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57th C o n g r e s s , [H O U SE O F REPRESEN TATIVES. fD oc. No. 377,
1st Session. j
1
Part 4.

BULLETIN

OF THE

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.




NO. 41—JULY, 1902.
ISSUED EVERY OTHER MONTH.

WASHINGTON:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

1902.




EDITOR,

CARRO LL D . W R IG H T,
COMMISSIONER.

ASSOCIATE EDITORS,

G. W . W. H AN GER,
CHAS. H . V E R R IL L , G. A . W EB ER.

CONTENTS.
Page.

Labor conditions in Cuba, by V ictor S. Clark, Ph. D ......................................... 663-793
Beef prices, by Fred C. Croxton, of the Department of L abor.......................... 794-806
The True Reform ers, by W illiam Taylor Thom , Ph. D ....................................... 807-814
Digest o f recent reports of State bureaus of labor statistics:
C onnecticut............................................................................................................. 815-817
Illin o is ...............................................................................
818-821
Io w a ....................................................................................................................... 821-825
M ain e..................................................................................................................... 825-827
M issouri......................................................................................................
827,828
M ontana.................................................................................................................
829
Digest of recent foreign statistical publications..................................................... 830-835
Decisions of courts affecting labor............................................................................ 836-864
Laws of various States relating to labor enacted since January 1, 1896 .......... 865-880




HI




B U LLETIN
OF THE

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
No. 41.

W ASH IN G TO N .

Ju ly,

1902.

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.
B Y V IC T O R S. C L A R K , P H . D .

INTRODUCTION.
Cuba has an area o f about 44,000 square miles, o f which only 3 per
cent, or 1,320 square miles, was under cultivation in 1899. Though
this amount has since been increased, the new plowings are not
more than one-third the previous total, so that at a conservative esti­
mate not more than 4 acres out o f every 100 are tilled in Cuba at
the present day. In 1899 nearly one-half o f the cultivated land was
in cane. According to testimony before the W ays and Means Com­
mittee in January, 1902, there are about 500 square miles o f cane
land productive this year. This is the actual crop acreage, without
allowing for lands occupied by buildings, roads, and fire lanes, all o f
which are probably included in the census statistics. Adding 50 per
cent to the productive cane area to make up for this margin and fo r
land planted but not producing, for the estimate o f acreage in the
testimony mentioned is based upon the sugar crop of the island for
the present campaign, the nominal cane area is about 750 square miles.
Assuming this to be 47.3 per cent o f the total cultivated land o f Cuba,
the same proportion as in 1899, slightly over 1,500 square miles, or
less than 3£ per cent o f the entire area o f the island, is used directly
fo r agricultural purposes. There is no evidence to show that the
extension o f cane culture has not kept pace with the extension o f other
crops since 1899. Four per cent o f the area is therefore an over
rather than an under estimate o f the amount o f cultivated land in Cuba
in 1902.
Y et agriculture is the principal industry o f the island, and a larger
proportion o f the surface is suitable for cultivation than in almost any
American State. W ith extensive tracts o f fertile and unused lands



663

664

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

and profitable crops, the capital and labor o f Cuba have been best
employed and compensated in tilling her fields. Only those manufac­
tures depending directly upon her two great agricultural products,
sugar and tobacco, have been developed sufficiently to supply more
than local demands. In 1899 there were 207 sugar mills and 218
tobacco factories in Cuba producing fo r export. Mining is largely
confined to Santiago de Cuba, the most eastern province of the island,
where 6 iron and 6 manganese mines are worked, and where fo r­
merly copper was produced. Some asphalt is also being obtained in
Habana province from a mine which has been opened since the Am eri­
can occupation. There are a few tracts o f forest of considerable
extent, especially in the swamps along the southern coast. The most
valuable timbers are mahogany, which is exported in the hewn log,
and cedar, which is both exported and used for domestic construction
and the manufacture o f cigar boxes. There are some 14 sawmills
in the island sawing native timber and imported pines. The forest
resources o f Cuba, however, are not considerable enough to afford
a permanent source o f employment for a large element of her popu­
lation. Grazing has always been an important industry. Historic­
ally it antedates crop raising o f any kind; but where railways or
other means o f communication have been developed it has become
subordinate to sugar and tobacco planting. It still remains predomi­
nant in the eastern provinces, especially in Puerto Principe and the
eastern zone o f Santa Clara. This industry suffered more than any
other at the time o f the last insurrection, fo r the cattle were driven
off by insurgents and Spaniards alike to prevent their being used as a
food supply by their opponents. In 1899 there were but 850,000
head o f live stock o f all kinds in Cuba, but cattle have been imported
to the value o f $9,000,000 a year since then and the ranges are rapidly
being restocked. There are 13 hide-curing establishments and 42
tanneries in Cuba, but from lack o f skill, the use o f inferior materials,
and perhaps for climatic reasons, only coarser grades o f leather are
successfully produced. The food fisheries, both coast and deep sea,
merely supply the local market. The sponge fisheries are more
important, their annual product being valued at $400,000; but they
have declined through disregard o f the closed season and other meas­
ures intended to maintain the supply. The military government has
recently enforced regulations intended to reestablish this industry.
Cuba has no merchant marine, except some 25 coasting steamers
and larger schooners employed entirely in local traffic. The combined
mileage o f her public railways, including the main line o f the Cuban
Central, which is practically completed, is about 1,600 miles. There
are in addition about 900 miles o f narrow-gauge plantation and mining
railroads which are not open to general traffic. Tw o electric lines are
in operation in the island.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

665

What manufacturing exists fo r the purpose o f supplying local mar­
kets is largely centered at Habana, partly because that city is the
principal distributing point as well as the principal consuming market
o f Cuba, and partly because it is where labor is most congested and
where the largest number o f Spaniards, many o f whom are skilled
workmen, is to be found. Not only does nearly one-sixth o f the entire
population o f Cuba reside in Habana, but the purchasing power o f that
one-sixth is probably fully one-third the purchasing power o f the
island. The local manufactures include 67 rum distilleries and liqueur
factories, 33 soda-water factories, 4 breweries, 10 foundries, 27 cigar
box and box factories, 9 cooper shops, 8 trunk factories, 1 cement and
4 tile factories, 10 match factories, 4 gas works, 4 electric-light works,
1 printing-ink factory, 1 oil refinery, 12 sugar refineries, 1 paper mill,
7 flour mills, 27 chocolate factories, 8 candle and soap factories, 18
canneries, 11 ice factories, 2 rope and cordage factories, 2 shoe facto­
ries, 10 lithographers5works, besides a number o f minor industries and
small establishments not using power machinery.
Cuba is therefore entirely dependent upon the products of her fields
for her economic prosperity. She does not carry and exchange mer­
chandise fo r other countries, nor does she manufacture except to sup­
ply certain special and local demands or to place her crops most easily
and economically upon the market. These conditions determine the
character o f her industrial life. Her highly skilled workmen have
mostly come from beyond the seas. The labor question has not
assumed a social aspect. It has simply been a problem of supply and
demand o f field hands. There is little special skill, little organization,
little class spirit among her working people. A tinge o f paternalism,
prolonged in Cuba by the late continuance o f slavery and the Spanish
tendency to organize commercial enterprises upon a domestic basis,
pervades the relations o f employer and employee. Even in urban
centers the industrial characteristics o f an agricultural community
prevail.
H ISTO RY.
LABOR SUPPLY.

W hile the labor question has not the same social importance in
Cuba that it has in countries where industry is more highly developed,
it has played a weighty part in the history o f the island. The political
problem Spain failed to solve in Cuba was intimately connected with
an economic problem, and this in turn depended upon social and
industrial conditions closely connected with the labor question.
Emancipation was a motive in the ten-years5 war, and exiled labor,
disciplined by association with organized labor in the States, financed
the second insurrection. The first aspect o f this question presented
in Cuba, however, was one o f labor supply.



666

BULLETIF OP THE DEPARTMENT OP LABOR.

It is not necessary to go back to the time when the Indian popula­
tion was exterminated by forced labor in the mines and on the early
plantations. So long as Spain retained her South American possessions
Cuba was comparatively neglected, and stock raising was a principal
industry. Even so late as 1857 special decrees were issued by the
governor o f the island to prohibit horse breeders and cattlemen from
enforcing a sort o f prescriptive right to trespass for pasturage upon
the private holdings o f cultivators. Under such conditions the ques­
tion o f labor supply was not so pressing as it became when agriculture
superseded grazing. Although Negroes were imported early, the
white population was in the majority until 1774, two and a half cen­
turies after the first settlement o f the island. A t the same date about
one-fourth o f the inhabitants were slaves. W ith the freer trade rela­
tions which Spain from time to time granted Cuba early in the last
century, the possibility o f profitable agriculture increased. This
occasioned a new demand fo r field laborers, which was largely supplied
by the slave trade. B y a treaty with England Spain agreed to abolish
this traffic in 1820, and as this was not effective a subsequent treaty to
the same end was signed by the same Governments in 1835. However,
though the Madrid authorities seem to have made sincere efforts from
this date on to prohibit the importation o f slaves and gradually to
abolish slavery in Cuba, the keen demand for laborers and the corrupt
provincial administration rendered a large contraband traffic possible.
It is estimated that between 900,000 and 1,000,000 slaves were imported
into Cuba during the hundred years ending with 1880, the date when
slavery was finally abolished. The Negroes o f Cuba exceeded the
whites in number from 1817 until 1841, when the effect o f the aboli­
tion o f the slave trade became apparent in a gradual reduction of the
ratio o f the black to the white and mulatto population. There was an
absolute increase in the number o f Negroes in the island until 1861,
when they numbered 603,046 out o f a total population o f 1,396,530.
They numbered 505,433, and constituted slightty more than 32 per
cent o f the whole population o f Cuba in 1899, according to the census
made by the W ar Department.
The decrease in the number of Cubans o f pure Negro blood is due
principally to two causes. The proportion o f males to females among
the slaves imported was as two to one. The lack o f a strong race
prejudice, such as exists in the United States, and the presence of a
numerous body o f alien soldiers fo r a long period has favored a mixture
o f blood. W hile Cuba was being occupied by a large military force,
the Spanish private was not received upon terms o f social equality by the
families o f the native whites. As a natural consequence he associated
mostly with mulattoes and Negroes during his sojourn in the island.
The free Negro received practically the same political and social con­
sideration as the white Cuban from the Spanish Government. Slave
and master and black and white fought side by side in the wars for




667

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

independence. A ll these causes have favored the gradual fusion of
the two races.
A fter the year 1847 there existed for a time a system o f contract or
bound labor, which supplemented the decreasing slave labor of Cuba.
The first coolies imported under this law were Chinese. The con­
tractor was bound b}^ treaty to pay fo r the term o f the contract,
which was eight years, from 20 to 30 cents (a) a day wages, besides a
stipulated ration, clothing, lodging, and medical attendance. In 1854
a royal decree was issued regulating the importation o f contract labor
from Spain, China, and Yucatan. Laborers from this last source
proved very satisfactory, but the Mexican Government interfered to
prevent their movement to Cuba. There were many abuses under
this system, which was so administered as to amount to practical
slavery, especially in case o f the Chinese, who continued to constitute
a large majority o f the laborers imported under these regulations.
These importations ceased in 1873. The total number o f bound
laborers who entered Cuba during the twenty-six years this institution
continued was probably less than 150,000.
Besides the coolies, contraband slaves confiscated from captured
slave vessels were temporarily leased by the authorities to private par­
ties until fully freed, in order that they might not become a public
charge. These numbered but 2,101 in 1850, and at no time constituted
an appreciable fraction o f the laboring population.
The process o f emancipation in Cuba was gradual, so that masters
retained a partial control over their freedmen for a period after libera­
tion. By the decree o f May 8, 1880, slaves were to remain under
the patronage o f their former masters for five years. During this
time they were to render their usual services, receiving in return
board, clothing, medical attendance, and a wage o f from $1 to $3
a month, according to age and ability. They might redeem this
time by arrangement with their masters. The latter forfeited rights
o f patronage by neglecting to care for their slaves. A fter five
years one-third o f the slave population was to be freed by lot annu­
ally. However, within four years after the date o f this decree, or
one year before emancipation by lot began, 40 per cent of the slaves
o f the island had been fully emancipated. The statistics are as follows:
NUMBER OF SLAVES EMANCIPATED IN CUBA FROM 1880 TO 1884.
Slaves emancipated in—
How emancipated.

Mutual agreement.......................................................................
Ceding patronage.........................................................................
Purchase of services..... . ..........................................................
Neglect of patron.........................................................................
Other causes................................................................................
Total.....................................................................................

1880-81.
(b)
lb)
(b)
(b)

(6)
6,366

1881-82.

1882-83.

1883-84.

3,476
3,229
2,001
406
1,137

6,954
3,714
3,341
1,596
1,813

9,453
3,925
3,452
1,764
7,923

10,249

17,418

26,517

a The value of money fl actuated so much during earlier years that no attempt has been made to
give the equivalent in American currency.
6 Not reported.




668

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

The total number emancipated to June 30, 1884, was 60,550, and
the number under patronage November 8, 1883, was 99,566.
Therefore, until less than twenty years ago the labor of Cuba was
broadly divided into three classes— slave, contract, and free.
A brief calculation has been made to show the interchange o f labor
among these three classes. In 1899 about 40 per cent o f the popula­
tion o f Cuba was engaged in gainful occupations. Though this is a
somewhat larger proportion than in the United States, it is probably
smaller than when slavery and other forms o f forced labor existed.
According to the census o f 1861, there were 690,577 persons in Cuba
engaged in gainful pursuits out o f a total population of 1,396,530.
This would make the proportion o f workers 47 per cent, excluding
soldiers and government officials. W e may assume this as the average
o f the employed population o f a partially developed tropical agricul­
tural colony like Cuba during the existence o f slavery.
Under the regulations governing the leasing o f confiscated contra­
band slaves to private parties, a money compensation was paid for
boys and girls over 8 years o f age, besides maintenance. W e may,
therefore, assume that slaves above this age were customarily
employed, however slight their contribution to the industrial capacity
o f the people. There were doubtless some superannuated slaves. But
the small proportion o f women imported rendered the number of
births among the slave population below the normal, and most
imported slaves were in the prime o f life. These two factors, reduc­
ing the percentage o f those below working age, more than compensate
for those too old fo r labor in estimating the employed slave popula­
tion. Seventy-seven per cent o f the inhabitants o f Cuba in 1899 were
over 8 years o f age. W e may reasonably assume, therefore, that 80
per cent o f the slave population o f Cuba were engaged in active labor.
Chinese coolies imported under contract are to be reckoned as prac­
tically all employed in the fields and in domestic service.
W here slavery exists it is evident that the proportion o f the free
population engaged in gainful occupations will be less than the propor­
tion o f the total population so engaged where all labor is voluntary;
fo r the leisure class, which remains approximately the same in both
instances, will constitute a considerably larger fraction o f a free popu­
lation where 30 per cent o f the people are slaves or bound servants
than o f a total population where all have equal civil status. The num­
ber o f free persons in the follow ing table is determined by subtract­
ing the whole number o f coolies in Cuba at the date given, plus 80
per cent o f the slave population, from 47 per cent o f the total popula­
tion, which is the assumed proportion o f employed people in the
island in slavery times.




669

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FREE, CONTRACT, AND SLAVE PERSONS EMPLOYED IN CUBA,
1841, 1861, AND 1877.
1841.
Class of labor.

F re e ............................................................
Contract.....................................................
S la v e ..........................................................

1861.

1877.

Number
Number
Number
em­
Per cent.
em­
Per cent.
em­
Per cent.
ployed.
ployed.
ployed.
105,000

22.2

869,000

77.8

816,000
35,000
301,000

48.5
5.4
46.1

511.000
44,000
160.000

71.5
6.1
22.4

W hile these figures are only approximate, they are sufficiently accu­
rate to show in a broad way the movement of labor in Cuba from
compulsory to voluntary service. The relative proportions o f free
and slave labor were about reversed in thirty-six years. W hen the
next census was taken, in 1887, all labor was classified as free.
There were evidently many free field hands, who were probably in
some instances native whites, employed during the latter part o f the
eighteenth century; for in the first annual report o f the Economic
Society, in the year 1793, we find mention o f the fact that the section
o f agriculture o f that organization was considering means o f prevent­
ing or arbitrating the many disputes arising between plantation owners
and managers and their agricultural laborers. A t that time grazing
was an important industry in all parts o f the island, and most o f the
herders have always been whites. Comparatively few Negroes are
found in the grazing sections o f the island at the present day.
There is reason to believe that the proportion o f the labor o f Cuba
performed by white people decreased rapidly during the early part o f
the nineteenth century. The importation o f slaves when the sugar
crop became profitable drove most o f the whites out o f field service for
a time, and also from other manual occupations. During the early
decades o f that century vagrancy greatly increased in Cuba and became
a problem requiring the serious consideration o f public authorities. In
a memorial upon this subject, presented to the Economic Society in
1839, the complaint is made that agriculture has fallen into the hands
o f slaves and that the Negroes have monopolized many o f the mechanic
trades, so that most manual occupations have become dishonorable and
whites will no longer engage in them. A reverse o f this process took
place fifty years later, during the movement from slave to free labor.
Vagrancy is no longer a serious problem in Cuba.
During the nineteenth century the free labor o f Cuba was supplied
from two main sources— emancipated slaves and their descendants and
European immigration.
The European element has come almost
entirely from Spain and her dependencies. Early in the century a
few German capitalists began to invest in Cuban plantations. Some
established themselves in coffee culture in Pinar del Rio. Occasional
French settlers were to be found in the principal coast towns. Eng­
lish capitalists were interested in the copper mines near Santiago, and



670

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

a few English, Scotch, and American plantation owners were scattered
throughout the island. During the early railway development a small
number o f American and European mechanics found their way into
Cuba. But none o f these influences occasioned an extensive immigra­
tion o f working people from those nations. Except in some special
instances, such as the construction o f the Habana street railways in
the seventies, Spaniards have been the only white laborers immigrat­
ing into Cuba. They are the only laborers who have remained in the
island permanently.
The importance o f the Spanish immigrants in the labor market has
been much greater than their numbers would seem to justify. The
white Cuban o f the poorer class and the free Negro are usually peasant
proprietors. Therefore they do not possess the same mobility as the
Spaniard, are only available as laborers in the vicinity o f their homes,
and have not the same incentive to work for wages as the man who
has come from a distant land to make his fortune, and who has no
palm hut to shelter him and no banana patch to stay his hunger at a
pinch.
In an agricultural community, where only unskilled labor is employed
and industries have been shaped to conform to the local supply, a slight
excess o f working people sometimes occasions a very great depression
o f wages. In 1841 the arrival o f 200 Catalan immigrants at Puerto
Principe lowered the price o f labor so that many accepted work at $6
and $7 a month. This was about one-fourth the prevailing wage in
Cuba at that date. These conditions have tended to concentrate Spanish
labor in the vicinity o f the larger cities and along the railways in the
western provinces, where it is easier to adjust the supply o f workmen
to the market demand.
Corresponding to the movement from slave to free labor, there was
an increase in the proportion o f white to black labor employed on the
plantations o f Cuba during the middle and latter part o f the last century.
A s early as 1845 a Cuban writer reports that nothing is more common
than to see white men employed in the fields, exposing themselves to
the fu ll effects o f the climate. In 1844 the pay roll o f a mining com­
pany at Santiago shows, out o f 2,389 employees, 169 English and 133
Spanish and native white workmen. From 1840, at least, white labor
was chiefly employed in the Vedado quarries, the principal source of
lime and building stone fo r Habana, and in 1880 it is known that 12
o f these were Galicians. According to official statistics there were in
1861 thirteen sugar plantations in the municipal district o f Holguin
worked entirely by white labor. In 1885 it was estimated that 45,000
white field hands were employed in Cuba during the crop season. It
was noticed at this time that whites were supplanting Negroes as coach­
men, carters, and domestic servants. W hite labor had always pre­
dominated in the tobacco districts, where during the crop gathering



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

671

wages often range as high as they do on the harvest fields o f the
northwestern part o f the United States.
The small landholders or peasant proprietors o f Cuba date from the
early history o f the island, though they possessed their holdings on
rather precarious tenure until the beginning o f the last century. For
three hundred years the people o f Cuba were land poor, and little
attention was given to the matter o f titles and the demarcation o f
boundaries. During the first colonization o f the island the land around
the settlements was divided among the colonists or remained common
property. Until 1729 the cahildo, or city council, o f each coast town
issued grants o f unoccupied territory in their hinterland. The peti­
tioners usually asked fo r tracts measured by a radius from some cen­
tral point. Many o f these were several leagues in diameter. When
title was granted it was subject to conflicting possession or prior title
under some previous grant. W here interstices existed between these
circular tracts— and many such remained after authority to make
grants was taken from the cabildos—the unappropriated land was the
K ing’s property until disposed o f by sale or grant by crown officers.
M oreover, large estates frequently remained undivided for several
generations, until title was vested in a large number of heirs, who cul­
tivated small tracts o f land selected at will from the estate and shared
the pasturage rights of the remainder. There are many o f these undi­
vided estates in Cuba at the present time, practically in chancery so far
as ability to transfer them is concerned, and undeveloped because
o f the difficulty o f clearing title. When the subdivision o f these
common estates became so minute that it was difficult to estimate
each man’s share in fractions, ordinances were passed fo r the
appraising o f the property, so that shares could be valued in pesos
(dollars), and it was required that an heir should have an interest
o f at least $125 in an estate to acquire the right o f building on it, and
that all house sites should be at the center o f the property. These 125
pesos thus became known as 6 pesos o f possession,” because they gave
6
a right to occupancy.
Under such loose methods o f acquiring title and delimiting the
boundaries o f landed property many disputes naturally arose and there
was much going to the court by the proprietors; but suits were
expensive and protracted, and under the civil law a claimant in pos­
session had a great advantage. The cost o f dispossessing a squatter
where land was cheap and a suit might reveal a questionable title on
the part o f the plaintiff prevented proceedings in many instances
where there was just cause, and the litigation among large proprietors
prevented their giving attention to petty offenders. So there came to
be small holdings by squatters and by remote heirs in common estates.
To these must be added the holdings o f emancipated slaves, who were
frequently given a hut, yard, and garden plot by their former masters.



672

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

The census enumerators in 1899 found many unauthorized occupiers
holding parcels o f uncertain extent. In these ways the peasant class,
so numerous in Cuba at the present day, was created. It has comprised
whites, mulattoes, and blacks from the earliest times. In 1761 there
were mulatto and Negro militia companies raised in the jurisdiction o f
Sancti Spiritus to oppose an anticipated English invasion. In 1853
there were some municipalities in Cuba where a majority o f the small
proprietors and renters wore o f the black race. But as a rule whites
constitute from 60 to 90 per cent o f the population o f this class, the
proportion varying widely in different parts o f the island.
Until toward the middle o f the nineteenth century simple customs
and an exceedingly primitive manner o f living prevailed among the
rural population o f Cuba without much distinction of wealth and
rank. In this regard there has been little change to the present day
in the central and eastern provinces. There were no great differences
o f culture or social status separating the large landowner from the
poorer white laborer. In the narrative o f a trip through the province
o f Pinar del Rio, in 1839, a Cuban writer gives the history o f a peasant
family with whom he took refuge during a storm, as recounted by the
old countryman himself. This man’s hut was no better or worse than
that o f the average farm laborer in Cuba to-day, and it was furnished
with the same simple utensils and homemade furniture. The owner’s
father had been a laborer in the tobacco fields, but the son, chancing
to fall into the employ o f a stockman who was driving a herd to
Habana fo r market, remained in the service o f his new master as a
cowboy, and a little later married his daughter, received a portion of
the land and stock, and thus in turn became a proprietor. The same
writer relates another conversation, held with a countryman of the
same class— an old man who tilled, with the help o f his two sons, a small
tract o f land which he held in constant fear o f being ejected on account
o f contested title. The sons did not, like the other boys o f the vicin­
ity, hire out as field hands, but with their assistance the father was
able to turn an extra penny or so making rude country plows for his
neighbors.
A t this period the poor white countryman had three possible careers
before him. H e might become a herdsman, a tobacco hand, or a small
renter or squatter. The herdsman seldom accumulated other property
than a horse and mountings, an expensive machete, and perhaps a
game cock. Tobacco hands were more prosperous and thrifty, and
probably handled more money than either herdsmen or squatters.
The renter or squatter, having no marketable crop, simply lived off
the land that he tilled, consuming its products and confining his wants
to what it was able to supply. W ith the development o f sugar plant­
ing an opening was afforded fo r the most intelligent and enterprising
country people to become managers, foremen, and sugarhouse hands.



673

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA,

During the eighteenth century there was a limited field for skilled
labor in Cuba, confined to the building trades and to the manufacture o f
shoes and garments and o f the simple furniture and agricultural imple­
ments o f the time. Methods o f construction were exceedingly crude.
Even in the larger towns the church was often the only masonry build­
ing, and private dwellings were built o f thatch and palm bark. The
rebuilding o f the towns in brick and mortar, outside o f Habana and
one or two port cities, was the work o f a single generation.
In 1774 the trades are reported to have been largely in the hands o f
mulattoes and free Negroes. Tailors, shoemakers, and blacksmiths
possessed ordinary skill, such as would be expected in a farming
country, but the cabinetmakers turned out unusually fine work, equal
to the best o f England and France. This is a reputation the latter
maintain to the present day, and there are occasional fine old pieces o f
Cuban-made furniture remaining in the provincial towns that confirm
the tradition o f their earlier skill. While tailors were mostly of
Negro blood, most o f the sewing women, even at this date, were
whites. Orchestras were composed o f both white and black musi­
cians, who served together in this profession without distinction o f
race.
W hen labor o f that kind was abundant, slaves were employed in
constructing the massive buildings o f brick or rubble masonry erected
some fifty years ago in the Cuban cities. They also built the long
stone walls, extending sometimes for many miles across the country,
that mark the limits o f the old estates. But master masons were men
o f skill and consideration, and the demand for their services was so
great at times that municipal authorities felt constrained to limit their
compensation by special ordinances.
Even while slavery remained at its height, however, white workmen
began to crowd the Negroes out o f many occupations requiring spe­
cial skill, especially in those parts o f the island receiving a large share
o f the Spanish immigration. The follow ing table shows the relative
number o f free laborers o f the two races in various occupations in
the municipality o f Pinar del Rio in the year 1853:
WHITE AND BLACK FREE LABORERS IN VARIOUS OCCUPATIONS IN PINAR DEL RIO, 1853.
Male.
Occupations.
White.
Bakers...........................................................................................
Carpenters.....................................................................................
Carters...........................................................................................
Cigar m akers................................................................................
Cooks.............................................................................................
Herders.........................................................................................
Laborers........................................................................................
Masons...........................................................................................
Sewing w o m e n ............................................................................
Shoemakers...................................................................................
Peasants........................................................................................
Tailors...........................................................................................
Washerwomen..............................................................................




Female.

Black.

13
31
20
46

i7
6
13

26
54
6

5
52
12

13
1,676
11

9
559
14

White.

Black.

4

47

22

21

72

674

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
LABOR UNIONS.

The earliest organizations o f workingmen in Cuba were suggested
by higher authority, with the object o f perfecting and protecting the
mechanic trades, in accordance with the policy and methods o f the
mediaeval guilds. In 1793 the Economic Society, which was the body
having supervision o f matters o f this sort, resolved to propose a simple
plan for form ing in Habana gremios (guilds) o f the mechanic trades,
with due regard to distinctions o f race and civil status, similar so far
as possible to those already existing in Barcelona and other Spanish
cities. Either this or some subsequent attempt to attain the same
object was more or less successful, for such organizations existed in
Habana, and have had an influence upon the later grouping o f labor
along trade-union lines.
These gremios consisted o f both employers and employees and of
members o f both races. They never acquired much property or became
established on so secure and permanent a basis as the Spanish guilds.
They were Spanish rather than Cuban in conception and character, and
their main functions, aside from regulating trade skill and requirements,
have been assumed by the various clubs and semibenevolent organi­
zations o f Habana to be mentioned later.
The trade-union movement in Cuba began about 1878, at the close of
the ten years5 war, and was indirectly a result o f that conflict. D u r­
ing the insurrection many Cuban cigar makers emigrated to the United
States, where new factories were opened and tobacco manufacture
received a great impetus.
Many o f these operatives eventually
returned to Cuba, bringing back trade-union ideas acquired in their
new home. These extended first among the tobacco trades, which
have always been the best organized o f Cuba, but were rapidty adopted
by the working people in other occupations. Many radical theories
were promulgated at first and unwise policies were adopted. The
early organizations were therefore short lived, but the movement had
come to stay
The earliest xabor periodical in Cuba was La Razon (Reason), founded
in July, 1876, and published weekly until 1884. This paper did not
represent any special labor organization or movement, but its title
stated that it was “ dedicated to workingmen.5 There was nothing in
5
the least radical or revolutionary about its utterances, and its columns
contain only casual references to meetings o f unions, strikes, or other
matters relating directly to organized labor. Most o f the articles
were rather academic, but contained much sensible advice to the work­
ing people. The policy o f the paper seems to have been to conduct
an educational campaign fo r the elevation o f labor as a class, depre­
cating strikes and other conflicts between labor and capital, and con­
fining its efforts to the advocacy o f positive measures, such as the exten­



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

675

sion o f the common schools and the formation o f cooperative societies.
One gathers the impression from scanning its files that La Eazon
preached the ideals o f a group o f men who were in education and cul­
ture considerably superior to the average workingman. The labor
papers published in Cuba at present, while much more closely in touch
with practical labor interests, are far below their predecessor in breadth
o f view and general literary excellence.
The follow ing scattered data as to the early history o f trade unions
in Cuba have been gathered mostly from the columns o f this paper.
This source o f information has been supplemented from oral state­
ments by the present leaders in the principal Cuban labor organiza­
tions. The material gathered is simply sufficient to indicate the fact
that there was considerable activity in the labor circles of the island
during the fifteen years preceding the last insurrection.
The cigar makers were already organized in Habana in 1876, for
they were at that time fighting a reduction of wages to $30 paper
($12.30 American currency) a thousand fo r certain grades o f cigars.
The same year there was a complaint as to high rents in Habana, and
La Razon printed an account o f the ejecting o f a workingman in one
o f the wharf districts from his home because he was unable to pay
the $15 paper ($6.15 American) monthly rent demanded by his land­
lord for the single room occupied by himself and his eight children.
There was reported to be great destitution in the suburbs o f Habana
that year.
In 1877 the typographers were organized. “ No work and great
suffering among the laboring people ” was still the cry. During the
three succeeding years there was constant complaint that the poorer
class suffered at every turn on account o f the fluctuating currency,
both in wages and in the price paid for commodities. In 1880 many
working people were reported to be emigrating to the United States.
During that year, however, there seems to have been an improvement
in the condition o f labor. Several cooperative societies were formed.
These included a shoe and leather store, which was conducted success­
fully for several years, and a large hotel or boarding house, which is
still in existence in Habana. A cooperative cigar factory with a cap­
ital o f $250,000, to be raised in six months by a weekly contribution
o f 50 cents from 10,000 workingmen, was planned, but for some rea­
son this project was never realized. A smaller factory o f this sort
was opened and worked for a time at Guanabacoa. Some o f the labor
organizations formed at this time were more particularly social and
benefit societies. The Recreo de Artisanos, founded in 1877, and a
sister society o f the same name in the suburb o f Jesus del Monte, were
prospering. They were conducted partly as clubs, giving entertain­
ments and affording centers for social intercourse. Schools were also
maintained under their auspices.
8563—No. 41— 02------2



676

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

In 1882 there was a tailors’ strike in Habana. Business was pros­
pering and prices and wages were high. The strike was to resist an
attempt to cut down wages, and was partly successful. Employers
tried to get workmen from New Y ork, and did secure some seventeen
nonunion hands, but the New Y ork unions cooperated with the
Habana union to prevent skilled workmen from emigrating to Cuba.
In 1883 the typographical union made a demand for higher wages,
but does not seem to have succeeded in enforcing it. The union tariff
o f the cigar and cigarette makers appears to have been maintained,
though a strike o f the latter operatives in some factories failed because
not supported by the Chinese employees. A t that time the cigar
makers’ union o f Habana numbered 4,000 members. In May of the
same year the coachmen and omnibus drivers formed a union, and later
there was a carters’ strike that tied up local commerce for several
days. This crisis was attended by considerable disorder, and the troops
were called out. The bakers struck for higher wages, and a number
who signed a petition fo r increased pay were imprisoned by the G ov­
ernment. A fund o f over $800 was raised for their support by the
other unions, fifteen employers were persuaded to sign the new tariff,
and a cooperative bakery was opened, apparently by discharged
employees. A t the same time the carpenters form ed a union.
During this period trade-union ideas are said to have become dis­
seminated among the rural population, which was becoming restless.
The recently freed Negroes began to flock into the cities, where many
o f them lived in dependence and idleness.
The constant labor agitation and rapid formation o f new unions in
1883 was partly occasioned by a monetary crisis. W ages were being
paid in a depreciated paper currency to the constant disadvantage of
the working people. A t last the situation became so bad that a con­
certed effort was made by all the labor organizations o f Habana to
remedy the evil. The second day o f December the federated unions
held a mass meeting at Albisu Theater, strengthened their organiza­
tion, and resolved to demand that their wages be paid in gold. But
labor has never been strong enough in Cuba to enforce such a demand
as this, and the movement seems not to have got beyond the resolu­
tion stage.
Early attempts were made to combine the different unions into a
central organization. There was a Centro de Artisanos, which was a
social club admitting all classes o f workingmen, in existence some
years before 1883. In the autumn o f that year a central committee—
how appointed is not known— issued a prospectus o f a plan to fed­
erate all labor o f Cuba, leaving each trade complete autonomy. P rob­
ably the machinery o f the proposed organization was to be copied
from similar bodies in the United States. The program calls for the
abolition o f all fixed salaries, so far as possible, and fo r payment o f



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

677

xaoor upon a piecework system according to schedules to be determined
by contract with the unions. This clause sufficiently indicates the
predominance o f tobacco workers in the proposed federation. The
traditions o f this committee were taken up by several general organi­
zations, known as Circulo de Trabajadores, Sociedad General de Trabajadores, etc., which succeeded each other in rapid succession during
the early eighties. La Razon was followed by El Obrero, El Trabajo,
El Productor, and other short-lived periodicals. The pioneer work
done by these organizations and publications is said to have resulted
finally in the formation o f a federation o f the principal unions o f
western Cuba under a Junta Central de Trabajadores (Central W ork ­
ingmen’s Committee), which is reported to have been a body o f con­
siderable authority and influence. During its existence labor was bet­
ter organized and more powerful than at any previous or subsequent
period. This Junta Central was dissolved by order o f the governor
about the year 1888. It was followed by a less important federation,
known as the Congreso Regional de Obreros Cubanos, which continued
in existence until the close o f the Spanish-American war. This has
been succeeded by a number o f local federations to be mentioned
later.
W AGES AN D PRICES.

In considering the history o f wages and prices in Cuba one is met
by many difficulties. In the first place there are no government statis­
tics and few private publications touching either directly or indirectly
upon the labor question from the standpoint o f wages. I f any g ov ­
ernment archives existed that might have thrown light upon this
subject, they disappeared at the time the Spaniards evacuated the
island. Besides this, Cuba has been cursed at periods with sevei’al
kinds o f bad money, and even were nominal wages known it would be
almost impossible to reduce them to a fixed and definite basis. Finally,
as the Cuban laborer subsists largely upon imported food and wears
entirely imported clothing, and as with shifting tariff and tax regula­
tions the prices o f these articles sometimes quadrupled within a single
decade, the purchasing power o f wages, even had they been paid in a
stable currency, must have been subject to the widest variations.
In addition, there are social considerations that tend to make labor
compensation an elusive quantity in Cuba. The moral effect o f slavery
and o f the system o f patronage which followed it still remains in parts
o f the island. The rural laborer possesses a true peasant’s attachment
for his home. He is either too ignorant and too unenterprising or
too devoted to the place o f his birth to leave the locality where Provi­
dence has placed him. The store system prevails on many plantations
and is often so manipulated as to keep the field laborer in debt to
his employer. A ll these conditions tend to make him dependent upon



678

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

some landed proprietor. H e relapses into, or rather he never evolved
from, a state o f peonage. F or him labor compensation is a subsistence.
Rated in money it is simply another version o f local provision prices.
Under such circumstances the nominal wages o f rural labor vary
widely. Near a railway or seaport, where most food is imported, they
will be reckoned higher in silver currency than at a remote interior
point, where much o f the food is o f necessity raised upon the olantations.
W hile the wages o f city workmen are less affected by the conditions
just mentioned, they are subject to certain factors o f uncertainty that
are not found in countries were industry is more highly organized.
In many factories and commercial establishments employees enter
service with a semi-domestic status, and receive board and lodging,
laundry, and certain small personal perquisites in addition to their regu­
lar pay. W hile this method o f conducting a manufacturing or com­
mercial enterprise has some advantages, especially in the way o f g iv­
ing stability and permanence to the relations o f employer and employee,
it is prejudicial to the progress o f labor as a class. It further renders
difficult any attempt to ascertain or estimate the real compensation
such employees receive fo r their services.
An attempt, therefore, to determine the general trend o f wages and
their special fluctuations in Cuba can reach only approximate results.
W hat specific information has been obtained comes mostly from old
files o f the Habana dailies, where occasional advertisements for labor
or the leasing o f slaves are found, with wages given. Data o f this
character have been supplemented from statements by plantation man­
agers o f long experience and other large employers o f labor, and by
material collected from official and semiofficial publications, and from
articles o f general interest touching incidentally upon this topic.
In 1805 the city council o f Sancti Spiritus issued an order reducing
the wages o f masons to the old price o f $1 a day. Under freedom o f
contract the wages o f these workmen had risen to $3 a day. Twentyfour years later the same authorities fixed the follow ing tariff for a
day’s work in certain kinds o f skilled labor in that municipality:
Master masons and carpenters...................................................................................... $2.00
Journeym en masons and carpenters.......................................................................... 1.25
Laborers..................................................................................................................................... 75
Tailors (for cutting coa ts)...................................................................................................... 75
Tailors (for cutting trou sers)........................................................................................ 1.00

These prices are nearly as high as those prevailing in Habana at the
present time, as they were paid in gold.
In 1843, at the copper mines near Santiago, $19 a month, with board,
lodging, and clothing, was being paid for unskilled N egro slaves leased
from their owners. It has already been mentioned that two years
earlier a local congestion o f labor reduced the wages o f white field
hands near Puerto Principe to $7 a month and board.



LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

679

De la Concha, who was twice governor o f Cuba between 1850 and
1860, speaking in his Memoria o f abuses that had crept into the system
o f leasing contraband slaves confiscated from captured slave ships and
illegal traders, estimates the value o f their services fo r ordinary field
work at $15 a month and maintenance throughout the year, though
they were actually leased fo r much less than that sum. He states that
experienced workers were worth more than this. As these slaves were
unskilled and unacclimated Negroes, ignorant o f Spanish, it is not
probable that they were considered worth the year round more than
half as much as free laborers commanded during the crop season,
which would make the wages o f the latter $80 a month and mainte­
nance.
During the first six months o f 1860 there appeared in the Diario ae
la Marina, o f Habana, two advertisements calling for a number o f
unskilled laborers and field hands. Masters leasing slaves were offered
$28 gold a month and board for their services. The slaves were guaran­
teed good maintenance, and one advertisement further promises that
they shall not be worked more than eleven hours a day. A s owners
letting out their slaves on contract were doubtless careful to provide
that their chattels should be returned in good condition, these were
probably as well protected from abuse and overwork as were free
laborers, and their leasing price was about equivalent to the wages of
the la tter..
In the same paper during the first semester o f 1870—that is, during
the crop season—an offer o f $24 a month and board is made by adver­
tisement fo r an Asiatic laborer. The coolies were not considered equal
to white and Negro field hands. The editor o f a Habana sugar jour­
nal, who was interested in plantations at that date, states that about
1870 a good Negro field laborer commanded $30 gold a month and
maintenance.
In an article that appeared in the Revista de Cuba in 1877, the fo l­
lowing estimate o f monthly plantation wages in Spanish gold is given:
Chemist, $333; manager, $250; engineer, $166; firemen, $45; sugarhouse men, $30; field hands, $30.
Presumably in this estimate the $30 a month is intended to include
the total cost o f the laborer to the planter, or both wages and board.
In the report o f the British consul-general fo r the same year there is
a memorandum o f the cost o f labor in Spanish gold upon a plantation
employing 3,000 hands, distributed as follows: 2,000 slaves at an
annual cost o f $200 each; 400 Chinese at an annual cost o f $250 each;
600 free blacks at an annual cost o f $300 each.
In 1880 the conditions seem to have been very uneven in different
parts o f the island. During the crop season $25 gold without board was
offered for unskilled laborers near Habana. A n American plantation
manager who was in charge o f an estate during this season reports
that it was customary in his vicinity to hire the hands needed, mostly



680

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

coolies, from a Chinese contractor who received $25 gold a month for
each laborer. This contractor boarded his workingmen without cost to
the planter. But it is stated in a contemporary pamphlet that the scarcity
of labor this year was so great on some plantations that $34 gold a month
and board was paid to Negro field hands, which was estimated to make
a total labor cost o f $40 a month fo r each employee. In Puerto Prin­
cipe, on the other hand, labor was abundant. Many small cane plant­
ers were working in the fields assisted by four or five hands hired at
low wages. Field laborers were plentiful at from $15 to $25 in paper
currency a month and board, or $30 and $40 without board. The paper
dollar was at this time worth about forty cents in gold, so the mini­
mum wages in Puerto Principe was $6 a month with board, or $12
without board. In the years immediately following, especially in 1886,
the dearth o f labor was such as to create an agricultural crisis in some
parts o f the island. But this was not a general condition, apparently,
for F. A. Conte, an exceptionally well-informed writer, states in the
contemporary volume o f the Revista de Cuba that the complaints o f
high wages made by planters are not justified, and that allowing for
variations due to local causes the average pay o f field hands does not
exceed $15 a month fo r the entire year. A ll o f the wages hitherto
quoted have been for the crop season only.
According to testimony printed in Mr. Robert P. Porter’s Report
upon Industrial Conditions in Cuba, the price o f field labor about 1890,
or during the years immediately before the last insurrection, ranged
from $14 to $21 in Spanish gold a month and maintenance. This
would indicate a considerable fall from the previous years, and a stand­
ard o f wages not much higher than those prevailing at present. Dur­
ing the war, laborers worked for whatever they could get— $6 and $7
silver a month at times.
The wages offered by advertisement fo r domestic servants in Habana
were $20 and $25 a month in 1860; $25 in 1870; $25 to $30 paper, or
$10 to $12 gold, in 1880 and 1890. Servants could be hired in Puerto
Principe in 1880 for $3 and $4 gold a month. These are about the
wages paid in provincial towns at present. In Cuba, as elsewhere,
board and lodging are given with this class o f service.
The compensation o f skilled labor varied greatly in different locali­
ties, being naturally higher as a rule in Habana than elsewhere.
Competent mechanics have never been numerous in Cuba, and a good
man was usually able to command a fair price fo r his services. There
are traditions among the Habana workingmen o f a good old time when
every skilled artificer received his gold piece ($5) fo r a day’s work.
But this is probably a tradition and nothing more. Still wages were
undoubtedly higher during the prosperous years o f the sugar trade
than they are at present. There were conditions somewhat similar to
those during a boom in a Western camp. The higher wages more than



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

681

compensated for the heavier taxation and greater cost o f living o f that
period. But if there ever was a golden age o f labor, such as is some­
times described in Cuba, it antedates any time o f which we have definite
information.
In 1882, in connection with the tailors’ strike in Habana, we learn
that a good cutter earned $70 gold a month. The cost o f a $50 suit
was divided about as follows: Material, $12; labor, $17.35; profit,
$20.65. In 1883 the salaries o f compositors ranged from $25 to over
$100 a month in gold, according to the importance o f the office in which
they worked. The space rate was 50 cents a thousand ens, which is
about equivalent to $1 a thousand ems. When the bakers struck, the
same year, it was reported that journeymen received only $30 paper
($12 gold) a month and board. Their hours o f work were unusually
long, including most o f the day and nights from 8 p. m. to 2 a. m.
Cigar makers could earn from $2 to $3 gold a day. Cigarette makers
received somewhat less, as they suffered from Chinese competition,
which has since disappeared.
Cuban workingmen have felt the depressing effects o f three monetary
crises, due in each case to a depreciated currency. In the latter part
o f the eighteenth century local exchanges were affected by means o f a
coin o f base metal known as maxmquina money. This was redeemed
for about 5 cents on the dollar in 1781, and for ten or fifteen years
later there was a scarcity o f currency on the island. The conditions
were somewhat similar to those occasionally prevailing in the English
colonies during the same and the previous century. Labor suffered
both because there was no medium o f exchange with which to pay
workmen, and because property owners were appalled by the apparent
shrinking o f their cash assets to a twentieth o f their former value.
During the ten years’ war bank paper was extensively circulated in
Habana and vicinity and in some o f the interior provinces. There was a
good deal o f legalized dishonesty in connection with the various emis­
sions, and gold rapidly rose to a premium o f about 140. These bills
were accepted for a time as a necessary expedient, for they had
driven other currency out o f use; but they became practically value­
less and ceased to circulate soon after 1890. Recently the Spanish
silver which was substituted for them has depreciated, so that Span­
ish gold is now at a premium o f above 20 and American currency
is at premium o f 38 and 40. W ages have always been reckoned in the
depreciated money. Most Cuban workingmen are paid in silver at
the present time. Nominal wages have never risen as fast as the
gold premium, and when there has been a great depreciation, as in
1883, they have remained permanently lower. This is a matter o f
special importance in Cuba, because the working classes use imported
food and clothing, and the market price o f these is based ultimately
upon gold values.



682

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

American fractional silver, especially our old half dimes, once cir­
culated extensively in Cuba, and still are current in some parts o f the
island. These coins are all punched, partly to facilitate their being
attached to christening cards, and partly perhaps to prevent their
leaving the country.
In estimating the approximate purchasing power o f wages at dif­
ferent periods, a comparison has been made o f the wholesale price of
staple commodities quoted by the Habana Produce Exchange. Cuba
imports most o f her food in the form o f a few staples that have not
varied materially either in character or in producing market for half
a century. In walking along the sample counters of the Exchange
to-day one sees displayed, with little to vary the monotony, Indian
and Vaiencian rice, black and white beans and garabanzas, garlic, salt
cod, lard, bacon, and occasionally jerked beef, imported from South
America, and known locally as tasajo. During the last fiscal year the
food importations o f Cuba were as follows fo r each inhabitant: Rice,
over 100 pounds; wheat flour, 98 pounds; lard, 28 pounds; tasajo, 22
pounds; cod, 14 pounds; ham and bacon, 5 pounds. As a unit, the first
quotations in January o f wheat flour, low-grade rice, white beans, black
beans, jerked beef, salt cod, bacon, and lard have been taken, and a
comparison has been made o f the sum o f the pound prices o f these
commodities, in Spanish gold, fo r each decade since 1860. The maxi­
mum wages o f field labor in the Habana market during the crop season
are also given.
PRICES AND WAGES IN SPANISH GOLD FOR EACH DECADE, 1860 TO 1890, AND FOR 1902.
Price per pound.
Year.

Salt
White Black
Flour. Rice. beans. beans. Jerked cod.
beef.

1860......... #0.07* $0.06 $0.06
1870.........
.05
.05
.06
.14
1880.........
.20
.12
.041
.044
1890.........
.08
1902.........
.024
.04
.03

$0.07
.05
.10
.04
.03

$0.07
.06
.12
.08
.10

Monthly wages
Per cent of field laborers.
of
change
Percent
in
Lard. Bacon. Total. prices. Amount.
of
change.

$0.07 $0.17
.22
.07
.15
.37
.06
.12
.12
.044

$0.13 $0,704
.76
.20
.35
1.55
.12
.59
.104
.494

+ 8
+104
— 62
— 16

$28
28
25
20
15

—11
—20
—25

This estimate o f wages is for field laborers and is in addition to board.
In the testimony before the W ays and Means Committee the rate for
1902 is made somewhat higher, but information gathered personally
from a number o f plantations failed to reveal a single instance where
more than $25 silver ($17.50 American) was being paid even where no
board was given. Eighteen dollars silver ($12.60 American) was the
highest wage actually encountered where board was given. Therefore
the average wages during the present year are considerably below the
amount quoted. It is probable, however, that the percentage o f varia­
tion is approximately accurate.




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

683

The sudden and extreme rise o f prices between 1870 and 1880
occurred during the first insurrection, and was due to tariff changes.
Its effect upon real wages was probably modified to a considerable
extent by a larger consumption o f home products. In any case the
field laborer, whether slave or free, received rations in addition to
wages, so that the extra expense fell principally upon the planters.
Sugar was selling fo r 7 and 8 cents gold a pound in the Habana market,
and the employer could stand some increase in labor cost.
The working people o f the cities, however, felt the effect o f high
prices more keenly. Bread was selling at Cardenas in July, 1880, for
over 20 cents gold a pound. It must have been a luxury seldom indulged
in by the ordinary laborer, who was, it must be remembered, receiv­
ing his wages in a depreciated currency. Speaking of the earnings o f
skilled workmen the present secretary o f public works o f Cuba says:
“ From 1860 to 1871 only Spanish gold and silver were in use, and
wages were nominally the same as now, but were really higher because
silver was not at a discount. In the year 1871 the Government author­
ized an emission o f bank notes, which soon depreciated to a fraction
o f their nominal value. They remained in circulation from 1871 until
1892 and 1893, when they were withdrawn at an immense discount by
the Government that had issued them at par with gold. During the
time they were in circulation wages fell about 45 per cent, because
they were paid in this depreciated currency.” ' There are some repeti­
tions o f facts already mentioned in this statement, but it sums up the
wage situation at the period mentioned.
This unfortunate crisis fo r labor followed what is still remembered
as an epoch of unusual prosperity o f the working classes. During
the early seventies both employment and money seem to have been
abundant in Cuba. In a report to the colonial minister at Madrid,
presented by the insular superintendent o f finance in 1871, the satis­
factory condition o f trade and agriculture is commented upon. “ One
can not visit a plantation today,” says the writer, “ without being
impressed by the air o f prosperous content that characterizes the
working people.” Again, after the crisis o f the early eighties, there
appears to have been a gradual return to better conditions. But the
old prosperity did not come back. A ccording to a writer o f the period,
Cuba was becoming “ Europeanized.” New economies were being
practiced by all classes. Restaurants and shops found it necessary to
sell at reduced prices and diminished profits in order to reach their
customers. Ladies, fo r the first time in the history o f the island, were
to be seen doing their own marketing. The prosperous mechanic,
who form erly indulged in a clean shirt every day, was advertising the
badness o f the times by his neglected linen.
The insurrection, the late war, and the subsequent change o f gov­
ernment in Cuba have introduced many abnormal conditions. The



684

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

military authorities nave exercised an influence favorable to a rise of
wages by paying the large force o f men employed on public works in
American currency. The demand for men to construct the new Cuban
Central Railway, and the change from a depreciated silver currency to
American money in the eastern provinces, have also increased wages.
But in the western provinces, especially in the sugar districts, these
influences have not been sufficient to counteract trade uncertainties
and other depressing influences. A depreciated currency still remains
in use, and nominal wages are lower than ever before in times o f peace.
The situation, however, is a complex one, and features to be dwelt upon
later must be taken into consideration in iudging the present condition
o f labor in Cuba as a whole.
S U P P L Y A N D D ISTR IB U TIO N O F LA B O R .
PRESENT LABOR SUPPLY.

It has been seen that the cultivated area o f Cuba is a very small
proportion o f the entire surface o f the island. Probably there are con­
siderable timber and mineral resources yet unexploited. The develop­
ment o f the mining industries already established has been constantly
checked by lack o f laborers. Therefore the field of employment is
large. Meantime petty merchandising and uneconomic methods o f
exchange and transportation absorb the attention o f a large element of
the population. The semiidleness o f city life withdraws many more
from the ranks o f effective producers; for urban industries are not
developed in Cuba, and the number o f city workers essential to her
economic welfare is relatively small. But this fact has not reduced
the urban population. Many country people relapse into the dolce fa r
niente o f peasant life in the Tropics and contribute little to the indus­
trial progress o f the country. Census statistics are deceptive to one
trying to get an insight into these conditions. The proportion o f the
whole population engaged in gainful occupations is reported larger
than in the United States. It was probably still greater in slavery
times. But the effectiveness o f labor is far less. In manual occupa­
tions the Cuban accomplishes but a fraction o f what the American or
European can do in a day. He is, man fo r man, less efficient. In addi­
tion, his labor is often crudely organized and applied. Besides these
people who are really producers, though often in a primitive way,
there are multitudes in Cuba busily engaged in occupations of little
public utility, that are rendered valueless or impossible by our more
modern methods o f distribution and exchange. They are really taxgatherers upon the rest o f the community. And vet they all figure in
the employment statistics.
The real labor supply o f Cuba, therefore, is inadequate to the needs
o f the island. It does not permit the exploitation o f resources already
in sight, much less does it afford a social motive fo r developing new



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

685

industries. The intelligent people o f the island appreciate this con­
dition. They have tried to remedy it by encouraging the im por­
tation o f labor from abroad. Now that their national aspirations
appear to be realized, they desire that this labor shall be composed,
so far as possible, o f permanent settlers, who will become identified
with Cuban sentiments and interests and raise the orevailing standard
o f intelligence and citizenship.
Tradition and both social and economic ties point to Spain to supply
this demand. During the three years ending December 31, 1901, the
total immigration into Cuba was 69,420, o f whom 54,410 were Span­
iards, 1,926 were Chinese, and 13,084 came from other countries.
Ninety-eight per cent o f the third-class immigrants are said to be
Spaniards. During the year 1901 the passengers o f this class entering
the island numbered 16,091. This immigration, however, does not
represent an equal increase in the permanent population of Cuba; for
many Galicians and Canary Islanders come over each year fo r the
harvest season and return to Spain as soon as the crop is gathered.
Their passage both ways costs about $40, and their net savings from a
season’s work are in general slightly more than this sum. These
workmen find employment principally in the tobacco districts.
Statistics fo r the year 1901 show that 22,894 immigrants entered the
island, of whom 17,330 were Spaniards, 756 Chinese, 781 Porto Eicans,
and 650 Americans. Am ong these there were 10,556 laborers, 2,374
mechanics, and 1,468 farmers. O f the Spaniards alone 14,808 were
males and 2,522 females, 12,477 were not married, 6,363 were illiterate,
and 5,577 had been in Cuba before; 10,336 had less than $30 in their
possession upon entering the island.
The mining companies o f Santiago import much o f their labor from
Spain under contract, giving a sufficient bonus to men who remain in
their employ for a specified period to compensate them for their trav­
eling expenses in addition to their wages. Some o f these laborers are
trained miners, but most are ordinary peasants—youths and single
men— who sell their scanty property o f tools and utensils at home to
pay their passage to Cuba. Under the form er government these com­
panies sometimes employed Spanish soldiers in the mines. The sol­
diers kept their wages and the regimental officers appropriated their
pay as soldiers. As a man could earn considerably more mining than
soldiering, and the miners had better rations, all uarties were satisfied
with this arrangement.
O f the Spanish immigrants the Galicians are the most numerous,
and as a rule find employment as common laborers. Next in number
are the Asturians, who usually enter clerical service. Most o f the
Canary Islanders become field laborers and small renters, though some
find their way into mercantile pursuits. The Catalans generally are
skilled workmen and engage in mechanical employments.



686

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

About two-thirds o f the total immigration is absorbed by the rural
districts and nearly 30 per cent remains in Habana. Many o f the latter
class come to take positions already assured them by family connections
or because o f business relations existing between commercial houses
in Habana and Spain. Besides labor going to the mining districts,
several thousand immigrants have found employment in eastern Cuba
during the past year upon the construction crews o f the Central
Railway.
There is an official bureau o f immigration at Habana which receives,
inspects, and quarantines all third-class immigrants. Those who come
to the island fo r the first time are given board and lodging by the
Government fo r 20 cents a day until they find employment. Employers
are required to give security that they will furnish necessary medical
attendance and care to employees received through the bureau, so that
in case o f illness the latter may not again become a charge upon the
public authorities. Special care is also taken o f minors. The general
policy o f the Government is to encourage and facilitate white immi­
gration, especially o f families and those likely to remain as permanent
residents o f the island.
Immigration usually enters Cuba at Habana, and several causes have
combined to make that city a more congested labor market than other
parts o f the island. There has been no railway or other convenient
land communication with the half o f Cuba that lies east o f Santa Clara,
and passage on the coast steamers is exceedingly costly. Eastern
Cuba is less developed than western Cuba. There is reported to be a
greater prejudice against Spaniards and other immigrants in that part
o f the island. The cultivation and manufacture o f tobacco is centered
in the territory tributary to Habana, and with its dependent industries
affords the most immediate and convenient source o f cash income to
new arrivals. Finally, the Spanish interests and their various social
and benefit societies have their headquarters at Habana.
The Spanish immigrants are reported to be steady, industrious, and
regular workers. Some American employers consider them the best
unskilled laborers o f Europe. They are physically robust and not
addicted to many o f the vices o f laborers o f the same class in the
United States. They are more docile than the latter, and fully as
intelligent fo r many kinds o f service. Unlike the Cuban, they are
frugal, seldom gamble, and often allow their savings to accumulate in
the hands o f their employers. They are not quarrelsome, and do not
usually carry concealed weapons.
The newly arrived laborers have no small holdings like the Cuban
peasant to relieve them from the necessity o f steady labor, and their
standard o f living, while low, is o f a character to require the expendi­
ture o f i eady money. This renders competition among immigrants and
between immigrants and natives sharper at Habana than elsewhere.



687

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

As depreciated silver is still in use in the same vicinity, the two
causes combine to render wages lower in western than in eastern
Cuba.
The oversupply o f labor at Habana has doubtless been rendered
greater than usual by the tendency o f the country people— unsettled
by the war— to drift cityward. Cuban officials state that there was
an impression, slow to be corrected, that all soldiers o f the insurrec­
tion and their dependents would be provided fo r by the Government.
The action o f the authorities in paying higher wages to common
laborers than form erly prevailed, and in granting an eight-hour day to
Government workmen, strengthened this impression, and created a
still further influx o f laborers to points where political influence could
be brought to bear in securing employment on public works.
DISTRIBUTION BY LOCALITIES.

A more general view o f the local distribution o f labor in Cuba and
o f the inequalities this presents is to be secured from a study o f recent
population statistics. A ccording to the last census, the relative density
o f population in different provinces and the distribution o f the inhabi­
tants as urban and rural in each o f these divisions is as shown in the
follow ing table:
DENSITY OF TOTAL AND OF RURAL POPULATION, BY PROVINCES, 1899.

Province.

Area
(square
miles).

Total pop­ Rural pop­
Total pop­ Urban pop­ ulation
ulation
ulation.
ulation. per square per square
mile.
mile.

Pinar del R io...............................................
Habana .......................................................
Matanzas.....................................................
Santa C lara................................................
Puerto P rincipe..........................................
Santiago.......................................................

5,000
2,772
3,700
9,560
10,500
12,468

173,082
424,811
202,462
356,537
88,237
327,716

8,880
277,636
58,314
80,345
25,102
67,554

34.6
153.3
54.7
37.3
8.4
26.3

32.8
55.3
39.0
28.6
6.0
21.7

T ota l..................................................

44,000

1,572,845

507,831

35.7

24.2

The urban population includes only those in cities having 8,000
inhabitants and over. Three-fourths o f the inhabitants o f Cuba
reside in the western half o f the island. The population is three
times as dense there as in the eastern provinces. W hile the rural
population averages 34.6 to the square mile west o f Puerto Principe,
it averages only 14.5 to the square mile in that province and Santiago.
In Puerto Principe itself, a province with an area larger than that o f
Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined, the rural population p ro­
vides only about one family to the section. W hen we add that all but
two cities o f over 8,000 inhabitants, and that all the continuous, inter­
connecting railway mileage is in the western half o f Cuba, it will be
seen that, so far as population and industrial development are concerned,
the two portions o f the island are as diverse as are an Eastern and a
Western State o f the Union.



688

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Cities o f 8,000 inhabitants or over contain 32.8 per cent o f the total
population o f Cuba. Nearly six-sevenths o f the urban population is
in seaport towns.
The following table shows the territorial distribution of crops and
o f agricultural labor by provinces:
ACRES OF LAND CULTIVATED FOR PRINCIPAL CROPS, AND AGRICULTURAL LABORERS
EMPLOYED, BY PROVINCES, 1899.
[Measurements of land in Cuba are usually given in caballerias, but in this case were given in cordels.
According to the census of 1899 a caballeria is equal to 33i acres or 324 cordels, on which basis one
acre equals 9.72 cordels. This equivalent has been used in converting the figures to acres.]
Acres cultivated.

Province.

Pinar del R io___
H abana..............
Matanzas............
Santa Clara.........
Puerto P rincipe.
Santiago..............

Total
Agri­ Acres
acres
Pro­ Rent­ cul­ culti­
for
pri­
tural vated
Tobac­ Sweet Bana­ Indian Total. 16 prin­ etors. ers.
labor­ per la­
Sugar.
pota­
nas. corn.
co.
cipal
toes.
ers. borer.
crops.
8,793 60,736
28,749 10,970
128,138
481
178,498 10,633
10,854
98
71,101 1,182

26,562 6,649 9,356 111,996
18,773 9,559 13,953 82,004
9,842 11,926 3,994 154,381
18,889 12,011 10,500 230,531
4,260 5,475 3,090 23,777
21,842 32,014 24,852 150,991

141,526
96,325
160,374
241,135
28,113
202,260

1,446 8,962
2,074 4,085
1,955 2,128
4,570 11,559
679 1,703
6,266 15,284

38.000
24.000
46.000
65.000
14,500
35.000

3.7
4.0
3.5
3.7
1.9
5.8

T o ta l......... 426,133 84,100 100,168 77,534 65,745 753,680 869,733 16,990 43,721 222,500

3.9

Sugar therefore occupies about one-half the cultivated area of Cuba
and tobacco 10 per cent. The export value of the two crops, how­
ever, is about equal. The five crops mentioned in the table occupy
87 per cent o f the area planted in the 16 principal crops reported by
the census enumerators. No other individual crop is cultivated to the
extent o f more than 30,000 acres for the whole island, and this area is
distributed into a multitude o f small tracts and garden patches, as in
case o f yucca and other root crops raised for domestic food supply.
Many proprietors and most o f the renters do some field work or are
directly engaged in the administration o f their estates. Two-thirds of
the owners and renters o f Cuba cultivate small holdings o f less than 8
acres. But the combined extent o f these small farms is only oneseventh the cultivated area o f the island. They include the garden
plots that surround the homes o f the rural laborers and are found in
the suburbs o f the smaller towns. Except in the tobacco country they
do not produce export crops. These small cultivators do not employ
hired labor. Even in the tobacco districts most o f their assistance
comes from members o f their own families.
I f we include these
38,500 peasant proprietors and tenants among the actual tillers o f the
fields, the area cultivated fo r every agricultural laborer in Cuba would
be reduced to about 3.3 acres. The amount is still less if we assume,
as is very probable, that the census returns include as cultivated lands
ground occupied by farm buildings, yards, field roads, and the fire
lanes on the sugar plantations.
In 1899 there were 314 estates o f more than 320 acres in Cuba.
Probably they were nearly all sugar plantations grouped around the



689

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

207 sugar mills o f the island. As their combined area was only about
one-half o f the total area devoted to the cultivation of cane, it is evi­
dent that considerable sugar is raised by owners and tenants occupy­
ing farms not much larger than the average wheat farm o f the Western
States.
In considering the ratio o f area cultivated to laboring population,
there are certain special conditions to be taken into consideration in
Puerto Principe and Santiago and in certain portions o f Santa Clara
province. The plains o f Puerto Principe and eastern Santa Clara are
largely devoted to stock raising. Grazing statistics are not given by
the census and are not available from other sources. A t the time the
census was taken there was little live stock remaining in the island on
account o f the losses during the insurrection, but the pasture lands
had not been placed under cultivation. Deducting the idle stock-farm
employees from other farm hands in these districts, it is probable that
the area cultivated per laborer would be increased. In Santiago, as
might be surmised from the large proportion of the cultivated land
devoted to sweet potatoes, bananas, and corn, the small farmer or
renter is more common than in other provinces. There are over 17,000
proprietors or tenants in that province cultivating farms less than eight
acres in extent. Adding these to the laborers as actual tillers o f the
soil, the average amount o f land cultivated for each worker in that
province is reduced to 3.9 acres.
There is probably no form o f farm labor in Cuba more arduous than
cane cultivation. Proprietors consider that one man for every eight
acres is sufficient f o r this work. W hile the amount o f tobacco a man
can keep in condition is less than this, averaging all crops usually pro­
duced in the island, eight acres is not an excessive amount for one man
to cultivate. It appears, therefore, that either from lack o f employ­
ment or disinclination to work the rural laborer of Cuba spends less
than half his working time in the fields.
DISTRIBUTION BY OCCUPATIONS.

The distribution o f labor according to occupations, race, and sex is
shown by the follow ing table:
RACE AND SEX OP WORKING POPULATION, BY GROUPS OF OCCUPATIONS, 1899.

Groups of occupations.

White.

Colored.

Male.

Female.

Under
15 years
of age.

Agriculture, fisheries, and m ining...........................
Manufacturing and mechanical industries..............
Trade and transportation..........................................
Professional service....................................................
Domestic and personal service..................................

198,230
54,387
71,802
8,182
70,458

100,967
38,647
7,625
•554
71,478

292,331
82,012
78,766
7,096
95,769

6,866
11,022
661
1,640
46,167

37,074
4,669
2,491
32
11,976

T ota l...................................................................

403,059

219,271

555,974

66,356

56,242




690

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

About an equal proportion o f the working population o f whites and
o f colored is engaged in agriculture, fishing, and mining. In each case
this is slightly less than one-half the number o f the race employed in
gainful occupations. The absolute number o f whites and o f colored
engaged in domestic service is about equal, but relatively to the whole
number o f workers o f each class the number o f colored in this occupa­
tion is as two to one. There are more than twice as many male as
female servants in Cuba. There are relatively more colored than
whites engaged in trades and manufactures, while the whites greatly
preponderate in commerce, transportation, and professional services.
O f the 11,022 women whose occupations fall under manufacturing and
mechanical industries, 8,329 are sewing women. In proportion to the
population, nearly three times as many children under 15 years o f age
are employed in gainful occupations as in the United States.
The statistics o f women engaged in farming, fishing, and mining
probably include only paid field hands. Females form erly worked in
the Santiago mines. Out o f 2,389 miners employed in 1841, 349 were
free black women and 284 were female slaves. However, this is a
condition o f the past. In recent years about 10 per cent o f the field
workers on some o f the plantations have been women and children.
O f the 6,866 women engaged in this class o f occupations, 4,308 were
from the province o f Matanzas, where cane planting is the principal
industry. As only 145 are reported from Pinar del Rio, the great
tobacco province, where the whole family o f the small planter is busy
in the fields during the weeding and worming season, it is evident that
only hired labor has been uniform ly included in these statistics.
Considering those occupations which are not necessarily rural, we
find the classes distributed about as follows between the city and
country population:
URBAN AND RURAL POPULATION IN SELECTED GROUPS OF OCCUPATIONS, 1899.
Groups of occupations.
Manufacturing and mechanical industries..............................
Trade and transportation............................................................
Professional service......................................................................
Domestic and personal service....................................................

City of
Habana.
81,913
81,351
3,655
40,366

Urban.
61,540
52,003
6,210
79,367

Rural.
31,490
27,424
2,526
62,569

Total.
93,034
79,427
8,736
141,936

Habana has 46.5 per cent o f the urban population o f Cuba and has
more than 60 per cent o f those employed in trade and transportation,
and more than 50 per cent o f those employed in manufacturing and
mechanical industries in Cuban cities. So it is evident that the pro­
portion o f the total population engaged in those pursuits is larger in
Habana than elsewhere. So far as manufactures are concerned, this
is partly due to the concentration o f tobacco manufacture at that city.
As 60 per cent o f the foreign trade o f Cuba passes through Habana,
it is natural that the proportion o f the popuiation engaged in trade
and transportation should be large.



691

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA*

W hile one-third o f the population o f Cuba is urban, two-thirds of
the skilled workmen reside in the cities. W ith the exception o f two
or three suburban villages near Habana, there are no small factory
towns in the island. On account o f the primitive construction o f many
houses and the permanent character o f more pretentious buildings, the
current demand for skilled men in the building trades is small outside
the larger cities. Minor domestic industries, like hat, mat, and basket
weaving, probably do not appear in these statistics.
An attempt has been made in the following tables to distribute the
population engaged in manufacture, trades, and transportation under
specific occupations. These figures are only approximate and have a
relative rather than an absolute value. They are compiled from
occupation tables given in the census of 1899, the only available
source o f statistics of this character, but for reasons which will be
explained later these statistics were necessarily defective and incom­
plete. Nevertheless, the tables are sufficiently accurate to give an
acceptable bird’s-eye view o f the distribution of skilled labor in Cuba.
NUMBER OF PERSONS IN SELECTED OCCUPATIONS, BY RACE AND SEX, 1899.
I

Occupations.

Total.

White.

Colored. | Males.

Building trades:
Carpenters........................
Masons..............................
Painters...........................
Plumbers.........................

14,204
6,557
1,531
43

7,878
2,071
1,134
33

6,326
4,486
397

Total..............................

22,335

11,116

8,329
105
6,320
3,481

4,248
3,043
97
2,869
1,531

251
17,970
5,286
8
3,451
1,950

Clothing trades:
Dressmakers....................
Launderers......................
Seamstresses....................
Shirtmakers....................
Shoemakers......................
Tailors..............................

419
22,218

Under
Females. 15 years
of age.

10

14,204
6,557
1,531
43

429
156
27
1

11,219

22,335

613
419

1,2 38

102

6,280
3,481

12

20,980

312

8,329
3
40

411
3
376
129

Total..............................

40,872

11,956

28,916

11,101

29,771

1,243

Foods and liquors:
Bakers..............................
Butchers...........................
Confectioners...................
Dairymen.........................
Saloon keepers.................

5,444
481
116
125
73

3,336
335

5,426
481
113
125
73

3

112
62

2,108
146
48
13
11

18

68

243
7
3
13

Total..............................

6,239

3,913

2,326

6,218

21

266

Metal workers:
Blacksmiths....................
Boiler makers ( a ) ............
Gold and silver workers .
Gunsmiths........................
Machinists (5)...................
M echanics........................
Molders.............................
Tinners.............................
Watch and clock makers

2,328
479
554
59
958
4,672
242
712
255

1,513
445
364
52
765
4,021
207
474
228

815
34
190
7
193
651
35
238
27

2,328
479
554
59
958
4,672
242
712
255

75
8
22

Total..............................

