, under $50 - . _ _ ...............$50, under $75-_
______ - ---- ------- --------------------------------$75, under $100
$125, under $150
$150, under $175-_----- ------- -------------------------- ----------$175, under $200
$200, under $300__________________________ __
$300, under $400______ _______ _____________________________

Percent

Number

1,217
$92. 65

100.0

1,422
$128

100.0

24
181
572
419
5
5
4
6
1

2.0
14.9
47.0
34.4
.4
.4
.3
.5
.1

1
5
60
243
353
434
208
54
55
8
1

0.1
.4
4.2
17.1
24.8
30.5
14.6
3.8
3.9
.6
.1

Percent

EARNINGS FOR WORK IN 52 WEEKS
Women

Men

Total earnings
Number

i

Percent

Number

Employees reported
Average earnings. ..

431
$370

100.0

893
$891

Under $300 ___________
$300, under $400_________
$400, under $500______ .
$500, under $600___ _____
$000, under $700
$700, under $800_________
$800, under $900 ............. _.
$900. under $1,000
$1,000, under $1,500 . .....
$1,500, under $2,000
$2,000, under $2,500....
$2,500 and over

1
306
57
19
25
12
4
2
4
1

0.2
71.0
13.2
4.4
5.8
2.8
.9
.5
.9
2

Not computed; base too




.-------------

small.

2
35
117
96
93
108
124
234
45
29
5

Percent
100.0
—

0. 2
.6
3. U
13. 1
10.8
10.4
12. 1
13. 9
26.2
5.0
3. 2
.6

APPENDIX
U.

Key card for
companies having
more than 1 factory

SCHEDULE FORMS

S. Department of Labor
Washington
WOMEN’S BUREAU

Date______
Agent __

First Study, 1938
CANNING AND DRIED FRUIT PACKING INDUSTRY STUDY
1. Firm----------- _
_
________
3. Person interviewed and title .. ____
4. Head of firm _ _
____________
6.

2. Address____ _____
.
. .............. _
_ __________
5. Main office__________
. __

Factories:
Period operated, 1937
Location

From—

Yes

7.

Number
days op­
erating,
1937

Products, 1937
To—

No

Government contracts since January 1, 193(5 _ ___ ____________
(а) What products_
___ ___________
___
(б) Canned at which factory____
(c) Contract direct
---------------------

_ ____ .
_
------------

_

____

_
_
What Governmental

sources___ _ _ _________________________
___________________
(d) Contract through wholesale grocer or other source _
.
______
(e) Contract received before or after products were packed
156




157

APPE X UIX---- SOH ED ULK EOlt MS
U'. S. Department

of

Labor

Washington

■

WOMEN’S BUREAU

Date _______________
Agent ... ___ _____
BRANCH OR INDEPENDENT CANNERY SCHEDULE
1. Firm__ ___

___

_____ __

- . .

2. Factory address
Street

3. Head of firm ___
4. Person interviewed and title
5. Number of lines of production . .....
Line capacity _ _______
fi. Pack year ending December 31, 1937.*

Period packed
Products

Total
output

City

__ _
_

Children employed

Days

packed

From

Boys
Girls
under 10 ; under 18

7. Did this factory fill Government contract since Jan. 1, 1936?

Product______ ___

_

__ ___ ______

8. Source of seasonal labor:
Approximate percent of total
(a) Persons not usually employed in industry (housewives,
students, teachers, etc.)...... .................. _ ____ _____________
(b) Agricultural workers living in country _ _________________________
(c) Migratory workers ... _ . _ _ _ __
________________
What do these workers do when not canning?_______________
(d) Industrial labor supply _ _______
_
_. _ . _________
__
What do these workers do when not canning?_____
___ __
(e) Other sources—Name___
.. ..
_____
__
9. Are any occupations organized? _
_____
...________ _ _. __
10. Does independent canner operate another business so that canning is but an
incidental interest?
If so, what business?__ _
"If books are closed on fiscal basis, take year ending in 1988 and note month.




