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UNITED STATES DEPARTM ENT OF LABOR
Frances Perkins, Secretary
B U R E A U OF L A B O R ST A T IST IC S
Isador Lubin, Commissioner (on leave)
A . F . H inrichs, A cting Commissioner

Average Hourly Earnings in the Explosives
Industry, June 1944

Bulletin T^o. 819
[Reprinted from the M onthly Labor R eview ,
March 1945, w ith additional data]

F or sale b y the Superintendent o f D ocum ents, U . S. G overnm ent Printing Office
W ashington 25, D . C . - Price 10 cents




Letter o f Transm ittal

U n it e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r
B u r e a u of L a b o r St a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. C. March $1, 1945
T h e Se c r e t a r y of L ab o r

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on average hourly earnings in
the explosives industry, June 1944. This report was prepared in the Bureau’s
Division of Wage Analysis by Edith M. Olsen under the direction of Victor S.
Baril.
A. F . H i n r i c h s , Acting Commissioner
H o n . F r a n c e s P e r k in s ,

Secretary of Labor

Contents
Page

Summary________________________________
Characteristics of the industry----------------Types of explosives__________________
Wartime development of the industry.
Manufacturing processes_________________
Smokeless pow’der___________________
T N T and D N T .____________________
Black powder----------------------------------Dynamite___________________________
Scope and method of study______________
The labor force_____________________
Characteristic jobs_____________
Working conditions_________________
Wage-payment practices________________
Occupational earnings___________________
Smokeless powder___________________
T N T and D N T ....................... ...............
Black powder_______________________
Dynamite__________________________




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B ulletin ?s£o. 819 o f the
U nited States B ureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the Monthly R eview, M arch 1945, w ith additional data]

Average Hourly Earnings in the Explosives Industry,
June 19441
Summary
EARNINGS of workers in plants manufacturing smokeless powder.
TN T and DN T, black powder, and dynamite ranged from a general
average of 92 cents an hour in smokeless-powder plants to $1.08 an
hour in the dynamite plants, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics
wage survey. The relatively low average for smokeless-powder plants
is accounted for, at least in part, by the fact that this segment of the
industry employed large numbers of workers in jobs requiring a less
amount of skill or experience and therefore commanding a lower rate
of pay. Although the workers in the dynamite branch of the industry
had, on the whole, the highest average earnings, averages for the indi­
vidual occupations were not consistently higher than those for similar
occupations in the other three branches.
The production of smokeless powder constitutes the largest branch
of the industry in terms of numbers of workers employed. The aver­
age earnings for workers studied in 85 selected occupations ranged
from 64 cents an hour for janitresses to $1.44 an hour for lead burners.
Approximately 60 percent of the workers were classified in those occu-^
nations with average earnings ranging from 75 cents to $1.00 an hour.
In general, the highest earnings for any one department were paid to
maintenance workers. Operators in the processing occupations were
paid average earnings ranging from 75 cents an hour for female pow­
der-cutting operators to $1.08 an hour for ether-house operators.
Helpers on the powder-making fine constituted the largest occupation­
al group, with average hourly earnings of 82 cents for males and 72
cents for females.
The average earnings for individual occupations in the T N T plants
studied ranged from 61 cents an hour for janitresses to $1.39 an hour
for class A millwrights. Fully half of the workers, however, were
employed in occupations having average earnings which ranged from
90 cents to $1.15 an hour. Average hourly earnings of worlang fore­
men in the processing departments amounted to $1.14 an hour.
Workers in three processing occupations, bi-tri operators, D N T nitrator operators, and fortifier operators, earned an average of $1.11 an
hour, the highest average shown for processing operators. The lowest
average rate for processing operators (96 cents an hour) was paid to
D N T sweat-house operators and to pumpmen in the acid area. Male
guards, who constituted a numerically important group among the
custodial occupations, earned an average hourly rate of 84 cents.
81
]&riF&re^ ^

bureau's Division of Wage Analysis by Edith M . Olsen ander the direction of Victor




a)

2

The hourly earnings of material-movement workers varied from an
average of 77 cents for loaders and unloaders to $1.19 for yard con­
ductors. Workers employed as packers of D N T and T N T earned 93
cents an hour.
Three-tenths of the workers in black-powder plants were concen­
trated in occupations whose hourly earnings ranged from 90 cents to
$1.00, and four-tenths were employed in occupations averaging be­
tween $1.00 and $1.15 an hour. The average earnings for individual
occupations ranged from 76 cents an hour for watchmen to $1.32 an
hour for class A machinists.
Occupational earnings in the dynamite branch of the industry
ranged from 76 cents an hour for watchmen to $1.46 an hour for class
A millwrights. Nearly two-thirds of the workers studied were em­
ployed in occupations whose earnings ranged from 95 cents to $1.20
an hour; well over a fifth were classified in the occupational groups
earning average rates in excess of $1.20 an hour.
Characteristics o f the Industry
The explosives-manufacturing industry in the United States is
relatively small in peacetime. Its production is limited largely to
the types of explosives used as blasting agents in mining and quarry­
ing, m railway and other construction work, and in the accomplish­
ment of other projects essential to modern living. Chief among the
explosives used for these purposes are black powder and various forms
of dynamite. Although both of these peacetime or industrial explo­
sives also have important wartime uses, it is the production of such
military explosives as smokeless powder and T N T that constitutes
the major part of the wartime explosives industry. The survey on
which this report is based covered plants manufacturing both indus­
trial and military explosives, specifically smokeless powder, TN T and
D N T, black powder, and dynamite. No attempt was made to cover
the many types of explosives that, although of primary importance
from a military standpoint, are produced in few plants, or employ
only relatively small numbers of wage earners.
T Y P E S O F E X P L O SIV E S

Explosives may be divided into two separate classes—high explo­
sives and mild, or low, explosives. The distinction is made on the
basis of the use to which the explosive is put, which in turn depends
largely upon the speed of reaction after the charge has been set off.
Thus, certain mild explosives, whose rate of combustion is relatively
slow, and which build up pressure gradually, are used as propellants.
The function of the propellant charge is to exert enough pressure on
the shell to force it from the muzzle of the gun at the necessary rate
of speed. Explosives which burn with such rapidity as to cause al­
most instantaneous reaction are classed as high explosives. Because
of their extremely rapid reaction, high explosives are not suited for
use as propellants. Certain high explosives with great shattering
power are used as the bursting charge in many different types of
military projectiles. The function of the bursting charge is to shatter




