The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.
T---------------- -<ate Teachers College Library I1133'•/£&* UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FRANCES PERKINS. SECRETARY WOMEN’S BUREAU MARY ANDERSON, Director BULLETIN OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU, NO. 105 A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK By ETHEL L. BEST r^tNT UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON : 1933 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C, Price 5 cents [Public—No. 259—66th Congress] [H. R. 13229] An Act To establish in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the Women’s Bureau Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be estab lished in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the Women’s Bureau. Sec. 2. That the said bureau shall be in charge of a director, a woman, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual compensation of $5,000. It shall be the duty of said bureau to formulate standards and policies which.shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and ad vance their opportunities for profitable employment. The said bureau shall have authority to investigate and report to the said department upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of women in industry. The director of said bureau may from time to time publish the results of these investigations in such a manner and to such extent as the Secretary of Labor may prescribe. Sec. 3. That there shall be in said bureau an assistant director, to be appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who shall receive an annual compensation of $3,500 and shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the director and approved by the Secretary of Labor. Sec. 4. That there is hereby authorized to be employed by said bureau a chief clerk and such special agents, assistants, clerks, and other employees at such rates of compensation and in such numbers as Congress may from time to time provide by appropriations. Sec. 5. That the Secretary of Labor is hereby directed to furnish sufficient quarters, office furniture, and equipment, for the work of this bureau. Sec. 6. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. Approved, June 5, 1920. CONTENTS Page rjH m (M Letter of transmittal iv Introduction 1 Summary 2 Facts reported by management______ Facts reported as to women workers Preference for 6-hour or 8-hour shift_____ Hours preferred among the 6-hour shifts 5 Reasons for preferring 6-hourshift 6 Fatigue in 8-hour and 6-hour day______________ Use of leisure time______________________________ Arrangement of meals___________________________ Earnings_____________________________________ ____________________________ Marital condition and age_______________________ 7 8 9 IX 13 LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL United States Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Washington, January 27, 1933. I have the honor to submit herewith a report on the effects on women employees of a change from an 8-hour day to a 6-hour day in a well-known industrial plant. This company, which changed from three 8-hour shifts to four 6-hour shifts as much as two years ago, has courteously supplied the Women’s Bureau with information and allowed an examination of its pay-roll records under the two hour schedules. Interviews were held also with 434 women employees to obtain their conclusions and preferences regarding the change. I believe the report will be of value in the present conditions. It has been prepared by Ethel L. Best, industrial supervisor. Respectfully submitted. Mary Anderson, Director. Secretary IV of Labor. A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK INTRODUCTION The trend to shorter daily hours has increased during the past three years, largely because of overequipment and decreased demand. In most plants curtailment has been necessary, and this has been accomplished by two methods—reducing the number of employees and shortening the hours of work. In many cases both these meth ods have been used. As there has been a decrease in employment and a shortening of hours in so many plants, it is interesting to study the methods of one plant to increase employment by shortening hours. The problem in this plant was twofold: To give work to more people without materially increasing the cost of operation, and to do this without throwing the cost of shorter hours entirely on the employees. This firm put into practice two years ago the plan later advocated by a group of business and professional men and called “the New Hamp shire plan,” which aims to spread work by shortening hours and to share the cost of such spreading of employment by management as well as workers. In this plant the management bore the cost of checking up and improving its operating methods and machinery so that everything should run as perfectly as possible; they also in creased their wage costs by raising the hourly rates and by adding a supervisory force for the extra shift. In December, 1930, when the change to a 6-hour working shift was made by this factory, the plant was running three shifts of 8 hours each, operating continuously except that it shut down for 24 hours once a week. With the