10,259

8,069

2,190

10,259

218

Mining, etc.:
Bnckm^kers....................
Miners and quarrymen..
Potters..............................
Stone cutters....................

109
854
277
240

76
732
201
190

33
122
76
50

109
854
277
240

5
12
2

1,199

281

1,480

20

Total..................................................
a Probably includes coppersmiths.

8533— No. 41— 02------8




* Probably includes engineers.

4
67
11
28
3

1

692

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

NUMBER OF PERSONS IN SELECTED OCCUPATIONS, BY RACE AND SEX, 1899—Concluded.

Occupations.

Printing trades:

Total.

White.

Colored.

Males.

Under
Females. 15 years
of age.

Printers, lithographers, e t c ..................

53
1,499

51
1,425

2
74

53
1,481

18

92

Total..................................................

1,552

1,476

76

1,534

18

92

Tobacco trades:
Operatives (cigar factories)...............

24,169

15,773

8,396

22,589

1,580

1,027

5,363
4,820
678

3,961
4,332
549

1,402
488
129

5,363
4,820
678

52
154
3

........................ .... .....................

10,861

8,842

2,019

10,861

209

Broom and brush m akers______ ___
rS.binet.ma.lcers.............................. — ___

12
144
428
84

8
63
521

Ship and boat, b u ild e rs..........................

20
207
949
84

20
207
949
84

4
4
7
3

Transportation:
Draymen and hackmen......................
Sailors and boatmen ..............................
Steam-railroad em p lo y ees....................
Total.

Wood workers:
Coopers................................................
Total..................................................

1,260

668

592

1,260

18

Leather workers:
Harness makers...................................
Tanners................................................

1,397
343

817
300

580
43

1,397
343

32
8

Total..................................................

1,740

1,117

623

1,740

35

These tables do not report the full number engaged in many occu­
pations. There is nothing to show that the figures are not reasonably
complete for the building and clothing trades. Many men who spend
part o f their time as shirt cutters are probably reported upon the census
schedules as clerks. Under saloon keepers are included only keepers
o f “ American bars,” and not the thousands o f cafe waiters and venders
of rum and other liquors in small mercantile establishments. This
is proved by their small number and by the fact that 54 o f the 73
reported are foreign whites. Butchers do not include meat venders
and retail-shop cutters and clerks. Am ong confectioners are not
included venders and ordinary operatives in chocolate and confection­
ery factories. The title o f boiler maker and coppersmith is the same
from the time when the copper kettle o f the sugar boiler was the only
apparatus o f this kind in the island. In Spanish times all engineers
were supposed to be machinists.
The number o f miners appears to be much understated. There are
nearly 5,000 men working in the iron, manganese, and asphalt mines of
Cuba at present. Probably most o f these are reported on the census
schedules as laborers. Men employed in this kind o f work in Cuba
are accustomed to change off to some other occupation for a part o f the
year, especially during the crop season, and they doubtless stated their
regular employment to be field labor. F or some reason the number
ot railway employees is equally understated. The pay roll o f one o f
the five principal public railways o f Cuba carries the names o f 1,100
regular employees. The entire railway service o f the island, includ­
ing train and track crews on the plantation roads, gives employment



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

693

to nearly 5,000 men during the busiest season. Probably in the census
figures engineers are reported as machinists, road mechanics under
their individual trades, and section men as common laborers. The
street railways o f Habana, which are not adequately reported, also
employ several hundred men.
There are many reasons that excuse the incompleteness o f these sta-x
tistics. W hen they were gathered, in 1899, industrial conditions were
still unsettled as a result o f the insurrection and recent war. T o a
certain extent they were pioneer statistics in this particular line for
Cuba, though the previous Spanish enumerations included some data
with reference to occupations. A principal reason, however, why any
classification o f employments must be exceedingly inexact is that trades
and occupations are not differentiated in Cuba. The Cuban mechanic
is often a jack-at-all-trades, and all classes o f salaried men and wageearners are constantly changing their business. W ith a varied list o f
occupations in which he considered himself equally expert, the Cuban
workingman probably returned upon the schedule the one which best
suited his tastes or seemed to him most dignified.
These tables contain the most accurate information available, how­
ever, and allowing for all errors they still remain valuable for purposes
o f comparison. They show that the trades whose object it is to shel­
ter men employ nearly two-thirds o f the skilled labor o f Cuba. Nearly
one-fourth o f her trained workmen are employed in building, and not
quite one-half are engaged in the preparation of clothing. Even
omitting lauiiderers, as perhaps we should, from this class o f occupa­
tions the pursuits mentioned engage 41 per cent o f those employed
in manufacturing and mechanical industries. The only industry that
gives w ork to a considerable number o f factory operatives is the manu­
facture o f cigars. The tobacco industry employs more men than'any
other group o f skilled occupations. Leaving out o f account the quasi­
domestic occupations o f laundry and sewing women, which are con­
ducted largely in private homes, the cigar factories use the services o f
more female help than any other business. It is in this industry also
that the largest percentage o f children are employed.
Over one-half o f the tobacco workers are native whites, about oneeighth are foreign whites, and the rest are colored. Foreign whites
constitute more than one-half o f the mercantile population, and also
o f the sailors and miners. They furnish about one-fourth o f the
bakers, tailors, blacksmiths, machinists, and cabinetmakers of the
island. In proportion to their numbers they contribute a much larger
percentage to the population o f skilled workmen than do either the
Negroes or the native whites.
Few new industries have been introduced into Cuba during the last
50 years. Those that already existed have undergone little develop­
ment, if we except sugar and tobacco, and there has been less improve­
ment in processes and machinery than elsewhere. Specialization and



694

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF hABOR.

division o f labor have not been introduced. So the condition of
skilled labor has been almost stationary. Occupations have not mul­
tiplied as they have in other countries. Therefore the classification
o f employments given above is practically exhaustive.
IN D U STRIES AN D OCCUPATIONS.
AGRICULTURE.

The condition o f agricultural labor in Cuba, so far as hours o f
labor, standard o f living, and methods o f culture are concerned, does
not vary greatly throughout the island. But there is a considerable
variation o f wages in different localities and at different seasons of the
year. The question o f labor supply is the most important problem
that the rural proprietor has to meet. He is faced by two embarrass­
ing conditions. His profits will not justify him in employing perma­
nently more than a fraction o f the field hands required during the
crop season. There are no other local industries to carry the labor
supply needed over the dull period o f the year and leave it free for
employment in the fields during the time o f high wages. He is there­
fore obliged to pay a higher price for these temporary employees
than the general conditions and the standard o f living prevailing in
the island demand. In addition, the fact that plantation hands are
not assured permanent employment throughout the year leads them
to depend upon the products o f garden patches and other small
holdings fo r their subsistence and to limit their needs to what these
can supply. They thereby become in a measure independent of the
landed proprietors in the matter of employment, and so afford a less
reliable source o f labor. W ages are determined by custom and tra­
dition, and do not adjust themselves readily to economic necessities.
Moreover, this tendency o f rural labor to become attached to the land
lessens its mobility. It does not respond to general market demands.
An over and an under supply o f workmen may exist permanently in
two adjacent districts. So, wide variation o f wages, accompanied by
great uniformity o f social conditions, characterizes the rural labor of
Cuba.
There is no trait more marked in the Cuban workman in every
employment than his preference fo r contract or piece work over a reg­
ular wage. The form er seems to appeal to a speculative tendency in
his nature that adds interest to his occupation. It also flatters a cer­
tain sentiment o f self-esteem. He feels himself more independent,
more his own master in the form er instance. Perhaps there is a preju­
dice against hired service that has come down from the days of slavery
and contract labor. There are few workmen harder to drive and
easier to lead than the Cubans. Whatever the reason, employers all
emphasize the preference o f the people for contract work.



LABOK CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

695

This predilection o f the Cuban for independent employment, com­
bined with the peculiar conditions o f agricultural service already men­
tioned, have favored the colonia system o f farming on shares. In
reality this is not so very different from the store-credit system o f our
Southern States, by which the capitalist takes a mortgage on the land
and crops fo r the supplies advanced to the cultivator, except that in
Cuba the title to the land rests with the former party. In other words,
the land owner stocks a small farm and supports the tenant until a
crop can be raised, taking a share o f the crop in repayment. Theoret­
ically this ought to be more favorable to the cultivator than the storecredit system, fo r he is not bound to repay any fixed amount upon
which interest runs until the obligation is met. But if we are to take
the word o f the small tobacco planters working under this system, the
net outcome to the laborer is about the same. However, it ought to
be added that in Cuba, as in the South, the industrious and intelligent
laborer can accumulate savings and acquire property under this sort
o f a contract.
Tenancy on shares works rather better in the tobacco than in the
sugar country. The labor is lighter and in time of need the entire
family can be employed in the fields; no heavy carts and oxen are
needed to transport the crop; the tenant is not confined to a single buyer
in disposing o f his interest in the product o f his fields, and he does not
have to wait so long for his first plantings to yield him an income. O f
late years he has had a more assured and profitable maket for his crop
than has the sugar planter.
In the vicinity o f Habana, where there is a varied market, agricul­
ture is more diversified. Here a tenant receives the use o f 4 or 5
acres and o f a yoke o f oxen in return fo r half o f the crop. Upon such a .
piece o f land, to take a specific instance, from four to six crops of fod­
der corn can be raised in a year, averaging 10 tons to an acre. This,
when cut green in the tassel, sells for $4.50 gold ($4.05 American) a ton.
The laborer’s share in the proceeds from such a piece o f land is, there­
fore, nearly $300 gold ($270 American) a year besides any garden truck
he may raise, and his work is much less arduous and exacting than that
on a large plantation. His profits from potato planting in the vicinity
o f Guines, in Habana province, may be equally great, though more
labor is required in cultivating and marketing this crop.
The tenant on shares who raises cane exclusively has one advantage
over those planting other crops. During several months o f the year
his land requires little or no attention and he is free to give his time
to other employments. But as this period o f leisure coincides with the
dull season fo r agricultural labor, he derives little practical benefit
from this advantage.
Coffee planting was once a considerable industry in Cuba, until it
was displaced by the more profitable sugar culture. A t the present



696

BTJLLET1K OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

time some tenant farmers are being stocked in Santiago province, but
this crop is not being rapidly extended, for lack o f an export market.
In some contracts o f which specific information is available, each tenant
is given a caballeria (33i acres) of ground and paid $50 American a year
for three years for gettingin a stand o f coffee and cacao, the latter serv­
ing to shade the young coffee plants. A t the end o f the period a sixyear contract is made, by which the owner and tenant share the crop
equally, the tenant delivering the coffee at the drying place. Coffee
pickers are paid 20 centavos silver (14 cents American currency) (a) for
picking five gallons, the petroleum cans used by importers having
become a standard o f measure in this as in many other lines of busi­
ness. It is only in connection with cacao that coffee can be made to
pay in Cuba at present.
It has already been stated that the wages o f field laborers vary
with locality and season. A s a rule they are higher in the tobacco
country, where white labor is largely employed, than in districts
devoted exclusively to cane raising. Because o f the competition
between the mines and the plantations, the large number o f small
proprietors, and a general undersupply o f labor, and, more recently,
because o f the introduction o f American currency and the demand for
workmen on the Cuban Central Railway, labor prices are higher in
Santiago than in the central provinces. Taking Pinar del Rio, the
most western and tobacco-raising province; Matanzas, the central and
sugar-raising province, and Santiago, in the extreme east, wages have
varied as follows in the last two years, according to statistics fu r­
nished by the secretary o f agriculture and the provincial agricultural
committees:
DAILY WAGES OF FIELD LABORERS IN PINAR DEL RIO, MATANZAS, AND SANTIAGO.
[These prices are in American currency and do not include board.]
Province.
Pinar del R io...........................................................................
Matanzas..................................................................................
Santiago...................................................................................

Highest.
#3.10
1.50
1.00

Lowest.
$0.60
.60
.50

Usual.
$1.00 to $1.50
.65
.70

W ages during the crop season o f 1902 hardly afford a fair idea of
the prevailing cost o f labor in Cuba during average years, because
they were affected by many special and unusual conditions. The low
price o f sugar, the uncertainty as to tariff regulations, the use of three
kinds o f currency, and an impending economic crisis due to all these
causes had a depressing effeet upon wages which was not entirely
counteracted by other favorable conditions, such as the employment
o f an unusual number o f men in railway building and upon public

a The silver peso (100 centavos) is equal to 70 cents American currency in com­
mercial exchange in Habana, and this equivalent has been used in this article.



LABO& CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

697

'works. On the other hand, the prices of provisions and many other
necessities o f life were lower than ever before. The price of rice at
retail in the Mercado del Vapor, at Habana, in April, 1902, was less
than one-half the wholesale price on the produce exchange o f the same
city in the corresponding month o f 1890.
In February, 1902, employment agents in Habana were offering
wages equivalent to $10.50, American currency, and board, or $17.50
without board, fo r field hands and sugar-mill men for plantations in
that province and Matanzas. Personal conversation with laborers in
Pinar del R io established the fact that 1 peso silver, or about 70 cents
in American currency, was the usual wage for tobacco hands in the
more accessible parts o f that province. This did not include board.
In some parts o f the province o f Matanzas the following April cane
cutters and loaders were working for 40 cents in Spanish gold or 36
cents in American currency, {a) In Santa Clara province, along the
Damuji River, field laborers were receiving the equivalent o f $12.50 in
American currency a month and board. The laborers who reported
these wages were members of a night crew, but they stated that they
were paid the same for day work. In the vicinity o f Trinidad planta­
tion hands were said to be receiving only 50 cents a day silver, or 35
cents in American currency, without board; but this rumor could not
be verified. A little farther east, near Sancti Spiritus, where the
new railway was employing many laborers, daily wages ranged from
70 cents to $1 in American currency. In the vicinity of Santiago city
90 cents and $1 in American currency were being paid for unskilled
labor in general.
Grades o f skill are recognized among agricultural laborers, and
influence the scale o f wages paid. The latter is more especially true
during the dull season. A t plowing time in Pinar del Rio a good
plowman is worth 80 cents silver (56 cents American) a day. His two
assistants, or the driver and leader— for it takes three men in Cuba to
plow with a yoke o f oxen— receive 40 and 30 cents silver (28 and 21
cents American) a day, respectively. Women are paid the same wages
as men in the cane fields.
W hile the store system is in existence on many plantations, it is
difficult to ascertain just how universal this institution is and how it
affects the wages o f agricultural labor. A railwa}7manager said: 4 In
4
looking over a plantation with a view to purchase, I found the planta­
tion store reckoned in as a source of profit. The planter made about
50 per cent upon supplies sold, and most o f the money spent by him
for labor came back over his own counters.5 A fruit exporter
’
remarked: 441 have noticed that planters often have an interest in some

aThe gold peso or Spanish dollar is equal to 90 cents American currency in com­
mercial exchange in Habana, and this equivalent has been used in this article.



698

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

store in a neighboring village, and that their hands are paid in orders
upon this establishment.” Stores actually conducted upon plantations
were seen, but no one seemed to know just how much interest the
planters had in them. The itemized schedules accompanying claims
for losses during the insurrection, presented by Cuban planters to the
Spanish Treaty Claims Commission at Washington, include plantation
stores with stocks o f supplies usually consumed by laborers.
The working day upon the plantation is from sunrise to sunset, with
one or two hours’ rest at midday. During the busiest season the sugar
mills run night and day and mill hands and train crews, including
loaders, work in two shifts, putting in altogether nearly a twelve-hour
day. Ten or eleven hours effective work, however, is all that is
usually demanded, except in special emergencies.
There are particular conditions and divisions o f occupations peculiar
to the raising o f each o f the staple crops o f Cuba. Most important
from an industrial point of view is sugar. This is sometimes planted
in fallow lands simply by laying the cane in a trench or Inserting it in
sloping holes made with a pointed stick. It grows vigorously under
such conditions, and with a little attention at first will soon kill out
weeds and other competing plants. The cane is perennial, requiring
some eighteen months to come to maturity for the first time, and can
be recut in some instances for twenty or thirty seasons without
replanting. Humboldt records one instance where cane was cut from
the same settings for forty years, and small patches can now be found
in Santa Clara which are said to have run for thirty years. Usually,
however, especialty on the old plantations, the lands have to be pre­
pared with the same care as for other crops, and require regular retilling
fo r two or three years after planting in order to keep out weeds.
Labor-saving machinery is being introduced to do part o f this work,
but it still continues to employ a large number o f hands. This part of
plantation labor, with the care o f the oxen and other stock used for
plowing and field transportation and carried over from season to
season, and the minor labor in the vegetable gardens and around the
sugarhouse, makes it necessary for the planter to retain on his pay
rolls the year around about half the maximum force employed.
When cane is approaching maturity it is exceedingly combustible,
and special watchmen are employed as fire guards.
During the grinding season the variety o f occupations upon a large
plantation rapidly increases. The production of sugar, even before it
is refined, is as much a manufacturing as an agricultural industry.
The number o f field employees is enlarged by the addition o f a large
force o f cutters and loaders. A s in the hemp fields o f Kentucky, the
best men for the heavy labor o f the cane harvest are the Negroes.
These men either work at a fixed wage or receive so much a load for
cane cut, trimmed, and ready for the rollers. Then come the loaders,



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

699

who heap the ponderous ox wains, and the carters— who are often
white men and receive a somewhat higher wage than ordinary field
hands— who conduct the cane to the mill or the nearest railway siding.
W ith these men the labor o f the field ceases. There are switchmen,
engineers, and trainmen on the larger plantations— for some o f the
more important mills are fed by 50 or 60 miles o f private rail­
road— and mill hands, who are really factory operatives. The three
main classes o f the latter are the feeders, the boilers (including the
men who watch the clarifiers), and the centrifugal tenders. As a
whole or in certain groups they are sometimes supplied by a contrac­
tor. Frequently they are paid by the crop and not according to the
time they serve. A t one plantation visited the centrifugal machines
were tended by a party o f Chinamen who had contracted to do this
work by the crop fo r many successive seasons. The mill labor as a
rule is not particularly difficult and does not require high technical
training. But there is always an expert in charge o f each factory,
who receives a generous salary and whose work comes within the
category o f professional service.
During the grinding season upon a plantation employing 767 men,
428 laborers were required to cut and haul cane, 264 were employed
in the mill, 61 were engaged in railway service, and 14 attended to
the stock.
The small cane planter who sells to the mills conducts a strictly
agricultural business, though he often contracts to cut and deliver
cane for the central plantation. F or his own cane he usually receives
a price based upon a percentage o f the run in sugar. The value
naturally varies at different seasons.
The cultivation o f tobacco is a more democratic occupation than
sugar planting. It can be conducted successfully by the small pro­
prietor and the tenant farmer. Skill counts for more and brute force
for less in making a crop. It is an employment that attracts a large
per cent o f white labor and gives occupation to the workman the year
around.
W hile tobacco can be raised in every province o f Cuba, the industry
is principally centered in Pinar del Bio in the 'vuelta abajo, or downcountry district, where tbe leaf is produced that has made Habana
famous. Here the ground to be planted is selected with great care;
and as that best suited to a high-grade crop does not lie in large con­
tiguous areas, but is divided naturally into small separate parcels, the
character o f the country favors the creation o f small farms. M ore­
over, the care o f a tobacco crop demands the solicitous attention o f an
owner, or o f one who has a direct interest in the product. In the
vuelta arriba, or up-country district, especially in the province of
Santa Clara, where lower grades o f tobacco are grown and a reason­
ably uniform product can be obtained over a large area, there are



700

BULLETIN OE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

extensive vegas, or tobacco flats, where planting is done on a wholesale
scale and with hired labor. But this method o f production is not
characteristic o f Cuba.
The tenant farmer usually takes from 2 to 15 acres of land,, stocked
by the owner, and receives one-half o f the crop fo r his labor. He
hires little help except during the harvest season. Women assist
their husbands in the field, but are not usually employed as hired hands.
During the time when salaried help is employed wages are often higher
than in other parts o f the island, for the class o f men who usually
supply the demand fo r day workmen are busy gathering their own
small crops. M oreover, the competition o f a number o f employers
fo r the same amount o f labor makes wages better than when hiring is
done by a single planter. As tobacco can not be allowed to stand in
the field when mature enough fo r cutting, there are exceptional occa­
sions when the price paid for crop gatherers rises to $4 gold ($3.60
American) a day for very short periods. From $1 to $2 American
currency is as high a rate as is usually paid during the busiest season.
The operations o f tobacco raising are sowing, transplanting, weeding,
worming, budding, cutting, curing, bunching, and baling. The ground
has to be prepared as fo r other crops. Raising seed plants for reset­
ting is sometimes conducted, as a separate business, upon highlands
unsuited fo r cultivating the plant to maturity. One man can attend
to 10,000 plants. These are transplanted from seeding beds to rows
2 or 3 feet apart and 1 or 2 feet apart in the row, and 10,000 plants
do not usually represent more than an acre o f ground. Allowing
for the assistance rendered by his family, 5 acres is probably all that
any farmer can cultivate without hired labor. In 1899 there were
l i acres o f tobacco in cultivation in Pinar del Rio fo r every person
engaged in agriculture in that province, or probably about 2 acres for
every proprietor, renter, or hired laborer engaged in tobacco raising.
Some field work is paid fo r on a piecework basis. A man receives
about $5 in gold ($4.50 American) fo r setting a thousand plants.
During the baling season farmers and laborers receive from $7 to $10
gold ($6.30 to $9 American) a bale fo r packing.
Two-thirds o f the tobacco produced in Pinar del Rio is raised by
white tenant farmers. On one farm, rented on shares by two brothers
and stocked by the landlord, where four or five additional hands are
employed during the busiest season, the combined net profits o f the
two tenants vary from $1,500 to $2,000 gold ($1,350 to $1,800 Am er­
ican) per annum.
Subsidiary to tobacco cultivation is the gathering of palm bark,
with which the bales are covered. The poorer tenants and laborers
collect and store this throughout the year to sell during the packing
season and thus secure a small and variable addition to their income.
W hile many small plots o f yucca, sweet potatoes, and corn are scat­



labor

c o n d it io n s

in

c ij b a .

701

tered among the tobacco fields, agriculture is less diversified in these
districts than would be desirable. This is due partly to the fact that
tobacco soil is not well suited to other crops and partly because the
peasantry lack initiative and an intelligent appreciation o f the advantage
o f varying their products. The same condition prevails in other parts
o f the island. Except in the immediate vicinity o f the larger towns,
there is little market gardening, and this is mostly in the hands o f the
Chinese. There is practically no fruit raising for export. Speaking
o f actual conditions, no demand fo r hired labor exists outside o f the
cane and tobacco fields.
GRAZING.

This industry was destroyed by the insurrection, but is rapidly being
reestablished. In the central part o f Cuba there are large ranges of
natural and artificial pasture, the latter in Guinea and Parana grass.
There are no statistics o f the number o f men employed on the stock
farms o f the island. Wages have always been about the same as those
o f field laborers, ranging from $20 silver ($14 American) to $25 gold
($22.50 American) a month and board. Most cowbo}^s were whites,
even during slavery. Young unmarried men are usually employed
in this class o f work, but on the large ranges many of the herders
occupy shacks and cultivate small plots o f ground allowed them by the
proprietor as incidental to their employment. These men usually
have families. A s an occupation grazing is not sufficiently differen­
tiated from other farm work to offer any peculiar features from the
point o f view o f labor. This industry is mostly carried on in a part
o f the island where there is temporarily a special demand for railroad
workers, and thus wages have suffered less depression than might other­
wise have been occasioned by the recent depopulating o f the ranges.
LUMBERING.

W hile there are few large continuous tracts o f timber in Cuba, and
some woods, like the native pine, have been practically exhausted fo r
industrial purposes, woodcutting and lumbering afford employment
to a number o f people. Much o f the timber used for rough construc­
tion is imported from Maine and the Southern States, either as
unplaned lumber or as squared beams, which are sawed in the local
mills.
Native woods are employed fo r interior finishing, cabinet­
work, and box making. Cedar and mahogany are the most exten­
sively used, though there are many other hard woods suitable for fur­
niture, vehicles, and articles where high finish or durability is desired.
The cedar is mostly consumed in the island, especially in the manufac­
ture o f cigar boxes. The mahogany is largely exported. Hike, quebracha, and other hard woods are used for railroad ties, bridges, ox
carts, native plows, and similar implements. As the consumption is



702

BULLETIN OE THE DEPARTMENT OE LABOR.

almost entirely local, these woods are not extensively marketed, and
little hired labor is employed in getting them out of the forest.
The market for cedar and mahogany logs comes from two sources—
the local mills, most o f which are at the coast towns, and the buyers for
export. Cuba annually sends timber abroad to the value o f more than
$1,500,000 American. Native contractors usually buy standing timber
o f the landowner and sell it at tide water. In the country near the rail­
roads there is little left that can be marketed, but some is received in
Habana by rail from Pinar del Rio, the rest being floated to the coast
by small streams during high water. When land is cleared remote
from either o f these means o f transportation the logs, even o f the
most valuable timber, are burned with the brush.
The most extensive lumbering operations are conducted in the cen­
tral and eastern provinces, where labor is not plentiful and American
currency is in use. W ages are therefore relatively high. The low ­
est price reported by contractors for unskilled men in the vicinity o f
Santiago and Manzanillo is $1 a day. In the vicinity o f Habana
equally good workmen can be secured fo r two-thirds that amount.
The irregular habits o f the native Cuban make it more profitable to
pay cutters and hewers by the piece. The customary price for felling
and barking a tree giving a 30-foot log 48 inches in diameter is 50
cents. For larger trees 80 cents is paid. Rates fo r hauling and river
driving vary with the character o f the country and the distance o f the
standing timber from water, but contractors usually estimate the labor
cost of getting a log from stump to sea at about 50 cents. W here it
greatly exceeds this the timber is not apt to be utilized.
Mahogany is exported in the hewn log because in this form it enters
foreign countries at a lower duty. It so happened that all the men
who were seen hewing—that is, in several gangs in different parts o f
the island—were Spaniards or white Cubans. They seemed to be an
exceptionally prosperous lot o f workmen. The usual price paid for
mahogany hewing is from $5 to $7 American currency a thousand
superficial feet.
Most of the large mills are at Habana. They not only saw and
plane lumber and veneering, but make molding, sashes, doors, and
boxes. In all departments o f the establishments at Habana between
one and two thousand men are employed. A good sawyer cuts from
3,000 to 10,000 feet a day, according to the kind o f timber and whether
he is sawing boards or veneer. He receives from $60 to $100 Spanish
gold ($54 to $90 American) a month. The men listed as carpenters in
these mills are usually highly skilled workmen, employed in manu­
facturing furniture, store fixtures, paneling, doors, and blinds for the
local market. This class o f work is usually done to order, no large
stock of finished product being kept in store, and power machinery is
lesk extensively used than in similar establishments in the United



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

703

States. These carpenters receive the equivalent of $2 and $3 a day in
American currency. Carters, pilers, and other unskilled or partially
skilled workmen receive from $1 silver to $1.50 in Spanish gold a day,
or from 70 cents to $1.35 in American currency. W ages are paid in
the local money and their purchasing power is slightly greater than if
paid in American money at ruling rates o f exchange.
In what is probably the largest mill in the island sawing native
timber, situated at Manzanillo, in the province o f Santiago, and em ploy­
ing over 100 men in the plant itself, engineers are paid $100 a month,
head sawyers, $3.50 a day, and planers and helpers, $1.50 a day.
These wages are in American currency. The salesmen o f this com­
pany in Habana and Cienfuegos receive $100 and $80 a month,
respectively. Men are paid weekly and the working day is ten hours.
Most sawmill machinery is imported from the United States.
Large band saws, cutting through the log, are not used successfully
for want o f sawyers sufficiently skilled to work them. Smaller saws
of this kind are found in many o f the Habana mills.
W ood choppers and charcoal burners are paid from $12 to $17
silver ($8.10 to $11.90 American) a month and board when employed
at regular salary. But the method o f paying by contract is also pre­
ferred in this industry. No fuel is used fo r house heating in Cuba
and only charcoal is employed for domestic purposes. Firewood, cut
into yard or 4-foot length, is used in the bakeries. For felling, chop­
ping, and piling this, about $2.50 silver or $1 75 American money a
cord is paid.
(fathering mangley bark for use in the tanneries is another wood­
man’ s industry. This work is not usually done by hired labor and
compensation varies with the price o f the bark. During part o f the
year a man can make about $1 silver (70 cents American) a day at this
business.
M INING, QUARRYING, AND CLAY WORKING.

W hile there are probably large undeveloped mineral resources in
other provinces o f Cuba, mining as an employing industry is practi­
cally confined to Santiago. The copper mines once so successfully
exploited are being reopened, but do not yet appear in labor statistics.
Manganese mines have been developed since the American occupation,
about 125 men being regularly employed, at 85 cents American money
fo r a ten-hour day. This is surface working, and the mines are some
distance from the city o f Santiago. Both Cubans and Spaniards are
employed. Mechanics are paid $2 American money a day.
The iron mines o f this province employ over 4,000 men when suffi­
cient labor can be obtained. The miners are Spaniards, Cubans, and
Porto Ricans. The first o f these are preferred when they can be
secured. Paying the same wage, it costs about 5 cents a ton less to



704

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

get out ore with Spanish labor than with the other workmen employed.
The wages were form erly $1 silver (70 cents American); now they are
the same amount in American currency. A ten-hour day is the.rule.
The men are boarded by the companies for 25 cents a day, and are
given a 63-ounce ration, including fresh meat. Men are paid by con­
tract whenever this is feasible, especially fo r transportation and wharf
work.
Mining is not a popular occupation, though the men are better paid
and cared fo r than in most other work o f a similar character. This
is probably due to the fact that a considerable amount of sustained
physical exertion is required to shovel ore. The men are in gangs,
and there is less opportunity fo r conversation and the other minor
relaxations in which the Cuban laborer delights than in field labor,
and altogether it is a less cheerful employment from his point o f view.
F or this reason it is hard to keep men fo r any length of time. They
take a vacation every pay day. The number dropped from the pay
rolls each month averages 30 per cent o f the total number employed.
Under such circumstances special inducements are offered to keep the
men fo r longer periods, the manganese mines giving $2 American
money a month premium to all laborers working twenty days or more.
The iron mines import men from Spain through Spanish employment
agents, and give these laborers a premium o f $15 American money if
they remain steadily in their employ fo r ninety days and $30 if they
remain one hundred and fifty days. This addition to his regular wages
is sufficient to pay a man’s passage from Spain to Cuba.
During the present year the problem of labor supply has been more
easily solved in the mining districts, in spite o f the competition o f the
railroad, because the low price o f sugar lessened employment on
the plantations. This condition is reflected in the monthly output
o f the mines o f one company, which was 20,000 tons o f ore in Janu­
ary, 1901, and 37,000 tons the same month o f the present year. This
increased output was due to the fact that the supply o f labor has
recently been more nearly adequate to meet the demand.
The mining o f asphalt has been begun in Habana province since the
American occupation, and during the ten months ending October 31,
1901, nearly 1,800 tons, to the value o f more than $39,000 American
money, were exported. These mines employ about 100 men, and pay
80 cents American currency a day fo r common laborers.
One o f the materials most commonly employed in the construction
o f the larger buildings in Cuban cities is a soft, friable limestone,
which can be quarried almost anywhere in the island. This stone is
dressed with a large, double-bladed broadax, and it weathers consid­
erably on long exposure. Fragments and bowlder-like concretions are
used in making the rubble walls o f dwellings and the commoner sort
of buildings, and are burned fo r lime. Only unskilled labor is needed



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

705

to dig out rock o f the latter kind, and this work does not figure as a
special occupation; but quarrymen getting out squared stone in the
quarries near Habana earn about $2 in Spanish gold ($1.80 American)
a day. They are frequently paid by the block or the cart load. This
stone is so soft that it usually receives its final dressing immediately
before being placed in the wall.
In the quarries and kiln yards that supply Habana with lime labor­
ers receive $1.50 silver ($1.05 American) a day, without meals. This
is a higher wage than prevails near Matanzas and Cienfuegos, where
workmen o f this class are paid $1 silver (70 cents American) or even
less. Stonebreakers near Matanzas reported that they were getting
but 55 cents silver— the equivalent o f 38^ cents in American money—
for a day’s work, without board. A t other quarries limestone dig­
gers getting out the broken stone burned in the kilns were being paid
7 i cents silver (5 cents American) a cart load. Ten or twelve cart loads
were considered a fair day’s work for one man, so he could earn the
equivalent o f 55 or 65 cents in American currency.
These wages apply also to common laborers employed in brickyards.
Brickmakers in the vicinity o f Habana are paid $1.25 silver (87i cents
American), without meals. This is an industry o f considerable extent,
for many brick are used in Cuba in the course o f a year, and they are
practically all o f native manufacture. Cement and tile are also man­
ufactured near Habana, and pottery is made in a crude way at Campo
Florido and some o f the smaller towns, but no special conditions
worthy o f note characterize the condition o f labor employed in these
industries.
FISHERIES.

There are coast and deep-sea fisheries in Cuba sufficient to supply
the local market. One Habana firm keeps 342 men employed, 50 of
whom are engaged in shore fishing and the remainder are boatmen.
No fish are cured, and all are kept alive until marketed, so no special
establishment except for the actual taking and storing o f the fish is
required.
The larger schooners carry a crew o f eight men, and make cruises of
from ten to forty days, according to the catch. These cruises extend
to the Florida coast and Yucatan. The boat owners purchase from the
crew all the catch at a customary price, deducting one-third from the
total for rent and victualing o f the vessel— or occasionally more or less
fo r the latter item, according to the extent o f the cruise and the cost
o f the supplies furnished. It is usual, however, for the owner to
speculate on both rent and victualing, receiving no more than onethird, no matter how long the cruise or how small the catch. The
captain receives 10 per cent o f the remainder before any deductions
are made, and his pro rata per capita share o f the balance. The crew
share their portion o f the proceeds o f the catch equally.



706

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Upon the small sloops used to carry fish to Habana from the shore
stations there is usually a crew o f three men. The captain receives
$30 Spanish gold ($27 American) a month and maintenance, and the
crew $17 ($15.30 American) and maintenance. The share fishers who
go on the longer cruises are supposed to do somewhat better, their
income averaging about $25 a month in Spanish gold ($22.50 Ameri­
can) and maintenance while at sea.
The total fleet employed by the firm giving these data, which prac­
tically monopolizes this industry for Habana, consists o f 32 longcruise schooners and 1 short-cruise boats, besides 5 coasting boats for
bringing in the catch from the shore stations. The total number o f
fishing boats clearing from Habana harbor is 54.
In the other coast towns the business is not so well organized and there
is less long cruising, but the profits o f those who make a profession o f
fishing are about the same. In the smaller ports the pilot frequently
combines fishing with his professional employment or owns an inter­
est in the fishing boats o f the harbor.
W hile there are no accurate statistics at hand, it is probable that
about 1,000 men make their living in Cuba by supplying the market
with food fish.
The sponge fisheries were once o f considerable importance and even
now supply an annual catch valued at about $400,000. This industry
is organized much like that o f the food fishers. Boats sail principally
from the four ports o f Caibarien, Nuevitas, Santa Cruz del Sur, and
Batabano, the former two on the north and the others on the south
coast o f the island. The sponges are sold in mixed lots and bring from
30 to 50 cents American currency a dozen at the landing. There is a
statement o f the condition o f this industry in the annual report o f the
Economic Society for 1899. The number o f men employed in this
business is not given, but it varies greatly at different seasons o f the
year and with the profit o f the daily catch. It is not the exclusive
occupation o f a large part o f the population o f any o f the towns men­
tioned, though at one time and another it probably engages as many
men as the food fisheries. The average earnings in the two occupa­
tions during a normal season are reported to be about the same.
Turtle fishing in Cuba is not an important industry, the value of
the annual catch averaging but a few hundred dollars.
BUILDING TRADES.

Most house construction in Cuba requiring skilled labor is of brick
or o f a cement and rubble composition called mamposteria. Stone is
used in some o f the more pretentious city edifices. Frame buildings
are to be found occasionally in the suburbs o f the larger cities, espe­
cially in tne summer resorts near Cienfuegos, Santiago, and other
coast towns. While o f modest dimensions, these are frequently well



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

707

built. The wooden buildings common in the country and in the
smaller towns are usually o f very crude construction. In a few o f
the older and less progressive towns adobe or wattle construction is
being used, even in buildings erected at the present time, but no
skilled labor is required for this purpose. Most o f the country people
o f Cuba reside in palm-bark huts, which are made and repaired by the
occupant without the employment o f hired labor. The kind o f con­
struction requiring skilled mechanics is therefore o f a durable and
permanent character, though Cuban masonry requires more frequent
repairs than its appearance of solidity might indicate. A large pro­
portion o f the people are housed in buildings which, though temporary
in character, require for their construction only the talent o f the coun­
try laborer. Consequently the number o f men engaged professionally
in the building trades is not relatively a large percentage o f the popu­
lation o f the island.
W hile the two occupations are not distinguished from each other by
special designations in the native speech, the trade o f the rough car­
penter employed in frame construction and outdoor work in general
should be treated as a quite different occupation from that o f the cab­
inetmaker and the carpenter employed in interior finishing. The two
trades connote an entirely different degree o f skill and general effi­
ciency in Cuba. F or this reason only rough carpenters are consid­
ered under the present heading. The higher class workmen may be
employed occasionally upon houses, but it is only in a subsidiary
capacity. They make the doors, panels, and finer interior finishing o f
masonry buildings, but are not employed on work that involves a
knowledge o f structural questions. They are therefore considered
under woodworking trades.
As a rule the Cuban rough carpenter or the skilled carpenter
employed upon work that requires a knowledge o f framing is a pecu­
liarly inept and inefficient workman. The men are not well enough
educated to be handy with the practical application of figures to the
problems o f their trade, and all work is done by rule o f thumb. This
does not matter so much, in fact it may lead in the end to more careful
work, in constructing a piece o f furniture. But the Cuban workman is
more apt to slide his finger to the proper point on his rule and hold it
there in making a number o f measurements than to take his distances
from the readings. In putting a small piece o f wood into position
he cuts it a trifle too large and then patiently works it down to exactly
the required dimensions, until it fits almost with the exactness
of a fragment o f marble in a mosaic. But he can not apply these
methods o f work to erecting a building, and in attempting to do so
resorts to extraordinarily awkward and time-consuming expedients.
Timbers for rafters will be taken to the top o f a building, placed in
8563— No. 41—02----- 4



708

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

approximate position and marked, and then taken down or even
brought back to the ground for sawing. Another method o f securing
the same result is to construct the roof frame entirely upon the ground
and then take it to pieces and reerect it in its proper position. Frame
posts and timber beams are not set square or exactly in line, siding
boards are not sawed squarely across so as to make close joints, and it
would sometimes be a matter o f difficulty to find in any door or window
frame or any room corner o f a building a single right angle.
This lack o f mathematical accuracy is characteristic o f all the
mechanical trades in Cuba, though it is perhaps most obvious in car­
pentering. It is accompanied by a want o f the knack of applying work
so as to make it count in results. There is a great waste o f energy
due to a failure to organize and direct effort economically. Men work
as if their minds were not upon what they were doing. It is this,
perhaps, rather than inherent indolence that makes the Cuban mechanic
worth less than an American to his employer.
The number o f carpenters in Cuba, according to the occupation
tables, is over 14,000. A majority are whites. The wages of a skilled
mechanic in this trade vary widely in different parts of the island.
Men in government employ are better paid than others. In the
engineering department they receive $2 in American currency for an
eight-hour day. This department has had several hundred men on its
rolls at times. The department o f public works pays from $1.50 to
$2.50 in American currency. The latter is probably the maximum
wage paid fo r this kind o f work in Cuba. In Habana, Matanzas, and
Cienfuegos ordinary carpenters receive $2 and $2.50 in silver ($1.40
and $1.75 American) fo r a ten-hour day, which falls within the range
o f wages paid by the public works department, except that the day
is two hours longer. In the smaller towns wages vary with demand,
and in the winter o f 1901-02 men could be found working at this trade
for a peso silver (70 cents American currency) a day. In most rural
districts and small towns the wages paid in silver are equivalent to $1
or $1.50 in American money.
According to the census statistics there are less than half as many
masons as carpenters in Cuba. This is due partly to the fact already
mentioned, that woodworkers o f all kinds are often spoken o f as ca/rpinteros. There are also many men employed on buildings as masons’
helpers who do not rank as members o f the trade. The Negroes
engaged in this occupation are more than double the number o f the
whites. The trade is partly local; that is, the members work under
conditions and with materials that are peculiar to Cuba and SpanishAmerican countries. Its traditions come down from the time when
slave laborers, under the direction o f one or two specially trained
workmen, were the ones usually employed to erect a masonry build­
ing. A house was built something like a fortification, by unskilled



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

709

men under the direction o f a few officers. The best trained workman
in a community is therefore often a black man who has inherited the
trade from ancestors working under these conditions.
In several
places where houses were being erected or repairs were being made in
Habana and vicinity the foreman in charge o f the work was a fullblooded Negro, while many o f the men under him were whites or
mulattoes.
Some branches o f this trade require an exceptional
amount o f skill and command higher than the average wages. Tile
layers and stone masons are better paid than ordinary bricklayers.
Construction is not accurate and traditional methods, forms, plans,
and design are used to such an extent as to make one Cuban building
appear very much like another. The massiveness o f the masonry,
while often explained as necessary to withstand tropical storms or
earthquakes, is really due to the inferiority o f the materials employed,
the lack o f knowledge o f structural economies on the part o f builders,
and an unevenness in the skill o f mechanics that makes it necessary to
allow a large margin for possible errors or slighting in the work. The
lack o f accuracy in measurements is sufficiently indicated by a mere
glance at a room floored with tiles or other regular pavement. The
tiles will usually run away from and encroach upon opposite sides o f the
room, necessitating the use o f cement to even out the flooring material.
F loor beams and the rafters that support the tile roofs are put in by
the masons or carpenters; and so in large buildings recently con­
structed in Habana where considerable steel framework was employed,
the latter was set up by the same gangs o f workmen that made the
walls. The trades are not sharply differentiated from each other, and
the amount o f technical skill involved in their practice is not suffi­
ciently great to prevent a handy man from following several o f them
at different times while employed upon the same job.
The best paid men among the masons are the stone cutters and tile
layers, if we leave out o f account wages paid for supervision. A
native stonecutter can do more with the soft limestone used in Cuban
buildings than an American versed only in working the harder stones
used in the United States. He can earn about $3 in Spanish gold ($2.70
American) a day. A tile layer can do even better, earning $4 and $5
a day at times, if he does work on contract.- This applies only to floor­
ing tiles, for roof tiles are laid by ordinary masons and bricklayers. If
employed at a wage the floor layers receive $3 Spanish gold ($2.70
American) a day in Habana, and if they do piecework they are paid 40
cents a square meter (10.764 square feet) for laying. From 8 to 10
meters (86.111 to 107.639 square feet) is a good day’s task. W here
they work on contract and furnish the tiles they receive about $5 a
square meter (10.764 square feet) for high-grade work. But there are
many workmen, in fact a majority o f those employed in this branch o f
their trade, who do more common kinds o f work, such as laying court



710

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

flagging and cheap floor tiles, and do not earn more than a third or a
half o f the wage just mentioned. It is the same with the different
kinds o f stonecutting. W hile, as said above, men employed on a large
public edifice, like the trade-school building now being erected at
Habana, can earn $3 gold ($2.70 American) or over a day, marble cut­
ters who represent a trade requiring equal skill are paid but $2.50 for
lettering, and $1.50 for polishing. In a small Habana shop where
most o f the work was polishing tops fo r caf6 tables the workmen
were paid $1.50 silver ($1.05 American). There are no fine stone
carvers or sculptors in Cuba, and the best monument trade o f Habana
is in the hands o f an Italian. The statues frequently used to adorn the
interior courts o f fine dwellings are imported, as the duty charges
upon statuary do not countervail the extra freight of importing the
marble uncut.
Skilled bricklayers receive from $2 to $3 a day in Spanish silver
($1.40 to $2.10 American). Apprentices are paid about half that
amount. A good man can lay— parallel or in any o f the imperfect
bonds in common use— 300 to 350 o f the large brick o f the country in
a day. These brick measure 11£ by 5£ by Si inches, so that about 40
cubic feet o f wall is considered a normal day’s task. Hod carriers
and other helpers receive $1 silver (70 cents American) a day. Con­
tractors sometimes employ skilled masons by the month.
The laying o f roof tiles is not considered a separate branch o f the
trade— unfortunately fo r the people who live under them— and is usually
done by the same men who make the walls. Plastering over lath is not
practiced in Cuba, and there is little or no hard finishing or calcimining. Exterior brickwork is always cemented over, so that the brick
walls in the United States look raw and unfinished to the Cuban seeing
them fo r the first time. In most cases this plastering directly against
the brick is done by the men who lay the walls. W here it is a sepa­
rate occupation wages are about the same as those o f bricklayers, with
a tendency to be somewhat lower where there is any difference.
Painters rank all the way from common laborers to men o f some
taste and training employed upon sign work and interior decoration.
The whitewashers and brush men who lay on the exterior colors used
to protect the cement surfacing o f Cuban houses from the weather
receive from $1 silver (70 cents American) to $1 American money a
day. The latter wage is paid by the engineering department. The
average pay o f skilled painters is $1.50 silver ($1.05 American). The
best men receive $2 American currency in Government employ. A
sign painter or decorator working at Habana is able to command $12
to $15 silver ($8.40 to $10.50 American) a week. Some o f these men
are very skillful workmen. A large majority o f them are whites.
Until the American occupation, and at the present time outside of
Habana, plumbing was not considered a separate trade from gas and



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

711

electric fitting. There is no steam fitting for heating purposes in Cuba
except in a special way in some canneries and other industrial estab­
lishments. F or many years a number o f Cuban towns have been
supplied with water and gas, and some have nominally had sewer sys­
tems. A Cuban pipe fitter was therefore supposed to be able to install
any piece o f apparatus connecting with a tube. Much of the appa­
ratus used was rather primitive, but as there was no freezing, less
demand was made on the skill o f the plumber or fitter than in the
United States. W ater was also delivered under very low pressure
and was seldom carried, and few connections o f any sort were made,
above the first floor. Few plumbers were familiar with modern forms
o f flushing apparatus. There was not such a thing as a wiped joint
in Cuba. On the other hand, ground connections had to be permanent
on account o f local methods o f construction. The tile floors are laid
in concrete, and it is an expensive matter to tear them up for repairs.
For this reason simple connections and cast-iron joints were used
wherever possible, even at the surface, where no allowance has to be
made for frost expansion. Interior plumbing is practically the same
as street work and exterior connections.
W ith the American occupation, when many public buildings came
under the charge o f army officers and other officials from the United
States, American apparatus and methods o f installation were introduced.
The military government has done much renovating, repairing, and
new building, and private owners have followed the lead o f public
authorities in purchasing and putting in sanitary supplies. This move­
ment has been further stimulated by stricter government inspection.
The native plumbers were not usually qualified to do the work required,
and as a consequence a number o f plumbers from the United States
found employment in Cuba, especially in Habana. These men are
organized, and the union wage o f $5 a day is maintained. Cubans are
eligible to membership in the American union, but none have quali­
fied. They are learning the new methods so far as these are applicable
in Cuba, however, and continue to do a large part o f the regular plumb­
ing in private buildings and practically all the gas fitting. But they
have been trained under a government that did not conduct regular
sanitary inspections or enforce a high standard o f work. As a conse­
quence, there is a general leakiness about water connections in private
houses in Cuba and a lack o f thorough workmanship about all pipe fit­
ting that creates distrust in the competence o f the workingmen.
American flushing apparatus fails to give satisfaction in many instances
for want o f an adequate water supply. And as a Habana plumber
drolly remarked apropos to the sewers: “ Its hard to make a good con­
nection with nowhere.” Native workmen receive from $2.50 to $3 in
Spanish gold ($2.25 to $2.70 American) a day, but do not have regular
employment. Apprentices are paid 50 cents a day and meals. Gas



712

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

fitters in company employ are paid $60 and $75 a month in Spanish
gold ($54 and $67.50 American), and helpers, who are listed in the
rolls as plomeros or plumbers, are paid $37 a month in the same cur­
rency ($33.30 American). Electric fitters receive $3 a day in Spanish
gold ($2.70 American).
An American firm dealing in electrical supplies and doing a general
contracting business in both New Y ork and Habana reports that about
is much and as satisfactory work can be got out o f a Cuban electric
litter in a nine-hour day as from an American workman in New Y ork
in an eight-hour day. Young Cubans trained as riveters in iron con­
struction master the business in a few weeks and do as well as Am eri­
cans at the same wages. But in spite o f the prevailing lower price o f
labor, the cost o f construction in Cuba is much greater than in the
United States.
According to estimates made by the engineering
department o f the military government fo r the express purpose o f
establishing the facts, the labor cost o f erecting a building is 40 per
cent greater in Habana than in any city o f equal population in the
United States. Masonry construction costs about 30 cents American
money a cubic foot. W h y Cuban labor is relatively so expensive is
indicated by an experiment made by the Palatino Brewing Company
of Habana. A s this company chanced to be conducting building oper­
ations in that city and in the United States at the same time, they
transferred a gang o f American bricklayers to Habana and put them
to work by the side o f the Cubans already employed, so that the con­
ditions o f labor were the same. Upon actual measurement the maxi­
mum number o f brick laid by a Cuban workman was 500 a day, and
by an American workman 1,800, nine hours constituting a day’s labor.
This proved the average ratio between the amount o f work done by
the two gangs. Although the Cuban bricklayers were paid only $2.50
silver a day, which at current exchange amounted to $1.75 in Ameri­
can money, and the Americans received the union rate o f 55 cents an
hour, or $4.95 fo r a nine-hour day, the cost o f laying a thousand brick
with American labor was but $2.75, while with Cuban labor the cost
was $3.50, estimating upon the maximum number o f brick laid bv a
workman.
CLOTHING TRADES.

Until recently there has been little ready-made clothing sold in
Cuba, and factory production does not exist in the island. Under­
clothing and furnishings are mostly imported, and European countries
control this trade. But outer garments fo r both sexes— shirts, many
shoes, and some light hats— are o f domestic manufacture. There are
more than 18,000 working people, aside from launderers, engaged in the
clothing trades. This does not include the many thousands o f women
who make their own garments and part o f those for the male members




LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

713

o f their families in their own homes. In the remote interior o f Cuba,
30 or 40 miles from any better means o f communication than a pony
trail, the palm-leaf hut of the countryman often contains an American
sewing machine as its only piece o f purchased furniture, and Span­
ish editions o f American fashion magazines are to be found in these
humble dwellings 30 miles from any post-office.
Partly because the climate forbids the use o f heavy materials for
outer garments the ladies’ tailor has not established himself in Cuba.
Dressmaking as a profession is entirely in the hands o f women. There
are more colored than whites reported in the census statistics of this
trade, but the fashionable shops in Habana and elsewhere are run by
white women, and in some instances by foreigners. Where dressmak­
ers or milliners are employed as such, and not as salesladies or man­
agers, they receive a salary of from $30 to $60 gold ($27 to $54 Am eri­
can) a month, according to the grade o f the establishment. But a
large majority o f those engaged in this occupation work privately,
and their earnings vary with their skill and the amount of custom they
receive. It is probably rare for a good dressmaker to earn more than
$50 gold ($45 American) a month, and the average earnings in this
business are less than half that amount.
Most o f the tailors in Cuba are Negroes, but, as in case o f dressmak­
ing, fashionable work is in the hands o f the whites. Most sewing is
done by women outside o f the shops, though there is nothing in Cuba
exactly corresponding to the sweat shop in the United States. As
already stated, there is no factory production, but some o f the larger
shops make up ready-made clothing during the dull season in order to
keep their hands employed. This industry, however, is not impor­
tant. A tailor, therefore, is chiefly a cutter and fitter, though he
usually occupies himself with sewing during the time he is not
otherwise engaged. Cloth is not shaped out after cutting, so it is
unusual for a Cuban, though follow ing the same patterns, to get the
same effect as an American tailor. Gum is not used at the bottom of
trousers’ legs, but instead lining is sewed in with a fine seam. This
is considered work requiring exceptional skill, and is usually done by
the tailor himself. The salary o f a good cutter ranges from $30 gold
($27 American) a month in small establishments to $100 in the more
fashionable Habana shops. Meals are often given in addition. Sew­
ing is done in private families by the piece. In Habana the rates are
75 cents silver (52£ cents American) for sewing a pair of trousers,
except the bottom seam just mentioned. About 30 cents is paid for
bottom seams and lining in case this work is done outside the shop.
For sewing a coat from $3 to $5 silver ($2.10 to $3.50 American) is
paid, according to the quality o f goods and the amount of fine work
required. The skill o f Cuban sewing women, especially in finer
grades o f work, is exceptional, and they earn from $20 to $40 in



714

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OE LABOR.

Habana, or from $14 to $28 a month in American money. In small
towns, when they work full time, their earnings are 20 or 80 per cent
less than that amount.
Many shirts and blouses are made in Cuba, either in special estab­
lishments or by clerks in stores dealing in furnishing goods. Male
workers do the cutting and sew in bosoms and collar and cuff bands.
W omen sewers do the remainder o f the work, receiving from 15 to 17
cents silver (10£ to 12 cents American) a shirt. Cutters and finishers
are usually boarded in the establishment, whether it be a special shop
or a general store manufacturing its own stock, and are paid in addi­
tion a salary o f from $20 to $50 gold ($18 to $45 American) a month.
Considerable leather is tanned in Cuba, and the Spanish and Cuban
foot— or the local taste— requires a peculiar last, short and thick in
the instep, so that there are conditions favorable to the home manu­
facture o f shoes. There are nearly twice as many shoemakers as tail­
ors in the island. A majority of these also are Negroes. But many
o f the shoemakers reported in the statistics are cobblers, who set their
small bench and chest o f tools in a public arcade or in a corner o f
some retail shop, plying their trade at irregular intervals and shifting
their location whenever business grows dull. These men do little else
than repairing, though one can see shoes being made for the custom
trade literally in the public highways o f Cuba. The earnings o f this
class o f petty and irregular workmen are hard to compute. Probably
they do not average more than a peso or so, silver, a day, or from $20
to $30 a month in American currency. Skilled workmen in Habana
receive a wage o f $2 silver ($1.40 American) a day. In the suburban
town o f Marianao two men employed in making stock for a store were
being paid, respectively, $26.50 and $30 a month in Spanish gold
($23.85 and $27 American), besides board and lodging. They worked
from nine to ten hours. In the interior town o f Colon shoemakers
doing the same kind o f work were receiving but $1.20 silver (84 cents
American) a day without board. Most o f the shoemaking o f Cuba is
done by hand, without other special conveniences than a foot-power
sewing machine. There are two factories using power machinery in
the island, both o f them at Habana. They employ about 50 men, 20
women, and 15 children. The working day is from 7 to 10 a. m., and
from 11 a. m. to 5.30 p. m. Male operatives receive $1.50 silver
($1.05 American) a day, and women and children, who are employed
mostly in packing, earn about two-thirds that amount. The average
wages do not exceed $20 or $25 a month in American currency, with­
out board.
No hats are manufactured in Cuba except some made from imported
straw braid and a cheap palm hat, or low-grade Panama, similar to the
Arecibo hats o f Porto Rico, which are woven by peasant families.
The weavers engaged in this industry at Trinidad reported that they



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

715

could earn about 50 cents silver (35 cents American) a day by work­
ing steadily. In Habana hat cleaners and ironers receive about $30
Spanish gold ($27 American) a month, with board and lodging.
The 22,000 launderers reported fo r Cuba do not include more than
a few hundred who possess technical skill in this employment or
understand modern machinery. A bout 1,000 are males and 4,00C are
white. The women, who do the bulk o f the work o f this kind, consti­
tute a branch o f the servant class, and their earnings approximate those
o f domestic servants. In Habana and other large towns there are
steam laundries and some skilled labor is employed. Starchers and
ironers are paid about $40 silver a month, or $28 American money,
with board and lodging. W orking by the piece 6 i cents silver (4f
cents American) is paid for starching and polishing a stiff-bosom shirt.
W ork o f this kind commands a relatively high salary in Cuba as a
factory occupation because o f the warm climate.
FOODS AND LIQUORS.

The simple character o f the food used by most o f the people limits
the variety and extent o f these trades in Cuba. As kitchens contain
no conveniences fo r baking, no bread is made in private families.
The bakers, therefore, constitute the most important class of workmen
in this division o f occupations. They number over 5,000, and prac­
tically all o f them are men, the majority being colored. The hours of
labor in this employment are long, as much o f the baking is done at
night. Board and lodging are usually given in addition to wages, and
the latter range from $15 to $20 silver ($10.50 to $14 American) a
month in smaller towns and from $30 to $40 ($21 to $28 American) in
the larger cities. Skilled bakers in large towns do not receive on an
average more than the equivalent o f $30 American money a month
and board. The reason fo r the relatively low wages prevailing in this
trade, considering the amount o f labor required, may be that it is con­
sidered somewhat similar to domestic service in popular estimation.
In a Habana confectioner’s establishment, devoted to making the
small cakes and sweetmeats sold on the streets by venders, where 12
men were employed and no board or lodging was given, $25 and $30
silver ($17.50 and $21 American) a month was being paid for from ten
to twelve hours’ work a day. In larger establishments wages are about
the same, except that in first-class places they are paid in Spanish gold
and meals are given.
Professional cooks receive from $15 to $40 gold ($13.50 to $36
American) a month, besides board. In some Habana hotels $25 in
American currency was being paid. In smaller towns salaries are
much less, often not exceeding $10 gold ($9 American) a month and
board.




716

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

There are several chocolate factories o f some size in Cuba. Most
o f them are run by Spaniards and employ Spanish operatives. Male
employees are usually lodged and boarded in the establishment, where
special quarters are provided for them.
Wrapping and packing are
done by women and girls in separate rooms, and they are paid upon a
piecework basis. In one factory in Habana, where 150 hands were
employed, the highest-paid operative received $75 a month in Spanish
gold ($67.50 American) and board. Machine tenders and apprentices
were paid from $15 to $45 in the same currency ($13.50 to $40.50
American), freighters and carters received from $30 to $40, and 22
women packers and labelers were estimated to earn 66 cents each a day.
Board was not provided for female employees. The working day was
twelve hours, less the time taken for meals. In a smaller factory o f
the same kind the two master workmen received $60 gold ($54 Am er­
ican) and the 13 ordinary hands and helpers $15 gold ($13.50 American)
a month, besides meals and lodging. This was about the ratio o f
higher to lower paid labor found in each factory.
Macaroni and soup paste are manufactured in the island. The fac­
tories supply only the local market. In an establishment employing
40 hands, and manufacturing by machinery, skilled help received from
$30 to $40 gold ($27 to $36 American) and meals.
There are some factories for canning native fruits, and especially for
making guava paste and jelly. This industry could be extended con­
siderably. A t present it supplies only the local market. In a cannery
in Santa Clara employing 35 hands, including tinners fo r making cans,
wages were from 70 cents to $1 silver (49 to 70 cents American) a day.
The small amount paid workmen was explained to be due to the gen­
eral depression o f business in this cane-growing province on account
o f the low price o f sugar. It was estimated that about 50 persons in
Santa Clara were employed in canning and preserving fruit for the
market.
The factories for the preparation o f food products that were visited
in Cuba were clean, well ventilated, and well conducted, and the
employees ordinarily presented a neat appearance. An exception must
be made o f some bakeries and cake shops, where a visit to the center
o f production took away all inclination to consume their wares, but,
as a rule, especially in establishments conducted by Spaniards, there
was nothing unappetizing in the conditions surrounding the prepara­
tion o f Cuban food products under the factory system.
The consumption o f fresh meat in Cuba amounts to about 40 pounds
a person per annum, as compared with 132 pounds per annum in the
United Kingdom. Those listed as butchers in the occupation statistics
are slaughterhouse men, and as the number given is only 481, it prob­
ably does not include apprentices and helpers. The cattle used in each
municipality are killed in a single licensed or public establishment, and



LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

717

butchers are paid according to the amount o f work done. In the vicin­
ity o f Habana the usual price for killing, dressing, and preparing
cattle for market is $1.50-silver ($1.05 American) a head. Butchers also
receive certain portions o f the slaughtered animal, such as the head,
feet, and portions o f the entrails. A good cutter in a retail shop
receives from $25 to $30 a month with board, paid in Spanish gold in
the larger cities and in silver in the provincial towns. A few men
who are skilled in meat curing and sausage making are paid more than
this in the finer Habana shops, though the maximum salary reported
does not exceed $35 American money a month and meals. The hours
o f labor are longest in the larger towns, where ice is available. In
small and remote places meat is necessarily disposed o f within a few
hours o f killing, on account o f the climate. Business is not usually
heavy in any Cuban meat shop fo r more than six or seven hours a day,
and even in Habana the retailer frequently puts out a card in the
late morning or afternoon to indicate whether or not his day’s supply
has been sold.
Crude salt is ground and refined for table use in a small Habana
establishment. The machinery is run by water power. Employees
are paid $30 silver ($21 American) a month, with board and lodging.
Fruits and vegetables from the market gardens are sorted and packed
in Habana fo r the New Y ork trade. One shipper, who employs 150
men in this work, pays $1.25 silver (87£ cents American) a day without
board. Boys employed in sorting receive about half this amount.
Spanish laws forbade the raising o f grapes in Cuba, and there is at
present no wine industry. American demand and example and the
increased cost and deteriorated quality o f Spanish wines since the
recent tariff changes have so greatly extended the consumption of beer
in the island that there are now two large breweries in Habana and
smaller ones in other towns. Ice factories are run by all these estab­
lishments, and the sale o f ice is an important item in their business.
Malt and hops are imported. The plant and machinery o f the larger
companies is practically new and their business is organized and con­
ducted on modern lines, so there is little to distinguish these establish­
ments from those in the United States. The pay roll o f one large
brewery in the suburbs o f Habana contains 200 names, including some
building mechanics employed on repairs and new constructions. No
women are employed. A ll wages are paid in silver except those of
the German head brewer, who receives a salary o f $200 a month in
gold ($180 American), besides a house and servant. His assistant, a
Cuban, is paid $45 a month. Ordinary brewery hands regularly
employed receive $25 a month and meals. The head bottler earns $ i
a day, and his 25 boy assistants 60 cents each a day and meals. Com­
mon laborers and outside hands are paid $1.20 without meals, and
masons receive $3 a day. In the ice factory the foreman o f the cutting



718

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

room receives $42 a month without meals, and his assistant $1.25 a
day. A ll the employees mentioned, except the head brewer, are paid
double for Sunday and night work. The manager of this establish­
ment, a Cuban educated in the United States, receives a salary of
$1,800 silver ($1,260 American) a year, with quarters for himself and
family. Ice-wagon employees are paid about $8 silver ($5.60 Am eri­
can) a week, without meals. Delivery is expensive in Cuba because
ice is purchased in small quantities. Men experienced in the business
in both countries report that it costs as much to deliver a ton and a half
in current custom delivery in Cuba as to deliver five tons in the United
States. There are 11 ice factories on the tax lists o f the Cuban cities.
In Habana competition is said to have made the business unprofitable
at present.
A large amount of rum is distilled and consumed in Cuba, and
1,140,000 gallons were exported during the last fiscal year. Cordials
and other liqueurs are also manufactured, but only for the domestic
market. In the Habana distilleries the employees are usually boarded
and receive wages o f from $25 to $30 a month in Spanish gold ($22.50
to $27 American). In some of the smaller towns the same nominal
wages are paid in silver. In a factory employing 27 hands, where a
specialty was made o f cordials, the proprietor retained possession of all
the recipes and did the mixing himself. Some of the Cuban products
o f this kind are said to be o f very high quality and have been awarded
medals at foreign expositions.
There are between thirty and forty factories fo r the manufacture of
soda water and other aerated drinks in Cuba, o f which seven are in
Habana. In an establishment in that city, employing about twenty
hands, all the factory men are Spaniards. W ages are in Spanish
silver, and board and lodging are given in addition. Foremen receive
$35 ($24.50 American), teamsters $30 ($21 American), and other hands
from $15 to $20 ($10.50 to $14 American) a month. The men work
nearly twelve hours, less the time taken fo r meals. The proprietor
o f this establishment is an American who has been in Cuba many
years. He speaks highly o f the steadiness and industry of his Spanish
employees. The men have few expenses except for clothing, and some
o f them have several hundred dollars o f back wages on deposit with
their employer.
D A IR Y FARM ING.

There is comparatively little dairy business in Cuba. Some milk is
supplied to the Habana market from neighboring towns by the ordi­
nary train service, but fo r climatic reasons and lack of facilities for
cooling milk when first drawn, extensive dairy farming has not been
made a success. In the larger towns milch cows are stabled in the city
itself and fed with green fodder— usually sown corn— brought in from




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

719

the country. M ilk is often peddled on horseback, from cans carried
in the saddlebags. A white, highly salted curd cheese, extremely
unpalatable and indigestible, is made by the country people and sold
in local stores with other native food products; but it is not an article
for which much o f a demand could be created in a foreign market.
Butter is not successfully made in Cuba. Dairying, therefore, can
hardly be said to be established as a separate industry. Milk venders
and stable hands in the cities are to be considered as ranking with ped­
dlers and unskilled laborers. They earn from $10 to $20 a month in
American currency. The Habana dairy stables usually have cement
floors and are kept in most commendable condition.
METAL WORKERS.

This class o f occupations, embracing in all about 10,000 mechanics,
four-fifths o f whom are white, enrolls among its numbers the highestskilled and best-paid manual workers o f Cuba. It includes engineers,
whether locomotive, marine, or stationary, because until recently these
were required to be trained machinists.
This requirement, as is
stated elsewhere, was the result o f certain historical traditions in the
railway service, where the earliest engineers were the machinists who
accompanied the first locomotives imported into the island. Practi­
cally the same conditions surrounded the first introduction of steam
machinery on the sugar plantations. On an isolated plantation it was
always found convenient to be able to rely upon a single employee to
run the engine and to supervise the rest of the machinery and make
repairs, and the same was true o f the locomotive engineers employed on
the plantation railways. Some o f the material for this report was gath­
ered riding behind a locomotive constructed upon a plantation. In
order to become an engineer a man was supposed to be able to make
his engine and all the machinery run by it. Whether he was actually
qualified to do it or not, this was the ideal standard, and in most cases
he was competent to meet the practical demands o f all ordinary
emergencies.
The men employed in the metal-working trades o f Cuba, however,
are not usually engaged in manufacturing. They simply constitute
the force necessary to keep the machinery o f the island in working
condition. Their principal business is making repairs.
Blacksmiths are men who have learned to shoe the stock, iron the
wagons, and keep in order the agricultural implements used on the
plantations. Theirs is a rural occupation, and is the only one of the
metal-working trades in which Negroes predominate. Most black­
smiths own or have an interest in their shops, and earnings do not
usually come to them in the form o f wages. A good mechanic in
this trade earns from $30 to $60 silver ($21 to $42 American) a month.
In large cities he makes more. In Habana skilled horseshoers are



720

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

paid $2.50 silver or $1.75 American currency a day, and some men in
the employ o f the Government are paid as much as $80 a month in
American money. This is probably the maximum wage for this kind
o f work in Cuba.
A kindred employment requiring a higher grade o f skill is the
manufacture o f ornamental ironwork, extensively used for gates and
window screens in Cuban houses, the designing of which is often done
by the workmen and is usually in excellent taste. In fact, this iron­
work is perhaps the most artistic product o f native manufacture.
Skilled workmen receive $3.50 a day in Spanish gold ($3.15 American).
Helpers and apprentices are paid from $1 to $1.50.
There are machine shops o f considerable extent at Habana, Cienfuegos, and one or two other points in Cuba. In an establishment o f
this kind at Regia, across the bay from Habana, between 100 and 300
men are employed according to the season. No meals are given. The
working day is nine hours, and high-class mechanics receive $4 a day
in Spanish gold ($3.60 American). This wage holds good for pattern
makers, molders, foundry men, lathe men, and all highly skilled
employees. The supply o f really competent men in these lines does
not always meet the demand. Helpers and regularly employed lab­
orers are paid $1.50 a day, and firemen between $1.50 and $2. Appren­
tices are usually full-grown youths and receive a helper’s wage.
Outside laborers are paid from $1 to $1.50 a day. A ll the wages
quoted are in Spanish gold and are about 10 per cent less than corre­
sponding wages in American money. In a machine shop in Matanzas,
a city where the effect o f the depression in the sugar industry was
most severely felt, skilled workmen receive the same nominal wage
as in Habana, but in silver. This amounts to about 30 per cent dis­
count at the money changer’s, though the purchasing power o f silver
in the local markets is relatively greater than the rate of exchange
would indicate.
The wages o f locomotive and marine engineers will be mentioned
under Transportation. Compensation for this service in industrial
establishments varies with the responsibility o f the position. There
was formerly a sort o f general understanding to the effect that a com­
petent engineer in any line ought to command a monthly salary of 8£
onzas, or $137 in Spanish gold. Upon the plantations house and light
were usually given in addition. This is the maximum salary paid at
present in prosperous establishments. Upon many plantations, how­
ever, not more than $80 or $100 a month is paid. The last-mentioned
salary also holds good fo r many large enterprises in Habana, like the
gas and electric light works; but in such cases competent mechanical
engineers and machinists are employed fo r extra service, and the
responsibility o f the man who runs the engine ends with the super­
vision o f the engine-room machinery.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

721

A fireman was not form erly considered on the road to promotion to
a position as engineer, and he was classed among unskilled workmen.
He received only a slightly higher compensation than the common
laborer, and that because his employment was unusually disagreeable
in a tropical climate. As a result there is not much special training
in this occupation. American employers state that the unnecessary
waste through improper firing more than countervails the saving
through low wages. A fireman earns from $25 to $45 gold ($22.50 to
$40.50 American), according to the location and importance o f the
factory where he is employed.
Boiler repairers in Habana engaged in putting in new tubes are
paid $3 silver ($2.10 American) a day. D ry-dock hands and boat
builders are paid as high as $3 Spanish gold ($2.70 American) for a
nine-hour day. Sail makers and riggers receive about the same wages,
though prices hold less firm in this occupation.
In Habana and the provincial towns there are some men employed
in making tin pails and cans fo r preserves, honey, and other local
products. Ordinary repair work also occupies a small number. The
wages o f these workmen are not as high relatively as those of other
mechanics in metal-working trades. Many receive but $1 silver (70
cents American) a day in the smaller towns, which is about the wage
o f a good field hand. In Habana competent workmen are paid $2 and
$2.50 silver ($1.40 and $1.75 American) a day without meals.
Silversmiths usually own their shops and do not receive their earn­
ings in the form o f wages. In Habana an expert at his trade can
make from $3 to $4 a day in Spanish gold ($2.70 to $3.60 American).
A good journeyman or apprentice earns from one-fourth to one-half
that amount.
Gunsmiths, locksmiths, and watchmakers when working for wages
receive a salary that varies widely, according to their skill and the
grade o f the shop where they are employed. A salary o f $100 gold ($90
American) a month, even in the finest places in Habana, would be un­
usual. In ordinary shops and in smaller towns the few workmen who are
hired are often content to make a mere living, with the prospect o f suc­
ceeding to the business or establishing themselves elsewhere in course
o f time. Their wages are nominal— enough to purchase cigarettes and
clothing— and they are boarded by the proprietor. There is always
great competition in Cuba in a trade that does not require much physi­
cal exertion, especially if there be a certain amount of dignity or
refinement attached to its pursuit. Probably these are the reasons
why the occupations just mentioned are not more remunerative out­
side o f the large cities.