3
the metal shell or bomb case into fragments at the proper point.
Small amounts of very sensitive high explosives are also used as deto­
nating agents to initiate explosion of the main propellant or bursting
charge.
Smokeless powder is the universally used propellant in fixed and
separate loading ammunition for cannon and in small-arms ammuni­
tion. It has replaced black powder, which until the latter part of
the 19th century was the most common propellant. Smokeless pow­
der is superior to black powder for this purpose in a number of ways;
it causes less smoke, leaves less solid residue after burning, and does
not absorb as much moisture. Most of the smokeless powder pro­
duced in this country has a straight nitrocellulose base and is manu­
factured in the form of perforated cylindrical grains. Practically
the only peacetime use of smokeless powder, aside from the small
amount required by the military services, is in sporting weapons.
Trinitrotoluene, commonly known as TN T, is one of the most
important military high explosives and is used extensively as a burst­
ing charge in shells, bombs, grenades, torpedo warheads and naval
mines. It is also used in military demolition work, and as a constit­
uent of various types of dynamite. Although suitable for blasting,
it has not had widespread use for this purpose because of the relatively
higher cost as compared with commercial dynamites. T N T has
many properties which render it superior to any other known disrup­
tive explosive for military use. It has a low melting point and can
be easily melted and poured into shells and bombs, either alone or
mixed with ammonium nitrate to form amatol; it does not combine
with metals, so that no protective coating is needed to line the inside
of the shell. Although it is a powerful explosive, TN T can be manu­
factured, stored, and transported with comparative safety because
it is stable and is relatively insensitive to shock or friction. Dinitrotoluene (DNT) is used principally as a modifying agent in other
explosives, notably in smokeless powder for the purpose of reducing
moisture absorption.
Black powder is a mild explosive, and although it is no longer in
general use as a propellant, it still has important military uses, prin­
cipally in the manufacture of fuzes and as the igniter charge in artillery
primers. Black powder is manufactured on a large scale for peacetime
purposes in both granular and pellet form. The bulk of the black
owder produced in the United States before the war was used for
lasting in mines, quarries, and construction work; small amounts
were also consumed m the manufacture of fireworks and ammunition.
Dynamite is a high explosive and is the most important industrial
explosive in use at the present time. It does not, however, meet the
rigid specifications of a good military high explosive. Its usefulness in
military operations is therefore confined to such functions as the
destruction of railroads and bridges. Most of the dynamite produced
in peacetime is normally consumed for heavy blasting work by the
mining and construction industries. There are several types of dyna­
mite, each having properties making it most efficient for specific
purposes. For example, dynamites containing a high percentage of
ammonium nitrate are particularly suited for use in coal mines where
gas explosions are likely to occur, and are therefore approved as
“ permissible” explosives by the U. S. Bureau of Mines.

E




4
W A R T IM E D EVELO PM EN T OF TH E IN DU STRY

A t the beginning of the present war in Europe, the United States
lacked facilities for the production of explosives suitable for military
use on the scale required to conduct a war. It became necessary,
therefore, for the Government to build a number of large, new plants
for the mass production of both smokeless powder and TN T, and, in
addition, plants that could produce certain raw materials essential to
the manufacture of military explosives. Most of these Governmentowned plants were put under the management of private companies
experienced in the explosives field and having some of the necessary
technical personnel to operate on an efficient basis.
Munitions production during World War I was carried on mainly in
the Northeastern States. The great new plants built for the present
war are distributed throughout the interior States of the country,where
they are less vulnerable to possible enemy attack. Only three States
had more than one plant manufacturing smokeless powder or T N T at
the time of the Bureau’s study; each of these States had two plants.
In addition to strategic considerations, the new plant sites were selected
with careful regard to such important economic factors as the availa­
bility of labor and the supply of natural resources. Most of the large
new plants producing smokeless powder and T N T were therefore
situated at some distance from already crowded industrial centers.
Establishments manufacturing black powder and dynamite, most
of which were in operation before the beginning of the present war, are
located near the centers of demand, and are very widely scattered
geographically. As the greatest demand comes from the mining
industries, the establishments manufacturing these industrial explo­
sives are found throughout the important coal- and metal-mining
States. Although most of the States had only one or two plants,
there were 10 in Pennsylvania, 5 in Illinois, and 3 each in Ohio,
Washington, and Missouri. All of the black-powder and dynamite
plants surveyed were privately owned and operated.
M anufacturing Processes
The manufacture of explosives involves both mechanical and chemi­
cal processes. There are, of course, some modifications in the manu­
facturing of any one of the explosives which depend upon the specific
use for which they are intended. In addition, some variation in the
process may be found among plants producing the same product
The following brief descriptions are intended only as very general
outlines of the raw materials required and of the processes used in
producing the explosives studied in the survey.
SM OKELESS PO W D E R

The mass production of smokeless powder requires the use of exten­
sive plant equipment. The chief raw materials used in its manufacture
are raw cotton or wood pulp, ammonia, sulphuric acid, and ether
alcohol. Various other substances are required; some of these are used
to bring about the proper chemical reaction during the manufacturing
process; others, such as stabilizing and modifying agents, are incor­
porated into the mixture to produce powders that will meet certain
specifications.




5
A large smokeless powder plant has three main departments: Acid
area, nitrocellulose area, and powder-making line. In the acid area,
nitric and sulphuric acids are concentrated and mixed before being
pumped to the nitrocellulose area for use in the nitration process.
The plants may either produce their own sulphuric acid by the contact
method or purchase it from other producers. Nitric acid, made by
ammonia oxidation, is generally produced by the plant for its own use.
In the nitrocellulose area the cotton or wood pulp, which has been
previously purified, is picked into small pieces and put into dryers to
reduce the moisture content. The dried cotton is then treated with
a mixture of sulphuric and nitric acids (pumped from the acid area)
to produce nitrocellulose, the basic ingredient of smokeless powder.
The nitrocellulose is next subjected to a series of operations whereby
it is thoroughly blended, purified of free acids and foreign substances,
and partially dehydrated by wringing. The completely processed
nitrocellulose is then transferred to the powder line.
On the powder line, the nitrocellulose is pressed into large blocks
and further dehydrated by the addition of a sufficient amount of
alcohol to form a colloid with the ether which is added in the next
operation. The dehydrated blocks are broken up and the product
is mixed by machine with ether and diphenylamine (a stabilizing
agent). After mixing, the powder is put through a series of pressing
and screening operations designed to bring about a uniformly mixed
product. These presses are the preliminary blocking press, the
macaroni press, which screens the product, and the final block press.
The finishing process varies with the type of powder manufactured.
For grain powder (the most common type), the mixture is formed
into long strands of Varying sizes, by the action of a graining press.
These strands are cut into specified lengths on the powder-cutting
machine, to make the finished grain powder. The powder is then
sent to the solvent-recovery house where most of the ether-alcohol
solvent is removed in a preliminary diying operation. The final dry­
ing of the powder is accomplished either by drying the powder in
warm air, or by circulating warm water through the powder first and
then allowing the powder to air-dry for a shorter period of time. The
driedpow der is finally blended, and in some cases coated with graphite
T N T A N D DN T