exception of the general office and a few occu pations where the volume of production did not admit of continuous operation, the entire plant was changed to four shifts of 6 hours each. This necessitated the employment of more women, and the records show that the average number on the pay roll during a 4-week period just before the change and during a 4-week period one month after the change increased from 298 to 415, or 39 per cent. At the same time the hourly rates of pay for the women were increased 12^ per cent, while the men were guaranteed a minimum of $4 a day. Prac tically all pay was on an hourly basis plus a production bonus. A year later the women received a second increase in hourly rates of 12Jdj per cent, so at the time of survey there had been a total increase of 25 per cent over the rates in effect before the change in hours. l 2 A STUDY OP A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK Two questions are important in a change from an 8-hour to a 6-hour shift: (1) Are the shorter hours efficient from the standpoint of management? and (2) Are they liked by the workers? The advan tages to the business are briefly summed up by the management in the following statement: Increased daily production from the plant as an operating unit, due to increased production at every station or task, slight in itself but considerable in the aggregate. Elimination of meal periods, with their waste, and the expense of a large cafeteria. Increased return from the capital invested in plant and machinery, owing to the increased rate of plant operation. Opportunity for reorganizing the working force to rectify inequali ties and fit all “pegs” in appropriate “holes.” Decreased overhead due to the fact that the factory produces more goods per dollar of overhead than under the 8-hour shift. To answer the second question, agents of the Women’s Bureau visited 434 women and obtained from them information as to the effects of shorter hours on their earnings, their fatigue, their home life, and their leisure activities. These data constitute the basis of the present study. Of the 434 women, only 265 had worked at this plant under both the 8-hour and the 6-hour schedule, so the comparison of the two hour schedules is based on the smaller number. For these two single pay periods, taken from the firm’s records, an even smaller number, 196 women, appeared in both periods and therefore could be compared as to pay under the 8-hour and the 6-hour shift. From the women who had experienced only the 6-hour shift in this plant, information was obtained as to their domestic arrangements and leisure activities. Many of these women had worked longer hours in other places of employment and they compared their present work, with its short hours, to that formerly done by tbem. SUMMARY FACTS REPORTED BY MANAGEMENT Increased daily production from the plant as an operating unit. Decreased overhead. Increased return from the capital invested in plant and machinery. Opportunity for reorganizing working force to fit all pegs in appropriate holes. Elimination of cafeteria expense. FACTS REPORTED AS TO WOMEN WORKERS Effect of change on numbers. Increased 39 per cent, or from 298 women (average of four pay rolls before change to six hours) to 415 women (average of four pay rolls shortly after change). A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK 3 Opinions on the 6-hour shift. Of 405 women who were interviewed and expressed opinion on the short hours, over four-fifths (84.9 per cent) liked the 6-hour shift. Of 249 women who reported their preference, having worked under both the 8-hour and the 6-hour schedule, a little more than three-fourths (77.1 per cent) preferred the shorter shift. Reasons given for preference. Principal reasons for preferring 6 hours— More time for home duties. More leisure. Less fatigue. Leisure and less fatigue. Principal reasons for preferring 8 hours— More pay. Less fatigue. ' Fatigue under 6 hours as compared to 8 hours (women on same work). Per cent of women who reported— Less fatigue25.2. Same fatigue56.1. More fatigue 18.7. Use of extra time. Family needs— . Better care of house and family. Time for working in garden. Can now do housework and have fun too. Better buying for family because of shopping in uncrowded stores. Recreation— Can be outdoors in daytime. Can play tennis. Can play ball. Can go swimming. Can go motoring. Rest. Self-improvement. Eating arrangements. More than one-half (56.2 per cent) felt need of food during work period. Nearly two-thirds (64.7 per cent) reported no inconvenience to home life or meals under new schedule. Work on the morning shift was most convenient and the afternoon shift least convenient for the meal arrangements. Effect of change on wages. Basic hourly rates were increased— 12}^ per cent at date of change. 12J^ per cent one year later. Production bonus was not changed. From a pay-roll period in September, 1930, to one in April, 1932— Earnings of 77 per cent of the women decreased under the 6-hour day; those of 23 per cent increased. 