722

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
PRINTING TRADES.

Printing offices are numerous in Cuba, and even unimportant towns
usually have a weekly paper. The periodicals representing various
interests in the larger cities are almost as numerous as in the United
States. But a vast majority o f all these publications consists o f poorly
printed and short-lived little sheets, containing only a modicum of
reading matter, and often intended to further the private interests of
some leader, clique, or organization. The equipment o f these offices
is usually scanty and antiquated, and old methods o f printing are still
employed. Dampened paper was used in the presses o f even the most
important Habana dailies until after the American occupation. There
are no typesetting machines reported in the island.
F or over a century the printers o f the larger cities o f Cuba have
had facilities fo r bookmaking, and some very tasteful and durable
work has been done in the binderies o f the island. The attempts
at illustration were usually rather crude. A t present, however, there
are Habana houses whose typographical and half-tone work compares
favorably with average work o f this kind in the United States. Amer­
ican printers and pressmen are employed on some o f the more impor­
tant Habana dailies.
Like many other occupations, the printing trades of Cuba are
crowded with inferior workmen, who compete fo r positions in the
small offices and job-printing shops to such an extent that wages are
often forced down to a mere pittance; but skilled compositors and
pressmen command a fair salary, being Better paid than reporters and
news writers.
The printing trades are organized, and in Habana the union scale is
enforced in 33 o f the leading offices. The space rates for composition
are 25 cents silver (Yl{ cents American) a thousand ens for day work in
Spanish, 40 cents (28 cents American) fo r day work in a foreign lan­
guage, and double rates for night work and fo r Sundays and holidays.
This represents about 35 cents in American money for ordinary day
work, reckoning space by the thousand ems, as is usual in the United
States. W here salaries are paid, the union wage is $14 gold ($12.60
American) a week. In computing salaries three hours night work or
work on Sundays or holidays counts fo r a full day. The working day
consists o f nine hours, from 7 a. m. to 5 p. m ., with an hour for the
midday meal. The salaries per month (in gold) fo r presswork are:
Head pressman, $60 ($54 American); assistant pressman, $50 ($45
American); job pressman (footpower), $45 ($40.50 American); feeders,
$40 ($36 American). Stereotypers are paid $60 ($54 American) a
month and their Helpers $40 in Spanish gold ($36 American).
In small offices and m country towns printers’ salaries vary from
$20 to $50 silver a month, or from $14 to $35 in American currency.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

723

On account o f the demand for cigar and cigarette box labels and
advertising posters for the tobacco firms, the lithographing business
has attained considerable importance in Habana. Most o f the mate­
rials used are imported from Germany, and German names appear on
the lists o f employees o f these establishments, but the art has become
fully domesticated in Cuba. Skilled lithographers are paid about $80
gold ($72 American) a month. Lithographic printers receive from
$40 to $80 gold ($36 to $72 American) a month, according to the
amount o f skill and responsibility required o f them. Apprentices are
paid from $12 to $18 gold ($10.80 to $16.20 American) a month. The
hours o f work are practically the same as in the other printing trades.
There are probably 300 men employed in all departments of the
lithographing business in Cuba.
W hile there are a number o f Cuban books published each year,
they are usually placed upon the market unbound. Most imported
books also come in the paper covers. Nearly all o f the binding done,
therefore, is on private order, and usually does not involve elaborate
cover designing. Another branch o f the trade is the manufacture o f
ledgers and commercial books, where the work is done on a more
extensive scale. French rather than American precedents are fo l­
lowed, but there is seldom any departure from conventional patterns,
materials, and methods. The larger, establishments employ from 30
to 40 men. A skilled binder acting as foreman can earn $60 gold ($54
American) a month; assistants receive from $30 to $50 ($27 to $45
American), and apprentices from $6 to $30, according to skill and
experience. A number o f very young boys were seen doing work
that appeared to require long training. In one shop a boy, apparently
not more than 13 years old* had charge o f the ruling machine. It is
probable that the proportion of the total number o f employees receiv­
ing full salaries, as compared with those who are on an apprentice
basis, is much smaller in a Cuban establishment where different grades
o f skilled labor are employed than in a corresponding establishment
in the United States.
TOBACCO TRADES.

These trades represent the only manufacturing industry o f Cuba that
has reached a high degree o f development and exports a large amount
of finished product. While the production o f sugar is in part a manu­
facture, it is a rural industry, is carried on only during certain seasons
o f the year, and requires little manual or technical skill on the part of
operatives. On the other hand, the tobacco trades employ a large
number o f skilled hands in proportion to their product, and they are
concentrated at a single point. So labor is more highly organized and
there is more o f the atmosphere characteristic of modern industry
about this business than about any other in the island.
8563— No, 41— 02------5



724

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

According to data afforded by the Cigar Manufacturers’ Union,
there are in Habana alone more than 116 large and 111 small cigar and
cigarette factories, employing between 18,000 and 20,000 operatives.
The usual hours o f work are from 6 a. m. to 6 p. m ., with an hours’
rest at noon. W ages vary according to the competency o f workmen,
especially among cigar makers, where payment by the thousand is uni­
versal. Specially skilled workmen are employed on high-grade stock,
and earn relatively more, as the price o f making per thousand is usually
rated at from 25 to 33 per cent o f the wholesale price o f the cigar. In
this branch o f the trade men earn from $2 to $3 a day in Spanish gold
($1.80 to $2.70 American). A good workman can make from 100 o f
the highest grade to 200 o f the lower or medium grade cigars a day.
In the small shops, where the cheap stock sold by street venders is
made, cigar makers do not earn more than $1.50 or $2 silver a day
($1.05 or $1.40 American), In the city o f Santa Clara, where a union
schedule is observed, workmen receive from $5 to $15 silver ($3.50 to
$10.50 American) a thousand for making, and can average about 200
a day. This would make their earnings equivalent to about $9 a week
in American money, though in an interior town like Santa Clara the
purchasing power o f silver is higher than the rates of exchange indi­
cate. In small towns in the vicinity o f Habana the earnings are about
the same as in Santa Clara. This is also true o f Cienfuegos, where
living expenses are higher and the relative condition of the cigar
makers is therefore worse. In Trinidad and some o f the remoter
towns a workman earns about $1 silver (70 cents American) a day,
his only advantage over the unskilled field laborer being that his work
requires less physical exertion and that he is more regularly employed.
Some cigarettes are still rolled by hand fo r the local trade, but by
far the larger part are now manufactured by machinery. Machine
tenders receive about the same wages as ordinary cigar makers. The
same is true o f those employed in hand rolling. In the largest factory
in Habana machine tenders are paid $2.50 silver ($1.75 American) a
day, and hand rollers are supposed to earn the same amount working
by the thousand.
The highest paid employees are the sorters, who grade the cigars
before packing. Many o f these men are Spaniards, and they are fre­
quently family connections o f the factory owners. It does not appear
to be customary to promote men from the cigar bench to these posi­
tions. A good sorter earns $4 or $5 gold ($3.60 or $4.50 American)
a day, about $100 ($90 American) a month being the average salary
paid in the larger factories. But it is only in establishments having
brands o f wide reputation that the highest wages are paid fo r this kind
o f service. In country towns and small shops where sorters are
employed their earnings are not over $2 or $3 gold ($1.80 or $2.70
American) a day.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

725

Strippers are usually paid by the bundle {manojo) o f 100 leaves, and
many women and girls are engaged in this branch of the business.
There is usually one stripper to four cigar makers. Women are
employed only in stripping and in packing and labeling, and nearly 25
per cent o f the operatives in many o f the factories are females. Some
o f the large leaf-exporting houses have none but women strippers on
their pay rolls. A single establishment in Habana employs 400.
Evidently this occupation is not included in the census statistics, where
only 1,580 women are reported in the tobacco trades. These employees
are usually young— probably a majority are 17 or 18 years o f age—
and they are reported to be mostly self-supporting girls, who leave the
occupation after marriage. Many o f them work irregularly or only
part time, and earn but 40 or 50 cents silver (28 or 35 cents American)
a day. In some o f the large factories strippers are paid 9 and 10 cents
silver (6 and 7 cents American) a bundle, and from 10 to 15 bundles is
considered a good day’s work. Male strippers earn more, but the
average wages in this occupation are not more than $5 or $6 a week in
American currency.
Labelers and packers are almost entirely women. In the large
factories they are sometimes paid a salary and receive breakfast at the
factory. In one factory the women are paid for this work $34 a month
in Spanish gold ($30.60 American). For packing cigarettes 25 cents
silver (17i cents American) a thousand is paid in Bejucal and Santa
Clara, and 2,000 is considered a fair day’s task. In the large Habana
factories women packers reported that they were able to earn about
$12 silver ($8.40 American) a week. The packages in which cigarettes
are wrapped are made outside the factories, usually in the homes o f
the operatives. Forty cents silver (28 cents American) a thousand is
paid fo r this work. So the earnings o f packers and labelers and those
employed in making packages vary from $2 to $7 a week in American
currency.
Men engaged in unbaling tobacco and in sorting and spreading the
leaf earn from $20 to $60 gold ($18 to $54 American) a month, but the
latter wages are paid only to expert leaf selectors, who are competent
to sample and buy tobacco during the crop season. Porters and cartmen receive $25 and $30 gold ($22.50 to $27 American) a month.
As the tobacco trades afford a large field for employment in Habana,
and almost the only one, aside from sewing and domestic service, in
which women are customarily engaged, factory positions are much
sought for by girls without means and by women thrown upon their
own resources for support. Employers state that their waiting lists
usually contain from 50 to 200 names, and that political and personal
influence is often brought to bear to secure positions. The sanitary
and moral conditions in the more important factories, while not always
ideal, are usually better than those surrounding the homes of the



726

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

operatives. Meals are often furnished to salaried employees. W omen
generally work in separate apartments. Boys apparently not more
than 10 or 12 years old are sometimes to be seen on the benches
learning the trade. In all factories where the number o f employees
is sufficient to make it practicable each cigar maker contributes a small
quota— usually 10 cents silver (7 cents American)— a week to pay for
a reader, a man whose profession it is to read the daily papers, novels,
and occasionally more serious works to the men while they are engaged
at their tasks. The fact that the benches are arranged not unlike the
seats in a schoolroom, and that no noise is made in rolling cigars, renders
this quite feasible. A s the men are paid by the amount of work done,
their employer does not suffer because o f any decreased output due to
this arrangement. Sometimes in a quiet country town the presence
o f a cigar factory is first indicated to a stranger by the loud voice of
the reader sounding behind the half-closed lattice o f an adjacent build­
ing. A t one time in the Habana factories, Bastiat, Say, and some
o f the older French economists were read, but the works usually
selected are o f a much more popular character. These readers earn
from $10 to $20 silver ($7 to $14 American) a week, according to the
number o f employees in the factory. A workman is not obliged to
pay the weekly contribution fo r the reader’s services, and some refuse
to do so, but judging from conversation with the cigar makers this is
not the direct road to popularity with one’s fellow-employees.
In small shops no women are employed. Low-grade cigars, manu­
factured in dark cellar passages and damp court arcades, are produced
under anything but wholesome conditions. The Habana health depart­
ment forbids the employment o f consumptives in the factories.
TRANSPORTATION.

The carter is as prominent in all Cuban land transportation as is the
government teamster in army transportation. He figures numerously
on the pay rolls o f every large enterprise where freight Js handled.
In the country, where his vehicle is a ponderous two-wheeled ox cart,
he is usually a salaried employee. In the city, where the lighter mule
cart is used, be often works on shares or is proprietor of his equip­
ment. His business is one frequently requiring severe physical exer­
tion. There are more Spaniards than either blacks or native whites
engaged in the occupation. Where salaries are paid they are higher
than those fo r ordinary unskilled labor— about 25 per cent more as a
rule. W hen field hands are receiving $18, carters often are paid $25
a month. In Habana men working on shares take one-half the gross
proceeds for their labor, the owners receiving the remainder in return
for all expenses o f equipment and maintenance. When business is
good a cart can earn about $4 gold ($8.60 American) for each work­
ing day. Averaging the year through, carters on shares in Habana



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

727

thought they earned about $9 gold ($8.10 American) a week. A
Sevillian carter owning his mule and cart was receiving 4 onzas—
slightly less than $60 in American money— a month from a cigar fac­
tory. The Habana Gas Company pays its salaried carters $31.80 gold
($28.62 American) a month. The Government has been obliged to
pay $5 American currency a day fo r ox cart and team and carter’s
services in the country. Though such charges are exceptional, the
cost o f freight transportation by team is very high in Cuba as com­
pared with the cost o f such service in the United States.
Coachmen are not as well paid as carters, partly because their work
is easier. In Habana, when employed on a salary in a private family,
they rank with the better class o f male domestics and receive about
$20 silver ($14 American) a month in addition to board. The gas
company pays its coachman the same salary as its carters, $31.80 gold
($28.62 American) a month. The former salary is nearer that paid in
livery barns, with lodging and sometimes meals in addition. Coach­
men working on shares, as do a vast majority o f those driving public
vehicles, average hardly $1 silver (70 cents American) a day. In many
cases they are obliged to take coaches at a fixed rental, which must
be paid before they are entitled to any share o f the receipts. Under
this system some Habana coachmen report that they seldom make
more than 1 or 2 pesetas (15 or 30 cents American money), except on
Sundays and holidays, when they clear $4 or $5 silver ($2.80 or $3.50
American). This business has been injured in Habana by the intro­
duction o f electric traction, but in no city is a coachman’s occupation
considered a profitable one.
Omnibus drivers in Habana are paid $40 silver ($28 American) a
month, without meals, for eleven hours’ work. They collect fares,
but do no stable work. Hostlers and stablemen are paid from $12 to
$30 silver ($8.40 to $21 American) a month and board. The latter
salary is paid the foreman in a large Habana livery stable.
Railway employees, exclusive o f administrative officers, earn from
$1 silver (70 cents American) a day to $137 gold ($123.30 American)
a month, according to the kind o f service performed. Wages are
usually computed, and fares and freights are collected, in Spanish
gold, which exchanges for 10 per cent less than American money, and
this currency will be understood where no statement is made to the
contrary in treating o f railway labor. The working day is usually ten
hours fo r service where regular hours can be observed, though during
the cane season employees o f all classes often work overtime. An extra
rate is paid section hands, road mechanics, and shopmen for Sunday
and night work. On one o f the largest roads this is one and a half
times the regular wages. Section hands, crossing guards, and station
agents are usually allowed light and quarters.
On account o f their light equipment and low rate o f speed, Cuban



728

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

railroads do not require as much track work as a railroad in the United
States except during the rainy season. It is not uncommon to see
weeds and grass growing between the rails, and a stretch of new bal­
lasting would be so rare as to attract immediate attention. Fish plates
are often entirely wanting on the main track, and still more frequently
lack one or two bolts or are entirely unattached at one end. On an
excursion train running at about 25 miles an hour over some of the
most-used tracks in Cuba passengers were often nearly thrown from
their seats by the jolting. As these conditions suggest, the total labor
expenditure for track maintenance is not large. Including foremen
and section hands, there is about one ‘trackman for every 3 miles of
roadbed of the public railways o f Cuba. Exclusive of construction
gangs, this kind o f labor employs about 400 men in the island.
Section foremen receive about $40 gold ($36 American) a month and
section hands from $18 to $20 ($16.20 to $18 American). There is one
foreman to 20 or 30 hands. Road mechanics employed in station and
yard work and on bridges are paid about $2 ($1.80 American) a day,
and their helpers earn from $20 to $25 ($18 to $22.50 American) a
month. Foremen are paid about $10 ($9 American) a month more
than ordinary mechanics. Their gangs are smaller than those of the
section foremen, not numbering, as a rule, more than 7 or 8 men,
including helpers.
Shop mechanics receive about the same pay as road mechanics; that
is, $2 gold ($1.80 American) a day. This applies to metal workers o f
all kinds and carpenters. Painters do not earn more than $1.50 ($1.35
American) a day. One road pays its pattern maker $100 a month.
Helpers and apprentices are paid $25 and $30 ($22.50 and $27 Ameri­
can) a month. Shop mechanics and helpers outnumber section hands
and road mechanics. The skilled workmen employed in both road and
shop work by the Cuban railways number in the neighborhood o f
1 , 000, and their average wages are $2 ($1.80 American) a day. There
are about 500 helpers and apprentices, whose wages are one-half that
amount.
Train crews are made up about the same as in the United States,
except that air brakes are not used—so there is more hand braking—
and there is no dining and sleeping car service. The number of
brakemen employed is not large, however, as trains are light, run at
a low rate o f speed, and apparently slow into stations with only locomo­
tive brakes applied. Train-crew service on the public railways o f
Cuba employs about 500 men. Locom otive engineers receive from $60
to $137 gold ($54 to $123.30 American) a month, firemen are paid from
$35 to $45 ($31.50 to $40.50 American), and oilers and cleaners receive
about $20 ($18 American). Conductors are paid rather less than engi­
neers, their salaries ranging from $80 to $125 ($72 to $112.50 American)
on passenger trains and from $55 to $65 ($49.50 to $58.50 American) on



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

729

freight and accommodation trains. Brakemen receive about $30 ($27
American) a month.
Station agents are paid from $40 to $60 ($36 to $54 American) a
month and quarters. Switchmen and other yard men and watchmen
are paid from $25 to $30 ($22.50 to $27 American), and yard foremen
in Habana receive $45 ($40.50 American). Much o f the water for the
road tanks has to be pumped, and for this service $30 ($27 American)
and house is given on one o f the principal lines. Car cleaners and
coalers are paid $20 and $25 ($18 and $22.50 American) a month.
Freight handlers and ordinary laborers earn $1 (90 cents American) a
day. Therefore, men employed in traffic service on Cuban railways
do not earn more than $500 or $600 ($450 or $540 American) a year,
and a large majority o f the yard employees receives much less. It is
difficult to estimate the number employed in this branch o f railroad
service, as there is a great difference between the cane season and the
remainder o f the year. Probably the average number is between
1,500 and 2,000 and wages range from 70 cents to $2 a day in American
money.
There is little night work on the Cuban railways, except during the
cane season. Some roads run no night trains whatever.
Upon the shorter lines, especially those engaged in suburban service,
lower wages are paid. One short road operating five trains maintains
the follow ing salary schedule: Engineers, $93 silver ($65.10 American);
firemen, $24 silver ($16.80 American); station agents, $50 silver ($35
American) and house. Trackmen and freight handlers receive 85 cents
and $1 silver a day, or 59£ and TO cents in American currency. Con­
ductors are paid $2.50 silver or $1.75 in American currency a day.
A ll fares are collected in .silver upon this road. The working day
consists o f ten hours, except fo r train crews, who work eighteen hours
and a day off, preferring this to a straight nine-hour day.
There is no electric traction service outside Habana and vicinity.
Altogether the two roads in operation employ regularly less than 300
men, except in construction. The power-house employees upon the
suburban railway are paid as follows for a twelve-hour day:
E n gin eer........................................................................................ $80 silver ($56 American)
Second en gin eer...........................................................................$60 silver ($42 American)
Firemen..............................................................
$40 silver ($28 American)
H elp er............................................................................................ $30 silver ($21 American)
Oilers ( b o y s ) .............................................................................. $10 silver ($7 American)

W hile the urban tramways were being changed to electric lines,
construction gangs were paid at the rate o f $1 or $1.25 and foremen
$3 a day in American currency.
A t present labor of this class is
paid the same nominal wage, but in silver. The 5-cent fare charged
on the lines is silver, and all employees are paid in the same money.




730

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

When a change is made in the character o f the currency collected, a
corresponding change is promised employees in their salaries. The
schedule o f daily wages is as follows:
Shop foreman..................................................................................$4. 70 ($3.29 American)
Armature w in d e r .......................................................................... $4.32 ($3.02 American)
Carpenter, b o s s .............................................................................. $3.00 ($2.10 American)
Carpenter........................................................................................$2.50 ($1.75 American)
Blacksmith......................................................................................$2.50 ($1.75 American)
Car assembler..................................................................................$2.25 ($1.57J American)
L in em en ..........................................................................................$2.00 ($1.40 American)
Yard mechanics.............................................................................. $2.00 ($1.40 American)
Painters........................................................................................... $1.50 ($1.05 American)
Cleaners............................................................................................$1.50 ($1.05 American)
H elp ers............................................................................................$1.25 ($0.87 J American)
Inspectors.................. .............................................. per m on th ..
$100 ($70 American)

Motormen and conductors work two shifts a day, of five hours each,
with five hours rest between. They are paid according to a contract
providing a scale rising with the term o f employment. The time
clause was made retroactive, so that conductors and drivers who were
in the employ o f the horse-car company that preceded the electric
traction corporation receive the higher and in some instances the
maximum wages for long continuous service. This contract contains
the follow ing wage schedule and special provisions: First year, $1.90
silver ($13.30 American) for ten hours’ w ork; second and third years,
$2 silver ($1.40 American) fo r ten hours’ w ork; fourth and fifth years,
$2.10 silver ($1.47 American) for ten hours’ work, and so on by twoyear intervals, until a maximum wage o f $2.60 ($1.82 American) a day is
reached at the end o f thirteen years’ service. It is stipulated that the
regular hour rate shall be paid when an emergency makes it necessary
for employees to work overtime. Motormen and conductors provide
their own uniform and watch, and conductors also provide their own
ticket punch. The uniforms and caps are o f linen, and the cost o f a
complete outfit is about $5 silver ($3.50 American). This contract con­
tains a pledge not to join any labor union or other organization that
might affect the relations o f employees with the company.
In A pril, 1902, the Cuba Company was employing in round numbers
10,500 men upon construction work on the Central Railway. About
40 per cent o f these were Cubans, the remainder Spaniards and other
imported laborers. Ordinary workmen were paid from 80 cents to $ l
in American currency. The greater number o f foremen and engineers
were Americans. The shops o f the company, which are located at
Puerto Principe, will give employment to about 2,500 mechanics and
other workmen. Provision has been made fo r 50 trains, and it is
expected that there will be an increase in permanent railway employ­
ment corresponding to this equipment as soon as the road is in
operation.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

731

The public telegraph lines o f Cuba are controlled by the Govern­
ment, and operators are paid in American currency. Salaries vary
from $40 to $50 in country offices to a maximum of $110 in Habana.
Linemen are paid $1 a day. Railway operators receive about the same
nominal salaries as those paid by the Government, but in Spanish gold.
Nearly 90 per cent of the 5,000 sailors and boatmen o f Cuba are
whites, and a majority of them are o f foreign birth. In the coasting
trade fares and freight charges are collected and wages are paid in
Spanish gold. On the larger steanlers captains and chief engineers
are paid $137 ($123.30 American) a month and underofficers are paid
from $70 to $80 ($63 to $72 American). Stewards and cabin employees
earn from $10 to $20 ($9 to $18 American) a month. Only men are.
employed in this capacity.
Ordinary seamen on steamers and on the larger coasting schooners
are paid $25 and $30 ($22.50 and $27 American) a month and board.
A schooner captain, when paid a salary, receives in the neighborhood
o f $60 ($54 American) a month. His mate, who acts also as super­
cargo, receives $30 ($27 American) a month. On the harbor tugs a
captain gets $50 or $60 ($45 or $54 American) a month, an engineer
$45 ($40.50 American), and sailors and cable men $30 ($27 American).
W ith the possible exception o f the cigar makers, the longshoremen
are the most thoroughly organized workers in Cuba. They have con­
ducted with more or less success several strikes in different ports, and
as a result their pay is regulated by a fixed tariff, established by arbi­
tration between the shippers and harbor men under intervention o f the
port authorities, which is sanctioned by the military government.
The tariff for Habana and Cienfuegos, which is typical for the island,
fixes a piece price for lightering and loading and a day wage for unload­
ing. The latter is $2.50 in American currency for a full day o f ten
hours, $1.25 for a half day, $4 fo r a full night, $2 for a half night, and
night rates for work on Sundays and holidays. Each person furnishes
his own subsistence. No person can be employed continuously for
night and day work. A t Matanzas stevedore charges for loading
average slightly less than at Habana, because they are paid in Spanish
gold instead o f American currency, but the day wage established for
unloading is higher. A stevedore without maintenance receives $3
($2.70 American) fo r a day o f ten hours, or $2.50 ($2.25 American)
with maintenance. The rates fo r night work and work on holidays
and Sundays are double those fo r day work, or $6 ($5.40 American)
fo r a full night without maintenance instead o f $4 American as at
Habana. Lightermen and wharf laborers receive $1.60 ($1.44 Am er­
ican) a day. There is much complaint by shippers and consignees that
the cost o f harbor work is exorbitant in Cuba. The men work in
gangs— usually o f 15— under a capataz, or boss, who is generally an
officer o f the union. A whole gang must be employed, no matter how



732

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

little work is to be done. The amount accomplished per man is said
to be less than in the United States. Where maintenance is given and
there is competition for men, Spanish ships have the advantage of
American or English ships, because the workmen prefer the food and
cooking o f their own countrymen.
In smaller ports the capataz
usually contracts to unload a cargo for a fixed price, employs the nec­
essary men, and divides the proceeds o f the job among them. A s a
rule the Cuban stevedore will prefer a job and a system of payment
by which he can work three or four days a month for $15 and be in
enforced idleness the rest o f the time than one by which he can earn
$50 a month and have continuous employment.
Lighter charges are also fixed by a schedule sanctioned by the G ov ­
ernment after conference and agreement by all interested parties.
Rates are established, based upon the piece, trip, and demurrage. The
lighter boss usually has quarters on his boat, and receives a salary of
$30 or $40 ($27 or $36 American) a month in gold. His assistants are
paid by the day.
The handling o f molasses has been systematized to such an extent that
wharf exployment in this line has been reduced to a minimum. One
firm in Regia, employing six men, now handles as much as five firms
form erly did with a force o f 700 men. The molasses is brought in
from the mills in tank cars o f 4,000 or 5,000 gallons capacity, pumped
directly into the receiving tanks, and from these passes by gravity
pressure to tank barges, which lighter it to the steamers. Each of
the six employees mentioned receives $42 silver ($29.40 American) a
month, without maintenance.
Warehousemen at Regia, Habana Harbor, are paid from $30 to $50
gold ($27 to $45 American) a month, according to the responsibility and
trust o f the positions they occupy. A t Santiago longshoremen are paid
on an average $1.60 in American currency. Coal heavers in Habana
are paid $2.50 gold ($2.25 American) fo r 10 hours’ work. Regular
employees on the coal docks receive a salary o f $30 gold ($27 American)
a month, and laborers are paid 20 cents silver (14 cents American) an
hour.
WOODWORKERS.

It has already been mentioned that the Spanish word fo r carpenter
is used in Cuba to include nearly all classes o f woodworkers. Those
who make a specialty o f fine cabinetwork are sometimes known as
ebanistas, and 207 o f these are reported in the census statistics. They
earn more than ordinary carpenters, their wages ranging from $2.50
in Spanish silver to $3 in Spanish gold, or approximately from $1.75
to $2.70 in American money. The largest furniture factory in the
island is at Habana and has about 60 names on its pay roll. Many of
these are boys and apprentices, who seem to be occupied chiefly in
transferring material from one department to another. They receive



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

733

smau salaries and do not remain permanently in their positions long
enough to become specially valuable to their employers. Some
machinery is used for planing, molding, and lathe work, but in the
actual manufacture o f furniture there is little division of labor and
practically everything is done by hand and with bench tools. The
product consists mostly o f wardrobes, bureaus, tables, and chairs, and
is disposed o f in the local market. There are twenty benches in the
factory, and skilled workmen are paid $3 a day in gold ($2.70 American).
Most o f the carriages and other vehicles in use in Cuba are of local
manufacture. Much o f the iron work is imported from France.
There are a number of shops in Habana that employ about ten men
each. In one o f the best establishments a foreman from the United
States, who does all the drafting and box making, and a coverer
and finisher o f fine coaches are each paid $4.50 gold ($4.05 American)
a day. Ordinary workmen receive the same wages as cabinetmakers.
W ages are paid in silver and gold in different shops. The working
day is usually ten hours. Apprentices are given board and a small
allowance o f pocket money, with an increase o f wages as they become
proficient in their trade.
Brooms and brushes are made in Habana from imported materials.
In one shop where ten foot-pow er machines are in use men are paid 3
centavos silver a broom fo r attaching, sewing, and trimming brush.
An expert can turn out 100 a day, thus earning $3 in silver, or slightly
over $2 in American currency.
There are a number o f box and cigar-box factories in Habana where
power machinery is used for sawing, planing, cutting, and stamping.
Only men were employed in the factories visited. They work about
ten hours and receive their meals in the establishment. W ages range
from $1.25 to $2.50 a day in gold ($1.12£ to $2.25 American).
Trunks are made in Cuba fo r the local trade and are exported to
South America as cases for cigars and cigarettes. The usual method
o f packing for the interior South American trade is to seal the ciga­
rettes in a tin case the size o f the trunk, place them in the trunk, and
cover the whole package with burlap, thus securing a bulk easy to
handle over mountain passes and containing no unsalable material.
So trunk making, like box making, is an industry subordinate to the
tobacco business. The metal work is imported from the United States,
as is also the pine used fo r the boxes. Some o f the factories employ
30 or 40 hands. Carpenters are paid from 20 to 30 cents silver (14
to 21 cents American) for putting together the woodwork o f a trunk,
and can earn from $2 to $3 ($1.40 to $2.10 American) a day in that
currency. The total labor cost o f a trunk is about 70 cents in Am er­
ican money, and it sells at wholesale for about a dollar more than this
price.




734

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

In spite o f the tank lines, some hogsheads are still used for handling
molasses and many casks and barrels are employed in the rum business.
These are mostly imported in knock-down form , as are also fruit
crates, and are put together in the island. Coopers earn $2 gold
($1.80 American) a day in the large cities and $2 silver ($1.40 Am er­
ican) in the smaller towns.
Slat curtains and screens are made in Cuba to some extent, and are
used as window and door shades, as awnings, and for signs. A finer
grade o f curtain o f this character is imported from Germany in rolls
and made into lengths according to order in the local shops. The few
hands employed in this industry usually board with their employer’s
family and receive an additional salary o f $15 in gold ($13.50
American).
LEATHER TRADES.

Salting, curing, and tanning hides is an industry subordinate to
grazing in Cuba. Only local materials are consumed. Little tanned
leather is exported, but 2 , 000,000 hides are shipped to foreign
countries from Cuba every year. It is impossible for local tanners to
produce the finer and more flexible grades o f leather and this is
imported for local consumption. The tanneries o f the island have a
capacity o f 40,000 hides a month. They are located principally at
Habana, Matanzas, Cardenas, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe.
Employees usually receive board and lodging, the nature o f the
industry requiring their continuous presence at the works. They are
paid from $30 to $40 gold ($27 to $36 American) a month. Most of
the men seen engaged in this occupation were whites.
Aside from shoemaking, which has been mentioned under the cloth­
ing trades, the manufacture o f harnesses and saddles is the only active
industry employing leather in Cuba. The census statistics report
1,397 men engaged in this business. The prevailing wages in Habana
are $2 silver ($1.40 American), with a maximum o f 50 cents (35 cents
American) more fo r men o f exceptional skill. In small towns the
ordinary hands, who do most o f the work, either manufacturing or
repairing, are paid from $1 to $1.50 in silver (70 cents to $1.05 Am eri­
can). In American money wages range from 30 cents a day for appren­
tice? to $1.75 fo r highly skilled workmen in Habana.
MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURES.

There is no textile industry in Cuba, and mills for weaving, even
those making the coarse jute bags used by sugar shippers, would not
prove profitable under present tariff regulations. Two cordage facto­
ries under American control have recently been opened in Habana
with modern power machinery. The larger o f these employs over 100
operatives, 8 per cent o f whom are women. The latter are employed
in spinning, but are reported to be less active and efficient than men.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

735

Their wages upon the piecework system, payment by the pound, aver­
age $5 a week in Spanish gold ($4.50 American). B 03 S doing the same
work earn about $6 ($5.40 American). There is a lack o f skilled work­
men and the labor cost o f production is greater than in the United
States. A Cuban superintendent, trained in the factory, is paid a salary
o f $125 gold ($112.50 American) a month, and mechanics and engineers
receive from $60 to $100 gold ($54 to $90 American) a month.
There are a few ropewalks in Cuba, but they are small private
undertakings. The manufacture o f palm rope and of fine palm-fiber
bridles is a domestic industry. A man, with the assistance o f two
members o f his family, can make 200 yards o f palm rope a day, not
including the time taken for gathering the leaves. This sells fo r $ 1.20
silver (84 cents American), but in a limited local market.
Cigarette smoking is so common in Cuba that there is sufficient con­
sumption o f the wax or stearin-cord matches made in the country to
support several factories. W icking is imported from Spain, but most
o f the other materials used come from the United States. In two
adjacent factories in Habana, with a combined output o f 1,600 gross
of boxes a day, wages and labor conditions were found the same.
The total number o f operatives was 200. In the box department the
cardboard is cut and creased by power machinery invented and manu­
factured in Cuba. The boxes are assembled by hand, by families who
do the work in their own homes. The price paid for this work is 40
centavos silver (28 cents American) a thousand. W orking regularly,
a woman or child can earn the equivalent o f 40 cents American cur­
rency a day. Boxing and packing are done by women at the factory.
They are paid by the gross, and their weekly earnings are equivalent
to from $3.50 to $7 in American money, according to their skill and
the number o f hours they work. W axing the cord, ruling, cutting,
dipping, and cardboard cutting are done in separate apartments, where
men only are employed. They board and lodge at the factory and
receive salaries o f from $17 to $20 a month in Spanish gold ($15.30 to
$18 American). The factories are well ventilated and roomy, and all
the operatives appear to be cheerful, contented, and in excellent health.
Soap and candles are manufactured fo r the local market in Habana,
most o f the materials for goods o f finer grade being imported, although
domestic tallow is used to some extent. In a factory employing 100
operatives and outside men the highest-paid workmen— engineers,
machinists, and master soap boilers— are paid from $80 to $100 in gold
($72 to $90 American). Ordinary factory hands receive $15 gold
($13.50 American) a month, with board and lodging. In the packing
department o f a soap and perfumery factory the foreman was paid $30
silver ($2 L American) a month and board. Six other employees
(women and boys) were paid from $12 to $20 silver ($8.40 to $14
American) a month.



736

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

There is a single paper mill in Cuba, situated at Puentes Grandes,
an incipient factory town near Habana. A bout 180 operatives are
employed, o f whom 40 are women. The latter are packers and wrap­
pers and earn about 75 cents silver (52-J- cents American) a day by
piecework. A skilled hand can double these wages by working longer
hours, as most of the women are irregularly or only half time at the
factory. Paper makers are paid by the quintal o f product, and earn
$2 and $3 silver ($1.40 and $2.10 American) a day. Skilled mechanics,
machinists, and engineers are paid a like amount. Ordinary laborers
receive $1.20 silver (84 cents American) a day. There are more appli­
cants for positions than can be accommodated in the factory.
RESTAURANTS AND STORES.

Cafes and fondas, or boarding houses, are an important institution
in every Cuban city. From the point o f view o f child labor, the
form er present a serious problem to those interested in the social
welfare o f the country. Young boys are extensively employed as
clerks in all retail business in Cuba, to their own detriment from a
moral and educational standpoint; but it is in the cafes that the abuse
o f this custom is most evident. In the larger cities these establish­
ments are open from dawn till midnight, and while the moral environ­
ment afforded is not essentially worse than in many^ other occupations,
the young employees are early initiated into a knowledge o f all the
vice prevalent in a tropical city, and are obliged to live under physical
conditions detrimental to their health and bodily development. No
young man can grow up to wholesome maturity who has spent seven
days a week from boyhood where hours o f sleep are short and irreg­
ular, meals hurried and unsubstantial, and where his education and
ideals have been drawn entirely from the talk o f the caf 6 tables. The
one alleviating circumstance is that these children, even when not
relatives o f the proprietor, are treated as members o f his family.
Their scanty earnings are left in his hands until they are ready to go
into business fo r themselves or to purchase an interest in the estab­
lishment where they have been employed.
Hotel and restaurant waiters are organized into unions in Habana.
Their salaries are naturally in addition to board and lodging, and in
some o f the smaller places cigars and cigarettes are also furnished
them. According to the secretary o f the Habana union, salaries vary
from $15 ($10.50 American) a month in small establishments and cheap
boarding houses to $25 and $30 ($22.50 and $27 American) in the lead­
ing hotels. Small places pay in silver and higher-class places in gold.
Tipping is not customary. The salaries o f cooks average from $5 to
$10 more than those o f waiters.
It is customary for barbers to receive one-half the earnings of their
chairs. Naturally the amount varies in different shops. In some
places in Habana a salary o f $40 gold ($36 American) a month is p aid ;



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

737

but the average income o f barbers is reported to be rather less than
this in cities, and not over $20 or $25 silver ($14 or $17.50 American)
in smaller towns.
The census statistics report 14,533 salesmen, including street venders,
in Cuba, two-thirds o f whom are foreign whites. Very many o f these
are young boys. There are few Jews in the island. The earnings o f
peddlers and other petty merchants are not large. Frequently they
sell goods for some small capitalist or manufacturer for a percentage
o f the receipts. One can judge o f their earnings only by their scale of
living, which often is not above that o f common laborers.
Salesmen and clerks in retail stores receive from $10 to $80 gold ($9
to $72 American) a month, usually with board and lodging. A large
majority o f the merchants and commercial employees are Spaniards.
The young men come to the island without families and do not quickly
form permanent connections in Cuba, and so conditions are generally
favorable, both in the retail and wholesale trade, to a continuance o f
the old-time custom o f making the employees o f a house one large fam­
ily, where all, from the proprietor to the youngest apprentice, gather
around one table and sleep under one roof. In a large hotel in one o f
the principal Cuban cities the whole force o f employees, from cook and
dishwasher to the proprietor and his wife, have been seen dining at the
same table. O f course all these people were whites, and probably all
were Spaniards.
In large wholesale houses confidential clerks are paid as high as $100
gold ($90 American) a month. Good office men sometimes command
$1,500 or $ 2,000 gold ($1,350 or $1,800 American) a year. But in
proportion to the whole number employed these salaries are less com­
mon than in the United States. The more extensive employment of
apprentices, young boys, and other low-priced labor makes the aver­
age salary on any large pay roll in Cuba much less than the mean sal­
ary o f the same establishment and very much less than the average
salary paid in an establishment o f the same grade in an American city
o f equal size.
MUNICIPAL SERVICE.

The civil service pays higher salaries for equivalent work than
private enterprises, a condition opposite to that prevailing in the United
States. W hile $ 1,200 gold ($1,080 American) a year is about the
maximum to which a salaried employee o f a commercial house in Cuba
can aspire, it is but the income o f an ordinary clerk in the Government
service. Assistant clerks begin at about $500 a year in American cur­
rency. The salary schedules in the insular Government do not vary much
from those at Washington. Each municipality controls its own cler­
ical service. Salaries range higher, but conform in a general way to
those paid by private enterprises in each community.
Letter carriers are paid $600 and $700 a year in American currency
in the larger cities o f Cuba, $400 and $500 in cities o f the second class,



738

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

and from $240 to $300 in the smaller towns. Kailway mail clerks
receive from $240 to $600 a year. Police salaries are about the same.
Patrolmen in Habana are paid $600 a year.
The wages o f street cleaners, waterworks men, and other municipal
employees o f a similar character vary according to the prevailing
wages o f the locality. Laborers employed by the Habana authorities
are paid $1 a day in American currency. In most of the interior
towns in western Cuba $1 silver (70 cents American) is paid.
The Habana Gas and Electric Company has 250 employees on its pay
rolls. A ll salaries are in Spanish gold. The manager and the chief
engineer receive $5,000 ($4,500 American), and their assistants each
receive $3,000 ($2,700 American) per annum. Office men and collec­
tors get from $45 to $125 ($40.50 to $112.50 American) a month.
In the electric-light plant the following monthly wage schedule is in
force:
$100
$68
$60
$60
$50
$45
$38
$30

Chief engineer____
Chief machinist___
Dynamo repairer...
C arpen ter...............
Lamp and line men
Firem en...................
Helpers and oilers.
Coal handlers........

($90 American)
($61.20 American)
($54 American)
($54 American)
($45 American)
($40.50 American)
($34.20 American)
($27 American)

In the gas plant the monthly wage schedule is as follows:
Superintendent............................................................ $130.00 ($117 American)
E n g in eer........................................................................ $108.33 ($97.50 American)
Timekeeper.................................................................... $100.00 ($90 American)
Meter repairer............................................................... $75.00 ($67.50 American)
Gas fitters.............................................................$60 to $75.00 ($54 to $67.50 American)
M echanics...................................................................... -$60.00 ($54 American)
Purifier forem an ........................................................... $60.00 ($54 American)
Gasometer readers......................................................... $60.00 ($54 American)
Oven foremen................................................................ $50.00 ($45 American)
Firem an.......................................................................... $48.00 ($43.20 American)
H elpers.................................................................$35 to $40.00 ($31.50 to $36 American)
Lamp lighters................................................................. $21.10 ($18.99 American)

The public works department paid the following daily wages
(American currency) in different provinces during the year 1900:
WAGES (AMERICAN CURRENCY) PAID BY PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT IN FIVE
PROVINCES, 1900.
Occupations.
Machinists...................................................................
Firemen........................................................................
Carpenters...................................................................
Masons.........................................................................
Blacksmiths.................................................................
Blacksmiths’ helpers..................................................
Carters.........................................................................
Laborers:
Highest...................................................................
Lowest....................................................................
Usual......................................................................




Pinar del Habana.
Rio.
$3.50
1.75
2.50
2.50

.80

Matanzas.

Santa
Clara.

Puerto
Principe.

$2.50
1.50
$3.00
1.50
1.25

1.50
1.40

.70

$1.20
.60
.80

$1.00

LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

739

Reviewing the general situation in Cuba, it is seen that if we make
a broad division o f labor into urban and rural, the hours o f labor are
nearly uniform for each class. A bout ten hours 5 effective work is
expected o f paid hands in the cities and about eleven in the country.
There is a tendency, partially realized in some occupations, to shorten
this period. Women are usually paid by the piece and voluntarily
work short time.
Female operatives are employed in the tobacco trades and in match
factories, paper mills, and similar establishments, fo r box making,
packing, and labeling light goods. They also strip leaf tobacco. In
all of the factory trades there may be 6,000 or 7,000 employed in the
island. Their earnings vary from 30 cents to $1 a day in American
currency. Women are also employed as sewing women and in laundry
work, and can earn slightly more, as a rule, in these occupations. As
dressmakers and saleswomen in fashionable establishments they may
earn as much as $50 a month. W hite women do not work in the fields
fo r hire. Negro women employed in the cane fields are paid the same
wages as men.
Unskilled laborers in Cuba, whether employed on the plantations or
in the cities, earn from 50 cents to $1 a day in American currency.
Over half o f the workers o f Cuba belong to this class. M ore than
two-thirds of these are whites, and 43,000 o f them are Spaniards.
Conditions in Cuba seem to indicate that white men can sometimes
compete with Negroes in the Tropics in work requiring the severest
physical exertion and receiving the lowest compensation.
Between unskilled laborers and the highest-paid hand workers are
men engaged in occupations that require some skill, but do not demand
great physical exertion. Such are painters, tinners, leather workers,
and many o f the men engaged in the tobacco trades. They can earn
a wage o f from $1 to $1.50 in American currency.
Skilled workmen in trades requiring exceptional intelligence or some
physical labor, such as carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, and most highgrade mechanics, can earn a daily wage o f from $1.50 to $3.50 in
American money.
Salesmen, clerks, and many factory operatives live under conditions
that enable them to work for an apparently low salary. They become
virtually members o f the family o f their employer. Their money
wages are almost net savings, and the personal relations they estab­
lish with the head o f the establishment where they work assure them
permanent positions during good behavior. Most employees of this
class are Spaniards. Their nominal wages are about 50 cents a day in
American currency, but their real wages are three times that amount.
Outside o f the learned professions, the highest income a man can
hope to earn in Cuba fo r personal services— exclusive o f profits—is
not much over $1,200 gold ($1,080 American) a year. Public em ploy­
ment and a very few other occupations may offer higher awards, but
they are so rare as not to affect the rule.
8563— No, 41— 02------6



740

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

In spite o f the large proportion o f unskilled labor in Cuba, the undersupply seems to be in that particular division o f the working people.
There is complaint o f overcrowding in nearly every trade and profes­
sion. But this complaint frequently comes from imperfectly trained
men who can not compete with competent workmen in the trade they
profess to follow. Employers and foremen report that the oversupply
o f skilled labor is more apparent than real, and that a master o f his
craft can always find employment.
The labor cost o f all kinds o f production is relatively higher in Cuba
than in the United States. Men cost less, but work costs more. In con­
sidering the total labor supply o f the island this is to be taken H to
account. The ratio o f human efficiency to natural wealth in Cuba is
smaller than the population statistics indicate. This is why large unde­
veloped resources and low wages are found side by side.
COST AN D STA N D A R D O F LIV IN G .
A s compared with the United States, the cost of living is high in
Cuba and the standard o f living is low. The cost of living is higher
than in the English islands o f the W est Indies and about the same as
in Porto Rico. The standard o f living is higher than in the latter
island, as labor commands a better price, but this is evidenced rather
in the superior well-being— the better-fed appearance— of the Cuban
laborer as compared with the Porto Rican than in increased culture
advantages or greater com fort and refinement in the home surroundings.
RU RAL AND URBAN.

In visiting the cottage o f the country laborer, or even of the small
landowner, an American visitor is apt to receive an impression of
arrested development. The palm-bark hut and general surroundings
are not essentially different— making allowance for another climate—
than those o f the new settler on our W estern frontier. The sod house
or the log cabin o f the pioneer, especially if he be a foreigner, does
not contain many more conveniences than the Cuban homestead. Both
are probably surrounded by a large area o f undeveloped country invit­
ing the laborer to an assured reward fo r his toil. But here the resem­
blance ceases.
The condition o f the one is dynamic, of the other
static. The pioneer regards his present surroundings as merely tem­
porary, the Cuban is settled in his fo r life or for generations.
For three hundred years the country dweller o f Cuba, whether he
were laborer or great proprietor, lived in the manner o f the earliest
colonists. His house was an adaptation o f the wigwam o f the Indian,
and its furnishings such as his own skill and the scanty internal com­
merce o f the island could supply. Landowners with leagues of pas­
ture and hundreds o f cattle had few com forts they did not share with




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

741

the commonest laborers. Even as late as the middle of the nineteenth
century, when sugar was flooding the island with gold, but little
improvement had been made in the primitive manner o f living. A
favorite saying o f the people, we are told by one of the governors,
was that “ nothing is lost by doing nothing.” Men who did not care
to improve their homes naturally did little for public improvement.
In 1850 the city o f Trinidad, with 18,000 population, had no city hall,
city water, public schools, charities, watchmen, or police. The only
municipal enterprise was a few city lights supported by private sub­
scription. In Cardenas, which at that time had 5,000 inhabitants, the
only item o f municipal expense was for the board o f the prisoners.
The street lights and night watch o f Santiago were paid for by private
subscription. Habana itself had no municipal tax for police, educa­
tion, charities, or public works, except a carriage tax fo r paving.
W ith these conditions prevailing in the cities, naturally still less was
done in the country. Order was maintained by an irregular body of
citizen police, who served by turns and seldom were on duty. No
provision was made fo r roads, schools, or other public services and
conveniences.
W hile there has been improvement in the last fifty years, progress
has been retarded by a reactionary government, by fifteen years o f
internal warfare and the consequent unsettled political condition, by
social and economic changes attending the emancipation o f the slaves,
and by a constantly decreasing profit in the cultivation of sugar, the
principal crop o f the island, which has prevented any increase and at
times tended to lower wages. So the Cuban country people have not
changed materially in their way of living from the time they first
came to the island. They are a sort o f permanent pioneers. Except
in the immediate vicinity o f a large city, or when organized as planta­
tion laborers, they do not make their presence felt, as do American
and European settlers, by visible modifications of the landscape.
They occupy the land without taking possession o f it. They are not
home builders, although frequently much attached to the place of
their birth, and not a wandering people. Many causes contribute to
make the Cubans what they are, but climate and indolence count for
less than is popularly supposed. Undisturbed tradition and inherited
custom, fixed by long isolation from the modern world, have been
important factors in determining their present condition. The Cubans
lack initiative, but with opportunities and right suggestions they seem
qualified to keep step with the rest o f the world in their manner of
living.
The home of a countryman on the western borders of Puerto
Principe may be described as typical. It chanced to be a little apart
from the bridle path, at the edge o f a forest. The house had been
erected since the war, and contained two rooms and an open shed where



742

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

cooking was done. The walls and partitions were o f palm bark tied
to a framework o f poles and the roof was o f palm-leaf thatch. There
were no floors and ceilings and no sawed lumber was used in the con­
struction o f the building. In the shed a raised terrace o f earth, about
3 feet high and walled around with small logs, held the fire like some
rustic altar. The cooking utensils consisted o f a frying pan and a few
tin dishes and kettles. The doors were o f matting. One o f the rooms
contained a table o f home construction, supported on posts driven into
the ground. There were also a sewing machine, a clock (both o f
American make), and an iron washstand and bowl in this apartment.
The chairs were o f rural manufacture, o f cedar, leather bottomed, and
were identical in pattern with the recently revived mission furniture.
The sleeping apartment contained iron beds and hammocks.
The yard and garden were fenced, and contained yucca and yams,
bananas, sugar cane, and a few fruit trees. A couple of swarms of
bees were hived in hollow logs. A small patch o f corn occupied a field
behind the garden, and with it were grown a few squashlike vegetables.
A rude wooden press fo r crushing cane stood behind the house. The
juice o f the cane was boiled to a sirup and used for home consumption.
A pony and two goats were the only domestic animals, if we except a
flock o f fowls, a few pigeons, and a tamed hutia, or native rat. A ll
the water used was brought on-horseback from a distant spring.
In the morning the boys o f the family were up before daybreak and
had a bushel o f sweet potatoes dug by the time the others put in an
appearance. A cup o f coffee, sweetened with cane sirup, was drunk,
and the men went to the woods, to work till well toward midday
clearing land fo r a new banana patch. They used only machetes in
this work, and timber and brush were burned, the new land being
thereby further fertilized fo r its new crop. Breakfast and dinner,
the only two meals o f the day, consisted o f boiled rice, boiled yucca,
fried plantains, and fried eggs. Probably this fare varied little from
week to week. The head o f this family owned 1,200 acres o f fertile
bottom land in the Jatobonico Yalley, probably a fourth o f which was
cleared. The remainder contained much mahogany timber, worth
from $50 to $80 a log on the river bank. The standard o f living o f
this proprietor did not differ materially from that o f his father or
grandfather, or from that o f the day laborer who was his neighbor.
The fare upon the sugar plantations is better than that o f the peasant
cultivator in his own home. The usual rations are a pound o f beef, a
pound o f rice or beans, half a pound o f bread, besides coffee and sugar.
Salt codfish is also a standard article o f diet with the W est Indian
laborer. Much lard is used, and the frying pan is as perniciously
popular as in our own country.
The annual cash expenses o f a Cuban countryman with a family
o f five, if he be a tenant or small cultivator, can be reduced to a



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

743

very small amount at need. As a rule, they are probably about as fo l­
lows, in silver: Clothing, $30 ($21 American); food, $80 ($56 Am er­
ican); medicine and extras, $15 ($10.50 American); total, $125 ($87.50
American).
It is assumed that most o f the vegetables except beans are produced
in the garden. Rent will be nothing if the tenant be a day laborer on
a plantation, and if he be a tenant on shares it is included in the land­
lord’s share o f the crop. Slaves and contract laborers were allowed
two suits o f clothing a year. Five dollars in silver ($3.50 American)
will purchase all the wearing apparel a day laborer usually puts on his
person. The allowance fo r his wife and children would be less, while
the youngest children wear practically no clothing most of the time.
Every Cuban woman knows how to sew, and all the clothing o f the
female and younger members o f the family is made at home. The
per capita value o f foods imported into Cuba, at wholesale prices, is
about $15 American per annum. But proportionally the urban popu­
lation consumes more o f this than the country people. Assuming the
retail price to be double or treble the wholesale price at Habana, and
allowing for baker’s profits where bread is bought, a peasant family
may expend from 20 to 25 cents (14 to I 7 i cents American) a day for
food. Extras are an uncertain amount. The necessary expenses for
keeping up a peasant’s house are small, not more than $2 or $3
($1.40 or $2.10 American) a year. Medical attendance and church dues
are items hard to estimate. In large sections o f the island the care
o f both bodies and souls is left mostly to nature. Farming imple­
ments, horse gear, and similar equipment are largely o f home manu­
facture. The allowance% f $125 ($87.50 American) is, therefore, seen
o
to be ample. In fact, tenants putting in crops that require a long time
to yield, like coffee, are paid only $50 silver ($35 American) a year for
expenses; but they have in addition such cash earnings as they may
make when their own land does not require their attention.
The standard o f living that it is sought to maintain in Cuban cities
is presumably equal or superior to that o f Spain. A t least it is suffi­
ciently high to induce many Spaniards to emigrate to the island to
take up manual occupations and to remain there permanently. The
skilled and partially skilled laborer without a family has little diffi­
culty in maintaining himself in com fort, and might, were he so dis­
posed, accumulate savings. Reasonably good table board costs in
Habana $15 a month gold ($13.50 American), while in the suburbs
both board and room can be secured for this price. Laundry, clothing,
and other necessary expenses need not average much over $5 a month.
In many establishments at least one meal a day is given to the work­
ingmen. In one box factory visited the breakfast for employees
was as well served as in a good middle-class hotel, and consisted o f
bread and wine, fresh meat, rice, and beans. A dollar silver (70 cents



744

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

American) a day will pay all the necessary expenses of an unmar­
ried mechanic. Laboring men actually support families on this amount.
In smaller cities the cost o f living is from 20 to 40 per cent less than
in Habana.
The bill o f fare in a workingman’s restaurant is a combination o f
creole and Spanish. Fresh meat, stews, rice, beans, bread, and wine
are served. Tables are laid with cloths, and while there are tidy and
untidy places in Cuba, as elsewhere, the table service is better than in
many parts of Europe. The difference between a workingman’s res­
taurant and a first-class caf 6 in Habana is not nearly so great as the
difference between places o f the same grade in the United States. The
price o f single dishes in places frequented by clerks and business men
seldom exceeds 15 cents in American currency. The average cost o f
meals at the most prepossessing hotels to be found in the island is
from 20 to 50 cents in American money.
The man who tries to support a family on a workingman’s wages in
Habana, Cienfuegos, or any o f the larger cities of Cuba has a rather
more difficult problem before him. He is competing with Spaniards,
who are usually single men. He finds the question o f housing his
family an unusually hard one to solve, although his other expenses are
not necessarily much higher in proportion to his wages than those of
a European workingman.
It is evident that where employees are frequently boarded and
lodged or are given one or two meals a day by their employers, as
happens in most o f the large commercial and manufacturing houses of
Cuba, a single man has relatively a very great advantage over a mar­
ried man. He either has no separate establishment or can reduce his
outside expenses to a minimum. As a result he can work for less
wages and still save a part o f his earnings, where a married man
exhausts all his income in maintaining his family. For this reason,
because it discourages marriage until late in life and creates an aver­
sion to the responsibilities o f a family, the Spanish system o f organiz­
ing a business upon a domestic basis seems to be contrary to private
morality and public welfare. In Cuba it certainly has the effect sug­
gested, and the social condition is probably worse and wages lower
because it exists. It is a cause contributory to the fact that the per­
centage o f married persons in Cuba is less than one-half what it is in
the United States.
TENEMENTS.

In large cities and growing towns rents are ver}^ high. They return
from 12 to 30 per cent on the investment. W hile houses o f the poorer
classes do not present all o f the bad conditions found in the crowded
quarters o f some American cities, and their sanitary condition has been
greatly improved since the American occupation, they justify all the



LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

745

complaints that are made against them by the working people who are
obliged to be their occupants. The laborers’ tenements of Habana
are known locally as solares, and usually present a very respectable
appearance from the street. There is a one or two story front not
unlike that o f a middle-class private residence. The difference appears
when one passes the main entrance and looks down the long, narrow
lane o f an interior. This alley may be anywhere from 6 to 15 feet
wide and is not roofed, but it sometimes has a tile or cement pavement.
Since sanitary inspections have been inaugurated the latter is usually
fairly clean, though frequently without visible drainage outlet. On
either side is a long row of one or two story buildings o f frame or
masonry, making a continuous wall, broken only by the doors that
face each other at 10 or 12 foot intervals. I f the building has a sec­
ond floor, a balcony runs along the second story on either hand.
Behind each door is a room 12 feet square or more, accommodating a
family. F ifty or a hundred people live in a single alley of this kind
extending back to the end o f the lot. There will be but one or possi­
bly two water-closets or privies, and one water faucet for the whole
number. Much o f the cooking is done in the open air, in the limited
space before the dwellings. As the doors are often the only source of
light and air, there is absolutely no privacy. Such rooms rent in Habana
for 1 centene—$5 gold ($4.50 American)— a month. The old Roman law
right o f possession is so respected in the Spanish codes that it takes
about two months to evict a tenant. The result is that landlords compel
their renters to keep paid up two months in advance or to give bond
for payment. In solares o f the better class— that is, cleaner and in a
better part o f the city, for accommodations are practically the same—
rents are still higher. In a two-story building of this class, occupied
in part by Negro tenants, the front rooms facing the street rent for
$10 and $14 gold ($9 and $12.60 American) on the first and second
floors, respectively, and interior rooms rent for $7 gold ($6.30 Am eri­
can) each. A small, one-story, four-room house in the suburbs of
Habana, in a workingman’s quarter, rents for $20 silver a month, or
between $14 and $15 in American currency.
In Cienfuegos small
tenements for workingmen rent for $12 silver ($8.40 American) a
month. In that city water has to be bought at about 1 cent a gallon.
Three dollars in American currency will rent a laborer’s tenement o f
two or three rooms in most of the smaller towns o f Cuba.
This question o f high rents and poor accommodation has been agitated
by the workingmen o f Habana for several years, and a delegation from
some o f the organizations recently petitioned the military governor to
interfere so as to limit the amount o f interest a man might exact from
tenement investments. Nothing o f this sort could be done, however,
and the problem still remains a serious one in that city. W ith lower
interest rates— which may be hoped for after the present reconstruction



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

period is over— it is probable that more buildings for rental will be
erected. The effect o f the extensions o f the electric railway in broad­
ening out the available building area has not yet been appreciated.
As indicated later, the workingmen have begun to make an effort at
self-help by organizing building associations among themselves.
COST OF PROVISIONS, CLOTHING, ETC.

The cost o f provisions varies in different provinces and cities. Matanzas is considered a cheaper place to live than Cienfuegos, though it is
the larger city o f the two. In Habana the following retail prices (in
cents, silver) o f provisions were copied from price lists exposed in the
market place in A pril, 1902:
Jerked beef (tasajo) .......................................................... p ou n d .. 12c. ( 8£c. American)
Beans (garabanzas)...............................................................d o ___ 3c. ( 2c. American)
Potatoes.................................................................................. d o ___ 3c. ( 2c. American)
Potatoes........................................................................ 25 pounds.. 60c. (42c. American)
Garlic....................................................................................p ou n d .. 6c. ( 4c. American)
R ice.......................................................................................... d o ___ 3c. ( 2c. American)
B r e a d ...................................................................................... d o ___ 8c. ( 5£c. American)
M i l k ...........................................................liter (about 1 qu a rt).. 12c. ( 8}c. American)

The price o f fresh beef ranges from 9 to 26 cents (6 to 18 cents
American) a pound in Habana.
The rope-soled canvas slippers universally worn by certain classes
o f mechanics and laborers sell at wholesale for from $1.75 to $2.50 a
dozen in silver ($1.23 to $1.75 American). Canvas shoes cost from
$1.25 to $2 (87£ cents to $1.40 American), underwear from 35 cents
to $1 (24£- to 70 cents American), shirts $1 (70 cents American), stock­
ings 20 cents (14 cents American) or more, and light goods— prints
and muslins— worn by ladies are sold at retail as Jow as 5 cents silver,
or 3 and 4 cents in American currency, a yard. A pair o f working­
man’s trousers costs from $1 (70 cents American) up. A ll the prices
quoted are in the workingman’s currency, silver. A fair tailor-made
suit can be bought fo r from $15 to $18 in gold ($13.50 to $16.20
American). Taking the clothing and furnishing market in general,
prices average about what they do in the United States. Some things,
especially American goods, cost more, but there are other articles,
like imported cloths, that cost less. A rm y officers occasionally made
it a point to purchase a supply o f fine-grade khaki for uniforms in
Cuba before returning to the United States.
The system o f purchasing in Cuba resembles that in some foreign
quarters o f large American cities. Goods are bought in very small
quantities, and most o f the money taken over the counters o f retail
stores is copper. One result o f this is that provisions cost the com­
mon people more and that prices do not easily vary from a conven­
tional standard. On a falling market this last feature is an advantage



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

74 7

to the retailer. It is often said that the small shopkeepers are the
ones who have benefited most by the reduction in food tariffs made
by the American authorities. W hile this is in a degree true fo r the
reason just mentioned, especially in small towns and the remoter dis­
tricts o f the island, it is only partially true o f Habana, as the prices
quoted above indicate. The latter had followed closely the fall of
prices in the wholesale market occasioned by the stagnation in the
sugar trade. They are considerably lower than the prices in the retail
shops outside o f Habana.
The home o f the prosperous Cuban mechanic, if his income is regu­
lar and the times are normal, is furnished more simply, but about as
comfortably as that o f the American workingman. He usually does
not have as much room, and greater familiarity with the internal
economy o f his household reveals differences that do not appear on
the surface. His children may attend a public or a cheap private
school ai intervals, but his daughters do not take music lessons and
his sons seldom can aspire to a career higher than that o f their father.
He is not as liberally supplied with books, periodicals, and other ele­
ments o f culture as the American; there is no piano, and never a
savings account. Only in very exceptional instances does he own a
house or have interest-bearing investments. Unless he be a Spaniard
and a member o f one o f the Spanish provincial clubs or prominent in
some political organization, he has little access to social advantages
that take him outside his trade companionships. The limitations that
surround him seem so obvious and so inexorable that he seldom has
his ambition awakened to overcome them. He is in temperament
more mercurial than the American and less dogged at hammering out
his ends. So his family life is apt to be marked by an air o f careless
content, broken occasionally by abrupt transitions to discouragement,
pessimism, and melancholy. He has no constant plan for getting
ahead in the world; therefore his personal and family expenditures
are usually ill regulated. His. economies, when not dictated by abso­
lute necessity, do not count, fo r what he saves in one place he wastes in
another. Because he makes expensive purchases now and then or
indulges in some unusual luxury it does not follow that his means
justify this. So, judging by surface indications alone, one is often
deceived as to a man’s real income or standard o f living. In one
instance a family, whose living room was furnished with fine imported
reed furniture, was supported by the wife with her earnings as a ciga­
rette packer.
Though few workmen would admit this, it is probable that the gen­
eral standard o f living is rising in Cuba. Nominal wages are not
increasing, but their purchasing power is greater. Houses are larger
and better built. There are more conveniences for getting about. All
kinds o f public services are better, and this is especially true o f the



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

public schools. M ore care is taken of the public health. Clubs and
benefit societies are becoming more efficient agencies for culture and
relief. There is a greater variety o f occupations, and more and quicker
avenues to promotion are open than formerly. The competition of
slavery and o f slavery-bred workmen has disappeared. In some parts
o f the island there may not be the rude abundance o f former times,
but there is a more intelligent utilization o f what resources remain.
A ll these influences have advanced the general welfare of the working
people. Without necessary statistics, and observing conditions at the
very nadir o f an economic depression, it is difficult to prove or to get
the assent o f working people to the general proposition that they are
better off than form erly; but, wherever it is possible to make specific
inquiries into the household economy and the details o f daily life of
the laboring people o f a generation ago it is shown that there has
been a constant progress toward a higher standard o f culture and
physical well-being.
L E G ISLA TIO N .
LABOR ORGANIZATIONS AN D MEETINGS.

There have been no laws enacted for Cuba, either by the Spanish or
by the military government, relating specifically to labor. Indeed,
the labor legislation o f Spain itself only began with the limited
employers’ liability act o f 1899, which went into effect after the
American occupation o f Cuba. There are, however, provisions in the
civil and penal codes o f the island that affect labor and labor organiza­
tions, and two acts supplementary to the Spanish constitution o f Cuba
and Porto R ico remain in force which have more or less directly
to do with labor unions, benefit societies, and public assemblies o f
workingmen.
The first o f these is the law o f associations, which regulates the
method o f organization, powers, and liabilities of all associations
except the Catholic Church not organized for business purposes.
Under this law every association must be registered— for this there is
no fee— with the governor o f the province where it is organized, and
must file with the same authority a copy o f its constitution, which shall
state its object, place o f meeting, funds, if any, and the legal disposi­
tion to be made o f the latter in case the society dissolves. A ll amend­
ments must be similarly filed. Branch organizations in other provinces
must file duplicate papers with their respective authorities. No asso­
ciation is allowed to assume the name o f an existing association. Notice
of general sessions must be given the authorities at least twenty-four
hours before they are held, and regular or special sessions, if held
outside the place o f meeting stated in the papers filed with the pro­
vincial governor, are subject to the requirements of the public-meetings
act referred to below. A roll o f the members and the names and titles



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

749

o f the officers must also be reported after each election. Benefit
societies must render a semiannual statement of their finances to the
Government. Public officers must be allowed access to the meeting
places o f societies organized under this law at all times. A fter being
duly authorized an association can be compelled, to dissolve only by
order o f court, rendered after action brought by the public prosecutor
for violation either o f the law o f associations or of the penal code.
The public-meetings act defines every meeting as public which con­
sists o f more than twenty persons assembling outside their dwelling,
unless such assembly constitutes a regular meeting o f an authorized
association at its regular meeting place. In case o f public meetings
notice must be given to the governor o f the province in provincial
capitals, or to the municipal authorities in other towns, twenty-four
hours before the proposed meeting is to be held, stating its purpose
and the time and place o f assembling. Public streets and squares,
where traffic might be impeded, can not be designated as meeting
places. A t all public meetings Government officers shall be present,
and no business not specified in the preliminary notice to the authori­
ties shall be transacted.
PR IVATE RIGHTS.

According to the civil code in force in Cuba and Porto Rico, a con­
tract for service is perfected by mere consent (art. 1258); for any
service not forbidden by law (art. 1271); it must be for a lawful con­
sideration (art. 1275); it may be in any form (art. 1278); it may be for
a fixed period or not, but can not be for life (art. 1583). A servant
dismissed without cause before the expiration o f his contract may
recover fifteen days’ additional salary. In case of a dispute between
an employer and an employee as to fact o f payment or as to rate o f
payment, the burden o f proof rests with the employee (art. 1584).
Field hands, mechanics, artisans, and other laborers hired for a cer­
tain period can not leave work or be dismissed without suf cient cause
before the fulfillment o f the contract.
W ith the exception of a general order issued by the military gover­
nor establishing an eight-hour day for workingmen in Government
service, there is no legislation in Cuba regulating the hours o f
labor or the employment o f the sexes. There is a special law,
amendatory to the penal code, which forbids the employment of chil­
dren under 16 years o f age in perilous acrobatic feats, and forbids the
employment, by a manager or owner, o f children under 16 years of
age o f other parents or o f his own children under 12 years of age, in a
circus or similar exhibition. The school law o f Cuba makes attendance
compulsory for all children o f both sexes between the ages of 6 and 14,
but for want o f sufficient school accommodations this law is not uni­
form ly enforced. However, arrests have recently been made and fines



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

imposed for its violation in Habana and Trinidad, and possibly in other
towns where the schools are not filled to their full seating capacity.
There is no legislation affecting fines and deductions from wages by
employers or company stores and other institutions that are manipu­
lated to lessen the Teal wages o f workingmen. Nor are there special
regulations governing sanitary and moral conditions in factories and
workshops. In case o f unusual abuses the health or police authorities
may interfere. A s mentioned before, the former have recently fo r­
bidden the employment o f consumptives in the cigar factories o f
Habana.
Spanish law does not recognize injunctions as understood in the
United States. Their place is taken by special mandates o f military
or administrative officers. Intimidation is partially provided for by
article 515 o f the penal code, which provides that: “ W hoever without
authority o f law violently prevents another from doing what is not
prohibited by law, or compels him to do something against his will,
whether the act be right or not in itself, shall be punished by imprison­
ment o f not less than one nor more than six months, and by a fine of
not less than the equivalent o f $46.50 nor more than the equivalent o f
$465 in American currency.”
No special laws defining employers’ liability exist in Cuba. There
are provisions relating to criminal negligence. In general, negligence
has to be proved to recover damages. Thus, an employee may recover
damages from a negligent employer under article 1902 o f the civil
code, which provides that: “ One who by act or omission causes dam­
age to another, when there is fault or negligence, shall be obliged
to repair the damage done.” A subsequent article o f the same code
provides fo r the general liability o f proprietors o f manufacturing
establishments for damages caused by boiler explosions and similar
accidents, where there is negligence. B y article 1603 of the same
code an employer is liable fo r damages caused by his employees when
engaged in his service, and by the follow ing article he is given power
to recover in turn damages from negligent employees in such instances.
No laws exist distinguishing the political rights o f workingmen
from those o f other members o f society. Alien laborers have the
same rights as natives in civil relations under the general laws, and no
legal preference is given to veterans. Occasionally in public con­
tracts, as in the proposed Habana sewer contract, there is a disposition
to require that a certain per cent o f the labor employed shall be Cuban,
and practically in all public employment veterans o f the insurgent
army are given a preference— as Spaniards were under Spanish rule—
but there is no special legislation prescribing this.
There are no mechanics’ , or crop liens, or similar provisions for
securing the payment o f wages. Unless there is some custom or
agreement to the contrary piecework must be paid for on delivery.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

751

Personal property upon which work has been done may be retained
as a pledge until payment fo r the service in question has been made.
In case o f decease or bankruptcy o f an employer, his employees to
whom wages are due can recover against the equity o f the estate; that
is, against all property not given as legal security for debt, as pre­
ferred creditors after the satisfaction o f all claims for taxes and court
expenses, and in case o f death, o f funeral expenses, and the expenses
o f the last illness (civil code, art. 1924).
PROCEDURE.