The basic raw material in the manufacture of T N T and D N T is
toluene, which is a coal-tar product. The first step in the process
of manufacturing T N T, namely the making of strong nitric and sul­
phuric acids, is carried on in the acid area of the plant which is com­
parable to the acid area in smokeless-powder plants. A mixture of
these acids is then moved to the TN T area, to be used for the nitra­
tion of toluene. The nitration process, which is performed in steel
vessels where the acid drops through the toluene, may be accomplished
by various methods, but the three-stage process is most common.
This process involves the nitration of toluene to mononitrotoluene;
mononitrotoluene to dinitrotoluene; and finally, dinitrotoluene
(D N T) to trinitrotoluene (T N T ). The spent acid from the second
and third nitrations is fortified or strengthened by the addition of
more nitric acid, and is reused. The spent acid from the first or
“ mono” nitration is concentrated, to recover the sulphuric acid. The




6

resulting crude T N T is purified and neutralized by washing in water.
It is then either flaked or crystallized, the moisture being removed
during this process. The manufacture of dinitrotoluene or D N T
is, of course, very similar; the nitration process is stopped one step
sooner than for T N T.
BLACK

PO W D ER

Black powder is a mechanical mixture of charcoal, sulphur, and
saltpeter (either potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate). The first
operation consists of pulverizing the raw materials. Sulphur and
charcoal are usually pulverized in a ball mill and then mixed with the
proper proportion of saltpeter, which may either be pulverized or in
solution. The material is next ground and crushed in the wheel mill
for 3 or 4 hours after which it is pressed into cakes or sheets in a hy­
draulic press in order to obtain a uniform product. These cakes are
broken up or granulated in^ the corning mill and passed through
mechanically operated shakei screens or sieves to obtain grains of
uniform sizes. The finishing process for granular powder consists
first of drying and then glazing the powder grains by shaking in a
cylinder with a small amount of graphite. The finished grain powder
is again screened and separated into different grades before packing.
Pellet powder is made by molding the black powder into cylindrical
pellets under great pressure. These pellets are then dried and are
wrapped in paper, waterproofed, and packed.
D Y N A M IT E

The raw materials used in the manufacture of dynamite are nitric
and sulphuric acids, glycerine, ammonium nitrate, sodium nitrate,
and various nonexplosive ingredients or “ dopes” such as wood pulp.
The explosive base of dynamite is nitroglycerin, a high explosive.
B y itself, nitroglycerin cannot be used with safety as an explosive.
Aside from being extremely sensitive to shock, its liquid form makes
it very difficult to handle. B y mixing nitroglycerin with wood meal,
an absorbent carrier, it becomes relatively easy to pack and transport.
In manufacturing dynamite, a pure grade of glycerin is nitrated
with a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids, to form nitroglycerin.
For ordinary dynamites, the nitroglycerin is then mixed with the
wood pulp, to which has been added either sodium nitrate or am­
monium nitrate. For gelatin dynamite, so called because of its jellylike consistency, nitrocotton is added to the nitroglycerin before
mixing with the other ingredients. Dynamite is loaded into paper
shells or “ cartridges” which have been previously waterproofed with
molten wax.
Scope and M ethod o f Study
This report, as previously stated, is based on a Bureau survey of the
earnings of workers in establishments manufacturing smokeless
powder, T N T and D N T, black powder, and dynamite. The survey
included virtually all plants engaged in the production of these
explosives, and employing nine or more wage earners. The data for
one small black-powder plant were weighted to include another plant
in the same locality, which was not scheduled, but which was operated
by the same company and had the same general occupational and wage




7
structure. Fifty-six plants, having a total of approximately 50y700
employees, were studied. Most of these plants specialized in the
production of one of the explosives included in the survey, but six
were producing two of these products— two manufactured smokeless
powder and T N T ; two, T N T and dynamite; one, smokeless powder
and dynamite; and one, black powder and dynamite. Workers in
these six establishments have been classified according to the specific
product they were producing at the time of the survey. The wage
data presented for the various branches of the industry, therefore,
relate to the production of smokeless powder in 10 plants, T N T in
10 plants, dynamite in 29 plants, and black powder in 13 plants. Four
of the T N T plants were also producing DNT.
The 56 plants studied were operated by 19 different companies.
Three large companies, however, are dominant in the industry.
Together, these three companies operated 34 of the 56 plants and
employed over 80 percent of the workers studied. All but 4 of the 13
Government-owned smokeless-powder and T N T plants in production
at the time of the survey were operated by these 3 companies.
The wage data on which this report is based were collected by
experienced field representatives of the Bureau, who visited the plants
and transcribed the information from pay rolls and related plant
records. The earnings data relate, in most plants, to a typical June
1944 pay-roll period. The occupational wage data represent straighttime average hourly earnings, excluding premium overtime payments
and shift differentials.
Detailed occupational wage data are shown for a total of 28,921
workers employed in key occupations selected for study in each branch
of the industry. These selected occupations account for well over
three-fifths of the plant workers employed in the establishments
studied, and are believed to represent adequately the various skill and
earnings levels in the industry. In order to obtain maximum com­
parability among the various establishments studied, standard
occupational descriptions were used in classifying all workers in each
of the plants studied. The duties performed by workers included
within the individual occupations are, therefore, believed to be closely
comparable for all plants.
In addition to the occupational wage data, such related items as
number of shifts operated, method of wage payment, extent of union­
ization, entrance rates paid to male common labor, and the policy of
the company concerning the payment of overtime and differentials
for work on late shifts, were also obtained for each establishment.
The Labor Force
The wartime development of the explosives-manufacturing in­
dustry involved the recruitment and training of thousands of inex­
perienced workers within a very short period of time. Although the
black-powder and dynamite plants have expanded somewhat to meet
the added demands brought on by the war, the recruitment of new
workers for these plants was on a much smaller scale than in the
>roduction of smokless powder and TN T. The production of these
atter products may, in fact, be considered in the nature of a new
industry. Since omy a small number of people were trained for work
in the manufacture of these products before the war, it was necessary

