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THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII
IN 1947
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO

WAGES, WORKING CONDITIONS, AND
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
BY

JAMES H. SHOEMAKER

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
B u r e a u o p L a bo r S t a t ist ic s
W a sh in g t o n , D. C.

DECEMBER 1947

75798




UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1948

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 151, 80TH CONGRESS,
2D SESSION
Resolved by the House of Representatives {the Senate concurring), That
the letter of the Secretary of Labor, transmitted to the House and
referred to the Committee on Public Lands on February 4, 1948,
together with the report on The Economy of Hawaii in 1947, with
special reference to wages, working conditions, and industrial relations,
which was prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics pursuant to
the Organic Act of the Territory of Hawaii in 1900, as amended April
8, 1904, be printed as a document, and that 2,000 additional copies
be printed, of which 1,500 shall be for the use of the House of Repre­
sentatives and 500 copies shall be for the use of the Senate.
H




LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
D epartment of L abor ,
O ffice of the S ecretary ,

Washington, January 29, 1948.
The Honorable Joseph W. M artin , Jr.,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington 25, D. C.
D ear M r . S pea ke r : I have the honor to transmit herewith to the
Congress of the United States a report on the Economy of Hawaii in
1947, with special reference to wages, working conditions, and
industrial relations. This report was prepared by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics under a special appropriation of the Seventy-ninth
Congress, second session. It is one of a series of such reports which
were called for in the organic law of the Territory of Hawaii in 1900,
as amended April 8, 1904. The last report in this series was prepared
in 1939.
This report, prepared under the direction of Ewan Clague, Commis­
sioner of Labor Statistics, by James H. Shoemaker, with the assist­
ance of Toivo P. Kanninen, describes the present economy of the
islands and the effect of the war on their development with particular
reference to labor conditions. It is of particular interest at this time
when statehood for the islands is under consideration.
Yours very truly,
L. B. ScHWELLENBACH,
Secretary of Labor.
m







CONTENTS
Preface____ _____
P art I. The E conomy of H awaii
Chapter 1. The nature of the island economy_________________________
Chapter 2. The economic effects of the war----------------------------------------P art II. The Sugar I ndustry
Chapter 3. Organization of the industry_______________________________
The relative position of the.Hawaiian sugar industry_______________
The “factors” and the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association----------The organization of a typical plantation_________________ _________
Chapter 4. Sugar production------------------------------------------------------------Methods of production_______________________________
Effect of the war on plantation production and policies_____________
Chapter 5. Unionization_____________________________________________
Chapter 6. Wages and working conditions_____________________________
Wage structure in 1947__________________________________________
Leave policy—vacation and sick leave-----------------------------------------Seasonality and employment trends_______________________________
Earnings of long-term cultivators_________________________________
The adherent-planter system------------------------------------------------------Chapter 7. The labor market and the economics of the Hawaiian sugar
industry_________________
P art III. T he P ineapple I ndustry
Chapter 8. The development and organization of the industry--------------Development of the pineapple industry___________________________
Organization of the pineapple industry------------------------ ---------------Chapter 9. Production in the pineapple industry______________________
Operations on pineapple plantations______________________________
Operations in the canneries______________________________________
Chapter 10. Unionization____________ _____________________________—
Chapter 11. Earnings________________________________________________
The plantation wage structure in 1947_________________ ___________
Earnings of cannery workers in 1947______________________________
P art IV. N onplantation A griculture
Chapter 12. Production and working conditions on nonplantation land__
Farming____________
The coffee industry__________________
Ranching_______________________________________________________
Dairying_______________________________________________________
Hog raising____________________
Poultry and egg production_____________________
P art V. T ourist T rade
Chapter 13. Tourist trade..............
v




Page

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34
35
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68
75
75
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78
78
80
83
87
87
91
101
101
104
106
108
110
110
113

VI

CONTENTS

P art VI. S ubsidiary Industries
Pago
Chapter 14. Building construction_________________________
119
Chapter 15. Public utilities and transportation______________
125
Public utilities------- ------- ------------------------------------------125
Trucking____________________________________________
127
Stevedoring....................................................................................
130
Chapter 16. Manufactures________________________________
134
Miscellaneous manufacturing--------------------------------------134
Apparel manufacturing and custom tailoring___ ________
136
Bakeries_____________________________________________
140
Printing_____________________________________________
142
Chapter 17. Trade________________________________________
147
Wholesale trade______________________________________
147
General merchandise and apparel stores________________
150
Retail food stores____________________________________
153
Eating and drinking establishments____________________
156
Automotive sales and service__________________________
157
Chapter 18. Service industries----------------------------- 1______
161
Laundries and dry cleaners____________________________
161
Beauty parlors_______________________________________
165
Domestic service_______________ _________ ____________
165
Motion-picture theaters_______________________________
166
Chapter 19. Office workers________________________________
168
Chapter 20. Women in industry—Handicrafts and home work.
171
P art VII. Labor-M anagement R elations: T he R ecent E xpansion
of Labor Organization
Chapter 21. The organization of management_________________________ 177
Chapter 22. The organization of labor________________________________ 180
Chapter 23. The postwar growth of the labor unions___________________ 184
P art VIII. Labor Law and its E nforcement
Chapter 24. The Territorial department of labor and industrial relations._ 191
Chapter 25. Child labor_____________________________________________ 194
Chapter 26. The regulation of small loan companies and the growth of
credit unions_____________________________________________________ 198
P art IX. W orking Conditions and E mployment Opportunities in
| the T erritory as a Whole
Chapter 27. Standards of living______________________________________ 203
Living costs____________________________________________________ 204
Diet and health_________________________________________________ 207
Chapter 28. Employment trends and new occupational opportunities___ 210
TABLES
Population of Hawaii______________________________________
Table 1.
6
Table 2. Population by racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii________
7
7
Table 3. Births by racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii, 1943-45_____
Table 4. Deaths by racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii, 1943-45___
8
Table 5. Geographic characteristics of the Territory of Hawaii, by
islands__________________________________________________
9
Table 6. Population of principal islands and island groups, Territory of
Hawaii, 1940, 1945, and 1947_____________________________
9
15
Table 7. Army employment of civilian workers, 1943-47______________
Table 8. Army expenditures in Territory of Hawaii, 1944-46 (excluding
pay rolls)_______________________________________________
16
Table 9. Pay rolls of Army personnel, Territory of Hawaii, 1944-46, by
months_________________________________________________
16
Table 10. Monthly pay rolls of civilian Army employees, Territory of
*
Hawaii, 1942-46, by months_____ __________ ____________
17
18
Table 11. Bank clearings, Territory of Hawaii, 1940-47________________
18
Table 12. Bank deposits, Territory of Hawaii, 1938-47_________________
18
Table 13. Land transfers, Territory of Hawaii, 1935-47________________



CONTENTS

Table 14.
Table 15.
Table 16.
Table 17.
Table 18.

VII

Page

Cane sugar: Production of Hawaii, 1908-47_________________
32
Number of workers assigned to each operation on a typical sugar
plantation in 1947 (excluding supervisors)_________________
48
Sugar industry wage schedule of November 19, 1946__________ 52
Sugar industry monthly rental rates of dwellings according to
floor area, class, and condition of building_________________
54
Sugar industry monthly rental rates of bedrooms in single men's
quarters according to house floor area per bedroom, class and
condition of building, and per capita minimum rentals______
54
Table 19. Percentage distribution of men workers on Hawaiian sugar
plantations by straight-time average hourly earnings and
method of wage payment, February 1947__________________
56
Table 20. Percentage distribution of men workers on Hawaiian sugar
plantations, by straight-time average hourly earnings and
type of work, February 1947_____________________________
58
Table 21. Straight-time average hourly earnings of men workers on
Hawaiian sugar plantations, by type of work and method of
wage payment, February 1947_______________________
59
Table 22. Percentage distribution of men workers on Hawaiian sugar
plantations, by type of work and racial group, February 1947— 59
Table 23. Straight-time average hourly earnings of men workers on Hawai­
ian sugar plantations, by racial group, February 1947______
60
Table 24. Average straight-time hourly earnings for men workers in
selected occupations on Hawaiian sugar plantations, February
1947____________________________________________________ 60
Table 25. Average straight-time hourly earnings for men workers in se­
lected occupations on Hawaiian sugar plantations, by island,
February 1947______________ - ___________________________
61
Table 26. Average straight-time hourly earnings for men workers in se­
lected occupations on Hawaiian sugar plantations, by method
of wage payment, February 1947_________________________
61
Table 27. Percentage distribution of men workers on* Hawaiian sugar
plantations, by annual earnings and annual hours, 1945_____ 63
Table 28. Total Hawaiian sugar plantation pay rolls, 1939-47__________
63
Table 29. Average daily earnings of long-term cultivators, 1939-46______ 66
Table 30. Pineapple companies—Members of the Pineapple Growers'
Association of Hawaii____________________________________ 76
Table 31. The market for canned pineapple and canned pineapple juice
during the war years in number of cases___________________
77
Table 32. Shipments of canned pineapple and canned juice from Hawaii
to the United States mainland for calendar years 1934-45__
77
Table 33. Pineapple plantation wage schedules________________________
84
Table 34. Percentage distribution of workers on Hawaiian pineapple plan­
tations by straight-time average hourly earnings and sex,
February 1947__________________________________________
88
Table 35. Straight-time average hourly earnings of workers on Hawaiian
pineapple plantations by racial group and sex, February 1947. 89
Table 36. Percentage distribution of all workers on Hawaiian pineapple
plantations by annual earnings, annual hours, and sex, 194690
Table 37. Percentage distribution of workers in Hawaiian pineapple can­
neries by straight-time average hourly earnings, sex, and
employment status, February 1947-----------------------------------92
Table 38. Straight-time average hourly earnings of workers in Hawaiian
pineapple canneries by racial group, sex, and employment
status, February 1947___________________________
93
Table 39. Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average
gross weekly earnings of workers in Hawaiian pineapple
canneries by sex and employment status, February 1947_____
94
Table 40. Percentage distribution of regular workers in Hawaiian pine­
apple canneries by annual earnings and sex, 1946___________ 96
Table 41. Percentage distribution of intermittent workers in Hawaiian
pineapple canneries by annual earnings, annual hours, and
^
sex, 1946________________________________________________
96
Table 42. Cattle in Hawaii, 1900-1940_________________________________ 106
Table 43. Beef imports, 1930-45.......................................................................... 107



VIII

Table 44.
Table 45.
Table 46.
Table 47.
Table 48.

CONTENTS

Average hourly earnings of workers in the dairy industry,
April 1946______________________________________________
Number of through passengers and tourist arrivals, 1922-41__
Number and estimated value of building permits issued on the
island of Oahu, 1936-46__________________________________
Estimated value of building permits for new construction issued
on the island of Oahu, by type of construction, 1944 and 1946_
Percentage distribution of all workers in the building-construc­
tion industry in the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time
average hourly earnings, March-April 1947________________
Table 49. Straight-time average hourly earnings in selected occupations
in the building-construction industry in the Territory of
Hawaii, March-April 1947_______________________________
Table 50. Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average
gross weekly earnings of workers in the building-construction
industry in the Territory of Hawaii bv racial group, MarchApril 1947________________________ J_____________________
Table 51. Percentage distribution of workers in the trucking industry in
the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly
earnings, March-April 1947______________________________
Table 52. Straight-time average hourly earnings of workers in the trucking
industry in the Territory of Hawaii by race, March-April
1947____________________________________________________
Table 53. Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring indus­
try in the Territory of Hawaii by racial origin, 1939 and 1947Table 54. Average hourly earnings, weekly hours, and gross weekly earn­
ings of men workers in the stevedoring industry in the Terri­
tory of Hawaii, by occupation, February-March 1947__
Table 55. Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring in­
dustry in the Territory of Hawaii by gross weekly earnings,
by occupation, February-March 1947____________________
Table 56. Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring in­
dustry in the Territory of Hawaii by weekly hours, by occu­
pation, February-March 1947_____ ”______________________
Table 57. Distribution of minimum entrance rates for plant workers in
miscellaneous manufacturing, Territory of Hawaii, April 1947.
Table 58. Percentage distribution of workers in apparel manufacturing
industry in the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average
hourly earnings, March-April 1947__________________
Table 59. Straight-time average hourly earnings in selected occupations
in the apparel manufacturing industry in the Territory of
Hawaii, March-April 1947_______________________________
Table 60. Percentage distribution of workers in custom tailor shops in the
Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings,
March-April 1947_______________________________________
Table 61. Percentage distribution of workers in bakeries in the Territory
of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings and sex,
March-April 1947_______________________________________
Table 62. Percentage distribution of workers in the printing industry in
the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly
earnings and sex, March 1947____________________________
Table 63. Straight-time average hourly earnings in selected occupations in
the printing industry in the Territory of Hawaii, March 1947—
Table 64. Percentage distribution of workers in wholesale trade in the
Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings,
February-March 1947___________________________________
Table 65. Straight-time average hourly earnings of men workers in selected
occupations in wholesale trade in the Territory of Hawaii,
February-March 1947___________________________________
Table 66. Straight-time average hourly earnings of workers in wholesale
trade in the Territory of Hawaii, by race, February-March
1947____________________________________________________
Table 67. Percentage distribution of workers in general merchandise and
apparel stores in the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time
average hourly earnings and sex, February-March 1947____



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138
139
141
143
144
148
148
149
151

CONTENTS

Table 68. Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average
gross weekly earnings of workers in general merchandise and
apparel stores in the Territory of Hawaii, by sex, FebruaryMarch 1947___________ - ________________________________
Table 69. Percentage distribution of workers in retail food stores in the
Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings
and sex, March 1947_____
Table 70. Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average
gross weekly earnings of workers in retail food stores in the
Territory of Hawaii,.by sex, March 1947__________________
Table 71. Percentage distribution of workers in automotive sales and
service establishments in the Territory of Hawaii by straighttime average hourly earnings, March-April 1947___________
Table 72. Straight-time average hourly earnings of men workers in selected
occupations in automotive sales and service establishments in
the Territory of Hawaii, March-April 1947________________
Table 73. Percentage distribution of workers in laundries and dry-cleaning
plants in the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average
‘ hourly earnings and sex, March-April 1947______________ _
Table 74. Straight-time average hourly earnings in selected occupations
in laundries and dry-cleaning plants in the Territory of Hawaii,
March-April 1947--------------------------------- ------------------------Table 75. Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average
gross weekly earnings of workers in laundries and dry-cleaning
plants in the Territory of Hawaii, by sex, March-April 1947. _
Table 76. Percentage distribution of office workers in the Territory of
Hawaii by racial origin and sex, February-April 1947_____
Table 77. Percentage distribution of office workers in the Territory of
Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings, FebruaryApril 1947______ ________________________________________
Table 78. Number of representation petitions filed with the National Labor
Relations Board, Territory of Hawaii, 1938-47_____________
Table 79. Certificates issued for the employment of minors in the Territory
of Hawaii___________ ___________________________________
Table 80. Average retail food prices, June 1947, Honolulu and 56 mainland
cities___________________________________________________
Table 81. Consumers’ price index for Honolulu________________________
Table 82. Relative differences in the cost of selected goods and services in
Honolulu and Los Angeles,March 1945____________________
Table 83. Territorial employment service—Reception contacts, new appli­
cations, referrals, and placements, July 1, 1946, to June 30,
1947____________________________________________________
Table 84. Territorial government employment as of March 31, 1947_____
CHARTS
Map of the Territory of Hawaii______________________________________
Balance of trade of the Territory ofHawaii__________________________
Plantation organization_____________________________________________
Sugar production relative to acreage and manpower________________ .—




IX
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197
205
206
207
210
212
2
20
37
69




PREFACE
The organic law of the Territory of Hawaii, entitled “An act to
provide a government for the Territory of Hawaii,” was approved on
April 30,1900. This was amended on April 8, 1904 (33 Stat. 164),
to provide that:

It shall be the duty of the United States Commissioner of Labor to collect,
assort, arrange, and present in reports in nineteen hundred and five, and every
five years thereafter, statistical details relating to all departments of labor in the
Territory of Hawaii, especially in relation to the commercial, industrial, social,
educational, and sanitary condition of the laboring classes, and to all such other
subjects as Congress may by law direct. The said Commissioner is especially
charged to ascertain the highest, lowest, and average number of employees
engaged in the various industries in the Territory, to be classified as to nativity,
sex, hours of labor, and conditions of employment, and to report the same to
Congress.