Labor

oc

Washington

Total pay roll
Week ending

Product
canned

Amount

Number

Amount

Women
Preparers

N umber

1

Canners

Amount

Number

Amount

!TOfTVr

PAY ROLL—YEAR ENDING
Men
Other factory and
warehouse
Number

Amount

Factory and
warehouse
Number

Amount
added to
payroll
by audit

Comments

Amount

____

.......... -................—-




—............
-—........

[25 lines to a sheet]

1

1

—

M O IIV T S Ifm

of

WOMEN’S BUREAU

OSrTAHMSflW.T (TNY OKTNNYf) a.NTV

U. S. Department

A

V

U. S. Department

op

Labor

WOMEN'S BUREAU

CURRENT PAY-ROLL RECORD (BOTH SURVEYS)
Firm________________ __
Pay periodending.

(1)

1 Explain.




Sex

(la)

Basis and rate of pay
Occupation

(2)

I

Time
(3)

Piece
(4)

Hours.

Add i
Deduct i

Hours
worked
(5)

(6)

Net cash
earnings

Average
houriy
earnings

(7)

(8)

(9)

Earnings

[22 lines on front, and same on back.]

A PPEN D IX ---- SC H ED U LE FORM S

Worker’s name or number

City------------------------Number of workdays.

160

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING
U.

S. Department

op

Labor

WOMEN’S BUREAU

Washington

INDIVIDUAL ANNUAL EARNINGS (BOTH SURVEYS)
Firm name
Social Security
number

Occu­
pation

Sex

W eeks Annual i
worked earnings

Social Security
number

0 cou­
pation

Sex

Weeks Annual
worked earnings

[ 32 lines on front, and same on back]

U. S.

Department op Labor
WOMEN’S BUREAU

Second Survey, 1939

I. (a)
(c)
(e)
(/)

Cannery name----------------------------- (b) Address
Size of city - ------- (d) Is cannery located in corporate limits?
If rural location not incorporated, explain „ _ ___________ ________
Person interviewed and title ________________________________
(g) Date of pay roll----------------- (h) Numbers employed—Total
II. (a) Head of firm ... _
___ __ (b) Main office___________
...
(c) Is firm a corp.----------- part. ______ coop.__ _____ ind. . _
(d) Is firm affiliated with trade organization?_____ _____________________
(e) Describe changes made since 1938 in firm organization or number of plants
under this management.




161

APPENDIX---- SCHEDULE FORMS

ITI.
1939

1938
Product packed

Period packed
Total
output1

From—

To—

Period packed
Days
packed

Total
output

From—

Days
packed

To—

1 Indicate whether standard or actual cases.

Total number of weeks in 1938 that plant gave employment to 1 or more persons
exclusive of supervisory, clerical, maintenance, and custodial staff-----------------IV. (a) Describe changes made since 1938 in equipment or product.

(6) How have changes affected numbers employed or productivity per em­
ployee?---------------- -------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------




162

LABOR LEGISLATION AND CANNING AND PRESERVING

V. Distance of cannery from fields or orchards—1939.
1. Longest distance to cannery_________________
Specify crop
(a) From fields owned or con­
trolled by cannerv__ ...
(6) From other sources
2.

Usual radius within which most of each is grown.

(a) From fields owned or con­
trolled by cannery______
—........

(6) From other sources_____ __

3. What percent of raw' materials comes from fields owned or controlled by
company?............... __ Is this a usual distribution?_
.
4. Has there been any change since 1938 in source of various products?
If so, describe______________________________________
VI. Source of labor supply.

Percent
of men

1. Migrants______ _____ ________ ______

Percent of
women

Remarks

.

2. Farmers and members of farm families.

2.

3. Other agricultural wage earners... ..
4. Industrial workers at other seasons.

______

5. Housewives other than farms__________
6. Local casuals (other than agricultural) .... .
7. Students and young unemployed other than
from farms_______________
_ _______
_
VII.

7..................
1937

1. Total cost______________

_____

1938

1939

________

2. Total labor cost. _. ___ ___
3. Labor cost per case (if available)______ ___________

Specify items wherein firm’s cost accounting differs from items listed in instruc­
tions (a) (Total cost)..... ...... _ _.

(6) (Total labor cost)

4. Give labor cost per case by product where available

Agent.




Date

o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102