(

638285°— 45------2




8
to carry on extensive training on the job as new plants started pro­
duction. Many of the workers employed by these plants were re­
cruited from rural areas and were entering the industrial labor force
for the first time.
CHARACTERISTIC JOBS

Many of the jobs involved in the manufacture of explosives require
a considerable degree of skill, detailed knowledge of processes, and
much responsibility. In the acid area, for instance, the experienced
workers are responsible for certain operating units which, while largely
automatic, require careful tending of the dials and gauges which
indicate their operation. In the acid area, as in other departments,
many of the plants start new workers as helpers, and upgrade them
to other jobs in the area after they have learned the operations by
observation and have been thoroughly trained to observe safety rules.
Many of the occupations on the smokeless-powder line involve the
operation of machines. About 15 percent of the workers studied in
this department were employed on the operation of the large presses
which are used at various stages in the process for dehydrating,
blocking, screening, and graining the powder. These operations en­
tail heavy work and are usually performed by men. Some degree of
mechanical ability is necessary for the actual performance of the
duties connected with these jobs, but the prime requirement is that
the operator be mentally alert and that he be thoroughly familiar
with all phases of the particular operation on which he is working.
The graining-press operator, for example, operates the machine that
produces extruded strands of powder which are later cut into the
desired length to form grain powder. His specific duties include
loading the blocks of powder into the press, applying the proper
amount of pressure to regulate the rate of extrusion, and directing
the powder strands into the proper containers. He is also responsible
for watching the quality of the powder strands, for checking the dies
for proper performance, and for close observation of the pressure
gauge. The press and the floor must be kept clean and free of scrap
powder at all times.
Another numerically important group of workers consists of the
powder-cutting operators. The function of the powder-cutting
machine is to cut the extruded strands of powder into specified lengths.
The duties of the operators consist of feeding the powder strands into
the guide holes of the machine, adjusting the speed of the feed mech­
anism to cut grains of a specific size, and transferring the cut powder
from the fiber containers, into which it falls, to carts or cars. The
actual operations of starting and stopping the machine are usually
performed by men, while women are employed mainly to feed the
strands of powder into the machines. Helpers constituted the largest
occupational group on the smokeless-powder line at the time of the
survey. These workers are distributed throughout the different oper­
ations on the powder-making line. Their duties are varied and in­
clude such work as assisting the machine operators, handling the
materials needed in the various operations, and assisting with the
cleaning of equipment.
Among the more highly skilled workers in the plant are those em­
ployed in the various crafts in the maintenance departments. The
workers requiring the least amount of skill are those classified in such
indirect jobs as janitors, coal handlers, and loaders and unloaders.




9
W O R K IN G CONDITIONS

Recruitment of a sufficient labor force in explosives plants is
hampered somewhat by the inherent hazard of the industry. Extra­
ordinary safety precautions must be observed in the construction and
maintenance of the plant. All of the new Government-owned plants
and most of the privately owned plants in operation before the war
are in isolated areas. The plants cover large tracts of ground and the
manufacturing operations are performed in widely separated build­
ings. The grounds are well fenced and are protected by armed
guards.
Careful instruction with regard to safety precautions is, of course,
an essential part of the program of training workers for employment
in explosives plants. Rigid safety rules are enforced by management
and must be observed by each worker for his own safety as well as
for that of fellow workers. The number of persons and amount of
explosive material allowed in any one building at a given time are
generally very strictly limited. Carrying matches into the produc­
tion areas is always prohibited; shoes with nails are likewise outlawed,
and the workers are generally required to wear special “ powder”
shoes on the production lines. Some housekeeping and clean-up
duties are a part of nearly all jobs. As a result of the extreme measures
taken by the companies for the protection of workers, the explosivesmanufacturing industry has maintained a remarkably low accidentfrequency record in spite of heavy production schedules.
All but 8 of the 41 establishments manufacturing blaek powder and
dynamite employed fewer than 250 workers at the time of the survey.
Three of the 8 plants with more than 250 workers were dynamite
plants that also manufactured either smokeless powder or TNT.
Excluding these 3 plants, smokeless powder and TN T were manufac­
tured in 15 additional plants. The smokeless-powder and T N T plants
were considerably larger than the dynamite and black-powder plants,
as 13 of the 15 were new Government-owned plants. The plant
employment for establishments producing these two explosives ranged
from about 700 to more than 7,000.
Women constituted about 22 percent of the labor force employed
by the 56 plants studied. The employment of women workers varied
somewhat among the different branches of the industry. Women
are not generally employed in black-powder plants; at the time of the
survey, a small number were employed in the occupations studied,
by only one plant. In dynamite-manufacturing plants, only about
7 percent of the workers for whom occupational wage data are shown
were women. These workers were employed in such light work as
that of shell rollers, shell-house helpers, dynamite loaders’ and mixers’
helpers, routine testers, and dynamite packers. Similarly, in TN T
plants, women accounted for less than 7 percent of the workers stud­
ied, and were employed only as helpers in the T N T area, as techni­
cians and testers, and as timekeepers, guards, and janitresses. The
largest number of women workers in the industry were employed in
smokeless-powder plants, where they accounted for well over a fifth of
the workers studied. By far the majority of these workers were
employed as helpers in the nitrocellulose area and on the powder­
making line, although a large number were also employed as powder­
cutting operators and as technicians. None of these occupations
involve particularly heavy work.