The last such report on labor conditions in Hawaii was rendered in
1939 and was issued as House Document 848 (76th Cong., 3d sess.)
and as United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bulletin No. 687 entitled “Labor in the Territory of Hawaii—1939.”
Because of the powerful impact of the war on the economy of
Hawaii, the changes in the position of labor since 1939 have been very
great. In addition to basic changes in the economy as a whole, there
have been changes in wages, hours, and worldng conditions, a marked
expansion in labor organization, and a modification in labor-manage­
ment relations during the past 8 years.
At the request of the Delegate to Congress from Hawaii, Joseph
R. Farrington, an appropriation was made (Public Law 549, July 26,
1946) for $15,000 for the fiscal year 1947 to cover the cost of the
survey.
The field work in the Territory of Hawaii covered the period
February 6, to June 7, 1947. It included: (1) Economic surveys of
the various islands of Hawaii; (2) conferences with representatives of
labor groups and employer groups and with officials in the Territory;
(3) observation and study of working conditions in Hawaiian indus­
tries; and (4) the surveying of wages and hours in all important
island industries by race, sex, and occupation. In the wage survey,
the method followed was that of obtaining a representative sample
for each industry. These samples range from as low as 20 percent to
as high as 80 percent of total employment in the industries covered.
The fullest cooperation was given to the survey staff in the com­
pilation of these data by many organizations in the Territory, in­
cluding the Office of the Governor, the University of Hawaii, the
Territorial Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the
Department of Public Welfare, the central offices of Hawaiian firms,
the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the American Federation
of Labor, the Chamber of Commerce, and the leading social service
agencies. Without their cooperation the study could not have been
made.



XI

XII

PREFACE

Special credit is due to Mr. T. P. Kanninen, of the Wage Analysis
Branch, Bureau of Labor Statistics, who prepared chapters 5, 6, 10,
11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19, and provided technical advice covering
all statistical work in the study. He conducted and personally super­
vised the wage aspects of the survey on all islands.
Miss Mary B. Perry, regional child labor consultant, Division of
Labor Standards, United States Department of Labor, made a special
investigation of child labor in the Territory which provided much of
the information for the chapter on this subject.
The University of Hawaii provided a library of pertinent data, and
supplied the services of Mr. K. Murata, agricultural economist, for
a special study of nonplantation agriculture. Numerous government
officials in the Territory and officials of labor and management organ­
izations generously provided time and data to make the survey as
complete as possible.







P art I

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII

i

N IIH A U




m

: LihueJT

jt

KAUAI

OAHU
\

MOLOKAI
Pearl Harbor* ^Honolulu

MAUI

TERRITORY O F H A W A II
IS L A N D

Oahu
Hawaii
Maui
Kauai
Molokai
Lanai
Niihau

PO PU LATIO N

1946

358,911
70,871
45,336
34,689
5,258
3,630

211

CHAPTER 1. THE NATURE OP THE ISLAND ECONOMY
Historical development
When Hawaii is mentioned, the average person visualizes two
things: A tourist paradise of colorful vegetation and the even more
colorful remnants of primitive Hawaiian life, and a national out­
post, powerfully supported by ground, sea, and air forces. Such a
picture, while not incorrect, is decidedly not complete.
Quite apart from the tourists and those in the armed services, there
are over half a million persons in the Territory. Their cultural back­
ground And their way of life is only vaguely understood by their fellow
Americans. The spotlight on Pearl Harbor has tended to black out
Hawaii. To those who live there, the Territory consists of the worka­
day world of the plantation, the factory, the office, and the store.
The purpose of this study is to portray the basic features of the
economy of the islands, the economic relations among those who live
there, and significant details in respect to the wages, hours, and work­
ing conditions of labor.
The statistical and other factual data will indicate the complexity
of the industrial life of the islands. An interpretation of these
conditions depends on an understanding of: (1) The historic develop*ment of the economy of the Territory; (2) the nature of its population
and resources; and (3) the impact of the war on the economy in general
and upon labor-management relations in particular.
A history of Hawaii might well be called “From Terra Incognita to
the Crossroads of the Pacific in a Century and a Half.” No other
island area has sprinted from naked-primitive to streamlined-modern
in so short a period. The Pacific was crossed as early as 1521, and
the “Manila galleons” plied between the Philippines and Mexico for
two centuries without once sighting the Hawaiian Islands. Because
of this accident of history, Hawaii was the last important Pacific
island area to be discovered (1778); yet, because of its strategic posi­
tion, it was the first to achieve modernity.
Economically, the story of this change is a history of sandalwood,
whales, sugar, pineapples, and tourists, accompanied by an everincreasing dependence upon the American mainland. Socially, it is
a story of the decline of a native population from 300,000 in 1778 to
10,831 in 1947, and of the influx of a complex mixture of races which
has grown to a population now numbering half a million. Politically,
it is a history of native kings exploiting their own subjects, of BritishAmerican rivalries, and of eventual annexation as a Territory of the
United States in 1898. These developments cover four distinct
periods:
(1) The disruption of the primitive island culture (.1778-1825).—
During this period Hawaii was primarily a provisioning point and a
source of sandalwood for ships in the China trade. Occasionally,
natives obtained passage abroad and sailors “ jumped ship” to live
ashore and join their blood with that of the islanders.



3

4

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Even these relatively slight contacts between primitive Hawaii and
civilization had a devastating effect on the life of the average Hawaiian.
In 47 years the native population decreased from 300,000 to 125,000.
Because of their long period of isolation, the natives possessed no
immunity to “ civilized” diseases. Venereal disease was a most
potent cause of death, but even such simple maladies as measles,
whooping cough, and common colds were fatal to thousands. Other
factors played a part in the decline, including liquor, firearms, the
struggle of island chiefs for power, and the exploitation of natives by
their own rulers to obtain sandalwood with which to buy coveted
western wares.
(2) Whalers, factors, and missionaries (1825-60).—American whalers
made Hawaii their provisioning and trading headquarters. This
trade reached its zenith in the 1850’s when more than 400 whaling
vessels arrived in Honolulu annually. Trading concerns, called
“ factors,” were established to service the whalers and gradually
became the dominant enterprises in Honolulu. By a flexible adjust­
ment to later economic changes, they have remained at the heart of
the industrial and financial structure of Hawaii. During this time,
American missionaries established themselves as permanent residents
and became the guardians of island morals. They acquired property
holdings which later proved to be of great value.
(3) Expansion, annexation, and industrialization {1860-1980) .—The
growth of sugar production after 1860 greatly increased trade with
(and dependence upon) the United States; hence it was the primary
element leading to annexation in 1898. Between 1860 and 1930,
annual sugar production increased from 572 tons to over 900,000 tons.
Annual pineapple production rose from virtually nothing (the first
pineapple plantation did not appear until 1885) to 12,000,000 cases,
valued at $50,000,000.
The total population, which reached a low of 56,897 in 1872, grew
to 368,336 in 1930 in response to the constantly increasing labor needs
of the plantations. Aggressive recruiting campaigns resulted in suc­
cessive waves of immigrants in the following order: Chinese, Portu­
guese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Spaniards, and Filipinos, of which
the Japanese were the most numerous.
Throughout this period there was a continuous trend toward con­
solidation of sugar lands into large plantations. By 1930 mass pro­
duction agriculture based on a high degree of mechanization was
typical of both sugar and pineapple productions; the typical planta­
tion techniques were more comparable to a Detroit factory than an
Iowa farm. This expansion of the basic plantation industries was
accompanied by an equally rapid growth of (a) subsidiary industries
directly dependent upon the plantations, (b) public utilities, (c) whole­
sale and retail concerns, and (d) service industries.
(4) Stabilization and interracial adjustment {1980-41).—By 1930,
nearly all of the arable land had been brought under cultivation;
hence the annual output of the plantations had reached near-optimum
levels under existing conditions of demand and costs. The importa­
tion of alien labor had virtually ceased; hence the rates of population
growth had dropped to more normal levels. Interracial adjustments
had been made through a school system in which all races learned to
work and play together. There was also a rapid rise in interracial
marriage. For these reasons, a remarkable degree of interracial



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

5

tolerance and cooperation had developed prior to the attack on Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941.
This brief summary indicates some of the significant factors which
have determined the character of the island economy. The economic
developments of the war and postwar years will be discussed in greater
detail in the body of the report.
Area and resources 1
The total area of the Territory is 6,435 square miles, which is about
one-third larger than the State of Connecticut. Due to the volcanic
origin of the islands, the central area of each island is mountainous
and much of the soil is rocky, or is covered with lava or ash. Only
10 percent of the land is arable, and only 8 percent is actually under
cultivation.
In common with the other islands of the central Pacific area, min­
eral resources are lacking. There are no ores, metals, or mineral
fuels of any sort, and there is an insufficient amount of clay for com­
mercial exploitation. Even building stones are limited in variety.
These facts place strict limits upon the industrial possibilities of the
Territory. Aside from the canneries, the sugar mills, and the sub­
sidiary industries dependent upon them, there is little in the way of
manufacturing.
In spite of the small percentage of arable land, it has been possible
for Hawaii to develop a significant agricultural economy. This is
because such lands as are available can be farmed with extraordinary
intensity. The presence of a large supply of ground water makes
possible a scientific control of cultivation by virtue of irrigation sys­
tems which are used, not only to provide water, but also to distribute
fertilizer.
An even greater boon to Hawaiian agriculture is the remarkably
equable climate. The average temperature is 74.9° F. and shows
less than 6.5° difference between the average of the warmest and the
coolest months.1 This even climate makes it possible to plant crops
2
any day of the year. It is not uncommon for small truck gardeners
to raise six to eight crops on the same land in a single year. With a
controlled water supply and a warm, even climate, extraordinary
results can be achieved.
Population
The total population of the islands passed through a sharp decline
from an estimated 300,000 in 1778 to a low of 56,897 in 1872, followed
by an equally remarkable rise to 525,477 on July 1, 1947.
The migration to the islands, at first meager, consisted of transient
traders, missionaries, and a few pioneer farmers, and was accompanied
by a sharp drop in the native population. During the first century
following the discovery of the islands in 1778, the native Hawaiian
population declined to less than 50,000. Today there are only 10,831
pure-blooded Hawaiians, representing only 1 in 50 in the total
population. The number of part-Hawaiians, on the other hand, is
increasing and shows the highest birth rate of any racial classification.
Up to 1872 the principal immigrants were American, British, and
Chinese. From then on, the bulk of the immigration was in direct
1 An excellent analysis of the natural resources of Hawaii is contained in the First Progress Report of the
Territorial Planning Board, February 1939, Honolulu, T. H.
2 The lowest temperature recorded at sea level was 52° in February 1902 and the highest was 90° in October
1891. Even such moderate extremes are rare in Hawaii.
75798— 48------ 2




6

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

response to the labor demands of the rapidly expanding plantation
system. The plantation policy was to obtain young and vigorous
unmarried males (largely low-wage oriental laborers) to work during
their most productive years, after which they were returned to their
homelands. Thus, the problems of the support of families and the
care of the aged were avoided and maximum labor was obtained per
dollar expended.
T a b l e 1. — Population

Year
1832...............................
1836..............................
1850...............................
1860...............................
1872...............................
1878...............................
1890..............................
1900...............................
1910...............................
1920...............................

Total popu­ Change from
preceding
lation
census
124,449
107,954
84,165
69,800
56,897
57,958
89,990
154,001
191,909
255,912

-16,495
-23,789
-14,365
-12,903
+1,088
+32,005
+64, Oil
+37,908
+64,003

of Hawaii1
Year

1930........... ................
1940..............................
1941 .........................
1942...............................
1943...............................
1944...............................
1945...............................
1946 .............................
1947...............................

Total popu­ Change from
preceding
lation
census
368,336
423,330
2 465,399
2 474,351
2483,363
2 492,379
502,122
519,503
525,477

+112,424
+54,994
+42,069
+8,952
+9,012
+9,016
+9,743
+17,381
+5,974

11832 to 1890, inclusive, are estimates of the Territorial planning board, the figures for 1900 to 1930, in­
clusive, include Army and Navy personnel whose posts of duty were in the Hawaiian Islands and are based
on the official United States census. The figure for 1940 is as of Apr. 1, and is based on the United States
census of that year. The figures for 1940 to 1947, inclusive, refer only to civilians. Those for 1941 to 1947
are as of July 1 in each case, and are based on estimates of the Board of Health, Territory of Hawaii.
2 Population figures for 1941 to 1944 are not as accurate as for other years. The sudden evacuation of
women, children, and tourists, the importation of large numbers of mainland workers, the draft, the move­
ment of service personnel, the continuous state of war emergency, thd shift from civilian to military gov­
ernment, and the insistence upon secrecy regarding conditions in Hawaii make it difficult to obtain de­
pendable population figures for the war years. In 1942, there was a defense registration which provides a
check against the board of health estimates. This registration indicated the population to be 414,407, in
1942, a difference of 59,944 as compared with the board of health estimates, or more than one-tenth of the
population. The defense registration figure should be reasonably accurate for the resident population
but its coverage of mainland defense workers was incomplete. The United States census figure for 1941
is 437,120 and for 1942 is 442,420, and thus falls between the registration figure and the board of health
estimates.

The first large groups of imported migrants were the Chinese, who
have since achieved the economic and social advantages which accrue
to the early settler. There followed importations of Portuguese
between 1878 and 1900. During this time, Japanese also began to
be imported in increasing numbers. Due to the industry of the
Japanese (and hence continued importation) and to the practice of
bringing in “picture brides,” they rapidly assumed a major position
in the total population. For the 35 years prior to the war, their
numerical superiority was never seriously threatened. The immigra­
tion of Japanese sharply declined with the “gentlemen’s agreement”
of 1908 restricting Japanese immigration to the United States. There
were, on July 1, 1947, 171,983 Japanese in the Territory, exceeded
only by the total number of Caucasians (including all nationalities),
which amounted to 172,967.
Due to the decline in oriental sources of labor supply, the sugar
planters of Hawaii entered into arrangements with steamship com­
panies to bring Filipino laborers into the islands in increasing numbers
between 1908 and 1935.3
Average annual immigration from the Philippines to Hawaii was
5,300 between 1920 and 1925, and 7,700 between 1925 and 1930. It *
* In 1920 Japanese plantation workers in Oahu, with the support of Japanese on other islands, organized
a strike which was costly to the planters. In 1924, the Exclusion Act entirely prohibited Japanese from
entry into the United States, including the Territory. For these reasons, Filipino immigration increased
after 1920.