An action to recover wages must be brought within three years of
ceasing the work fo r which payment is sought (civil code, art. 1967).
W here fair trial can be obtained procedure is simple and expedi­
tious in case the sum does not exceed $140 in American money.
The code o f procedure provides for oral action before a municipal
judge (art. 714). The plaintiff files his complaint upon ordinary
(untaxed) paper, giving the name, address, and occupation o f himself
and the defendant, stating cause, and concluding with date and signa­
ture (art. 719). The magistrate must set date for trial, notify plain­
tiff, and summon defendant within two days (art. 720). The date of
trial must be not less than twenty-four hours nor more than six days
from date summons was issued (art. 725). I f the plaintiff fails to
appear he may be adjudged to pay costs, and damages to the defend­
ant not to exceed a sum equivalent to $17.50 in American money
(art. 727). In case the defendant does not appear the case proceeds
without him. But one appeal is allowed, to a court o f first instance.
Judgment is executed by the municipal court in all instances. In
case o f appeal, this is on receipt o f certificate o f final judgment from
the higher court (arts. 918, 919). I f the judgment is for a definite sum
o f money— as in case o f wages sued for— a writ o f attachment is issued
against the debtor without previous requisition (art. 920); if judgment
is fo r service, property to its value can be attached or the bond o f the
debtor can be accepted (art. 922). No attachment can be made against
the property o f railways necessary fo r their operation (art. 1446), or
against the bed in daily use, necessary clothing, or against tools used
in the art or trade o f the debtor (art. 1447). The agricultural imple­
ments, oxen, and plantings o f farmers and the wages o f workingmen
may be attached. (Decree o f June 9, 1890.)
STRIKES.

Strikes are affected by article 567 o f the penal code, which provides
that “ Those who associate themselves together fo r the purpose of
raising or lowering unreasonably {abmivamente) the price o f labor, or
to regulate its conditions, shall be punished, if the coercion o f the
association has become effective, with imprisonment o f from one to six



752

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

months. The maximum penalty shall be inflicted upon the leaders of
the association and those who employ violence or threats to carry out
its purpose, without prejudice to the severer penalties for which lia­
bility may be incurred.”
PAW N SHOPS.

The penal code provides a fine o f from $175 to $1,750 in American
currency fo r pawnbrokers who fail to keep or who falsify their books.
The law requires that these books shall contain a full description o f
all loans, stating to whom made, the character o f the pledge, and the
rate o f interest. From two to five times the value o f a pledge may be
recovered if it should not be returned.
RAILROAD L A W .

The new railroad law, promulgated by General W ood in February,
1902, contains specific provisions affecting railway employees. This
law creates a railway commission, which, among its other duties, shall
examine and approve all rules and regulations made by any company
for the government o f its employees, and such employees are entitled
to a hearing before the commission, either personally or by represent­
ative, regarding the same. There is, further, a general provision by
which all persons having proceedings before the commission, includ­
ing employees and their representatives, shall have the right to appeal
to the supreme court o f the island from the decisions or recommenda­
tions o f the commission; and the supreme court, sitting as a court of
administration, shall review and revise such decisions and recommen­
dations upon the facts as well as upon the law.
Railway corporations are liable fo r the debts o f their contractors to
laborers for any number o f days’ work, not exceeding thirty, upon the
laborer’s serving notice o f the indebtedness within twenty days of
ceasing the work for which payment is due. But such liability shall
not exceed the liability o f the corporation to the contractor.
Am ong the provisions which limit the operations o f strikers against
railroads are the following:
Any employee o f a railway company who willfully or negligently
violates any by-law, rule, or regulation o f the company lawfully made
and enforced, o f which copy has been delivered to him, or which has
been posted up or open to inspection in some place where his work or
his duties, or any o f them, are to be performed, if such violation causes
injury to any person or property or exposes any person to the risk o f
injury, or renders such risk greater than it would have been without
such violation, although no actual injury occur, shall, in the discretion
o f the court before which the conviction is had, and according as the
same court considers the offense proved to be more or less grave or
the injury or risk o f injury to person or property to be more or less
great, be punished by a fine or imprisonment, or both; but no such
fine shall exceed $200, and no such imprisonment shall exceed the term
o f two years.



LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

753

A ll railroad employees whose labor is essential to the operation o f
the railroads who abandon their posts while on train service between
stations without notice and without giving sufficient time to have
others substituted in their place and duties shall be guilty of a crime,
subject to six months’ imprisonment; and if by reason of the acts of
such employees damage be caused to the trains o f the railroad com ­
panies or to the property o f private individuals, the punishment shall
be one year imprisonment; if such acts cause injuries to persons, the
punishment shall be five years’ imprisonment; if such acts cause death,
the punishment shall be imprisonment from twelve to twenty years,
if done without intent to kill; and if such acts are done with intent
to kill, the punishment shall be death.
There is an important reservation to be made regarding all Spanish
legislation regulating the relations of employers and employees,
especially when applied in Cuba. Probably no system of law, no
matter how equitably administered, will avail to secure the rights o f
ignorant laborers against an unjust employer. The only protection of
the working people lies in being intelligent enough to know what
their rights are and how to enforce them. But if to ignorance and
the submissiveness that accompanies a consciousness o f ignorance
there be added a corrupt administration o f the law, the most enlight­
ened legislative provisions fo r his protection will have no practical
value whatever for the workingman.
It is the testimony o f lawyers, employers, and laborers that it has
seldom been possible in the past fo r an employee m Cuba to get judg­
ment against an employer in court, as the burden o f proof in any
action brought, whether for wages or damages, lay with the work­
ingman. I f it were an action for damages, he had to prove not
only the fact o f the damage suffered while working for his employer,
but that such damage was due to the fault or negligence o f the latter.
In a suit to recover wages his own direct testimony, even if cor­
roborated by circumstantial evidence, could not prevail against the
unsupported testimony o f his employer. In an action of either sort
he was obliged to advance and to risk on the outcome o f the trial costs
to the amount o f $5 or $10, a sum seldom at the disposal of the
unpaid laborer.
A Habana lawyer o f prominence stated that he had never known
o f a workingman’s recovering unpaid wages from an employer by
legal action. An American corporation manager employing several
hundred men expressed the opinion, supported by evidence in his pos­
session, that men then in his employ had been illegally and unjustly
deprived o f wages by former employers. It was a source of com­
plaint by workingmen upon some plantations that their wages were
withheld for long periods, or never paid. Some alleged this as a cause
o f their leaving the country fo r the city. In a word, it is quite evi­
dent that while the working people o f Cuba live under an excellent
system o f written law, they have often been wronged by their



754

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

employers and have not been able to secure justice in court. In almost
any group of workingmen at least one can be found who is able to
relate a specific instance o f injustice o f this sort. But the root and
occasion o f these abuses, far deeper than any weakness in the judicial
machinery, lies in the ignorance and civil incompetence o f the working
classes.
EDUCATION.

The public school system o f Cuba has been reorganized, improved,
and extended by the military government. A number o f modern
schoolhouses have been erected, school furniture, supplies, and text­
books have been provided, courses o f study have been revised, and
methods o f teaching have been partially reformed. There has been a
movement toward an equality o f school advantages for all classes o f the
population. The old system o f having the children o f well-to-do par­
ents pay fees, thus putting the children o f the working people who cared
to attend school upon a charity basis and at a very positive disadvan­
tage in the matter o f instruction, has been abolished. W hile there are
still many country districts without schools, and city schools have not
usually seating capacity fo r the entire population o f school age, a very
large m ajority o f the children o f Cuba can now, if they wish to do so,
acquire at least the elements o f an education at public expense.
Only night schools are open to adults. The most important of these
are supported by private societies and will be considered in another
section o f this report.
In the matter o f technical instruction Cuba is more backward than
in the general field o f public education. A t the provincial institutes,
which are secondary schools, some courses in engineering and agri­
cultural science are given. But far more important than these is the
Arts and Crafts School— if we may so translate the Spanish Artes y
Oficios— fo r which a new building, one o f the finest in Habana, has just
been completed. This institution is largely the result o f the initiative
and enthusiasm o f two or three Cuban teachers, one o f whom is
director o f the school. A fter a beginning had been made the Spanish
Government further organized and gave financial assistance to the
enterprise. The military government has given special attention to
this branch o f education, and to this school in particular. The school
now occupies a building in the outskirts o f Habana, which is largely
given over to shops and laboratories. It will utilize the new build­
ing just mentioned, which is upon the same grounds, for class rooms,
library, and museum. The aim o f the school is to be practical,
and announcements o f the courses and conditions o f admission are
posted in the more important industrial establishments qf Habana.
Tuition is free, there are no dormitories, and adults are admitted. The




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

755

object o f the school is stated in the announcement to be “ to give such
general education and such instruction in the principles and applica­
tions o f the mechanic and industrial arts as will form instructed and
skillful apprentices, qualified to become good mechanics and shop
foremen.”
The day courses consist o f— (a) A preparatory course: Children
able to read and write and over 11 years of age are admitted.
Besides the common-school subjects, the elements of geometry and
drawing are taught. There is also manual training or shop work.
(b) A technical course: Children 12 years o f age or over who
have completed the subjects o f the preparatory course are admitted.
This course is for three years, and besides advanced work in some o f
the common-school subjects includes instruction in secondary-school
mathematics and descriptive geometry, theoretical and applied elemen­
tary physics, chemistry, and mechanics, bookkeeping and industrial
economy, freehand, mechanical, and ornamental drawing, and shop
work in the follow ing subjects: Masonry, carpentry and turning, cabi­
netmaking and carving, mechanics and machine work, boiler making
and pipe fitting, and electricity,
(c) Special advanced courses in
architectural construction, machine construction, and industrial physics
and chemistry.
There are three night courses, one covering the common-school sub­
jects and secondary mathematics; the second consisting of physics,
chemistry, and mechanics, with industrial applications; the third
devoted to freehand, mechanical, and ornamental drawing. The last
subject includes design. Some ladies are at present taking the third
o f these courses.
It would seem that the activity o f the Government in extending and
improving educational advantages must necessarily precede any
effective reform in labor legislation. It is principally by indirect
legislation, such as a sound, well-administered savings-bank act, that
the working classes can be materially helped at present. The strict
enforcing o f the compulsory-education law would do much to remedy
the evil o f child labor in the cafes. V ery few dangerous occupations
are pursued in Cuba, and the *need o f an employers’ liability act is
therefore less felt than it would be in a country where there was more
complex industrial development. Even railway employment in Cuba
affords few risks to a man o f ordinary agiiity. Mutual aid societies
take the place o f casualty insurance to some extent. The civil code
and code o f procedure now in force provide sufficient remedies for,
the adjustment o f wage and damage disputes between employers and]
employees if the existing laws are justly administered.
8563—No. 41— 02------ 7




756

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

C O O PE R A TIV E AN D BEN EFIT SOCIETIES.
HOTELS.

The history o f workingmen’s cooperative societies in Cuba during
the twenty-two years since they were first organized is not one of
uniform harmony in internal administration or success in financial
policy. Still, some societies no longer in existence were not unquali­
fied failures, and broke up only after some years o f successful opera­
tion, while there are at least one or two that have survived all the
storms and turmoils o f more than twenty years o f continuous life, in
spite o f war, revolution, blockade, currency changes, and change o f
government. The most important o f these is La Reguladora, a coop ­
erative workingmen’s hotel, founded in 1881 and still running success­
fully in Habana. Twenty-one years o f conservative management and
uniform success in this case seem to prove that under right conditions
and with sufficient experience, Cuban workingmen are competent to
conduct such enterprises. This institution has gone through the
dangerous process o f expansion and contraction. Originally only a
boarding house, it later added a bakery and tailor shop with the
idea o f supplying in the course o f time all the necessities purchased by
workingmen. But when it was found that the administration o f a too
complex business might imperil the profits and safe management of
the society, the clothing branch o f the enterprise was abandoned.
The members of this organization are mostly cigar makers. There are
2,118 shares, originally o f a par value o f $25 in paper currency, which
then amounted to about $10 in gold. The increase in assets has
enabled the association to place the par value at $25 gold ($22.50
American) without decreasing dividends or making an assessment.
No member can own more than 20 shares. There are at present
about 220 shareholders, and last year a gold dividend of over 17 per
cent was paid. The assets o f the society are about $65,000 gold
($58,500 American), and include a three-story building in Amistad
street, Habana, with 23 furnished rooms, caf6, dining rooms, and
kitchen, besides servants’ quarters. The bakery is in another build­
ing. This hotel is patronized almost entirely by working people. The
rooms are com fortably furnished and well kept, and the table is con­
sidered better than the average in Habana.
There is an institution similar to La Reguladora at Cardenas. It is
conducted and patronized mostly by railway employees.
BUILDING SOCIETIES.

Another form o f cooperative enterprise which is proving successful
among Cuban workingmen is the terminating building society for con­
structing tenements for members. These associations are quite dif
ferent from the building and loan societies o f the United States, and



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

757

from the various sanitary improvement companies o f our larger cities.
Many o f them are very young, in fact just perfecting their organiza­
tion, and from their nature will be o f brief duration as individual
societies. The method o f form ing them is for a number o f working­
men, preferably not less than a hundred, to organize by electing offi­
cers, and registering the name and other required data with the pro­
vincial governor. There is no official fee charged for registration, and
no attorney need be employed. Each member pays weekly into the
treasury a certain sum fixed by the constitution or by-laws— usually a
dollar, silver. As soon as sufficient money has accumulated a tract of
cheap land is purchased in the name o f the society, and subdivided
into building lots. Thereafter as often as the receipts amount to a
sufficient sum, dwellings are erected o f a uniform cost, according to
contracts and plans approved by a majority o f the members. W hen­
ever a cottage is completed members draw lots to decide who shall
occupy it. The occupant then pays a stipulated rent to the association
in addition to his regular dues. When cottages have thus been pro­
vided for all the members, rent ceases, each member receives a clear
title to the house he occupies, and the society, having attained its
object, dissolves. As the income o f the association is increased by
rents as fast as dwellings are completed, building usually goes on very
rapidly during the last months o f the society’s existence. There are
special provisions to protect heirs in case o f the death of members,
and to carry along members for a reasonable time when illness or lack
o f employment prevents their paying dues. A fraternal and cooper­
ative spirit is usually manifested in the way these organizations are
organized and conducted.
This* plan, however, is not so novel in principle as to deserve espe­
cially extended mention had it not already been placed in successful
operation in such a way as practically to solve, in one town at least,
the problem o f housing comfortably the working people. This has
been done by the Union and Progress Cooperative Building Society o f
Bejucal, a small town about 18 miles south o f Habana. Most o f the
operatives in the village are tobacco workers, and these constitute a
majority o f the members of the society. They are mostly men who
earn from $6 to $20 silver ($4.20 to $14 American) a week. The con­
stitution o f the society provides that it shall consist o f 115 members, who
shall pay weekly dues o f $1 silver (TO cents American). No member
may have more than one share. I f he wishes to invest more than the
amount specified at once, he may pay his dues any number o f weeks in
advance, but the whole society profits by the interest on his money.
When a member can not pay his dues on account o f illness, his share
is assessed pro rata upon the other members fo r six months, and this
money he is not required to repay to the society. A somewhat similar
arrangement is made in case a member can not pay his dues on account



758

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

of lack of employment, but the member must reimburse the society
for the amount thus advanced to his credit. Membership and past
dues are forfeited to the association by default of six successive pay­
ments without just cause.
As the traveler approaches Bejucal upon the railway from Habana
his attention is attracted by rows o f red tile roofs in the outskirts of
the town and a general appearance o f freshness and prosperity in that
quarter quite unusual for a Cuban village. This attractive group con­
sists o f 15 or 20 detached cottages o f 3 rooms each, with verandas,
outhouses, and gardens. A ll o f these have been erected by the society
just mentioned during the first year o f its existence and land has been
purchased fo r twice as many more. These cottages are undoubtedly
the best workingmen’s tenements to be found in any Cuban town o f
equal size. Built under a contract which covers the erection o f all the
cottages to be built, they each cost $3M gold ($309.60 American). O f
course there is nothing to prevent a member who receives a cottage on
allotment from adding other conveniences and adornments at his own
expense. The effect o f the success o f this society so far has been to
reduce rents in the village and thus to benefit all o f the working people.
Judging from the situation in February, 1902, when Bejucal was
visited, it would be difficult to find in Cuba or elsewhere a more suc­
cessful effort o f the working people to better their material condition
through self-help.
A more pretentious organization o f this sort was founded in Habana
in 1901, and is known as the u Union and Savings Cooperative Building
Society fo r Houses fo r W orkingm en.” O f the 69 founders but 33
were salaried employees or wage-earners; a number were merchants
and brokers, and 5 were members o f monastic orders. This society
constructs houses o f 3 classes, graded according to cost, and has differ­
ent schedules o f dues. There are “ active” and “ passive” members,
the latter having n o right to vote or hold office. This is in order to
admit married women and minors. There are many places in Habana
where cards are posted stating that memberships to this society
are received within. The prospectus o f the association is a very
attractive document, and dissipates any doubt a stranger may have
as to the ability o f the Cuban promoter to present his projects in a
lucid and convincing manner. Whether the directors will be able to
carry out their more complicated plan o f organization successfully,
and win, deserve, and retain the confidence o f investors does not seem
yet decided
SAVINGS BANKS.

For many years there was a savings bank in Cuba with a consider­
able sum of deposits, but it failed in the eighties during the financial
crisis attending paper inflation. One of the principal officers com­
mitted suicide and the depositors lost all their money. Mark Twain



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

759

somewhere says that a cat that has sat down on a hot griddle will not
sit down even on a cold griddle afterwards, and this has been exactly
the attitude o f small depositors in Cuba toward all sorts of banks since
the event mentioned. Indeed there were no institutions in the island
receiving savings deposits until after the American occupation, when
the North American Trust Company, or “ Cuban National Bank,” as it
is now named, established a separate department fo r this purpose. The
Royal Bank o f Canada later opened a similar department in its Habana
branch. The Cuban National Bank receives deposits at Habana and at its
Santiago, Manzanillo, and Cardenas branches, the Royal Bank o f Can­
ada only at Habana. Three per cent interest is paid, and a minimum
deposit o f $5 is required. M ost o f the depositors have been American
Government employees and soldiers. Some laboring men and mechan­
ics have begun to make deposits, however, and though this patronage
is very small it doubtless will grow as confidence in the banks becomes
established. A t present the small savings o f the working people are
stored away in their homes or in case o f clerical employees allowed to
accumulate in the hands o f their employers. There is no special sav­
ings-bank law. The Cuban workman is sometimes blamed for gam­
bling and buying lottery tickets, but these were the only means o f
investment placed in his reach. To a man looking at the situation
through his eyes, it is not at all strange that he staked his small capital
in the only place where there was even the promise o f a return.
MONTE DE PIED AD .

Habana has a Monte de Piedad, an old institution similar to those o f
the same name in European and South American countries, which was
founded under the auspices o f the Spanish Government and is still
more or less under official supervision and direction. The funds with
which the institution was started were derived from various lotteries.
Its purpose is to loan money upon jewelry, plate, and other articles not
likely to depreciate in value. Eight per cent interest is charged. The
original charter limited the powers o f the governors sufficiently to
prevent some o f the benefits o f such an institution from being realized,
but not sufficiently to prevent the funds from leaking away. It is now
proposed to reorganize the corporation and authorize it by a new charter
to extend its operations so as to receive small savings deposits o f 25
cents and upward, to pay interest upon them, and to establish branches
in public schools and factories. The scope o f its loaning activity would
be broadened to cover mortgage loans upon real property, as in the
United States. I f wisely and honestly conducted, such an institution
as has been planned would be a great material help as well as a great
educational benefit to the poorer classes o f Habana.
There are numerous licensed pawnshops in Habana and other cities.
The legal interest rate is 18 per cent per annum, but it is reported that



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

as high as 10 per cent a month is sometimes charged. Much furniture
and wearing apparel are to be found in these establishments, and, judg­
ing by the steady supply o f unredeemed pledges offered for sale, prop­
erty that once gets into the hands o f the brokers seldom returns to the
owner.
R A IL W A Y EMPLOYEES’ A ID AND SAVINGS SOCIETY.

There are many mutual benefit societies in Cuba, and they seem to
serve their purpose for a short period, but none o f them have attained
the age, wealth, and dignity o f workingmen’s mutual aid and fraternal
associations in other countries. Leaving the great Spanish clubs for
later consideration, the most important o f those now in existence is the
Railway Employees’ Savings and Mutual A id Society, founded in 1895.
The constitution o f this society is fairly typical for all similar associa­
tions in Cuba. Membership is limited to railway employees, but is
not forfeited in case a member in good standing ceases to be in the
service o f a railway company. The dues consist o f an entrance fee of
4 per cent o f the monthly salary o f the applicant, or the sum nearest
to that amount in even dollars, a fixed monthly due o f 20 cents (18
cents American), which is equal for all members, and a proportional
monthly due o f 3 per cent o f the member’s salary.

The receipts are distributed as follows:
(a) A savings fund, with a permanent capital formed o f the entrance
fees o f the members. One-third o f the proportional monthly dues are
also destined to this fund. Members may make voluntary deposits in
addition if they care to do so.
(b) A mutual aid fund, formed from the accumulations from onethird o f the proportional monthly dues devoted to this purpose. This
fund is for the assistance o f members in case o f illness or o f their
families in case o f death.
(e) A pension fund, composed o f one-third o f the receipts from pro­
portional monthly dues, and devoted to pensioning incapacitated mem­
bers and the widows and orphans o f members.
(d) A burial fund, composed o f one-half o f the fixed monthly dues
o f the members. The other half o f the fixed monthly dues is appro­
priated to the support o f the official organ o f the society.

The amount of money a person may receive from the mutual aid or
the pension fund is proportioned to his salary and to the length of
time he has been a member of the association.
The savings fund and the permanent capital o f the mutual aid and
the pension funds— fo r the accumulation o f which special provisions
are made— must be invested in first mortgages, interests in estates,
certain public and railway securities, or in the purchase o f income­
bearing real estate.




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

761

Loans may also be made from the sayings fund to the members of
the society, but such loans shall not exceed three months’ salary, and,
except in special instances, shall not exceed one month’s salary, and
shall be repayable in monthly installments. Payment o f such loans
must be guaranteed by one or more members, whose monthly salary
or salaries shall exceed the difference between the amount borrowed
and the credit o f the borrower in the sayings fund. These loans are
made at an interest o f 2 per cent a month.
There is a general meeting o f the society twice a year, at which a
report o f the finances o f the association is read and, upon approval,
ordered printed. Besides the usual officers there is a board o f 10
directors, serving two years, one-half o f whom are elected annually.
This board has direct charge o f the administration o f the funds of the
society.
Some o f the railway companies cooperate with the association to the
extent o f collecting the monthly dues o f the members.
The report fo r the second semester o f 1900 shows 544 members.
There are employees o f four o f the five principal roads and of the
Habana electric railway upon the rolls. The cash receipts of the soci­
ety during this semester were in round numbers $27,000 gold ($24,800
American), o f which $6,000 ($5,400 American) was derived from the
various dues, $16,000 ($14,400 American) from the repayment of loans
and mortgages, $2,000 ($1,800 American) from voluntary deposits,
and the remainder from various minor sources. The expenditures
were in round numbers $24,000 ($21,600 American), among the prin­
cipal items being $14,000 ($12,600 American) for loans, $2,000 ($1,800
American) fo r the aid o f members, $1,000 ($900 American) for pen­
sions, and $300 ($270 American) fo r burial fees. During the semester
231 loans were made to members o f the society. In other words, the
number o f loans was 42 per cent o f the number of memberships. The
savings fund amounted to over $12,000 ($10,800 American). The
average credit o f each member in this fund was only a little over $22
($19.80 American), the largest single deposit being $235 ($211.50 Am er­
ican). Fourteen members had credits ranging from $100 to $200 ($90
to $180 American); all others were less than $100 ($90 American).
Interest at the rate o f 10 per cent per annum was declared upon
deposits in this fund. The mutual aid fund had supplied assistance to
146 sick members during the semester. The average amount received
by each person granted help was between $11 and $12 ($9.90 and
$10.80 American). During the five years o f the society’s existence
more than $10,000 ($9,000 American) had been distributed in sick
benefits. The permanent capital o f the pension fund was slightly under
$10,000 ($9,000 American), and was increasing at the rate of $3,000
($2,700 American) annually. O f this amount $7,400 ($6,660 American)




762

BULLETIN OF THE DE^AKTMENT OF LABOJfc,

was invested in mortgages. There were 19 pensions being paid, 2 to
the orphans and 17 to the widows o f deceased members. These pen­
sions varied from a minimum o f $5 ($4.50 American) to a maximum of
$21 ($18.90 American) a month.
The typographers have a mutual aid society, connected with the
confederation, or labor union, which gives assistance to sick members
and provides for burial expenses. Assessments are equal for all mem­
bers and are only large enough to meet current demands upon the
treasury o f the association. A fund o f between $75 and $100 ($67.50
and $90 American) is kept on hand for emergencies.
There are other societies o f this character, some connected with
and some independent o f the various unions. One requires that its
members shall have been vaccinated. In another the head of a family
pays higher dues than an unmarried member, and in case of illness
receives assistance proportioned to the number of persons directly
dependent upon him for support.
SPANISH CLUBS.

The most important organizations in Cuba that have been formed
for the purpose o f self-help and mutual assistance are the two great
Spanish provincial clubs— the Asturian and the Galician societies—
and the Association o f Commercial Employees o f Habana. These
bodies not only fulfill most o f the objects o f mutual aid societies, but
they serve many important social and educational purposes as well.
W hile Spanish in conception and organization, and predominantly
Spanish in membership, the color line is the only line drawn in admit­
ting outsiders to their privileges. In the Asturian and Galician soci­
eties, which are distinctively national clubs, directors and officers must
be natives o f the provinces represented. The Association o f Com­
mercial Employees also requires that its directors and officers shall
be Spaniards. The importance o f these clubs will be better under­
stood when it is stated that their combined membership is nearly
30,000 in Habana and vicinity, and is drawn from all ranks and classes
of society.
The first o f the present year the Galician society had 9,963 mem­
bers, the Asturian society about 12,000, and the Association o f Com­
mercial Employees nearly the same number. The general organiza­
tion of the three societies is about the same. There are the usual offi­
cers and a central board o f directors, who are elected by all the
members. The directors appoint special boards to look after the d if­
ferent groups o f interests subserved by the club. These subordinate
bodies are known as sections. A ll three o f the clubs have at least
three corresponding sections, supervising, respectively, instruction,
charity, and the social activities o f the organization. The charity
section o f the Galician society is named the “ section o f health and



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

763

protection to labor.” The Association o f Commercial Employees
has two additional sections—one o f music and one o f “ moral and
material interests,” which has charge o f the library and of commer­
cial information and instruction.
These three clubs occupy commodious quarters of considerable ele­
gance in the central part o f Habana, and each of them also owns an
extensive and well-conducted hospital and sanitarium in the suburbs
o f that city. The Association o f Commercial Employees has just
appropriated $250,000 gold ($225,000 American) for a new building
near the Prado. The annual income of the Galician society is more
than $160,000 in gold ($141,000 American), and its net assets repre­
sent $250,000 in the same currency ($225,000 American). W hile the
exact assets and income o f the Asturian society have not been published,
they are supposed to be larger than those o f either o f the other socie­
ties. Both the Asturian and the Galician societies are at present
making extensive additions to their hospitals.
The dues o f the three clubs are the same, $1.50 silver ($1.05 Am eri­
can) a month fo r each member. These dues entitle members to receive
all the advantages offered by any o f the sections o f the society for
themselves and their families. From the general income of the club
special appropriations are made to each o f the several sections, accord­
ing to estimates and budgets presented by their respective officers,
sufficient to meet the expenses o f each during the current year.
It is the special duty o f the directors o f the social section to provide
receptions, balls, theatrical entertainments, and reunions o f various
kinds fo r members o f the club and their invited guests at such times
as custom and convenience may dictate.
The charity section— which is not a “ charity” section in the usual
sense o f the word, but rather, as the Spanish name indicates, a bene­
ficiary department o f the club—has supervision of the hospital and
sanitarium and o f cases where medicinal or financial assistance is
granted to members o f the society. The Asturian society, for exam­
ple, pays traveling expenses and gives $15 silver ($10.50 American) a
month fo r six months to members whose health requires an immediate
change o f climate. The funeral expenses o f members who leave no
means fo r this purpose are paid by the society.
The educational sections o f the three clubs provide free instruction
for members and their families. Each club maintains a good library
o f standard works and the principal periodicals, which is also usually
in charge o f the educational section. Lectures, both popular and scien­
tific, are provided, and regular day and night schools are conducted.
The schools o f the Asturian society have nearly 4,000 pupils enrolled,
of whom 700 are in the night classes. Both sexes are admitted. The
age o f pupils ranges from 8 years in the day school to 50 in some of
the night classes. The common branches, modern languages, draw­
ing, and commercial subjects are taught. Generally, if 10 or more



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

pupils desire to form a class in any subject which they are prepared
to take and for which a competent instructor can be found, the direct­
ors of the school will provide the teacher. The school of the Galician
society has a faculty o f 13. The total enrollment last year was 2,127,
o f whom 395 were ladies. Over 1,700 o f these passed a satisfactory
examination at the close o f the year. Common school and commer­
cial branches, music, and drawing were taught. The school of the
Association o f Commercial Employees contains a proportionally larger
enrollment o f adults than either o f the others, and more attention is
given to modern languages and the commercial branches. In the classes
of this school gray-haired clerks and young boys were found sitting
side by side trying to master the elements o f the English language.
Recently the Asturian society opened special classes in Spanish for
the benefit o f American members desiring to learn that language, but
these have been closed with the approach o f the hot season on account
o f lack o f attendance.
Taken altogether, it is seen that the organizations just described
exercise a very important and beneficent social and educational
influence in Havana. They are perhaps even more democratic than
approximately similar organizations in the United States— the Young
Men’s Christian Association, for instance. Agents o f the provincial
societies meet Spanish immigrants when they land, whether they be
merchants, mechanics, or ordinary laborers coming over in the steer­
age, and invite them to become members. A t social meetings and in
the night classes there seems to be no discrimination against the poor
man. There are no evidences o f vulgarity or dissipation at the balls
and entertainments, though from the promiscuous character o f the
membership these are decidedly public affairs.
Partly, perhaps,
because his Government does so little for him in a practical way, the
Spaniard is an adept at providing through private associations many
of the things that Americans look fo r from municipal and other public
corporations. His charities and his schools are thus conducted in
Cuba. Possibly he gets more for his money than the American citizen.
In any case, these clubs and other similar, though smaller, organiza­
tions have a very important influence in ameliorating the condition o f
Spanish labor in Cuba.
L A B O R O RG AN IZATIO N S.
GENERAL CHARACTER.

It has been mentioned that trade unions began to be organized in
Cuba at the close o f the ten years’ insurrection, in the seventies, by
emigrants returning from the United States and familiar with the
labor movement there, and that later several partially successful
attempts were made to federate all the unions o f the island. A t the
present time many o f the trades are organized in the larger towns.



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

765

The workingmen have formed general groups in the smaller places,
associating themselves together without much regard to their special
occupations and with rather indefinite objects; and local federations,
leagues, or associations o f unions have grown up in four or five o f the
more important cities. But the movement o f organized labor has not
yet become a well-directed and efficient force in Cuban political or
social life. The members confuse labor policy and interests with other
kinds o f policy and interests and do not concentrate upon any one
object. They allow themselves to be distracted by national and polit­
ical prejudices and diverse social theories from anything like a wellordered campaign. They are not intelligently disciplined and support
personal leaders rather than policies and principles. The rank and
file do not back up the demands of their leaders with a firm front, and
when the latter have been cowed or influenced their followers give up
the struggle. The demands made o f employers are often impracticable
and shortsighted. W orkmen seem to have great faith in manifestoes
and other purely atmospheric weapons. In short, Cuban trade unions
are still on a rather academic basis and the members are conducting a
sham battle rather than a real fight fo r their interests.
There are at least thirty-two labor organizations registered in the
province o f Habana. Some o f these may no longer be in existence,
as such bodies are frequently short lived; but the average number
o f unions in Habana city is between twenty and thirty. There is an
incomplete directory o f these published in a Cienfuegos labor period­
ical, which contains the names and addresses o f twenty organizations.
These include the various unions o f longshoremen and tobacco workers,
which are most important in numbers and influence, and those of the vari­
ous building and clothing trades, coachmen, cooks, restaurant employ­
ees, laundrymen, and street venders. In Cienfuegos itself there are
sixteen unions form ing a local federation known as the “ Circle of
W orkingm en,” which has permanent quarters in Colon street and pub­
lishes a monthly paper called La Federacion. The longshoremen
o f the city have separate quarters in Santa Clara street. Dairymen
and butchers are organized in Cienfuegos and the sponge fishers are
organized at Batabano. In the city o f Matanzas there is a local fed­
eration o f ten unions, including the longshoremen, which is called the
“ W orkingm en’s Circle.” It has quarters in Manzana street and pub­
lishes a periodical named El Tipografo. There is another “ Circle o f
W orkingm en” at Santiago and a “ League o f W orkingm en” at Car­
denas, both o f which include several unions.
FEDERATION MOVEMENT.

The eastern end o f Cuba has been the scene of an active movement
during the past year, the object o f which was to organize and federate
all the labor o f the island. In June, 1901, a Mr. Enrique Artola, a
representative o f the committee of propaganda o f the workingmen’s



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

circle o f Puerto Principe, started upon a tour of that province, San­
tiago, and Santa Clara, which later was extended to other parts o f the
island. His mission was professedly twofold— to organize labor and
to bring the influence o f workingmen to bear in securing reciprocity
with the United States. This confusion o f quite different aims in a
campaign o f this sort is characteristic o f such movements in Cuba.
The programme o f the proposed and partly realized federation is (1) to
protect labor interests; (2) to support by its influence in every legiti­
mate manner each individual union o f the federation in securing its
rights; (3) to avoid all political alliances; (4) to secure tariff concessions
in the interest o f trade and local industries.
Judging from newspaper reports, Mr. Artola received the support
o f municipal authorities and employers in his enterprise. In small
places the unions often were composed o f employers as well as
employees. Labor organizations are mentioned as existing at over
thirty different towns. Upon visiting some o f these places a few
months after Mr. Artola, however, these societies appeared to be rather
quiescent. In the large cities, where they have been in existence for
a longer time, they have greater vitality.
W hile these unions and leagues o f unions have arisen as a result of
labor ideas from the United States, filtered into Cuba through the
tobacco trades, there has been an older, if less potent, influence at
work m odifying the effect o f the imported tendencies. This is the
tradition o f the old Spanish gremios, or trade guilds, which have
already been mentioned. It is doubtful if Spanish authorities and
employers realized that anything more than a revival o f these associa­
tions was intended when the early unions first applied for registration
in Habana, for the names o f the new bodies were the same, and many
o f the details o f the organization were borrowed from their older
namesakes. Guilds had been in existence in Habana andTsome o f the
larger cities before this time, and the workingmen themselves were
not conscious o f any abrupt change o f policy and purpose in their
organizations. So they have retained features of the older societies
in their modern unions, but the main elements o f strength and value
in the guild system have been lost. There is no regulation o f appren­
ticeship and no attempt to set standards o f skill for qualified workmen.
No communal property is held. But, on the other hand, there is not
the sharp division o f class consciousness and interests recognized
between employer and employee that characterizes the modern tradeunion movement. The degree to which this is true varies in different
trades. A m ong longshoremen, where the nature of the business com­
pels it, and among tobacco workers, where the industry is highly
organized and conducted under the factory system, a pretty close line
o f separation between capitalist and laborer is drawn; but in the
bakers’ unions many employees and shopowners are found, and the



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

767

same is true o f several other trades. The president o f the typograph­
ical union o f Cienfuegos during 1901 was the owner o f a printing estab­
lishment. The present year his employees have struck on account of
the presence o f a nonunion workman in the office. In the smaller
and remoter towns, where there is a single organization of all the
workingmen— as in case of many o f the places visited by Mr. Artola—
the societies are formed only in part of wage-earners. There are
many proprietors o f shops and independent workmen among the mem­
bers. Thus, while there is more or less organization among working
classes throughout Cuba, trade unionism, in the strict sense o f the
word, exists only in certain crafts and in the larger cities.
The working people as a class have not yet taken an active part in
politics, nor have the unions been aggressive in demanding special
legislation in behalf o f labor interests. In the city o f Santa Clara
there was a municipal labor ticket in the field this year, but the candi­
date fo r alcalde was a landed proprietor, and there appears to have
been no sharp class division in the campaign.
STRENGTH OF UNIONS.

The numerical strength o f the unions in Habana and one or two
other cities is considerable. In both Cienfuegos and Matanzas the
number o f men belonging to the organizations included in the local
federation is about 2,000. These men or their leaders could wield
much influence in local affairs if they were so minded, and there is
a disposition to conciliate them on the part o f politicians, employers,
and merchants. In fact, the unions have been aggressively opposed
principally by American and English managers and capitalists.
The Habana unions, while not federated, are individually stronger
than those o f other cities. The cigar sorters have 320 members; the
compositors, 400; the restaurant employees, 300; the bakers, 296, and
the cigar makers’ unions are much larger than these. There are sev­
eral places in the city which are labor centers. One of them is at the
corner o f Monte and Amistad streets, where several of the tobacco
workers’ unions and the cooks and restaurant men have quarters;
another is in the Cafe Diana, in Reina street,where several other tobacco
workers’ unions meet. The halls are usually rather bare and not par­
ticularly sumptuous places from any point o f view. A few cheap desks
contain the literature and the books o f the secretaries o f the different
organizations occupying the room, and there are ordinary wooden
chairs and a battered table or two to serve at meetings.

Quite an exception in this respect are the rooms of the compositors’
union, in O’Reilly street, which are well furnished and have the air of
comfortable club apartments. This union publishes its own paper, the
Memorandum Tipografico. Several Americans are members of the
organization. There is also an American plumbers’ union of some



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

20 members, which has its own quarters and is not connected with the
local labor associations. The railway engineers and mechanics are
organized into a society known as the Knights o f Labor. M em ber­
ship is open to all engineers and machinists o f the island who are
21 years o f age or over and can read and write. The dues are $1
a month. There are general sessions o f the society twice a year,
at which time one-half of the board o f directors is renewed. Provi­
sion is made fo r local branches in different towns, which shall have
representation upon the board o f directors o f the general society. The
follow ing are stated among the objects o f the organization: (1) To
defend the rights and interests o f members; (2) to prevent incompe­
tent persons from exercising the profession o f engineer; (3) to prevent
the use o f dangerous engines and machinery; (4) to secure indemnifi­
cation fo r injuries suffered by members while following their profes­
sion. In order that the union rate o f wages may be maintained, there
is an article in the constitution o f the society that requires all members
to secure a special authorization from the board o f directors, or in case
o f urgency from the president o f the association, before accepting an
appointment to a position. This society is the only one in Cuba at
present that has an active membership extending beyond a single city.
RADICALS AND CONSERVATIVES.

The earlier attempts at federation, which were mentioned in the his­
torical section o f this report, were followed in Habana by two local fed­
erations— the W orkingm en’s Alliance and the W orkingm en’s Union—
which represented, respectively, the radical and the conservative fac­
tions among the workingmen. The tobacco trades were dominant in
both these federations. When they reorganized last year the A lli­
ance or radical society adopted the name Habana Cigar Makers’ Union,
and confined its membership to that trade. The conservative federa­
tion is now known as the General League o f Cuban W orkingmen.
Each society has an official organ, published weekly, that o f the former
being La Defensa and that o f the latter La Alerta. It is rather sig­
nificant that the radical society is largely Spanish and the conservative
largely Cuban. In a copy o f La Defensa, the radical and Spanish
organ, which chances to be at hand, the follow ing quotation from
Tolstoi occupies a prominent place as a separate paragraph: “ Sages
have told us that law is an expression o f the will o f the people. But
always and everywhere the men who have sincerely wished to comply
with the law have been much fewer than those who wished to violate
it and refrained from doing so simply fo r fear of penalties. So it is
evident that law can never be looked upon as the will o f the people.”
The League o f Cuban W orkingm en nominally represents all the
working people o f Cuba, and has fo r one object the federation o f all



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

769

organized labor in the island. It is opposed to the alleged monopoliz­
ing o f certain trades by Spaniards, and so has assumed a pro-native
attitude. It also opposes the anarchistic or revolutionary tendencies
o f the other organization just mentioned. According to its secretary
the league consists at present o f representatives from 26 different
trades and establishments, and is strongest among the cigar makers,
from whose ranks it has 1,200 members. It has correspondents in
other cities o f the island acting as agents o f propaganda. Its progress
has been slow, partly on account o f the ignorance and apathy o f the
workingmen, and partly because the ideal o f an organization seeking
the best interests of labor as a class—and not those of some particular
trade— is a new one to Cubans. The league took no part in the Tampa
strike, though it sent an agent to the field o f action, on account o f the
race questions that entered into that conflict, many Cubans claiming
that the Tampa factories are managed in the interest o f Spanish oper­
atives, that these are hostile to the employment o f Cubans, and that
the fight o f the cigar makers at that place was one that ought not to
command the sympathy and support of Cuban workmen for this reason.
However this may be, there is evidently an element of race antagonism
in the present dissensions among the cigar operatives of Cuba. How
sincerely workingmen are divided along lines separating conservatives
from radicals is a question more difficult to decide. The native Cuban
is not o f a sanguinary temperament, and perhaps has little natural
inclination to anarchistic theories. During a half century o f turmoil,
insurrection, and oppression by a foreign government he did not com­
mit a single political assassination. It is quite possible that he is tem­
peramentally averse to many o f the doctrines brought over by the
Spanish immigrants from Barcelona.
But, whatever their source, there are frequent evidences of a more
lawless spirit among Cuban workingmen than prevails among their
saner and more experienced brethren o f the North. In a broadside
issued to the restaurant employees, recently picked up in a Habana
caf6, this phrase occurs: “ ’Tis ours to defend ourselves and to adopt
all means in our power for our protection, although they may appear
to be illegal.” From another source—this time a labor periodical—
the following is taken: “ The idea of a universal strike is gaining
ground in America and Europe. That which to-day is an aspiration
will to-morrow be a reality. The world moves.”
STRIKES.

A constant succession o f petty strikes and labor disputes occurs in
Habana and other cities, but these seldom attain a degree o f importance
sufficient to disturb business or even to arouse the passing attention
o f the majority o f workingmen. There is much ignorance among the



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

organized labor o f one trade as to what is taking place in another, and
sympathetic strikes are as yet only a theory in Cuba. The Govern­
ment had some trouble with its employees at one time, which was
adjusted by granting them an eight-hour day. Two or three long­
shoremen’s strikes that threatened to be serious have been arbitrated
by the intervention of Government officials. Many of the strikes
among the cigar makers are occasioned by personal objections to the
factory foremen. The compositors’ union in Habana maintains a
strike fund, which amounted to $570 gold ($513 American) in February,
1902. This was directly after a short and unsuccessful strike on one
of the leading dailies o f the city, caused by the employment of a non­
union American pressman, which resulted in the particular office in
question being lost to organized labor. This union pays strike assist­
ance o f $1 gold (90 cents American) a day to members losing their
positions through acts authorized by the organization, for a period of
three months, or less if employment is sooner secured. The funds
for this purpose are raised by an equal assessment upon all employed
members o f the union. Similar strike funds are maintained by some
of the other unions, notably the railway engineers.
The following account o f a brush between organized labor and a
large employer, related by a prominent official o f one of the Cuban
railways, illustrates how a strike situation may develop unusual fea­
tures in that island, especially in the nature o f the demands made by
workingmen:
The foreign machinists, who were the first locomotive engineers in
Cuba, enjoyed many privileges and received high salaries. Their
native successors were able to maintain most o f these advantages, and
the locomotive engineers were the most powerful and thoroughly
organized branch o f railway employees—generally recognized as lead­
ers by the other railway unions. They were also able in many ways
to influence or dictate the policy o f the roads under the loose methods
o f management prevailing in Spanish times. No Negroes were admitted
to this employment by the unions. There was no line o f promotion
from firemen to engineers— a man engaging in the form er occupation
becoming practically ineligible to the latter. Locom otive engineers
were paid $137 gold ($123.30 American) a month, firemen just one
hundred dollars less. Under the system o f personal influence and
political patronage— or “ protection,” as it. is locally called— which
characterized the patron and client relations common in all industries
o f Cuba, the railways were overloaded with long pay rolls o f super­
fluous employees, many o f whom rendered no service in return for their
salaries. This abuse created a spirit o f paternalism in the dealings of
the management with the employees fatal to strict discipline and
economical management, and this still further increased the influence
o f the more thoroughly organized unions, who were contending with
a weak directorate and assisted by many and powerful outside connec­
tions, both personal and political.
During the late insurrection many locomotive engineers, influenced
by national sympathies or by the danger attending their occupation



LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

771

on account o f the operations o f the insurgents against the railways,
resigned their positions, and for the first time firemen were promoted
to take their places. A t the close o f the war, however, the influence
o f the engineers’ union was sufficient to secure the reduction o f these
new engineers and the reinstatement o f the engineers who had resigned
to their old positions; but on account o f the shattered resources o f the
railways and the generally depressed industrial condition, their sala­
ries were lowered to $120 gold ($108 American) a month. There was a
dispute between the engineers and the management as to whether this
reduction was understood to be temporary or permanent. Such was
the situation in the spring o f 1901.
A t this time the secretary o f public works, who was honorary
president o f the engineers’ union, and one o f whose inspectors was
treasurer o f that organization, issued an order governing the licensing
o f engineers, which confined admission to that employment to candi­
dates who had passed successfully a Government examination, which
was to be held annually and partly in writing and to cover general
technical and scientific branches and theoretical as well as practical
knowledge o f locomotive construction and management. The require­
ments, if enforced, practically demanded that an engineer be qualified
to repair or construct his own engine. This order was to take effect
October 1, 1901.
About two months previous to the latter date the engineers’ union,
which under this order included practically all men who could be
legally employed as engine drivers, and so had a monopoly o f this
occupation for the island, presented to the management o f the roads
a written statement o f their demands, which were in substance as
follows:
(1) The old salary o f $187 gold ($123.30 American) a month should be
restored for all engineers, including those in charge o f yard engines
and engines on plantation siding, or t4cane handlers.”
(2) Engineers should be allowed one day out o f every six at full

pay-

(3) Engineers should not be transferred from one engine to another,
and in case their regular engine were disabled should receive full pay
during the time it was undergoing repairs.
(4) Engineers should receive social recognition from the management.
The manager stated that the last demand was orally interpreted by
the representatives o f the union to mean that their families should be
placed on the calling and invitation lists of the manager’s and directors’
families.
The railroad decided to resist these demands, and made a presenta­
tion o f the whole case to General W ood, who suspended the order of
the secretary o f public works for one month— to prevent a complete
tie-up o f the roads— modified that order by a clause providing for its
suspension in case o f strikes, and caused the examinations to be given
quarterly instead o f annually, and to be confined principally to deter­
mining the practical knowledge and qualifications o f candidates.
The railway management at once discharged those employees who
had been prominent in the agitation and promoted firemen to their
positions, all but one o f whom passed the required examination. There
was one Negro among them.
The engineers were weakened in their contest with the company by
the fact that the firemen were hostile to their demands on account of
8563— No. 41— 02------ 8




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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

their own exclusion from promotion and the fact that at the close o f
the war members of their own union had been reduced from the rank
of engineers to firemen at the demand o f the engineers’ organization.
Upon the railway in question engineers’ salaries are now graded
according to the responsibility o f the positions they occupy, regular
train engineers receiving $120 gold ($108 American) a month; but some
men on cane siding engines receive only half that amount. On the
other hand, firemen’s wages have been raised.
The engineers’ union is still in control and the old system still
remains in force— so far as wages and conditions of work are con­
cerned— on some of the other railroads.
ORGANIZATION.

The general organization o f unions in Cuba does not differ materially
from that o f similar bodies in the United States. There are the usual
officers and an executive committee. In the smaller unions these are
elected by the vote o f all the members assembled in general session,
but in larger organizations, like the cigar makers’ societies, each shop or
factory is represented by delegates. No race line is drawn in the
matter o f membership, and occasionally it is provided that both races
shall be represented on the directorate or executive committee. Dues
are usually 20 cents silver (14 cents American) a week or $1 (70 cents
American) a month, the interval o f collection depending upon the fre­
quency with which wages are paid.
There is some sympathetic connection, or “ solidarity” as it is called,
with labor movements in other countries, especially in Spain and the
United States. Over $14,000 gold ($12,600 American) was collected
by the Habana unions for the support o f the Tampa strikers in 1901,
and in the spring of the present year a general committee from the
organized labor o f the same city was appointed to raise funds for the
strikers o f Barcelona.
While the more important organizations are conducted in good faith
and in what are believed to be the interests o f the laboring men, some
unions are probabty run for the benefit o f a local “ boss.” This is
more especially true among the most ignorant classes of workmen.
The constitution o f one laborers’ union contains a special provision to
the effect that the president and founder, who is mentioned by name,
shall be the permanent president, shall always have the right to attend
and vote at all sessions o f the society, and that his portrait shall hang
in its hall o f meeting. Most o f the unions have a wage tariff, which
is usually higher than the prevailing rate o f wages in the occupation
they represent. The longshoremen are the only ones who have suc­
ceeded in having their union schedule well observed. This one fact
is probabty decisive in form ing a judgment as to the power of organ­
ized labor in Cuba at the present time. Trade unionism, both in form
and spirit, exists in some trades, and is having an influence in creating



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

773

a class consciousness among the working people of the island. Its
most beneficent result has been in educating workingmen into a the­
oretical belief at least in the dignity o f labor, and in overcoming prej­
udices against manual occupations handed down from slavery times.
Trade unionism and emancipation entered the island almost hand in
hand. The unions are also a stronghold o f the sentiment.in favor of
universal popular education, state control o f indigents and orphans,
and many other wholesome extensions o f public activities much
needed in Cuba. Negatively they have possibly operated in some
instances to deter oppression or overreaching by employers. But as
yet their positive influence in bettering the material condition o f the
working people has been very slight. It is fortunate that their power
has not been greater, for the laboring classes o f the island have not
yet reached a stage o f intelligence and self-discipline that qualifies
them to share largely in the responsibilities o f industrial control.
CONCLUSION.
TRANSFORMATION IN SUGAR INDUSTRY.

The materia] fo r this report was gathered during a period o f acute
economic depression in Cuba, caused primarily by the low price of
sugar and accentuated by uncertainty as to the future trade relations
o f that island with the United States. But it has been intended to
present as nearly as possible the status o f labor under normal condi­
tions. During the present crop season the question o f unemployment
has not been so serious in the island as a whole as might be imagined.
The labor supply was very materially reduced by the insurrection and
the deaths in the reconcentration camps, and though field employment
was naturally lessened for a time by the destruction o f the plantations,
the restoring o f these has recently engaged the investment o f large
amounts o f capital, much o f which has been spent in wages. A far
greater proportion o f the public revenues o f the island has been
expended in giving employment to the working people than ever
before. The building o f the Cuban Central Railroad has made it pos­
sible fo r every common laborer in the two largest provinces to have
work fo r the asking at better wages than have been usual in the past.
The tobacco industries, which engage the labor o f a large per cent of
the rural workers and o f nearly all the factory population o f Cuba,
and the total value o f whose product is approximately equal to that o f
sugar, have been normally prosperous. The fact that there has been
a constant immigration from Spain during the last year, and that large
contractors have to import labor from abroad, sufficiently indicates
that work o f some kind is to be had at wages high enough to attract
men from a distance. The principal sufferers from the stagnation
that has recently prevailed in some lines o f business have been the



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

merchants and capitalists, and those special classes of workingmen
whose employment is contingent upon a high degree o f local pros­
perity— as in some branches o f the clothing and building trades— or
whose occupation is connected directly with the sugar industry. The
cases o f unemployment in the last instance, however, are not so much
due to a temporary depression o f prices as to fundamental changes
that are taking place in the methods o f the sugar industry itself. The
concentration o f the manufacture o f sugar in a few large establish­
ments has precisely the effect that the merging o f several railway
systems has upon salary lists. A large number o f high-priced
employees are dispensed with, the competition fo r positions o f this
class consequently becomes greater, and for a time there is a decline in
the rate o f compensation fo r a certain grade o f work. An era o f low
prices, such as have recently prevailed, stimulates the introduction o f
labor-saving devices and lessens the number o f men employed in
proportion to product. This is the process now taking place in Cuba.
Most o f the old-style sugar plants were destroyed by the insurgents.
There was a chance to begin with modern machinery and methods.
The condition o f the sugar market has made it imperative that economic
ways o f production should be studied. American capital and ideas o f
business organization have suddenly become predominant. When any
industry goes through a transformation o f this sort considerable prop­
erty is apt to change hands, not always to the advantage o f those who
represent the old system. The traditional routine is destroyed. Men
who have come back to nest in the same old job year after year since
youth during each succeeding crop season, suddenly find the whole
economic landscape changed and no place fo r them in the new scheme
o f things. A ll these facts have to be taken into consideration in weighs
ing the comments o f sugar planters and workmen upon the present
situation in Cuba. One meets the representatives of the new regime,
advocating reciprocity, but optimistic and confident in their ability to
coin money out o f their cane fields under normal trade conditions in
the future. These men are figuring ahead and discounting the effect
o f present and future economies. On the other hand, there are plant­
ers who consider present prices only in relation to cost o f production
ten or twenty years ago, and not in relation to modern and prospective
conditions. Many men o f this class are hardly solvent, having bor­
rowed money and made investments with only the old status o f affairs
in mind.
Employers o f both classes agree that it is exceedingly difficult to
economize in the cost o f labor except where it is possible to substi­
tute machinery fo r men. This is particularly true in case o f field
hands. In the cities and in skilled branches o f sugar manufacture
wages are less a matter o f tradition and fluctuate more readily to meet
trade conditions. In Matanzas sugarhouse mechanics and engineers,



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

775

who form erly were paid $5 and $6 gold ($4.50 and $5.40 American) a
day during crop season, are working as ordinary helpers, and receive
but $1.50 silver ($1.05 American) a day. In the neighborhood o f the
city cane cutters are to be had for 40 cents Spanish gold (36 cents
American) a day, which is half the rate paid in some parts of the island.
It has already been mentioned that in Santiago province the mines
have been able to maintain a full output during the crop season because
laborers were not drawn off as is done usually by the plantations. And
yet, in traveling through the island, it is unusual to see a mill in working
order that is not in operation. Cane was being ground in March on
the Tuinicu River, 10 miles inland from Sancti Spiritus, where there
was this long haul by ox cart and nearly 30 miles o f expensive rail
transportation to reach the nearest shipping port. Though planters
were losing money, this fact was only beginning to react upon plan­
tation laborers. The greater part o f the rural workers o f Cuba, even
in the sugar districts, were busy during the crop season o f 1902.
UNEMPLOYMENT.

In the cities the complaint o f lack o f employment seems occasion­
ally better justified than in the rural districts. A t Cienfuegos the
unions reported one-third o f their members idle or working part time.
W ithout further information than is available, however, it is impossi­
ble to say that this condition has not frequently occurred in the past,
simply from the crowding into urban occupations o f restless incomers
from the country. Cuban writers for thirty years have deplored the
tendency o f the laboring population to desert the fields fo r the city
streets. There is a local depression o f trade in some smaller towns,
where a minor industry sprang up in form er times, that is probably
due to the freer entry o f manufactured goods from abroad under the
new tariff. F or instance, in Colon there used to be some fifty shoe­
makers regularly employed in manufacturing shoes from native leather
for the Cuban market. Most o f these men are now out o f work. But
as Cuba imported more than a pair o f shoes for every man, woman,
and child in the island during the last financial year, the sugar ques­
tion does not seem to be responsible fo r the situation in that town.
So in many other local and minor industries, where there has not been
a readjustment to the new trade conditions resulting from the war,
there are instances of unemployment or even o f occasional distress
which are probably unavoidable during a period o f -political and
economic change such as Cuba is now experiencing.
CURRENCY CONDITIONS.

Neither workingmen nor employers fully agree as to the exact cause
o f their present difficulties. In Habana there was but one answer—
the low price o f sugar. But there was very bitter complaint, especially



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

in the country and among the working people, over the retention of
Spanish silver in circulation. It is a prevalent opinion among the
laboring classes that the partial circulation o f American currency in
the island has lowered the purchasing power o f silver. This is true
where there is a large and constant influx of American money in the
form o f wage payments. E very tradesman, from the petty huckster
to the wholesale merchant, hastens to adjust his prices to the new cur­
rency. Last February a native pony could be hired for $1 silver (70
cents American) in the eastern part o f Santa Clara; the following
month, after one or two pay days on the new railroad, the same pony
cost $1 in American money. A similar advance occurred in the price
o f other articles and services. It is possible that in the course o f time
competition or some other process o f readjustment will force prices
back toward their old level, but for the time being the laborer whose
wages continue to be paid in silver is a sufferer. Probably the pay­
ment o f Government workmen in American money has produced a
similar result in other parts o f the island. The latter has practically
displaced silver in Santiago. But where the new currency is once
uniformly adopted and is used for all wage payments the ill effect
complained o f naturally ceases.
In any case the use o f a triple currency— American, Spanish gold,
and Spanish silver— the dollar o f the second and third being, respect­
ively, at 10 and 30 per cent discount on the American dollar, is without
much doubt prejudicial to the interests o f the working people o f Cuba.
Certain classes o f labor, Government employees, clerks in large com­
mercial houses, skilled mechanics in the railway service, and the highersalaried employees in the sugar mills may profit by it, for they are
paid in gold and are able to purchase in a silver market. Their real
wages are somewhat more than their nominal wages, though the d if­
ference is not usually equivalent to the difference in exchange, for the
prices in this silver market are not as low as they would be were there
no gold and American currency in circulation. It is noticeable that
in parts o f the island where silver alone is used, and there are practi­
cally no workingmen paid in any other form o f money, prices for the
necessities o f life range lower than elsewhere in Cuba, although nom­
inal wages in silver may remain about the same. But the effect just
mentioned as follow ing the influx o f American currency into Santa
Clara has become a permanent result in many parts o f Cuba. The
competition o f a higher class currency has lowered the purchasing
power o f wages paid in silver.
This is not an old established condition, to which the economic
machinery o f the island has long since adjusted itself. Silver cur­
rency has not been in use more than a decade and has depreciated
gradually. The introduction o f American currency is a new factor
in the situation. And even though rates o f discount remain fixed



LABOB O O ftD m otfS IN CUBA.

777

the mere process o f effecting exchange is a burden upon industry.
Except in primary and central markets a workingman’s wages are not
worth to him their full exchange value in another form o f currency.
A t the post-office, the railway station, or the merchant’s, he is a loser
every time he has to figure prices in a different type o f money. Even
the American traveler, though provident in supplying himself sys­
tematically with every kind o f coin in vogue, is conscious of the
attrition o f this tax upon the contents o f his purse. The wage-earner
may be less awake to the fact, because it is brought less directly to his
attention, but he is a relatively greater loser. There is an item for
exchange concealed in every bill he pays and deducted from every dol­
lar o f his money that passes over a counter.
In stating wages the amount and form o f currency have usually
been given instead o f the equivalent in American money. It is partly
for the reasons mentioned that this has been done. The exchange
equivalent is not an exact statement o f wages paid, because the pur­
chasing power o f silver does not vary uniformly with the rate of
exchange. Furthermore, the rate o f exchange is not uniform through­
out the island, and is not uniform at the same place at different times.
Speaking o f the general condition o f the working people o f Cuba in
1902, one is not justified in saying that it is materially worse than that
o f the same classes in many other countries. It is certainly very far
better than the condition that prevailed in Porto Rico when the military
government withdrew from that island. The people o f Cuba are better
fed, better physically developed, better clothed and housed, and enjoy
a higher standard of living than did the Porto Rican until recently.
Their wages have averaged in the past nearly 100 per cent higher.
W hile there are cases o f actual want in the larger cities, there is little
real destitution in the country or in the smaller towns. The unem­
ployment in the cities is a social rather than an economic evil. There
is no good reason to suppose that it will be materially affected by tariff
treaties or by legislative and administrative enactments. W here the
condition o f the Cuban worker compares unfavorably with the condi­
tion o f the man o f similar status in the United States, the cause o f his
disadvantage lies deeper than laws and treaties reach. It ib to be
found in qualities o f habit and temperament that are modified only by
a process o f social evolution.
EMPLOYERS’ OPINIONS.

Some opinions o f Cuban workingmen are given in the following quo­
tations from remarks by American and English employers o f broad
experience. It is not possible to have perfect agreement in judgments
o f this sort, and naturally no attempt has been made to do so. But
those sweeping denunciations o f Cuba and everything Cuban that come



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

from tactless adventurers and from men who have left their own coun­
try because they are chronically out of sorts with the world have been
omitted:

A railway manager: “A Cuban seldom has a real conception of w
hat,
is meant by special qualifications. On railways a man might occupy
in succession a dozen different posts, each requiring a special kind of
training. We have an instance where the same man has been station
agent, telegraph superintendent, and superintendent of locomotive
power within a few months’ time.”
A contracting foreman: “ In the mechanic trades men are constantly
presenting themselves as applicants for any positions to be had, assuring
us with the greatest apparent candor that they unite all the qualifica­
tions o f expert masons, carpenters, painters, plumbers, and gas fitters.
W e don’ t employ such men any more. A modest range o f acquire­
ments is one o f the best credentials that a mechanic can offer us.”
A Government engineer: “ The labor cost o f all kinds o f construc­
tion is half again as much as in the United States. But with time and
patience intelligent Cuban mechanics can be trained to keep pretty
well up with Americans on the same job. They will not do this, how­
ever, unless they are paid for it.”
An English railway manager: “ A fter many years’ experience in rail­
way management in Brazil and other South American countries, I
must say that Cuban labor is the dearest labor I have ever had under
my charge.”
A factory superintendent: “ W e employ only Spaniards. They
equal in industry and endurance American workingmen and are more
regular and steady in their habits. I have had more than twenty years’
experience in Cuba as factory and plantation manager, and have seldom
found native Cubans efficient in occupations requiring physical endur­
ance or manual skill. But they make neat and fairly accurate clerks.”
An army officer in charge of 1,200 men in road construction: “ The
Cuban laborer is not as intelligent or as strong physically as the
unskilled laborer in the United States. He accomplishes about half
as much work in a da}Tas the latter. W e bought a number o f the iron
wheelbarrows commonly used by American contractors for our work
here, but the men were not strong enough to handle them successfully,
and I had to substitute wooden ones in their stead.”
An electric-railway manager: “ Y ou can not manage Cubans with a
club. The amount o f work you get out o f them depends on the way
you handle them. W e find our men unusually distrustful, because
they have been so often cheated by their past employers. I f the pay­
master is a little late they jump at the conclusion that their money is
not coming to them. It has taken time to win their confidence in the
compan}^. They do not understand how to take care o f their own
interests. Our unclaimed wage book shows that during the last two



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

779

years many hundred men have not applied for all the pay due them.
Probably 10 per cent o f the whole number o f common laborers
employed thus fail to collect their full wages. On our fortnightly pay
days fifty or sixty men at times fail to claim amounts ranging from
one or two days’ pay to as high as $20 or $30 silver ($11 or $21 Am eri­
can). O f course such men are often imposed upon, and a man who
knows or thinks he’s being cheated by his employer isn’t going to over­
exert himself in his service. An intelligent Cuban makes a good
mechanic. He learns more rapidly than an American. It has taken
me less time to break in motormen here than in the United States.
In the last year or two we have trained most o f our force o f mechanics,
repair men, and our armature winder. They are about as efficient as
Americans.”
The head o f an electrical supply house: “ Labor conditions in Cuba
have not changed materially since 1890.
Cubans make efficient
mechanics in our line o f business. W e also employ them in contract­
ing work, such as bridge construction, so that our monthly pay roll is
sometimes over $6,000. They are slower than Americans, but are
less independent and work longer hours. In electric fitting we get
about as much service fo r the same wages as in New York. A man
who has had long experience with the working people here, and who
knows their language and how to treat them, will not have much
trouble with his employees, and will find them fairly efficient.”
A railway superintendent: “ Spaniards are the future laborers o f
Cuba. But they will work mostly under the direction .of Cubans.
The amount o f work you get out o f men depends upon how well you
pay and feed them. It is worth the money it costs an employer to
provide and compel his common laborers to eat a substantial meal
before going to work in the morning.”
The variety o f opinions here expressed illustrates the fact that the
man in practical touch with the labor question in Cuba usually has
some one aspect o f the situation in mind which appeals to him from
his own experience. A s to labor efficiency, all agree that for manual
labor the Spaniard excels the native Cuban. This is true of factory
as well as field occupations. Cane cutting must be excepted from the
latter, fo r here the Negro is the best workman; and in the machine
shops and some mechanic trades, where a certain dexterity o f mind as
well as hand is required, the more nervous and intellectual Cuban is
at an advantage. There is practical unanimity in the opinion that the
cost o f labor is high, the only exceptions being is some trades requir­
ing much skill and intelligence and where the men work under the
direct control o f their employer.
The emphasis laid upon the fact that the amount o f work to be
obtained from employees depends largely upon the way they are
treated and the wages they are paid is significant, and it accords fully



780

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

with other testimony and with observation in different parts of the
island. At one place a gang o f laborers was just completing what
appeared to even a casual observer a rather scanty day’s work. The
foreman looked up with a half-vexed smile and said: u Their wages
have' been lowered 30 per cent, and no driving will get more than twothirds the form er amount o f work out o f them. They simply shrug
their shoulders and say, ‘ Poco dinero, poco trabajo ’ (Little money,
little w ork).”
CUBAN CHARACTER.