10
Workers in explosives-manufacturing establishments are not widely
organized into labor unions. Although 17 of the plants studied re­
ported union agreements, only about a fifth of the workers were em­
ployed by these plants. Seven of these plants had agreements with
affiliates of the American Federation of Labor, 5 had agreements
with unions affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations,
and 5 were operating under agreements with the United Mine Workers
of America.
W age-Paym ent Practices
Workers employed in the explosives-manufacturing industry are
paid almost exclusively on a straight-time basis. The smokelesspowder and TN T plants employed no workers under incentive meth­
ods of wage payment, while only about 1 percent of the workers in
dynamite and black-powder plants were paid on an incentive basis.
The few incentive workers found in the dynamite plants were nearly
all machine dynamite loaders; most of those found in the black-powder
plants were machine pellet wrappers. Seven plants reported lengthof-servico bonuses.
Multiple-shift operations were reported by 42 of the 56 plants in­
cluded in the survey. Of the total number of workers employed by
the establishments studied, about a half were working on the first
shift, slightly more than a fourth on the second, and slightly less than
a fourth on the third. The 14 plants having only one shift were all
dynamite and black-powder plants. Most of the workers (76 per­
cent) in these two branches of the industry were, therefore, employed
on the first shift, with 15 percent on the second and 9 percent on the
third. The distribution of workers by shift was more uniform in
smokeless-powder and T N T plants; 46 percent were employed on
the first shift, about 28 percent on the second, and 26 percent on the
third shift. Twenty plants reported the weekly or biweekly shift
rotation of production workers.
Twenty-six of the 42 plants reporting more than one shift in opera­
tion also reported the payment of shift differentials. These differen­
tials ranged from 2 to 5 cents an hour over the day-shift rates for the
same occupations. All plants reporting the payment of shift differ­
entials paid the same amount for the second and third shifts.
Most of the plants studied were on a 48-hour week schedule. There
was very little variation in overtime-payment policies from one plant
to another. All of the plants studied paid time and a half for work
in excess of 40 hours a week, and all but 4 of the plants also paid this
overtime rate for work after 8 hours a day. ^Vork on recognized
holidays (in most cases the 6 holidays named by Executive order) was
paid for at the rate of time and a half in 52 plants. Double time was
paid for work on the seventh consecutive day in 46 plants.
Established entrance rates for male common labor were reported
by 48 of the 56 companies. These entrance rates ranged from 50
cents an hour in one plant to 91 cents in another. Thirty-nine plants,
however, reported entrance rates for male common labor within the
narrower range of from 60 to 80 cents.
Occupational Earnings
Straight-time average hourly earnings for the selected occupations
in each branch of the explosives industry are shown, by plant depart-




11
menfc, in the table on page 14. Because of the small number of plants
and companies involved in each branch of the industry it was not
feasible to present figures by region. An analysis of the earnings
data for plants in different regions, however, indicates that there are
no consistent geographical variations in the industry.
SM OKELESS PO W D E R

The production of smokeless powder constitutes'the largest branch
of the industry in terms of numbers of workers employed. The
average hourly earnings data are for 19,118 workers, employed in 10
plants manufacturing smokeless powder, and classified into 85 selected
occupations. Straight-time average earnings of all workers covered
in these occupations amounted to 92 cents an hour. The general
average for men was 97 cents an hour and for women 72 cents. The
lower average for women results from the fact that most of them are
employed as helpers and in the lower-paid occupations.
The range in rates was from 64 cents an hour for janitresses to
$1.44 an hour for lead burners. The majority of the workers, how­
ever, were paid average earnings falling within a much more limited
range. Approximately 60 percent were classified in those occupations
having average earnings ranging from 75 cents to $1.00 an hour.
Average earnings in the interval between 75 and 80 cents an hour
accounted for fully a tenth of the workers, while somewhat more
than an eighth were in occupations having average earnings of 80 to
85 cents an hour. The greatest concentration of workers occurred
in the 19 occupations with earnings between 90 and 95 cents an hour.
Nearly a fourth of the workers were employed in these occupations.
In general, the highest earnings for any one department were paid
to maintenance workers, who accounted for 18 percent of all workers
studied. With the exception of oilers and journeymen's helpers, all
workers in the maintenance group were paid hourly rates of well over
$1.00 an hour. Working foremen in the processing departments
averaged $1.07 an hour. Operators in the processing occupations
were paid average earnings ranging from 75 cents an hour for female
powder-cutting operators to $1.08 an hour for ether-house operators.
Helpers on the powder-making line constituted the largest occupa­
tional group, with earnings of 82 cents an hour for men and 72 cents
for women. The apparent margin between the earnings of males
and those o f females within the same occupation actually reflects a
difference in duties. The male workers generally perform the heavier
work, whereas the women are assigned a number of duties throughout
the powder line which do not require the lifting of heavy objects.
Workers in four of the occupations in the acid area, acid-recovery
operators, compressor operators, nitric-acid concentrator operators,
and sulphuric-acid concentrator operators, were paid $1.00 or more an
hour. The acid area employed relatively few workers as compared
with those employed in the nitrocellulose area and powder line. Acid
helpers, the occupation in which the largest number of workers was
olassified, earned an average of 83 cents an hour.
Nitrator operators, numerically the most important occupation in
the nitrocellulose area, were paid hourly rates averaging 90 cents an
hour. The highest average earnings in this area were those of cottonpicker operators and nitrating acid mixers. Both of these small




12
groups earned an average of 99 cents an hour. Male and female
helpers had respective average earnings of 79 and 75 cents an hour.
On the powder-making line, employees in only three occupations
(activated-carbon operators, ether-house operators, and inert-gas
operators), each accounting for a small number of workers, earned
average rates of $1.00 or more an hour. Aside from helpers, female
powder-cutting operators and male mixer operators formed the largest
occupational groups. The respective earnings of these two groups
amounted to 75 and 90 cents an hour.
Of the indirect workers other than maintenance craftsmen, the
highest hourly earnings wore paid to locomotive engineers ($1.26)
and to stationary engineers in the powerhouse ($1.24). Truck drivers
and power truckers, together accounting for the majority of the
material-movement workers, averaged 82 and 85 cents an hour, re­
spectively. Loaders and unloaders averaged only 70 cents an hour.
Among the custodial occupations, firemen and male guards averaged
93 cents an hour and the small group of female guards, 71 cents.
TN T AND DNT

Earnings data for T N T and D N T are shown in the table for 10
plants, four of which were producing D N T at the time of the survey,
and cover 6,492 workers in 66 selected occupations. For this branch
of the explosives industry as a whole, the workers studied were paid,
on the average, $1.01 an hour; the hourly average for all male workers
studied amounted to $1.02, or 22 cents more than the average for
women, who were employed only in indirect jobs and as helpers in
the T N T area. It will be noted that these general averages for T N T
plants are somewhat higher than those for the smokeless-powder
plants. This difference is due partly to the fact that larger propor­
tions of the workers in smokeless-powder plants are employed as
helpers. Furthermore, workers in the TN T and D N T area are paid
higher average hourly earnings than workers in most occupations
found in either the nitrocellulose area or on the smokeless-powder line.
The average hourly earnings for individual occupations in the
T N T plants studied ranged from 61 cents for janitresses to $1.39 for
class A millwrights. Fully a half of the workers, however, were
employed in occupations having average earnings which ranged from
90 cents to $1.15 an hour. Roiighly an eighth of the workers were
in occupations with average earnings ranging from 90 to 95 cents, and
nearly a fifth in occupations averaging from $1.10 to $1.15 an hour.
The maintenance workers are paid higher average hourly earnings,
on the whole, than workers in any other single department. Oilers,
earning 91 cents an hom, and journeymen’s helpers, earning 84 cents?
an hour, were the only maintenance workers not having average
earnings of well over $1.00. Class A maintenance mechanics, com­
prising the largest group of workers in the department, earned an
average hourly rate of $ 1.34. A comparison of the earnings of workers
in those maintenance occupations found in both the smokeless-powder
and T N T branches of the industry reveals that although workers in
T N T plants are paid higher average rates in a number of occupations,
this advantage is not consistent. Moreover, the difference in the
average earnings per hour amounts to only 5 cents or less in all but 4
o f the occupations.