7

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

also should be noted that the average annual emigration of Filipinos
from Hawaii to the American mainland was 700 between 1920 and
1925 and 1,800 between 1925 and 1930. Following 1930, immigration
declined, and emigration increased. The Filipino population in
Hawaii decreased from 63,052 in 1930 to 52,569 in 1940. In 1935
immigration of Filipinos to Hawaii and the mainland was limited to
50 a year.4
Caucasians were the earliest migrants to Hawaii and throughout
the whole period since discovery of the islands show a slow continuous
growth in numbers. Because of restrictions on oriental immigration,
the mainland now constitutes the only significant source of migrants
to the Territory. Such migrants do not seek employment as planta­
tion field workers but enter the skilled trades, the offices, and the
mercantile establishments. They became decidedly important during
the war years when large numbers of construction workers were
imported by the armed services. Many of them have returned to the
mainland but a considerable residue remains as an addition to the
labor force in the Territory,
Table 2.— Population by racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii
1943
H awaiian___
_ ___ .....__
_. _
Part-Hawaiian
__
. ............... _
Puerto Rican__________________________ _________
Caucasian ._ _ _ _
_ ............ _ _
Chinese._____ __________________________________
Japanese ___ .• ................... _
Korean
. . _
_____
Filipino
. _
_____
All others
Total_______

1944

1945

12,617
56,932
8,775
155,664
29,621
162,690
6,941
49,261
862
483,363

11,802
59,179
8,932
162,684
29,813
164,268
6,970
47,863
868
492,379

10,988
61,422
9,090
172,583
30,005
163,300
7,042
146,464
1,228
502,122

1947 (July 1)
10,761
67,082
9,548
172,967
30,279
171,983
7,216
54,327
1,314
2 525,477

1 Does not include 6,126 Filipinos brought to Hawaii in the latter part of 1945 under contract to work on
sugar and pineapple plantations.
* Includes 75,623 aliens; 32,135 of these were Japanese and 37,260 were Filipinos.
Source: Boltd of Health, Territory of Hawaii.

Table 3.— Births by racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii,1948-45
Total births

Rate per 1,000 population

1943
Hawaiian.......................................................
Part Hawaiian...............................................
Puerto Rican..................................................
Caucasian........................................................
Chinese...........................................................
Japanese..........................................................
Korean......................... ..................................
Filipino...........................................................
All others........................................................
Total.....................................................

1944

1945

232
3,008
228
1,518
614
3,990
171
1,092
64
10,917

238
3,102
300
1,828
797
4,491
193
1,202
60
12,211

228
3,212
328
2,030
781
4,505
226
1,221
67
12,598

1943
17.8
53.8
33.1
10.0
20.8
24.6
24.7
21.8
74.6
22.8

1944
19.5
53.4
33.9
11.5
26.8
27.5
27.7
24.8
69.4
25.0

1945
20.1
53.3
36.4
12.2
26.1
27.9
32.3
25.9
47.6
25.5

Source: Board of Health, Territory of Hawaii.
4 But the act of 1935 included an arrangement whereby the Secretary of the Interior could admit Filipinos
to Hawaii to work under contract conditions. This power was invoked in 1945. Because of the scarcity of
plantation laborers, 6,126 Filipinos were brought in; 4,237 were assigned to the sugar plantations and 1,889
to the pineapple plantations. (See ch. 7 of this report.)




8

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Table 4.:—Deaths hy racial antecedents, Territory of Hawaii,1948-45
Total deaths

Rate per 1,000 population 1

1943
Hawaiian........................................................
Part Hawaiian...............................................
Puerto Rican.................................................
Caucasian........................................................
Chinese............................................................
Japanese..........................................................
Korean......................................... ..................
Filipino...........................................................
All others........................................................
Total.....................................................

1944

1945

345
393
93
613
251
869
86
309
29
2,988

343
337
73
653
277
875
79
338
9
2,984

315
323
87
567
264
855
97
315
17
2,840

1943
26.5
7.0
10.7
4.0
8.5
5.4
12.4
6.2
29.1
6.2

1944
28.1
5.8
8.2
4.1
9.3
5.4
11.4
7.0
10.4
6.1

1945
27.6
5.4
9.6
3.4
8.8
5.3
13.9
6.7
12.1
5.7

i Civilian population only.
Source: Board of Health, Territory of Hawaii.

Present population trends
Some racial groups, such as the Japanese, tend to resist racial inter­
marriage, whereas others, such as the Hawaiians, have very freely
intermarried. The fundamental tendency is toward a general lessen­
ing of interracial barriers. The Territorial board of health estimated
that 27.2 percent of the marriages in 1946 were interracial. PartHawaiians are now six times as numerous as Hawaiians and even the
Japanese (particularly Japanese women) show an increasing number
of outmarriages.
An abnormality of the population of Hawaii is the predominance
of males, particularly among Filipinos. The last census (1940) indi­
cated 137.6 males per hundred females. This is due to the plantation
policy, in previous years, of importing unmarried males. With the
passage of time this abnormality is disappearing because as unmarried
males die, their places are being taken by the children of those now
living in the Territory, thus gradually establishing a normal sex
distribution.
Urbanization
In 1890, of a total population of 89,990 persons, 25.5 percent was
urban and 74.5 rural. By 1938, 41.2 was urban and 58.8 rural..
This trend toward urbanization refers primarily to the growth of the
city of Honolulu which, on July 1, 1947, contained a population of
268,913, or more than half of the total population of the entire Terri­
tory. The next largest city in Hawaii is Hilo, with 29,111. Most of
the population growth of the Territory during the past decade is thus
represented by an increase in the size of Honolulu. To date, there
has been no diminution in this urban trend. The islands, other than
Oahu, actually experienced a decline of 5.8 percent between 1940 and
1946.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized throughout the analyses
presented in this report that the high degree of urbanization is one
of the remarkable features of the Hawaiian economy. The island
of Oahu is only 604 square miles in area and it is quite possible to
commute from any point in the island to the Honolulu business dis­
trict. (For area of the islands, see table 5.) In fact, a number of
the communities on the opposite side of the island are residential
areas for those who work in Honolulu. The island of Oahu, repre­



9

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

senting less than one-tenth of the total area of the Territory, never­
theless contains nearly three-fourths of its total population.
Table 6, covering the population by islands for 1940, 1945, and
1947, indicates (1) the wartime shift in the population from the other
islands to Oahu, (2) the return to the prewar population levels on
the other islands between 1945 and 1947, and (3) the sharp rise in
the population of Oahu (Honolulu) which was primarily due to migra­
tion from the mainland.
Although the mechanization of plantations has contributed to the
cityward trend, there are other fundamental factors which give Hono­
lulu such a preeminent position.
Honolulu dominates the financial and industrial life of the islands
for the following reasons:
(1) Hawaii is separated from the markets on which it must depend
by more than 2,000 miles. Honolulu is the point of contact for all
of the islands with the rest of the world.
(2) Our most important Hawaiian military and naval outposts are
situated in and near Honolulu. They provide occupational oppor­
tunities for those enterprises which serve the military personnel and
for the skilled workers that build and maintain Army and Naval
installations.
T able 5.— Geographic characteristics of the Territory of Hawaii, by islands
Area
Island
Hawaii __
M aui _

______
.

Square
miles

___
________
_ _ _ _ _ _ ___

.

_ __ _

Oahu......................................................................................

TCanai
Molokai
Lanai
■NTiihan

.

____

_
_

_ __
.
_ ..

_

__ _ _
___
._

____ _

Kahoolawe______________________________________

4,030
728
604
555
260
141
72
45

Acres

Coast
line in
miles

2,579,000
466.000
387.000
355.000
166.000
90,200
46.000
29.000

318
152
152
108
104
52
49
36

Highest
altitude
in feet
13,784
10,025
4,025
5,170
4,970
3,370
1,281
1,485

Source: Territorial Planning Board.

T able 6. Population of principal islands and island groupsTerritory of Hawaii,
—
1940,1945, and 1947
Island or island group
Oahn
___
Hawaii............. ...............................................................................
' Maui (including Molokai and Lanai and Kalawao County) 2_.
TCanai (including Niihan) _

1940

1945

258,256
73,276
55,980
35,818

348,045
70,049
51,378
32,650

1947
360,274
73,690
56,319
35,194

1 The figures for 1940 are as of Apr. l, and are based on the United States census of that year. The figures
for 1945 and 1947 are as of July 1 in each case, and are based on estimates of the Territorial board of health,
bureau of vital statistics.
2 The population of Molokai as of July 1, 1947, was 5,028 and of Lanai on the same date was 3,441. Lanai
consists primarily of a single, large pineapple plantation.

(3) Honolulu is the headquarters for practically all large island
enterprises and is the center for the air and water transport systems
which serve the islands.
(4) Honolulu is the most important tourist center in the Territory.
Tourists contribute to the size of the city, not only because of the



10

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

tourist population, but also because of the many occupational oppor­
tunities which the presence of tourists creates in the city.
(5) Honolulu is the administrative center for Territorial and
Federal agencies and for educational and cultural institutions.
(6) The unemployed persons in the Territory tend to concentrate
in Honolulu because it is the best place to make contacts for new jobs.
Conditions in Honolulu, therefore, represent a significant part of
any survey of working conditions of the Territory as a whole. In its
physical equipment and municipal services, it is not unlike other
American cities. It possesses efficient systems for water supply (38
million gallons daily), sewerage disposal, street fighting, fire protection,
police protection, emergency hospital service, public education, an
excellent system of public libraries, and an unusually large number
of churches.
The city contains 113 parks, playgrounds, beach areas, and street
parking strips, scattered throughout Oahu. Athletic fields include
facilities for tennis, baseball, basketball, football, and minor sports.
The city has shown a strong social viewpoint in its policies. On the
whole, one is impressed with the width and cleanliness of the streets
in the better housing areas. There are some districts which are an
exception to this statement, particularly those in which mixed oriental
populations five. In such afeas, conditions are comparable to the
slum districts of large mainland cities. The congestion which would
otherwise obtain in such areas is partially relieved by the year-round
summer climate and the ready access to parks and beaches, making
the daily life of the people essentially an out-of-door fife.
Summary
An economy is the result of the adaptation of a community to the
basic conditions in which it exists as truly as vegetation represents an
adaptation to the climate and the soil in which it grows. Before the
beginning of the war the economy of Hawaii had achieved a successful
adaptation to the rigid framework of conditions which have deter­
mined its character. These conditions are:
(1) A central position in the Pacific which provides contact with
world commerce and gives Hawaiian life its cosmopolitan character.
(2) The lack of minerals which necessarily restricts manufacture to
the processing of agricultural and marine products and the servicing
of the plantations.
(3) The sharp variations in topography, rainfall, and soil which
restrict agriculture to less than one-tenth of the total iand area.
(4) The combination of a large supply of ground water and of
constant summer weather which makes possible a year-round and
remarkably intensive cultivation of that land which is arable.
(5) A complex population of widely variant and predominantly
oriental races which provides the manpower on which the economy
must rely.
(6) The close administrative and trade connections with the main­
land which have made the Hawaiian economy an integral part of the
American economy as a whole.
The essential economic fact emerging from the adaptation of
Hawaii to these conditions has been a transition from the primitive
self-sufficient economy of the native Hawaiians to a modern specialized
economy tightly geared to American markets. To obtain construction



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

11

materials, clothes, shoes, motorcars, industrial equipment, and other
items necessary to the maintenance of present standards (including
65 percent of the food consumed in the Territory) Hawaii possesses
only four coins. These are: (1) Sugar, (2) pineapples, (3), services
to the armed forces and to tourists, and (4) fish and other marine
products. Barring some unexpected technical development, these,
and only these, are available to maintain or increase present standards.
Under such conditions, the economic life of the Territory has been
channeled toward a specialization in sugar and pineapples, toward
a unification of plantation policies in order to obtain the advantages
of agricultural mass production, and toward those economic and
political relations with other parts of the United States which would
provide the basis for stability and the sound growth of Hawaiian
industry.




CHAPTER 2. THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF THE WAR

In analyzing the impact of 4 years of war on the economy of Hawaii,
it is necessary to consider a 2-year period of prewar defense develop­
ment and the period of postwar adjustment (an adjustment not yet
completed). Thus in dealing with the effect of the war, we are cover­
ing almost one-fifth of the total period of American Territorial status
in Hawaii.
As a Territory of the United States, the Hawaiian economy had
passed through two basic developments before the war began: (1) The
expansion of the basic plantation industries to optimum levels between
1898 and 1930, and (2) a general economic stabilization at those levels
during the following decade. Although there were a few strikes and
other minor crises, these years show on the whole a steady improve­
ment in wages, hours, and working conditions, and in mechanization
designed to reduce the demands upon labor and to increase produc­
tivity. The economy of Hawaii would not have remained static had
there been no war; many of the changes which are now occurring were
certain to come. But it appears probable that they would have come
more slowly, that the adjustments might have been made with less
friction, and that in large part the serious disruption of the postwar
years might have been avoided had it not been for the war.
Changes in social and economic conditions after Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor came as a blow to the United States
and produced immediate changes in the whole structure of world
power. The direct physical impact of this blow on the relatively
small and highly dependent economic structure of Hawaii was so
sudden and intense that it transformed the Territory to a war economy
overnight in a series of shocks which permeated every aspect of the
economic, social, and political life of the islands.
Hawaii is traditionally a place of hospitality, friendliness, and good
will. In a few hours this atmosphere was changed to one of distrust,
suspicion, and uncertainty. Over 3,000 soldiers lay dead or dying;
the Navy’s best ships were in flames or at the bottom of Pearl Harbor;
airfields were strewn with smoking, riddled planes, and there was no
guarantee that the Japanese would not return in force at any time.
There were wide differences of opinion regarding the attitudes and
activities of American citizens of Japanese descent.1 Interracial
antagonisms, arrests of persons suspected as enemy agents, rumors,
and false reports were the order of the day. A fever of defense
activity, so simple and direct as to reveal starkly the inadequacies of
the Territory’s remaining defense equipment, engendered an atmos­
phere of fear bordering on hysteria.
In such an atmosphere, th^e acquiescence of civil officials to military
control was understandable. There followed rapid changes in the i
i Within 48 hours, however, as a group they had proved that they were patriotic Americans and were
urgently seeking opportunities to serve. They constituted a purposive, hard-working force and performed
the most menial tasks with unwavering loyalty in the face of criticism, suspicion, and even mistreatment.
The record of the Americans of Japanese descent is one in which all oriental and Caucasian groups in Hawaii
take great pride today. Instead of being the disruptive element which many Army and Navy officials
expected thc^F would be, they soon became a steadying influence on which the people of the Territory could
rely with the utmost confidence.
12