Beneath a most unimposing exterior the Cuban laborer generally
manages to cherish a considerable sense o f personal dignity, and he
resents deeply, however unperturbed he may appear, the rough way
o f handling that has come to mean so little to his fellow-laborer in
the United States. Perhaps the unexpressed contempt with which he
is tolerated by some Americans is resented still more deeply. In any
case, the very efforts put forth by employers and their representatives
to increase the amount o f work done by employees often have the
reverse effect to that intended. Tactful management is often one of
the most expensive assets a foreign enterprise has to acquire in Cuba.
Cuba is one of the most democratic countries in the world.
Nowhere else does the least-considered member o f a community aspire
with more serene confidence to social equality with its most exalted
personage. The language, with its conventional phrases o f courtesy
shared by all classes, the familiar family life o f proprietor and servant,
master and apprentice, a certain simplicity and universality o f man­
ners inherited from pioneer days, and a gentleness o f temperament
that may be both climatic and racial, which shrinks from giving offense
by assuming superiority o f rank in intercourse with others, have all
contributed to render class assumptions externally less obvious in
Cuba than in most other countries where equally great differences o f
race, culture, and fortune exist. The Cuban is naturally self-possessed.
It is difficult to fancy him having stage fright. He is so imaginative
and Tarasconese that he frequently confounds ideals with realities, and
as his ideal o f himself is usually an exalted one, this disposition does
not incline him to diffidence or humility. He is therefore apt to
assume an artlessly familiar air with his employer, and to try to put
their business relations, so far as their social aspect is concerned— which
is to him a most important one— as nearly upon a partnership basis as
possible. W ith his manual services he bestows the gifts o f his own
discretion and judgment as a gratuity, and he is thus enabled to amplify
and m odify any instructions he may receive to guide him in his work.
These personal advances and well-intended departures from what are
called orders principally as a matter o f courtesy in Cuba are received
quite differently by an American and a Cuban employer. The form er



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

781

resents them brusquely, often profanely, and thus sows the first seeds
o f misunderstanding that result in much concealed resentment and
hostility, and unless he master the situation by great force o f will and
character, may occasion more serious damage to his interests. The
Cuban or Spanish employer, understanding his man, contrives to
secure his ends more diplomatically; but he never has a really disci­
plined force o f employees. Organization and discipline are two o f the
things most seriously lacking in Cuban life; and they are lacking
because o f a certain timidity, a lack o f self-assertiveness in the attitude
o f the officers o f industry toward their men. The Cuban is capable
o f discipline; but so long as nothing else is required, he naturall}7
prefers discussing politics and local news or comparing notes about
their children with his foreman to perform ing more commonplace
duties. His friendliness toward his* employer is usually well-mean­
ing, even if unwisely manifested. It is somewhat akin to the easy,
inquisitive, but sympathetic familiarity one finds in a New England
village. Occasionally it can be turned to good account in securing
the loyalty o f men.
Two American retail merchants were inter­
viewed in Habana. One was evidently reserved toward his work­
ing people. He reported that among several employed he had never
had a Cuban clerk he was not obliged to discharge for stealing.
Another, who was conducting a larger business and had many Cubans
in his employ, but who stood on terms o f greater intimacy with them,
reported that he had no difficulty whatever o f this kind. Whether
the difference in the experience o f the two merchants was due to the
reason suggested or not, it is certain that the Cuban is peculiarly sus­
ceptible to appeals to ideal motives, whether made directly or only by
implication, and that success or failure in dealing with the workmen
o f the island often hinges upon an understanding o f this trait o f
character.
One desirable outcome o f the aspiration toward social equality on
the part o f Cubans is their aversion to tips. Employees who had
made some money sacrifice by leaving piecework to act as guides
about a factory refused, evidently with considerable embarrassment,
the offer o f gratuity. A poor countryman who had left his field
labor for several hours to show a trail through a tract of forest
would only accept compensation under protest— and when it was
turned into a g ift for the children. These same men would have
made as shrewd a bargain as possible and would have haggled for
hours over centavos in a matter o f trade, but fo r a service of courtesy
money was no compensation fo r their sense o f wounded dignity in
accepting a gratuity.
W ith reference to the personal honesty o f the Cuban, no unqualified
statement is likely to be just. A ll people possessing great love o f
approbation and an excessive desire to please are apt to be more or less



782

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

insincere in social intercourse. Extend the ethics of an afternoon tea
to all statements o f fact in business relations, and one has an atmos­
phere o f reliability or the reverse about equivalent to that prevailing
in Cuba. Men tell you things they think you like to hear. It appears
to strike a Cuban as something akin to discourtesy to bring a painful
fact to your attention, even though a knowledge o f it be quite essential
to your business welfare. To save himself the embarrassment o f
refusing a request, he will often make a promise that he can not keep,
and to save you from being disquieted by uncertainty he will give you
an assurance as unqualified that ought to be decidedly conditional. His
business statements are like his currency, subject to a fluctuating dis­
count. As in case o f money, this is undoubtedly an inconvenience in
conducting a transaction. But as there is sound money in Cuba, so
are there men to be found whose word in a matter of business is as
good as their bond.
The upper commercial classes o f the island preserve a conservative
integrity in their dealings and in their methods o f conducting business
as high as prevails in any country. There are few failures. The
representatives o f large American houses report that their losses from
bad debts are less in Cuba in proportion to the amount o f business done
than in the United States. In purchasing at retail one has to guard
against overcharging. But this is simply a feature of a very ancient
and still very common method of doing business. There are no fixed
prices, and each individual sale is a separate transaction to be settled
by independent agreement, and is not prejudiced in the least by the
precedent o f previous transactions o f a similar character. Americans
with little experience outside o f their own country frequently bring
up this practice as a main argument to prove the universal dishonesty
o f the Cuban. But it is like very many other ingenuous arguments o f
the same sort—it is not our way, ergo it is wrong— that would result
in making virtue a decidedly local thing in this world if they were
universally applied.
It is sometimes stated that while the Cuban, especially of the middle
or lower class, is often lax about keeping his word, he shows quite the
opposite disposition with regard to trifles belonging to other persons.
The experience o f strangers in the island doubtless varies in this
respect. It is hardly probable that the Cuban has an abnormally high
regard fo r the rights o f property. There are criminals and petty
thieves in Cuba as elsewhere. But here is the result o f a single per­
sonal experience covering nearly two years, and divided between Cuba
and Porto Rico, where the general moral standards may be assumed to
be about the same. Though the person in question traveled most of
this time, stopping at boarding houses and hotels, and a guest in pri­
vate families where only native servants were employed, though he
allowed small articles o f personal property to lie about uncared for



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

783

with the same freedom as in the United States, and habitually left
satchels and other hand baggage unlocked, during these two years not
a single article was stolen. In Cuba umbrellas and unlocked luggage
were frequently left unchecked in baggage and waiting rooms at rail­
way stations, in wharf warehouses, and at hotel offices, and nothing
was ever lost in this way. Articles accidentally left behind in traveling
or when making purchases were returned when opportunity offered.
A t no time during the two years was an attempt made to pass incor­
rect change or bad money. He traveled sometimes all night over
rough trails and in the remotest part o f either island, with only native
companions, with considerable sums o f money upon his person and
unarmed, and was never molested.
Large contractors in Cuba report no unusual loss o f tools through
the peculations o f their workingmen. The owners o f retail stores,
where there is such a multitude o f petty sales that no record o f such
transactions can be kept, intrust practically their whole business to
their clerks. Judging from actual experience with the people and
with their way o f doing business, there is nothing to indicate that a
fair degree o f private and commercial honesty does not prevail. As
a rule the Cuban has not a passion for acquisition for its own sake.
The question o f money is an ever present and insistent one with the
middle and working classes in Cuba as elsewhere; but when current
demands are met—and they are not excessive— the Cuban is usually
satisfied. H e is not ambitious to accumulate. Men in political life,
with uncertain tenure o f office, expensive ambitions, and the worst
kind o f precedents to influence them, are said not to be trustworthy;
but Cuba should not be judged by its politicians. Considering only
the industrial classes, there is no reason to reproach Cuba with
a particularly low standard o f commercial and personal integrity.
One will not find there conditions equaling those in countries where
greater general intelligence and social discipline have long prevailed,
and where reasonably good government has been habitual; but the
moral standards o f the people in the respects mentioned are not such
as to present a serious bar to the industrial development o f the country.
One o f the most common and perhaps the most popular charges
made against Cuban workmen by Americans is that they are indolent.
Disinclination to hard, physical labor is a widely disseminated peculiar­
ity o f the human race. That is perhaps the reason why it is so confi­
dently brought up as a defect in one’s neighbors. Foreign immigrants
in the United States say that the American likes to do all the bossing
and none o f the hard work. German and Swiss peasants along the
Rhine consider the Frenchman’s great weakness his desire to have
clean hands and fine clothes, and that the Italian is a “ lazy beggar.”
And the Italian borderer will assure you in return that the Swiss and
Germans “ want to eat and sleep all the time.” Therefore, in forming



784

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

a judgment about the working people in Cuba, one has to allow for
this national equation. The climate o f the island does not encourage
long-continued physical labor, apart from all question o f race. The
American, the Spaniard, the white native, and the Negro are-all sub­
ject to this influence. But a moderate amount o f the rudest kind o f
work can be done by any o f these under the right conditions. The
immigrant from the North brings with him a fund of physical stamina
superior to that o f the native, which runs for life and is not bequeathed
to his successors born in the island. No statement that can be made
is less likely to be controverted than the oft-repeated one that the
Spaniard is superior to the Cuban, even o f the first generation, as a
laborer. But the climate which withdraws physical vigor frequently
compensates by giving mental alertness. The man o f the second and
third generation in the island is often quicker to comprehend any com ­
plex matter than his Spanish ancestor. This gives him a penchant
toward the professions or the higher mechanic arts. It is not indo­
lence so much as a combination o f qualities o f temperament that turns
him away from manual occupations. He does not lack industry in his
new career.
This charge o f indolence against Cuban workmen is sometimes jus­
tified by the slowness with which they perform their tasks. They are
not nearly so expeditious as Americans. But this is due in part to the
system o f industrial administration. The Cuban bricklayer lays as
many brick a day as the Englishman in the same trade. Recently, in
building the new Westinghouse electric plant at Manchester, Am eri­
can supervision raised the average number o f brick laid a day by the
British bricklayers from less than 400 to 1,800, with a maximum of
2,500 fo r the plainest work. This illustrates how large a part organi­
zation and supervision play in creating industrial efficiency. E m ploy­
ing the same men, the English contractor got only about 20 per cent
as much work out o f them as did the American superintendents. In
Cuba a change to American methods and implements, and from oxen
to mules as draft animals, has reduced the cost o f plowing from
$97.50 and $76.50 a caballeria (33^ acres), in two specific instances, to
$39.16 and $24, respectively. There is reason to believe that in all
industries this factor o f supervision and administration counts for as
much in Cuba as it does elsewhere. I f so, a large part o f the relative
inefficiency o f the Cuban must be charged off to poor management and
a wasteful industrial system.
When regularly employed the Cuban works long hours. A chart
of the street-railway traffic o f Havana shows that during the shorter
days o f the year the registered number o f passengers carried per hour
in the whole city is nearly one-half the maximum by 6 a. m., and that
it reaches its maximum at just 6 p. in. Considering only those lines




LABOB CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

785

running into the city from suburbs occupied by the working classes,
the traffic before 6 a. m. is nearly or quite two-thirds the maximum.
For most o f these men, therefore, twelve hours, with the noon rest
deducted, is the usual term o f daily labor. On the plantations the
11-hour day is still the rule. In riding through the country at earliest
dawn one sees workers already in the fields. The independent country
laborer usually protracts his noontide rest until the heat o f the day is
over, and some o f the apparent idleness o f Cuba is due to the fact that
the hours o f work are divided by this interval o f repose.
In some trades the men work slowly or short hours in order to limit
production. W here payment is by piece work, as in the cigar fac­
tories, they do so at their own expense. But this is usually during
the slack season, and the motive is to keep as many men as possible
employed.
One weakness o f the working people o f Cuba may be charged in
part to indolence, but it is equally due to their love of pleasure and
excitement, and to a feeling o f irresponsibility as to the future so char­
acteristic o f tropical nations. Unless pressed by necessity the Cuban
laborer takes frequent vacations. This is his form of dissipation— his
way o f going on a spree. The excitement o f strong drink does not
appeal to him as much as the gentler attractions of more protracted
recreations. He is often a gambler, he delights in music and dances
and in the little festivals o f his neighborhood, he regards scrupulously
all the observances o f the church that give promise of sufficient enter­
tainment, especially those o f a gala-day character. Weddings and
christenings and funerals are important events in his calendar. By
dint o f a close and constant study o f the situation he can usually find a
valid excuse for indulging in the relaxations o f leisure whenever it
is not absolutely necessary for him to labor for his support.
The Cuban is therefore neither thrifty nor frugal. As a workman
he responds only to the incentive o f necessity. The Spanish laborer
in Cuba usually works with the aim o f accumulating a competency; not
so the Cuban. The one produces much and consumes little; the other
produces only that he may consume. The Spanish laborer has few and
simple ideals, but they are fixed and permanent; the Cuban stores
away a new fancy in his head every few days, and forgets it. He
becomes impassioned over a carnival mask or a polka-dot tie; a month
later it has passed out o f his remembrance. This is one principal
reason why employers so greatly prefer Spaniards in their service;
they are not necessarily more honest, more active, or more intelligent,
but they can be depended upon.
The Cubans are not criminally inclined. Under Spanish rule there
were four times as many Spaniards as native whites in the prisons of
Cuba in proportion to the total number o f inhabitants o f each nation




786

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

in the island. The Chinese and Spaniards both showed a larger per­
centage o f criminals than the native Cubans o f either race. Am ong
the higher class Cubans, especially in the remoter towns, there are
many evidences o f physical degeneracy due to close intermarriage.
Little scrawny men, with big, bony hands and almost no head at all,
are characteristic o f this class. But this type is not usually found
among the rural or the laboring population.
MORALS.

It is difficult to speak with authority, or perhaps without doing
injustice, o f the private morals o f the Cuban working people, because
marriage statistics have been influenced bv the exorbitant church
fees charged during Spanish rule. The proportion of the population
over 15 years o f age legally married is, in the United States 55 per
cent, in Porto Rico 80 per cent, and in Cuba 25 per cent. Only 6 per
cent o f the colored are married. Statistics seem to show that the pro­
portion o f the total population legally married has decreased during the
last forty years. In proportion to the population, marriage is nearly
twice as common among the foreign as among the native whites.
A bout 132,000, or over 8 per cent o f the total population, are living
together without legal formalities. Reckoning this illegal relation as
a common-law marriage, there still remain nearly 22 per cent o f the
total population, or nearly 350,000 people, who in the United States
would be married, but who in Cuba have formed no permanent family
connection, even o f the looser type. It seems impossible that in a
tropical country these conditions can coexist with a high standard o f
private morals.
EDUCATION.

About one-third of the population of Cuba can read and write.
With the schools recently opened the proportion of illiterates will be
rapidly reduced. The recent extension of school advantages, how­
ever, means more than a simple decrease in illiteracy. It means a
broader all-round education for the rising generations. It ought to
mean the creation of higher ideals of life. It is through the schools
principally that the slow process of repairing the social defects of
Cuba must be accomplished.
FUTURE FIELDS OF EMPLOYMENT.

The prospective industrial development of Cuba and the effect it
may have on labor conditions are still largely speculative topics.
What is done depends to such an extent upon the character of the new
government and the intimacy of the future relations of the island
with the United States that all present judgments must be conditioned



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

787

by the uncertainty o f these factors.
There may be retrogression
instead o f progress, but this is very improbable. There are conserva­
tive elements at work more powerful than exist in most other SpanishAmei’ican countries. The investment and consequently the influence
o f capital is greater. There is a dominant European population in the
commercial centers. The influence o f the United States, even though
direct intervention has ceased, still broods over the island. A ll this
inspires confidence, and confidence apparently is all that is needed to
insure the prompt development o f Cuba’s undoubted resources.
A population o f several million could be profitably employed in
agriculture alone. There seem to be no reliable data, aside from
opinions, as to the amount o f land available for sugar cultivation. It
is probably nearly 20 per cent o f all the arable land in the island.
Even were only choice lands used, we may suppose that 10 per cent of
the entire area, or five times the present acreage, may ultimately be
planted in cane. The tilling o f these new fields alone would employ
200,000 laborers, or necessitate an increase o f 1,000,000 in the popu­
lation o f the island. The tobacco area can not be so readily extended
if Cuba is to maintain her present reputation for high-grade product.
But there is no doubt that this industry may in time employ double or
treble the number o f people it employs at present. Market gardening
and the raising o f food crops could engage the population o f a good
sized State in Cuba without interfering with the crops already men­
tioned. As rapidly as the local market extends, coffee culture will
increase. Banana culture and fruit raising are industries o f great
possibilities. The vine and olive have never been grown because the
Spanish forbade this in the interest o f their own producers. But a
single vine in the Trinidad valley— “ grown under a surplice” — is
reported to produce several hundred pounds o f raisin grapes each year.
The old grazing lands will be encroached upon by tilled fields, but in
the mountains, some o f the coast country, and on the poorer lands this
industry promises to thrive fo r many years to come. A ll the valuable
timber will soon disappear, and it will require some foresight on the
part o f the Government to avoid injury to the agricultural interests by
depletion o f the forest areas, especially in broken country, where
tropical rains do great damage to lands not properly protected. The
mineral resources o f Cuba appear to be extensive, but their exact value
is not known and they are yet an uncertain factor in the future labor
market. Conservative men interested in the business believe that
Cuba will sometime have a mining population o f more than a hundred
thousand, and it seems certain that these interests will be sufficiently
important to diversify the industry o f the island. Manufactures will
probably make little relative gain on account o f the lack o f fuel or
other economical source o f power.
8563— No. 41— 02------9



7 88

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
IMMIGRATION.

Two things are necessary for the industrial development o f Cuba—
immigration and capital. In spite o f its great natural resources, as
yet scarcely touched, the island does not afford a broad and varied
field fo r the investment o f capital with its present labor supply. Over
the vast eastern plains one can ride at times from dawn to sunset with­
out meeting a solitary wayfarer. A ny enterprise that attempts to
exploit such country must be large enough to command labor at need
from foreign markets. The small investor who goes into the newer
parts o f Cuba without the cooperation o f many o f his kind must make
his own hands his principal and final resource fo r manual service in
any emergency. Even in the older sections it is often a problem o f
difficulty to secure the right kind o f labor. Many may offer them­
selves fo r employment who understand how to manipulate a hoe or a
machete, but who are o f little use in guiding a disk plow or running
a cultivator. A simple job o f construction or repairs proves a source
o f several times the annoyance, delay, and expense that it would in
the United States.
Innovation is difficult in Cuba. A fter a routine has once been
established among working people all runs smoothly, but at the first
change, especially if it be at some critical emergency, the organization
built up with such care goes entirely" to pieces. The American man­
ager, continually experimenting and improving, finds it exception­
ally difficult to deal with employees o f this character. He keeps them
constantly stirred up, doesn’t give their habits time to crystallize, and
is with good reason dissatisfied with his men and the results o f their
services. They on their side accomplish less than if allowed to pur­
sue their old courses, because they are confused and fail to catch the
purpose o f constant change and innovation. So one often finds the
large employer sighing not so much fo r more men as for a different
kind o f men. He wants employees who can grasp new ideas and carry
them out. An immigration o f men o f this sort is needed in Cuba,
even if it be only sufficient to leaven the mass o f native workmen.
There is reasonable hope that the Cuban, who is pliable and men­
tally alert in his way and quick at imitation, might thus become
inoculated with certain principles o f progress in his craft that would
open his mind to new methods and perhaps give him more power o f
individual initiative.
Established industries employing large bodies o f unskilled labor,
such as the mines and sugar plantations and the railway companies,
will continue to look to Spain to supply their needs. This source o f
labor, if adequate in amount, might suffice for the capitalistic exploi­
tation o f Cuba. It is not so certain that it alone will supply all the
demands o f a well-ordered commonwealth. From this point o f view



LABOK CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

789

probably the chief objection to the Spanish immigration coming into
the island at present is that it does not consist to any great degree of
permanent settlers or men with families. When a shipload o f immi­
grants lands at Habana there are visible none o f the domestic features
so characteristic o f the hordes that pass through Ellis Island. Women
are seldom seen, young children almost never. There is no importa­
tion o f heirlooms and family belongings. In short, those who have
come evidently intend to be only transient residents in their new home.
They will return to Spain as soon as they have accumulated a modest
sum from their wages. This constant ebb and flow o f single men, who
form no permanent family ties in Cuba, does not tend to elevate the
standard o f social morality. The influence o f these immigrants also
goes rather to depress than to raise the general level of education.
There are said to be more illiterates among them than among the
Cubans. But in spite o f all these objections, their presence adds to
the physical stamina and to the solidity o f character o f the people o f
the island; and from an industrial point o f view they are almost indis­
pensable to its future development.
Immigration from other sources is evidently needed, however, not
only to bring in additional wealth and hands, but also to introduce new
brains and new ideas into business management and industrial ipethods. It is also needed in order to create higher standards* of living
and culture among the masses. The influence o f the American inter­
vention has been both beneficent and far-reaching in this last respect.
A ferment o f new ideas as to ways o f doing things and ways o f exist­
ing has been spread among the common people. The visit of the
Cuban teachers to the United States exercised a broad educational
influence in this direction. The oral teaching o f the American, his
bitterest criticisms and denunciations, and all the driving he may do
as an employer or a manager o f labour, will slide off a Cuban like water
off a duck’s back. But he will be imitated to the letter. I f an Am er­
ican settler puts up a windmill or buys an improved plow, a market
fo r those things is at once created in his vicinity. Suspenders have
superseded, belts since the American occupation. When American
ladies adopted the palmleaf hats o f the country as a comfortable and
becoming head gear, the Cuban ladies followed their example. Indi­
rect suggestions go much further than specific hints with the people o f
the island. Immigration that will bring with it a large fund o f
imported customs o f a sort intended to elevate the prevailing standard
of living, that will add to the intellectual resources o f the people, and
that will increase their familiarity with modern inventions, improve­
ments, and processes is needed in Cuba, both for political and social and
for industrial reasons. Settlers o f this sort might build up a class o f
small farmers and fruit raisers in the less densely populated portions




790

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

o f the island. Under a stable government and with liberal trade rela­
tions with the United States there are inducements sufficient to bring
the kind o f people wanted from the United States and Europe. A
few families o f this sort would soon become a dominant influence in
their vicinity. They would need to possess the true pioneer spirit,
and would at first suffer much from isolation and from social rather
than physical hardships. But there are few countries in the world
that offer a more assured and rapid road to success to the intelligent
and industrious farmer than does Cuba at the present time.
Some thirty Americans, mostly from Florida, are already success­
fully engaged in market gardening and f r'uit raising in the country
tributary to Habana. A number o f colonies have also been started by
land speculators at various points near the coast. But the investor
who intends to become a resident o f the island should make his own
purchases, and he can generally do better by acting independently or
through some local agent. The most attractive country for homes is
the portion along the high interior ridge which forms the backbone
o f Cuba. Here there is usually a limestone soil, much superior to
any o f the coast soil fo r general farming, mosquitoes and other insects
are rare, there is practically no malaria and fever, and a bracing
atmosphere makes outdoor life and work much more agreeable than
in the humid coast country. Such land, mostly cleared and in meadow,
can be bought for from $3 to $10 silver ($2.10 to $7 American) an acre
near railways and other means of communication. Poor land is expen­
sive at any price in Cuba.
An American used to outdoor work can cultivate a small farm with­
out much hired labor, especially if his land be ready for the plow
when he begins. His implements will vary with the character o f his
crops, but need not be peculiar to the island on account o f special
features o f the climate or soil. ♦ A team o f acclimated mules and a
single disk plow is an equipment he will be sure to need. An Am eri­
can 60 years o f age, who had moved to Cuba from Colorado and had
resided in the island three years, reported that he found it a task o f
no especial difficulty to plow 100 acres in a season without hired labor,
or to keep from a third to a half o f that area fully cultivated. His
crops were chiefly corn, and melons for export.
The completion o f the Cuban Central Railway will open a large
tract o f sparsely settled territory to development the present year,
This road extends from Nipe Bay and Santiago, on opposite sides of
the eastern end o f Cuba, westward to Santa Clara, passing for nearly
400 miles through excellent agricultural country. The soil is prac­
tically virgin, though mostly cleared and in artificial pasture. It is
rolling prarie, cut by many clear streams, as is usual in a limestone
country. The land is mostly in large grazing ranges o f from 10,000
to 20,000 acres. Many o f these are being subdivided for sale, and
titles are being put into shape to facilitate ready and secure transfers.




LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

791

I f this country develops as rapidly as is anticipated, there will be a
demand for common laborers and mechanics in the building trades at
the new town sites along the line. Nipe Bay, which has a good harbor,
is nearly a day’s sailing nearer New Y ork than Habana, and lies approxi­
mately in a straight line between New Y ork and the entrance o f either
o f the proposed isthmian canals. It requires no great g ift of prophecy
to see one o f the future cities o f Cuba at this point. The greatest
advantage o f this section o f the island for the American settler is the
fact that it is new and will probably be dominated by modern and
progressive influences.
The older and more densely populated parts of Cuba offer fewer
inducements to the American immigrant. I f he be a workingman he
must expect to encounter more or less race and national prejudice.
W ith equal wages his living expenses will be higher than in the United
States. M oreover he will be obliged to sacrifice many public and quasi­
public services and conveniences that he may not pay for in cash at
home, but which count for much in making his existence and that o f his
family agreeable, and which alone make the higher features o f life pos­
sible. First o f these are the public schools that will be sacrificed in
large part, even though his children receive the full advantage o f the
best that Cuba has to offer. He will lose the benefit of libraries, art
galleries, churches, fraternal organizations, and clubs, which though
they exist do not supply the same place in Cuban as in American life,
especially outside o f Habana. The press and periodicals are more
expensive and in every way inferior to those he has at home. He will
not have the same physical conveniences— abundant water, variety o f
food, sanitary dwellings. He must sell his labor in a limited market,
and will not be able to move from place to place with the same con­
venience and economy as in the United States. His children must
grow up under moral surroundings distinctly inferior to those o f any
town or city o f the American Union. Should his death or illness
leave them unprovided for, their position would be immeasurably worse
in Cuba than in their native country.
The labor market o f Cuba therefore does not compete with that o f
the United States. It does not offer, and probably will not offer,
sufficient advantages to attract any large number of American work­
ingmen to the island. During the military government a few build­
ing mechanics and plumbers went to Habana to enter the employ o f
the engineering and public works department. These were mostly
single men, and they did not go to Cuba with the intention of becom­
ing permanent residents o f the island. In the same way a few journey­
men printers and pressmen drifted over to set up government docu­
ments or work on the English newspapers. Other special demands,
incident to the presence o f our officials in the island, were supplied
by American workmen. But there is not likely to be an extension o f
this sphere o f employment. * Probably many o f the men now in Cuba



792

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

will ultimately return to the United States. The installation o f the
new sewer system, while it will drive American residents out o f Habana,
may create a demand for specially skilled workmen in certain capaci­
ties. A s this work is gradually completed along the different streets a
small body o f qualified plumbers may find employment installing the
more modern forms o f sanitary apparatus. But the only American
immigration into Cuba for which there seems to be sufficient induce­
ment at present is that o f small farmers and agriculturalists, especially
into the less settled parts o f the island. When such a population
becomes established a demand fo r American workmen in certain trades
may follow , but such a demand does not exist to-day.
CAPACITY FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT.

The capacity o f the Cuban for self-government is still undeter­
mined. He has not yet been proved guilty o f incompetency in this
direction. It took the United States several years, though guided
through the first steps o f independent national existence by one o f the
wisest and firmest o f leaders, to establish its fitness to survive. So
far as the character and intelligence o f her people and her natural
opportunities are concerned, Cuba has not an equal prospect o f suc­
cess; but she has the great advantage o f the political lessons to be
learned from a century o f growing self-government in other countries.
The Cubans are sometimes represented as a turbulent and lawless
people. Nothing could be further from the fact. They are docile,
gentle, almost effeminate. One would quite expect their dissensions
to borrow more features from the sewing circle than from the forum
or the battlefield. The Americans in Habana were a source o f
more disorder than the native population. The native born are, in
proportion to their numbers, the most law-abiding element o f the
island’s people. Unless they belie their past history and their present
traits the Cubans will conduct bloodless though exciting political cam­
paigns. I f the conservative element remains in power, there is no
good reason to believe that Cuba will not have the best government
o f any Spanish-American country, with the possible exceptions o f
Chile and M exico. But the problem o f administration will not be so
complicated as it is in M exico, and there are no pressing foreign ques­
tions, reacting acutely upon domestic politics, such as may at any time
disturb the equilibrium o f the Government o f Chile. Cuba has no
debt and consequently no elaborate fiscal policy to maintain, and she
remains constantly under the supervision and tutelage o f the United
States, by virtue o f the Platt amendment.
TRADE RELATIONS AND PROSPERITY.

The commercial prosperity o f the island and the betterment o f the
condition o f the laboring classes does not therefore seem to be imper­
iled by the establishing o f an independent'government. H ow far the



LABOR CONDITIONS IN CUBA.

793

economic welfare o f the island will be dependent upon the creation of
reciprocal trade relations with other nations can not now be determined.
F or more than fifty years sugar has been the dominant factor in Cuba’s
prosperity. Sugar has been as much king in Cuba as cotton is king
in the South or wheat in the Northwest. W hile the tobacco exports
are at times equally valuable, the receipts from this crop are not so
widely distributed throughout the island, and the ramifications of this
industry are not so closely interwoven with the texture of all other
business. But if in the future cane culture is to prove profitable only
when subject to foreign favor, the more important this industry becomes
the more will the independence o f any government that exists in the
island be compromised. The conditions o f 1902 may reoccur at any
time. There is a distinction to be sure between political and economic
dependence, and Cuba is not a wholly free country. But this does
not affect the outcome. I f she does subordinate her political to her
economic interests, and this seems to depend at present on whether or
not the United States gives her an opportunity to do so, she will thrive
commercially, but her government will be only nominally indepen­
dent. The very growth o f the industry she fosters will make her
more and more a satellite o f the United States. The stability, per­
haps the very existence, o f her own government will be settled in the
W ays and Means Committee. But in this close connection with our
own country Cuban labor will undoubtedly prosper.
On the other hand, if it should prove possible to produce sugar
profitably without reciprocity agreements, as it may in time and quite
probably will under the Brussels Convention, Cuba will develop her
cane culture, and her government, exercising as it becomes established
more and more independent powers, may find it possible to foster other
industries with a view to making the nation more self-sustaining, and
•thus create a wider field for employment and increase the prosperity
o f the laboring classes.
But should the grow ing o f cane prove unprofitable without reciproc­
ity advantages, and should no treaties o f this kind be made, there will
doubtless be some years o f depression in the Cuban labor market,
until new industries can be built up to take the place of the one
destroyed. Cuba would not go into bankruptcy by any means, but
this would prove a very severe strain upon the young Government.
Grazing, fruit raising, and banana planting would probably be the
recourse o f her planters. The unemployed peasantry would retreat
to their yam and plantain patches, and the general standard o f living
throughout the country would be lowered. But this third outcome o f
the present economic crisis in Cuba does not seem likely to occur.
W ith the transformation now taking place in methods o f production
Cuba can probably sell sugar at a profit. Her natural advantages
assure her economic future.



BEEF PRICES.
BY FRED O. CROXTON.

During the last few months perhaps no subject has been more
discussed by the press and the public than has the advance in the price
o f fresh beef. In view o f this unusual attention this article has been
prepared, comparing trade conditions for recent months with those
for the corresponding months o f the twelve preceding years.
The Department o f Labor, in its Bulletin for March, 1902, presented
the wholesale prices of some 260 commodities for the period from 1890
to 1901, and, based on those prices, relative prices were computed and
combined, in order to show the course o f prices during that period.
In the present article the prices o f live cattle and dressed beef are
shown fo r certain dates (the first o f January, February, March, A pril,
May, and June) in 1902, and for corresponding dates in the twelve
years, 1890 to 1901. The difference between the price o f live cattle and
of dressed beef is also shown for each o f the above dates, both as an
actual difference and in the form o f a percentage.
It must not be understood that this difference represents the packers’
margin o f profit; the tables are presented for the purpose o f showing
the course o f this margin between the prices o f live cattle and o f the
most important product— fresh beef.
The great packers o f the country in developing their business have
been able to utilize all the by-products, so that no part is really lost.
Developing this branch o f their business has o f course enabled them
to reduce to some extent the margin between the price o f live cattle
and o f dressed beef.
Cattle on the average yield from 50 to 60 per cent o f dressed beef.
It is thus seen that if dressed beef were the only product, and cattle
were selling at $7.10 per 100 pounds (mean price o f good to extra
steers in Chicago on the 1st o f June, 1902), the price o f dressed beef,
instead o f being $10 per 100 pounds (mean price o f good to extra
fresh beef— Western sides— in Boston on the 1st o f June, 1902) would
be $14.20 per 100 pounds if the steer dressed 50 per cent, or $11.83 if
the steer dressed 60 per cent. T o these prices, if dressed beef were
the only product, must also be added a sufficient amount to cover
the interest on money invested by the packer, profit, labor cost o f
slaughtering, transportation charges, etc.
794



795

BEEF PRICES.

In addition to the tables showing prices o f live cattle and dressed
beef, tables are presented showing for the months of January, Febru­
ary, March, A pril, May, and June o f each year since 1890 the receipts
o f cattle at Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis; the average
weight and gross weight o f cattle received at Chicago during the same
months; the estimated acreage, production, and farm value o f the corn
crop in the United States each year since 1889; the price of corn and
hay in Chicago on the 1st o f January, February, March, April, May,
and June, from 1890 to 1902; the published freight rates on dressed
beef from Chicago to Boston during the last thirteen years; also the
quantity and value o f domestic exports o f cattle, beef products, and
corn during the months o f January, February, March, April, and May,
1890 to 1902.
The information has been secured from the files o f trade journals,
published reports o f stock-yard companies and boards o f trade, G ov­
ernment departments, etc.
The Boston prices o f fresh beef were taken, as the trade papers o f
that city were the only available ones which quote prices o f Western
dressed beef for the whole period from 1890 to 1902.
The follow ing table shows, fo r the first o f January, February,
March, A pril, May, and June, 1890 to 1902, the mean price o f good to
extra steers in Chicago, the mean price o f good to extra fresh beef
(Western sides) in Boston, the actual difference between these prices,
and this difference in the form o f a percentage:
MEAN PRICE OF GOOD TO EXTRA STEERS IN CHICAGO, AND OF GOOD TO EXTRA FRESH
BEEF (WESTERN SIDES) IN BOSTON, AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE PRICES
ON THE 1ST OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1890 to 1902.
[Quotations of prices are from the Daily Trade Bulletin, the Daily Inter Ocean, the Boston Herald,
and the Boston Globe.]
1st of February.

1st of January.
Mean price per 100
pounds.

Difference in price,
per 100 pounds, of
steers ana fresh beef.

Mean price per 100
pounds.

Difference in price,
per 100 pounds, of
steers and fresh beef.

Year.
Good to
Good to extra fresh
extra
beef(Weststeers in
sides)
Chicago. emBoston.
in
1890..............
1891..............
1892..............
1898..............
1894..............
1895..............
1896..............
1897..............
1898..............
1899..............
1900..............
1901..............
1902..............

84.15
4.65
5.25
5.124
5.15
5.25
4.40
4.65
5.05
5.15
6.05
5.70
6.124




86.00
6.874
7.874
7.75
7.25
7.50
7.25
7.874
7.874
7.874
8.75
7.624
8.25

Actual.

81.85
2,224

2.624
2.624
2.10
2.25
2.85
3.224
2.324
2.724
2.70
1.924
2.124

P6r cent.

44.6
47.8
50.0
61.2
40.8
42.9
64.8
69.4
46.0
52.9
44.6
33.8
34.7

Good to
Good to extra fresh
extra
beef (West­ Actual.
steers in ern sides)
Chicago. in Boston.
84.20
4.90
4.824
5.30
4.924
4.90
4.224
4.90
5.00
5.524
5.90
5.65
6.50

86.50
6.50
7.50
7.50
7.00
7.75
7.25
8.25
8.00
8.25
8.50
7.75
8.374

82.30
1.60
2.674
2.20
2.074
2.85
3.024
3.35
3.00
2.724
2.60
2.10
1.874

Per cent.

54.8
32.7
55.4
41.5
42.1
58.2
71.6
68.4
60.0
49.3
44.1
37.2
28.8

796

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,

MEAN PRICE OF GOOD TO EXTRA STEERS IN CHICAGO, AND OF GOOD TO EXTRA FRESH
BEEF (WESTERN SIDES) IN BOSTON, AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE PRICES
ON THE 1ST OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1890 TO 1902—
Concluded.
1st of March.
Mean price per 100
pounds.
Year.
Good to
extra
steers in
Chicago.
1890..............
1891..............
1892..............
1893..............
1894..............
1895..............
1896..............
1897..............
1898..............
1899..............
1900..............
1901..............
1902..............

Good to
extra fresh
beef (West­ Actual.
ern sides)
in Boston.

84.421
5.074
4.65
5.324
4.50
5.274
4.25
4.974
5.224
5.25
5.45
5.55
6.50

86.00
7.00
7.25
7.25
6.624
7.50
6.75
7.624
7.50
8.75
8.00
7.50
8.75

1st of April.

Difference in price, Mean price per 100
per 100 pounds, of
pounds.
steers ana fresh beef.

81.574
1.924
2.60
1.924
2.124
2.224
2.50
2.65
2.274
3.50
2.55
1.95
2.25

Per cent.

35.6
37.9
55.9
36.2
47.2
42.2
58.8
53.3
43.5
66.7
46.8
35.1
34.6

Good to
Good to extra fresh
extra
steers in beef(Western sides)
Chicago. in Boston.
84.45
5.474
4.324
5.374
4.25
5.90
4.074
5.024
5.174
5.25
5.25
5.65
6.624

Difference in price,
per 100 pounds, of
steers ana fresh beef.

Mean price per 100
pounds.

Year.
Good to
extra
steers in
Chicago.
1890..............
1891..............
1892..............
1893..............
1894..............
1895..............
1896..............
1897..............
1898..............
1899..............
1900..............
1901..............
1902..............

Good to
extra fresh
beef (West­ Actual.
ern sides)
in Boston.

84.50
5.75
4.45
5.324
4.324
5.674
4.05
5.05
4.874
5.20
5.35
5.60
6.824

86.50
8.374
6.624
7.874
6.25
9.25
7.374
8.25
8.374
8.624
7.75
8.00
9.50

82.00
2.624
2.174
2.55
1.924
3.574
3.324
3.20
3.50
3.424
2.40
2.40
2.674

Actual.

81.924
3.774
2.424
2.25
2.124
3.60
3.30
2.974
3.571
2.75
2.50
1.971
2.50

Per cent.

43.3
68.9
56.1
41.9
50.0
61.0
81.0
59.2
69.1
52.4
47.6
35.0
37.7

1st of June.

1st of May.
Mean price per 100
pounds.

86.374
9.25
6.75
7.624
6.371
9.50
7.371
8.00
8.75
8.00
7.75
7.621
9.12-1

Difference in price,
per 100 pounds, of
steers and fresh beef.

Per cent.

44.4
45.7
48.9
47.9
44.5
63.0
82.1
63.4
71.8
65.9
44.9
42.9
39.2

Good to
extra
steers in
Chicago.
84.724
5.70
4.374
5.624
4.174
5.574
4.10
5.024
4.90
5.30
5.374
5.75
7.10

Good to
extra fresh
beef (West­
ern sides)
in Boston.
86-374
8.124
6.50
9.00
7.00
9.00
6.874
8.374
7.75
8.624
8.00
7.75
10.00

Difference in price,
per 100 pounds, of
steers and fresh beef.

Actual.

81.65
2.424
2.124
3.374
2.824
3.424
2.774
3.35
2.85
3.324
2.624
2.00
2.90

Per cent.

34.9
42.5
48.6
60.0
67.7
61.4
67.7
66.7
58.2
62.7
48.8
34.8
40.8

An examination o f the preceding table shows that on the 1st o f
June, 1902, the mean price per 100 pounds o f good to extra steers in
Chicago was $7.10, against $5.75 on the same date in 1901 and $5.37£ on
the same date in 1900, etc., the lowest price on the 1st o f June for the
last thirteen years being $4.10 in 1896. On the 1st o f June, 1902,
the mean price per 100 pounds o f good to extra fresh beef (Western
sides) in Boston was $10, against $7.75 on the same date in 1901 and
$8 on the same date in 1900, etc., the lowest price on the 1st o f June
fo r the last thirteen years being $6.37£ in 1890.




BEEF PRICES.

797

The difference between the mean price o f good to extra steers in
Chicago and the mean price o f good to extra fresh beef (Western
sides) in Boston on the 1st o f June, 1902, was $2.90 per 100 pounds,
against $2 on the same date in 1901 and $2.62£ on the same date in 1900,
etc., the lowest margin shown in this table being $1.65 in 1890, and the
highest $3.42£, in 1895. The margin o f difference when expressed as
a percentage, was, on the 1st o f June, 1902, 40.8, against 34.8 on the
same date in 1901, and 48.8 on the same date in 1900, etc., the lowest
per cent on the 1st o f June during the period 1890 to 1902 being 34.8
in 1901, and the highest 67.7 in 1894 and 1896. On the 1st o f May,
1902, the difference in price was 39.2 per cent, while on the same date
in 1896 the difference was 82.1 per cent.
The follow ing table shows fo r the first o f each month, January to
June, 1902, the same information as is given in the preceding table.
This table shows a gradual but decided advance during these months
in the price o f both steers and dressed beef; the margin o f difference
in these prices shows a drop in February to $1.87£, or 28.8 per cent,
since which time there has been a gradual rise in both the actual
difference and the per cent o f difference:
MEAN PRICE OF GOOD TO EXTRA STEERS IN CHICAGO AND OF GOOD TO EXTRA FRESH
BEEF (WESTERN SIDES) IN BOSTON, AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE PRICES
ON THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH, JANUARY TO JUNE, 1902.
Mean price per 100 pounds Difference i n price, per
on the first of each
100 pounds, of steers
month.
and fresh beef.
Month.
Good to extra
steers in
Chicago.

January....................................................................
February...................................................................
March........................................................................
April..........................................................................
M ay...........................................................................
J u n e .........................................................................

Good to extra
fresh beef
(Western
sides) in
Boston.

$6.12*
6.50
6.50
6.62*
6.82*
7.10

$8.25
8.37*
8.75
9.12*
9.50
10.00

Actual.

$2.12*
1.87*
2.25
2.50
2.67*
2.90

Per cent.

34.7
28.8
34.6
37.7
39.2
40.8

The receipts o f cattle at Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis,
and the total receipts at the four cities during each month, January to
June, fo r the years 1890 to 1902 are shown in the following table.
During the month o f June, 1902, the receipts at the four cities above
named were 462,292, as against 473,921 during the same month in 1901
and 429,500 during the same month in 1900, etc. The lowest June
receipts fo r the last thirteen years were 358,280 in 1895, and the high­
est 513,737 in 1890. The lowest receipts fo r the month of May in the
last thirteen years were 379,232 in 1902 and the highest 541,120 in
1890.




798

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR-

NUMBER OF CATTLE RECEIVED AT CHICAGO, KANSAS CITY, OMAHA, AND ST. LOUIS
DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE,
1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the reports of the Chicago Board of Trade, Kansas City Stock Yards, Union Stock
Yards of Omaha, and Merchants’ Exchange of St. Louis, and from the Daily Inter Ocean and the
Daily Trade Bulletin.]
January.
Year.
Chicago.
1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

283,386
274,359
286,683
281,244
254,658
243,971
237,763
189,199
213,987
191,564
226,649
252,445
275,180

Kansas Omaha.
City.
107,153
80,993
98,585
111,313
147,482
120,709
123,103
152,412
148,366
139,419
146,044
154,724
133,654

43,985
50,972
58,138
87,614
64,608
50,718
40,193
48,964
43,406
41,749
57,717
55,456
73,908

February.
St.

Lonis.

35,331
32,536
33,245
63,719
68,626
80,354
73,187
89,735
91,339
62,802
59,296
65,704
72,170

Total for
the four Chicago. Kansas Omaha.
City.
cities.
469,855
438,860
476,651
543,890
535,374
495,752
474,246
480,310
497,098'
435,534
489,706
528,329
554,912

232,796
223,413
207,013
242,575
214,462
170,700
192,497
180,129
199,345
172,956
193,354
205,467
230,329

95,368
66,484
76,168
98,338
109,596
91,868
104,944
118,242
121,268
116,521
118,594
136,419
97,093

March.
Year.

1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

Chicago. Kansas Omaha.
City.
246,502
242,816
271,165
244,519
223,005
168,381
203,043
209,510
217,159
207,311
208,076
207,411
233,560

99,602
62,326
78,444
97,869
119,667
115,802
105,928
110,208
124,698
128,752
134,583
115,285
103,032

55,980
49,923
61,165
74,440
66,396
40,730
37,812
52,917
65,236
46,877
53,538
53,824
63,897

1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

Chicago. Kansas Omaha.
City.
299,090
220,683
264,849
248,813
238,413
187,233
205,030
200,468
210,903
236,741
241,309
253,257
186,901

123,293
68,250
75,357
110,979
100,018
114,338
105,542
126,165
111,193
115,055
140,422
110,118
79,400

63,054
31,576
62,102
61,457
68,517
26,783
37,590
55,804
66,184
68,334
81,909
71,991
50,646

Total for
the four
cities.

28,993
32,038
29,925
63,077
51,248
59,261
58,648
70,491
65,301
63,561
58,946
50,393
69,551

398,584
368,992
368,669
467,017
426,252
354,134
389,397
416,000
436,055
396,592
420,466
443,952
458,381

St.
Louis.

Total for
the four
cities.

37,656
33,392
30,616
52,568
36.075
54,591
52,005
58.076
44,819
50,995
41,443
44,878
63,893

469,850
331,720
418,900
450,493
472,626
344,784
364,207
419,251
374,243
385,454
435,630
485,172
440,774

St.
Louis.

Total for
the four
cities.

82,587
96,682
83,986
79,496
58,283
71,811
87,544
77,447
53,126
42,920
60,686
78,808
99,872

513,737
442,393
469,120
485,198
419,189
358,280
439,444
466,955
428,212
391,698
429,500
473,921
462,292

April.
Total for
Kansas
St.
Louis. the four Chicago. City. Omaha.
cities.
32,670
32,380
40,782
55,633
49,349
53,842
58,642
58,250
61,788
66,223
64,173
48,571
57,937

434.754
387,445
451,556
472,461
458,417
378.755
405.425
430,885
468,881
449,163
460,370
425,091
458.426

259,747
201,668
245,537
226,760
256,520
160,094
187,635
191,996
170,852
174,655
213,734
252,458
211,769

119,669
60,715
81,184
102,696
110,558
96,630
90,742
117,368
104,907
109,472
120,526
126,459
97,615

May.
Year.

41,427
47,057
55,563
63,027
50,946
32,305
33,308
47,138
50,141
43,554
49,572
51,673
61,408

St.
Louis.

52,778
35,945
61,563
68.469
69,473
33.469
33,825
51,811
53,665
50,332
59,927
61,377
67,497
June.

Total for
St.
Kansas
Louis. the four Chicago. City. Omaha.
cities.
55.683 541,120
60.683 381,192
40,360 442,668
65,711 486,960
50,144 457,092
77,591 405,945
62,229 410,391
57,939 440,376
41,256 429,536
37,880 458,010
52,672 516,312
56,054 491,420
62,285 379,232

284,037
235,618
265,717
245,974
213,772
167,859
208,948
203,108
213,361
205,132
195,102
225,433
204,813

98,122
76,027
75,187
113,411
91,856
97,254
106,782
118,215
98,330
88,160
109,477
122,368
110,170

48,991
34,066
44,230
46,317
55,278
21,356
36,170
68,185
63,395
55,486
64,235
47,312
47,437

The receipts at Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis and the
total receipts at the fou r cities during each o f the six months, January
to June, 1902, are shown in the table which follows.




799

JBEEF PRICES.

NUMBER OF CATTLE RECEIVED AT CHICAGO, KANSAS CITY, OMAHA, AND ST. LOUIS
DURING EACH MONTH, JANUARY TO JUNE, 1902.
Month.

Chicago.

January.......................................................
February.....................................................
M arch................................................ .........
A p ril............................................................
M ay..............................................................
June.............................................................

275,180
230,329
233,560
211,769
186,901
204,813

Kansas
City.
133,654
97,093
103,032
97,615
79,400
110,170

Omaha.
73,908
61,408
63,897
67,497
50,646
47,437

St. Louis.
72,170
69,551
57,937
63,893
62,285
99,872

Total for
the four
cities.
554,912
458,381
458,426
440,774
379,232
462,292

The table follow ing shows fo r each month, January to June, 1890 to
1902, the receipts o f cattle at Chicago, and the average weight and the
gross weight o f such cattle during each month.
In 1902 lighter cattle were shown for each month considered than
for the corresponding month in the other j^ears o f the period, with
the exception o f June, 1891, when the average weight was less than
in June, 1902. The gross weight received in both January and Feb­
ruary, 1902, exceeded the gross weight received during the corre­
sponding month in any other year since 1894, and the gross weight
received in March, 1902, was greater than that received during the same
month in the other years since 1898. In A pril, 1902, the average weight
was 101 pounds less than in 1901 and 148 less than in 1900. The gross
weight in A pril, 1902, was 199,062,860 pounds against 262,808,778
in 1901, 232,542,592 in 1900, and 187,055,505 in 1899. In May, 1902,
the average weight was 79 pounds less than in 1901, 104 less than in
1900, and 177 less than in 1896. The gross weight in May, 1902, was
178,864,257 pounds, or 83,509,995 pounds less than in 1901, and
77,164,592 less than in 1900. In June, 1902, the average weight was
36 pounds less than in 1901 and 104 less than in 1900. The gross
weight in June, 1902, was 27,993,268 pounds less than in 1901 and
10,929,204 less than in 1900.
NUMBER, AVERAGE WEIGHT, AND GROSS WEIGHT OF CATTLE RECEIVED AT THE UNION
STOCK YARDS, CHICAGO, DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH,
APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the reports of the Chicago Board of Trade, and from Goodall’s Weekly Farmer and
Drovers’ Journal, the Daily Trade Bulletin, and the Daily Inter Ocean.]
February.

January.
Year.

1890...................................
1891...................................
1892...................................
1893...................................
1894...................................
1895...................................
1896...................................
1897...................................
1898...................................
1899...................................
1900...................................
1901...................................
1902...................................




Number
received.
283,386
274,359
286,683
281,244
254,658
243,971
237,763
189,199
213,987
191,564
226,649
252,445
275,180

Average
weight.
1,130
1,110
1,084
1,031
1,151
1,070
1,136
1,121
1,111
1,097
1,097
1,096
1,014

Number
Gross weight. received.
320,226,180
304,538,490
310,764,372
289,962,564
293,111,358
261,048,970
270,098,768
212,092,079
237,739,557
210,145,708
248,633,953
276,679,720
279,032,520

232,796
223,413
207,013
242,575
214,462
170,700
192,497
180,129
199,345
172,956
193,354
205,467
230,329

Average
weight.
1,136
1,127
1,124
1,152
1,142
1,101
1,175
1,125
1,111
1,111
1,104
1,105
1,007

Gross weight.
264,456,256
251,786,451
232,682,612
279,446,400
244,015,604
187,940,700
226,183,975
202,645,125
221,472,295
192,154,116
213,462,816
227,041,035
231,941,303

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,

800

NUMBER, AVERAGE WEIGHT, AND GROSS WEIGHT OF CATTLE RECEIVED AT THE UNION
STOCK YARDS, CHICAGO, DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH,
APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1890 TO 1902—Concluded.
April.

March.
Year.

Number
received.

Average
weight.

246,502
242,816
271,165
244,519
223,005
168,381
203,043
209,510
217,159
207,311
208,076
207,411
233,560

1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

1,142
1,105
1,152
1,055
1,154
1,052
1,172
1,126
1,111
1,118
1,096
1,081
1,005

Number
received.

Average
weight.

Number
Gross weight. received.
259,747
201,668
245,537
226,760
256,520
160,094
187,635
191,996
170,852
174,655
213,734
252,458
211,769

1,146
1,115
1,113
1,107
l r126
1,038
1,150
1,080
1,086
1,071
1,088
1,041
940

Number
Gross weight. received.

Average
weight.

281,505,284
268,311,680
312,382,080
257,967,545
257,347,770
177,136,812
237,966,396
235,908,260
241,263,649
231,773,698
228,051,296
224,211,291
234,727,800

1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899
1900.
1901.
1902.

299,090
220,683
264,849
248,813
238,413
187,233
205,030
200,468
210,903
236,741
241,309
253,257
186,901

1,116
1,077
1,142
1,014
1,060
1,030
1,134
1,088
1,099
1,050
1,061
1,036
957

Gross weight.
297,670,062
224,859,820
273,282,681
251,023,320
288,841,520
166,177,572
215,780,250
207,355,680
185,545,272
187,055,505
232,542,592
262,808,778
199,062,860

June.

May.
Year.

Average
weight.

333,784,440
237,675,591
302,457,558
252,296,382
252,717,780
192,849,990
232,504,020
218,109,184
231,782,397
248,578,050
256,028,849
262,374,252
178,864,257

284,037
235,618
265,717
245,974
213,772
167,859
208,948
203,108
213,361
205,132
195,102
225,433
204,813

1,057
896
1,088
1,048
1,098
1,011
1,118
1,072
1,091
1,051
1,068
1,000

964

Gross weight.
300,227,109
211,113,728
289,100,096
257,780,752
234,721,656
169,705,449
233,603,864
217,731,776
232,776,851
215.593.732
208,368,936
225,433,000
197.439.732

F or each o f the six months, January to June, 1902, the number,
average weight, and gross weight o f cattle received at Chicago are.
shown in the follow ing table. The number received during May was
88,279, or 32.1 per cent, less than in January, the average weight 57
pounds, or 5.6 per cent, less, and the gross weight 100,168,263 pounds,
or 35.9 per cent, less. The number received during June was 17,912
more than in May, the average weight 7 pounds more, and the gross
weight 18,575,475 pounds more.
NUMBER, AVERAGE WEIGHT, AND GROSS WEIGHT OF CATTLE RECEIVED AT THE UNION
STOCK YARDS, CHICAGO, DURING EACH MONTH, JANUARY TO JUNE, 1902.
Month.
•January.
February
M arch.. .
A p ril___
M ay.......
June.......

Number
received.
275,180
230,329
233,560
211,769
186,901
204,813

Average
weight.
1,014
1,007
1,005
940
957
964

Gross weight.
279,032,520
231,941,303
234,727,800
199,062,860
178,864,257
197,439,732

The price o f cattle depending not only upon the supply o f cattle but
also to a great extent upon the price o f feed, some tables fire presented
relating to the important item— corn— and also to an item o f much less
importance— hay.



801

BEEF PRICES.

A drought o f the magnitude o f the one which visited the Central
W est in the summer o f 1901 not only advances the price o f corn, hay,
etc., but tends to hasten cattle and other stock to market, many o f
them underfed and in poor condition for slaughtering. Previous tables
show the great reduction in the average weight o f cattle received at
Chicago during 1902. This low average may be due not alone to
underfed cattle going on the market but also to the marketing of
young cattle during the present extremely high prices.
The table immediately follow ing shows the estimated acreage, pro­
duction, and farm value of the corn crop in the United States each
year from 1889 to 1901. The year 1901 shows the largest acreage,
the smallest yield with two exceptions (1890 and 1894), and the
greatest farm value during the period. The statistician o f the Depart­
ment o f Agriculture in issuing, on May 23, 1902, his estimate o f the
cereal crops fo r 1901 makes the follow ing note: 66In the preparation
o f this report all proper weight has been given to the recently
published census report on the crops o f 1899.”
ACREAGE, PRODUCTION, AND FARM VALUE OF CORN IN THE UNITED STATES, 1889 TO 1901.
[From the Reports of the United States Department of Agriculture.]
Year.
1889.
1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.

Acreage.
78,319,651
71,970,763
76,204,515
70,626,658
72,036,465
62,582,269
82,075,830
81,027,156
80,095,051
7,7,721,781
82,108,587
83,320,872
91,349,928

Production
(bushels).
2.112.892.000
1.489.970.000
2.060.154.000
1.628.464.000
1,619,496,131
1,212,770,052
2,151,138,580
2,283,875,165
1.902.967.933
1,924,184,660
2.078.143.933
2,105,102,516
1,522,519,891

Farm value,
December 1.
$597,918,829
754,433,451
836,439,228
642,146,630
591,625,627
554,719,162
544,985,534
491,006,967
501,072,952
552,023,428
629,210,110
751,220,034
921,555,768

The table follow ing shows for the 1st o f January, February,
March, A pril, May, and June, 1890 to 1902, the mean price per 100
pounds o f good to extra steers in Chicago, the mean price per bushel
o f No. 2 cash corn in Chicago, and the mean price per ton o f No. 1
timothy hay in Chicago. January, March, and June, 1902, show
higher prices fo r steers, corn, and hay than the corresponding months
in the years 1890 to 1901; February, 1902, shows higher prices for cattle
and corn, and a higher price for hay, except in 1896, when the price
was $12.25-^-the same as on the 1st o f February, 1902. On the 1st o f
April, 1902, cattle were higher than on the same date in the years 1890
to 1901, corn higher than in any o f those years except 1891, and hay
higher except in 1891 and 1901. On the 1st o f May, 1902, cattle were
higher than on the same date in the previous years, corn higher except
in 1891, and hay higher except in 1891, when the price was the same
as in 1902.



802

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

MEAN PRICE OF GOOD TO EXTRA STEERS, OF NO. 2 CASH CORN, AND OF NO. 1 TIMOTHY
HAY IN CHICAGO ON THE 1ST OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AND
JUNE, 1890 TO 1902.
[Quotations are from the reports of the Chicago Board of Trade, and from the Daily Trade Bulletin
and the Daily Inter Ocean.]

The table follow ing shows for the 1st o f each month, January to
June, 1902, the same information as is given in the table immediately
preceding. Cattle show a gradual advance since January. Corn was
$0.63H per bushel the 1st o f January, $0.57£ the 1st o f February,



803

BEEF PRICES.

and $0.61TF the 1st o f June. Hay on the six dates under consideration
5
was as low as $12.25 per ton on the 1st o f February and as high as
$13.75 on the 1st o f June.
MEAN PRICE OF GOOD TO EXTRA STEERS, OF NO. 2 CASH CORN, AND OF NO. 1 TIMOTHY
HAY IN CHICAGO ON THE 1ST OF EACH MONTH, JANUARY TO JUNE, 1902.
Mean price per Mean price per Mean price per
100 pounds
ton of No. 1
bushel of No.
of good to
2 cash corn.
timothy hay.
extra steers.

Month.

January............................................................................
February...........................................................................
M arch................................................................................
A p ril.................................................................................
M ay...................................................................................
June...................................................................................

$6.12*
6.50
6.50
6.62*
6.82*
7.10

.60
•58|
.61*4
•61*

$13.00
12.25
12.75
12.50
13.50
13.75

The published freight rates on dressed beef, for domestic consump­
tion, from Chicago to Boston during the last thirteen years are shown
in the table which follows.
The lowest rate, $0.30 per 100 pounds, was in effect from July 3 to
November 23, 1890; the highest rate, $0.45 per 100 pounds, was in
effect from May 1,1889, to June 15,1890, from November 24,1890, to
January 31, 1899, from January 1, 1900, to July 28, 1901, and from
January 1, 1902, to March 25, 1902. The rate established on March
26, 1902, still remains in effect.
PUBLISHED FREIGHT RATES ON DRESSED BEEF, FOR DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION, FROM
CHICAGO TO BOSTON, MAY 1, 1889, TO JUNE 30, 1902.
[Furnished by the Interstate Commerce Commission.]
Date of change.

Rate per 100
pounds.

May 1,1889..........................................
June 16,1890........................................
June 20,1890........................................
June 26,1890........................................
J n n A 30 1 8 9 0
. . .
July 3, i890..........................................

$0.45
.42
.39
.36
.33
.30

Date of change.
November 24,1890............................
February 1,1899................................
January 1,1900..................................
July 29,1901......................................
January 1,1902.................................
March 26,1902...................................

Rate per 100
pounds.
$0.45
.40
.45
.40
.45
.40

The tables following show the quantity and value o f domestic exports
from the United States o f cattle, canned beef, fresh beef, salted,
pickled, and other cured beef, tallow, and corn during the months o f
January, February, March, April, and May, 1890 to 1902. Exports
from the United States to Hawaii and Porto Rico are not included
after June 30, 1900. Exports from Hawaii to foreign countries are
included after June 30, 1900, and from Porto Rico to foreign countries
after July 1, 1901.
During May, 1902, a less number o f cattle was exported than dur­
ing the same month o f the other years since 1898, and their value was
less than the value in May o f the other years since 1895.
Canned beef shows heavy exports during the months o f the present
year, the United Kingdom taking a large portion o f the total. The
8563— No. 41— 02------10



BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

804

quantity of this article exported during April, 1902, was 151.8 per cent
greater and the value 160.0 per cent greater than during April, 1901.
In May, 1902, the exports were 81.2 per cent greater in quantity and
89.8 per cent greater in value than in May, 1901.
The exports of fresh beef in April, 1902, were 31.6 per cent less in
quantity and 22.2 per cent less in value than they were in April, 1901.
In May, 1902, the exports were 26.0 per cent less in quantity and 10.9
per cent less in value than in May, 1901.
The exports o f salted, pickled, and other cured beef were less dur­
ing January, February, and May and greater during March and
A pril, 1902, than they were during the corresponding months in 1901.
Less tallow was exported in A pril, 1902, than in the same month of
any other year since 1895. The value also was less than in A pril o f any
other year since 1897. The quantity and value exported during May,
1902, were both less than during the same month o f the preceding
twelve years. The quantity was 63.5 per cent less and the value 54.8
per cent less than in M ay, 1901.
Corn shows a great decrease, the exports being less, both in quantity
and value, during each o f the months January, February, March,
A pril, and May, 1902, than during the corresponding months of the
preceding twelve years. April, 1902, compared with April, 1901,
shows a decrease in quantity o f 88.6 per cent and in value o f 84.6 per
cent. May, 1902, compared with May, 1901, shows a decrease in
quantity o f 95.6 per cent and in value o f 93.9 per cent, or the exports
o f corn in May, 1901, were 22.6 times as great in quantity and 16.3
times as great in value as the exports in May, 1902.
NUMBER AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF CATTLE FROM THE UNITED STATES
DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance, issued by the Bureau of Statistics,
Treasury Department.]
January.
Year. Num­
ber.
1890..
1891..
1892..
1893..
1894..
189ft..
1896..
1897..
1898..
1899..
1900..
1901..
1902..

21,342
27,855
32,032
24,615
26,598
23,255
35,709
35,319
38,588
28,325
26,852
34,046
26,330

Value.
$1,774,497
2,302,082
2,879,681
2,196,063
2,498,418
2,160,525
3,276,701
3,275,461
3,297,726
2,091,678
2,054,761
3,015,807
2,315,117




February.
Num­
ber.

Value.

21,252 $1,738,642
27,927 2,343,061
31,323 2,850,519
19,660 1,797,441
27,128 2,528,655
23,924 2,059,374
36,532 3,361,892
31,168 2,844,493
38,811 3,287,519
21,235 1,780,311
32,600 2,736,210
32,796 2,968,504
23,238 1,986,094

March.
Num­
ber.

Value.

31,000 $2,424,380
32,771 2,748,024
41,774 3,769,464
16,141 1,484,304
35,667 3,353,436
22,427 2,097,132
38,599 3,574,783
34,144 3,152,712
40,571 3,507,637
37,304 2,806,237
28,635 2,360,965
33,492 3,001,958
25,564 2,103,566

April.
Num­
ber.

Value.

42,773 $3,514,790
16,226 1,384,123
40,749 3,729,162
15,405 1,397,128
43,771 4,053,675
21,111 1,991,994
36,080 3,234,462
34,240 3,128,956
30,807 2,772,789
32,243 2,683,668
28,149 2,406,745
37,842 3,220,742
23,295 1,748,565

May.
Num­
ber.

Value.

42,266 $3,446,515
21,943 1,873,818
38,220 3,464,461
20,047 1,856,147
42,996 3,989,877
22,687 2,118,353
33,691 3,117,209
41,030 3,776,797
29,391 2,672,944
43,068 3,207,382
33,258 2,766,751
44,328 3,597,677
30,815 2,119,149

805

BEEF PRICES,

QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF CANNED BEEF FROM THE UNITED
STATES DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance, issued by the Bureau of Statistics,
Treasury Department.]
January.
Year.
Pounds.

Value.

February.
Pounds. Value.

March.
Pounds.

Value.

April.

May.

Pounds. Value. Pounds.

Value.

1890.. 5,535,184 $446,661 4,701,860 $378,107 4,902,038 $408,694 6,754,772 $540,937 4,452,044 $388,753
1891.. 7,121,514
569,250 6,058,284 494,126 6,469,610 542.060 7,568,083 630,291 7,887,189 698,174
1892.. 12,269,960 1,171,159 5,314,144 487,262 7,178,513 633,351 4,962,873 436,632 5,167,796 449,349
581,612 4,797,569 452,915 6,423,253 588,055 3,567,455 321,215 2,911,234 269,394
1893.. 6,620,003
1894.. 5,167,787
479,877 3,395,938 294,104 3,152,319 282,243 3,140,466 258,926 3,482,576 284,158
506,860 4,914,695 415,931 4,590,451 425,803 4,578,636 424,987 4,007,758 375,726
1895.. 5,738,964
923,667 4,532,481 417,741 4,586,741 405,617 3,021,548 256,980 3,559,153 301,343
1896.. 10,097,649
385,945 3,421,052 296,384 2,727,721 241,722 3,192,730 281,841 4,368,793 382,322
1897.. 4.437.382
360,931 2,812,295 247,794 3,356,317 313,460 2,518,555 212,358 1,827,815 164,834
1898.. 3.966.382
322,674 2,544,834 228,893 2,558,354 221,595 2,830,896 258,814 2,646,939 245,534
1899.. 3,559,637
596,519 4,498,465 447,487 3,474,510 341,848 2,058,782 198,739 2,482,875 241,815
1900.. 6,353,282
370,220 3,048,844 299,633 6,984,704 679.061 3,822,290 369,303 3,762,063 365,347
1901.. 3,795,323
638,561 4,893,585 489,297 4,820,867 465,284 9,624,543 960,335 6,816,385 693,503
1902.. 6,518,887

QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF FRESH BEEF FROM THE UNITED
STATES DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance issued by the Bureau of Statistics,
Treasury Department.]
January.
Year.

Pounds.

Value.

February.
Pounds.

Value.

March.
Pounds.

Value.

April.
Pounds.

Value.

May.
Pounds.

Value.

$
$
$
$
$
1890. 11,264,043 819,670 14,568,879 1,113,790 15,134,827 1,137,796 12,214,026 909,397 16,939,205 1,298,362
1891. 3,448,583 1,030,269 16,315,786 1,265,352 17.409.807 1,406,005 17,040,584 1,410,469 16,877,663 1,411,473
1892. 16,026,951 1,354,627 15,991,002 1,332,138 18,577,155 1,513,037 19,507,908 1,591,995 24,194,710 1,915,369
1893. 15,574,888 1,338,415 15,132,631 1,361,892 14.769.808 1,334,228 14,119,621 1,291,306 12,766,294 1,141,380
1894. 15,735,046 1,389,027 15,703,521 1,329,698 18,9-25,387 1,565,412 17,796,134 1,445,356 19,825,155 1,633,591
1895. 16,996,721 1,493,190 16,084,302 1,381,885 17,283,481 1,431,139 16,498,886 1,524,818 15,205,952 1,490,965
1896. 17,696,364 1,489,825 18,323,062 1,547,087 25,476,204 2,037,999 22,794,690 1,843,737 24,626,280 1,955,300
1897 . 24,040,351 1,772,110 24,453,476 1,856,414 23,110,984 1,811,404 24,180,286 X 886,754 26,007,475 2,036,080
1898. 24,392,832 2,071,219 22,834,297 1,935,891 22,128,127 1,839,053 22,209,520 1,884,205 22,756,330 1,993,284
1899. 20,213,128 1,706,925 22,645,118 1,880,769 25,547,027 2,081,743 25,310,231 2,090,517 128,754,287 2,379,801
1900. 20,340,074 1,897,920 25,416,552 2,291,153 25,445,282 2,202,354 25,657,495 12,247,351 28,687,961 2,489,208
1901. 26,124,704 2,391,488 27,286,651 2,465,823 31,139,966 2,735,437 33,277,711 2,998,264 33,780,647 3,009,718
1902. 21,971,692 2,088,280 18,866,074 1,864,763 23,982,833 2,272,759 22,747,266 2,331,536 25,008,813 2,682,850
QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF SALTED, PICKLED, AND OTHER CURED
BEEF FROM THE UNITED STATES DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND
MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance issued by the Bureau of Statistics
Treasury Department.]
Year.

January.
Pounds.

1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

8,375,551
8,536,806
5,474,644
3,646,065
5,373,259
6,769,958
6,395,120
3,739,226
3,104,462
3,292,760
3,436,184
3,713,637
3,202,840

Value.
$

February.
Pounds. Value.

443,487 11,380,349
527,030 8.363.359
314,993 5,695,965
205,851 4,369,270
326,766 4,103,079
402,449 6,414,016
371,002 6,742,776
182,873 2,578,297
176,641 3,471,180
197,123 2,945,326
205,903 4,373,122
223,741 3,700,094
200,568 2.929.359




$

March.
Pounds.

646,359 11,341,507
446,932 7,972,326
312,156 6,242,531
284,246 4,013,602
243,786 6,157,590
367,062 5,455,429
405,966 5,948,152
140,767 3,729,120
198,251 4,548,150
160,533 3,978,572
270,655 4,199,228
217,622 4,639,530
184,083 4,999,609

Value.
$

601,017
464,936
354,812
252,445
368,320
313,175
341,328
192,651
263,868
239,757
245,655
251,265
315,900

April.
Pounds.

9,360,283
5,119,528
4,956,207
3,358,920
6,088,414
4,649,190
5,894,035
3,854,859
4,085,852
4,747,361
4,506,797
4,353,400
4,504,320

Value.
$

516,780
309,053
281,193
200,761
352,140
270,447
335,632
189/631
232,692
275,386
269,756
244,057
291,961

May.
Pounds.

8,033,754
4,018,377
5,465,500
4,385,294
5,985,326
4,757,725
6,911,696
3,376,290
4,424,313
3,186,503
5,208-, 377
5,309,998
4,218,207

Value.
$

456,047
233,041
289,983
236,686
326,141
296,030
384,400
176,140
265,525
179,286
316,558
324,837
300,271

806

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TALLOW FROM THE UNITED STATES
DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance issued by the Bureau of Statistics,
Treasury Department.]
January.
Year.
Pounds.
1890.
1891.
1892.
1893.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.

Value.

February.
Pounds.

April.

March.
Pounds.

Value.

Value.

Pounds.

May.

Value.

Pounds.

Value.

10,754,921 $536,831 8,064,883 $400,103 9,832,182 $461,474 7,834,027 $371,741 10,857,991 $487,172
8,261,566 405,775 11,279,575 572,821 12,102,184 591,122 8,941,856 448,739 5,511,917 276,818
8,855,896 439,675 6,896,166 336,086 8,091,075 396,349 9,689,162 466,797 7,623,010 371,654
2,434,644 125,193 1,760,331
97,516 2,423,199 143,527 4,351,371 247,422 6,756,997 349,474
58,514 2,667,136 135,496 2,277,996 114,435 4,425,373 224,218
2,525,043 132,289 1,025,016
71,338 1,374,128
66,383
931,019
47,717 2,045,708 101,998
1,453,091
67,240 1,358,996
4,340,543 216,437 3,454,331 157,596 7,579,213 321,947 5,668,940 232,867 6,791,500 258,722
98,202 3,656,353 136,665 2,694,168 102,878 5,391,990 190,756
3,071,805 115,314 2,519,750
6,033,541 240,471 3,460,772 136,389 8,738,806 343,512 11,656,753 448,268 11,268,965 456,490
10,053,622 397,642 8,108,260 319,376 7,028,793 297,489 8,292,000 358,310 11,464,366 503,598
5,293,213 270,619 6,041,918 321,446 8,435,342 451,010 7,420,629 384,847 7,198,749 369,049
6,400,001 326,700 5,729,827 293,532 5,914,630 298,680 4,519,211 229,462 3,894,355 195,658
2,320,167 131,045 2,543,573 156,671 2,251,712 138,418 2,057,958 132,556 1,420,618
88,476

QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF CORN FROM THE UNITED STATES
DURING JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY, 1890 TO 1902.
[Compiled from the Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance issued by the Bureau of Statistics,
Treasury Department.]
February.

January.
Yr.

1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902

Bushels.

Value.

Bushels.

Value.

April.

March.
Bushels.

Value.

Bushels.

May.

Value.

Bushels.

Value.

$
$
$
$
$
8,501,283 3,594,314 13,527,210 5,513,918 13,877,589 5.595.095 13,898,215 5,588,781 10,329,115 4,357,668
1,343,191 802,712 1,441,065 888,446 2,787,561 1,795,174 1,535,424 1.092.611 1,999,814 1,493,434
14,500,874 7,797,218 12,807,972 6,677,323 11,681,017 6,017,497 8,726,343 4,381,656 5,972,315 3,140,930
3,159,947 1,700,692 3,613,583 1,896,933 3,849,889 1.961.096 4,240,531 2,169,171 5,608,400 2,837,708
8,701,831 3,869,744 5,884,040 2,678,008 7,031,893 3,150,167 7,370,607 3,307,628 3,730,459 1,689,218
3,782,419 1,884,731 2,838,532 1,410,693 3,390,284 1,704,636 4,083,579 2,088,691 4,414,455 2,498,044
14,667,314 5,151,960 12,981,296 4,587,236 9,530,814 3,402,640 7,454,885 2,629,861 8,213,443 3,012,402
16,319,917 4,902,196 22,360,346 6,572,856 25,352,174 7,548,062 18,987,577 5,591,821 11,460,112 3,545,295
18,608,381 6,427,414 18,586,997 6,615,121 18,665,215 6,651,351 23,166,082 8,372,423 28,147,902 11,179,723
14,393,016 6,014,534 14,872,533 6,237,338 16,018,927 6,614,953 13,271,788 5,489,489 16,305,517 6,535,260
15,332,546 6,063,050 15,375,363 6,146,923 14,535,201 6,021,627 15,720,333 6.928.612 18,705,084 8,213,098
19,438,395 8,576,743 16,900,726 7,651,935 13,504,403 6,315,112 10,172,830 5,022,185 10,636,217 5,287,698
1,046,110 721,492 1,272,830 862,058 1,223,365 | 827,148 1,159,783 775,298
324,291
471,495

The table follow ing shows for each month, January to May, 1902,
the same information relating to domestic exports as is given in the
tables immediately preceding:
QUANTITY AND VALUE OF DOMESTIC EXPORTS FROM THE UNITED STATES OF CATTLE,
BEEF PRODUCTS, AND CORN, DURING EACH MONTH, JANUARY TO MAY, 1902.
Cattle.
Month.

January..................................
February................................
M arch.....................................
A p ril.......................................
M ay........................................

Month.

Number.
26,330
23,238
25,564
23,295
30,815

Canned beef.

Value.

Pounds.

Value.

$2,315,117
1,986,094
2,103,566
1,748,565
2,119,149

6,518,887
4,893,585
4,820,867
9,624,543
6,816,385

$638,561
489,297
465,284
960,335
693,503

Salted, pickled, and
other cured beef.

Tallow.

Fresh beef.
Pounds.
21,971,692
18,866,074
23,982,833
22,747,266
25,008,813




$2,088,280
1,864,763
2,272,759
2,331,536
2,682,850

Corn.

Pounds
January..................................
February................................
M arch.....................................
A p r il.......................................
M a y ........................................

Value.

Value.

Pounds.

Value.

Bushels.