10 and less than 20 per cent decrease in earnings was shown for over one-half of the women whose earnings declined; in something over one-third it was less than 10 per cent. 4 A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK Marital condition and age. Over one-half of the women (56.1 per cent) were married. About the same proportion of married and of single women preferred the 0hour to the 8-hour day. Home duties were mentioned as the reason for preferring the shorter day by a very much larger proportion of married than of single women. The single girl used her extra time for recreation and self-improvement more than did the married woman. The favorite shifts for all women were the day shifts, but a larger per cent of married women than of single liked the evening shift. Almost the same proportion of single and married women preferred the night shift. No woman visited was under 17 years of age and nearly one-fifth were 40 years and over. A larger proportion of the women (70.9 per cent) were 20 and under 40 years of age. PREFERENCE FOR 6-HOUR OR 8-HOUR SHIFT Interviews were obtained from 434 women, and of these women about three-fifths (61.1 per cent) had been with the firm during the period of both an 8-hour and a 6-hour shift. These women were able to compare the work under the two sets of hours, while the group lacking experience under two sets of hours in the same plant made the comparison between the present plant'with a 6-hour day and longer hours in other establishments. In the former group, those comparing 8 hours and now 6 hours in the same plant, a little more than three-fourths of the women (77.1 per cent) preferred the 6-hour shift. Over one-half the women who did not like the shorter hours were on the evening and night shifts, and without doubt what one woman said was true: “There’s not much you can do with leisure time between 12 and 1 at night and 6 and 7 in the morning.” Also, some dissatisfaction may be accounted for by the fact that under the 8-hour shift the hourly rates in the evening and at night were a little higher than those for the day shift, while under the 6-hour system the rates were the same, for the same work, on all the shifts. The group of women who had worked at other places prior to the introduction of the 6-hour shift in this plant were very enthusiastic over the short day, and 106 of the 109 women reporting expressed a decided preference for it. With this group may be included 47 women who had never worked before or else had not worked for many years, and with one exception these women were unanimous in their liking for the 6-hour schedule. If the interviewed women who were working six hours are com bined, well over four-fifths are found to prefer the 6-hour schedule. A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK 5 HOURS PREFERRED AMONG THE 6-HOUR SHIFTS The following percentages show how the women on the four shifts reacted to the 6-hour day: Favorable Shift 12 to 6 (afternoon)......................... ....................................................... 6 to 12 (evening)........................ ............................................................. 12 to 6 (night)......... ........................... ............ ........ ...................... ........ Not favorable 83 5 90 6 84.4 80.5 13.3 13.8 No preference 2.2 6.7 Because of varied home responsibilities and personal habits, the women interviewed differed considerably as to which of the 6-hour periods they preferred. The most popular shift was the afternoon one, from 12 to 6. This shift allowed free time in the morning for housework, shopping, or sleeping late, and also leisure in the evenings for either rest or recreation. The least popular shifts were those of the evening and night. Some women on the midnight shift complained of difficulty in sleeping during the daytime, and some said that they would rather work when others were working. It was surprising that the difficulty of going to and from work at midnight was not considered a drawback. A few employees had their own cars and for a small sum took others to or from work, while some used jitneys that cost the same as car fare. In a larger city or with more expen sive taxis the difficulty of midnight hours for women might be less safely and less easily overcome. The following table shows for 231 women the number working in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night, and the shift for which they expressed a preference: . Shift preferred Total1...... ........ ................................. . Morning. ..................................................... Afternoon.................................................... . Night............................................................. All women Women on Women on Women on morning afternoon evening Women on night shift shift shift shift 231 53 68 49 61 63 79 29 28 50 2 1 64 3 4 26 0 9 28 1 Total Includes 28 women (12 on the evening shift, 12 on the night, and 4 working during the day) who expressed a preference for day work but did not specify shift, and 4 on the evening shift who had no preference 157613°—33----2 6 A STUDY OP A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK It is interesting to note that the shift on which they were employed was the preference with 50 of the 53 morning workers and 64 of the 68 afternoon workers. On the other hand, 19 of the 49 on the even ing shift and 30 of the 61 on the night shift would rather have worked by day. The