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

13

location and character of authority accompanied by a bewildering
multiplicity of proclamations based on a new set of premises and objec­
tives, The Territory found itself operating within the framework of
rigid restrictions backed by military power from which there was no
appeal as long as the military government lasted.
Registration, fingerprinting, inoculations against the possibility of
bacteriological warfare, the erection of bomb shelters, the alteration
of cars and houses to comply with black-out restrictions and other
emergency activities (in addition to their regular duties) commanded
the time and the utmost energy from all residents.
Women, children, and tourists were hurriedly loaded on steamers
and sent back to the mainland. A significant source of island income,
the tourist trade, thus disappeared. A black-out and a lO-o’clock
curfew were ordered with very heavy fines for any infraction of either.
Hawaii became a community of men so dominated by urgent war
demands and rigid military restrictions that little social life was pos­
sible.
The most immediate evidence of the change of administration was
the military control over transportation. On every island the trans­
port of military equipment and supplies was given first priority. The
typical vehicles on the streets and highways became Army trucks and
jeeps. Every convenient space in the Honolulu area was taken over
for the storage of war supplies and to establish local stock piles for
later use in the Pacific area.
Interisland shipping was thoroughly militarized and, in view of the
constant danger of submarine attack, it was necessary to convoy
shipments between islands. The movement of persons from one island
to another was subject to rigorous control.
Regular commercial shipments from the mainland ceased. Military
shipments and personnel received first priority and commercial ship­
ments could be made only by clearance through military channels.
In spite of these impediments, the volume of shipments to Hawaii
rose rapidly, including (1) military supplies for local and for South
Pacific operations (not only ordnance material, but also food, clothing,
and medical supplies for the armed forces); (2) the importations nec­
essary to service the armed forces in the Territory (supplies for laun­
dries, local transportation, hotels and restaurants, bars, and local
retail establishments); (3) the increased importations needed to supply
the mainland workers brought to Hawaii for defense construction;
and (4) construction materials.
It is difficult now to recapture the extreme sense of insecurity which
permeated the islands at that time. It was clearly recognized then
that local forces were insufficient to repel a full-scale landing by the
Japanese, nor was it certain that the transportation of supplies from
the mainland to Oahu or their distribution from Oahu to the other
islands could be maintained.2 Steps were taken, therefore, to make
each island as self-sufficient as possible. To this end, a special program
was undertaken by all plantations to conserve equipment, by the
utmost care in maintenance, pending the time when it would be
possible to obtain new equipment from the mainland.
2 On Dec. 13,1941, the transport Royal T. Frank, carrying troops, ammunition, and artillery from Oahu
to Hilo was sunk off Maui, presumably by a Japanese submarine. On Dec. 30,1941, Nawiliwili on Kauai,
Kahului on Maui, and Hilo on Hawaii were shelled by unidentified craft. Little damage was done but
the obvious inability of any of the islands to repel a full-scale Japanese landing and the later sinking of a
considerable quantity of American shipping between Hawaii and the mainland served to underline the
constant possibility of isolation or seizure of one or more of the islands by Japan.




14

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Truck gardening was sharply expanded on all islands. On Oahu,
for example, the production of vegetable crops rose from a quarter of
a million to over a million dollars in value. This program was based on
a Federal farm cooperative (Iowa plan, United States Department of
Agriculture standards). Similar programs were undertaken in other
islands. Stocks of food and other supplies on hand were controlled by
temporarily “freezing” them and later releasing them gradually
under a system of priorities and price control. Hawaii suffered the
same difficulties of price control as did other parts of the United
States, but their effects were more pronounced. Very few items were
subject to ration-card control. Controls were exercised by military
allocations of shipping space.
The overwhelming demand for labor for the repair of bombed areas
and for new wartime construction caused unemployment to disappear.
War demands are imperative emergency demands, and in the islands
they produced sudden severe strains in the labor market. All ablebodied men (and later even women) were required to register for
employment. Those who remained in Hawaii, including able-bodied
minors, became a part of the working population. A larger percentage
of the total population of the islands was actively at work during the
war than was at work in other parts of the United States. In the
early months of the war, although the civilian population decreased,
the labor force increased. The labor supply was further augmented
in 1942, 1943, and 1944 by the importation of large numbers of main­
land workers. These men more than offset the decline due to the
evacuation. To their numbers must be added the great influx of
Army, Navy, and Marine personnel, including those stationed in
Hawaii and those temporarily there en route to and from far eastern
bases. The troops stationed on the island of Kauai, for example,
numbered 17,000 at the peak, which is equivalent to over one-half
of the civilian population of that island. The increase in numbers on
Oahu was even greater.
To support the wartime activities in the Territory, large sums of
Federal funds were appropriated. Part of these funds flowed directly
into the island economy for (a) the purchase or lease of land and build­
ings for military purposes; (b) the direct purchase of sugar, pineapples,
and other island products for use of the armed forces, (c) payments for
services of plantation labor (under contracts between the Army engi­
neers and the plantations); (d) direct payments to Hawaiian construc­
tion companies; and (e) direct payments for local services. There was
thus a vast inflow of funds into Hawaii which far more than offset any
wartime losses due to the disruption of normal economic activities.
In addition to these direct payments, there were large indirect
expenditures. A considerable portion of the income paid by the
Federal Government to the officers and enlisted men in the Army,
Navy, and Marine Corps was in turn spent in Hawaii. In a similar
way, the earnings of imported workers and of personnel on ships in
Honolulu and Pearl Harbor were spent for food, transportation,
amusement, and other services of the Hawaiian economy. Added to
such expenditures were the considerable sums spent by the Red Cross,
the USO and other agencies designed to assist the armed forces.
The inevitable effect of this direct and indirect flow of funds on the
relatively small economy of Hawaii was a sharp stimulation of the
economic activity everywhere. Every hotel, restaurant, barbershop,
retail establishment, amusement center, curio shop, drug store, taxi­




15

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

cab, and bar had more customers than could possibly be satisfied.
Any such enterprise, no matter how badly managed or how poorly
located, could be operated at a profit.
The statistical records of these changes are fragmentary. The
chaotic conditions following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the sudden
expansion and rapid turn-over of personnel, and the understandable
secrecy surrounding the nature and extent of defense construction
account for this deficiency (particularly in 1942-43).
Some indication of the effects of the war on the economy of Hawaii
is to be found, however, in (1) the volume of civilian employment by
the armed services; (2) tables covering various types of defense ex­
penditures; (3) the growth of bank deposits and bank clearings in
Hawaii; and (4) the changes in the balance of trade between Hawaii
and the mainland.
Employment of civilians for defense work
Civilian employment by the Army and Navy rose from 6,338 in
1939 to a level between 58,000 and 71,000 in 1944-45. If part-time
employees and related employees in the wartime service agencies are
added, the employment peak was slightly over 82,000. While this
figure does not appear great by mainland standards, it was decidedly
significant in relation to the small economy of Hawaii. A proportion­
ate volume of employment on the mainland (relative to the total
population of the United States) would exceed 22,000,000, which is
large by any standards.3
Figures on Navy employment of civilian workers by months are not
available. Navy employment fluctuated more widely than Army
employment due to the sharp variations in the volume and intensity
of repair work on Naval vessels. Civilian employment by the Navy
rose from 3,138 in 1939 to 28,530 in 1943. Between 1943 and 1946
it remained in the neighborhood of 29,500 with occasional sharp
increases to take care of emergency repair work. A peak of 37,252
civilian employees was reached in May 1944. Employment dropped
to 18,247 in January 1947 and continued to decline rapidly through­
out that year.
Of the total civilian employment by the Army, 75 percent was
engaged in construction activities; two-thirds of all such construction
workers were under the Army engineers and one-third were employees
of Hawaiian contractors under Army contracts. Of the remainder,
employees of Air Force and Ground Force depots, clerical and admin­
istrative personnel, and hospital employees constituted the bulk of
the employment.*
T able 7.— Army employment of civilian workers, 1943-47
Year
1943........................................................................................
1944 ........................................................................................
1945.........................................................................................
1946 ........................................................................................
1947 ......................................................................................-

March
131,445
27,342
28,314
21,193
212,132

June
30,399
25,181
28,461
21,580

September December
28,697
26,085
26,271
16,425

28,183
28,334
23,689
14,260

1 February 1943 (figure not available for March). A peak of 33,693 was reached between February and
June 1943.
2 Sharp reductions occurred throughout 1947.
Source: Office of Civilian Personnel, Central Pacific Ocean Areas, U. S. Department of War.
* Army and Navy personnel amounted to slightly less than 200,000 in 1945 but dropped to less than 46,000
in 1946.




16

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Defense expenditures
Because of the lack of dependable data, it is impossible to present
a complete statistical picture of the volume of defense expenditures.
Such figures as are available, however, may be useful indications of
the volume of Government funds which flowed into Hawaii during
the war years.
From December 7, 1941, through June 30, 1943, the district engi­
neers spent, in purchases from local firms, approximately $172,000,000.
It is significant that during this period the annual contracting busi­
ness in Hawaii increased from 25 to 132 million dollars, or 428 percent.
Local purchases by the Army exchange system from December
1941 to April 1943 were estimated at $9,100,000 and from April 1943
to January 1944 were $5,713,000—a total of $14,813,000. From
April 1943 to December 1943, the Army exchange system also ex­
pended $1,221,400 for personnel services.
The table covering Army expenditures (excluding personnel) for
1944, 1945, and 1946 indicates that such expenditures had reached
a peak by or before the first half of 1944. They declined steadily
thereafter. This decline presumably reflects the fact that the focus
of military activity had moved westward.

T able 8.— Army expenditures in Territory of Hawaii,1944-46 {excluding pay rolls)
1944
Type of expenditure
Travel allowances.....................
Transportation of equipment
and supplies...........................
Communication services____
Rents and utilities services___
Printing and binding__ ___
Other contractual services___
Supplies and materials...........
Equipment................................
Lands and structures..............
Refunds, awards, etc................
Interest.......................................
Total................................

1945

1946

January- July-De- January- July-December
Juhe
June
cember
$274,000
582.800
203,400
3,535,900
111,671
4,001,600
14,441,900
1,576,100
1,685,400
333.800
4,000
26,750, 571

$514,000
1,085,300
170,000
2,634,200
78,400
3,100,000
8,712,400
526,700
1,786,700
810,200
8,000
19,425,900

$810,000
1.322.000
158,500
3.363.000
88,400
2.100.000
7,468,900
984.200
1,266,300
651.200
15,800
18,228,300

January- July-DeJune
cember

$495,900 $378,400
777,000
941.500
117,900
73,900
2,486,100 1,787,300
4,200
60,700
1,471,500 1,962,500
3,868,800 1,331,900
559,800
164.500
1,037,200
410.500
2,005,700 1,577,200
40,000
11,800
12,920,600 8,643,700

$364,800
987,400
86,700
1.698.800
6.700
1.918.800
1.294.800
158,900
398,000
1,534,600
9.700
8,459,200

Source: Fiscal office, Central Pacific Ocean Area, U. S. Department of War.

T able 9.— Pay rolls of Army personnel Territory of Hawaii,1944-46 ,by months
Month

Amount (in thousands of
dollars)
1944

January...................
February.................
March......................
April........................
May.........................
June.........................

1945

6,996
9,239
11,466
11,718
13,429
11,318

7,446
9,424
11,676
8,509
8,801
7,776

Month

1946
5,454
3,225
2,784
3,007
2,706
2,432

1944
July.........................
August....................
September..............
October...................
November...............
December...............

1 Not available.
Source: Fiscal office, Central Pacific Ocean area, U. S. Department of War.




Amount (in thousands of
dollars)
1945

1946

7,371
10,151
12,061
9,329
8,461
8,566

8,300
8,080
6,723
6,875
5,656
5,877

2,957
3,208
0)
2,967
2,651
2,633

17

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 10.— Monthly pay rolls of civilian Army employees, Territory of Hawaii,
1948-461 by months
iviontu
January..............................................................................
February............................................................................
March................................................................................
April...................................................................................
May........................ ..........................................................
June....................................................................................
July.....................................................................................
August..............................................................:...............
September.........................................................................
October.............................................................................
November.........................................................................
December.........................................................................

Amount (in thousands of dollars)
1942
0)
(0
(0
0)

0)

0)
0)

(9
6,039

6,160
6,263
6,262

1943

1944

1945

6,366
6,382
6,209
6,130
6,465
6,980
5,846
5,664
5,728
5,613
5,339
5,384

5,950
5,761
5,887
5,830
5,582
5,760
6,211
5,544
6,413
5,260
6,043
6,819

6,110
6,428
7,053
6,033
6,107
6,344
6,208
3,892
4,871
4,795
4,838
4,667

1946
5,732
4,365
4,840
4,126
5,121
4,831
4,074
3,619
3,094
3,122
2,915
2,953

i Figures not available.
Source: Fiscal office, Central Pacific Ocean area, U. S. Department of War.

Naval expenditures
The estimated expenditures of the naval disbursing office and of the
navy yard in the Territory for 1945 were $148,000,000: The gross
naval personnel pay roll for 1945 totaled $215,000,000, of which
$101,000,000 went to personnel in shore stations and $114,000,000
to personnel on visiting ships. During that year, approximately
$36,000,000 was expended in Hawaii by such ships for the purchase
of provisions, stores, and supplies. In 1946, the total payments to
Navy service personnel amounted to $32,000,000. Civilian employees
of the Navy were paid a total of $53,000,000 during the same year.
Local expenditures of naval personnel and of civilians employed by
the Navy were estimated at $66,000,000 for the year, and approxi­
mately $4,500,000 was expended locally by the Navy for provisions
and supplies. The value of public works construction undertaken
by the Navy in 1946 amounted to $8,500,000.
Disposal of surplus defense equipment
The tremendous accumulation of wartime supplies in Hawaii re­
sulted in a surplus disposal program which loomed large in the rela­
tively small economy of Hawaii and has impinged upon practically
every aspect of the economy of the Territory. In 1946 alone, the
Army and the Navy sold 169,000,000 “cost dollars worth” of surplus
property in Hawaii to local and mainland buyers.
The wartime expansion of bank deposits and bank clearings
Bank deposits and bank clearings constitute the best available index
of the wartime changes in the volume of business in the Territory.
Total bank deposits rose from $109,000,000 in 1939 to $546,000,000
in 1945. This was partially due to the rise in Government deposits
from slightly less than $13,000,000 in 1939 .to well over $132,000,000
in 1945, but it was primarily due to the general rise in both time and
demand deposits. The decline in total deposits in 1946 was due to the
sharp fall in Government deposits during that year, but the decrease
during the first half of 1947 was due to the reduction in demand
deposits.



18

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Bank clearings rose from $470,000,000 in 1940 to $1,710,000,000 in
1945. There was a decline to $1,447,000,000 in 1946, but figures for
1947 indicated no further decline.
The tables covering bank clearings and bank deposits thus reflect
the rapid rise in defense activity and reveal the inflationary effect of
wartime Federal expenditures in the Territory.
Table

11

. Bank clearings, Territory of Hawaii, 1940-47
—

Year

Year

Amount

1940 ............................................ $470,828,167
1941..................................................... 680,445,850
1942 ............................................
839,083,600
1943..................................................— 1,192,620,768

Amount

1944.....................................................
1945...............................................__
1946—.............................................. ...
1947................................................... .