3,202,840
2,929,359
4,999,609
4,504,320
4,218,207

$200,568
184,083
315,900
291,961
300,271

2,320,167
2,543,573
2,251,712
2,057,958
1,420,618

$131,045
156,671
138,418
132,556
88,476

1,046,110
1,272,830
1,223,365
1,159,783
471,495
/

Value.
$721,492
862,058
827,148
775,298
324,291

THE TRUE REFORMERS.
BY WILLIAM TAYLOR THOM, PH. D.

The “ True Reform ers” constitutes probably the most remarkable
Negro organization in the country. The association has its headquar­
ters in Richmond, V a., and its history in brief is as follows:
TH E G R A N D FOUNTAIN.
The association was organized in January, 1881, by Rev. William
Washington Browne, an ex-slave o f Habersham County, Ga., as a
fraternal beneficiary institution composed o f male and female mem­
bers, and began with 100 members and a capital o f $150. On April
4, 1883, or over two years later, the circuit court o f the city o f
Richmond, V a., granted a regular charter o f incorporation as a joint
stock company to Browne and his associates under the name o f “ The
Grand Fountain o f the United Order o f True Reformers.” The chief
purpose o f incorporation was “ to provide what is to be known as an
endowment or mutual benefit fu n d ;” the capital stock was “ to be not
less than one hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, to
be divided into shares o f the value o f five dollars each; ” the company
was to hold real estate “ not to exceed in value the sum o f twenty-five
thousand dollars;” the principal office was “ to be kept m the city o f
Richmond,.” and the officers named in the charter for the first year
were Rev. W illiam W . Browne, Richmond, Va., grand worthy mas­
ter; Eliza Allen, Petersburg, Va., grand worthy mistress; R. T.
Quarles, Ashland, Va., grand worthy vice-master; S. W . Sutton,
Richmond, Va., grand worthy chaplain; Peter H. W oolf oik, Rich­
mond, V a., grand worthy secretary; Robert I. Clarke, Centralia,
V a., grand worthy treasurer. These, with six others, composed the
board o f directors fo r the first year. Thus the True Reformers
started on their way as a full-fledged joint fetock corporation whose
chief aim was to provide a form o f what is known as mutual beneficial
insurance for its members. In 1898 the charter was amended so that
a part o f section 2 should read as follows: “ The said corporation shall
issue certificates o f membership to its members and shall pay death
benefits to the heirs, assigns, personal or legal representatives o f the
deceased members;” and section 4 as follows: “ The real estate to be
held shall not exceed in value the sum o f five hundred thousand
($500,000) dollars.”



807

808

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

U p to December, 1901, the last report o f the organization shows
that it had paid in death claims $606,000 and in sick dues $1,500,000,
and that the membership was over 50,000, having increased 18,000
in the preceding year. The increase in twenty years from a mem­
bership o f 100 and a capital o f $150 to a membership o f over 50,000,
with payments to members aggregating over $2,000,000, and with
real estate aggregating $223,500 in value, constitutes an excellent
showing.
But it is not the growth nor even the existence o f the Grand Foun­
tain o f the True Reformers as a mutual insurance association, with its
small army o f employees, that causes it to be considered here; it is the
affiliated by-products, to use an industrial expression, that are o f inter­
est and that may prove to be o f great economic value to the Negro
race.
TH E SA Y IN G S BAN K .
The first by-product was naturally a depository for the funds o f the
Grand Fountain. A fter about five years o f use o f other depositories,
the savings bank o f the Grand Fountain o f the United Order o f True
Reformers was incorporated by the legislature o f Virginia, by an act
passed on March 2, 1888, the seventh section o f which act declared
“ the object o f this incorporation is to provide a depository fo r the
grand and subordinate fountains o f the United Order o f True Reform ­
ers, a benevolent institution incorporated for such purposes by the
circuit court o f the city o f Richmond.”
The act gives the bank a very liberal charter, the chief provisions
being as follow s: The second section provides that the capital stock
o f the bank shall not be less than $10,000 nor more than $108;000, in
shares o f $5 each, the bank not to begin business until 20 per cent o f
the minimum capital stock shall have been paid in. The third section is
perhaps the most important. It provides that “ the board o f directors
elected by the Grand Fountain o f the United Order of True Reformers
shall constitute the board o f directors o f said bank; they shall con­
tinue in office until the first meeting o f the members; at such first
meeting, and at every annual meeting thereafter, directors shall be
elected, who may be removed by the Grand Fountain, United Order
o f the True Reformers, in general meeting, but unless so removed
shall continue in office until their successors shall be duly elected and
qualified.” The remainder o f the section gives the usual prescriptions
as to meetings, directors, and by-laws. The fourth section prescribes
the appointment by the board o f directors o f officers and agents o f the
bank. The fifth section authorizes the bank to acquire real estate for
the transaction o f its business and also such real estate as may come
to it by conveyance or by foreclosure o f mortgage in payment of debt
due. The sixth section provides that the “ bank may receive money
on deposit and grant certificates therefor, and may levy, sell, and



THE TRUE REFORMERS.

809

negotiate coin, bank notes, foreign and domestic bills of exchange,
and negotiable notes payable in and out o f this State. It may loan
money on personal and real security, and receive interest in advance;
may guarantee the payment o f notes, bonds, bills o f exchange, or
other evidence o f debt; and may receive fo r safe-keeping gold and sil­
ver plate, diamonds, jewelry, and other valuables, and charge reasona­
ble compensation therefor; the money received on deposit by said
bank, and other funds of the same, may be invested in or loaned on
real security or be used in purchasing or discounting bonds, bills,
notes, or other papers.”
This broad-based financial instrument o f the Grand Fountain began
operations A pril 3,1889, in a small room of the residence o f the presi­
dent. On that date 40 per cent o f the minimum capital, or $4,000, had
been paid, and the deposits fo r the opening day amounted to $1,268.69.
The amount o f business done for the first year, according to the official
guide book o f the organization, was $15,282; and the second year the
business amounted to $104,284. The total business o f the bank up to
the end o f the year, December 31, 1899, is given by the guide book as
$5,582,990, and the total business reported up to the time o f this inves­
tigation (December, 1901) was $7,426,450.92. There are more than
10,000 depositors. The stock o f the bank, says the guide book, is sold
to the members o f the organization, and pays a dividend o f 20 per
cent on the dollar. The bank pa}rs 4 per cent on time deposits. In
1893, according to the same authority, this was the only bank in Rich­
mond which continued to pay currency to its depositors during the
financial stringency, while the other banks were using scrip— a remark­
able record.
R E A L E STA TE D EPARTM EN T.
In 1882 the real estate department o f the Grand Fountain was estab­
lished. This department grew out o f the necessity of having offices
and buildings in which to carry on the business of the organization,
and to furnish halls for the subordinate fountains. The Grand Foun­
tain now occupies a large four-story building, 604 to 608 North Second
street, Richmond,Ya., which contains, in addition to the various offices
o f the Grand Fountain, a large hall, the banking room, and the print­
ing office. The real estate department furnishes a channel for invest­
ment for the bank, and the rents and profits of the department are
used to pay dividends to stockholders o f the bank, dividends from
which source up to January 1, 1900, had amounted to over $55,000.
A t the same date the organization owned 15 halls, 3 farms, 2 dwellings,
1 hotel, and held 14 halls by lease. During 1900 and 1901 the amount
of property owned by the organization increased greatly, the total, as
already given, aggregating $223,500; and important purchases o f valu­
able property in two o f the large cities o f the Central W est were under­
stood at the time o f this investigation to be in contemplation or in
process o f realization.



810

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

T H E REFORM ER.
In 1892, also, The Reformer, described as “ the headlight o f the
organization, * * * an industrial, agricultural, and financial paper,
* * * an economic journal in the interest o f the Negro race,” was
founded, and it began publication in January, 1893, first as a bimonthly,
then, after some months, as a weekly. It had a circulation in 1900 o f
oyer 8,000, and a job printing department is attached to its office.
O LD F O L K S’ HOMES.
In 1893 the Grand Fountain decided to begin the collection of money
“ for the erection o f Old Folks’ Homes, for the benefit of the old
people o f the entire race regardless o f society or denomination.” In
1897 a farm o f 634i acres, known as the Westham farm and the site
o f the historic Westham iron furnace within 6 miles of Richmond, in
Henrico County, Va., was bought at a cost o f $14,400, for the location
o f the first Old Folks’ Home. There is a large dwelling house, with
the usual outhouses, on this farm; and it is further designed to erect
suitable buildings for inmates as soon as sufficient funds shall have
been collected for the purpose.
In August, 1898, the circuit court o f the city of Richmond granted
a charter o f incorporation containing the follow ing provisions:
1. The said association is to be known by the name o f the Old
Folks’ Homes o f the Grand Fountain, UnitedOrder o f True Reformers.
2. The capital stock o f the said association shall be nominally $5,000,
and divided into shares o f $5 each.
3. The object o f this association is to establish self-sustaining insti­
tutions where the aged, infirm, and indigent members o f the colored
race may be provided with a comfortable home, gratuitously or on
such terms as may be prescribed by the by-laws o f the association.
4. F or the purposes herein set forth, to take and hold all real estate
not exceeding $200,000 in value and personal property that may be
purchased, given, granted, bequeathed, and devised to it, ana to
change investments, to exchange or sell real estate, and to deal with
said property as may seem judicious.
5. The board o f directors elected by the Grand Fountain, United
Order o f True Reformers, at its annual meetings, shall constitute the
board o f governors o f the said association, with power to make such
by-laws, rules, and regulations, and to select sucn officers and com­
mittees as will be necessary to the correct management o f the asso­
ciation.
6. The principal office o f the association shall be in the city of
Richmond.
In 1898 a surveyor was employed and a settlement to be known as
Brownsville was laid off in lots of one-half acre each, on the part of
the Westham farm adjoining Westham Station, Henrico County, Va.
The lots front on a broad street, and are for sale at $50 each, on terms
o f easy payment.



THE TRUE REFORMERS.

811

Up to December, 1901, the most important progress made in this
scheme o f a home for the aged was that the Old Folks5 Home as a
corporation had gotten together enough money to repay the purchase
money advanced by the Grand Fountain, and therefore to own its
property free o f obligation. The farm was being improved grad­
ually; fruit trees had.been planted; arrangements were being made to
test the feasibility o f establishing a dairy farm to sell milk in Rich­
mond. The home as such was not open to inmates; the additional
buildings had not been put up by the contributions of the different
States, as is the hoped-for realization o f the scheme; and the lots in
the proposed Brownsville had not been sold nor offered for sale in any
active way. The management seemed to be making haste with con­
servative slowness, and, while by no means idle, was waiting wisely
for a sufficient contribution o f funds by the charitable public. A con­
siderable portion o f the farm is in woods, and, with proper handling,
it can be made the source o f perennial revenue at a very small outlay,
as Richmond will absorb all the wood that the farm can supply.
The Old Folks’ Home seemed to be regarded as the ward of the
organization, to be fostered, and not as an institution intended to
strengthen it financially.
TH E R E FO RM ERS’ M E R C A N TILE AN D IN D U STR IA L
ASSOCIATION.
In September, 1899, the annual session o f the Grand Fountain
decided to apply for a charter o f an importance to it second only to
the bank charter granted by the legislature eleven years before. On
December 15, 1899, the circuit court o f Richmond granted a charter
incorporating the Reformers’ Mercantile and Industrial Association,
and containing the following provisions:
I. The corporate name o f the association shall be The Reformers’
Mercantile and Industrial Association.
II. The purposes for which this association is formed are, first, to
manufacture, buy, and sell, at wholesale or retail, or both, groceries,
goods, wares, implements, supplies, and articles o f merchandise o f
any and every description, manufactured or grown, in this State or
any other States or country, on its own account, and also for others
on commission or otherwise; and to establish and maintain ware­
houses and stores at such places as may be agreed upon by .the board
o f directors; second, to build and erect a hotel in the city o f Rich­
mond, V a., to lease out said hotel so erected, or to conduct and carry
on the hotel business therein, as shall be determined by the board o f
directors o f said association; third, to conduct and carry on newspa­
per, book, and job printing business in all its branches, and do gener­
ally all the things that pertain to a printing establishment; fourth, to
buy and sell ana improve land in the State o f Virginia or elsewhere
with the right to lay off the same into lots, streets, and alleys, to
improve said lands by erecting buildings thereon, and to dispose o f
the same as shall seem best for the interest o f the association, and



812

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OE LABOR.

shall have authority to dispose o f any real or personal estate, or to
mortgage or otherwise encumber the same as may be deemed neces­
sary by its board o f directors to the proper prosecution o f its busi­
ness, and may on any real property acquired erect and maintain any
structure and machinery needful for the manufacturing of any kind
o f wood, metals, wool, cotton, and other materials, and may operate,
lease, sell, or otherwise dispose o f the same; and said company is
authorized to borrow money when necessary for the better conduct o f
its business and to secure the same when so ordered by the board
of directors; sixth, to conduct a building and loan business and loan
associations.
III. The capital stock o f this company shall not be less than
$ 100, 000.

IV . The capital stock shall be divided into shares of $100 each, pay­
able in such installments as the board o f directors may direct.
Y . The real estate to be held shall not exceed 3,000 acres of land in
any county o f this State, or o f any other State or country.
V i. The principal office o f the company shall be, and its chief busi­
ness shall be carried on, in the city o f Richmond, Va., but it is author­
ized to engage in mercantile, hotel, building and loan, printing, and
may transact any other business authorized by this charter anywhere in
this or other States or countries as its interest may demand, at the dis­
cretion o f the board o f directors.
V II. The chief business to be transacted will be such as is necessary
fo r the purposes herein set out in this charter.
V III. The board o f directors elected by the Grand Fountain o f the
United Order o f True Reformers, at every annual meeting, shall con­
stitute the board o f directors o f said company.
Under this charter the association began business by opening a
grocery and general merchandise store in Richmond in April, 1900; a
second store in Washington, D. C., in March, 1901; a third and fourth
in Manchester and Portsmouth, Va., in June, 1901; and a fifth in
Roanoke, Va., in December, 1901. These stores were reported as
doing a combined business o f $75,000 a year, and the association as
being rated as “ O. K .” by the mercantile agencies.
The business methods o f the stores, as far as can be learned, are
sound. Supplies, deliverable as needed, are bought in large quanti­
ties for cash, and are sold at a fair retail profit, likewise for cash; and
the managers o f the stores make weekly reports and daily (or weekly)
remittances. This cash system prevents the overaccumulation o f
supplies $nd loading up the books with bad debts; and the system of
frequent reports prevents the risk o f large loss through dishonest
employees.
The present policy o f this department o f the Grand Fountain is to
extend the mercantile business as rapidly as possible, and to buy,
where the success o f the stores seems to justify it, lots for the erec­
tion o f buildings fo r the use o f the stores, fo r halls, and for other pur­
poses o f the general organization. Such buildings may reasonably be
expected to pay for themselves. But the charter looks far beyond
mere merchandising. It authorizes the association to manufacture as



THE TRUE REFORMERS.

813

well as to buy and sell; and it provides that land may be acquired, in
Virginia or elsewhere, and may be so disposed o f as to form the
sites o f manufacturing towns around shops and factories adapted to
manufacturing the products o f the forests or o f the mine, or to con­
verting the products of the sheep ranch or o f the cotton field into
textile fabrics. W ith this in view, the Mercantile Association is
authorized to organize building and loan associations in Virginia or
elsewhere.
I f the Mercantile Association continues to be managed with what
appears to be its present conservatism, there seems to be no reason
why these aims should not be realized in so far as they may show
themselves to be profitable and desirable.
H O T E L R E FO R M E R .
The H otel Reformer at No. 900 North Sixth street, Richmond, Va.,
has grown gradually under good executive management until now,
by additions to the original building, it contains some fifty plain but
neatly appointed living rooms, in which a considerable proportion of
the office force o f the Grand Fountain find their homes.
TH E C H A R T E R O F T H E O R G A N IZATIO N .
On March 21, 1901, the charter o f the organization was again
amended and enlarged by the circuit court o f Richmond, as follows:
It is ordered that the amended charter be altered and amended from
the beginning to and including section 4 o f the original charter so as
to read instead o f 6 The undersigned and their associates desiring to
4
form ,” etc., as follows: ‘ “The undersigned and their associates are
hereby constituted a body politic and corporate by the name and style
o f the Grand Fountain o f the United Order o f True Reformers, here­
inafter called 4association,5under the provisions o f the general laws o f
the land, being specially authorized and provided for in the acts o f
the regular session o f 1897-98 o f the general assembly o f the State o f
Virginia, fo r the follow ing purposes and objects, to wit:
441. (a) T o unite fraternally all colored persons o f sound bodily health
and good moral character and who are entitled to membership under
the constitution and laws o f the association, who are socially and other­
wise acceptable to each other; (b) and to give all moral and material
aid in its power to its members and those dependent upon them; (c) to
educate its members, socially and morally and intellectually; (a) to
establish a fund for the relief o f the sick and distressed members, or
fo r such other purposes as the association may determine; (e) to estab­
lish a benefit fund, from which, on satisfactory evidence o f the death
o f a member o f the association who has complied with all its lawful
requirements, a sum not exceeding $5,000 shall be paid to the family
heirs, blood relatives, affianced husband, affianced wife, or to a person
dependent upon said member, as the member may direct; ( f ) to secure
fo r its members such other advantages as are from time to time desig­
nated by the constitution and laws o f the association.



814

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

4 2. To purchase and hold, or receive by gift, real and personal
4
property necessary for the transaction o f the corporate business, and
also to purchase real estate, where necessary, in the payment o f any
debt due the corporation, and to sell realty fo r the benefit o f the asso­
ciation, and is hereby authorized to hold real property not to exceed
$500,000.
“ 3. The private property o f the members shall be exempted from
the debts due by the corporation.
444. The said Grand Fountain o f the United Order o f True Reformers
shall have power to make its own constitution, by-laws, rules, and
regulations, as well as the general laws fo r the government of all its
branches, and to alter and amend the same, provided the same shall
not conflict with the laws o f this State nor the laws o f the United
States. The said association shall have power to organize, continue,
and establish subordinate fountains o f the Grand Fountain of the
United Order o f True Reformers, throughout the State, also the several
States o f the United States, and in other countries, and they may have
and enjoy such powers, privileges, and immunities as may be conferred
ujjon them by the laws, rules, and regulations as may be enacted by the
said association.”
Also the words 4 The conformation o f a joint stock company,” in
4
the court’s order granting the original charter, be stricken out and
the words 44The formation o f a fraternal beneficiary association”
inserted.
This amended charter, as compared with the original charter, it will
be observed, enlarges the powers o f the Grand Fountain very consid­
erably in several particulars, besides the very important one of
increasing the real estate to be held from $25,000 to $500,000.
The control o f the whole affiliated association, it is seen, is in the
Grand Fountain, which is the legislative body and meets annually.
U p to 1898 the development o f the True Reformers seems to have
proceeded from the initiative and under the guiding impulse o f Rev.
William W . Browne, described in the Guide Book as 4 the leading
4
financier and organizer o f the Negro race.” Since 1898 the official
leader has been Rev. W . L . Taylor, born a slave in Caroline County,
V a., but freed by the result o f the civil war while yet a child.
The organization is managed and controlled exclusively by Negroes;
but the investigator did not observe a single one o f the administrative
and executive officers who was not o f mixed blood. The management
o f the organization seems to have showil and to be showing both ability
to plan outlines and shrewdness in the grasp o f details o f administra­
tion and execution.
Such is the organization o f the 44True Reform ers.” The purpose
o f this report is simply to make a record, neither to praise nor to
blame, nor yet to prophesy. The capabilities o f the organization can
be read at a glance; the permanent value o f its achievements time
alone will show.




RECENT REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR STATISTICS.

CONNECTICUT.

Seventeenth Annual Report o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics, fo r the
year ending November 30, 1901. Harry E. Back, Commissioner.
443 pp.
This report includes the follow ing subjects: Manual training in the
public schools, 22 pages; new construction, 19 pages; articles manu­
factured, 81 pages; strikes and lockouts, 35 pages; free public employ­
ment bureaus, 48 pages; statistics of manufactures, 121 pages; labor
organizations, 21 pages; labor laws, 55 pages.
M a n u a l T r a i n i n g i n t h e P u b l i c S c h o o l s . — This chapter pre­
sents a general discussion o f the subject, with mention o f the manual
training work o f Washington University, St. Louis, M o., and o f the
Catholic Protectory, a reformatory institution for boys, located at
Van Nest, N. Y .; also a somewhat fuller statement o f the work o f the
Boardman Manual Training High School, o f New Haven, Conn.
N e w C o n s t r u c t i o n . — This section gives a list of buildings or
additions erected during the year ending July 1, 1901, to be used for
manufacturing purposes. Location, material, cost, the class o f work
for which intended, and the number o f employees provided for are
given in each instance. Eighty-seven concerns erected 92 additions
and new factories in 36 towns o f the State, at a total reported cost of
$2,121,741. The additional number o f employees thus provided for
was 2,254.
A r t i c l e s M a n u f a c t u r e d . — This is a series o f alphabetically ar­
ranged lists showing, by towns, the numerous articles manufactured
in the State.
S t r i k e s a n d L o c k o u t s . — Under this heading are given brief
accounts o f the labor troubles o f the State for ten months ending
October 30, 1901, and a tabulated statement showing the date, class of
labor, name of employer, location, number o f employees involved,
duration, causes, and results o f 93 strikes and 3 lockouts. O f the
strikes, 41 were reported as successful, 10 partially successful, 10
amicably adjusted, and 32 unsuccessful. In the contentions giving
rise to the lockouts, the employees were successful in one instance and
partially successful in another, while the third difficulty was reported



815

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

816

as amicably adjusted. The number o f employees involved in these
difficulties was 11,250, with a reported loss o f time o f 250,168 days,
and o f wages to the amount of $375,252.
F r e e P u b l i c E m p l o y m e n t B u r e a u s . — Under the law o f May 29,
1901, five free public employment bureaus were opened on July 1
following, at as many different points. The report here given covers
the first five months o f their operations. Full details are given, show­
ing by sex the number and kind o f positions sought for and secured,
and the class o f help applied for, together with an account o f the
obstacles met and the various conditions affecting this mode of public
service.
The follow ing table presents a summary o f the results for the period
covered:
SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS OF FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, JULY 1 TO
NOVEMBER 30,1901.

Location.

Applications for
situations.
Males.

Females.

Applications for
help.
Males.

Females.

Positions secured.

Males.

Per cent of positions
secured of appli­
cations for situa­
tions.

Females.

Males.

Females.

New H a ven ............
H artford.................
Bridgeport..............
Norwich...................
W aterbury..............

666
1,086
406
321
341

437
1,211
742
185
347

188
544
263
61
81

331
1,064
778
149
411

155
590
147
81
110

•2
24
1,038
494
86
216

23.3
54.3
36.2
25.2
32.3

51.3
85.7
66.6
46.5
62.2

T ota l..............

2,820

2,922

1,137

2,733

1,083

2,058

38.4

70.4

O f the females securing situations, all but about 120 were engaged
for some form of domestic service. A wide range o f occupations is
shown in the returns fo r males, a considerable number taking places
as skilled workmen. The largest single class o f males aided by the
offices was farm laborers, 343 o f whom were placed. Laborers and
shopmen come next in order, the numbers for these being 158 and 56,
respectively.
S t a t i s t i c s o f M a n u f a c t u r e s . —This section consists chiefly of
three tables, showing by industries the number o f employees, number
o f days in operation, the total wages paid, the average annual and
daily earnings, the value o f products, the percentage o f labor cost of
value o f products, and the percentage o f other expenses and profits.
These items are reported for. the years 1900 and 1901, and, except for
the last two items, there is given the percentage o f increase or decrease
for the latter year. Summaries and analytical text are also given.




REPOETS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- CONNECTICUT.

817

The following table presents a summary o f the more important data:
STATISTICS OF MANUFACTURES FOR THE YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30,1901.

Estab­ Average Aver­ Average
lish­
age
annual
ments persons days in earnings
em­
report­ ployed. opera­ per em­
tion.
ing.
ployee.

Industries.

Brass and brass goods.................
Carriages and carriage parts___
Corsets..........................................
Cotton g o o d s................................
Cotton mills................................. !
Cutlery and tools.........................
General hardware........................
Hats and caps................................
Hosiery and knit goods...............
Iron and iron foundries..............
Leather goods..............................
Machine shops..............................
Musical instruments and parts..
Paper and paper goods...............
RuLber g o o d s..............................
Shoes.............................................
Silk goods.....................................
Silver and plated w are...............
Wire and wire g o od s..................
Wood w ork in g ............................
Woolens and woolen m ills.........
Miscellaneous..............................
T ota l...................................

70
13
11
29
27
36
30
22
21
40
12
79
13
44
13
4
24
21
16
23
48
89

19,747
668
4,742
3,899
9,819
3,032
8,988
2,457
3,296
4,411
687
11,237
2,002
2,789
3,797
190
5,904
2,697
1,166
1,181
6,344
5,303

684

104,256

Per
cent of
labor
Gross value cost of
of
gross
product. value of
prod­
uct.

Amount
paid in
wages.

297.1 a 8502.90
305.5
580.01
290.1
320.78
302.5
334.94
298.1 a 340.17
296.2
485.28
298.0
447.99
281.6 a 456.96
289.7
357.84
297.6 a 521.39
307.2
496.17
298.1 a 528.21
296.4
478.22
287.2 a 364.47
285.7
471.04
297.5 a 357.68
299.4 a 394.44
298.6 a 461.08
300.2
420.09
297.9
526.27
284.7
362.01
296.8 a 454.36

$9,958,096
389,149
1,521,159
1,305,961
3,349,921
1,471,381
4,026,545
1,086,185
1,179,451
2,296,917
291,250
5,920,251
957,405
1,017,312
1,788,557
68,360
2,335,747
1,252,327
489,828
621,524
2,296,565
2,408,357

$54,123,491
1,028,617
5,388,443
6,529,056
10,376,976
3,536,629
8,039,625
3,909,535
4,579,437
5,790,149
2,470,128
15,076,673
3,770,532
4,703,956
10,902,687
228,694
9,430,645
3,949,049
2,598,683
1,811,014
9,884,947
7,424,969

18.4
37.8
28.2
20.0
32.3
41.6
50.1
27.8
25.8
39.7
11.8
39.3
25.4
21.6
16.4
29.9
24.8
31.7
18.9
34.3
23.2
32.4

294.5

46,032,249 175,553,935

26.2

441.53

a Dividing the amount paid in wages by the average number of persons employed does not give
this result. The figures are printed, however, as they appear in the original.

The statistics for 1900 and 1901 being for identical establishments,
the follow ing comparison o f totals has been made:
COMPARATIVE STATISTICS OF 684 IDENTICAL ESTABLISHMENTS FOR 1900 AND 1901.
Items.

1900.

102,806
Average persons employed..........................................................
296.9
Average days in operation..........................................................
$449.24
Average annual earnings per employee.....................................
Gross value of p rod u ct................................................................. $181,912,383
Amount paid in w ages................................................................. $46,185,030
25.4
Per cent of labor cost of gross value of p rod u ct........................

1901.

104,256
294.5
$441.53
$175,553,335
$46,032,249
26.2

Per cent of
increase or
decrease.
+1.4
- .8
-1 .7
-3 .5
- .3

This table indicates a general falling off during the latter year, except
in the average persons employed and in the per cent o f labor cost o f
gross value o f product. It is evident that this latter percentage does
not correlate with the average annual earnings per employee, as appears
more clearly from a comparison o f these two items in the table by
industries given above. In the manufacture o f general hardware, for
instance, the percentage o f labor cost o f gross value o f product was
more than four times as great as in the leather-goods industry, while
the average annual earnings per employee are considerably greater in
the latter industry than in the former.
L a b o r O r g a n i z a t i o n s . — A directory o f the labor organizations in
the State is the principal matter here presented. O f 340 such organi­
zations making returns, 314 report their membership, which aggre­
gates 32,256.



818

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

ILLIN O IS.

Eleventh Biennial Report o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics fo r the
State o f Illinois. 1900. David Ross, Secretary of Board o f Com­
missioners o f Labor.

282 pp.

This report is taken up with the presentation o f two subjects, as
follows: Statistics of manufactures, 237 pages; kindergartens, manual
training, and industrial education in public schools, 42 pages.
S t a t is t ic s o f M a n u f a c t u r e s . — Under this head are presented two
series o f tables, one covering the years 1895, 1897, and 1899, giving
returns from 627 identical establishments in 38 industries; the other
for the years 1897 and 1899, in which the same number of industries
are represented by 735 establishments. The data given include the
number o f firms and corporations, partners and stockholders, capital
invested, cost o f material, value o f product, number o f persons
employed, by sex, industries, and months, total wages paid, classified
weekly earnings, and days in operation. These subjects are presented
in a variety o f details and combinations in 129 tables. Twenty-five
additional tables present summaries o f the detailed data.
The following table summarizes the returns fo r each series:
STATISTICS OF MANUFACTURES FOR 627 IDENTICAL ESTABLISHMENTS FOR 1895, 1897,
AND 1899, AND FOR 735 IDENTICAL ESTABLISHMENTS FOR 1897 AND 1899.
627 establishments.
Items.

1895.

1897.

735 establishments.
1899.

1897.

1899.

Private firm s............................
Corporations.............................
Partners.....................................
Stockholders.............................
Capital invested........................
Average number of employees:
Males...................................
Females..............................

371
256
549
5,334
$29,078,157

371
256
538
5,600
$29,835,821

367
260
510
6,521
$33,713,438

444
291
638
6,196
$31,684,658

440
295
605
7,096
$36,061,094

20,056
2,410

21,059
2,508

125,804
3,362

22,539
2,654

27,536
3,394

T o ta l................................
Average yearly earnings.........
Average days in operation___
Total product.............................
Stock used..................................
Industry product ( a ) ...............
Wages p aid................................
Per cent of industry product
applied to wages....................
Minor expenses and profits___

22,466
$436.22
255.90
$97,120,822
$75,382,583
$21,738,239
$9,800,033

23,567
$438.58
258.66
$109,207,579
$86,523,373
$22,684,206
$10,335,919

29,166
$475.77
261.36
$135,798,309
$104,444,187
$31,354,122
$13,876,259

25,093
$436.65
253.15
$113,531,999
$88,534,136
$24,997,863
$10,957,170

30,930
$475.02
268.47
$141,234,272
$107,234,579
$33,999,693
$14,692,374

45.08
54.92

45.56
54.44

44.26
55.74

43.83
56.17

43.21
56.79

a This is the difference between “ Total product” and “ Stock used” and represents the added value
or actual product due to the manufacturing operations of the various industries.

In each o f 8 industries o f the State, $1,000,000 or more were
invested. Following each o f the series o f tables described above, series
o f tables are given presenting the statistics fo r these 8 industries,
together with a summary o f “ Other industries” and “ A ll industries.”
These 8 industries include 272 o f the 735 establishments reported for
1897 and 1899, and their aggregate capital is nearly 70 per cent o f the
total capital reported fo r the latter year.



819

REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- ILLINOIS.

From the tables o f this series the follow ing table is collated:
STATISTICS RELATING TO EIGHT LEADING INDUSTRIES, WITH TOTALS FOR “ OTHER
INDUSTRIES” AND FOR “ ALL INDUSTRIES,” 1899.

Industries.

^ b' .Capital
m eats.1 ‘ “ vested.

Aver­
age
number
of em­
ployees.

Wages
oaid.

Agricultural implements___
Brick, tile, and sewer p ipe.. !
Carriages and wagons..........
Food preparations................. !
Ironwork, structural............
Liquors, m alt.........................
Machines and machinery .. .
Milling, flour, feed, e t c .........

16 $1,904,851
50 1,445,706
18 1,375,251
23 5,782,452
21
1,488,967
20 5,116,149
69 5,598,036
55 1,836,901

$794,631
350,459
358,232
3,334,610
1,034,368
402,710
2,264,366
361,380

Eight industries.......... i
Other industries....................

272 , 24,548,313
463 1 11,512,781

8,900,756
5,791,618

735 |36,061,094

14,692,374

All industries..............

Aver­
age an­
nual
earn­
ings.

Total
product.

Stock used.

$3,598,464
1,067,761
1,338,276
87,466,279
2,456,899
5,362,530
7,250,043
6,290,843

$1,342,045
282,810
625,662
79,963,233
1,201,638
1,766,105
3,414,989
5,068,998

17,359
13,571

512.75 114,831,095
426. /6 26,403,177

93,665,480
13,569,099

30,930

475.02 141,234,272

107,234,579

1,572 $505.49
955 366.97
742 482.79
6,615 504.10
1,694 610.61
591 681.40
4,449 508.96
741 487.69

Amount of industry product.

Per cent of indus­
try product ap­
plied to—

Industries.
Total.

Agricultural implements................................. $2,256,419
Brick, tile, and sewer pipe..............................
784,951
Carriages and wagons......................................
712,614
Food preparations............................................. 7,503,046
Ironwork, structural........................................ 1,255,261
Liquors, malt..................................................... 3,596,425
Machines and m achinery................................ 3,835,054
Milling, flour, feed, etc..................................... 1,221,845

Wages.

Minor
expenses
and prof­
its.

$1,435.38
821.94
960.40
1,134.25
741.00
6,085.32
862.00
1,648.91

35.22
44.65
50.27
44.44
82.40
11.20
59.04
29.58

64.78
65.35
49.73
55.56
17.60
88.80
40.96
70.42

Per $1,000
capital in­
vested.

Per em­
ployee.

$1,184.56
542.95
518.17
3,297.55
843.04
702.95
685.07
665.17

Eight industries......................................
Other industries................................................

21,165,615
12,834,078

862.20
1,114.77

'l , 219.29
945.70

42.05
45.13

57.95
54.87

All industries...........................................

83,999,693

942.84

1,099.25

43.21

56.79

O f the eight leading industries here presented, three have each a
capital exceeding $5,000,000. These are, in the order o f their capital,
food preparations, machines and machinery, and malt liquors. They
also hold first place in industry product. The first two keep their rank
when average number o f employees, wages paid, and total product are
considered, while in number o f employees malt liquors is lowest o f
the eight industries and ranks fifth in wages paid and fourth in total
product and stock used. In respect to these last two items the manu­
facture o f food preparations stands alone, representing in each instance
more than half the .total for all industries. The manufacture o f malt
liquors shows the greatest industry product per employee, with the
enormous sum o f $6,085.82, while the per cent of the same applied to
wages is correspondingly the lowest. The same industry shows, how­
ever, the highest average annual earnings.

8563—No. 41—02---- 11




BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

820

A separate presentation o f data fo r establishments owned by private
firms and by corporations makes it possible to present the follow ing
comparative statistics:
CAPITAL INVESTED, VALUE OF PRODUCTS, NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, AND WAGES PAID
BY PRIVATE FIRMS AND BY CORPORATIONS, 1895,1897, AND 1899.
1895.
Items.

Private
firms.

Corpora­
tions.

1899.

1897.
Private
firms.

Corpora­
tions.

Private
firms.

Corporations.

Number of establish­
256
260
371
367
371
256
ments ............................
Per cent of establish­
41.47
40.83
59.17
58.53
ments in each cla ss___
59.17
40.83
$25,949,798
$7,763,640
Capital invested............... $6,784,903 $22,293,254 $6,911,495 $22,924,326
Per cent of capital in
76.97
23.17
76.67
76.83
23.03
each cla ss......................
23.33
Average capital per estab­
$18,629
$99,807
$89,548
$21,154
$87,083
lishment ........................
$18,288
Total p rod u ct................... $12,892,848 $84,227,974 $13,047,342 $96,160,237 o$15,309,488 a $120,498,821
Per cent of product by
11.95
86.72
88.05
11.27
88.73
13.28
each cla ss......................
Average product per es­
$375,626
$463,457
$35,168
$34,752
$329,016
tablishment ...................
$41,715
a 16,392
a 7,187
21,857
16,591
7,309
5,875
Number of employees___
Per cent of employees in
69.52
30.48
74.94
73.85
25.06
each cla ss......................
26.15
Average number of em­
ployees per establish­
15.84
19.37
64.03
19.92
84.07
64.81
ment ..............................
$3,111,548
$10,764,711
Wages paid....................... $2,542,955 $7,257,078 $2,493,176 $7,842,743
Per cent of wages paid
24.12
75.88
25.95
74.05
22.42
77.58
by each class.................
Average wages paid per
to,720
$30,636
$6,854
$28,348
$8,478
$41,403
establishment...............
a The sum of these items does not agree with the total given in the table on page 818; the figures,
however, are given as found in the original.

From the above table it appears that corporation management is
steadily encroaching upon the firm or individual method of doing
business. The movement is uniform in respect to per cent of capital
invested, product, and wages paid, and somewhat irregular as to the
other items shown. O f perhaps even greater significance, and serving
somewhat to explain this tendency, are the facts that appear from a
comparison o f the data for any given year. In 1899, for instance,
private firms controlled 58.53 per cent o f the establishments, which
represented, however, but 23.03 per cent o f the capital and employed
but 25.06 per cent o f the labor. This 23.03 per cent o f capital and
25.06 per cent o f employees furnished but 11.27 per cent o f the prod­
uct, showing the decided economic advantage of the larger organiza­
tions in their greater productiveness. Furthermore, it is seen that to
the 25.06 per cent o f total employees private firms paid but 22.42 per
cent o f the total wage disbursements.




REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- ILLINOIS.

821

The following table shows by sex the weekly earnings of employees
in 785 establishments, representing 88 industries, for 1897 and 1899.
The summary is fo r the greatest number o f persons employed during
those years:
CLASSIFIED WEEKLY EARNINGS OF EMPLOYEES IN 88 INDUSTRIES, 1897 AND 1899.
1897.
Males.

Weekly earnings.

1899.
Females.

Total.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Num­
ber.

3,922
1,995
2,464
3,375
3,299
3,989
3,891
3,635
2,313
576

2,501
1,379
2,134
3,064
3,053
3,943
3,861
3,617
2,308
574

9.46
5.22
8.07
11.59
11.55
14.92
14.61
13.68
8.73
2.17

1,421
616
330
311
246
46
30
18
5
2

T ota l............ 29,459

26,434

100.00

3,025

Under $5.................
$5 or under $6.........
$6 or under $7.........
$7 or under $8.........
$8 or under $9........
$9 or under $10.......
$10 or under $12___
$12 or under $15___
$15 or under $20—
$20 or over..............

Males.

Females.

Total.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Num­
ber.

46.98
20.36
10.91
10.28
8.13
1.52
.99
.59
.17
.07

4,454
1,949
2,569
3,585
3,777
5,131
5,577
4,668
3,154
868

2,890
1,248
2,055
3,199
3,579
5,011
5,472
4,629
3,130
865

9.01
3.89
6.40
9.97
11.16
15.62
17.06
14.43
9.76
2.70

1,564
701
514
386
198
120
105
39
24
3

42.80
19.19
14.07
10.56
5.42
3.28
2.87
1.07
.66
.08

100.00

35,732

32,078

100.00

3,654

100.00

Per
cent.

Per
cent.

A comparison o f the per cent columns for the two dates shows a
shifting o f the maximum ordinate wage for males from below $10 in
1897 to above $10 in 1899. There was a general comparative reduc­
tion o f all groups receiving less than $9 per week and a correspond­
ing general increase in the better-paid classes.
O f the females in 1897, nearly one-half (46.98 per cent) received less
than $5 per week. Here also the three lowest-paid groups formed a
smaller proportion o f the whole in 1899 than in 1897, while the actual
number o f females receiving $9 or more was nearly three times as
great in the later year as in the earlier.
K indergartens , M anual T raining , and I ndustrial E ducation
in P ublic S chools.— Under this head is a somewhat general discus­
sion, including a chapter on the history o f art and trade schools, a
consideration o f the objection o f trade unions that manual-training
schools develop “ scab” labor, lists o f the cities o f the United States
in which manual training and kindergartens are a part of the publicschool work, and a review o f the laws relating to the subjects discussed.
IO W A .

Ninth Biennial Report o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics fo r the State
o f Iowa* 1899,1900. C. F. Wennerstrum, Commissioner. 598 pp.
This report comprises a letter of transmittal, introduction, and
recommendations, 88 pages; report o f factory inspection, 87 pages;
manufacturing industries, 84 pages; wage-earners, 25 pages; railroad
employees, 82 pages; trade unions, 32 pages; cooperation and profit
sharing, 21 pages; locations for new industries, 18 pages; manual



822

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

training, 14 pages; strikes and lockouts, 74 pages; the shorter work­
day, 7 pages; advantages gained by labor organizations without strikes
during 1899 and 1900, 7 pages; cost o f labor bureaus, 5 pages; statu­
tory investigation, 113 pages; report o f labor commissioner, 97 pages;
labor laws, 11 pages.
M anufacturing I ndustries.— Statistics are given for 118 specified
industries, represented by 14,746 establishments, besides 73 establish­
ments in which the industry is not specified. The facts reported
include capital, number o f proprietors and firm members, number and
aggregate salaries o f officials and clerks, number and aggregate wages
o f employees by sex and age, cost o f materials, value of products, and
miscellaneous expenses. A summary o f these items is also given by
counties and by cities and towns.
A table showing the principal data for 10 leading industries and
totals fo r the State is given herewith.
CAPITAL, VALUE OF PRODUCTS, COST OF MATERIALS, NUMBER OF WAGE-EARNERS, AND
WAGES PAID IN 10 LEADING INDUSTRIES, 1900.
Industries.

Estab­
lish­
ments.

Capital.

Value of Cost of ma­ Total wages Wageearn­
product.
terials.
paid.
ers.

211
907
356
702
16
190
264

$4,087,400
3,459,017
3,437,613
6,421,078
2,501,521
3,732,774
8,762,219

$3,931,067
15,846,077
2,224,920
13,823,083
3,604,031
4,460,914
8,677,058

$1,863,988
13,501,556
517,580
11,272,217
2,388,003
2,189,660
6,324,034

$713,901
588,653
862,159
526,479
209,031
1,088,312
1,046,181

1,692
1,133
2,220
1,285
609
2.372
2,793

65
1,025
27

3,576,305
5,679,390
6,351,353

5,295,546
6,145,563
25,695,044

3,195,243
1,494,260
21,556,344

983,924
1,656,844
1,208,167

2.372
4,248
2,887

Total for 10 industries............... 3,763 48,008,670 89,703,303 64,303,185
Total for all industries.............. 14,819 102,733,103 164,617,877 101,170,357

8,883,651
23,931,680

21,611
58,553

Carriages and w agons.......................
Cheese, butter, and condensed milk.
Clay products......................................
Flour and grist mills...........................
Food preparations..............................
Foundries and machine shops..........
Lumber and timber products............
Planing-mill products, including
sashes, doors, and b lin d s...............
Printing and publishing....................
Slaughtering and meat packing.......

There were 16,619 proprietors and firm members. O f the wageearners, there were 48,417 males and 8,248 females above 16. Under
that age there were 1,888 children employed, whose annual earnings
averaged $143.59.
W age -E arners of I owa .— This is a report based on returns made
by 268 working people o f the State as to their condition. Occupation,
locality, nativity, wages, hours o f labor, yearly earnings, membership
in labor unions, insurance, and home ownership are the points reported
on- Several pages are devoted to remarks on legislation desired and
on convict labor.
R ailroad E mployees .— Under this head are given the number,
wages, and annual earnings o f the different classes of employees of each
road operating in the State for the years 1899 and 1900. In 1899
32,385 employees, including general officers, received $18,406,384.
The corresponding numbers for 1900 are 37,696 employees and an
aggregate wage payment o f $21,363,320. These totals include only
persons employed within the State.



823

REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- IOWA,

T rade U nions.— A schedule o f inquiries was sent to each o f 396
labor organizations in the State, to which 379 replies were received.
These inquiries related both to the organizations and to the members
form ing them. The following is a summary o f the returns on number
o f unions and o f members:
TRADE UNIONS IN IOWA, 1900.
Name of organization.

Bakers and Confectioners, International, Journeymen......................................
Barbers’ International Union, Journeymen....... .................................................
Blacksmiths, International Brotherhood o f ........................................................
Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders, Brotherhood o f......................................
Bookbinders, International "Brotherhood o f.........................................................
Bottlers, Beer and Pop, Union o f ...........................................................................
Brewery Workers, International Union of United..............................................
Bricklayers, International Union o f......................................................................
Brickmakers’ National A lliance...........................................................................
Broom Makers, International.................................................................................
Car Men, Brotherhood of R ailroad.......................................................................
Carpenters and Joiners of America, United Brotherhood o f..............................
Cigar Makers’ International Union of A m erica..................................................
Clerks’ International Protective Association, R eta il..........................................
Coopers’ International Union of Am erica............................................................
Conductors, Order of R ailway................................................................................
Drivers, International Union of Team..................................................................
Electrical Workers of America, National Brotherhood o f...................................
Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive.................................................................
Engineers, National Brotherhood of Coal Hoisting.............................................
Federal Labor Unions (mixed crafts)...................................................................
Firemen, Brotherhood of Locom otive...................................................................
Firemen, International Brotherhood ofStationarv.............................................
Horseshoers of United States and Canada, International Union o f ...................
Lathers, International Union of Wood and Metal...............................................
.........................
Leather Workers on Horse Goods, United Brotherhood o f.......•
Machinists, International Association o f .............................................................
Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America.....................................
Mine Workers of America, United.........................................................................
Molders’ Union of North America, Iron...............................................................
Musicians, American Federation o f ......................................................................
Painters, Decorators, and Paper Hangers, Brotherhood o f .................................
Plasterers, International Operative Association o f...............................................
Plumbers and Gas and Steam Fitters, United Association o f .............................
Printing Press Feeders and Assistants to Pressmen...........................................
Printing Pressmen’s Union, International............................................................
Railroad Telegraphers, Order o f.............................................................................
Sheet Metal Workers, International Association of Amalgamated...................
Soap Makers’ Union, American Federation of Labor..........................................
Stage Employees, National Alliance of Theatrical.................... .'........................
Stereotypers and Electrotvpers’ Union.................................................................
Street Railway Employees of America, Amalgamated Association o f...............
Switchmen’s Union of North America..................................................................
Tailors’ Union of North America, Journeymen....................................................
Trainmen, Brotherhood of Railroad......................................................................
Typographical Union, International....................................................................
Waiters, Cooks, and Bartenders, Hotel and Restaurant Employees...................
Woodworkers’ International Union of America, Amalgamated........................
T ota l...............................................................................................................

Num­ Num­ Mem­
ber of ber re­ ber­
unions. porting. ship.
i

2
10
3
4
3
1
3
8
2
4
4
10
15
17
6
20
5
3
24
8
17
27
2
2
1
5
11
3
59
6
5
9
3
8
2
5
1
4
1
2
2
1
4
11
29
16
4
4

2
10
3
4
3
1
3
7
2
4
4
10
15
12
6
20
4
2
24
8
16
27
2
2
1
5
11
2
59
6
4
9
3
7
2
5
1
4
1
2
2
•
1

58
350
64
82
110
25
89
347
330
41
255
880
713
648
140
947
739
97
1,268
1
154
1 1,771
I 1,434
57
32
i
31
1
252
469
720
9,109
185
383
416
38
129
91
97
18
106
12
46
33
44

11
29
16
3
4

328
1,762
661
168
339

396

379

26,068

Three organizations, the Cigar Makers’ International Union o f
America, the International Union of W ood and Metal Lathers, and
the United Mine W orkers o f America, report an 8-hour day. The
longest workday reported is .15 hours, by the Amalgamated Associa­
tion o f Street Railway Employees o f America. Minimum and maxi­
mum daily wages are also reported for each union.
C ooperation and P rofit S haring .— Under this title are presented
financial and other statements relating to 5 cooperative establishments
within the State and 4 establishments m other States in which profit
sharing is practiced. The cooperative institutions ranged in age from
one to twelve years, and each presented encouraging reports.



824

BULLETIN OE THE DEPARTMENT OE LABOR.

A statement covering the operations of one o f the largest of these
fo r a period of seven years is presented herewith:
STATEMENT OP BUSINESS OP FARMERS’ SUPPLY COMPANY, 1893 TO 1899.
Year.
1893...................................................................................
1894...................................................................................
1895...................................................................................
1896...................................................................................
1897...................................................................................
1898...................................................................................
1899...................................................................................
Total........................................................................

Paid
capital.
$915
1,523
2,175
2,772
3,038
3,373
3,885

Profit.

Sales.

$667
1,053
1,179
973
1,257
2,018
2,435

$8,000
15.000
15.000
12,306
14,001
18,724
22,269

9,582

Members.

105,300

30
75
147
192
210
263
300

M anual T raining .— This section is made up o f replies of county
superintendents o f public schools to inquiries as to the status of man­
ual training in their respective counties. These replies show that but
little has been done in the way o f a general introduction o f this class
o f work.
Strikes and L ockouts.— This report covers the period from June
30,1894, to December 31,1900. O f the 381 strikes that occurred, 296
were ordered by unions. Eight hundred and thirty-one establish­
ments were involved, 669 o f which were closed for an aggregate o f
4,006 days. The wage loss o f the 32,930 strikers is reported at
$1,440,679, while assistance was rendered to the amount o f $51,302.
Seven lockouts were reported during the same period, 6 o f which were
successful. In two instances the hours o f labor were increased from
48 per week to 60 per week. One hundred and sixteen new men were
employed, o f whom 113 were brought from other places. The 656
locked-out employees lost $86,750 in wages, with an assistance o f
$5,000. The loss o f employers is reported at $54,476.
T he S horter W orkday .— This is mainly a tabular presentation
of the results o f the efforts o f organized labor to shorten the working
day. The report covers the United States and is intended to be com­
plete. Names and dates o f organization o f the various unions
involved, strike data for 1899*and 1900, and maximum working hours
per day before and after the organization came into existence are
among tho facts reported. From these reports it is concluded that
the length o f the average workday was 11.5 hours before organiza­
tion, as-against 9.7 hours at present.
Statutory I nvestigation .— The results o f this investigation are
presented separately for each county o f the State and show the kind
o f industry or business, number o f establishments and o f employees,
total wages paid, weeks in operation, and increase or reduction of
dailv wages. These items are reported for each o f the years 1899
and 1900.




REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- IOWA.

825

R eport of L abor Commissioner.— This comprises a number of
articles, two o f which are contributed, the others being reprints,
which discuss various questions o f economic interest. The titles of
the contributed articles are “ Some o f the economic and industrial
phases o f the Amana Society,” and “ Freepublic employment offices.”
M AINE.

Fifteenth Annual Report o f the Bureau o f Industrial and Labor Sta­
tistics fo r the State o f Maine. 1901. Samuel W . Matthews, Com­
missioner.

188 pp.

This report includes the follow ing subjects: The cotton and woolen
industries, 8 pages; factories, mills, and shops built during 1901, 4
pages; the ice industry, 3 pages; the dairy business, 35 pages; Port­
land and its terminal facilities, 28 pages; the Portland Stoneware
Company, 8 pages; feldspar, mica, and tourmaline industries, 6 pages;
railroad employees, 4 pages; an article on the preservation of Maine
forests, 16 pages; abstracts from bulletins o f the Twelfth Census, 47
pages; labor laws, 9 pages; report o f the inspector o f factories, w ork­
shops, mines, and quarries, 4 pages.
Cotton and W oolen I ndustries.— For the year ending June 30,
1901, returns were received for 11 cotton mills and 24 woolen mills,
showing fo r each the capital invested, cost of material, value of
product, number o f employees by sex and age, weeks in operation,
and total annual and average weekly wages paid. In the 11 cotton mills
there was a total investment o f $13,415,219, a product o f $11,559,455,
and a wage payment o f $3,867,783 to 12,045 employees. For the
24 woolen mills the amounts were: Capital, $3,826,036; product,
$5,524,017; wages, $1,248,743, and number o f employees, 3,212.
Nine o f the cotton mills and 19 woolen mills reported in 1900 also,
so that comparative statistics can be presented for identical establish­
ments as follows:
STATISTICS OF 9 COTTON MILLS AND 19 WOOLEN MILLS, 1900 AND 1901.
9 cotton mills.
Items.

19 woolen mills.

1900.

1901.

1900.

Capital invested.......................................................
Cost of m aterial.......................................................
Wages oaid...............................................................
Value o. product.....................................................
Average w ?skly wages:
M en....................................................................
Women...............................................................
C hildren............................................................
Average weeks in operation...................................
Average number of employees:
M en ....................................................................
Women...............................................................
C hildren............................................................

$12,766,994
$5,761,677
$3,730,610
$10,481,884

$12,959,719
$6,189,126
$3,702,818
$10,886,849

$2,633,509
$2,673,941
$982,324
$4,533,740

$4,341,871

$7.51
$5.66
$3.26
51.7

$7.75
$5.91
$3.16
50.4

$8.84
$6.54
$3.73
51.5

$8.58
$6.42
$3.44
51.1

5,253
5,855
527

5,088
5,890
518

1,621
760
26

1,611
801
24

T otal...............................................................

11,635

11,496

2,407

2,436

$2,586,472
$2,725,204

§

I




1901.

826

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

A comparison o f the two years shows that in both branches o f indus­
try there was a considerable increase in the cost o f material used dur­
ing 1901, and a decrease in the. amount paid out in wages. In the
cotton industry the number o f employees and the number o f weeks in
operation were both somewhat reduced, so that the average weekly
wages o f adult employees were larger for 1901 than fo r 1900. Similar
reductions in the woolen industry, however, were too slight to succeed
in holding up average weekly wages.
The follow ing table shows the proportion o f the value of product
applied to cost o f material, to wages, and remaining for minor expenses
and profits; also the annual ayerage earnings per employee in these
two industries for the years named:
PER CENT OF VALUE OF PRODUCT APPLIED TO COST OF MATERIALS, TO WAGES, AND
TO MINOR EXPENSES AND PROFITS, AND AVERAGE ANNUAL EARNINGS PER EMPLOYEE
IN THE COTTON AND WOOLEN INDUSTRIES, 1898 TO 1901.
Woolen industry.

Cotton industry.
Items.
Material................................
Wages...................................
M argin..................................

1898.

1899.

1900.

1901.

1898.

1899.

1900.

1901.

52.4
34.8
12.8

51.8
36.6
11.6

53.9
35.0
11.1

57.1
33.5
9.4

60.1
23.4
16.5

65.5
21.7
12.8

55.9
21.9
22.2

60.0
22.6
17.4

Average annual earnings .. $270.91

$300.00

$319.62

$321.11

$375.20

$354.71

$416.10

$388.77

In the cotton industry it is noticeable that the per cent of value of
product applied to cost o f material is greatest in 1901, while the per
cent o f margin is least in that year, having fallen steadily during the
period here shown. The proportion applied to wages has decreased
since 1899, though the average annual earnings have increased.
The movements have been more irregular in the woolen industry,
cost o f material rating highest in 1899 and lowest in 1900. In 1900
also there was a marked increase in the per cent o f margin and in the
average annual earnings, though the per cent o f product applied to
wages was but 0.2 per cent greater than in the form er year.
F actories, M ills , and S hops B uilt .— The returns show 121 new
buildings erected during the year 1901, at a total cost o f $5,638,200.
These provided fo r 6,337 additional employees. Compared with the
previous year, there were 46 fewer buildings to the credit o f 1901,
but their value was more than double that o f the constructions o f 1900.
I ce.— A table shows the annual cut o f ice for Maine and fo r the
Hudson River from 1880 to 1900; also the capacity o f the Hudson ice
houses. It indicates that the Maine cut is depended on rather to sup­
plement the Hudson River cut, though the amount generally varies
but little. F or the nine years 1891 to 1899 the least number o f tons
cut was 1,242,500 in 1898, and the greatest, 1,600,800 in 1894. In
1890, when the Hudson crop was a complete failure, the Maine cut
was 3,092,400 tons, a doubling o f the average cut. In 1900 there were



REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR---- MAINE.

827

but 723,780 tons cut for shipment, and in 1901 but 16,000 tons cut,
with about 400,000 tons of old ice in store. The future of the local
business is regarded as dependent on the as }^et undisclosed policy of the
syndicate which has practical control o f both the Hudson and Maine
fields.
T he D airy B usiness.— A general discussion of the dairy business
in the State is given, together with some comparisons with conditions
in other States and in Canada. The statistics are for the year ending
June 30, 1901.
The reports show 54 creameries and 16 cheese factories in operation,
representing an aggregate capital o f $222,828. The amount paid out
for milk and cream to the 8,687 farmers or dairymen was $1,471,250,
the value o f products being $2,001,798. Employment was given to
546 persons.
R ailroad E mployees .—The returns are for the employees within
the State and cover 21 roads. The following is a summary for the
years 1900 and 1901:
STATISTICS OF RAILROAD EMPLOYEES, 1900 AND 1901.
Year.
1900...............................................................................................
1901...............................................................................................

Number of
employees.
7,240
7,573

Total wages
Average
paid.
daily wages.
$3,693,155
4,070,618

$1.78
1.79

Street railways paid out $461,279 to their employees in 1901 as
against $423,500 in 1900, the number o f employees being about 940
for each year.
M ISSOURI.

Twenty-third Annual Report o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics and
Inspection o f the State o f Missouri fo r the year ending November 5,
1901. William Anderson, Commissioner. 404 pp.
The subjects treated o f in this report are as follows: Statistics of
manufactures, 114 pages; prison factories and convict labor, 26 pages;
industrial statistics, 117 pages; Government lands in Missouri, 4 pages;
labor organizations, 73 pages; free employment offices, 3 pages; direct
legislation, 10 pages; statistics o f Missouri cities having 100,000 popu­
lation and over, 17 pages; judicial decisions and laws relating to labor,
28 pages.
M anufactures.— Forty tables, presenting as many industries, give
the returns separately fo r 1,053 establishments. The total product
for the year 1900 was valued at $173,856,993, being an increase o f
$20,548,436 over the returns fo r the year 1899. Including clerical
help, there were 57,921 males and 15,622 females employed. These
employees received as wages and salaries $33,061,531, or $3,745,782
more than was expended for these purposes in the previous year.
The rate o f average daily wages shows little change.



828

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

C onvict L abor .— Returns from 8 prison factories show a product
valued at $2,800,639. The number o f employees was: Males, 1,720;
females, 185. O f these 175 males and 40 females are classed as skilled
laborers. Following the table are several pages of extracts from the
report o f the United States Industrial Commission on the subject o f
convict labor.
I ndustrial Statistics.— Under this head are given, for each county,
the population, surplus products shipped in 1900, location and resources,
manufactures, average wages in certain occupations, etc.
G overnment L ands.— Statements as to the amount and location o f
Government lands in the State, with information as to the mode of
entry, make up this portion o f the report.
L abor O rganizations.— Six tables furnish general information
relating to the labor organizations in the State, including a directory
and data as to wages, hours of labor, benefit features, strikes, etc.
The follow ing table summarizes certain o f the above facts:
NUMBER AND MEMBERSHIP OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, AND DAILY HOURS OF LABOR
OF MEMBERS, IN THREE PRINCIPAL CITIES AND IN THE STATE OUTSIDE IN 1900.

One hundred and three unions pay sick benefits and 248 pay death
benefits, the sums expended for these purposes being $16,433.20 and
$68,941.50, respectively. One hundred strikes are reported, o f which
59 are said to have been settled satisfactorily, 4 were lost, 19 were
still pending, and for 18 the results were not reported. Some pages
are devoted to suggestions from the organizations as to legislation
desired.
F ree E mployment O ffices .— Returns from the offices in St.
Louis, Kansas City, and St. Joseph show an aggregate o f 12,035
applications for employment, o f which 8,107 were successful. There
were 16,988 applications fo r help, 8,401 o f which were supplied.
Males and females are not separated in these reports.
D irect L egislation .— This is a discussion devoted mainly to a
consideration o f the referendum. Its general use is recommended.
S tatistics of C ities .— Statistics appearing in Bulletin No. 36 o f the
United States Department o f Labor, in so far as they relate to the
three cities o f Missouri there considered, are here reproduced.




REPORTS OE STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR— MONTANA.

829

M ONTANA.

Seventh Report [First Biennial\ o f the Bureau o f Agriculture, Labor,
and Industry o f the State o f Montana. 1899-1900. J. H. Calderhead, Commissioner.

613 pp.

This report is largely taken up with a description o f the resources
and advantages o f the State. Numerous illustrations accompany the
descriptive matter, which treats o f ruining, agriculture, and grazing,
including a discussion o f irrigation, reports on public lands, climate,
water supply, educational facilities, etc. Statistics relating to State
and county finances, court proceedings, census and election returns,
and a record o f real estate transfers are given. Manufacturing sta­
tistics, 13 pages; organized labor, 18 pages; wages, 6 pages, and cost
o f living, 20 pages, present matter of more direct industrial interest.
Besides these there is an interesting report on the adulteration of food,
29 pages. This includes the analyses o f a number o f articles of food
commonly found in the markets.
M anufacturing Statistics.— These relate to printing and publish­
ing, breweries, clay products, sawmills, and flour mills, but are not
complete. Nine breweries reported a capital o f $1,015,000, a product
valued at $932,831, and 152 employees, who received $150,637 in
wages. F or 24 sawmills there was a reported capital of $936,000, an
output valued at $496,426, and 592 employees, receiving wages to the
amount o f $261,038. These data are for the year ending June 30,
1900. In 1899 the clay products o f the State amounted to $225,844.
O rganized L abor .—There are here given a brief summary o f the
eight-hour laws o f Montana and other States, some account o f labor
conditions in New Zealand, a report on Japanese railroad labor in the
State, an account o f a miners’ strike at Red Lodge, and of accidents in
mines in 1900, and a directory o f 128 labor organizations in the State.
Cost of L iving .— Under this head are given the market prices o f
farm products and o f groceries at wholesale and at retail in the various
counties and towns o f the State.




RECENT FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS.

BELGIU M .

Reeensement general des Industries et des Metiers, SI Octobre, 1896.
Office du Travail, Ministere de l’Industrie et du Travail. 1900-1901.
Volume I, 946 p p .; Volume II, 907 p p .; Volume III, 180 pp.; V o l­
ume IV , 525 p p .; Volume V, 573 pp.
These five volumes contain the first installment of the returns of the
Belgian industrial census o f October 31, 1896. The distinguishing
characteristic of this census is the combination of the features of an
occupation census with those o f an industrial census, and on this ac­
count it calls for a brief description of the methods used m securing
and compiling the census returns.
On the basis o f the population register o f 1890, which was sup­
posed to have been kept up to date, the schedules o f inquiries were
sent to all the industrial persons, or “ industrial households,” as the
official reports designate them, in the Kingdom. This enumeration
(made on Schedule B) secured from the working population informa­
tion as to name, sex, place o f birth, date of birth, conjugal condition,
relation to head o f household, occupation, whether working at home
for one or more emploj^ers, the name and industry of the employer,
and the address o f the establishment in which the employee worked.
On the same day an examination of the industrial establishments
(made on Schedule A ) was taken and information secured as to the
name and address o f the proprietor or firm, the industry carried on
in the establishment, the length o f the business season; in case the
establishment was temporarily shut down, the length o f time and cause
o f such shut down; the number o f employees o f each sex and their
positions in the establishment, with the young persons given separately;
the hour o f beginning and o f stopping work, with the length o f the
intermissions, and the working personnel by day and by night shifts.
W ages were to be given in such shape as to show the form o f wage
payments for each position by sex and age o f the workers, the total
wages paid in the last wage period, with specification o f the number
o f working days, and the working personnel. Returns were made for
the motors used, their kind and average horsepower, and the type of
steam boilers, their pressure and heating surface.
When the schedules were returned to the labor office they were
assembled by establishments and a comparison of the statements on
the “ A ” schedules was made with those on the “ B ” schedules. This
verification eliminated a large portion of the errors, and among other
things suggested additional investigations not originally included in
the census.
One o f the important features o f the census is the extended classi­
fication o f industries. The classification was made after the schedules
had been returned to the central office, and on the basis of the inf or
830



FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS---- BELGIUM.

831

mation contained in them. No prearranged classification was given
to the enumerators to follow in filling out the schedules. There are
no less than 858 classes o f industries specified, so that for practical
purposes the returns are more available than has formerly been the
case with industrial censuses.
The final volume of the census reports is intended to be a general
summary, and until this volume has been issued it will not be possible
to give a full summary by industries o f the returns for the Kingdom.
Volumes I and II contain the table showing the distribution, by
industries, o f the factory and domestic working establishments by
provinces, arrondissements, and communes. The table shows the total
number o f establishments, the number in operation on the census day,
and the employees classified as wage workers and as other personnel.
The horsepower used is also stated. Giving returns for such small
geographical divisions as communes, with such an elaborate classifica­
tion o f industries, has made the information exceedingly detailed; in
fact, in a very large number o f cases the table simply reproduces the
schedules o f individual establishments. The information is given in
two tables: In the first table, those industrial concerns which comprise
more than one undertaking have these undertakings counted as sepa­
rate establishments; in a second and supplementary table, these com­
bined establishments are treated as single establishments.
Volume III contains a full index o f the matter tabulated in Volumes
I and II, and gives the subjects by industries and by geographical
divisions. In Volume IV the establishments are given according to
the form o f organization.
In Volume V the establishments in operation on the census day are
classified according to the number of wage workers.
Following is a summary statement of the returns thus far published,
each undertaking being regarded as a separate establishment:
Total establishments...............................................................................................
Establishments in operation October 31, 1896:
Carried on by individuals..............................................................................
Full partners under a collective name........................................................
Commandites (special pa rtn ersh ip s)........................................................

337,395
305,045
18,678
331

Total carried on by individuals and partners......................................
Stock companies...............................................................................................
Cooperative societies.......................................................................................

324,054
1,862
167

Total carried on by stock companies and cooperative societies........

2,029

Total in operation October 31, 1896 .......................................................
Persons engaged in establishments in operation October 31, 1896:
Owners and salaried employees....................................................................
Wage workers...................................................................................................

a 326,089
379,992
722,252

T ota l............................................................................................................... 1,102,244
Total horsepower (steam, gas, and petroleum motors) of establishments
in operation October 31,1896..............................................., ..........................
628,253

aIncluding 6 establishments for which details regarding form of organization and
character of employment were not reported.



832

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

The following table shows the number o f persons engaged in estab­
lishments conducted by individuals or partnerships and by stock com ­
panies and cooperative societies, grouped according to sex and charac­
ter o f employment:
PERSONS ENGAGED IN ESTABLISHMENTS IN OPERATION OCTOBER 31, 1896, ACCORDING TO
CHARACTER OP EMPLOYMENT.

Character of employment.

Persons in establishments
conducted by individuals
or partnerships.
Men.

Women.

Persons in establishments
conducted by stock com­
panies and cooperative so­
cieties.

Total.

Men.

Women.

Total.

Owners of establishments.........................
Salaried em ployees...................................
Members of owners’ families employed
as wage workers.....................................
Other wage workers.................................

205,415
16,854

135,474
1,487

340,889
18,341

20,499

263

20,762

33,182
316,352

17,474
74,738

50,656
391,090

244,943

35,563

280,506

Total..................................................

571,803

229,173

800,976

265,442

35,826

301,268

The next table relates only to wage workers who are not members
o f owners’ families. The establishments and employees are grouped
according to the number o f wage workers in each establishment.
ESTABLISHMENTS AND WAGE WORKERS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OP
WAGE WORKERS IN EACH ESTABLISHMENT.

Wage workers in each establishment, (a)

Number Number of wage workers, (a)
of
establish­ Men.
Women.
Total.
ments.

1............

2 to 4 ..........
5 to 9 ..........
10 to 1 9 .......
20 to 4 9 .......
50 to 9 9 .......
100 to 199 .. .
200 to 499 . . .
500 to 999 . . .
1.000 to 1,999
2.000 or over

30,258
26,396
7,851
3,823
2,537
931
652
449
117
12
4

24,571
54,216
42,379
44,6o5
66,469
53,413
74,474
117,491
66,710
10,760
6,157

5,687
14,412
7,776
6,204
9,436
11,553
17,596
21,110
9,454
3,*161
3,912

30,258
68,628
50,155
50,859
75,905
64,966
92,070
138,601
76,164
13,921
10,069

T otal.

6 73,046

561,295

110,301

671,596

a Not including members of proprietors’ families.
b Including 16 establishments employing wage workers the number of whom could m*t be deter­
mined.

CANADA.

Report o f the Department o f Labor fo r the year ended June 30, 1901.
1902.

67 pp.

(Printed by order o f Parliament.)

This is the first report issued by this department as it came into
existence under section 10 o f the conciliation act o f July 18, 1900.
(See Bulletin No. 33, p. 272, U. S. Department of Labor.)
The subjects presented in this report are: The Labor Gazette, 23
pages; conciliation and arbitration, 9 pages; fair wages on public con­
tract work, 19 pages;* enforcement o f alien labor acts, 4 pages; details
as to departmental work and expenses, 5 pages.



FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS---- CANADA.

833

T he L abor G azette .— Here is given a statement o f the general
scope and purpose o f the monthly publication of the department,
with a brief review o f the principal articles appearing in the first 10
numbers.
Conciliation and A rbitration .—The act under which the depart­
ment o f labor was organized provides fo r its active friendly interven­
tion, under certain circumstances, in the adjustment of industrial
disputes. It is provided that—
(a) The minister o f labor may take certain action in the way of
inquiry or may arrange a conference without application from any of
the parties to a dispute.
(b) He may appoint a conciliator on the application o f either party.
(<) He may appoint an arbitrator on the application o f both parties.
g
The present report indicates that in no case has the department seen
fit to intervene unless invited by one o f the parties, or by some inter­
ested person in their behalf. The following table summarizes the
principal points in connection with this branch o f the department’s
work for about eight months:
INTERVENTIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF INDUS­
TRIAL DISPUTES, 1900, 1901.

Establishments.

Cause of dispute.

Cotton mills, Val- Presence of militia to
overawe earlier strik­
leyfield, Quebec.
ers.
Iron works, Osh- Refusal of coremakers
to assist in shifting
awa, Ontario.
and dumping molds:
1 complaint as to heat1 ing and ventilation
1
of works.
Tool works, Dun- Demand for increase
das, Ontario.
of wages, and limita­
tion of number of
apprentices.
Paper
mills, Rejection by employ­
Grand
M&re,
ees of new scale of
Quebec.
wages, and objection
to manner of notifi­
cation.
Coal mines, Syd­ Demand for increase
ney Mines, Nova
of wages.
Scotia.

Date in­
Em­ Date of terven­ Date
ploy­ begin­ tion
of
ees af­ ning was re­ settle­
fected. strike. quest­ ment.
ed.

Nature of settlement.

3,000 Oct. 25, Oct. 27, Oct. 29, Troops withdrawn and
1900.
agreement to reinstate
1900.
1900.
strikers.
300 Dec. 5, Dec. 8, Dec. 12, Coremakers to do no
other work.
Objec­
1900.
1900.
1900.
tionable
conditions
remedied.
55

Oct. 8, Jan. 22, Jan. 24, Satisfactory agreement.
Terms not made pub­
1900.
1901.
j.901.
lic.