principal reason why a day shift was preferred, as it was by 170 women, was that the evening and some time during the day were free. Some women wanted free time for housework, some spoke of liking the evening for recreation, and 34 women preferred day work for physical reasons, because they slept better at night or found day work less tiring. Only one woman mentioned the difficulty of transportation at night as an objection. The evening shift was liked by some women because the whole day was free, and two women remarked that you still could have your night’s sleep. Women who preferred the night shift did so because they had more time with their families and had leisure time in the afternoon and evening. Three women gave physical reasons for preferring the night shift: One said she was adjusted to night work, had always done it; another added to the reason of being accustomed to night work that she “was too ill to go anywhere, anyway”; while the third woman declared that she “ slept badly at night and might as well be working.” REASONS FOR PREFERRING 6-HOUR SHIFT In giving the reasons why the women preferred the 6-hour to the 8-hour schedule, it must first be noted that the great majority of the women (84.9 per cent) did prefer the 6-hour day to that of 8 hours. The principal reasons given for such preference are the following: Number of women giving reasons More time for homeduties More leisure 119 Less fatigue 31 Leisure and less fatigue 121 27 Naturally these reasons correspond very closely to the answers given as to the use of the extra time, with home duties being the most frequent and leisure, or time for recreation, being second. However, the fact that 58 women liked the shorter hours because of less fatigue may be due to either the shorter work period or the greater amount of time for resting. Of the women whose first employment in this plant was after the change to 6 hours, there were larger proportions who expressed appreciation of the extra leisure and who experienced less fatigue than among employees who had worked on both 8-hour and 6-hour shifts. It is true also that women who had not been with the company under the 8-hour shift had A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK 7 worked in other establishments for more than 8 hours, and therefore showed special appreciation of their increased leisure under the 6-hour day. The marked difference in the reasons given by the single and the married women for preferring the shorter day is illustrated by the following percentages: Principal reasons for preference More time for home duties............ ...... ................................................. More time for leisure................................................................... Less fatigue........... ............................................................. . Leisure and less fatigue.......................................................... Single women Married women Widowed, separated, or divorced women 4.4 55.4 35.7 9 9 19.8 3.8 4.8 A comparatively small number of women, only 46, did not prefer the 6-hour shift, and with almost all these women the chief reason was the difference in earnings. Twenty-nine women spoke only of the lower earnings on the 6-hour shift and 10 others spoke of the lower earnings and the greater fatigue. Besides the 10 just men tioned, 6 women reported greater fatigue under the shorter than under the longer hours. Though the numbers are not large, it is significant that nearly 20 per cent of the women with broken marital ties, in contrast to only about 10 per cent of the single and of the married women, did not prefer the shorter hours. Possibly the greater economic responsibility of the women supporting homes without the aid of their husbands may have made the difference in earnings more important for them than for either the married or the single women. FATIGUE IN 8-HOUR AND 6-HOUR DAY There has been some question whether a straight 6-hour day with no lunch period to break it might not prove as fatiguing as the longer work period of 8 hours with a 20-minute lunch period. In answer to this question more than half (56.1 per cent) of the women who had experienced both shifts in this plant on the same work said it made no difference in their fatigue under which shift they worked, while 25.2 per cent declared they felt less fatigue under the 6-hour schedule and 18.7 per cent thought fatigue was increased in the straight 6-hour shift with no break. No comparison between the 8-hour and 6-hour shifts was made by 14 women who merely stated that they did not get tired on the 6-hour continuous1 shift, while 3 others reported 1Short relief periods are given when desired but no regular rest or lunch period. 8 A STUDY OS' A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOUES OP WORK fatigue. A small group, 37 women, had worked in other establish ments on a daily schedule of more than 8 hours, and 32 of these women stated that they were less tired under the straight 6-hour day, 2 that it made no difference, and 3 that they felt more fatigue with the unbroken 6-hour shift. The difference in the comparative fatigue reported varied with the shift on which work was done, with the evening shift showing the least benefit in decreased fatigue from the shorter hours. The fol lowing figures show the number of women doing the same work as before who compared fatigue on the present 6-hour and the earlier 8-hour schedule. Amount of fatigue Day shifts Evening Night Total...................................... 