1,558,841,290
1,710,171,837
1,447,207,298
1,679,938,888

Source: Office of the Bank Examiner, Territory of Hawaii.

Table 12.— Bank deposits, Territory of Hawaii, 1988-47
1938..
1939..
19401941..
1942..
1943..
1944..
1945..
1946..
1947 1.

Demand

Time

$32,964,695.81
33,368,165.48
42,777,939.01
59,497,011.91
100,669,767. 42
108,404,919.15
139,931.586.41
163,460,356.56
156,162,701.14
132,177,157.33

Year ended Dec. 31,

Government

$59,147,864.00
59,606,357.14
67,076,458.68
62,375,809.54
97,474,901.43
133,398,281. 34
185,122,121. 10
232,036, 502. 78
247,238,539.57
246,171,648. 63

All other

$15,938,886.66 $2,541,164.88
12,890,778.29 3,556,437.89
16,151,532.83 3,548,287.16
33,446,090.60 5,413,482.84
76,006,308.06 6,391,711.39
90.856.302.17 4,075,759.53
127, 531,235.35 8,510,150.60
132,489,015 05 5. 503,146.49
68,872,398.00 5,265,273.59
66.155.481.17 7,697,320.24

Total
$110,692,611.35
109,421,736.80
129,554,217.68
160,732,394.89
280.542.688.30
336,735,262.19
461,095,093.46
546,205,585.02
477.538.912.30
452,201.607.37

1 As of June 30, 1947.
Source: Office of the Bank Examiner, Territory of Hawaii.

Land transfers
There was a significant increase in the value of Territorial land
transfers, from $11,864,700 in 1939 to $59,201,800 in 1946. Land
values on all islands except Oahu remained relatively stable. The
sharpest rise in the number and value of land transfers occurred in
the Honolulu area. These figures reflect two developments: (1) A
remarkable inflation of real property values (on the island of Oahu)
due to the acute shortage of housing, and (2) a significant increase in
the wealth and the real-property holdings of residents of Chinese and
Japanese origin due to the wartime expansion of business. The
inflation of real property values reached an all-time high in the spring
of 1947.
T able 13.— Land transfers, Territory of Hawaii, 1985-47

Year
1935 .............................
1936...............................
1937...................... ........
1938...............................
1939 ...........................
1940..............................
1941...............................

Number
of deeds
filed and
recorded

Approximate
value of land
transfers

3,194
4,328
5,358
5,169
5,310
5,763
6,603

$6,217,540
10,916,055
12,125,405
11,000,270
11.864.700
14.017.700
17,256,500

Year
1942 .........................
1943...........................
1944...............................
1945...............................
1946...........................
1947...........................

Source: Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, annual reports.



Number
of deeds
filed and
recorded
4,156
5,542
6,103
6,392
7,832
7,648

Approximate
value of land
transfers
$14,885,500
26,763,200
35.141.000
40.729.000
59,201,800
50.751.000

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

19

Effect of the war on the balance of trade and the balance of payments
One fundamental effect of the war on the economy of the Territory
is strikingly illustrated by the balance of trade between Hawaii and
the mainland. Throughout the twenties and thirties there was an
almost continuous period of favorable trade balances. The balance
of payments was even more favorable than the balance of trade
because there was an invisible export of Hawaiian services to tourists
which, in prewar years, brought the Territory an income of almost
$1,000,000 a month. Thus the export of sugar, pineapples, fish, and
services to tourists more than paid for the food, clothing, housing
materials, transport vehicles, medical supplies, motion pictures, etc.,
which Hawaii purchased from the mainland. This excess produced
a gradual rise in the assets held in Hawaii.
Under normal conditions the sharp rise of imports beginning in
1940, which led to the rapidly increasing unfavorable balance of the
war years, would be alarming because it would mean that the Terri­
tory was rapidly going bankrupt. The payment for a large part of
these imports, however, did not come out of the receipts from Hawaiian
exports but represents expenditures of the Federal Government for
defense purposes. The unfavorable balance appeared before Decem­
ber 7, 1941, because heavy defense investments had begun nearly 2
years earlier. The payments for these increased importations into
Hawaii consisted of (1) direct expenditures of the Government through
the Army and Navy to buy construction materials used in Hawaii,
(2) indirect expenditures of the Government in the form of purchases
by imported mainland workers of food, liquor, curios, and other items
imported from the mainland for their use; (3) similar purchases by
Army, Navy, and Marine personnel; and (4) direct expenditures of
the USO, the Red Cross, and other such agencies serving the armed
forces. Hence, although the commodity imports from the mainland
throughout the war years greatly exceeded Hawaiian exports, the
economy as a whole was expanding and prospering rather than
declining. The direct and indirect claims upon the mainland so
greatly exceeded the unfavorable balance of trade during those years
that they resulted in a sharp rise in bank deposits and liquid reserves
and laid the ground work for a postwar inflation.
The large unfavorable balance which persisted after Government
expenditures had returned to near-normal levels is quite another matter.
Defense expenditures, the employment of civilians for Army and
Navy construction, and the number of service personnel in Hawaii
have declined sharply. The excess of imports over exports in 1946-47
represents a decline in the total volume of claims held in Hawaii
against the mainland. This condition in the first postwar years was
to be expected because the lack of shipping, wartime priorities, and
the acute shortage of many consumer goods had made it impossible
to obtain the normal supply of articles needed by Hawaiian residents.
There was thus a pent-up demand (in terms of need and of the buying
power resulting from the profits accumulated during the war) which
found expression in the form of purchases from the mainland as soon
as wartime restrictions were lifted.
It is clear, however, that unless defense expenditures continue at
high levels the unfavorable balance cannot continue indefinitely.
In the long run, the level of imports (which largely determines the
standard of living in the highly specialized island economy) is depend


fcO
o

BALANCE OF TRADE OF THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII
THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

UNITEO STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR S TA TIS TIC S




Sourcf S T A TIS T IC A L

A BST R A C T OF THE U S ,1 9 4 6 -T A B L E 1030
U S D E P A R T M E N T OF COM M ERCE
BUREAU OF THE C E N S U S

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

21

<ent upon the level of exports, that is, upon the export volume of sugar,
canned pineapples, canned fish, and of services to tourists and the
armed forces. Other things being equal,4 any action which lowers
the export volume of any of these four items will result in a lowering
of living standards in Hawaii.
Period of military control—December 7, 194-1, to March 10, 1943
The direct economic effects of the war can be measured in such terms
as pay rolls, volume of construction, bank clearings, bank deposits,
and the like. The indirect social and psychological effects cannot be
so measured. Yet in the last analysis they have had a more profound
effect on the character of the Hawaiian economy, as indicated by the
developments of 1946-47. Of the many social changes, none is more
important than the change in the outlook and the position of labor.
Of the many reasons for this change, none is more powerful than the
effect of the labor policies of the military government on the attitudes
of Hawaiian labor.
Military defense, not an improvement in working conditions, was
the first concern of military government. On December 12, to provide
an over-all program for Army and Navy employees and for employees
engaged in construction by civilian firms for the Army and Navy,
military authorities agreed to establish an over-all scale of wages for
defense projects. On December 20, by order of the military governor
(General Order No. 38) wages were frozen at the December 7 level
for all employees on Oahu so long as they remained in their job classi­
fications. In addition, Government employees and employees of
contractors, subcontractors, and utility workers were frozen in their
jobs. Any worker in these categories who left his job between Decem­
ber 7 and 20 was ordered to return to his December 7 employer, and
future unemployed workers were to accept employment at the order
of the military government. To secure additional workers quickly
and in quantity, the Hawaiian Department of the United States
Army Engineers Corps on January 1, 1942, executed a formal contract
signed by all sugar and pineapple plantations providing for the loan
of plantation employees for defense projects when requested by the
engineers.
On January 26, General Order No. 38 (supplemented by General
Order No. 56) required the registration of all unemployed able-bodied
men with the United States Employment Service. A director and a
deputy administrator of labor control were appointed for Oahu and an
eight-man advisory council was named. These administrative groups
established wage levels for defense workers and acted as a board of
appeals for workers who were “dismissed with prejudice.” Theoreti­
cally, the director was responsible for all labor problems on Oahu and
confusion later arose as to his position relative to labor disputes.
The military governor’s office on Oahu established executive
branches on Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. Labor controls on these
islands varied to some degree and were largely dependent upon the
decisions of the commanding generals assigned to each island.
On Oahu, plantation laborers were not frozen to their jobs, but
there was an informal agreement with the sugar and pineapple plan­
4 This qLualifleation refers to two possibilities: (1) There may be an increase in local production for local
-consumption; primarily a possible growth in diversified farming on areas not now occupied by the planta­
tions. These possibilities are decidedly limited, however, and are discussed in the section on nonplantation
agriculture. (See ch. 12.) (2) Federal expenditures in Hawaii (in particular defense expenditures) may
Ibe decidedly higher during the coming year than they were in prewar years.
75798— 48— 7— 3




22

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

tation representatives not to employ persons known to be plantation
employees. On the other islands the most effective device for freezing
local labor on the plantations and in other positions was not the
“labor freeze” but the order which required travel permits from
military authorities for movement from island to island. Plantation
workers generally found it impossible to obtain such permits. On
the island of Kauai plantation labor also was required to secure a
formal release from the plantation manager in order to go to another
island.5 On March 31, 1942, General Order No. 38 was revoked and
General Order No. 91 was issued establishing the following policy:
1. Revised Wage Schedule No. 9 of the Navy was set as the
standard for Army and Navy agencies, their contractors and sub­
contractors (civil-service employees were excluded).
2. An 8-hour day and a 6-day week were established, with
overtime rates for work in excess of 8 hours a day and 44 hours a
week. The maximum workweek was 56 hours, except in emer­
gency, and individual and union contract provisions in conflict
with the order were suspended.
3. No hiring of employees in “essential industries” without re­
lease was permitted, and penalties for employees seeking to escape
the “freeze” were ordered. (No penalties were provided for
employer violation.) If the employer released the employee
“with prejudice,” the latter might appeal to the director of labor
control, but if the employer was unwilling to issue any form of
release, the employee had no choice but to work at the assigned
job or be prosecuted in provost court for absenteeism and
vagrancy.
On June 2(3, 1942, General Order No. 120 suspended all legal holi­
days and abolished premium-pay provisions for such days. (Pre­
mium-pay provisions for Sunday work were already void, except
insofar as the 44-hour week applied.)
Women employed in regulated jobs were subject to the same rigid
control and possibility of penalty as men, but unless they were in this
category on December 7 or voluntarily entered it, women were not
treated so dictatorially. General Order No. 152, dated November 5,
1942, required registration of all women over 16, and it is probable
that the fear of potential evacuation persuaded many unemployed
women to accept employment. The follow-up of the registration,
however, was not particularly effective.
Conflict and compromise between military and civilian authorities—
March 10,1943, to October 24,1944
Immediately following the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Decem­
ber 7, 1941, there was an acceptance, even an urgent desire to institute
military authority. It was the common view that local forces were
inadequate to repulse a full-scale Japanese landing (which was momen­
tarily expected) aod, therefore, any measures designed to strengthen
defense, no matter how extreme, should be accepted without question.
At a time when servicemen (including many from Hawaii) were giving
their lives for defense, it appeared entirely reasonable that labor
should accept military regulations as part of the defense program.
Throughout 19.42, however, there was a gradual growth of antag­
onism to military government. Decisive naval victories in the summer*
* District Regulation No. 74 (May 4,1942) which was also the “travel order” for that island.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

23

of 1942 restored confidence in the security of Hawaii. The landings
at Guadalcanal in August transferred the offensive from Japan to the
United States. Orders which appeared reasonable in the presence of
extreme danger seemed unreasonable when that danger ceased to exist.
In August 1942, William Green, president of the American Federation
of Labor, requested the military governor’s office to establish a board
in Hawaii similar to the National War Labor Board in order to protect
the rights of labor. A new Governor of Hawaii was appointed in
August and promptly undertook to reestablish civil rights. Extended
conferences in Washington between Governor Stainback (who was
accompanied by Attorney General Anthony) and officials of the
Departments of War, Justice, and the Interior resulted in a com­
promise. On February 8, 1943, a military proclamation provided
that 30 days from that date part of the functions performed under
the military government should be returned to civilian authorities.
In an attempt to reduce the confusion that resulted, on March 10,
1943, the military governor revoked all existing general orders that
dealt with civilian control and promulgated a new series (General
Orders Nos. 1 to 14) redefining the military regulations which would
remain in force. General Order No. 10 in this series contained the
labor control regulations and indicated that authority would be re­
tained by military government over all employees of the United States
under the Army or the Navy, all construction employees on projects
under the Army or Navy, stevedores and dock workers, and publicutility employees. The regulations governing these workers were very
much the same as the previous regulations.
On the same date, March 10, the civilian government issued its
own regulations. Rule No. 42 provided temporary control (first for
60 days and later extended to 90 days) over 32 firms previously re­
garded as “ sources of supply.” Rule No. 43 established a Hawaiian
manpower director and a Hawaiian manpower board to supervise
controls over all labor not under military control and to freeze
“ critical-shortage industries” (dairies, laundries, and hospitals). On
April 18, a travel order (rule No. 57) was adopted which was less
stringent than the military order but restricted solicitation of labor
as between islands except with the approval of the manpower direc­
tor. In October 1943, the War Manpower Commission’s war stabili­
zation program became effective. It directly affected all workers
classified as essential to the community and between seventy and
eighty thousand additional workers not under military rule. The
most important features were the separation of agricultural workers
and industrial plantation workers and the provision that agricultural
workers could leave a particular employer but not the industry. On
November 1, 1943, the military government issued General Order
No. 40, which amended General Order No. 10, by revising the wageand-hour schedules and by stating that the general provisions of
General Order No. 10 no longer applied outside of Oahu. This
ended military labor controls on the other islands.
From the standpoint of labor, the compromise of 1943 constituted
a fruitless victory. The basic restrictive controls imposed on “defense
workers” remained in force. Mainland labor that had been recruited
for work in this field was experienced in modern “personnel manage­
ment” and grievance procedures and was well aware of the collective^
bargaining advantages enjoyed by mainland labor. Labor in Hawaii,



24

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

led by imported mainland workers, became more and more vocal.
The central labor council of American Federation of Labor locals
wrote to General Richardson in January 1943, requesting a return
of all labor controls to civilian rule. In July the council passed a
resolution requesting General Richardson to initiate a study and
revision of grievance procedure, since no action had been taken to
institute civilian control. In March 1944, unions representing both
the A. F. of L. and the CIO issued strongly worded protests against
military interference with union leaders and accused authorities of
discrimination against organized labor.6 The effect of these protests
was strengthened by a critical judicial review of military infringement
on civilian liberties. This grew out of the conflict over habeas corpus
proceedings in the Glockner-Siefert case and the imposition of a fine
for contempt upon General Richardson by a civilian court. The
case was a significant development in the effort to restore civilian
government. Justice Murphy, concurring with the decision of the
Supreme Court on this case on December 7, 1945, stated:

The unconstitutionality of the usurpation of civil power by the military is so
great in this instance as to warrant this Court's complete and outright repudiation
of the action.