13
Average hourly earnings of working foremen in the processing
departments amounted to $1.14 an hour. Workers in three process­
ing occupations, bi-tri operators, D N T nitrator operators, and forti­
fier operators, earned an average of $1.11 an hour, the highest average
shown for processing operators. The lowest average for processing
operators (96 cents an hour) was earned by D N T sweat-house
operators and pumpmen in the acid area.
Workers in all but three of th<* occupations in the acid area,
helpers, pumpmen, and sellite-mix men, had average earnings in ex­
cess of $1.00 an hour. The earnings of these workers amounted to
93, 96, and 98 cents an hour, respectively. Similarly, the only
occupational groups earning an average of less than $1.00 an hour in
the TN T and D N T area were D N T sweat-house operators and helpers.
The average earnings of male helpers amounted to 86 cents an hour,
and those of female helpers to 88 cents. Female helpers were em­
ployed in only four plants.
Male guards, who constituted a numerically important group among
the custodial occupations, averaged 84 cents an hour. Earnings of
material-movement workers varied from an average of 77 cents an
hour for loaders and unloaders to $1.19 for yard conductors. The
highest-paid workers in the powerhouse were stationary engineers,
with average earnings of $1.35 an hour. Workers employed as
packers of D N T and T N T earned 93 cents an hour.
B L A C K P OW DER

Detailed earnings data were obtained for 431 workers engaged in
the production of black powder, the smallest branch of the industry in­
cluded in the studv. These workers, employed in 13 plants, were
classified into 37 selected occupations. As mentioned earlier, women
were employed in these occupations in only one plant; earnings data
for women workers are, therefore, not shown.
For the 431 male workers as a group, average earnings amounted to
$1.00 an hour. The average hourly earnings for individual occupa­
tions ranged from 76 cents for watchmen to $1.32 for class A machin­
ists. Three-tenths of the workers were concentrated in those occu>ations in which hourly earnings ranged from 90 cents to $1.00, and
our-tenths in those averaging between $1.00 and $1.15 an hour.
Among the processing occupations, wheel-mill operators, hydraulicpress operators, and pellet-press operators constituted the most im­
portant groups in terms of numbers of workers. Earnings for these
three groups averaged $1.11, $1.15, and $1.04, respectively. Working
foremen were paid an average of $1.12 an hour. Watchmen, whose
average hourly earnings amounted to 76 cents, were the only workers
paid less than an average of 80 cents an hour.

!

DYN AM ITE

Altogether, 2,880 workers, employed in 29 plants, were classified
in the 65 occupational groups selected for study in the dynamite
branch of the explosives industry. As a whole, these workers earned
an average of $1.08 an hour. The general average for all male
workers studied amounted to $1.09 an hour, while that for the 191
women workers was 89 cents an hour. Women were generally em­
ployed only as helpers or in light work.




14
S tra igh t-T im e A vera ge H o u rly E arn in gs o f W orkers in Selected O ccupations o f the
E xp losives In d u stry , J u n e 1 9 4 4

SMOKELESS-POWDER BRANCH

Occupation

Num­ Aver­
age
ber of
work­ hourly
earn­
ers
ings

15
. 415
86
207
45
3C5
18
64
28
132
32
192
302
304
365
107
60
93
335
83
32
70
21
21
90

$1.27
1.21
1.04
1.32
1.13
.91
. 75
1.25
1. 44
1.32
1.14
1.13
1.30
1.12
1.31
1.13
.91
1.11
1.33
1.15
1.15
1.30
1.08
1.26
1.27

Working foremen, processing de. 1,167
partments..........

1.07

Millwrights, class A ...............
Millwrights, class B ................
Oilers.......................................
Painters..... ............................
Pipefitters, class A ..................
Pipefitters, class B ...... ..........
Scale repairmen..................--Sheet-metal workers, class A ..
Sheet-metal workers, class B_.
Tool and die makers, class A .
Welders, hand.........................
Supervision

Processing
Acid area:
Acid-recovery operators.
Compressor operators................
Helpers, add area......................
Mixed-acid operators............... .
Nitric-acid concentrator opera­
tors... ...................................
Oleum-plant operators.......... .
Pumpmen. .............................. .
Sulphuric - acid concentrator
operators....... ........................
Waste-water operatois------------ I
Nitrocellulose area:
Beater operators............... ........
Blenders, nitrocellulose............ .
Bolling-tub operators...............
Cotton dry and weigh operators.
Cotton-picker operators........... .
Cjtton-wringer operators..........
Helpers, nitrocellulose area:
Male................................... . .
Female.................................
Nitrating acid mixers............... .
Nitrator operators............... .....
Poacher operators......................
Powder-making line:
Activated carbon operators----Air-dry operators......................
Blender operators, smokeless
powder................................... .
Block-press operators............... .




Num­ Aver­
ber of age,
work­ hourly
earn­
ers
ings

Processing—Continued

Maintenance
Blacksmiths...................................
Carpenters, class A .......................
Carpenters, class B .......................
Electricians, class A ......................
Electricians, class B ......................
Helpers, journeymen, inale.........
Helpers, journeymen, female.......
Instrument repairmen..................
Lead burners.................................
Machinists, class A .......................
Machinists, class B .......................
Mechanics, automotive................
Mechanics, maintenance, class A..

Occupation

Powder-making line—Continued.
Chemical-preparation operators.
20
41
Coating-house operators............
267
Dehyd rating-press operators—
41
Ether-house operators................
15
Ether-mix operators...................
43
Glazing operators.......................
363
Graining-press operators............
Helpers, powder-making line:
Male..................................— 1,863
Female........................... ...... 2,153
10
Inert-gas operators................ .
250
Macaroni-press operators...........
Mixer operators, smokeless721
powder....................... ............
Powder-cutting operators:
170
Male.............................. ......
952
Female.................................
239
Screen and pack operators.........
165
Solvent-recovery men................
65
Water-dry operators...................