800 Apr. 15, Apr. 17, Apr. 19, Employees accept scale.
1901.
Employers agree to
1901.
1901.
semimonthly
pay­
ments, etc.
700

(a)

(a)

June25, Wages scale agreed to;
increase to some em­
1901.
ployees. New rule as
to bonuses.
Local
board of arbitration
established.

a The dispute commenced early in the year, but before declaring a strike the employees requested
the intervention of the department of labor. The company agreeing, a meeting was arranged for
between the conciliator and representatives from both sides. Settlement was arrived at within two
days.

F air W ages on P ublic C ontract W ork .— A resolution of Par­
liament o f March 17,1900, declares: “ That all Government contracts
should contain such conditions as will prevent abuses which may arise
from the subletting o f such contracts, and that every effort should be
made to secure the payment o f such wages as are generally accepted
as current in each trade for competent workmen in the district where
the work is carried out.”



834

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

This applies not only to work done by the Government, but to
undertakings aided by Government subsidies as well.
The report covers the fiscal year 1900-1901, under the two heads o f
public and subsidized undertakings. A list is given o f the contracts
made under the provisions o f the resolution quoted from above, and
of the investigations made by the 4 fair-wages officers ” of the depart­
6
ment. The method of procedure is for the department of the G ov­
ernment which is about to invite bids on a contract to furnish the
department o f labor such specifications as to locality and the nature
of the labor required as will enable it to draw up a 44fair-wages
schedule,” based on its own investigations. This schedule is then
inserted in the proposed contract and becomes the basis for a minimum
wage payment for the several classes o f employees. Complaints of
violations are investigated by the department o f labor and determined
by the department entering into the contract, after the results of such
investigation have been submitted. The report indicates that such
complaints as were made during the ten months covered by it were
generally well grounded, and that the action o f the department was
efficient and acceptable.
E nforcement of A lien -L abor A cts.— The investigation o f alleged
violations o f these acts was assigned to the newly-formed department
o f labor upon its organization. The statute requires that no pro­
ceeding at law shall be begun until the consent o f the attorney-general
o f Canada, or o f some person authorized by him, be obtained. The
effect o f this law has been that no legal action has been necessary
beyond the investigation made by the department and the communi­
cation o f its conclusions to the party charged. I f the finding was in
favor o f the bringing o f an action, the offending parties at once
deported the persons thought to be illegally employed, and the cases
were then dropped, with the consent o f the complainants.
Seventy-one complaints were received, 7 o f which were not acted
upon owing to a change in the law. O f the 64 cases investigated, 48
were found not to be violations. Nineteen aliens went away during
the investigations, and 52 were voluntarily deported as a result o f
findings o f well-grounded complaints.
G R E A T BR ITA IN .

Workmen's Trains.

1900.

(Published bv the British Board o f Trade.)

This report is a return to an order o f the House of Commons, and
is made up o f individual reports from all railways in Great Britain,
showing the number o f trains, distances run, fares charged, and num­
ber o f tickets issued in connection with special provisions fo r work­
ingmen.
In some instances there is a statutory obligation resulting from
special acts o f Parliament relating to particular companies, but in



FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS---- GREAT BRITAIN.

835

most cases it is by the voluntary action o f the companies that work­
men’s trains are run. Where there is statutory obligation, the number
o f trains actually run is generally many times greater than the number
required by law.
The sections o f the special act referring to each road are usually
four in number, and the acts are quite similar in their provisions.
The first section names terminal points, the maximum fare to be
charged, and the number o f trains to be run at fixed hours— for exam­
ple, 6 not later than 7 in the morning or earlier than 6 in the evening,
4
as may be most convenient for artisans, etc.” Another section em­
powers the com pany to ascertain the rights o f applicants; a third
provides fo r penalties for the abuse o f tickets, and the fourth limits
the liability o f the company on claims for damages by passengers using
workmen’s tickets to the sum o f £100 (1186.65).
O f course, trains run voluntarily are not restricted to the hours
named, and on Saturdays the usual evening limit is changed to allow
returns after 12 m. Nor are the accommodations restricted to special
trains, many roads issuing workmen’s tickets which can be used to pro­
cure third-class passage on any train within specified time limits, as
up to 8 a. m. and after 4 p. m. In still other cases there are special
trains going, the return ticket being available on any train returning,
sometimes only after I p . m., in other instances as early as 12 m. on
any day o f the week. Daily tickets are usually restricted to a return
on the date o f issue, though tickets issued on Saturday are sometimes
available fo r a return on Monday. W eekly tickets afford, in some
instances, still further reductions on the daily rates.
The report presents no summary or average statement of distances
or charges. A schedule prepared in connection with a statute limit­
ing the liability o f the Metropolitan District Railway Company is
indicative o f rates, but probably can not be taken as representative,
especially o f roads in less populous localities. The rates given are for
the single journey and are as follows:
For distances up to and including 4 miles........................................... 1 d. (2.03 cents)
Beyond 4 miles, up to and including 6 miles..................................... 1J d. (3.04 cents)
Beyond 6 miles, up to and including 8 miles..................................... 2
d. (4.06 cents)
Beyond 8 miles, up to and including 10 miles....................................2£ d. (5.07 cents)
Beyond 10 miles, up to and including 12 miles..................................3 d. (6.08 cents)
For distances exceeding 12 miles, fares not exceeding J d. (1.01 cents) for every 2
miles or part of such 2 miles.

O f 83 roads reporting in England, Scotland, and Wales, 8 operate
trains under some statutory provision, 36 report no workmen’s trains,
and the remainder report a range o f from 2 to more than 1,500 per
day. Some roads which run no workmen’s trains haul such trains
under contract with an employer who pays either a gross or a per
capita sum for such service. The number o f workmen’s tickets issued
during 1899 provided for more than 50,000,000 round-trip passages,
not taking into consideration the contract service just mentioned.

8563— No. 11— 02----- 12


DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.
[This subject, begun in Bulletin No. 2, has been continued in successive issues.
A ll material parts of the decisions are reproduced in the words of the courts, indi­
cated when short by quotation marks, and when long b y being printed solid. In
order to save space, matter needed simply by way of explanation is given in the
words of the editorial reviser.]

DECISIONS U N D ER STA T U T O R Y L A W .
B lacklisting — C onstitutionality of Statute —State ex rel. Schef­
fe r v. Justus, Supreme Court o f Minnesota, 88 Northwestern Reporter,
page 759.— A lfred Scheffer, agent o f the firm o f Scheffer and Rossum,
had been convicted o f a violation o f chapter 174, laws of 1895, and
sentenced to imprisonment. The case came before the supreme court
on an application for a writ o f habeas corpus, the ground o f Scheffer’s
motion being that the act is unconstitutional. The constitutionality of
the statute was, therefore, the sole question to be considered.
The act is entitled: “ An act to prohibit the practice of blacklisting
and the coercing and influencing o f employees by their employers.”
Section one prohibits the combination o f two or more employers of
labor fo r the purpose o f interfering with any person or preventing
them from procuring employment by the use o f threats, promises, or
blacklisting. Section two provides that: “ No company, corporation,
or partnership in this State shall authorize, permit or allow any of its
or their agents to, nor shall any o f its or their agents blacklist any
discharged employee or employees, or by word or writing seek to
prevent, hinder or restrain such discharged employee or any employee
who may have voluntarily left such company’s or person’s service from
obtaining employment from any other person or company.” The
third section prohibits employers from requiring their employees not
to join or become members o f labor organizations, as a condition o f
their employment. Other sections refer to penalties, modes o f proce­
dure, etc.
Section three was excluded from the consideration o f the court, as
the case had no dependence upon it, nor would its validity or invalid­
ity affect the sections directly bearing on the question in issue. As to
the title, it was conceded that the term “ blacklisting” has no well
defined meaning in the law, either by statute or judicial expression,
836



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

837

but that general understanding gives it a meaning sufficiently definite
for use in its connection. As to other points, Judge Lewis, who
announced the conclusions of the court said:
It is urged that section two is objectionable to the provisions o f the
constitution upon the ground that it is class or special legislation, hav­
ing application only to corporations or partnerships, as distinguished
from individual employers. This argument is based upon the omis­
sion from the first part o f the section o f the word “ person.” W hile
true that word is omitted from the first part o f section two, yet it is
used in the next to the last line in such connection that it becomes
necessary either to drop the word out of the section entirely, or to
supply it in connection with the words “ company,” “ corporation,”
or “ partnership.” Section one has reference to all employers, with­
out regard to whether they are corporations, partnerships, or individ­
uals. So with sections three and four, where the word “ person” is
used. It w evidently not the intention o f the legislature to discrim­
ras
inate in section two against an individual employer, when the other
sections o f the act are plainly made applicable to individuals.
Employers, as distinguished from employees, do not constitute a class,
witnin the constitutional prohibition. Those acts which are declared
unlawful by the statute are peculiar to employers o f labor. The act,
being applicable to all members o f the class, is not invalid because
limited to that class. (Cameron v. Railway Co., 63 Minn. 384, 65
N. W . 652, 31 L . R. A . 553.) W e therefore hold that section two of
the act applies to individuals as well as to companies, corporations,
and partnerships, and is not class legislation.
Again it is insisted that an employer o f labor has the natural right
under the constitution, State and Federal, to give such advice and
information as he desires with respect to his employees, whether they
have been discharged for cause or without cause, or whether they have
voluntarily left the employment. This leads to a consideration o f what
the offense is, as set forth by the provisions o f section two. An
employee who voluntarily leaves his employment is one who has the
right to do so. He violates no contract obligations. Presumably he
is an employee in good standing, and leaves because it is to his advan­
tage to do so; and if he seeks employment elsewhere he is entitled to
the presumption that his reputation as an employee has been unharmed
by the fact o f his leaving. The fact that such an employee voluntarily
abandons his employment does not give the employer a right to prej­
udice his employment elsewhere. Under such circumstances, a com­
munication designed to prevent such employment is presumably a
reflection upon the standing o f the employee. It is no answer to say
that the employer may have cause fo r making such communication;
that it may be to the advantage o f the new employer, and fo r the
mutual advantage o f all such employers, to have notice o f the char­
acter o^ the employee. I f there is any valid reason for such com­
munication, it would be available only as a matter o f defense. It is
the purpose o f this law to protect employees in the enjoyment o f those
natural rights and privileges guaranteed them by the Constitution,
viz,*the right to sell their labor and acquire property thereby.
The act is valid and the conviction must be sustained.




83 8

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

E mployers’

L iability — M ine

R egulations—W aiver by E m­

ployee — D.

H. Davis Coal Company v. Polland, Supreme Court o f
Indiana, 62 Northeastern Reporter, page J/92.— Samuel Polland obtained

judgment in the circuit court o f Clay County on account o f injuries
received by him while in the employ o f the above-named company.
On appeal the case came before the appellate court. This being
equally divided, the supreme court o f the State then heard the case
and affirmed the judgment o f the circuit court.
A t the time o f the accident occasioning the injury for which dam­
ages were claimed, Polland was not furnished with a sufficient supply
o f props, caps, and timbers to secure the roof o f the room in which he
was at work, and, though his examination o f the roof had failed to
show any dangerous condition therein, it nevertheless suddenly caved
and fell upon him, inflicting serious and permanent injury.
Negligence on the part o f the bank boss was also charged, in that
he failed o f his statutory duty of visiting and examining every work­
ing place in the mine at least every alternate day.
The statutes which it is claimed were violated are as follow s: 66Miners’
bosses shall visit their miners in their working places at least once every
day where any number not less than 10 nor more than 50 miners are
employed, and as often as once every two days when more than 50
miners are employed.” (Sec. 7447, Burns’ Rev. St. 1901.) Section
7466 o f the same provides that u The owner, operator, agent or lessee
o f any coal mine in this State shall keep a sufficient supply of timber
at the mine, and the owner, operator, agent or lessee shall deliver all
props, caps, and timbers (of proper length) to the rooms o f the work­
men when needed and required, so that the workmen may at all times
be able to properly secure the workings from caving in.”
Another section charges the duty o f seeing that the timbers are
sufficiently supplied and properly set to the mining boss, and still
another gives a right o f action to any party injured by the willful
failure to comply with these provisions.
Two questions arise on the complaint, as considered by the supreme
court, viz, assumption o f risk and contributory negligence.
Judge Baker, who announced the opinion o f the court, after stating
the common law rule as to degree o f care, said:
If, however, the statute, as in this case, sets up a definite standard,
and requires specific measures to be taken by the employer in provid­
ing safe working places and appliances, other considerations come into
view. It is the duty o f the employer to use the very means named in
the statute. He is not at liberty to adopt others, though, in his opin­
ion, they are more efficacious than those prescribed by the lawmakers.
H ow, tnen, can there be any lawful basis for an agreement, implied
or express, that the employer shall violate the law. and that the
employee shall be remediless? The heart o f the present case is this:
Is a contract enforceable by which the employee waives in advance his



DECISIONS OE COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

839

right of having, and relieves his employer o f the duty o f providing,
the specific safeguards required by the statute?
Freedom o f contrict should not be lightly interfered with. A s a
general rule, the right o f contracting as one sees fit stands untram­
meled. But the State has power to restrict this right in the inter­
est o f public health, morals, and the like. W hen, in the present case,
it is pointed out that the legislature has failed in terms to deny the
employee’s right to assume the risks from the employer’s disregard o f
the statute, the question is not ended. I f the legislature has clearly
expressed the public policy o f the State on a matter within its right
to speak upon authoritatively, and if that public policy would be sub­
verted by allowing the employee to waive in advance his statutory
protection, the contract is void as unmistakably as if the statute in
direct words forbade the making o f it. I f the employer may avail
himself o f the defense that the employee agreed in advance that the
statutes should be disregarded, the court would be measuring the
rights o f the persons whom the lawmakers intended to protect by the
common-law standard o f the reasonably prudent person, and not by
the definite standard set up by the legislature. This would be practi­
cally a judicial repeal o f the act. It is no hardship to the employer to
disallow him a defense based on an agreement that he should violate a
specific statutory duty. His sure protection lies in obedience to the
law. The risks that still inhere in the business after this is done may
be assumed by the employee.
Second. A s to contributory negligence: The complaint alleged that
appellee used due care and caution to avoid injury. This is enough,
unless the specific averments show this general allegation to be untiue.
It sufficiently appears that appellee was an experienced miner, knew
that appellant had failed to provide supports as required by statute,
and with this knowledge continued at his work until injured. Appel­
lant claims that this constituted such negligence as to preclude a recov­
ery. I f the risk is so great and immediately threatening that a person
o f ordinary prudence, under all the circumstances, would not take
it, contributory negligence is established. I f the risk is not so great
and immediately threatening but that a person of ordinary prudence,
under all the circumstances, would take it, contributory negligence is
not established. Appellee alleges that there was nothing in the appear­
ance o f the mine’s roof to indicate immediate danger, that he was
unable to find any defect therein by the usual tests, and that he could
and would have propped up the slate securely if appellant had not
been derelict in supplying timbers. The specific averments do not
overcome the general allegation o f freedom from fault.
Judgment affirmed.

E mployers ’ L iability — R ailroad C ompanies— Contracts W aiv ­
R ight to D amages—Tarbell v. Rutland Railroad Company,
Supreme Court o f Vermont, 51 Atlantic Reporter, page 6.— In an action
by Darius Tarbell, administrator o f the estate o f Arthur W . Tarbell,
deceased, to recover damages for the death o f the latter, certain pleas
o f the defendant company were demurred to, and, the demurrer being
sustained by the court, an appeal was taken to the supreme court of

ing




840

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

the State. The ruling of the Rutland County court was affirmed and
the cause remanded.
Arthur Tarbell was an employee o f the Rutland Railway Company
and met his death while descending a ladder on the outside of one of
the cars, which the company was operating on the main track, by being
knocked from the ladder by a car standing on a side track. A t the
trial the defendant plead that it was not liable to the plaintiff since it
had been a condition o f employment that plaintiff should release and
discharge the company from all damages that might accrue to the
plaintiff, as next o f kin to the intestate, by reason o f the defendant’s
negligence during his employment. It was to this plea that Tarbell
demurred.
On the facts set forth therein the court handed down the following
opinion, Judge Tyler speaking for the court:
The defendant contends that, though such a contract between itself
and the injured employee might not be upheld, this contract, being
with the next o f kin o f the employee, does not contravene public policy.
In general, when a contract belongs to a class which is reprobated by
public policy, it will be declared illegal, though in that particular
instance no actual injury has resulted to the public. I f it is immoral
or contrary to the policy o f the law, it will be declared void. Con­
tracts o f the kind under consideration are clearly against public policy,
and invalid, for the reason that they tend to promote negligence on
the part o f railroad companies in respect to the personal safety o f their
employees. Sections 3886 and 3887 [V. S.] forbid railroad companies
having ladders or steps upon cars o f their own to the top on the sides
o f the cars, and require that they be placed upon the ends or inside o f
the cars, and a forfeiture o f $50 a day is imposed as a penalty for fail­
ure to comply with the statute. It is the law that courts will not
enforce contracts made fo r the purpose o f violating statutes, but will
hold them inoperative and void. (Rob. Dig. 152, pi. 54 et seq.) As
the purpose o f the contract was to exempt the defendant from its stat­
utory liability fo r its negligence, and thus defeat the statute, it was
an immaterial fact that one o f the contracting parties was the next o f
kin and not the employee.

E mployers ’

L iability — R ailroad
C ompanies—F ellow -S erv ­
E mployment—Jensen v. Omaha and St. Louis
Railroad Company, Supreme Court o f Iowa, 88 Northwestern Reporter,
page 952.— Jensen was employed as a coach cleaner for the defendant
company, and, while engaged in his line o f duty, was injured by an
engine, operated at the time by a hostler, coming into collision with
the car in which he, Jensen, was at work. A statute (section 2071 o f
the Code) makes railroad companies liable to its employees for injuries
received by them in consequence o f the neglect o f the company’s
agents, or by any mismanagement o f the engineers or other employee§_
ants— S cope

of




DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

841

thereof, whenever such negligence is *cin any manner connected with
the use and operation o f the railway on or about which ” they shall be
employed. Jensen sued under this statute in the district court o f
Pottawattamie County, and was awarded damages. The company
appealed, its chief contentions being that Jensen’s duties did not bring
him within the benefit of the act quoted above; and that the hostler,
having taken the yardmaster to his home before going to the round­
house whither he was to take the engine, was outside the scope of his
employment, and hence the company was not responsible for his
actions.
The supreme court affirmed the judgment o f the court below,
Judge W eaver speaking for the court. From his remarks the follow ­
ing is quoted:
This provision [the statute already quoted] has been construed as
embracing within its protection all that class o f employees whose
employment “ exposes them to the peculiar dangers and perils
attendant upon the use and operation o f railroads.” (Keatley v. Rail­
way Co. 94 Iowa 685, 63 N. W . 560; Akeson v. Railway Co. 106 Iowa
54, 75 N. W . 676; Reddington v. Railway Co. 108 Iowa 99, 78 N. W.
800.) Am ong others found to be entitled to recover have been the
section hand, the section foreman, the shop hand, the clinker man, the
detective, the gravel shoveler, and the snow shoveler, none o f whom
had any connection with the train service proper. [Cases cited.] The
kind o f labor in which the employee is engaged is not the test o f his
right o f recovery so much as the fact whether, in the performance of
that labor, he is, fo r the time being, exposed to the peculiar hazards
which arise from or are connected with the use and operation of the
road. (Pyne
Railroad Co. 54 Iowa 225, 6. N. W . 281, 37 Am.
Rep. 198.) It has also been held that the movement o f a lone engine
by a hostler over the side tracks or about the yards or in the cinder
)it is a “ use and operation o f the road” within the meaning o f the
aw. I f that holding be correct— and we see no reason to doubt it—
then the plaintiff in this case, being in his proper place in the baggage
car in defendant’s yard, where, as shown by the evidence, switch
engines and other engines were frequently run back and forth switch­
ing and turning cars, making up trains, and sometimes moving the
cars in which the cleaners were at the time employed, was clearly
exposed to perils peculiarly incident to railroad use and operation.
If, in taking the yardmaster to his dinner, the hostler was so out
o f the line o f duty as to relieve appellant o f responsibility while so
improperly engaged (which we need not decide), it is sufficient here to
say that such departure from his ordinary service had ceased. The
trip had been made and completed, and he had, in accordance with his
admitted duty, entered upon the appropriate track to reach the round­
house, where he was to store and care for the engine. This was
plainly within the scope o f his employment, and his prior trip for the
accommodation o f the yardmaster is wholly immaterial.
The judgment o f the district court is affirmed.

f




842

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OP LABOR.

E xamination , L icensing, etc ., of H orseshoers— R evenue —
P olice P ower — C onstitutionality of Statute — Bessette v. People,
Supreme Court o f Illinois, 62 Northeastern Reporter, page 215.—
Edward Bessette, a horseshoer, was convicted before a justice o f the
peace o f the town o f Aurora o f practicing his trade without a license,
and was fined. The case came before the city court o f Aurora, which
affirmed the judgment with costs. On retrial on an agreed statement
of facts, certain propositions o f counsel fo r plaintiff calling into ques­
tion the constitutionality o f the statute under which the action was
brought were rejected by the court and sentence affirmed. The case
was then brqught before the supreme court and the lower courts were
reversed, the act being declared unconstitutional.
The law in question is the act o f June 11, 1897 (Laws o f 1897, page
233), entitled “ An act to insure the better education o f practitioners
o f horseshoeing, and to regulate the practice o f horseshoers in the
State o f Illinois.” (See Bulletin o f the U. S. Department o f Labor,
No. 14, pages 129, 130.) The act consists o f 15 sections, the first o f
which provides that “ it shall be unlawful fo r any person to practice
as a horseshoer in this State ” without a license. The fourth section
provides fo r the registry, within a limited time, o f all persons engaged
as horseshoers, such registration enabling the party to continue his
trade without incurring the penalties provided for in the act. Other
sections make provision for a board o f examiners, their payment from
fees o f applicants, modes o f procedure, penalties, etc. Section 12
provides for an apprenticeship o f four years and attendance (if con­
venient) on lectures on the anatomy o f the horse’s foot. Section 15
reads as follows: “ This act applies only to towns and cities o f 50,000
inhabitants and over, but it shall be optional with all towns and cities
of 10,000 or over to come under the provisions o f this act.”
Justice Magruder, who delivered the opinion o f the court, reviewed
somewhat extensively the principles involved. From his remarks
the follow ing is taken:
It is quite apparent, from the terms o f the act, that it does not
impose a tax upon the business o f horseshoeing. W e are not inclined
to hold that the legislature has no power to impose a tax upon such
occupation.
A fter discussing certain sections o f the constitution o f the State
empowering the general assembly to levy taxes, the court continued:
O f course, if the act o f 1897 now under consideration imposed a
tax upon the occupation o f horseshoeing, such imposition would be
for the purpose o f revenue. W e are not prepared to say that the leg­
islature has not the power to impose an exaction in the form o f a
license fee for revenue upon the business o f horseshoeing, even
though the exaction o f such license fee is not a tax. The act o f 1897,
however, although it requires a license to be issued, does not impose
such license for the purpose o f revenue. The license fee imposed by



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

848

this act must, therefore, be imposed for regulation. Cooley, in his
work on the Law o f Taxation, says: “ License fees may be imposed:
(1) F or regulation; (2) for revenue; (3) to give monopolies; (4) for
prohibition.” (Cooley, Tax’n (2d Ed.) p. 592.) The license fee under
the present act is certainly not imposed for prohibition or to give
monopolies, and, as it is not imposed for revenue, its imposition must
be for the purpose of regulation. That the license fee here under
consideration is not imposed for revenue appears from the language
o f the act itself.
The act o f 1897 in reference to horseshoeing states, in section 10
thereof, that the license fee is charged “ in order to carry out the
provisions o f this act and maintenance o f the said board of examin­
ers.” These provisions seem to indicate that the license fee is merely
imposed for the purpose o f paying the expenses of enforcing the act,
and not for the purpose o f raising revenue in any way. Although
the act provides that, where a fine is collected upon a conviction for
violating the provisions of the act, such fine shall be paid into the
common school fund o f the county, yet there is nothing to indicate
that the license fee charged shall be appropriated as revenue for any
purpose whatever.
Therefore, the proper construction o f the act being that the license
fee is imposed fo r regulation and not for revenue, the question arises
whether the occupation of horseshoeing is such an occupation as the
legislature has any power to regulate in the manner provided for in
this act. The general rule is that a license fee will not be exacted for
the purpose o f regulating any trade, calling, or occupation, unless
there is something in the nature o f such trade, calling, or occupation,
or in the circumstances surrounding it, which calls for the exe'rcise by
the State o f its police power. In other words, licenses for regulation
merely, and not for revenue, can only be justified upon the ground
that’ a necessity exists for the exercise by the State, either directly or
through delegation to municipal corporations, o f its police power.
The police power is limited to enactments which have reference to the
ublic health or com fort, or to the safety or welfare o f society. It
as been said th a t,44when the license is for regulation merely, * * *
the question presented is whether the business or occupation is one
rendering special regulation important fo r any purpose of protection
to the public or to guard individuals against frauds and impositions.”
(Cooley, Tax’n (2d Ed.) p. 60C; Hawthorn v. People, 109 111. 302, 50
Am. Rep. 610.) Laws which interfere with the personal liberty o f the
citizen and his right to pursue such avocation or calling as he may
choose can not be constitutionally enacted, unless the public health,
com fort, safety, or welfare demands their enactment. (Ruhstrat v.
People, 185 111. 133, 57 N. E. 41, 49 L. R. A. 181, 76 Am. St. Rep.
30; Bailey v. People, 190 111. 28, 60 N. E. 98.) In Allgeyer v.
Louisiana, 165 U. S. 578, 17 Sup. Ct. 427, 41 L. Ed. 832, it was
said: “ The right to follow any or the common occupations o f life is
an inalienable right. It was formulated as such under the phrase
6pursuit o f happiness,’ in the Declaration o f Independence, which
commenced witn the fundamental proposition that 6all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit o f happi­
ness.’ This right is a large ingreaient in the civil liberty o f the citi­
zen.” It was also said in the latter case: “ The liberty o f pursuit,

E




844

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

the right to follow any o f the ordinary callings of life, is one o f the
privileges o f a citizen o f the United States.” Although the power and
discretion which the State legislature has in the matter o f promoting
the general welfare, and o f employing means to that end, are very
large, yet such power must be so exercised as not to impair the funda­
mental rights o f life, liberty, and property; and although the legisla­
ture may determine when the exigency exists for the exercise o f
the police power, }^et it is for the courts to determine what are
the subjects o f the exercise of this power. “ The general right o f
every person to pursue any calling, and to do so in his own way, pro­
vided that he does not encroach upon the rights o f others, can not be
taken away from him by legislative enactment.” (Ruhstrat v. People,
supra, and authorities there referred to.) It has also been held that
“ the right to choose one’s occupation is the right to be free from
unlawful interference or control in the conduct o f it.” (Id.; Black,
Const. Law, p. 412.)
An application o f the principles above referred to to the provisions
o f this act o f 1897 in relation to the business o f horseshoeing condemns
it as invalid law. It is impossible to conceive how the health, comfort,
safety, or welfare o f society is to be promoted by requiring a horseshoer to practice the business o f horseshoeing fo r four years, and sub­
mit to an examination by a board o f examiners, and pay a license fee
for the privilege o f exercising his calling.
The court then took up section 15 o f the act, which makes it optional
with cities having 10,000 but under 50,000 inhabitants as to whether
or not they shall come under the provisions o f the law. The city o f
Aurora is within this class. A fter quoting section 22 o f article 4 o f
the State constitution, which provides that “ the general assembly
shall not pass local or special laws * * * incorporating cities,
towns, or villages, or changing or amending the charter of any town,
city or village,” the court said:
The general incorporation act does not confer upon cities and vil­
lages the power to regulate the business o f horseshoeing. Therefore,
if the present act be construed as amending the general incorporation
act by permitting cities and villages to regulate the business o f horse­
shoeing, it is evidently a special law changing and amending the
charter o f the city o f Aurora. So far as the act can be said to change
or amend the charter o f any city or town, it creates a purely arbitrary
classification. There is no reasonable relation between the cities and
towns classified in section 15 and the purposes and objects to be
attained by the act in reference to horseshoeing. (Dupee v. Swigert,
127 111. 494.) But it is not clear that the act can be regarded as affect­
ing in any way the charters o f cities and towns. The terms o f the
sections o f the act which precede section 15 do not concern cities and
towns, but individuals. The legislature by the act does not delegate
the power to 'control horseshoeing to cities and towns, but directly
itself regulates the business o f horseshoeing. Cooley, Const. Lim.
(6th Ed.) p. 481, says: “ A statute would not be constitutional * * *
which should select particular individuals from a class or locality, and
subject them to peculiar rules, or impose upon them special obliga­
tions or burdens from which others in the same locality or class are
exempt.” In the case at bar, the act deals with one class o f workmen,



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

845

to wit, horseshoers. It grants to horseshoers living in cities and towns
containing a population less than 10,000, and in those containing a
population between 10,000 and 50,000, a special privilege, to wit, the
privilege o f being exempt, either entirely or conditionally, from the
obligation to take out licenses to pursue their business, while it
requires horseshoers living in cities and towns containing a population
of 50,000 or more to obtain such license. The manner in which, the
act discriminates in favor o f particular persons o f one class, pursuing
one occupation, and against all others o f the same class, places it in
opposition to the constitutional guaranties hereinbefore referred to.

E xemption of W ages— C onstitutionality of Statute—T itle of
A ct— Complaint—State ex rel. Qreen v. Power, Supreme Court o f
Nebraska, 88 Northwestern Reporter, page 769.— Meyer Green was
charged with a violation o f the provisions o f section 531c o f the code
o f civil procedure, which relates to exemptions o f 60 days’ wages o f
laborers, mechanics, and clerks who are heads o f families, and, after
preliminary examination, was bound over to appear at the next term
o f the district court. Failing to enter recognizance he was committed
to the county jail until the term should be held. Green applied fo r
and was denied a writ o f habeas corpus, and on writ o f error the peti­
tion came before the supreme court o f the State. The petition for the
writ was based on two claims: First, that the provisions o f the act
under which he was held were invalid, not being embraced within the
title o f the act o f which they form a part, and because there are two
subjects included in the act, both being repugnant to section 11, article
3, o f the constitution, which provides that “ no bill shall contain more
than one subject, and the same shall be clearly expressed in the title;”
the second claim was that the complaint on which he was held, failing
to aver that the defendant in the garnishment case was the head o f
a family, did not state any offense nor charge a crime.
The appeal resulted in an affirmation o f the constitutionality o f the
statute, but an allowance o f the writ because of the defect in the
complaint.
The follow ing syllabus prepared by the court is a succinct statement
o f the points o f law involved:
1. The purpose o f the constitutional provision that “ no bill shall
contain more than one subject, and the same shall be clearly expressed
in the title,” was intended to prevent surreptitious legislation, and
not to prohibit comprehensive titles. The test is not whether the title
chosen by the legislature is the most appropriate, but whether it fairly
indicates the scope and purpose o f the act. (State v. Bemis, 64 N. W .
348, 45 Neb. 724.)
2. A legislative enactment the title o f which is, “ An act to provide
for the better protection o f the earnings o f laborers, servants, and
other employees o f corporations, firms, or individuals engaged in inter­
state business,” comprehends legislation providing for the punishment



846

BULLETIN OE THE DEPARTMENT OB1 LABOR.

o f those who violate the provisions o f the act by doing the things
therein declared unlawful.
3.
A complaint drawn under the provisions o f section 531c o f the
code o f civil procedure is fatally defective, and charges no violation of
the law, if it fail to charge that the complainant is the head o f a famity,
and that the wages sought to be affected by the acts complained o f are
the wages exempt by law to laborers, etc., for not exceeding a period
o f 60 days.
P ayment of W ages— R ights of A ssignee— Chicago and Southeastern Raihmy Co. v. Olovei\ Supreme Court o f Indiana, 62 North­
eastern Reporteri page 11.— Robert J. G lover was owner by assignment
of a number o f time checks issued by the above-named company as
payment for labor performed for it by several persons. In the circuit
court o f Madison County Glover sued to recover judgment fo r said
time checks with interest, and for penalty and attornej^’s fees, under
sections 7056 and 7057, Burns’ Rev. St. 1901, which provide that, in
the absence o f a written contract to the contrary, “ every company,
corporation or association now existing, or hereafter organized and
doing business in this State,” shall make full payment of wages to its
employees at least once in every month.
“ I f any company, corporation or association shall neglect to make
such payment, such employee may demand the same of said company,
corporation or association, or any agent o f said company, corporation
or association, upon whom summons might be issued in a suit for such
wages, and if said company, corporation or association shall neglect
to pay the same for thirty days thereafter, said company, corporation
or association shall be liable to a penalty of one dollar for each suc­
ceeding day, to be collected by such employee in a suit (together with
reasonable attorney’s fees in said suit) for said wages withheld: Pro­
vided, That said penalty shall in no instance exceed twice the amount
due and withheld.”
Judgment was rendered for the plaintiff, whereupon the company
appealed, and secured a reversal o f the lower court’s decision.
From the remarks o f Judge Monks, who delivered the opinion o f
the court, the follow ing is quoted:
These sections [quoted above], being penal and in derogation o f the
common law, must be strictly construed; and no one can recover under
such a statute unless he, by averment or proof, brings himself clearly
within its terms. It was said by this court in Railroad Co. v. Keely’s
Adm ’r, 23 Ind. 133: “ As the right to sue is purely a statutory one,
and in derogation o f common law, the statute must be strictly con­
strued, and the case brought clearly within its provisions, to enable
the plaintiff to recover.” Section 7057, supra, gives the penalty on
the neglect to comply with the demand o f the employee fo r payment.
There is no provision o f said section giving a penalty when the demand
is made by an assignee o f the employee.
Judgment reversed, with instructions to grant a new trial.



DECISIONS OB' COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

847

DECISIONS UNDER COMMON L A W .
C ontract of E mployment— A ction for B reach— N ecessary
G rounds— Savannah, Florida and Western Railway Co. v. Wil­
lett, Supreme Court o f Florida , 31 Southern Reporter, page 246.—
William E. W illett sued the above-named company in the circuit
court o f Orange County to recover damages for alleged breach o f con­
tract. Damages were awarded, but on appeal to the supreme court
this judgment was reversed.
It appeared that W illett was a conductor on a railroad, and, desiring
to better his condition and to get better pay, he applied for a position
on the road o f the appellant company. Formal application was required
and made, stating the facts o f present employment and reasons for
desiring a change, and W illett was notified that he would be given
employment if he would report at once fo r duty. His resignation was
tendered his employers and he was released and reported for duty.
A route was assigned him and he was directed to familiarize himself
therewith. As he was proceeding to obey this instruction, he was
recalled by a telegram and was informed that he would not be employed
unless he furnished a release or recommendation from his former
employers.
In consequence o f this refusal by the company to carry out its
agreement, he was thrown out o f employment and had so remained
for 12 months, though diligently seeking employment, and for the loss
suffered he sued, claiming $1,500 damages.
Am ong the points raised by way o f demurrer b}^ the defendant com­
pany were the lack o f facts to authorize recovery, the failure to show
any specified term o f employment, and the failure to set forth times
o f payment for services rendered or to be rendered.
As to these points Judge Hocker, speaking for the court, said:
A declaration upon which a plaintiff founds his right o f recovery
must allege every fact that is essential to his right of action. (Tele­
graph Co. v. Maloney, 34 Fla. 338, 16 South. 280.) The declara­
tion, while alleging that plaintiff “ was agreed to be employed by the
proper officer o f the defendant corporation,” and that “ the defendant
informed the plaintiff
employment as conductor,” nowhere states th
. _ A oyment, nor are the facts
.
alleged sufficient to infer it. From the allegations in the declaration
it must be taken as an employment at will, terminable by either party.
No action can be maintained for the breach of a contract to employ
unless there is some stipulation as to the length of time for which the
employment shall continue.
E mployers ’ L iability — E ffect of N onsuit as to one of two
J oint T ort F easors— D uty of L ight I nspector— C ontributory
Negligence —Hart v. Allegheny County Light Co. et al., Supreme
Court o f Pennsylvania, 50 Atlantic Reporter, page 1010.—In this



848

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

case N. J. Hart sought to recover damages for an injury received
while acting as inspector for the above-named electric light company.
The injury was occasioned by Hart’s placing one hand on a telephone
wire while the other was in contact with an electric-light wire, from
which he received a heavy shock so that he fell from the pole on
which he was at the time. Action was brought in the court of common
pleas o f Allegheny County against the telephone company (whose wire
was on the light company’s pole) and the electric light company as joint
wrong-doers; but as the evidence failed to show any concert o f action
or any joint trespass by the defendants, a nonsuit was ordered against
the telephone company, and, on trial, judgment was entered against
the Allegheny County Light Company. From this judgment the com­
pany appealed and obtained a reversal.
Judge Potter, in announcing the opinion o f the court, used in part
the following language:
This action was brought against two defendants as joint tortfeasors.
The evidence failed to show any concert o f action, or any joint tres­
pass by the defendants, and under the principle o f W iest v. Traction
Co., 200 Pa. 148, 49 Atl. 891, a separate recovery should not have
been allowed against one defendant.
The point should, however,
have been brought to the attention o f the court at the trial.
But aside from this question, it clearly appears from the evidence
that the injury fo r whicn recovery is here sought was caused by the
act o f the plaintiff. The plaintiff was an inspector and had been em­
ployed as such by the electric light company for several years. The
special duty fo r which he was employed was to look after the lights at
night, and to see that the wires were clear, and to adjust any difficul­
ties that prevented the proper operation o f the lights. It is there­
fore apparent that the plaintiff, above all others, was the one whose
business it was to discover anything wrong with the wires. The
defendant company could only be apprised o f a difficulty with its
wires through the report o f the plaintiff, or some other inspector
employed fo r that purpose.
He [Hart] had been provided with rubber gloves for the express
urpose o f protecting himself against an injury o f this character. I f
e had made use o f these rubber gloves upon the night in question,
he would have been safe. The inference is unavoidable that, without
the contributory negligence o f the plaintiff, the accident could not
have occurred.

E

E mployers ’ L iability — N egligence — C ontributory N egligence
—D uty of C ourt of A ppeal —Layng v. Mt. Shasta Mineral Spring
Co., 67 Pacific Reporter, page Ifi.— Robert J. Layng sued the abovenamed company in the superior court for the city and county o f
San Francisco to recover damages fo r injuries received while in its
employ. Damages were awarded and an appeal taken, resulting in
the judgment o f the lower court being affirmed.
A t the time o f the injury Layng was engaged in repairing a gener­
ator for the defendant company. W hile engrossed with this 64most




DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

849

difficult and delicate piece o f w ork,” he knelt and extended one leg
under a wagon standing near so that it was a short distance in front
o f one o f the rear wheels o f the wagon. This wagon was used at
irregular intervals, and Layng knew that it was to be used some hours
later, and thought it would not be used until then. W hile Layng was
at work as above described, the driver loaded and hitched to the
wagon and drove off without looking to see if the way was clear, with
the result that Layng’s leg was crushed.
From the remarks o f Judge Garoutte, who delivered the opinion of
the court, the follow ing is quoted:
In the consideration o f the question as to the sufficiency of the evi­
dence, the interrogatory at once presents itself, was the defendant
guilty o f negligence, and, if so, was the plaintiff guilty o f contributory
negligence? In the discussion o f these questions it must be borne in
mind that they come to us upon appeal, and must be solved as matter
of law. Under these circumstances the evidence given at the trial will
be construed against defendant, and all contradictions in the testimony
will be resolved in favor o f the verdict o f the jury. Upon the appli­
cation o f this principle o f law to the facts, the court is satisfied that
the jury was justified in declaring defendant guilty o f negligence.
If the plaintiff may be charged with contributory negligence, it can
only be by reason o f his act in placing his leg in front o f the wheel.
Y et it may be said that the wagon was a dead wagon, in itself inani­
mate and immovable. I f the horses had been attached to the wagon,
the driver upon the seat, and plaintiff, knowing these facts, had placed
his leg in front o f the wheel, a different case would have been pre­
sented. Such a case would have been very similar to Studer v. South­
ern Pac. Co., 121 Cal. 400, 53 Pac. 942, 66 Am. St. Rep. 39; and even
in the present case, if the jury^ under these facts, had declared plain­
tiff guilty o f contributory negligence, this court would not have dis­
turbed the verdict. But, the jury having taken the opposite view,
and declared the plaintiff’s act did not constitute contributory negli­
gence, this court can not, as a matter o f law, say that the verdict is
not justified by the evidence.
It is urged that the court committed error in allowing evidence to
go to the jury as to the custom o f teamsters in looking to see if every­
thing was clear o f the wagon immediately prior to starting the team.
Regardless o f the custom, the law certainly enjoined the exercise of
some care anJvigilance upon the part o f the teamster before he started
the team. The negligence o f a fellow-servant can only be invoked
when it is set up as an affirmative defense to a right o f recovery.
Here it was not done.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment and order are affirmed.

E mployers ’ L iability — P artnership — D issolution by O rgani­
Corporation— Goodwin et al. v. Smith, Court o f Appeals
o f Kentucky, 66 Southwestern Reporter, page 179.— Henry Smith was
employed by Goodwin, Kimball, Mantle & Co. to quarry stone, and
while so employed was injured by the carelessness and negligence of
a foreman occasioning the explosion o f some dynamite. Suit was

zation of




850

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

brought in the circuit court o f Hart County to recover damages for
the injuries so received and from a verdict awarding damages the
defendants appealed.
The contention o f the defense was that on the 15th day o f May, 1900,
the day on which the accident occurred, the partnership previously
existing was changed to a corporation, and that therefore the plaintiff
was not in the employ of them personally or as a firm or partnership,
but o f a corporation of the same name as the firm in whose service
Smith had been employed previous to the date named.
The court of appeals affirmed the judgment o f the court below,
Judge W hite delivering its opinion. He used in part the following
language:
According to the proof, the most that can be said in favor o f the
corporate proposition is that the partners had determined to merge
the firm, with its assets and liabilities and the partners’ holdings, into
a corporation, with the same relative positions among themselves.
But it is not pretended that any knowledge or information o f this
change was actually given to appellee or to other employees. Under
the p roof the court would not be authorized to say as a matter o f law
that the appellee was employed by a corporation o f whose existence
he had not learned. There was no contract of employment entered
into on May 15,1900. The old contract simply continued, and appellee
went to work as usual. He had been engaged by the partnership, and
had neither been discharged or reemployed. Appellee was therefore
in the employ of the partnership, and not the corporation.

C ompanies— D uty of E m­
T hird P arties — C ontribu ­
tory N egligence — A ssumption of R isk — P roximate C ause— Choc­
E mployers ’

L iability — R ailroad

ployer — N egligence — Concurrence of

taw, Oklahoma and G ulf Railroad Company v. Holloway, United
States Circuit Court o f Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 11^ Federal Reporter,
page 1±58.— Judgment had been obtained by one Holloway, a locomotive
fireman, for injuries received while in the employment of the abovenamed company, and from this judgment the company appealed.
It appeared that the engine on which Holloway was at work was
being run backward in the early morning, while it was yet dark, and,
while crossing a trestle, struck a horse which had been caught fast
there. There was neither light nor lookout on the tender. When
the accident occurred, the brakes on the tender were immediately set,
and, there being no brakes on the engine, Holloway was caught
between the engine and tender and seriously injured. Holloway had
worked on this engine fo r about six hours when the accident occurred,
and declared that he did not know o f the absence o f brakes, and it was
on the ground that it was negligence on the part o f the company not
to provide the engine with brakes that he sought to recover damages.
Counsel for the company took exception to the charge o f the judge
in the trial court, and fo r errors alleged and instructions denied took



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

851

this appeal, which resulted in the judgment o f the trial court being
affirmed.
Judge Sanborn delivered the opinion o f the court, from whose
remarks the following extracts are taken:
Actionable negligence is a breach of duty. Where there is no breach
o f duty, there is no negligence, and there can be no recovery. It is
not the duty o f the master to furnish his servants with reasonably safe
appliances, machinery, tools, or working places, or to keep them in a
reasonably safe condition of repair. His failure to do so is not the
breach o f any duty, and it furnishes no basis for an action of negli­
gence. The limit o f his duty here is to exercise ordinary and reason­
able care, having regard to the hazards of* the service, to provide his
employees with reasonably safe appliances, machinery, tools, and
working places, and to exercise ordinary and reasonable care to keep
them in a reasonably safe condition o f repair. A servant may assume
that his master has discharged this duty, unless he knows, or by the
exercise o f reasonable care he would have known, that the duty had
not been discharged, and that there were defects in the machinery and
appliances with which, or in the place in which, he undertakes to work.
On the other hand, the servant assumes all the ordinary risks and dan­
gers o f the employment upon which he enters, so far as they are known
to him, and so far as they would have been known to a person o f ordi­
nary prudence and care by the exercise o f ordinary diligence. He is
not required to search for latent defects or hidden dangers, but it is
his duty to exercise reasonable diligence to observe and be cognizant
o f all obvious defects in the machinery and appliances with which he
is working; and he assumes the risks and dangers of all such defects
o f which he has knowledge, and o f which he would have had knowl­
edge by the exercise o f ordinary care and diligence. [Cases cited.]
The plaintiff in this case alleged that his injury was caused by the
failure o f the railroad company to provide the engine upon which he
was working as fireman with suitable brakes to arrest its motion when
occasion required. Upon the question whether or not the engine could
have been stopped after knowledge o f the presence of the horse in the
trestle in time to prevent the accident, the testimony was not so clear
that it was the duty o f the court to withdraw this issue from the jury.
Nor can it be properly said, as a matter o f law, that the absence o f
this brake was not the proximate cause o f the injury. It is undoubt­
edly true that one o f the proximate causes o f the accident was the neg­
ligence o f the party who permitted the horse to stray into the trestle.
But if the injury would not have been inflicted if there had been a
brake upon the engine, it can not be truthfully said that the absence
o f this brake was not another o f the proximate causes o f the damage,
inasmuch as the accident would not have happened if the brake had
been provided. If it be true, as the jury have found, that no injury
would have been inflicted upon the plaintiff if this engine had been
provided with a brake, it is no defense for the railroad company that
the concurring negligence o f the owner o f the horse contributed to the
infliction o f the injury. One is liable for an injury caused by the con­
curring negligence o f himself and a third party to the same extent as
for one caused entirely by his own negligenc e. It is no defense for a
wrongdoer that a third party shared the guilt of the same wrongful
8563— No. 41— 02----- 13



852

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

act, nor can he escape liability for the damages he has caused on the
ground that the wrongful act o f a third party contributed to the injury.
Nor does the absence o f brakes from this engine fall without the
legal definition o f the proximate cause o f the injury which the plaintiff
suffered. An injury that is the natural and probable consequence of
an act o f negligence is actionable, while one that could not have been
foreseen nor reasonably anticipated as the probable result of such an
act can not be made the basis o f an action fo r damages. From the
failure to provide this engine with proper brakes to arrest its motion,
the accident and injury which resulted, or others o f like character,
might well have been anticipated as probable consequences; and the
evidence in the record is ample to sustain the finding o f the jury that
the injury to the plaintiff was caused by that absence.
Another specification o f error is that the court refused to instruct
the jury that if the plaintiff was guilty o f negligence in riding on an
engine backing with the tender foremost in the dark, without a light
upon the forward end o f the tender, he could not recover. But there
was no error in this refusal. The plaintiff could not recover for the
negligence o f the company in running this engine backward in the
night without a light upon the forward end o f the tender, because
the plaintiff was aware o f this negligence, and assumed the risk o f it.
But he did not k n ov that the engine upon which he was riding was
not provided with brakes. The exercise o f ordinary care by the
defendant would have equipped it with these appliances. He had the
right to assume that the defendant had exercised this care. He did
undoubtedly indulge in that assumption. The jury have found that
the absence o f the brakes was not an obvious defect— not a defect
which a person of ordinary prudence, exercising reasonable care,
would have discovered under the circumstances or this case. A s he
was ignorant o f the absence o f the brakes, he did not assume the risk
o f that absence; and his assumption o f the risk o f riding upon an
engine and tender in the night with [out] a headlight upon its forward
end, was not an assumption o f the risk o f operating this engine with­
out brakes. His negligence regarding, or his assumption of, the
former risks, was neither such contributory negligence regarding, nor
such an assumption of, the latter risk, as bars him from a recovery for
the negligence o f the defendant producing it.
It is assigned as error that the court repeatedly instructed the jury
that it was the duty o f the company to furnish its servants with rea­
sonably safe machinery and a reasonably safe working place. This
instruction was a patent and unquestionable error. But in the case at
bar the record makes it clear beyond all doubt that this error did not
prejudice, and could not have prejudiced, the railroad company,
because no question concerning its duty or its negligence was left to
the jury to consider by the charge o f the court. The railroad company
conceded that there were no brakes upon the engine. The absence o f
brakes upon this road engine, in the absence o f any evidence excusing
it, was conclusive evidence, as a matter o f law, of the lack o f ordinary
care to provide reasonably safe machinery to operate this railroad.
The court clearly and positively instructed the jury to this effect.
This left the jury nothing to consider relative to the care or the negli­
gence o f the company and limited the issues they were to determine
to the questions whether or not the absence o f the brakes was the
proximate cause o f the injury, and whether or not the plaintiff knew,
or ought to have known, and hence assumed the risk, o f this absence.



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

853

As there was no question o f the care or negligence o f the company
submitted to the jury, it conclusively appears beyond all doubt that
the erroneous charge upon that subject could not have prejudiced the
defendant, and error without prejudice is no ground for reversal.

E mployers 5 L iability — R ailroad Companies— F ailure to O bey
R ules— C ontributory Negligence— D amages—San Antonio and
Aransas Pass Railway Company v. Connell, Court o f Cim l Appeals
o f Texas, 66 Southwestern Reporter, page
— Sam Connell was
employed as an engineer by the above-named company and was injured
by the collision o f the locomotive of which he had charge with a train
standing on the track at a water station. On suit in the district court
o f Bexar County, Connell was awarded damages in the amount of
$18,000, the injury resulting from the accident having made one leg
practically useless. Conflicting testimony was offered during the trial
as to whether the engineer had notice o f the clanger in due time to
avoid it, and as to whether he was running his train in accordance with
the rules promulgated by the company. The court o f appeals did not
review these points, accepting the finding o f the trial court. The
defense had asked fo r instructions to the jury to the effect that a failure
to obey rules promulgated by the railroad company was negligence
per se. This the court refused to do, submitting the question of neg­
ligence to the jury. From the judgment rendered the company
appealed. The court o f appeals remitted $2,000 o f the damages as
being in so far excessive.
As to the ruling on instructions the court below was sustained, as
shown by the following quotations from the remarks o f Judge Fly,
who delivered the opinion o f the court:
W e have not seen any case in which it was held that a court would
be justified in telling a jury that the infraction o f a rule formulated
by the master was negligence per se in the servant; and, on the other
hand, the converse o f the proposition has been time and again held
by the courts o f Texas. In the leading case o f Railway Co. v. M ur­
phy, 46 Tex. 357, 26 Am. Rep. 272, it is held except in cases where
the entire facts show negligence, or where a statute declares certain
acts negligence, it is error fo r a court to instruct a jury that a given
state o f facts constitutes negligence. In the case of Railroad Co. v.
Sweeney, 36 S. W . 800, this court said: 6 It is also contended that
6
the charge should not have left to the jury whether or not the viola­
tion o f the rules by the engineer was negligence, and, practically, that
the court should have instructed the jury that such an act was in itself
negligence. * * * W e can not give a rule the force of a statute
in this respect. It would place it within the power o f a master to
make that negligence which may not be negligence at all, by means of
rules.5
5
A violation o f a rule o f the master by the servant is a circumstance
which, taken in connection with the other circumstances of the case,
might, when the facts taken together lead irresistibly to the conclusion



854

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

that the servant had been injured through his own negligence, justify
a court in taking the case from a jury; but the violation o f a rule does
not justify a court in instructing a jury that such violation is negli­
gence per se. The rules o f railway companies have never been put
upon a parity with the laws o f the State, and no court has ever so
declared. W e have discussed this question at length, not because it is
an open one, but fo r the reason that it is so earnestly insisted in the
brief o f appellant that the court should have declared the infraction of
the rule by the employee negligence in itself.

E mployers ’ L iability —R ailroad C ompanies— F ailure to O bey
R ules— C ontributory N egligence — V olunteer — Green v. Brain -

erd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, Supreme Court o f
Minnesota, 88 Northwestern Reporter, page 97^.—This was an action
by Alice J. Green as administratrix o f the estate o f Louis M. Brown,
deceased, to recover damages fo r his death. Brown was a rear brakeman on a logging train and it was his duty, as he had been instructed,
always to ride on the rear o f his section, that he might both attend the
brakes and keep a lookout fo r any logs that might fall from the cars.
On the night o f the accident he had been riding on the footboard of
the engine until the main track was reached. He then stepped off and
was almost immediately crushed by a log falling upon him from one
o f the cars o f the train being hauled. The reason for his stepping off
at that place was not apparent. It was admitted that the log was not
properly placed on the car and that if Brown had been in the place
assigned him, it would not have caused him the injury. The plaintiff’s
counsel argued that, inasmuch as the section o f cars being operated at
the time o f the accident was equipped with air brakes, and as the
ground was so level as to do away with the danger o f falling logs
blockading the track, there was no necessity for his presence on the
rear car, and that he was justified in disregarding the rule on that
occasion.
The judgment o f the trial court, which was for the defendant com­
pany, being appealed from was affirmed by the supreme court.
Judge Collins, in delivering the opinion o f the court, spoke in parrt
as follows:
W e assume, fo r the purposes o f this appeal, that the negligence of
the defendant company was sufficient^ established; and this brings us
to inquire whether ferown’s disobedience o f orders and apparent
breach o f duty will prevent a recovery in this action. Was Brown
violating the order o f his superior unjustifiably, and was this viola­
tion the proximate cause o f his death? The right o f the employer to
promulgate rules, and the duty o f the employee to obey them are recip­
rocal. I f the right exists in the master, and is exercised by him,
public policy requires compliance therewith by the servant. It seems
to be well settled by the authorities— and there is no discord—
that it is the duty o f the employees o f a railroad company to implic­
itly obey all reasonable orders or rules, and a failure so to do



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

855

will defeat a recovery by an injured employee, if his disobedience was
the proximate cause o f his injury, unless obedience was impracticable
under the circumstances. There may be circumstances which will
excuse disregard o f orders or rules, but prima facie disobedience is
always negligence, and it is only in clear cases that it can be excused.
Obedience to all reasonable rules brought to the attention o f the
employee is part o f his contract o f employment. Such orders and
rules are promulgated and are to be enforced for the protection o f the
public, o f fellow-servants, and o f the employer’s property, and can not
be disregarded or annulled by employees with impunity. [Cases
cited.] In order to make a party liable in the capacity o f an employer
for injuries resulting from negligence, the plaintiff must affirmatively
rove that at the time o f the injuiy he was acting within the line of
is duty as an employee. I f the time when and the place where the
injury is received are not within the scope o f the contract o f employ­
ment, the relation o f master and servant can not be justly said to exist,
and no recovery can be had against a defendant in the character and
capacity o f a master or employer. When one employed to do a desig­
nated kind o f work, or to work at a particular place, voluntarily goes
to a place different from that assigned by the contract o f employment,
he can not successfully insist that he is within the protection o f the
rule that the master must exercise ordinary care to protect him against
injury. (Elliott, R. R. § 1303, and citations.) There is, o f course, in
cases o f this character, the presumption that the servant is acting
within the line o f his duty; but this presumption may be rebutted,
and we are o f the opinion that it was completely met and overthrown
in this case. Brown was not at a place where he could perform the
duty assigned to him by the conductor when he rode on the footboard,
or when he was struck by the falling log. B y his disobedience in rid­
ing upon the footboard, stepping therefrom, and standing beside the
moving cars, from which, by observation and experience, he knew
logs frequently fell while in transit, he assumed an unnecessary risk,
not in the line o f his duty, and was guilty o f contributory negligence.
Under such circumstances, the law forbids a recovery.

E

E mployees ’ L iability — Status of W orkman being T eanspoeted
E mployer to P lace of E mployment— A ssumption of R isk —
Bowles v. Indiana Railway Co., Appellate Court o f Indiana, 6%
Northeastern Reporter, page 94>-— Curtis N. Bowles was one o f a number
o f employees engaged by the Indiana Railway Co. to construct a
trolley wire line. The company furnished a team and wagon for the
transportation o f its workmen to and from their place o f employment,
which team “ was fractious, and what is called a runaway team,” but
was represented to be safe while handled by the expert driver who
had it in charge. On the 11th o f September, 1899, however, the
horses ran away while Bowles was riding, and he was thrown upon the
ground and suffered injury. He then sued in the circuit court o f Elk­
hart County to recover damages. Judgment was in favor o f the
defendant company, from which judgment Bowles appealed.
The opinion o f the appellate court, affirming the judgment o f the
by




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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

court below, was delivered by Chief Justice Black, who used in part
the following language:
In such a case it may be an important matter to determine whether
the status o f the person for whose injury the action is prosecuted was
that o f a passenger, being carried by the defendant either for hire or
gratuitously, or was that o f a servant o f the defendant. I f a passen­
ger, the defendant would be under obligation to exercise the highest
care, and would be liable fo r injury through slight negligence, and
the maxim respondeat superior would be applicable; but, if a servant,
the master would be under obligation to exercise only ordinary care,
and would be liable fo r injury through the want o f it, and, if the
injury accrued from one o f the ordinary risks o f the service, the haz­
ard o f which was assumed by the injured person as an employee, there
could be no recovery. In the case before us the conveyance o f the
plaintiff and his fellow-workmen by the employer was for the mutual
convenience o f the parties, no compensation being rendered or required.
The transportation o f the laborers was one o f the means by which the
employer procured the doing o f the work. It was connected with the
employment. The defendant was not carrying the plaintiff gratui­
tously for the mere accommodation o f the latter, without regard to the
relation between them created in their contract, but was doing so
because o f that relation, and as an incident o f the employment. The
general rule may be said to be that where an employee is being carried
by his employer, in the conveyance o f the latter, to and from the w ork
for which the form er is employed, he is regarded, not as a passenger,
but as an employee; though if he is being carried merely for his own
convenience, pleasure, or business, he is a passenger.
The complaint does not charge any act or omission o f the appellee
as negligent, or show that the injury was occasioned by the appellee’s
negligence. It is not charged that the appellee was negligent in the
selection o f the driver, or that the driver in any respect was incompe­
tent or negligent. Whatever might be the effect, as evidence, o f the
use o f such a team fo r such a purpose, it can not be said that a plead­
ing thus showing the use o f tne team in care o f a competent driver
charges negligence without so characterizing the use in the pleading.
Instead o f stating want o f knowledge o f the character o f the team on
the part o f the appellant, and thereby negativing the assumption by
him o f the hazard o f the danger, it is indicated that he haa known
the fault o f the team fo r two months, during which he had been rid­
ing to and from his work drawn by the same team. W here, the
danger being equally open and known to both the employee and the
employer, the form er has voluntarily continued in the service, making
no complaint, and the latter has made no promise concerning it, there
can be no recovery.
I njunction— P arties — A rmed C amps—Reinecke Coal Mining Com­
pany v . Wood et al., United States Circuit Court, Western District o f
Kentucky, 112 Federal Reporter, page 477.— A bill o f complaint was
exhibited by the above-named company, which was incorporated under
the laws o f Delaware, against W ood and others, members and officers o f
a labor organization known as the United Mine W orkers o f America,
with a prayer for an injunction to be operative during the suit. The



DECISIONS OE COtrkTS AEFEOTING lABOlt.

85?

facts are that mine workers in Indiana and Illinois having met and
adopted what was known as the Indianapolis scale, endeavored to secure
its adoption among the mine workers o f Kentucky. Certain operators
in the latter State were approached and agreed to adopt the scale if a cer­
tain percentage in the western Kentucky coal fields would do the same.
These last were not employers o f union labor, and in order to procure
the adherence o f the miners in their employ to the organization of
United Mine W orkers armed camps were established at different
points, and threats and violence were used to cause the workmen to join.
It appeared that mutual satisfaction had prevailed between operators
and workmen in the district entered upon prior to the coming of the
armed bands.
The granting o f the injunction was opposed by the defendants on
the ground that the acts complained o f had been directed against the
Reinecke Coal Company, predecessor to the present complainant, and
that therefore there was no ground for the complaint. A second
objection set forth that the complainant was barred by a judgment of
the State court in Hopkins County by which an injunction had been
denied.
On these two points Judge Evans handed down an opinion from
which the follow ing is quoted:
It is indeed quite true that the defendants should not be enjoined if
their acts were only directed against another person than the com­
plainant, and especially if the complainant is threatened with no
injurious results from the conduct o f the defendants. But the court
finds from the evidence submitted to it that, while the history o f the
transaction in the course o f which the troubles complained of arose
shows that the old company was the one aimed at, yet it also shows
that the results sought by the defendants can not be accomplished
without pursuing the same course towards the complainant; and the
court finds from the evidence that, up to the time o f the filing o f the
bill o f complaint and the issuance o f the restraining order in this case,
there was ho cessation o f the efforts o f the defendants to accomplish
their designs, and that these efforts were directed against the com­
plainant alter its purchase o f the mining property; and, further, that
the armed camp o f the defendants near complainants’ mines was main­
tained until the restraining order was served, after which the armed
persons composing that camp, in great numbers, moved upon a neigh­
boring coal mine in Webster County, and that that movement was
attended with deplorable results, which otherwise might have been
inflicted upon the complainant. This is sufficient to dispose o f the
defendants’ first objection.
A second objection made by the defendants is based upon the aver­
ment in the answer as amended to the effect, substantially, that the
complainant in an action in equity brought by it in the State court in
Hopkins County on the 8th day o f May, 1901, sought, but was refused,
an injunction by that court; it being claimed that the cause o f action
asserted in that case was the same as that asserted in the pending
action. This, it is contended, was a judgment against the right o f the
complainant, which bars the granting o f the injunction now prayed



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

for. This contention is entirety without legal force or merit, for sev­
eral distinct reasons, among which are: First, the fact that that suit,
as shown by the copy o f the record filed, was not brought by the com­
plainant at all, but was brought by the St. Bernard Coal Company, the
Reinecke Coal Company, and the Monarch Coal Company, jointly,
each o f which was an entity entirely different from the complainant;
second, the record shows that the defendants in that case were differ­
ent in most respects from the defendants in this case; third, the plain­
tiffs in the proceeding, so far as it was passed upon, sought a provi­
sional remedy only, under the Code o f Practice, against the defendants
in that suit, and the claim thereto was based upon grounds which differ
materially from those alleged in this suit; fourth, the order refusing
the temporary injunction in that case was not made as a final judgment
by the court, but the provisional remedy o f a temporary injunction was
refused by the judge, and no final judgment appears to have been
entered in the case on the merits; * * * and eighth, to be a bar,
there must have been a judgment, in the technical sense, and in a suit
to which the complainant was either a party, or to the judgment in
which he was privy.
The intrusion o f the defendants, so long as mere peaceful argument
and persuasion were used, was in no way violative o f the rights of the
complainant; but when that persuasion took the form o f the multi­
tudinous camp and the gun and the pistol and the armed force, it
>assed the bounds o f legal right, and entitled the complainant to its
awful remedies against it, quite as much, to say the least, as 6 picket­
6
ing,” or 6 besetting,” which are held to be a nuisance, and suppressible
6
as such. I f picketing may be so treated, then a fortiori the conduct
o f the defendants should be prohibited. I f this court can not, in a
case like this, protect the rights o f a citizen when assailed as those o f
complainant have been in this instance, there is a decrepitude in judi­
cial power which would be m ortifying to every thoughtful man. It is
conceived that there is no such impotency, and there should be no lack
o f promptness in exercising in the premises all the power the court
possesses. Quite true it may be that the exertion o f executive power
would be more desirable in cases like this, but that abstract proposi­
tion in no wise exempts the court from the duty o f protecting the
rights o f the litigant when a proper case is presented. It has not
been deemed useful to cite authorities in support o f principles so well
settled as those upon which the court must proceed in this case, but it
may be well to mention the cases o f In re Debs, 158 U. S. 564, 15 Sup.
Ct. 900, 39 L. Ed. 1092, and Quinn v. Leatham, [1901] App. Cas, 495,
as covering the whole ground.
The motion for an injunction pendente lite according to the prayer
o f the bill is sustained, and counsel will prepare and submit proper
orders to that effect.

{

M echanics’ L iens— D estruction of I mprovements—M isjoinder
M inors—Armijo et al. v. Mountain Electric Company, Supreme
Court o f Mew Mexico, 67 Pacific Reporter, page 726.— This was an
appeal from a judgment assessing the terms o f a mechanics’ lien,
rendered in the district court o f Bernalillo County. The supreme
court affirmed the judgment o f the court below, with modifications.
Two points o f interest appear in the amended and supplemental answer,
of




DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

859

as follows: The defendants, appellants in this action, state that at the
time the suit was brought they owned but one-half the land on which
the improvements were placed, the other half being the property o f
minors, so that in any case they were liable for but one.half the judg­
ment; and, secondly, that the improvements for which the lien was
granted had been destroyed by fire.
From the syllabus by the court the following sections are quoted as
presenting the opinion of the court on the above points:
3. If, after a mechanics’ lien is filed, the improvements situated on
the land are destroyed by fire, it does not avoid the lien, but the real
estate is still liable therefor.
4. When a mechanics’ lien is filed on real estate and improvements,
a part o f which is owned by minors, and the adult defendants complain
o f a misjoinder, and have the suit dismissed as to the minors, it does
not relieve the adult defendants from liability, but they are liable to
pay the entire debt, as they caused the dismissal to be made as to the
minors.
M unicipal C orporations— G overnmental F unctions— L iability
A cts of O fficers—Nicholson v. City o f Detroit, Supreme Court
o f Michigan, 88 Northwestern Reporter, page 695.— Ada Nicholson
sued in the circuit court o f Wayne County as administratrix of the
estate o f A lfred Cope, deceased, to recover from the city o f Detroit
damages for his death. Cope had been engaged by the board of health
o f Detroit to tear down a building, the property o f the city, which had
been used as a hospital for smallpox patients, and from his exposure
while so employed he contracted the disease and died. No measures
had been taken to disinfect the building, nor had Cope been warned o f
the danger o f infection.
From a judgment in favor o f the city the plaintiff appealed, the
appeal resulting in the judgment o f the lower court being affirmed.
The follow ing is quoted from the remarks of Judge Hooper, who
delivered the opinion o f the court:
for

It is the well settled rule that the State is not liable to private per­
sons who suffer injuries through the negligence o f its officers,— and
the rule extends to townships and cities,— while in the performance of
State functions, imposed upon them by law.
Counsel for the plaintiff seem to admit the general rule that a munic­
ipality is not liable for injuries received through the negligence o f
its officers while acting in the capacity o f governmental agents. They
allege, however, that the city owned the premises, and contracted with
the deceased, and owed the duty o f warning him against hidden dan­
gers; that the city is subject to the same responsibility to warn those
upon its land against pitfalls that other landowners are subject to; and
that the obligation under its contract fo r constructing a house upon its
land entitles its employees to a safe place to work, as a contract between
private persons does. There is some plausibility in the suggestion,
but we think it fallacious. In a moral sense, those acting for the State
owe the same duty toward persons employed upon its behalf as that



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BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

due from the citizen. They should also be as careful to provide safe
appliances and a safe place for employees, as a private person should.
But if they do not, the sufferer is remediless, as against the State, for
the reason that it has provided no remedy, although the State itself
own the land when tne injury occurred, and make the contract o f
employment.
A fter developing the above proposition further, and citing a num­
ber o f cases in support o f the position taken, the court continued:
The true theory is that the township or city represents the State, in
causing these things to be done, and, like the State, it enjoys immunity
from responsibility in case o f injury to individuals, leaving liability
for such injuries to rest upon the persons whoso misconduct or negli­
gence is the immediate cause o f the damage.

Seamen — I ncompetency— R ight

of

M aster

to

D ischarge—

Capillo v. Bristol Packmg Company, District Court, Northern District
o f California, 112 Federal Reporter, page J$9.— The libelant, Capillo,
contracted to serve as cook on a vessel for the round trip from San
Francisco to Bristol Bay, Alaska, and return. He was found not to
be a competent cook, and on reaching Alaska was discharged.
Suit being brought for unpaid wages, Judge De Haven announced
the libelant’s right to recover in the follow ing language:
“ When a mariner contracts for a particular service or duty on board
a vessel, he engages both for fidelity in the performance o f that duty,
and for that capacity and those qualities which will enable him to per­
form the service in a satisfactory manner. I f the master finds, upon
trial, that there is on the part o f the man either a want o f fidelity or
a want o f capacity which disqualifies him fo r the service, he will be
justified in putting him upon a different duty. And in such a case
the master will also be justified, not in refusing altogether to pay him
wages, but in making from them a reasonable deduction.” (Sherwood
v. McIntosh, W are, 109, Fed. Cas. No. 12, 778.) And in Curt. Merch.
Seam. p. 149, it is said: 4 Incompetency fo r the station contracted for
6
is not, however, by the general maritime law, a valid reason for a
discharge in a foreign country.”
The fact that the port where libelant was discharged was not in a
foreign country is not sufficient to render the rule 'just stated inap­
plicable to the present case.
The clause in the shipping articles giving to the master or agent o f
the defendant the right to discharge the libelant for a failure to prop­
erly perform the duties fo r which he shipped was not read or explained
to the libelant, and is not binding upon him. The defendant con­
tracted to pay the libelant the sum o f $50 per month fo r the round
trip, but, on account o f libelant’s inability to satisfactorily discharge
the duties fo r which he was employed, a deduction from the amount
agreed upon should be made. In my opinion, the libelant is entitled
to recover fo r the whole time for which he was shipped at the rate o f
$35 per month.
L et such decree be entered.



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

861

S eamen — W ages— Set -O ff of D amages Caused b t N eglect of
D uty—The Juneau— United States District Court, District o f Wash­
ington, Northern Division, 113 Federal Reporter, page Blip.— This was
a suit in admiralty brought by a master, mate, engineer, and fireman,
in sole charge o f a tug, to recover wages for services.
There was no dispute as to services or the nonpayment o f wages.
It appeared, however, that on a dark, stormy night the crew took the
tug into port and anchored, and devoted their attention to a game o f
cards, allowing steam to go down and the vessel to drag anchor until
it ran aground. Before they got up steam the receding tide left the
tug hard aground; the boat then listed and was submerged, remaining
so for several days. For damage incurred and expenses fo r towage
and repairs the owners demanded an off-set, claiming that these
expenses more than equaled the wages due.
The decision o f the court, as given by Judge Hanford, was as
follows:
In admiralty, justice is administered according to the principles o f
equity; and it is contrary to equity for the captain and crew intrusted
with the care o f a vessel, who by their culpable neglect o f duty have suf­
fered the vessel to be seriously damaged, so that by their employment
the owner has been damaged, and not benefited, to have a lien upon the
vessel fo r wages. Seamen may be subjected to deductions from their
wages fo r neglect o f their duty; and they are liable for losses o f prop­
erty occasioned by their negligence. [Cases cited.]
Case dismissed, with costs.