Civilian labor directors continuously pointed out to military author­
ities the ineffectiveness of a dual system of regulation.
In June 1944, the National War Labor Board was established in
Hawaii, a move which swung the balance of power in labor matters to
the civilian authorities. In August, the office of the military governor
announced that all labor disputes would be handled by civilian
officials. On October 24, 1944, Executive Order 9489 of the President
of the United States established Hawaii as a “military area” and
terminated the martial-law status of the Territory.
Administrative confusion, the revival of unionism, and the termination
of the war, October 24, 1944, t° August 14, 1945
The remaining 10 months of the war constitute a confused period
of military-civilian control. The peak of military construction was
past and reductions in employment were already being made. The
War Manpower Commission, although more willing than the military
officials to listen to the grievances of labor, nevertheless continued
the system of labor stabilization and priorities. The War Labor
Board continued to maintain the established wage structure. There
was an endless argument between military and civilian authorities as
to which were essential jobs, who was unnecessarily holding labor,
and how labor could best be utilized. While officials debated, labor
leaders were working and union membership was increasing rapidly.
The controls so suddenly imposed in December 1941 were removed
with equal suddenness when the war ended. Any laborer could leave
his job at will, move from place to place, accept a new job, or take a
vacation. Labor in general was free to assert rights under the Na­
tional Labor Relations Act and to strike without violating patriotic
pledges. The strength of labor organization was heightened by the
fact that, in spite of the reduction in Government construction and
maintenance work, the demand for labor was still strong.•
• The Memorandum on Military Control of Hawaiian Labor, issued by officials of the American Federa­
tion of Labor unions on March 22, 1944, was especially emphatic.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

25

This brief summary of the official administrative developments
respecting the regulation of labor during the war years covers only the
outstanding changes. A detailed history of the numerous conflicts,
conferences, orders, regulations, and legal disputes centering on the
status of labor during the war would require a volume much larger
than this entire report, but certain conclusions are clearly indicated
by the documents and reports of the period:
1. Civilian authority was freely and voluntarily given over to the
armed forces in the earliest days of the war. At that time, labor
groups (including those of Japanese descent) gave the military govern­
ment full cooperation, accepting the most restrictive regulations
without complaint.
2. The reason for the unquestioning acceptance of the leadership
of the military government was the patriotism of the residents of the
Territory in the face of a momentary expectation of enemy action
against one or more of the islands.
3. As this danger receded, particularly after the United States
gained the initiative during the summer and fall of 1942, there was a
rising opposition to the continuation of military government in respect
to civilian affairs.
4. The resentment was intensified by drastic action on the part of
military government in the detailed regulation of civilian activities;
in particular by the usurpation of judicial powers and the arbitrary
exercise of those powers in the face of repeated representations from
labor, management, and civilian officials. The result was a threesided conflict of views:
(а ) The military authorities, faced with the urgent emergencies
which continuously arose as the war moved northward in the western
Pacific, were determined that war requirements should have first
priority. They saw no reason why both management and labor in
Hawaii should not conform to local military rule (even to military
regulations which were onerous) when American servicemen were
living under more difficult conditions and were giving their lives for
victory. Military authorities in Hawaii were constantly reminded by
reports from the front that the outcome of specific engagements was
heavily dependent upon the efficient and continuous movement of men
and of supplies in Hawaii to the proper units in the Far East. In their
minds all activity in Hawaii stemmed from this primary consideration.
The whole framework of militaiy regulations covering civilian activi­
ties and labor controls must be interpreted from this point of view.
(б ) Management organizations in Hawaii, although clearly recog­
nizing that the winning of the war was the primary consideration,
nevertheless felt that the maintenance of the basic island industries
(sugar and pineapple production, the local public utilities, and the
service industries) were important contributions toward that end.
It was generally felt that the war emergency and the secrecy surround­
ing it were being used as a cloak to cover local orders and local activ­
ities which were unnecessarily arbitrary or which gave Army and
Navy personnel privileges and authority which the exigencies of the
war did not require. Moreover, 'having cooperated fully with mili­
tary authorities in providing heavy plantation equipment in the form
of trucks, tractors, and cranes whenever required; having relinquished
plantation labor when needed for defense activities; having accepted



26

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

military priorities in respect to shipping; having adjusted plantation
and other operations to a change in the whole framework of economic
relationships required by military demands; and having abandoned
their normal markets for sugar and pineapples in order to supply
the armed forces with these foods; the management of island indus­
tries felt that civilians had a right to participation in local adminis­
trative policy.
(c) Labor believed that its position and its interest were being
virtually ignored. It was the view of labor leaders that military
government tended to be sympathetic to management and antago­
nistic to labor organization.7 On two points labor was especially
critical:
Labor leaders contended that while Hawaiian enterprises both
large and small were making unusual profits, while the Govern­
ment was paying well for properties, materials, and services, and
while prices were rising, labor was “frozen” and was carrying
the weight of the civilian part of the local war effort without
receiving its fair share of the payment for such effort.8
It was further felt that after the summer of 1942 there was no
justification for regulations controlling labor to be more restric­
tive in Hawaii than those on the mainland. Bitterness was
especially expressed concerning the excessive power of manage­
ment and the stringent regulations against absenteeism which
made it possible for military courts to fine or imprison workers
for being absent from their jobs under procedures which were
considered arbitrary and were later judged by the Supreme
Court to be illegal.
This resentment gradually grew to explosive proportions between
1942 and 1944 and was a primary reason for the sudden unionization
of all important island industries as soon as restrictions were lifted.
These developments are discussed in the chapter on unionization in
this report (ch. 23).
Summary
The economic effects of the war on Hawaii may be summarized as
follows:
1. A complete change in (a) the character of administrative con­
trols, (b) their location, (c) the goals toward which the economic
activities on the islands were directed, and (d) the character of the
daily life of Hawaiian communities.
2. An evacuation of the nonemployed and the tourists, and a sharp
increase in total employment due to (a) the fact that a much larger
percentage of those living in the islands entered employment for
patriotic reasons or because of military government regulations, and
(b) the importation of large numbers of mainland laborers.
3. A general stimulation of activity throughout the Hawaiian econ­
omy due to (a) a sharp rise in Army and Navy construction accom­
panied by a corresponding increase in the importation of construction
7 If an employee was “dismissed with prejudice/’ it was not legally possible to find employment else­
where. This gave employers a strong position in the enforcement of General Order No. 38 freezing workers
in their jobs as of December 7,1941.
8 The “labor freeze” contained restrictive provisions in respect to wage rates to which labor could point
in support of its contention, but it is not strictly true that labor failed to benefit, because it was possible
to avoid wage controls by reclassifying workers and promoting them to higher levels. The labor shortage
was so acute that this was a common practice, especially on the part of Navy and Army authorities, in
order to attract labor into defense construction.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

27

materials, military equipment and supplies, (b) the employment of
large numbers of civilian workers drawn from other island enterprises
and from the mainland, and (c) the local purchases by the Army,
the Navy, and the personal expenditures of servicemen on all islands.
4. An expansion of the public utilities and the service industries of
the islands to an all-time high.
5. The rise of Federal expenditures in Hawaii which began with the
prewar defense program of 1939-41 and, after December 7,1941, over­
shadowed all other forms of income in the Territory.
6. A resultant inflation as indicated by the rapid increases in bank
clearings, deposits, credit, and of those prices not under OPA control.
7. The development of an acute housing shortage which was most
intense in the Honolulu area.
Had it not been for wartime restrictions in the form of price control,
shipping controls, and the allocation of priorities, long before the end
of the war Hawaii would have experienced an even greater boom with
an expansion of private construction and a marked rise in prices.
The rigid restrictions imposed by the military government, however,
held these developments in check. There was thus a gradual increase
in pressure toward higher prices, toward a demand for new construc­
tion and toward the establishment of new enterprises. As soon as
wartime restrictions were lifted these forces, long held in check, became
operative.
Underlying all of these economic developments was a fundamental
change in the outlook of Hawaiian labor which later resulted in a
remarkably rapid expansion in labor-union organization and a com­
plete change in the character of labor-management relations in the
Territory.










Part II
THE SUGAR INDUSTRY

29




CHAPTER 3. ORGANIZATION OF THE INDUSTRY
THE RELATIVE POSITION OF THE H AW AIIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY

The annual world production of sugar reached a high of 35,942,000
tons in 1940. Because of the war, there has been a marked decline
since that date. Present production is about 30 million tons, twothirds of it being cane sugar and the remaining third beet sugar. The
International Sugar Agreement of May 7, 1937, divided the world into
separate market areas established under quota systems in closed or
partially closed markets. Only one-tenth of the world production of
sugar is outside of this quota system. Hence the so-called “world
price” for sugar (established in the London market, since the British
Empire is the most important buyer of sugar in the open market)
cannot be considered as a dependable barometer of a true world price
for sugar.
The American market absorbs approximately one-fifth of the world
production, or 6 million short tons. The present duty-free sources
of supply are: (1) Mainland beet, (2) Puerto Rico, (3) Hawaiian cane,
and (4) mainland cane.1
The Sugar Act of 1937 established quotas for these areas within the
American market. All sugar produced in any of the above areas up
to the quota limitation can be sold in the American market free of
duty. The quota for Hawaii was then 14.1 percent of the American
market, or 918,038 short tons. There was a temporary suspension of
quotas from September 11, 1939, to December 26, 1939. Because of
the acute shortage of sugar during the war years the quota system
was again suspended in 1942. In August 1947 it was revised and
reestablished giving Hawaii an annual quota of 1,052,000 tons for a
period of 5 years.1
2
In addition to the sugar produced for mainland consumption,
Hawaii normally produces about 30,000 tons for local consumption.
The remainder is shipped as raw sugar to be refined and marketed
on the mainland.
Sugarcane was indigenous to Hawaii at the time of its discovery
but even as late as 1837 only 2 tons were produced during the year.
The next 40 years witnessed a gradual increase in production under
the employment of native Hawaiian labor. During this period the
sugar industry expanded from a minor place to a significant position
in the economy, that is, from an annual output of 2 tons in 1837 to
13,036 tons in 1876. The period from 1876 to 1933 was one of very
rapid expansion (accompanied by a shift to alien Oriental labor)
during which the industry reached a dominant position in the Terri­
tory. The Reciprocal Trade Agreement of the United States in 1876
and the annexation of Hawaii as a territory of the United States in
1 Cuba supplies nearly half (48.5 percent) of the American requirement and is given preferential treatment
in respect to duty over other foreign areas.
2 The measure also (1) provided for incentive payments to beet and cane sugar growers, (2) required the
Secretary of Agriculture to determine a “fair and reasonable" price to be paid by processors to growers,
(3) required the Secretary of Agriculture to determine every year the minimum wages to be paid sugar
agricultural workers.




31

32

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

1898 each gave a sharp impetus to production. During this time
successive waves of immigrants from China, Portugal, Japan, Korea,
and the Philippines were induced by plantation management and by
the Government to come to Hawaii to meet the labor demands of
the expanding industry.
By 1932 the sugar industry had reached a high of 1,063,605 short
tons. From then until- the war began, production averaged a little
over 966,000 tons annually. During the war years there was a
definite decline in output due to the shortage of labor and the diffi­
culties in obtaining maintenance equipment and fertilizer. Due to a
strike in the autumn of 1946 there was a sharp drop to 680,073 short
tons, representing a loss of over 180,000 short tons. Since the growing
period of cane is from 18 to 22 months, the strike also affected 1947
production, which was approximately 872,164 short tons.
T able 14.— Cane sugar • Production of H aw aii, 1908-47 1
£ Year beginning
October-

Total Average Sugar
acreage yield per pro­
in cane acre1 duced 3
2

Year beginning
October—

1908.
1909.
1910.
1911.
1912.
1913.
1914.
1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
1924.
1925.
1926.
1927.
1928.
1929.

Acres Short tons Short tons
201,641
32.8 545,738
209,469
31.5 529,940
214,312
35.7 582,196
216.345
35.3 607,863
215,741
34.8 556,654
217,470
39.5 624,165
239,800
45.8 650.970
246,332
42.1 596,703
247,476
44.4 654,388
276,813
40.5 582,192
239,844
39.6 607,174
39.2 560,379
247,838
236, 510
41.2 546,273
228,519
41.0 618,457
235,134
39.9 554,199
231,862
50.7 715,918
52.2 781,000
240, 597
237,774
53.1 804,644
234,809
56.1 831,648
240,769
58.6 920,887
239,858
57.7 925,140
242,761
58.7 939, 287

1930.........................
1931........................
1932_____________
1933 (Oct. 1 to Dec.
31)____________
Year beginning
Jan. 1:
1934...............
1935...................
1936.................
1937..............
1938.............. .
1939................. .
1940..............—
1941...............
1942...................
1943............ .
1944...................
1945............ .
1946................1947.................

Total Average Sugar
acreage yield per pro­
in cane acre2 duced 3
Acres Short tons
251,533
61.9
63.4
251,876
254,563
59.1
252,237'
246,491
245,801
240,833
238,302
235,227
223, 511
238, 111
225,199
220,928
216,072
211,331
208,376

Short tons
1,018,047
1,057,303
1,063,605
127,317

59.5
959,337
986,849
67.8
70.1 1,042,316
944,382
69.5
941,293
65.0
994,173
62.2
976,667
62.7
65.45 947,190
69.01 870,099
71.95 885,640
71. 51 874,947
71.44 821,216
71.13 680,073
872,164

1 Until 1871 annual production did not exceed 10,000 tons. Production was 12,788 tons in 1877 and rose
rapidly thereafter, amounting to over 100,000 tons within a decade. There was an especially sharp rise
between 1895 and 1908, during which time annual production increased from 147,627 tons to 545,738 tons.
2 The growth of 18 to 22 months. Only a portion of the total acreage in cane is harvested each year.
3 Converted to 96° raw basis, in accordance with Sugar Regulations, Series 1, No. 1, U. S. Department of
Agriculture, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, issued Feb. 18,1935.
Source: Crop Reporting Board, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

General organization of the Hawaiian sugar industry
In the sugar-producing areas of Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Philip­
pines, and the sugar beet States, a farming system had been established
before the development of the sugar industry. As the farmers in
those areas already owned the land, sugar production grew along the
lines of the established farming system.
The Hawaiian sugar industry, on the contrary, began on land which
was undeveloped. The taro patches cultivated by the native Hawai­
ian were unsuitable for sugar. The land the sugar plantations now
occupy formerly consisted of forest areas, useless arid areas, or semiarid pasture land. The plantations own a little over half of this land
in fee simple; the remainder is leased. The land tenure system in



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

33

Hawaii is different from that in any other part of the United States.
It is a complex outgrowth of the feudal system which existed before
annexation, under native Hawaiian royalty. Such lands as were
suitable for sugar had been held in large tracts and were thus leased or
purchased in large tracts. From the beginning, sugar production in
Hawaii was on a larger scale than typical mainland farming.
Throughout the whole history of the industry, there has been a
steady decrease in the number of plantations, with a corresponding
increase in the scale of plantation operations and in production per
acre and per man-hour. Until 1932 there was a steady growth in the
total volume of output. The value of Hawaiian sugar plantations was
estimated at $9,000,000 in 1880. By 1892, $33,000,000 of capital had
been added, of which $25,000,000 were invested by Americans,
$6,000,000 by British investors, and the remaining $2,000,000 by
Germans.3 By 1901 a total of $85,000,000 had been invested. Most
of the increase in the value of plantations since that time has come from
reinvested surpluses built up within the industry. The Hawaiian
Sugar Planters’ Association estimates the present investment in all
sugar plantations to be approximately $175,000,000.
For the following reasons the trend continues to be toward larger
plantation units:
(1) In Hawaii the growing of cane and manufacturing of raw sugar
are combined in a single plantation, based on a planned program to
provide a continuous flow of cane into the mill. Under these con­
ditions small-scale operations are inefficient. Where small-scale
farming persists, in other sugar-producing areas, there is a sharp line
of demarcation between the growing of sugarcane and its processing,
the farmers selling to the processors.
(2) The arid and semiarid lands, which constitute over half of the
area now under cane cultivation, required the construction of large
irrigation systems too costly to be undertaken except by large-scale
enterprises.
(3) Unlike the crop in other areas, cane in Hawaii takes 18 to 22
months to mature. It needs a much greater quantity of fertilizer
per acre. Because of the topography, it requires expensive systems
of transportation between field and mill. To accomplish these ends
requires a large capital outlay and involves risks more readily carried
by large-scale concerns.
(4) The plantations are organized in an association which has
planned for the Hawaiian sugar industries as a whole and which has
developed the whole* framework of economic relations necessary to
their existence on an industry-wide basis, including shipping, the
purchase of fertilizer, equipment and other supplies, the development
of mainland refineries and markets, the supervision of management
labor policies, the maintenance of research laboratories and the for­
mulation of common programs of action for combating plant diseases,
insect pests, and soil problems.
It should be strongly emphasized that mass production agriculture
is the foundation on which high per worker productivity has been
developed in Hawaii and which, to a large degree, determines the
standard of living in the Territory as a whole.
3 German holdings were seized by the Enemy Property Custodian during the First World War, and were
later sold to Hawaiian interests.