1.03
.99
1.01
.83
.97

60
18
33

1.00
.95
.93

36
11
46
79
107
174
57
500

1.00
.82

568
530
72
681
90

.79
.75
.99
.90
.92

46
84

1.00
.91

162
288

.99
.88

.95
.89
.92
.84
.99
.93

.82
.72
1.04
.95
.90
.75
.97
.95
.91

Inspection and testing
Routine testers, laboratory.
Technicians, male................
Technicians, female........... .

31
131
315

.91
.91
.70

115

.91

Packing
Packers, smokeless powder.

26
45
29
172
58

$0.96
.97
.95
1.08
.97
.93
.94

Powerhouse
Coal handlers..................... .
Engineers, stationary..........
Firemen, stationary boiler..
Water tenders......................

.72
1.24
1.17
.94

Recording and control
Magazine keepers.
Stock clerks...........
Stock men.............
Timekeepers.........
Tool clerks............

.95
.88
.84

Material movement
Brakemen, yard............
Conductors, yard..........
Engineers, locomotive..
Loaders and unloaders..
Truck drivers................
Truckers, power______

307
244

1.05
1.17
1.26
.70
.82
.85

143
771
48
304
115

.93
.93
.71
.71
.64

Custodial
Firemen, plant protection.
Guards, male.....................
Guards, female____ ______
Janitors_________________
Janitresses................. ........

15
S tra igh t-T im e A verage H o u rly E arn in gs o f W orkers in Selected O ccupations o f the
E xp losives In d u stry , J u n e 1 9 4 4 — Continued

TN T-D N T BRANCH
Num­ Aver­
age
ber of
work­ hourly
earn­
ers
ings

Occupation

Num­ Aver­
ber of age
Wf rk- hourly
earn­
eis
ings

Occupation

Processing—Continued]

Maintenance
Blacksmiths............... ...... - ________
Carpenters, class A ..........................
Carpenters, class B
_ _
Electricians, class A ....... .................
Electricians, class B___....................
Helpers, journeymen....... ...............
Instrument repairmen....... ..............
Machinists! class B ...........................
Mechanics, maintenance, class A ,..
Mechanics, maintenance, class B ._.
Millwrights, class A .........................
Millwrights, class B .........................
Painters................................. .........
Pipefitters, class A ...........................
Pipefitters, class B ............................
pcalp repairmen
Pheet.-mctal workers, class A
Welders, hand _
_____ ___ __

6
119
21
97
19
87
33
39
41
22
92
180
34
88
31
28
44
141
82
8
18
42

$1.18
1.26
1.09
1.36
1.14
.84
1.29
1.37
1.33
1.14
1.17
1.34
1.10
1.39
1.15
.91
1.11
1.34
1.13
1.18
1.32
1.26

189

1.14

Supervision
Working foremen, processing depart­
ments.............................................
Processing
Acid area:
Acid recovery operators. _. __
Ammonia-oxidation operators.Compressor operators
Helpers, acid area......................
Mixed-acid operators.................
Nitric-acid concentrator opera­
tors
Oleum-plant operators
_____________
Pumpmen _
Sell it e-mix men ________ __
Sulphuric-acid concentrator op­
__
______ ___ __
erators
Waste-water operators________
T N T and D N T area:
Bi-tri operators-........................
DNT-nitrator operators............
Fortifier operators
. _
Grainers. T N T .
__ _______
Helpers, T N T and D N T:
M n!e
Female
_
___
M ono-n it.ra.tor operators _

173
74
32
87
50

1.07
1.C8
1.10
.93
1.08

52
25
139
39

1.06
1.04
.96
.98

62
34

1.07
1.06

400
16
161
49

1.11
1.11
1.11
1.05

331
109
211

.86
.88
1.10

TN T and D N T area—Continued.
Sweat-house operators, D N T ...
Wash-house men_____________

36
273

$0.96
1.03

25
227

.91
.79

31
23

1.03
.90

397

.93

39
10
28
33
26
13

.78
1.00
1.35
1.07
1.18
1.03

27
52
21
19
4
8

1.04
.94
.89
.97
.73
.77

68
46
76
440
211
30

1.09
1.19
1.18
.77
.92
.84

16
112
468
31
173
24

.66
.86
.84
.72
.67
.61

9
4
15
36
9

$0.93
.92
1.01
1.11
.87

5
18
5
16

.88
1.11
.84
1.06

Inspection and testing
Routine testers, laboratory:
Male_
_
^ _
Female.
______
Technicians:
Male_____
Female........................................
Packing
Packers, D N T and T N T ..

_ _

Powerhouse
Goal handlers .
__ ... _
_ _
Coal pulverizer operators_________
Engineers, stationary_____________
Firemen, stationary boiler...............
Generator-switchboard operators...
Water tenders...................................
Recording and control
Magazine keepers................... .........
Stock clerks.......................................
Stock men.........................................
Timekeepers, male_______________
Timekeepers, female.........................
Tool clerks
Material movement
Brakemen, yard_________________
Conductors, yard _
_
Engineers, locomotive......................
Loaders and unloaders____ _______
Truck drivers........................ ...........
Truckers, hand_____ _____________
Custodial
Change-house men_______ ________
Firemen, plant protection_________
Guards, male.....................................
Guards, female
Janitors_____ ____________________
.Tanitresses __
_ _

BLACK-POWDER BRANCH
Processing

Maintenance
Carpenters, class A .................... ......
Carpentei s, class B ....... ............ ......
Electricians, class A ..........................
Machinists, class A ...........................
Mechanics, maintenance, class A___
Mechanics, maintenance, class B___

13
5
3
4
5
7

$1.23
.91
1.07
1.32
1.15
.95

Supervision
Working foremen, processing de­
partments.......................................




7

1.12

Powder making:
Dry-house operators, soda.........
Mixer operators, black-powder.
Pulverizer operators...................
Wheel-mill operators...... ...........
Wheel-mill helpers................ .
Grain line:
Dry-house operators....... ......... .
Glazing operators_____ _______
Glazing helpers..........................
Graining operators.....................

16
S tra igh t-T im e A verage H o u rly E arnings o f W orkers in Selected O ccupations o f the
E xp losives In d u stry , J u n e 194 4 — Continued

BLACK-PO W DER BRANCH—Continued

Occupation

Num­ Aver­
age
ber of
work­ hourly
earn­
ers
ings

Occupation

Processin 0—Continued

Powerhouse

Grain line—Continued.
Hydraulic press operators.........
Screen and pack operators,
black-powder.........................
Screen and pack helpers, blackpowder....................................
Pellet line:
Blackstick-crimp operators.......
Dry-house operators..................
Packers, pellet............. ..............
Pellet-press operators____- ____
Pellet-press helpers............ .......
Pellet wrappers, hand...............
Pellet wrappers, machine-------Screen operators........................
Inspection and testing
Routine testers, laboratory..............