87 33 35 Less fatigue now More fatigue now............ ........... Same fatigue now........................ 22 17 48 7 8 18 10 4 21 There is no doubt blit that shorter hours would, as a rule, mean less fatigue, but the fact that the work is continuous, with no break for lunch, might in some cases result in increased fatigue, especially if the worker stands all day at her work. In the plant under dis cussion pains had been taken to so arrange each woman’s work that she stood for an hour and a half and then shifted to a job where she might sit at her work. Of 243 women, three-fourths worked under this desirable condition. For the women in this group who made a comparison of conditions, the change to a 6-hour continuous shift resulted in less or no greater fatigue for more than four-fifths (84.5 per cent) of them. For the much smaller group, 35 women, who stood continuously and compared fatigue on the two shifts, not quite three-fourths said that they felt either less or no greater fatigue, while those who sat all day showed much the same distribution as those who alternated sitting and standing. USE OF LEISURE TIME It would be hardly fair, in any consideration of fatigue, not to inquire into the use made of the 12 hours a week free time that the change to the 6-hour shift gave to the women workers. The answer to this question as to the use of increased leisure time was home duties in well over one-half the cases. With some women this meant more time in which to do the same work as formerly, while with others additional duties were undertaken. Some women did more canning and preserv ing with the extra time, and others did their own washing, which they had sent out when working 8 hours. Some reported that now they A STUDY OF A CHANGE FEOM 8 TO 6 HOUES OF WOBK 9 had time for a garden, and a number spoke of the better care they could give their children. One woman who formerly had worked from 3 to 11 p. m. and now was on the shift from 12 noon to 6, said that with the 0-hour arrangement she could do her housework in the morning and go out in the evening with her husband, a thing she had not done in 12 years. This woman was one of a rather large number (69) who said that now they had time to do their housework and have some fun too. Nearly as many other women reported spending their time in recreational activities, such as tennis, swimming, motor ing, playing ball, and even flying. Among these the recreation last named might almost be termed vocational, as the woman hoped some day to become a pilot. One young girl summed up her recreational activities by saying, “They are interesting, along with your work.” A number liked the shorter hours because they could rest more, and a smaller number were trying to improve themselves by study and new avocations. The free time during the day when they could be out of doors was much appreciated; and a saving in money as well as in strength was reported, through being able to shop in the daytime and on week days when stores were not so crowded. One woman said, “ I do much more careful shopping now.” As would be expected, the married women and those with broken marital ties used much more of their increased leisure in their home duties and the single women in recreation. Additional time in which to rest was appreciated especially by the single women and those who were widowed, separated, and divorced. The opportunity to take courses and study was utilized principally by the single women. No married women appeared in this group. Very few women, only five, reported outside paid employment in their spare time, and these consisted of store jobs, sewing, housework, and singing over the radio. Principal uses of leisure time reported Home duties 224 Recreation and homeduties 69 Recreation___________________________________ _______ ____ Rest 41 Self-improvement(includesnew avocation)_________________ Number of women 49 16 ARRANGEMENT OF MEALS It has become the custom with most people in the United States to eat three meals a day at intervals varying from 4 to 6 hours. With the 24 hours divided into 6-hour shifts and no lunch period, a longer time than this must elapse between two meals. There is much adapta bility in human beings and without doubt many could adjust their lives to different eating hours and feel no ill effects, but others might 10 A STUDY OS' A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK experience more difficulty in going from 7 to 8 hours without food. Because of the character of the work in this factory no food could be eaten in the workrooms, and in most cases distances in the plant were too great for women to go to the rest rooms to eat a sandwich. Of the 413 women who reported, a little over one-half (56.2 per cent) spoke of the need of food during their work period. There was a marked dif ference among the four shifts in the proportions who felt the need of food. The largest proportions of women who spoke of such need were on the shifts from 12 to 6 in the