34

t h e e c o n o m y of

H a w a ii

in

1947

THE “ f a c t o r s ” AND THE HAW AIIAN SUGAR PLANTERS* ASSOCIATION

With the development of the whaling industry which centered in
Hawaii, there appeared a group of trading concerns which provided
the whalers with supplies and often acted as agents for them in much
the same way as the Hudson Bay “factors” acted as agents for fur
trappers in Canada. With the collapse of the whaling industry and
the expansion of the sugar industry, the Hawaiian “ factors” turned
to sugar as a field of operations.
At first the sugar plantations arranged for the transporting and
selling of sugar through captains of sailing ships. Later the com­
mercial functions of the rapidly expanding industry were so important
that the factors were encouraged to concentrate upon them. Planta­
tion agriculture was designed for the most effective production of
sugar and for organizing the land, labor, and capital of Hawaii on a
mass-production basis. It was not organized to meet the problems
of merchandising. The isolation of Hawaii imposes serious difficulties
in maintaining contacts between plantation management and distant
American markets. The factors took over this latter function and
eventually absorbed the financing of the plantations as well. Compe­
tition and amalgamation gradually reduced the factors to the five
iarge agencies which now handle everything the plantations buy
and sell.
The independent owner-manager plantation survived until 1880.
About that time, under the guidance of the factors, there was a marked
movement toward incorporation to provide for the mobilization of
capital and for large-scale production. Within two decades nearly
all the capital in the Hawaiian sugar industry was in plantation
corporations. This facilitated the trend toward consolidation on the
part of both factors and plantations. In 1883 there were 90 planta­
tions which produced 57,053 tons of sugar. By 1938 there were only
38 plantations but they produced 941,293 tons of sugar. All but three
of these plantations were managed by the five “factors.” As of
November 1947 there were 30 plantations 4 with a capacity to pro­
duce annually over a million tons of sugar.
In 1882 the sugar industry organized the “ Planters* Labor and
Supply Co.** This was reorganized in 1895 as “ The Hawaiian Sugar
Planters* Association.** It has continued under that name as the
central organ for the coordination of policy and planning for the
Hawaiian sugar industry as a whole down to the present time. The
H. S. P. A. describes its functions as follows:

The Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association is an organization of plantations and
individuals united for the purposes of cooperative improvement of the island sugar
industry as a whole. . . . The association is administered by a board of trustees.
The president, who serves for 1 year, is elected from among the trustees.
. . . The association’s major enterprises are divided into the following de­
partments: Experiment station, bureau of labor and statistics, labor saving devices
committee, boiler inspection committee, public relations committee, labor rela­
tions committee, legislative committee.
The association acts as a clearinghouse for all activities of the industry, making
possible the freest and quickest interchange of information among the plantation
4 Not including 2 in process of dissolution in 1947. There have been a number of recent changes: (1)
Most of the area occupied by the Honolulu plantation was purchased during the war by the Army and
Navy for defense construction and housing (the remainder of the Honolulu plantation land was absorbed
by the Oahu plantation); (2) Waianae and Waimanalo plantations began liquidation in 1947; (3) the Maui
Agricultural Co. was amalgamated with the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co.; and (4) the Waiakea
Mill plantation resigned from the H. S. P. A. in 1947 in the expectation of liquidation in 1948. One other
plantation was considering the possibility of liquidation at the time of the survey.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

35

♦ executives. It maintains an office in Washington, D. C., which handles all rela­
tions of the Hawaiian sugar industry with Government departments and the
Congress.5*

The long-run result of the agency system was thus to deprive the
plantations of their independence and to transfer control to the factors,
a control which has been further unified by the coordination of policies
and planning in the central offices of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters7
Association.
The agencies (or factors) and the plantations they represent are as
follows:
C. Brewer & Co., Ltd.—Continued
Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd.
Hutchinson Sugar Plantation Co.
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.
Kilauea Sugar Plantation Co.
Kahuku Plantation Co.
Olokele Sugar Co.
Maui Agricultural Co.
Onomea Sugar Co.
McBryde Sugar Co., Ltd.
Paauhau Sugar Plantation Co.
American Factors, Ltd.
Pepeekeo Sugar Co.
Grove Farm Co., Ltd.
Wailuku Sugar Co.
Kekaha Sugar Co., Ltd.
Waimanalo Sugar Co.®
Koloa Sugar Co., Ltd.
Castle & Cooke, Ltd.
Lihue Plantation Co., The
Ewa Plantation Co.
Oahu Sugar Co., Ltd.
Kohala Sugar Co.
Olaa Sugar Co., Ltd.
Pioneer Mill Co., Ltd.
Waialua Agricultural Co., Ltd.
Waimea Sugar Mill Co., The
Theo H. Davies & Co., Ltd.
«C. Brewer & Co., Ltd.
Hamakua Mill Co.
Hakalau Plantation Co.
Kaiwiki Sugar Co., Ltd.
Hawaiian Agricultural Co.
Laupahoehoe Sugar Co.
Hilo Sugar Co.
Waiakea Mill Co.7

There are two additional plantations, the Honokaa Sugar Co.
(F. A. Schaefer & Co., Ltd., agents), which is also a member of the
H. S. P. A., and Gay & Robinson (Bishop Trust Co., Ltd., agents),
which is not a member of the H. S. P. A.
The functions of the factors, as summarized in the Hawaiian Sugar
Planters7Association Manual, are as follows:

F inancial .—All fiscal matters of the plantations are handled by specialists in
the offices of the factors. Moneys are received and disbursed, tax statements
prepared, water and land rents paid or received, surpluses invested, or deficits
advanced.
E xperim ental .—Engineers and other technicians are constantly seeking ways to
improve the output of the various client plantations.
S h ippin g .—All the multitudinous detail of shipping huge quantities of sugar
by water to the mainland is in the hands of the factors.
*M erchandising .—Through their mainland buyers, the factors provide a steady
flow of needed merchandise to plantation stores and to the plantations them­
selves. Because of the size of their operation, everything a plantation and its
personnel need is provided at a minimum cost.
THE ORGANIZATION OF A TYPICAL PLANTATION

Sugar is produced on 30 plantations8 located on the four main
islands—Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. About 208,000 acres are
in cane, of which somewhat more than half is harvested every year.
In addition to the cane land, the plantations hold large areas not
under cultivation, mainly timberlands and uplands which often pro­
vide a source of water supply for irrigation purposes.
8 Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association Manual, p. 16.
• In process of dissolution.
"The Waiakea Mill Co. submitted its resignation from the H. S. P. A. in 1947 in expectation of liquidation
t
In 1948.
8Not including two in process of dissolution.



36

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Plantations vary widely in appearance and in the living conditions
of plantation labor. On some plantations much of the housing is new
and the local community services such as sanitation, fire protection,
hospitalization, motion-picture theaters, clubs, recreational facilities,
and electric lighting are modern. On others (especially those in which
work communities are broken up into “plantation camps”) housing is
poor and sanitation and other conveniences are lacking.
Operational problems on a sugar plantation are comparable to those
of a Detroit factory rather than to those of a large Iowa farm. The
primary objective of the management is to maintain “belt-line produc­
tion” of sugar by so. scheduling the various fields throughout the
plantation for harvesting and transport to the mill that full-scale rawsugar production will be continuous, 24 hours a day. To do this it is
necessary to maintain a fleet of large trucks, mechanical harvesting
equipment, a system of narrow-gage railways (or other means of
transporting cane to the mill), a laboratory for scientific observation
to determine the water and fertilizer needs with an organized force of
workers to implement these findings, and large pumping stations and
gravity systems for controlling irrigation.
Although there are wide differences in the technical problems
faced by the plantations because of extreme variations in topography
and rainfall, life on all plantations follows a substantially similar
pattern. Under the coordinating influence of the Hawaiian Sugar
Planted Association, over a period of several generations of experi­
mentation, good workable methods have spread rapidly, thus develop­
ing a common pattern of plantation organization.
The manager of a plantation is appointed by the controlling “ factor”
or agency. He has wide authority over the plantation anil the mill
and exercises a considerable influence over all community activities.
Plantations range from 4 to 10 million dollars in value and managers
must be men of training and experience. Some of them (particularly
those in Hamakua) are of Scotch descent, others are New Englanders,
still others have come from Louisiana cane plantations, and many,
of course, are island-born.
The typical plantation consists of five divisions: (1) Field operations
including planting, cultivation, harvesting, irrigation, and agri­
cultural research, (2) the sugar mills and the shops including boiling
house and laboratory, the pumping stations, the machine shop, and
garage, (3) the central office including the maintenance of records
covering every phase of plantation operation, (4) the industrial rela­
tions division, and (5) other departments including the plantation
railroad (and fleet of trucks), plantation store, the hospital and other
departments.
Timing is important since there is a time for each operation when
the expenditure of man-days of labor, the use of machines, the appli­
cation of fertilizer, and irrigation water will be most productive. It is
also true that cane cannot be stored more than 2 or 3 days without
spoiling. Hence, plantation and production schedules must be such
that enough, but not too much, cane will continuously appear at the
mill to keep it in full operation.
The topography of Hawaii is such that a plantation must necessarily
be separated into fields of widely different sizes, altitude ranges, and
soil conditions. Since cane requires 18 to 22 months to mature, all
of this planning must be projected a year and a half ahead. Thus the



75798- 48-

PLANTATION ORGANIZATION

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T OF
B U R EA U OF L A B O R S T A T I S T IC S




LA B O R

CO

38

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

plantation manager, the heads of different departments, and the
scientific research men who determine fertilizer, irrigation, and other
requirements face a complicated and detailed problem in the planning
of plantation operations, the construction of irrigation systems, the
purchase of fertilizer, the maintenance of equipment, and, most
difficult of all, the organization and direction of plantation labor.
Because of this and because in the earlier days plantations were
dependent upon untrained oriental workers, the lines of authority
stemming from the plantation manager have become clearly defined.
Physically a sugar plantation consists of (1) the plantation town,
which includes the homes of workers and management officials, stores,
clubs, a motion-picture theater, a recreation field and gymnasium, a
hospital, and such services as electric fighting, a water system, police
and fire protection; (2) a transportation system, including trucks,
tractors, and in most cases a narrow-gage plantation railroad; (3) the
plantation land area;9 (4) a repair shop with expert mechanics for the
maintenance of trucks, tractors, railroad equipment, and mill ma­
chinery; (5) a sugar mill; and (6) central offices of the management
where continuous and remarkably detailed records covering every
aspect of the plantation are kept, long-range plans are developed, and
daily orders covering irrigation, planting, harvesting, and milling
are issued.
Work begins and ends early in the day, as compared with mainland
standards. Laborers appear at 6 or 6:30 in the morning to be taken by
train or truck to the fields to which they are assigned. For each group
there is a “luna” or straw boss who directs the work in accordance with
instructions he receives at headquarters. On most plantations there is
a period of 15 minutes or more in the early morning for a light snack
and a half hour in the neighborhood of 11:30 or 12 for a noon lunch,
eaten in the field. Since field labor is predominantly oriental, rice is
the most important item in the diet.
Field labor works on a 48-hour week and an 8-hour day. Some
workers are under “long-term cultivation contracts” and require only
occasional supervision, since it is a common interest of both manage­
ment and labor to maximize output. To a limited extent, long-term
cultivators are thus more independent in respect to time and hours
of work and may increase earnings by working more to increase output.
For the majority of plantation laborers the working day ends as
early as 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon, at which time they are brought
back to the plantation center.
Hawaiian life is distinctly an outdoor fife, the temperature through­
out the year being such that there is no month in which outdoor games
cannot be played in comfort. Social fife among the younger workers
thus tends to center in such games as football, tennis, and basketball.
There are also intra- and inter-plantation games which attract much
local attention. On many plantations there are workers’ clubs, which
have tended in the past to organize along racial lines. Formerly,
club rooms were provided in part by the plantation and in part by
club dues. With the disappearance of the perquisite system and the
growth of unionization, clubs are gradually becoming part of the union
organization, supported by workers’ funds. In view of the working
9 Not all of this land is devoted to sugar production. Plantations dependent upon ground water own and
maintain the wooded slopes nearby to protect their sources of water supply. They often maintain a ranch
and dairy, truck garden or small farm, and there is, of course, the land occupied by the plantation town
itself.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

39

'hours, night life is simple and brief; the plantation town retires at a
relatively early hour.
Until the end of the war the whole plantation area, including all
homes, land, motion-picture theaters, plantation stores, and even the
installations for public services such as electric lighting and fire pro­
tection was plantation-controlled. The plantation manager was the
chief official and central authority on all aspects of plantation life.
In addition to his technical knowledge regarding sugar production, he
had final responsibility in the direction and operation of sewerage and
water systems, of the fire-protection systems, police force, the rail­
roads, and performed many of the functions that a mayor would
perform. He even sat as an informal judge on cases involving minor
disturbances and petty larcenies.
Although he still occupies a dominant position in the community,
many of his functions have been modified with the growth of unions,
the development of collective bargaining, and the disappearance of the
perquisite system.