Engineers, stationary............... ........
Firemen, stationary boiler____ ____

Num­ Aver­
ber of age
work­ hourly
earn­
ers
ings

30

$1.15

16

L03
.97

Magazine keepers.............................

4
7
23
29
10
4
17
11

.90
1.04
.99
1.04
.92
1.09
.99
1.04
1.10

Guards_________________________
Watchmen........................................

6

L ll

11
17
7
4

.83
.86
.92
.90

15
17

.87
.76

14
35
46
39
8
36

$ 1.02

Material movement
Loaders and unloaders.....................
Truck drivers....................................
Truckers, hand__________________
Truckers, power.................. ............

$0.97
.91

Recording and control

8

10
21

3

Custodial

DYNAMITE BRANCH
Processing—Continued

Maintenance
Blacksmiths................................. ....
Carpenters, class A ...........................
Carpenters, class B_______________
Electricians, class A ______________
Electricians, class B ______________
Helpers, journeymen...---------------Lead burners................................ ....
Machinists, class A _______________
Machinists, class B ---------------------Mechanics, automotive....................
Mechanics, maintenance, class A . . .
Mechanics, maintenance, class B . . .
Millwrights, class A .........................
Painters___________ _____________
Pipefitters, class A _____ __________
Pipefitters, class B _______________
Scale repairmen__________________
Welders, hand_________________ —
Supervision
Working foremen, processing de­
partments......................................
Processing
Acid area:
Acid-recovery operators----------Ammonia-oxidation operators..
Helpers, acid area................... .
Mixed-acid operators.................
Nitrate of ammonia operators..
Nitric-acid concentrator oper­
ators........................................
Nitric-house operators________
Pumpmen...................................
Sulphuric-acid concentrator op­
erators......................................
Sulphuric-acid operators______
Nitroglycerin line:
Nitroglycerin helpers.................
Nitroglycerin-neutralizer oper­
ators.........................................
N itroclycerin-ni trator operators
Nitroglycerin-separator opera­
tors...........................................
Dope house:
Dope-dryer operators.................
Dfl>pe dry-house operators_____
Dope-grinder operators___ ____
Pope-house helpers___________
Q ope mixers................................




0

71
29
26

8

67
16
40
9
16
36
34
17

$1.19
1.33
1.13
1.31
1.13
.99
1.32
1.35

11

1.26
1.05
1.46
1.17
1.40
1.12
1.3
1.36

143

1.25

22
40
47
16
86

1.05
1.27
.90
1.26
1.15

24
14
6

1.28
1.26
1.07

14
19

1.15
1.23

15

.93

27
32

1.19
1.23

28

1.23

26
37
18
44
24

1.04
1.07
1.05
.88
1.15

16
3

8hell house:
Shell dippers........................... .
Shell-house operators.................
Shell-house helpers, male...........
Shell-house helpers, female____
Shell rollers, hand, male......... .
Shell rollers, hand, female.........
Powder line:
Dynamite loaders, hand....... .
Dynamite loaders, machine___
Dynamite loaders, helpers, male.
Dynamite loaders, helpers, feDynamite mixers.......................
Dynamite mixers, helpers, male.
Dynamite mixers, helpers, fe­
male.........................................

175
118

11

L08
.89
.81
.95
.79

1.00

L 18
.96

93
43

.94
L15
.98

7

XI

14
10

.80
1.13

197
74

1.02
1.00

5
58
67

.80
1.22
.96

29
3

1.06
.93

17
44
88
62
99
16

1.03
1.11
.99
.97
.96
.92

13
178
36
10
66

.99
1.01
.99
.84
.76

Inspection and testing
Routine testers, laboratory, female.
Technicians................................ ......
Packing
Packers, dynamite, male____ _____
Packers, dynamite, female________
Powerhouse
Coal handlers....................................
Engineers, stationary_____________
Firemen, stationary boiler...............
Recording and control
Magazine keepers____________ . . . .
Stock clerks............................. .
Material movement
Brakemen, yard................................
Engineers, locomotive......................
Loaders and unloaders____________
Truck drivers_______ ____________
Truckers, hand______ ___________
Truckers, power................................
Custodial
Change-house men_____________ _
Guards_____________ . . . ______ . . . .
Janitors,_ _
Janitresses_______________________
Watchmen........................................

17
As in the other three branches of the industry, the range in average
hourly earnings between the lowest- and the highest-paid occupations
was very wide, amounting in this case to 70 cents. Watchmen, the
lowest-paid occupational group, earned 76 cents an hour; class A
millwrights earned $1.46 an hour, the highest average shown for any
occupation. Nearly two-thirds of the workers studied were employed
in occupations whose earnings ranged from 95 cents to $1.20 an hour.
A fifth of the workers were employed in the 10 occupations having
earnings within the range of from 95 cents to $1.00 an hour, and
another fifth were concentrated in the 6 occupations with earnings
averaging from $1.00 to $1.05 an hour. Well over a fifth of all the
workers were classified in occupational groups with average hourly
earnings in excess of $1.20 an hour.
In the maintenance department, class A carpenters constituted the
largest occupational group, and were paid, on the average, $1.33 an
hour. Class A machinists, maintenance mechanics, and pipefitters
had respective average earnings of $1.35, $1.26, and $1.40 an hour.
Journeymen’s helpers earned an average of 99 cents an hour.
In general, the highest earnings among the processing departments
were paid to workers in the acid area and the nitroglycerin line. With
the exception of helpers, acid-recovery operators received the lowest
average rate ($1.05 an hour). Nitrate of ammonia operators, the
largest occupational group in the acid area, averaged $1.15 an hour.
Dope dry-house operates and shell-house operators had respective
averages of $1.07 and $1.08 an hour. Machine dynamite loaders,
accounting for the largest number of workers in the processing depart­
ments, earned $1.18 an hour. Working foremen averaged $1.25.
The occupation of dynamite packer included both men and women,
and accounted for a large number of workers. The average for men
amounted to $1.02, and that for women to $1.00, an hour.
The average hourly earnings for material-movement employees
ranged from 92 cents for power truckers to $1.11 for locomotive
engineers. Among the custodial jobs, the guards, who earned an
hourly average of $1.01, formed the largest group of workers. Janitors
averaged 99 cents and watchmen 76 cents an hour.




V. S.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1 9 4 *


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102