afternoon and from 12 midnight to 6 in the morning. Many of the women on the afternoon shift ate a combination breakfast and lunch between 10 and 11, and as they did not eat their supper until 6.30 or 7.30 it made a long stretch. Those on the night shift usually ate a hearty supper at 6 and frequently a sandwich or fruit before going to work at midnight, but this was inadequate to last through the night. Shifts 6 a. m. to 12 noon-----12 to 6 p. m_________ 6 p. m. to 12 midnight 12 to 6 a. m_________ Number of women reporting 96 119 91 87 Per cent needing food Per cent not needing food 49.0 63.9 48.4 60.9 61.0 36.1 61.6 39.1 The management felt that it would be possible to arrange for milk to be served if enough women wanted it, so when 38 per cent reported that they would be glad of milk if it were available, the service was installed. After the installation, the number of half pints sold increased over a 3-week period from 169 on the first day to 616 on the last day, indicating a decided appreciation of the service. The dislocation of the arrangement of meals and the inconvenience that might have been experienced under the 6-hour shift were inquired into. Nearly two-thirds (64.7 per cent) of the women reported no inconvenience or upset in the arrangements. Where it was difficult to arrange the meals, 116 women (27 per cent) solved the problem by eating only two meals and 5 women declared they usually ate but one, and this from choice rather than necessity. Seventeen women ate one or more meals separate from the family and 14 women ate irregularly, sometimes at one time and sometimes at another. The amount of adjustment necessary depended to a great extent on the shift on which the woman worked. The shift from 6 a. m. to noon was the most convenient for arrangement of meals and the afternoon shift was the least convenient. Of those working in the afternoon, 43.7 per cent ate but two meals a day, which may account for the large number on this shift who felt the need of food during the work period. A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK Per cent Number of reporting women no incon reporting venience Shifts 97 126 96 91 80.4 52.4 68.7 60.4 11 Meals sep arate from family or irregular 4.1 4.0 10.4 12.1 EARNINGS The records of weekly earnings of the women under the 8-hour and under the 6-hour schedule came from two sources: From the pay-roll books two periods were taken, one in September, 1930, before the change to 6 hours, and one in April, 1932, after the change was well established and the hourly rates had been increased 25 per cent above those current under the 8-hour shift. The other source was the women themselves, who were asked to give their average earnings under the 8-hour and under the 6-hour schedule. The pay was affected not only by the decrease in daily hours but by the bonus, which varied with the amount produced, the extent of spoiled work, and the degree of machinery breakdown. It is inter esting to note here that women frequently expressed the opinion that spoiled work and machinery breakdowns had decreased with the 6-hour shift, largely because of the elimination of the lunch period, during which the machinery had been kept running but without a sufficient number of operators to care properly for the product. The number of women visited for whom pay-roll records were secured at both dates, before and after the change in hours, was 196, and for 77 per cent the amount received was less under the 6-hour than under the 8-hour schedule. In just over one-half the cases of decrease the extent was 10 and under 20 per cent; in wTell over onethird it was less than 10 per cent. Of the 45 women whose earnings were larger at the latter date, one-half had less than a 10 per cent increase. In short, the difference in earnings, increases and decreases combined, between the 8-hour and the 6-hour day was less than 20 per cent in the case of about nine-tenths of the women and less than 10 per cent in the case of two-fifths. There had been some changes in job, which may have affected earnings between the two periods. Four women had been promoted to supervisory work, 2 had been demoted from such work, and 49 other women reported a change in the kind of work done. However, 141 women were doing the same work as before and for 110 of these (78 per cent) the records show decreased earnings, such decrease being in most cases 10 and less than 20 per cent. 12 A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK The reports of the women of their average earnings under the two sets of hours give a larger per cent (89.8) with decreased earnings under the 6-hour day than does the pay-roll information just discussed, a not unnatural discrepancy, considering that one was an actual pay roll record, the exact figures for certain dates, and the other included a loose “average,” remembered after the lapse of a year and a half. Only 16 women reported an increase in their average earnings under the 6-hour day. Taking as the base the total number, instead of the number with decreased earnings, the changes after the reduction in hours are made clear in the following: Total................................................................... Increase__________________ _____ _ Less than 10 per cent.......................... 10 and less than 20 per cent_____ 20 per cent and more............................. ................ Women who reported average earnings in interviews Number Change in earnings Women for whom pay roll earn ings were obtained Number Per cent Per cent 196 100.0 257 100.0 45 23.0 16 6.2 23 14 8 11.7 7.1 4.1 5 8 3 1.9 3.1 1.2 151 77.0 231 89.9 57 79 15 29.1 40.3 7.7 47 106 78 18.3 41.2 30.4 No change........................ ........... ........... Decrease_______ _____________________ Less than 10 per cent_____________ _________ 10 and less than 20 per cent....... ................................ 20 per cent and more.............. .............................. Under the old schedule of 8 hours, women who worked on the afternoon shift (3 to 11 p. m.) and the night shift (11 p. m. to 7 a. m.) received a slightly higher hourly rate than did those working on the shift from 7 a. m. to 3 p. m. With the introduction of the 6-hour shift, the special allowance for evening and night work was discon tinued and the hourly rates for similar work were the same regard less of the shift. For this reason the decrease in hours affected the earnings of the women formerly on the evening and night shifts more than those of the women formerly on the day shift. That this was an important factor in the decreases is evident from the figures. When the day shift alone is considered, the pay-roll figures show but two-thirds of the women (65.7 per cent) with lower earnings, compared to between 80 and 90 per cent of the workers on the other two shifts. The following shows the percentage of women on each of the 8-hour shifts whose earnings decreased on the 6-hour schedule: A STJJDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF WORK Shift Day _ ______ Night..................................................... 13 According According to pay to inter rolls views 65. 7 82.6 88.7 80 0 92 9 97.3 In addition to the fact that more women who had worked on the evening and night shifts than on the day shift showed reduced earn ings, the degree to which they were reduced also was greater for the evening and night workers. The proportion of women having de creases of 10 per cent and more was considerably less among the women who had worked on the 8-hour day shift. Little dissatisfaction with the lower earnings resulting from the decrease in hours was expressed, although in the majority of cases very real decreases had resulted. Some of the workers seemed to feel that everyone these days was getting cuts, and that after all they were being given time off for their reduced pay and were not required to work the same hours, as were many of their friends. MARITAL CONDITION AND AGE It has already been stated that a large majority of the women pre ferred the shorter workday and that the most important reason for this preference was that it gave more time for household duties. Without doubt the large proportion of women to whom the accom plishment of household tasks was important was affected by the unusually high per cent of married women. In nearly every case these women were responsible for their homes, and when it is found that somewhat over three-fifths had the care of children in addition there is certainly good reason for their preference for a 6-hour day in the factory. The census of 1930 reports 32.4 per cent of the women in manufacturing and mechanical industries as married, but in the plant under consideration the proportion was much higher, namely, 56.1 per cent. In addition to the 243 married women, 66 were wid owed, separated, or divorced, and a large proportion of these, like the married women, had homes and children and were, therefore, glad of the 6-hour day. These same reasons, homes and families, occasioned the preference of women for certain shifts. A larger proportion of the married women than of the single women preferred the evening shift and a smaller proportion preferred day work. 14 A STUDY OF A CHANGE FROM 8 TO 6 HOURS OF .WORK Per cent of women preferring— Marital status Day Married___ __________________________________ 78.9 72.3 Evening 7.0 16.1 Night 12.3 10.9 No pref erence 1.8 .7 A number of the married women with children expressed a prefer ence for the evening or night shift, indicating the desire, mentioned specifically, to be with their children during the day. No women visited were under 17 years of age and nearly one-fifth were 40 years and over. Well over two-fifths of the women were 20 and under 30, and more than one-fourth were 30 and under 40. Thus women of 20 and under 40 years comprised more than 70 per cent of the workers. With the large per cent of women in this middle group, and with the high per cent of married women, it is not surprising to find that three-fifths of the women had been with the firm for 18 months and over. This per cent probably would have been higher if many new workers had not been added because of the extra shift. In all, 38.9 per cent of the women reported entering the firm’s employment after the change to a 6-hour day, but it is not possible to tell how many of these replaced old employees who left for one reason or another or how many were hired to care for the extra shift; certainly the majority must have belonged to the latter group. o