Substituted Contracts — C onsideration — D uress — A uthority
A gent —R elease of Claim for W ages— E ffect in A dmi­
ralty — A dmiralty J urisdiction —Demenico et al. v. Alaska Packers'
Association, United States District Court, Northern District o f Cali­
fornia, 11% Federal Reporter, page 551f.— This was a suit in admiralty to
recover a balance claimed fo r wages. The facts appear in the follow ­
ing quotations from the remarks o f Judge De Haven, before whom
the suit came:
of

This is a libel in personam, brought by a large number of persons
to recover each the sum o f $50, balance due fo r wages as fishermen
and seamen, upon a contract alleged to have been entered into between
them and the defendant corporation on M ay 22,1900, at Pyramid
Harbor, Alaska. The answer o f the defendant sets forth three defenses:
First, the defendant avers that the contract referred to in the libel is
without consideration; secondly, denies that it executed such contract;
and, fo r a third defense, it is alleged that the labor performed by the
libelants was done under a contract other and different from that sued
on, and that prior to the commencement o f this action each o f the
libelants was paid the full amount due him, and in consideration
thereof executed a release o f all claims and demands which he had
against the defendant.



862

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

It appears from the evidence that on March 26, 1900, the libelants
entered into a contract with the defendant whereby they were employed
to g o as seamen fo r a voyage between San Francisco and Pyramid
Harbor and return on board such vessel as might be designated by
defendant; and also to work for the defendant at Pyramid Harbor
during the season o f that year as fishermen, “ or in any other capacity; ”
the libelants undertaking to do 6 regular ship’s duty both up and down,
6
discharging and loading, and to do any other work whatsoever when
requested to do so by the captain or agent o f the Alaska Packers’
Association.” By the terms o f this agreement the defendant was to
pay each o f the libelants $50 for the season, and 2 cents for each red
salmon caught by him. On April 5, 1900, certain o f the libelants
signed shipping articles by which they shipped as seamen on the Two
Brothers, a vessel chartered by the deiendant for the voyage between
San Francisco and Pyramid Harbor, and also bound themselves to do
for defendant the same w ork they were to perform under the previous
contract; the defendants agreeing to pay each o f them $60 for the
season and 2 cents for each red salmon caught by him. Thereafter the
libelants entered into the employment o f the defendant, some under
the first and others under the second o f these contracts, and proceeded
on the Two Brothers from San Fran jisco to Pyramid Harbor, Alaska.
Shortly after their arrival at that place they became dissatisfied and
refused to further perform the services called for by such contracts,
unless defendant would enter into a new agreement with them, bind­
ing itself to pay to each o f the libelants fo r the same work the sum o f
$100 for the season, and, in addition thereto, the sum named in the
form er contracts for each red salmon caught. The defendant had
$150,000 invested in the business conducted by it at Pyramid Harbor,
and no other men could be engaged to take the places o f libelants
during that fishing season. Under these circumstances the superin­
tendent o f defendant yielded to what he deemed the unreasonable and
illegal demands o f libelants, and agreed in behalf o f the defendant cor­
poration to pay the additional sum demanded by them fo r the season’s
work. This contract was entered into May 22, 1900, and is the one
sued on. Upon their return to San Francisco, October 6, 1900, the
defendant, through its proper officer, informed libelants that the
contract o f May 22, 1900, was executed without authority from defend­
ant, and that it would not pay the increased compensation therein
provided fo r them. A fter this notice all o f the libelants, and some o f
them after consulting counsel, accepted under protest the amount of
wages stipulated for in the original agreement, and thereupon executed
a release o f all their claims and demands against the defendant.
1. It will be noticed that the principal subject o f the contract upon
the part o f the libelants was fo r the rendition o f services as fishermen
at Pyramid Harbor, and included work in the cannery on shore, in
preserving the fish caught by them, and also the labor o f placing the
fish on board the Two Brothers for transportation to San Francisco.
The contract is, however, maritime in its nature. The fact that, while
engaged in fishing at Pyramid Harbor, the libelants slept on shore,
and mended their nets and cared fo r the fish on shore, and that this
was contemplated by the contract, does not make it any the less a
maritime contract which a court o f admiralty has jurisdiction to enforce.
(The Minna (D. C.) 11 Fed. 759.)
2. The contention o f libelants that the nets provided them were rot­
ten and unserviceable is not sustained by the evidence. It follows



DECISIONS OF COURTS AFFECTING LABOR.

863

from this finding that libelants wer§ not justified in refusing perform­
ance o f their original contract. The defendant contends that, such
being the fact, the contract sued on is nudum pactum; and it is urged
in support o f this claim that the promise o f the defendant contained
therein was simply a promise to pay to the libelants additional com­
pensation for the precise work they were already under a legal obliga­
tion to perform by the terms o f the prior agreement. It is an
elementary principle o f law that after a contract for the rendition of
services or for the delivery o f property has been completely executed
by the party who agreed to do so, a promise made by the other to pay
more fo r such service or property than the sum fixed by the contract
performed would be without consideration. (Clark, Cont. p. 192.)
The promise in that case would be simply a promise to make a gift,
and could not be enforced. But when a contract remains wholly or
partly executory, and the party who has obligated himself to render
services or deliver property thereunder refuses performance unless
paid more than he would be entitled to receive by the terms of such
contract, whether in such case the agreement o f the other to pay the
increased price demanded in order to obtain precisely the same service
or property stipulated fo r in the original contract would be without
consideration is a question upon which the courts are not agreed. The
following cases may be cited as in principle holding that such agree­
ment would be without consideration. [Cases cited]. The doctrine of
these cases is expressed in the follow ing extract from the opinion of
the court in Vanderbilt v. Schreyer, 91 N. Y . 392: “ Pollock states the
rule as follows: That 4neither the promise to do a thing nor the actual
doing o f it will be a good consideration if it is a thing which the party
is bound to do by the general law, or by a subsisting contract with the
other party.’ (Pol. Cont. 161; Crosby v. W ood, 6 N. Y. 369; Deacon
v. Gridley, 15 C. B. 295.) ‘ Nor is’ the performance of that which the
party was under a previous, valid, legal obligation to do sufficient con­
sideration for a contract.’ (2 Pars. Cont. 437.)”
On the other hand, it has been held that when one who has bound
himself to render services or deliver property under an existing con­
tract refuses to do so unless paid more than the contract price, the
parties may enter into a new agreement by which an increased price
or compensation is to be paid for the same service or property, and
that in such case the subsequent performance of the contract by the
promisee is a sufficient consideration for the new agreement. [Cases
cited]. In my.opinion, the cases just cited state the true rule. Upon
principle it would seem that the parties to a contract have a perfect
right to change or add to its terms for any reason which seems adequate
to them, or they may entirely discharge such contract, and substitute
another in relation to the same subject matter; and there is no more
legal objection to a promise to pay more for future services contracted
for than to an agreement that services shall be other or different from
those named in the original contract, with a corresponding increase or
reduction in the price to be paid therefor. “ There need be no express
waiver o f the old contract or o f some o f its terms, to constitute a dis­
charge by substituted agreement. A new contract inconsistent with
the original impliedly discharges the latter without an express provi­
sion to that effect. ” (Clark, Cont. p. 611.) ‘ 4Such a substituted agree­
ment prima facie takes the place o f the original agreement as to
everything remaining unperformed.” (Rogers??. Rogers, 139 Mass.
440,1 N. E. 122.) In the case at bar, if the parties deemed it for their



864

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

mutual interest so to do, it was competent fo r them to enter into the
new contract sued on, and when they did this there was an implied
discharge o f the form er contract, and the new became the measure of
their rights, unless the consent o f the defendant thereto was obtained
by duress; and the facts appearing here do not show that the defendant
acted under duress in making that contract. (Goebel v. Linn, 47 Mich.
489, 11 N. W . 284, 41 Am. Rep. 723; Hackley v. Headley, 45 Mich.
569, 8 N. W . 511.) When the libelants refused to continue in the per­
formance o f the original agreement, they rendered themselves legally
liable fo r damages fo r their breach o f contract, and suit might have
been brought by the defendant to recover such damages. But this was
not the only right o f defendant. It had the right to enter into a new
contract with the libelants fo r the performance o f the same work, if,
upon consideration o f all the circumstances, that was deemed by it the
best course to pursue. The reason why the defendant did not choose
to rely upon the original agreement, and bring an action for the dam­
ages occasioned by its breach, may have been, and probably was,
because o f the inability o f the libelants to respond in damages. Under
such circumstances it would be strange indeed if the law would not
permit the defendant to waive the damages caused by the libelants’
breach, and enter into the contract sued upon.
3. The contract sued on is that o f the defendant. The defendant
obtained and still retains the benefit o f the services o f libelants under
such contract, and is therefore estopped from disputing the authority
o f Murray [the superintendent] to act fo r it in making the contract
under consideration.
4. The next question that arises is as to the effect o f the settlement
made by the defendant with libelants. I f this were an action at law,
this payment and release would, under the circumstances just stated,
operate as a satisfaction o f the claims set forth in the libel. (Croft, v.
Lumley, 5 El. & Bl. 648, 680; McDaniels v. Lapham, 21 Yt. 222;
Donohue v. W oodbury, 6 Cush. 148, 52 Am. Dec. 777.) And the
same result would follow if the contract sued on was governed by sec­
tion 4552 o f the Revised Statutes. (The Pennsylvania (D. C.) 98 Fed.
744.) But it is not. The contract, while it provides that libelants
shall render some services as seamen, is not, strictly speaking, such a
contract as is contemplated by section 4552 o f the Revised Statutes.
The effect o f the release must therefore be determined by the rule
applied in courts o f admiralty when a release is relied upon as a
defense to the action. That principle, broadly stated, is this: That
courts o f admiralty are not bound in the decision o f cases before them
by technical rules, but are governed by enlarged views o f equity and
justice; and as seamen are usually improvident, and often ignorant of
their rights, they are frequently tempted by their necessities to take
less than is due them. While, as before stated, the present is not,
strictly speaking, a suit for the recovery o f seamen’s wages, still there
is the same reason fo r looking behind the releases which are relied
upon by the defendant in this case as if the action were one fo r the
recovery o f seamen’s wages.
5. A decree will be entered in favor o f each of the libelants for the
sum o f $50, and interest thereon from date o f filing the libel until
decree is satisfied, and for costs.




LAW S OF VARIOUS STATES RELATING TO LABOR ENACTED SINCE
JANUARY 1, 1896.
[The Second SpeciaMReport of the Department contains all laws of the various States and Territories
and of the United States relating to labor in force January 1,1896. Later enactments are reproduced
in successive issues of the Bulletin from time to time as published.]

ARKANSAS.
ACTS OF 1901.
A ct 114.— W
eighing coal

at m
ines.

Section 1. Section 2 of said act entitled, An Act to prevent fraud in weighing and
measuring coal and requiring the same to be weighed or measured before screening
and for other purposes, approved April 10th, 1899, [shall] be amended so that said
section 2 shall read as follows:
A ll coal mined and paid for by weight, shall be weighed before it is screened,
unless the person or persons mining same shall by contract agree otherwise, and
shall be paid for according to the weight so ascertained, at such prices per ton or
bushel as may be agreed upon by such owner or operator and the miners who mined
the same: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent such
owner or operator from having the right to deduct the weight of any sulphur, slate,
rock or other impurities contained in the car and not discovered until after the car
has been weighed.
Sec. 2. A ll laws and parts of laws in conflict with this act, are hereby repealed and
this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Approved April 19, 1901.
A ct 161.— Payment of wages—Issue of scrip—Com
pany stores.
Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any corporation, company, firm, or person,
engaged in any trade, or business in this State, either directly or indirectly to issue,
sell, give or deliver to any person employed by such corporation, company, firm or
person, in payment of wages due such laborer, earned by him, any scrip, token,
draft, check or other evidence of indebtedness, payable or redeemable, otherwise
than in lawful money, at the regular pay day of such corporation, company, firm or
erson; and if any such scrip, token, draft, check or other evidence of indebtedness,
e so issued, sold, given or delivered to such laborer, it shall be construed, taken and
held in all courts and places to be a promise to pay the sum specified therein, in
lawful money, b y the corporation, company, firm or person, issuing, selling, giving
or delivering the same to the person named therein, or the holder thereof. And the
corporation, company, firm or person, so issuing, selling, giving, or delivering the
same shall, moreover, be guilty of a misdemeanor, ana upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25), and not more than one hun­
dred ($100) dollars. And at the discretion of the court trying the same, the officer
or agent of the corporation, company, firm or person, issuing, selling, giving o f deliv­
ering the same, may be imprisoned not less than ten, nor more than thirty days.
Sec. 2. If any corporation, company, firm or person, shall coerce or compel, or
attempt to coerce or compel, any employee in its, theirs [their] or his employment,
to purchase goods or supplies in payment of wages due him or earned by him, from
any corporation, company, firm or person, such first-named corporation, company,
firm or person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall
be punished as provided in the preceding section.
Sec. 3. If any such corporation, company, firm, or person, shall directly or indi­
rectly, sell to any such employee, in payment of wages, due or earned by him, goods
or supplies at prices higher than a reasonable or current market value thereof in
cash, such corporation, company, firm or person, shall be.liable to such employee,
in a civil action in double the amount of the charges, made and paid for such goods
865

E




866

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

and supplies, in excess of the reasonable or current value in cash thereof: Provided,
That the provisions of this act do not apply to coal mines, when less than twenty
(20) men are employed under the ground.
Sec. 4. A ll laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed, and
this act [shall] take effect and be in force sixty days after its passage.
Approved May 23, 1901.

COLORADO.
ACTS OF 1901.
C h apter 36.— Blacklisting and boycotting Repeal.
—
S ection 1. The act, and every part thereof, entitled “ An act to prevent blacklist­
ing and boycotting,” approved April 21, 1897, the same being chapter 31, of the
Session Laws of 1897 of the State of Colorado, is hereby repealed.
Approved March 30, 1901.
C h apter 55.—Payment of w
ages—Sem onthly pay day.
im
Section 1. All private corporations doing business within this State, except railroad
corporations, shall pay to their employees, the wages earned each and every fifteen
days, in lawful money of the United States, or checks on banks convertible into cash
on demand at full face value thereof, and all such wages shall be due and payable,
and shall be paid b y such corporations, on the fifth and twentieth day of each calen­
dar month for all such wages earned up to and within five days of the date of such
payment: Provided, how
ever, That if at such time of payment any employee shall be
absent from the regular place of labor, he shall be entitled to such payment at any
time thereafter: Provided, further, That each and every railroad corporation in this
State shall have at least one regular pay day in each and every month upon which
said pay day said railroad corporation shall pay to its employees all wages for serv­
ices and labor performed during the preceding calendar month, in lawful money of
the United States, or checks on banks convertible into cash on demand, at full face
value thereof: Provided, further, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to any
corporations exclusively operating ditches, canals or reservoirs.
S ec. 2. W henever any such corporation fails to pay any of its employees, as pro­
vided in section 1 of this act, then a penalty shall attach to such corporation, and
become due to such employees, as follows: A sum equivalent to a penally of five per
cent of the wages due and not paid as herein provided as liquidated damages, and
such penalty shall attach and suit may be brought in any court of competent jurisdic­
tion to recover same and the wages due.
S ec. 3. Whenever any employee is discharged from the employ of any such cor­
poration, then all the unpaid wages of such employee shall immediately become due
and payable, and if such corporation fails to pay any such discharged employee all
the wages due and payable to said discharged employee, then the same penalty of
five per cent shall attach to said corporation and become due to such employee as
provided in section 2 of this act.
Sec. 4. Any employee or assignee of any such employee may recover all such pen­
alties that may, by violation of section 2 of this act, have accrued to him, at any
time within six months succeeding such default, or delay, in the payment of such
wages.
Sec. 5. Any contract or agreement made between any corporation, and any parties
in its employ, whose provisions shall be in violation, evasion or circumvention of this
act, shall be unlawful and void, but such employee may sue to recover his wages
earned, together with such five per cent penalty, or separately to recover the penalty
if the wages have been paid.
Sec. 6. Whenever any such corporation shall contract any or all of its work to any
contractor, then it shall become the duty of any such corporation to provide that the
employees of any such corporation or contractor shall be paid according to the pro­
visions of this act, and such corporations shall become responsible, and liable to the
employees of such contractor in the same manner as if said employees were employed
by such corporation.
Sec. 7. Whenever it shall become necessary for the employees to enter or main­
tain a suit at law for the recovery or collection of wages due as provided by this act,
then such judgment shall include a reasonable attorney fee, in favor of the success­
ful party, to be taxed as part of the costs in the case.
Sec. 8. It is herein provided that all corporations hereinafter organized for pecuniary
profit, except railroad companies, shall be deemed to have incorporated with special




LABOR LAWS---- COLORADO---- ACTS OF 1901.

867

reference to the provisions of this act, and the obligation to comply with such and
every provision herein, shall be deemed to be the condition upon which incorpora­
tion is granted by the State.
A willful violation of any of the provisions herein, shall be sufficient ground or
cause for forfeiture of such corporate rights and privileges to be enforced by suit
brought in the name of the people of the State of Colorado upon relation of the
attorney-general of this State in any district court in Colorado.
S ec. 9. In the opinion of the general assembly an emergency exists; therefore, this
act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Approved April 10, 1901.
C hapter 67.— Employers'

liability.

Section 1. Every corporation, company or individual w ho may employ agents,
servants or em ploye. , such agents, servants or employees being in the exercise of
due care, shall be liable to respond in damages for injuries or death sustained by any
such agent, employee or servant, resulting from the carelessness, omission of duty or
negligence of such employer, or which may have resulted from the carelessness,
omission of duty or negligence of any other agent, servant or employee of the said
employer, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the carelessness, omission
of duty or negligence causing the injury or death was that of the employer.
Sec. 2. All acts, and parts of acts, in conflict herewith are hereby repealed: Pro­
vided, however, That this act shall not be construed to repeal or change the existing
laws relating to the right of the person injured, or in case of death, the right of the
husband or wife, or other relatives of a deceased person, to maintain an action against
the employer.
Approved March 28, 1901.
C h apter 89.— Hours of labor of railroad em
ployees.
Section 1. No company operating a railroad in whole or in part within this State,
shall permit or require any conductor, engineer, fireman, brakeman, telegraph oper­
ator, or any trainman who has worked in his respective capacity for sixteen (16) con­
secutive hours, except in case of casualty, to again go on duty or perform any work
until he has had at least ten (10) hours’ rest.
S ec. 2. Any company whicn violates, or permits to be violated, any of the provi­
sions of the preceding section or any officer, agent or employee who violates or per­
mits to be violated any of the provisions of the preceding section, shall be fined not
less than one hundred dollars, nor more than three hundred dollars, for each and
every violation of this act.
Sec. 3. All acts or parts of acts in conflict with this act, are hereby repealed.
Approved February 19, 1901.
C hapter 91.— W
eighing coal at ?n
irtes.
S ection 1. It shall be the duty of every corporation, company or persons engaged
in the business of mining and selling coal by weight or measure in this State to pro­
cure and constantly keep on hand, at the proper place, the necessary scales and meas­
ures and whatever else may be necessary to correctly weigh or measure the coal
mined and taken out by the workmen or miners of such corporation, company or
persons, and it shall be the duty of the inspector of weights and measures of every
county in which coal is mined and sold to visit each coal mine operated therein, and,
once in each year, unless oftener requested by the operator or the miner or the
miners, test the correctness of such scales and measures. If in any county there is
no inspector of weights and measures, then the State inspector of mines shall be
required to test the correctness of such scales or measures within a reasonable time
after application is made to him therefor by either the miners or owner or those who
may be operating the mine.
Sec. 2. Each car or other apparatus used by any such corporation, company or
person in removing coal from any coal mine shall be plainly marked by having "dis­
tinctly placed upon it a number which shall be kept thereon while sucn car or other
apparatus is in use and no two cars or other apparatus so used shall bear the same
number, and if the coal from such mine is mined and the miners are paid therefor
according to weight for mining the same, every such car so used shall be weighed
upon such tested scales and the weight of the coal thereof shall be correctly credited
to the person mining it and recorded in a book kept for that purpose and the correct
weight shall also be marked upon such car or apparatus before it is returned to the

8563— No. 41— 02------14



868

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

mine for reloading. If the coal of any such mine is mined and the miners thereof
are paid for the same by measure, the number of bushels of coal such car or other
apparatus will hold when loaded to its capacity shall also be plainly marked upon it
and kept thereon as long as such car is used, as aforesaid. W here coal is mined by
weight, or b y the ton, two thousand pounds shall constitute a ton, or where it is
measured by the bushel, eighty pounds shall constitute one bushel.
Sec. 3. A ll coal mined by the ton or by weight shall be weighed in the car or other
apparatus in which it is removed from the mine before it is screened or before it is
passed over or dumped upon any screen or any other device which may let or be
capable of letting a portion of the coal drop through such screen or device, and it
shall be paid for according to the weight so ascertained at such price per ton as may
be agreed upon by such owner or operators and the miner or miners who mine the
same. All coal mined and paid for by measure shall be paid for per car according to
the number of bushels marked upon the car or other apparatus in which it is removed
from the mine and without the coal thereof being screened or without it being passed
over or dumped upon a screen or any other device which will let any portion of the
coal fall through such screen or device.
Sec. 4. A failure to comply with any of the provisions of this act shall be unlaw­
ful and deemed a misdemeanor, and any person, owner or agent operating a coal
mine in this State, who shall be convicted of a violation of this act shall be fined for
the first offense not less than twenty-five dollars ($25), nor more than fifty dollars
($50) and for the second offense and each subsequent offense not less than one hun­
dred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200).
Sec. 5. In the opinion of the general assembly an emergency exists; therefore,
this act shall take effect upon and after its passage.
Approved April 30, 1901.
Chapter 99.—Convict labor.
Section 5. They [the board of control of State canal number 3] shall have the
further authority to call upon the board of penitentiary commissioners for the use of
as many able-bodied convicts, confined in the State penitentiary or State reformatory,
as can be worked on said canal to advantage; and it shall be the duty of the said
penitentiary commissioners to promptly select from the able-bodied convicts the
number required, none of whom shall be under life sentence, and transport said con­
victs to a general headquarters which said board of control shall establish for the
safe-keeping of said convicts; and said convicts under proper guard, shall be used in
the rock and tunnel work on said canal.
Approved April 11, 1901.
C hapter 103.—Protection of street railway em
ployees—Inclosedplatforms.
Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation owning
or operating any street railway or the cars thereupon, in this State, or for any officer
or agent thereof superintendihg or having charge or control of the line of railway or
the cars thereupon, whether the motive power of such car is electricity, steam, by
cable or otherwise, which require the constant service, or care or attention of any
person or persons on any part of such car, except the rear platform, to require or
permit such service, attention or care of any of its employees, or any other person or
persons, unless such person, partnership or corporation, or superintending officer
and managing agents thereof, first provide the said car with a proper and sufficient
inclosure constructed of wood, iron and glass, or similar suitable materials sufficient
to protect such employee or other person from exposure to the rain, snow, cold or
other inclemencies of the weather.
Sec. 2. Where there is a trailing car or cars being drawn by a head car upon which
the propelling or drawing power is situated and used and where no person is required
to remain constantly at one point either for the purpose of keeping the lookout or
for the purpose of operating any apparatus or machinery upon such trailing car or
cars; this act shall not be construed to apply to any car except the head one; nor
shall it be construed to mean that the inclosure for the motorman or for the employee
managing or operating any apparatus or machinery of a car at any point shall have
his view obstructed, but the said inclosure or vestibuling shall be constructed in a
manner so as to permit a front and side view from the position which it is necessary
for the person to occupy while he is in the performance of his duties.
Sec. 3. For each day that any car is permitted to be operated contrary to the pro­
visions of this act, it shall be deemed to be a separate offense, and any person, part­
nership or corporation, or the superintending officers or managing agents thereof
operating any such line of street railway or the cars thereupon, who shall violate
any of the provisions thereof, upon being convicted, in any court of competent juris-




LABOR LAWS---- COLORADO---- ACTS OF 1901.

869

diction, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined not less than
fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) or imprisonment in the
county jail not to exceed thirty (30) days for each and every offense.
Approved April 29, 1901.

H A W A II.
ACTS OF 1901.
A ct 9.— Exemptionfrom execution,

etc.

Section 1. The following described personal property shall be exempt from attach­
ment, execution, distress and forced sale of every nature and description:
Sec. 2. All necessary household, table and kitchen furniture, including one sewing
machine, crockery, tin and plated ware, calabashes and mats, family portraits and
photographs and their necessary frames, all wearing apparel, bedding, household
linen, and provisions provided for household use sufficient for three months.
Sec. 3. A ll farming implements and utensils not exceeding in value the sum of
five hundred dollars; also two oxen, two horses or mules, and their harness; food for
such oxen, horses or mules for one month; one cart, brake or wagon; and one horse,
one set of single harness and one vehicle belonging to any person who is maimed or
crippled.
Sec. 4. The tools or implements of a mechanic or artisan necessary to enable him
to carry on his trade; the instruments and chest of a surgeon, physician, surveyor
and dentist, necessary to the exercise of their profession, together with their neces­
sary office furniture and fixtures; the necessary office furniture, fixtures, blanks,
stationery and office equipment of attorneys, judges, ministers of the gospel, and
rabbis; tne typewriter, one desk and half a dozen chairs of a stenographer or type­
writer; the musical instruments of every teacher of music used by them in giving
instruction; one bicycle when the same is used by its owner for the purpose of carry­
ing on his regular business or when the same is used for the purpose o f transporting
the owner to and from his place of business; the fishing nets, dips and seines, and
the boats, with their tackle and equipment, of every fisherman.
Sec. 5. Two horses or two mules and their harness, one cart or wagon or stage, one
dray or truck, one coupe or hack or carriage for one or two horses, by the use of
which a cartman, drayman, truckster, huckster, peddler, hackman, teamster, or
other laborer actually earns his living; and one horse and harness and one vehicle
used by a physician, surgeon, or minister jof the gospel, in the practice or exercise
of his business or profession.
Sec. 6. The nautical instruments and wearing apparel of every master, officer and
seaman of any steamship or other vessel.
Sec. 7. A ll books, maps, pamphlets, magazines and manuscripts of every kind,
nature and description, together with the bookcases, shelving, cabinets or other
devices for holding the same: Provided, however, That this section shall not apply to
such of the articles herein specified as are kept for sale by any dealer therein.
Sec. 8. The wages of every laborer or person working for wages, such person
being the head of a family, to the amount of two hundred dollars, and every other
person to the amount of fifty dollars.
Sec. 9. The proceeds of insurance on, and the proceeds of the sale of, and of the
property in this act mentioned, for the period of three months from the date such
proceeds are received.
Sec. 10. No property mentioned in this act shall be exempt from attachment for,
nor from execution issued upon a judgment recovered for the purchase price
thereof, or upon a judgment of foreclosure of a mortgage thereon^ nor for taxes or
fines or any debt due the Territory of Hawaii.
Sec. 16. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Approved this 24th day of April, A. D. 1901.
A ct 17.— Protection of wages due laborers.
Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership or corporation,
within this Territory, to deduct and retain any part or portion of any wages due
and payable to any laborer or employee, or to collect any store account, offset or
counter claim without the written consent of such laborer or employee or by action
in court as provided by law.
Sec. 2. No fines, offsets or counter claims shall be collected, deducted, or retained
out of any wages due and payable to any laborer or employee by any person, firm,




BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

8 70

partnership or corporation, in this Territory, unless by action in court and judgment
therefor first obtained as provided by law.
Sec . 3. Any person, partnership, firm or corporation who shall violate any pro­
vision of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall
be fined not less than fifty dollars and not more than one hundred dollars.
Sec. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and
publication.
Became a law April 24, 1901, without the signature of the governor.

KANSAS.
ACTS OF 1901.

.

C h apter 180.—Railroad em
ployees— Voting.

S ection 1 It shall be lawful for any employee of any railroad company, being a
qualified elector of the State of Kansas, who may, on the occurrence of any annual
or biennial election, be unavoidably absent from his township or ward because his
duties or occupation or business require him to be elsewhere within the State, to
vote for county, district or State officers, members of the legislature, members of con­
gress and electors of President and Vice-President of the united States in any voting
precinct where he may present himself for that purpose on the day of such election,
under regulations hereinafter prescribed.
Sec. 2. The voter so entitled to vote shall present himself at the polls in any pre­
cinct in the State where he may be on such election day, and during voting Hours,
and make and subscribe, before one of the judges of election, an affidavit in substance
as follows:
State of K ansas,--------- County, ss.
I , ------------------- , do solemnly swear that I have resided in the State of Kansas more
than six months, and in the township o f --------- (or in t h e --------ward of the city of
-------—), in the county o f --------- , in said State, more than thirty days next preceding
this date, and am in all respects a duly qualified elector of sa id --------- ; that I am a
--------- , and that because o f m y duties (or occupation or business) as su ch --------- I
am required to be absent from m y township (or ward) on this day, and have had
and w ill have no opportunity to vote there; and that I have not voted elsewhere at
this election.
A ny judge of election in any precinct in the State is hereby authorized to admin­
ister the oath and take and certify such' affidavit. Thereupon the affiant shall be
given a blank official ballot, as in case of a resident voter, and shall mark the same
as any resident voter may, and shall fold the same and hand it to the judges, as in
case of a resident voter, but such ballot shall not be deposited in the ballot-box nor
be entered on the poll-books. It shall, together with said affidavit, be securely sealed
in an envelope, upon the back of which one of the judges shall write: “ The ballot of
--------- , an absent voter o f ----------township (or ward, or precinct of t h e ------- ward,
of the city o f --------- ), in the County o f ----------which shall be signed by one of said
judges.
Sec. 3. A ll such envelopes shall, by the judges of the election, be filed with the
county clerks of the county where such votes were cast not later than the next suc­
ceeding day, and said county clerks shall immediately mail them, postage prepaid,
to the county clerks of the respective counties where such votes belong.
S ec. 4. The county clerk of the county in which said absent voter resides shall
receive said ballot, and shall safely keep and preserve the same unopened in his
office until the board of county commissioners canvass the vote according to law, at
which time the said board of county commissioners, in the presence of said county
clerk and no other person, shall open said envelope and record the said ballot upon
the poll-sheet of the proper precinct or ward in their possession, in the same manner
as clerks of election record votes, and in so canvassing said vote the board of county
commissioners shall count the votes of all absent voters taken as herein provided,
and add the same to the total of the poll-sheet, in arriving at the total result of the
election in the precinct or ward where said voter lives.
Sec. 5. Said ballot, when so opened by the county commissioners, shall be sealed in
an envelope with the endorsement thereon: “ Vote of absent voter o f ------ w ard,---------city (or precinct),” and the same shall be kept in the county clerk’ s office as other
ballots are kept until destroyed according to law; and in case of a contested election
the same may be counted and opened as in other cases. The board of county com­
missioners and the county clerk of each county wherein any vote of any absent voter




LABOR LAWS— KANSAS---- ACTS OF 1901.

871

is received as herein provided shall keep the fact of such vote and the persons for
whom the same is recorded and contents thereof secret and shall not reveal or
divulge the same.
Approved March 22, 1901.
C h apter 185.—Free public em
ploym offices.
ent

.

Section 1 There is hereby created the free employment bureau of the State of
Kansas, for the purpose of providing free employment agencies in all cities of the
first and second class within the State: Provided, That any city of the second class
may, by resolution of the mayor and council, dispense with such free employment
agency, and shall notify the director to that effect. Said bureau shall be under the
supervision and direction of an officer designated as 4 director of free employment,”
4
who shall be appointed by the governor within ten days from the taking effect of this
act, and shall hold such office for the term of two years and until his successor is
appointed and qualified. Before entering upon the duties of the office, he shall take
and subscribe an oath as provided for other State officers.
Sec. 2. As soon as such director of free employment shall have been appointed
and qualified, it shall be his duty to prepare, prescribe, print, and transmit to the
city clerks of all cities of the first and second classes, directions, rules and regulations
for the opening, conduct and reports of free employment agencies in said cities, which
directions, rules and regulations said director may amend, add to or revise from time
to time. Said director shall also prepare all needful or proper forms to be used by
such agencies, and shall cause blanks and all blank books to be prepared by the
State printer, and shall forward supplies thereof to all such city clerks for use of such
agencies; all work authorized by this act to be done by the State printer, upon the
requisition of said director, subject to the approval of the State printing committee.
Sec. 3. W ithin thirty days after such directions, rules and regulations shall have
been received by any city clerk, the mayor and council shall com ply with the direc­
tions of said director as to the opening and preparing to maintain a free employment
agency and for the expense thereof; and if no such provisions be made, the duties
of free employment agent shall devolve upon the city clerk, wT shall perform the
ho
same, and his office shall be the free employment agency of said city.
S ec. 4. It shall be the duty of the free employment agent of every city to register,
as directed b y the directions of the director of tree employment, every person desir­
ing to employ any person and every person desiring employment; and it shall be
the strict legal right of every such person to so register and to enjoy all of the advan­
tages of such employment agency free from any charge or expense whatever.
Reports to the director of free employment shall be made by such agencies as often
and as to such matters as he may require. Every person shall be notified of employ­
ment open in the order of his or her registration for that employment by such agent
where registered. All other details shall be fixed by the director of free employment.
Sec. 5. The reports of such agencies shall be made to the director of free em ploy­
ment as he may require, and shall be tabulated and classified, and such persons as
have not secured employment or notice of employment where registered shall be
notified by the director where such employment may be had, as shown by the reports
made. The director shall embody in his "annual report such tabulations of the work
performed by such agencies in the State, with such recommendations as he may deem
proper for the information of the legislature.
Sec. 6. If any city clerk shall fail or refuse to carry out in good faith, in a reason­
ably fair and efficient manner, the duties devolved upon him by this act or by the direc­
tion, rules and regulations of the director of free employment, he shall forfeit his office
as such free employment officer, and be removed therefrom : Provided, Such removal
shall not affect the tenure of his office as to its other duties. Any agent provided
for and appointed by any city to conduct a free employment agency under this act
shall be removed b y the mayor at any time when requested in writing by ten or
more electors of said city, upon a showing being made that such agent refused or
failed to perform the duties as required by this act. In case of the removal or resig­
nation for any cause of the free employment agent in any city, the mayor of such
city shall immediately appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy.
Sec. 7. The director of free employment shall keep and maintain an office, and
the executive council is hereby directed to provide for said director a suitable room,
properly furnished for the use of said director.
Sec. 8. It shall be the further duty of the said director to secure and list, as far as
practicable, from the rural districts of the State, the number of extra laborers
required for the harvest season in each community, for the purpose of providing
labor for the harvest season to meet such demand, and to provide employment for
any idle labor seeking employment.




872

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Sec. 9. The director of free employment shall be paid a salary of twelve hundred
dollars per annum, to be paid as other State officers. The further sum of five hun­
dred dollars annually for postage and express is hereby allowed for the use of said
director in carrying out the provisions of this act.
Approved March 29, 1901.
Chapter 187.— Seatsfor female employees.
Section 1. The proprietor, manager or person having charge of any mercantile
establishment, store, shop, hotel, restaurant or other place w here women or girls are
employed as clerks or help therein in this State shall provide chairs, stools or other
contrivances for the comfortable use of such female employees, and shall permit the
use of same b y such female employees for the preservation of their health and for
rest when not actively employed in the discharge of their respective duties.
Sec. 2. Any proprietor, manager or other person violating the preceding section
of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall
be fined in a sum not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars.
Approved May 1, 1901.
Chapter 229.— W
agespreferred.
Section 1. Whenever a receiver shall be appointed of the estate of any corporation,
copartnership, or individual, under the laws of this State, or whenever any corpora­
tion, copartnership or individual shall make a general assignment for the benefit of
the creditors of such corporation, copartnership, or individual, the wages due to all
laborers or employees other than officers of such corporation, accruing within the
six months immediately preceding such appointment of a receiver or such assign­
ment, shall be preferred to every other debt or claim against such corporation,
copartnership, or individual, and shall be paid by the receiver or assignee of such
corporation, copartnership or individual from the moneys thereof which shall first
come into the hands of such receiver or assignee.
Approved May 1, 1901.
C hapter 256.— State association of m
iners—
Secretary of m
ining,

industries, etc.

Section 1. W henever seven or more miners whose usual occupation is to mine coal
for wages shall now be organized or shall hereafter organize as a miners’ union in
any county, city or mining camp in the State, and shall choose a delegate or dele­
gates to the State association of miners, as such union may be under this act entitled,
such delegate or delegates shall, being duly certified to the secretary of said State
association by the presiding officer ana secretary of such union, be admitted to and
become a member or members of the State association of miners until the first Mon­
day in February next following, and until the successor or successors of such
delegate or delegates shall have been chosen and admitted: Provided, That at any
time any such union may recall its delegate or any or all of its delegates by choosing
and certifying a successor or successors. Each union shall be entitled to one dele­
gate, and to one additional delegate for every fifty, or major fraction of fifty, mem­
bers of such union: Provided, Such union shall have been organized three months
preceding the then next annual meeting of said State association, and shall have cer­
tified said organization, by its presiding officer and secretary, to the secretary of said
State association three months preceding said annual meeting, and during the pre­
ceding year, or during such portion thereof as it shall have existed, shall have com­
plied with the requests of the secretary of said State association for statistics and
informations. Any union may, at its option, authorize a single delegate to cast all
the votes to which such union may be entitled, provided that no delegate shall cast
more than five votes.
Sec. 2. On the first Monday in February every year the delegates elected to said
State association of miners shall assemble at the State capitol, at an hour and place
to be fixed by the secretary in his annual call therefor, to be mailed to each union
at least ten days before such assembling. The delegates present at the time and
place fixed for said assembly shall be deemed a quorum, competent to transact all
business to be done. The delegates shall elect a president, vice-president, and secre­
tary, and said secretary shall be known officially as State secretary of mine indus­
tries, and shall be ex officio State mine inspector, and shall collect and publish sta­
tistics of mine industries of the State. Said officials shall constitute the executive
board of said association, and shall hold their offices until the next annual meeting
and the election of their successors; but upon the demand of the presiding officers
of five unions at any time, the president shall immediately convene the delegates by




LABOR LAWS— KANSAS---- ACTS OF 1901.

873

special call, issued in like manner as the annual call, for the purpose of electing a
successor to said secretary; and if at the said election another person shall receive a
majority of the votes cast, he shall immediately be entitled to succeed said secretary
in all his functions. One so elected may be removed in like manner.
Sec. 3. The officers of every union shall promptly and fully answer all requests for
statistics or other information which the State secretary of mine industries shall make.
Said secretary shall have a discretion to treat any information called for by him as
confidential, and to so state his request therefor; and no information so obtained shall
be subject to inspection by any person not an officer or delegate of the said State asso­
ciation. No union failing to answer requests for statistics or information shall be
entitled to representation in the then next annual meeting. The annual report of
said secretary of mine industries shall be published as the reports of other State
officers. H e shall receive a salary of fifteen hundred dollars per annum, payable as
other State salaries are paid, and not exceeding one thousand dollars for expenses.
By permission of the executive council, he may appoint one deputy mine inspector
in each of the following counties: Crawford, Cherokee, Osage, and Leavenworth:
Provided, No deputy mine inspector shall be appointed in the county in which the
State mine inspector resides. Said deputy mine inspectors shall be under the super­
vision and control of the State mine inspector, and hold their positions at his pleasure.
They shall each receive as compensation for their services three dollars per day for
each day actually employed, and actual necessary traveling expenses, account and
time to be audited by the secretary and certified to the State auditor for payment
monthly.
Approved February 15, 1901.
C h apter 257.—M regulations—
ine

Ventilation— Inspection.

Section 1. Every mine owner, agent, superintendent, lessee or operator of coal
mines or underground workings of the character mentioned in section 1 of this act
shall provide and maintain, for every mine under his direction, management, or
control, ample means of ventilation, providing a constant and adequate supply of
pure air to every person working in such mine. On and after October 1, 1901, as to
every mine already in operation, and from and after the expiration of six months
next after the opening of any new mine hereafter for operation, said air shall be split
into at least four separate currents, so as to give a full and separate current of air to
each quarter-section of the mine, and so as to supply to every person working in the
mine at his working place at least one hundred cubic feet of pure air per minute.
All openings to worked-out or abandoned portions of every operated mine shall be
securely gobbed and blocked off from the operated portions thereof, so as to protect
every person working in such mine from all danger that can be caused or produced
by such worked-out or abandoned portions of said mines. It shall not be lawful to
use a furnace for the purpose of ventilating any mine in which explosive gases are
germinated.
Sec. 2. If, in any coal mine or underground workings of the character mentioned
in section 1 of this act, or in any portion of such mine or workings, because of improper
or inadequate ventilation, the presence of stagnant water or noxious or explosive
gases, inadequate or improper air ways or air gates, or the use or presence, with the
knowledge, connivance or consent of the operator or person in charge of said mine, for
illuminating purposes, of oil other than lard or other equally safe first-class oil, lack of
adequate and lawful stairways, break-throughs, or manholes, or for any other reasons
within the power of the operator, owner, or lessee, by the exercise of ordinary care,
to remove or guard against, or cause to be removed or guarded against, be or becomes
injurious to the health or dangerous to the lives or limbs of persons working in such
mine or part of mine, the State mine inspector may maintain action in the name of
the State to enjoin the working of such mine or such part of such mine until the court
shall be satisfied by proper showing that said mine has been made and will be kept
safe for persons to work in or be present in without injury to health or danger to life
or limb. Fifteen days’ written notice of the application for such injunction shall be
served by the State mine inspector upon the agent, superintendent or other person in
active charge of said mine. Such application may be heard, and granted or denied,
at any place where the district judge may be or where the district court may be in
session within the judicial district in which said mine is situated, at the time fixed
in said notice; and if the district judge be absent from the district at the time fixed
in said notice for the hearing, said application may be heard, and granted or denied,
by the district judge of the judicial district wherever he may be found. If satisfied
that the danger alleged is imminent and that delay might endanger life or limb, the
judge or court may at any time during said period of fifteen days issue a restraining
order to prevent the working of said mine or such part of said mine in the meantime.




874

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

The injunction need not be served, but shall be in force from and after the order
allowing it against the defendants served with the original notice. If a restraining
order is granted, it shall be in force from and after notice thereof reaches the defendant
in the case, and such restraining order herein provided for shall be served on the
agent, superintendent or other person in active charge of said mine, and such service
shall bind the owner or owners, operator or operators, and lessee or lessees, as if per­
sonally served. No bond shall be required where such injunction is allowed. Any
person violating such injunction or restraining order shall be punished as for direct
contempt of the court issuing it b y a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor
more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less
than thirty days nor more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment,
in the discretion of the court or the judge thereof. It shall be and is hereby made
the duty of every county attorney and every deputy county attorney, on application
of the State mine inspector, to prosecute actions under this act, ana in that manner
to diligently enforce the provisions hereof. If any county attorney or deputy county
attorney shall refuse or fail to bring such action for an injunction for ten days after
written request by the State mine inspector, or shall neglect or fail to diligently
prosecute such action or any proceeding to enforce such an injunction or restraining
order, such county attorney shall forfeit his office for neglect of official duty; and
upon w ritten request by the State mine inspector, showing the facts as to such failure,
refusal, or neglect, it shall be the duty of the attorney-general to at once bring and
diligently prosecute quo warranto proceedings for the removal of such county attor­
ney. If the plaintiff in any action or proceedings brought under this act shall be
defeated, the county in which the mine is located shall pay the costs therein, but if
the plaintiff prevails in any such action or proceeding, the county attorney or deputy
county attorney who prosecutes such action or proceeding shall receive an attorney’s
fee of twenty dollars, to be taxed and collected as a part of the costs.
Approved March 8, 1901.

MONTANA.
ACTS OF 1901.
P age 24.— Hours of labor.
A rticle III, section 19, paragraph 5. Any person subject to the payment of road
poll tax in any district may, in lieu thereof, work on the roads in such district at the
rate of two dollars per day of eight hours, until he shall have worked out such poll
tax; * * * Eight hours labor, in the meaning of this act, shall be eight hours
actual labor upon the roads or highways, exclusive of the time consumed in going to
and from such labor.
Approved March 11, 1901.
P age 62.—Hours of labor.
Section 1. The period of employment of workingmen in all underground mines
or workings, shall be eight (8) hours per day, except in cases of emergency where
life or property is in imminent danger.
Sec. 2. The period of employment of workingmen in smelters, stamp mills,
sampling works, concentrators, and all other institutions for the reduction of ores,
and refining of ores or metals, shall be eight (8) hours per day, except in cases of
emergency where life or property is in imminent danger.
Sec. 3. Any person or persons, body corporate, agent, manager or employer who
shall violate any of the provisions of sections one (1) or two (2) of this act, shall be
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall, for each offense,
be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars, or more than five hundred
dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than one (1)
month, or more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Sec. 4. A ll acts, or parts of acts, in conflict with this act, are hereby repealed.
Sec. 5. This act shall not be in full force and effect until ninety days after its passage
and approval by the governor.
Approved February 2, 1901.
P age 63.— Inspection,

etc., of m
ines.

Section 1. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall
appoint one coal mine inspector who shall hold office for the term of four years from
the date of his appointment unless otherwise removed by the governor.




LABOR LAWS---- MONTANA---- ACTS OF 1901.

875

Sec. 2. N o person shall be eligible to the office of coal mine inspector until he shall
have attained the age of 30 years, and been actually employed at coal mining, ten
years prior to his appointment, and shall possess a competent knowledge of all the
different systems of coal mining and working and properly ventilating coal mines,
and the nature and constituent parts of noxious gases of coal mines, and of the
various ways of expelling the same from said mines. Said inspector shall be a
graduate o f some recognized school of mines and mining engineering, and hold a
diploma from same, which shall be deposited with the governor before appointed;
and further it shall be the duty of the said inspector, when not engaged in examining
coal mines, to inspect quartz mines if called upon by the governor to do so.
Sec. 3. Said coal mine inspector shall before entering upon and discharging the
duties of his office, shall [sic] take an oath to faithfully discharge the same in an
impartial manner; and for the faithful performance thereof; he shall receive a salary
of two thousand dollars per annum, and all other and necessary traveling expenses.
Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the said coal-mine inspector to carefully examine all
coal mines that may be in operation in this State at least once every two months and
oftener if necessary, to see that every precaution is taken to insure safety to all work­
men that may be engaged in said coal mine, and to see that provisions of section
3350, 3351, 3352, 3353, 3354, 3355, 3356, 3357, 3358, 3359, 3360, 3361, 3362, 3363, 3364,
and 3365, chapter 20, article 1, part 3, title 7, of the Political Code of Montana per­
taining to the regulation of coal mines are strictly observed; and all other legislation
that may be enacted governing coal mines, and it shall further be the duty of the
said coal mine inspector after being notified by a justice of the peace, or coroner, in
the district wherein accidents may occur to immediately investigate the same.
Sec. 5. The said coal mine inspector while in office shall not act as agent for any
corporation, superintendent or manager of any mine, and shall in no manner what­
ever be under the employ of mining companies, and it shall be the duty of said coal
mine inspector on or before the first day of January in every year to make a report
to the governor, of his proceedings as such coal mine inspector, and the conditions
of each' and every coal mine in the State, stating therein all accidents that may have
happened in or about said mine, and to set forth in said report all such information
that may be proper and beneficial and also to make such suggestion as he may deem
important as to any further legislation on the subject of coal mining.
Sec . 6. It is the duty of the inspector of coal mines to visit, enter and examine any
coal mine in the State for the purpose of ascertaining the conditions of the same in
regard to its safety, ventilation and means of egress, and for this purpose he must have
access at any and all times to any mine in the State for the purpose of inspection, but
the working of such mine must not be obstructed or impeded during sucn examina­
tion; the inspection must not be at the expense of the owner, lessor, lessee, or agent
of the mine being examined, but they must render such assistance as may be neces­
sary to enable the inspector to make the examination.
Sec. 7. This act shall be in force and effect from and after its passage and approval.
Approved March 18, 1901.
P age 65.—

W
eighing coal at m
ines.

Section 1. The weighman employed at any mine shall subscribe to an oath or

affirmation before a justice of the peace, or other officer authorized to administer
oaths, to do justice between employer and employee, and to truly and correctly
weigh the output of coal from the mines as herein provided. The miners employed
by or engaged in working for any mine owner, operator or lessee of any mine m this
State shall have the privilege, if they desire of employing at their own expense a
check weighman, who shall have like equal rights, powers and privileges in the
weighing of coal as the regular weighman, and be subject to the same oath and pen­
alties as the regular weighman. Said oath or affirmation shall be kept conspicuously
posted in the weigh office, and any weigher of coal or person so employed, who
shall knowingly violate any of the provisions of this article, or any owner, operator
or agent of any coal mine in this State who shall forbid or hinder miners employing
or using a check weighman as herein provided, or who shall prevent or willfully
obstruct any such check weighman in the discharge of his duty, shall be deemed
guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less
than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each offense, or by
imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than thirty days or more
than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, proceedings to be insti­
tuted in any court having competent jurisdiction. W henever the inspector of mines,
or deputy inspector of mines shall be satisfied that the provisions of this section have
been willfully violated, it shall be his duty to forthwith inform the prosecuting attor­
ney of any such violation, together with all the facts within his knowledge and the




876

BULLETIN 01? THE DEPAETMENT OF LABOE.

prosecuting attorney shall thereupon investigate the charges so preferred, and if he
be satisfied that the provisions of this section have been violated, it shall be his duty
to prosecute the person or persons guilty thereof.
Sec. 2. A ny person or persons having or using any scale or scales for the purpose
of weighing the output of coal at mines, so arranged or constructed that fraudulent
weighing may be done thereby, or who shall knowingly resort to or employ any
means whatsoever, by reason of which such coal is not correctly weighed and re­
ported in accordance with the provisions of this article, shall be deemed guilty of a
misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, for each such offense, be punished by a
fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by
imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed sixty days, or by both
such fine and imprisonment, proceedings to be instituted in any court of competent
jurisdiction.
Sec. 3. This act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and
approval.
Approved February 19, 1901.
P age 147.—Payment of wages.
Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, company, corporation or
trust, or the business manager or agent of any such person, firm, company, corpora­
tion or trust, to sell, give, deliver or in any way, directly or indirectly, to any per­
son employed by him, or it in payment of wages due or to become due, any script
[scrip], token, check, draft, order, credit, or any book of account or other evidence
of indebtedness payable to bearer or his assignees, except as hereinafter provided,
but such wages snail be paid only in lawful money of the United States, or by check
or draft drawn upon some bank in which such person, firm, company, corporation
or trust, or the agent or business manager of such person, firm, company, corpora­
tion or trust, has money upon deposit to cash the same, and no assignment of any
wages due, or to become due to any employee, shall be made to any person, firm,
company, corporation or trust, or the business manager or agent of any such person,
firm, company, corporation or trust, or to any one interested, directly or indirectly
in any firm, company, corporation or trust, employing said laborer. And any con­
tract to the contrary shall be void: Provided, how
ever, This shall not prevent ranch­
men, farmers, lumber camps, or mining camps from supplying their employees or
paying said employees in other than cash or check where there is no bank or other
store than that owned by said employers at which said employees maytpurchase sup­
plies, or cash their bankable checks received for their labor.
Sec. 2. Every person, company, corporation or trust, or agent or business mana­
ger of such person, firm, company, corporation or trust, who violates any of the
provisions of this act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof,
shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred ($100) dollars, or more than
five hundred ($500) dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail of not less than
one month, or more than six months, or by both such fine ana imprisonment.
Sec. 3. This act shall be in force immediately upon its passage and approval by
the governor.
Approved March 7, 1901.
P age 169.— Kidnaping.
Section 1. Section 380 of the Penal Code of the State of Montana shall be amended
so as to read as follows:
Section 380. Every person who willfully—
Seizes, confines, inveigles or kidnaps, another with intent to cause him, without
authority of law, to be secretly confined or imprisoned within this State, or to be
sent out of the State, or in any way held to service or kept or detained against his
or her will or against the will of his or her parent or guardian, whether such guardian
be natural or appointed, * * * is guilty of kidnaping and is punishable by
imprisonment in the State prison for not less than one year.
Sec. 2. A ll acts and parts of acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
Sec. 3. This act shall be in force and take effect from and after its passage and
approval by the governor.
Approved March 11, 1901.




LABOR LAWS---- NORTH DAKOTA---- ACTS Ol 1901.

877

NORTH DAKOTA.
ACTS OF 1901.
C h apter 30.— Licensing, examination,

etc., of barbers.

S ection 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to follow the occupation of barber
in this State unless he shall have first obtained a certificate of registration as pro­
vided in this act: Provided, how
ever, That nothing in this act contained shall apply
to or affect any person who is now actually engaged in such occupation, except as
hereinafter provided.
Sec. 2. A board of examiners to consist of three (3) persons is hereby created to
carry out the purposes and enforce the provisions of this act. Said board shall be
appointed by the governor, and each person appointed to act on said board must be
a practical barber, w ho has been practicing his profession in the State of North
Dakota for the past five (5) years.
Each member of the board shall serve for a term of two (2) years and until his
successor is appointed and qualified, except in the case of the first board, whose
members shall serve one (1), two (2) and three (3) years respectively, as specified
in their appointment.
Each member of said board shall give a bond of five thousand ($5,000) dollars
with sureties to be approved by the secretary of state, conditioned for the faithful
performance of his duties, and shall take the oath provided by law for public officers.
Vacancies on said board caused by death, resignation or expiration of the term of
any member thereof, shall be filled by appointment from the same class of persons
to which the deceased or retiring member belonged.
Sec. 3. Said board shall elect a president, secretary and treasurer, and shall have
its headquarters at the State capitol; shall have a common seal, and the secretary
and president shall have power to administer oaths.
Sec. 4. Each member of said board shall receive a compensation of three ($3) dol­
lars per day for actual service and ten (10) cents per mile for each mile actually
traveled in attending the meeting of said board, which compensation shall be paid
out of any moneys in the hands of the treasurer of said board: Provided, That the
said compensation and mileage shall in no event be paid out of the State treasury.
Sec. 5. Said board shall make a biennial report to the governor, which report
shall contain a full statement of its receipts, and disbursements of the board of the
preceding two (2) years; also a full statement of its doing and proceedings and such
recommendations as to it may seem proper looking to the better carrying out of the
intents and purposes of this act, which report shall not be printed except at the
expense of the fund herein provided for.
Any moneys in the hands of the treasurer of the said board at the time of making
such report shall be kept by him for the future maintenance of the board and to be
disbursed b y him upon warrants signed by the president and secretary of the said
board.
Sec. 6. Said board shall hold public examinations at least four (4) times in each
year in at least four (4) different cities in this State, at such times and places as it
may determine, notice of such meetings to be given by a publication thereof at least
ten (10) days before such meetings, in a newspaper published in the county where
such meeting is to be held.
Sec. 7. Every person now engaged in the occupation of barber in this State shall,
within ninety (90) days after the taking effect ot this act, file with the secretary of
said board an affidavit setting forth his name, residence and length of time during
which, and the place where he has practiced such occupation, and shall pay the
treasurer of said board two ($2) dollars and a certificate of registration entitling him
to practice said occupation shall thereupon be issued to him.
Sec. 8. Any person desiring to obtain a certificate of registration under this act
shall make application to said board therefor and shall pay to the treasurer of said
board an examination fee of five ($5) dollars, and shall present himself at the next
regular meeting of the board for the examination of applicants, whereupon said
board, shall proceed to examine such persons, under such rules and regulations as
may be by said board prescribed, which rules and regulations, shall require that
said applicant shall present to said board a certificate from some reputable physician
designated by said board to the effect that said applicant is free from any contagious
or infectious disease, and being satisfied that he is above the age of nineteen (19)
years, of good moral character, free from contagious or infectious diseases, has either
(a ) studied the trade for three years as an apprentice under a qualified and practicing




878

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

barber or (b ) studied the trade for at least three years in a properly appointed and
conducted barber school under the instructions of a competent barber, or (c) prac­
ticed the trade in another State for at least three (3) years, and is possessed of the
requisite skill in said trade to properly perform all the duties thereof, including his
ability in the preparation of tools, shaving, hair cutting, and all the duties and
services incident thereto, and is possessed of sufficient knowledge concerning the
common diseases of the face and skin to avoid the aggravation and spreading thereof
in the practice of said trade; his name shall be entered b y the board in the register
hereafter provided for, and a certificate of registration shall be issued to him, author­
izing him to practice said trade in this State: Provided, That whenever it appears
that applicant has acquired his knowledge of said trade in a barber school, the board
shall be judges of whether said barber school, is properly appointed and conducted
and competent to give sufficient training in such trade.
A ll persons making application for examination under the provisions of this act
shall be allow ed to practice the occupation of barbering until the next regular meet­
ing of said board. Certificates of registration provided for in this act, shall be valid
for one year from the date thereof, but shall be renewed by said board upon applica­
tion ..within thirty days after the expiration thereof and the payment of one dollar to
the treasurer of said board, which application shall be accompanied by a certificate
from a physician approved by said board, stating that said applicant is free from
contagious or infectious diseases.
Sec. 9. Nothing in this act shall prohibit any person from serving as an apprentice
in said trade under a barber authorized to practice the same under this act, nor from
serving as a student in any barber school for the teaching of such trade under the
instructions of a qualified barber: Provided, That in shops where there are twro or
more barbers there shall not be more than one apprentice to two barbers authorized
under this act to practice said occupation.
Sec. 10. Said board shall furnish to each person to whom a certificate of registra­
tion is issued a card or insignia bearing the seal of the board and a signature of its
president and secretary, certifying that the holder thereof is entitled to practice the
occupation of barber in this State, for a period of one year from the date thereof, and
it shall be the duty of the holder of such card or insignia to post the same in a con­
spicuous place in front of his working chair, where it may readily be seen by all per­
sons whom he may serve.
Sec. 11. Said board shall keep a register in which shall be entered names of all
persons to whom certificates are issued under this act, and said register shall be at
all times open to public inspection.
Sec. 12. Said board shall have power to revoke any certificate of registration granted
by it under this act, for (a) conviction of crime, (b) habitual drunkenness for six (6)
months, immediately preceding the time of receiving notice of a charge thereof duly
made, as hereinafter provided, (c ) gross incompetency, or (d ) contagious or infec­
tious diseases: Provided, That before any certificate shall be revoked the holder
thereof shall have notice in writing of the charge or charges against him, and shall
at a day specified in said notice, at least (5) five days after the service thereof, be
given a public hearing and full opportunity to produce testimony in his behalf and
to confront the witnesses against him. A ny persons whose certificate has been
so revoked may, after the expiration of ninety (90) days, apply to have the same
regranted and the same shall be regranted to him upon a satisfactory showing that
the disqualification has ceased.
Sec. 13. To shave or trim the beard or cut the hair of any person for hire or reward
received by the person performing such service, or any other person shall be con­
strued as practicing the occupation of barber within the meaning of this act.
Sec. 14. A ny person practicing the occupation of barber without having obtained
a certificate of registration, as provided b y this act, or willfully employing a barber
who has not such certificate, or falsely pretending to be qualified to practice such
occupation under this act, or violation of any of the provisions of this act, is guilty
of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less
than ten ($10) dollars or more than one hundred ($100) dollars, or by imprisonment
in the county jail not less than ten (10) days or more than ninety (90) days.
Approved March 2, 1901.
C hapter 76.— Exemption from executim,

etc.

Section 1. Sections 324, 328, and 333 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the State of
North Dakota, being sections 5518, 5522 and 5528 of the Revised Codes of 1895 of
the State of North Dakota, are hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 5518. In addition to the property mentioned in the preceding section, the
head of the family may, by himself or his agent, select from all other of his personal




LABOR LAWS---- NORTH DAKOTA---- ACTS OF 1901.

8 79

property, not absolutely exempt, goods, chattels, merchandise, money or other
personal property, not to exceed in the aggregate one thousand dollars in value,
which is also exempt and must be chosen and appraised as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 5522. The three appraisers so selected must take and subscribe an oath before
the sheriff or other officer, to be attached to the inventory of appraisement, that
they w ill truly, honestly and impartially appraise the property of the debtor. The
property must be appraised at the actual value of the several articles at the place
where they are situated as near as can be determined, and must be set down in an
inventory b y articles or by lots, when definitely descriptive, with the value opposite.
From the appraisement so made, if over the amount of one thousand dollars, the
debtor, his agent or attorney, may select the amount in value of one thousand dol­
lars, or the alternative in order of each class, leaving the remainder, if any, subject
to legal process.
Sec. 5528. A partnership firm can claim but one exemption of one thousand dol­
lars in value or alternative -property, when so applicable, instead thereof, out of the
partnership property. A ll partnership property claimed as exempt shall constitute
a part of the exemptions of the several partners, the same being divided in propor­
tion to the interests of the partners in the firm assets, and in no case shall the aggre­
gate exemptions of the several partners exceed the amount which would have been
allowed to them if the partnership had not existed.
Sec. 2. Provided, however, that the provisions of this act shall not apply to or affect
any debt contracted prior to the passage and approval of this act
Approved March 12, 1901.
C h apter 77.—Exemptionfrom execution
,
,

etc.

Section 1. Section 5526, Revised Codes, is hereby amended to read as follows: .
Section 5526. No personal property, except absolute exemptions, shall be exempt

from execution or attachment in an action for laborers’ or mechanics’ wages, or for a
debt incurred for property obtained under false pretenses; and no personal property
shall be exempt from such process in an action for the collection of the bills of a
legally practicing physician or nurse for professional service or medicine, or in an
action for the collection of a bill for board, medicine or attendance furnished patients
at any hospital in this State, except absolute exemptions and household and kitchen
furniture, stoves and two cows, the value of which, exclusive of absolute exemptions,
shall not exceed five hundred dollars, which value in case of dispute shall be determined
by appraisers to be selected in accordance with the provisions of section 5521.
Sec. 2. A ll acts or parts of acts in conflict w ith this act are hereby repealed.
Approved February 27, 1901.
C h apter 87.—Farm

laborers’ liens.

Section 1. Section 4827 of the Revised Codes of North Dakota [shall] be amended
so as to read as follows:
Section 4827. In order to acquire a lien, as specified in section 4826 of this chapter,
the person performing such services shall within thirty days after the services are
fully performed, file in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which any
of the real estate is situated, on which any crop is grown, on which a lien is claimed,
an affidavit and notice, setting forth the terms of the employment, the name of the
employer, the time when the services were commenced and when ended, the wages
agreed upon, if any, and if not agreed upon, then the reasonable value of the same,
the terms of payment, if any, and a description of the real estate on which any crop
is grown, or has been grown, or harvested, on which a lien is claimed, the amount paid
him, if any, and the amount remaining unpaid, and that said laborer claims a lien
for the same.
Sec. 2. W hereas, an em ergency exists that on ly ten days is prescribed wherein said
affidavit and notice can be filed, therefore this act shall take effect im m ediately after
its passage and approval.
Approved March 8, 1901.
C h apter 115.— Kidnaping.
Section 1. Section 7110, chapter 20, of the Revised Codes of 1899, defining kid­
naping and providing a penalty therefor, [shall] be amended so as to read as follows:
Section 7110. A person who willfully
1. Seizes, confines, inveigles or kidnaps another, with intent to cause him, without
authority of law, to be secretly confined or imprisoned within this State, or to be sent
out of this State, or in any way held to service or kept or detained against his will;




880

BULLETIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

3. * * * is guilty of kidnaping, and is punishable by imprisonment in the
penitentiary, not less than five (5) nor more than twenty (20) years.
All acts or parts of acts in conflict with this act are hereby repealed.
Sec . 2. Whereas, there being no law providing a penalty so severe as to sufficiently
discourage the violation of the law, an emergency exists, therefore this act*shall take
effect and be in force from and after its passage and approval.
Approved February 8,1901.
C h apter 198.—Twine and cordage plant at penitentiary—C
onvict labor.
Section 1. Section 8567 of the Revised Codes of 1899 [shall] be amended to read as

follows:
S ection 8567. The product of said twine and cordage plant shall be disposed of by
the board of trustees of said penitentiary, under regulations to be prescribed by them,
subject only to the following restrictions, viz: The board of trustees of said peniten­
tiary, at its regular meeting held in the month of February in each year, shall fix
prices at which the product of the plant shall be sold during that season, such prices
to be based on the cost of the product and the demand for it; prices for carload lots
may, in their discretion, be fixed at not more than one-half cent per pound under
prices for smaller lots; the product shall be sold only to those living in the State and
intending and agreeing to use it or sell it for use in the State; the price of the product
of the plant so established at the February meeting of the board of trustees shall con­
tinue to be the price for the season, unless it shall become evident to the board that
the price so established is such that it will prevent the sale of the product, or such
that the State will not receive a fair price, based on the market value of like product,
in which cases a change in price can be made at any regular meeting of said board
thereafter held.
Sec. 2. An emergency exists in that it is of great importance that this amendment
shall be in effect for the present season; therefore, this act shall be in force from and
after its passage and approval.
Approved February 2, 1901.




LEADING ARTICLES IN PAST NUMBERS OF THE BULLETIN,
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1. Private and public debt in the United States, by George K. Holmes.
Em ployer and employee under the common law, by V. H. Olmsted and S. D.
Fessenden.
2. The poor colonies of Holland, by J. Howard Gore, Ph. D.
The industrial revolution in Japan, by William Eleroy Curtis.
Notes concerning the money of the U. S. and other countries, by W . C. Hunt.
The wealth and the receipts and expenses of the U. S., by W. M. Steuart.
3. Industrial communities: Coal Mining Co. of Anzin, by W . F. Willoughby.
4. Industrial communities: Coal Mining Co. of Blanzy, by W. F. Willoughby.
The sweating system, by Henry White.
5. Convict labor.
Industrial communities: Krupp Iron and Steel Works, by W . F. W illoughby.
6. Industrial communities: Familist&re Society of Guise, by W. F. Willoughby.
Cooperative distribution, by Edward W . Bemis, Ph. D.
7. Industrial communities: Various communities, by W . F. W illoughby.
Rates of wages paid under public and private contract, by Ethelbert Stewart.
8. Conciliation and arbitration in the boot and shoe industry, by T. A. Carroll.
Railway relief departments, by Emory R. Johnson, Ph. D.
9. The padrone system and padrone banks, by John Koren.
The Dutch Society for General Welfare, by J. Howard Gore, Ph. D.
10. Condition of the Negro in various cities.
Building and loan associations.
11. Workers at gainful occupations at censuses of 1870, 1880, and 1890, by W. C.
Hunt.
Public baths in Europe, by Edward Mussey Hartwell, Ph. D., M. D.
12. The inspection of factories and workshops in the U. S., by W . F. Willoughby.
Mutual rights and duties of parents and children, guardianship, etc., under
the law, by F. J. Stimson.
The municipal or cooperative restaurant of Grenoble, France, by C. O. Ward.
13. The anthracite mine laborers, by G. O. Virtue, Ph. D.
14. The Negroes of Farmville, V a .: A social study, by W . E. B. Du Bois, Ph. D.
Incomes, wages, and rents in Montreal, by Herbert Brown Ames, B. A.
15. Boarding homes and clubs for working women, by Mary S. Fergusson.
The trade-union label, by John Graham Brooks.
16. Alaskan gold fields and opportunities for capital and labor, by S. C. Dunham.
17. Brotherhood relief and insurance of railway employees, by E. R. Johnson,
Ph. D.
The nations of Antwerp, by J. Howard Gore, Ph. D.
18. Wages in the United States and Europe, 1870 to 1898.
19. Alaskan gold fields and opportunities tor capital and labor, by S. C. Dunham.
Mutual relief and benefit associations in the printing trade, by W . S. Waudby.
20. Condition of railway labor in Europe, by Walter E. W eyl, Ph. D.
21. Pawnbroking in Europe and the United States, by W . R. Patterson, Ph. D.
22. Benefit features of American trade unions, by Edward W . Bemis, Ph. D.
The Negro in the black belt: Some social sketches, by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ph. D.
Wages in Lyon, France, 1870 to 1896.
23. Attitude of women’ s clubs, etc., toward social economics, 4>y Ellen M. Henrotin.
The production of paper and pulp in the U. S. from Jan. 1 to June 30,1898.
24. Statistics of cities.
25. Foreign labor laws: Great Britain and France, by W. F. Willoughby.
26. Protection of workmen in their employment, by Stephen D. Fessenden.
Foreign labor laws: Belgium and Switzerland, by W. F. Willoughby.
27. Wholesale prices: 1890 to 1899, by Roland P. Falkner, Ph. D.
Foreign labor laws: Germany, by W . F. W illoughby.




No. 28. Voluntary conciliation and arbitration in Great Britain, by J. B. McPherson.
System of adjusting wages, etc., in certain rolling mills, by J. H. Nutt.
Foreign labor laws: Austria, by W. F. W illoughby.
No. 29. Trusts and industrial combinations, by J. W . Jenks, Ph. D.
The Yukon and Nome gold regions, by S. C. Dunham.
Labor Day, by Miss M. C. de Graffenried.
No. 30. Trend of wages from 1891 to 1900.
Statistics of cities.
Foreign labor laws: Various European countries, b y W . F. Willoughby.
No. 31. Betterment of industrial conditions, by V. H. Olmsted.
Present status of employers’ liability in the U. S., by S. D. Fessenden.
Condition of railway labor in Italy, by Dr. Luigi Einaudi.
No. 32. Accidents to labor as regulated by law in the U. S., by W . F. W illoughby.
Prices of commodities and rates of wages in Manila.
The Negroes of Sandy Springs, M d .: A social study, by W . T. Thom. Ph. D.
The British workmen’s compensation act and its operation, by A. M. Low.
No. 33. Foreign labor laws: Australasia and Canada, by W . F. W illoughby.
The British conspiracy and protection of property act and its operation, by
A. M. Low.
No. 34. Labor conditions in Porto Rico, by Azel Ames, M. D.
Social economics at the Paris Exposition, b y Prof. N. P. Gilman.
The workmen’ s compensation act of Holland.
No. 35. Cooperative communities in the United States, by Rev. Alexander Kent.
The Negro landholder of Georgia, by W . E. B. Du Bois, Ph. D.
No. 36. Statistics of cities.
Statistics of Honolulu, H. I.
No. 37. Railway employees in the United States, by Samuel McCune Lindsay, Ph. D.
The Negroes of Litwalton, V a.: A social study of the “ Oyster Negro,” by
William Taylor Thom, Ph. D.
No. 38. Labor conditions in Mexico, by Walter E. W eyl, Ph. D.
The Negroes of Cinclare Central Factory and Calumet Plantation, La., by
J. Bradford Laws.
No. 39. Course of wholesale prices, 1890 to 1901.
No. 40. Present condition of the hand-working and domestic industries of Germany,
by Henry J. Harris, Ph. D.
Workmen’s compensation acts of foreign countries, by Adna F. Weber.





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