CHAPTER 4. SUGAR PRODUCTION
METHODS OF PRODUCTION

The typical sugar plantation operations include (1) preparation of
the soil, (2) planting, (3) weed control, (4) fertilizing, (5) irrigating,1
(6) harvesting, (7) transporting, (8) manufacturing raw sugar, (9) ship­
ping, and (10) general maintenance.
Throughout the history of the sugar industry there has been a steady
trend toward mechanization. The recent rapid rise in wages has
become a powerful impetus toward further mechanization. New opera­
tional developments were retarded during the war and the first two
postwar years because it was impossible to obtain new equipment.
Research and new technical developments have betm carried forward
intensively, however, and it appears certain that mechanization will
proceed rapidly during the next few years.1 Since 1939 a number of
2
important changes have been introduced, or are now in the process of
being adopted. The following description of .the various operations
indicates (1) the character of the labor performed on the plantations,
(2) the rapid reduction in the demands made upon the physical strength
of the laborer, and (3) the decline in the number of laborers required
due to mechanization.
Preparation of the land
The primary labor requirement in preparing the land is for tractor
operators and their helpers. Diesel-powered crawler tractors of 90
and more horsepower are used with both disk and moleboard plows.
Many plantations have recently adopted tillage plows (known as the
‘pineapple plow”) which are close-coupled with the tractor to
permit better control of depth, and are easier to operate and maneuver.
The primary plowing usually extends to a depth of 20 to 24 inches.
Disk plows, fitted with 32-inch disks, are used for secondary plowing
and large 28-inch cutaway disk harrows are used for the final prepara­
tion of the field before planting. In some areas a heavy disk harrow
is replacing the disk plow. Harrows are also frequently used before
the moleboard plows to level off furrows and chop up debris or cane
“trash” left on the field at the time of the harvest.
Hawaiian soil lacks silica, so that tillage implements do not “scour”
(i. e., the soil does not slip smoothly over the surface of the plow but
sticks to it). Hence, much more power is required for tillage in
Hawaii than is needed for tilling mainland soil. The heavy tillage
plows were developed in Hawaii in 1929. The high-powered Diesel
crawler tractors followed about 1931. (“Stone boats”—flat-steel
plates for pulling large rocks to the edge of the field—have long
been used, but the powerful tractors have made them far more
efficient.)
1 On the Hamakua coast of Hawaii, rainfall is plentiful and irrigation is unnecessary.
2 In October 1947 the HSPA Plantation News stated: “Estimates of the amount of money being spent
in 1947 and 1948 for improvements and new equipment on sugar plantations run as high as $20,000,000 and
actual outlays may be even higher.”

40




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

41

Planting
To insure that any given variety will remain true to type, cuttings
from the upper part of the cane stalk, about a foot or more in length
and containing three “eyes,” are used as seed (except in experimental
work in crossbreeding). Planting thus becomes a problem of making
certain that these cuttings will lie in the furrow, will be properly
spaced, and will be covered to the correct depth.
Planting machines have long been used and have passed through a
series of modifications. The “direct-connected planter,” which first
appeared in 1931, was mounted on a large Diesel-powered crawler
tractor. It made the furrow, dropped the seed, applied fertilizer, and
covered the seed, all in one operation. This planter required that two
laborers space the seeds by hand, by dropping them through tubes.
This was not only fatiguing, but the constant shifting of the cane
cuttings on the moving tractor, together with the necessity for watch­
ing the furrows to make certain of proper spacing, caused operators to
become dizzy, so that it was necessary to relieve them every 2 hours.
Hence, an improved large planting machine has been introduced to
reduce fatigue (although it does not reduce the number of laborers
required). It is manned by a driver, one or two men to feed the seed
into the dropper (which feeds it to a belt), one man to spread and
straighten the seed on the belt and, in some cases, an additional man
to control the fertilizer.
The old, smaller type machine used until 1946 planted 7 to 8 acres
per day. The new machine, developed in 1947, will plant up to 10
acres per day. This planter drops fertilizer into furrows and rolls
some of the soil over the fertilizer before the seed is laid in place.
On many of the irrigated plantations, an additional operation
required at the time of planting is the pulling out and replacing of
irrigation flumes. The better the job of the irrigation engineers, the
more difficult is the job of planting, since field areas become smaller
with the perfection of irrigating techniques.
Sugarcane, like grass, can be repeatedly cut without destroying its
power of growth. It is thus common to obtain two or more crops
from a single planting. Since the typical crop requires 18 to 22
months, the operations described above may take place only once a
decade and usually do not take place more than once in 5 years in
any given field.
Weed control
Because of the porous nature of the volcanic soil of Hawaii, culti­
vation is not needed to loosen up the soil, but until recently it was
considered to be the primary means of weed control. It was demon­
strated, however, that light cultivation tended to give weed seeds a
better opportunity to germinate; hence cultivation is now generally
used only when weeds become too large to control with herbicides
(the primary means of weed control).
Arsenic and a Diesel oil emulsion are the principal herbicides used.
Oil emulsion is safe to handle but in the use of arsenic there is danger
of poisoning. If used over a considerable period, arsenic also has a
depressing effect on the crop.
A power spray boom is used in weed control with a 50-foot spread
(25 feet on each side). Tractors must be used for loose soil and
hilly fields, but trucks are satisfactory for level terrain. One man



42

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

can operate the spray. His position on the tractor is above and;
forward of the spray. He must wear a mask for eyes and nose,,
gloves and rubber boots in handling the arsenic herbicide.
It should be noted that experimentation is now being carried on
to spread weed-control chemicals by plane.
Fertilizing
The plant food needs of Hawaiian sugarcane are enormous and con­
sist primarily of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash. The Ha­
waiian sugar industry has been a pioneer in the use of chemical
fertilizers. The heavy yields of sugar in the islands are due primarily
to careful scientific testing. Until recently these tests were confined
to the soil to determine what plant foods were lacking. It is now
common, however, to make small cuttings directly from the cane
leaves. A small sample is thus obtained from each field every week
and on the basis of an analysis of these samples it is possible to de­
termine moisture requirements and food needs.
Fertilizers cost the plantations an average of $3,025,000 annually.
The demands upon the soil fertility are explained by the fact that as
much as 90 tons of cane may be taken from an acre in a single harvest,
which is over 30 times the average weight of corn taken from an acre
of Iowa farm land. In spite of the heavy demands of the sugarcane
upon the soil, the fertilizer programs of the various plantations have
caused soil fertility to increase rather than diminish.
Fertilizers are applied in three ways—by mechanical distributors,
by hand, and by dissolving the plant food in the irrigation water.
Hand applicators are gradually going out of use and are being replaced
by small tractors. These tractors have a simple hopper in the back
and a two-man crew—a driver and man to feed the fertilizer down
spouts which drop it at the proper points near the cane plants. It is
possible to fertilize on the surface, or, with a long pipe preceded by
a blade protector, to place fertilizer under the surface near the cane
roots. Subsurface fertilizing is considered best, not only because it
feeds the cane roots, but because the fertilizer is then less available
to the weeds.
As previously noted, a large quantity of fertilizer is applied by
mechanical distributors at the time the field is prepared for first
planting. On the irrigated plantations the bulk of the fertilizer
reaches the soil by being poured into the irrigation water. This work,
is generally handled by “long-term cultivators” under special contract
for such work (discussed later).
Irrigation
Sugarcane requires great quantities of water. It is said in Hawaii
that “sugar is made of sun and water” and that “it takes a ton of
water to produce a pound of sugar.” In reality the amount of water
required varies considerably and may exceed a ton of water per pound
of sugar where the cane is exposed to continuous winds. In some
sections (the Hamakua Coast in particular) the water problem is one
of drainage rather than of irrigation. The largest and most produc­
tive sugar plantations, however, are irrigated. Two-thirds of the
total cane tonnage is produced under irrigation and over 10 percent
of the total capital invested in. the Hawaiian sugar industry is in
irrigation systems alone. Irrigation water is generally provided by
the plantations for their own use, though in a few cases independent



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

43

corporate units have been organized to take over water development
and distribution.
Water is obtained from two sources, deep wells and gravity systems.
Most irrigated plantations obtain water from both sources. Engineer­
ing feats including dams, the tunneling of mountains, inverted siphons,
and artesian wells have been developed in these projects. In Kauai
for example, the Olokele ditch furnishes 60,000,000 gallons of water
daily and includes a 6 mile tunnel through a cliff. One plantation on
Oahu has 61 artesian wells and a pumping capacity of over 100,000,000
gallons daily. On the island of Maui a single plantation obtains
300,000,000 gallons every 24 hours from its wells and gravity systems.
These are large-scale, expensive operations. By way of comparison,
the city of San Francisco used only 65,000,000 gallons daily in 1940.
Effective distribution of irrigation water requires experience and
judgment regarding weather, soil, and the condition of the cane. In
the year-round summer weather of Hawaii sugarcane grows contin­
uously and it is thus possible to maintain a continuous flow of sugar
into the mills similar to a belt-line production in a factory. Each field
is scheduled for harvesting as of a given date. Irrigation control
makes possible the speeding up or retarding of the ripening of the
cane. Thus, there must be a close correlation between the scheduling
of mill operations, harvesting schedules, and irrigation operations.
The amount of irrigation water a man can handle in a day varies
greatly with topography, soil conditions, and types of irrigation equip­
ment. Where there is a steady strong breeze, an acre may require as
much as 350,000 gallons in a single irrigation. Under these conditions
one man can irrigate 3 to 4 acres a day, handling the distribution
of over 1,000,000 gallons of water. There has been a continuous
expansion of irrigation systems and constant experimentation with
siphons, gates, and ditches to reduce labor and to conserve water.
Water has become an increasingly valuable commodity and it is
necessary to conserve it. In areas in which the land is too porous,
the soil leaks so badly that the irrigation bed reaches a depth of 6
to 7 feet (which is nearly 5 feet below the root bed of the cane plant).
In order to avoid the water loss which this represents, experiments are
going forward on “overhead irrigation.” The principle is similar to
that of a fire hose which sweeps in a circular motion from pipes set up
to provide coverage of fields; 2% to 3 acres can be irrigated from one
head with an estimated saving of 30 to 50 percent of the water now
being lost. This saving would, in turn, make it possible to bring a
greater acreage into cultivation.
The labor fof irrigation work must be dependable, watchful, and
experienced. For this reason, the older and more reliable plantation
workers are given “long-term cultivation contracts” and assigned
responsibility for these operations.
Harvesting
Harvesting operations include: (1) burning, (2) cutting, and (3)
loading. Traditionally, harvesting operations have been the most
demanding upon the energy and skill of the ordinary field laborer and,
in the past, represented the largest single occupational opportunity on
the plantation. The growth of mechanical harvesting has reduced the
manpower required for these operations, however.
(1) Burning the canefield is the Hawaiian method of ridding the
fields of leaves and undergrowth. Agriculturists from other parts of



44

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

the world have sometimes condemned this on the assumption that the
materials should be plowed under for humus. The planted answer
is that after each harvest new roots grow and old roots die, thus fur­
nishing all the humus needed. In many cases, the high cost of labor
makes it necessary to burn the fields wherever possible in order to save
the labor which would otherwise have to be devoted to stripping leaves
and cleaning out the fields. “Trash” (leaves and undergrowth) con­
stitutes an additional 40 to 50 percent by weight when not burned.
A few sections of the big island are so wet that this method cannot be
used, but most of the canefields of Hawaii are burned before harvesting.
(2) Cutting by hand was the traditional method for many years in
Hawaii. It is still necessary in areas where the terrain is such that
mechanical harvesters c'annot be used. For harvesting by hand a
broad, thin-bladed machete, with a hook at the end of the blade, is
used. It weighs 2 to 3 pounds and is extremely sharp. Each cutter
has his own cane knife and his own ideas as to weight, balance, and
shape. The lower part of the cane stalk lies along the ground twisting
upward in a snakelike fashion. It is heavy, with a very hard rind, and
is not easily bent. It grows 18 or more feet long in good soil. The
stalk must not only be cut at the ground but also cut into 9-foot
lengths. For these reasons, mechanical harvesting has been difficult
to develop. Hand cutting, however, is a laborious and costly process.
A number of expensive, but ineffective, experiments have been
undertaken in the past to provide an efficient mechanical harvester.
From the earliest days of the industry until 1937 hand cutting with a
cane knife was the method of harvesting in Hawaii. In 1937 the “ grab
harvester” was developed and is now generally used throughout the
Territory. A large crawler tractor is fitted with a wide cane grab.
The grab is suspended over the cane like an open hand and i$ dropped
over the standing cane and closed up. As the weakest spot in the
cane stalk is the section which joins the roots, a grab full of cane can
be broken off and loaded on a waiting truck or car with little difficulty.
The soil must be dry and firm for this method to be used, and it is
not feasible on wet, unirrigated plantations. The grab has the advan­
tage of accomplishing cutting, piling, and loading in a single operation.
It also has serious disadvantages: (a) It often injures the root
system of the cane plant. (b) In some cases roots, soil, and even
small rocks are piled into the cars and delivered to the mill, (c) It
requires an extensive cleaning and washing of the cane and the utmost
vigilance to prevent stones from getting into and ruining the cane
crushers in the mill, (d) The colloidal soil of Hawaii becomes mixed
with the cane juice and additional equipment is required to strain it
out. (e) The fields must be replanted wherever the grab harvester
has pulled out or destroyed the root systems. To overcome these
disadvantages, a new cane cutter, which shows considerable promise,
is being developed. This cutter was first designed in October 1945
and had its initial field test in 1947. The second field test, after
modifications, was made in May 1947. If it is as successful as the
engineers now expect it to be, the cane cutter will soon be in general
use. If adopted, it will make possible the development of a combine
harvester to pick up the cane, shake out the dirt, and load the cane
for transport to the mill. The cutter involves the use of a standard
tractor and can be operated by one man.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

45

(3) Piling and loading.—Grabs for piling and loading cane appeared
in Hawaii in 1934 from the Louisiana canefields. These, together
with a piling rake, have largely eliminated the hand labor in piling
and loading operations.
(4) Transportation.—In a normal year, about 9,000,000 tons of
cane must be transported from the fields to the plantation mills.
Each plantation has adopted that method, or combination of mqjhods
best suited to its local conditions. The methods are: (a) Railroads,
with both permanent and portable tracks, (b) flumes, (c) tractors
pulling wagon trains, (d) cableways, and (e) motortrucks. The
general trend is toward very large motortrucks, but plantation rail­
roads still carry the bulk of the Hawaiian cane from the field to the mill.
(a) Railroads.—Permanent narrow-gage tracks are laid between the
mill and the fields. At the time of the harvest these are augmented
with portable tracks laid into the fields. Cane cars are short, never
over 14 feet in length. On the portable tracks in the fields, cars are
hauled by tractors since locomotives cannot negotiate steep curves
and grades. Locomotives up to 30 tons in weight are used for hauling
between the field and the mill. Diesel locomotives appeared in 1926
and electric locomotives in October 1936. The total investment in
the plantation railroads exceeds $5,000,000 but railroads are now being
abandoned. The same technical ability needed for the operation of
any small railroad is required.
(b) Pluming.—This method of transporting cane is feasible only
where there is a large supply of water on the upper levels of the
plantation and a steep slope between the fields and the mill. Such
conditions obtain on the Hamakua coast where fluming has been
extensively used.
Flumes are made of wood in a V-shaped trough through which
swiftly flowing water floats the cane down to the mill. The portable
flumes are laid through the field at harvest time and are connected
with the permanent flumes which float the cane from the field to the
mill. Because of increased labor costs, portable fluming has been
abandoned in favor of trucks in some areas. Where gradients do not
permit fluming direct to the mill site, special trucks which permit
the stream of water to flow through a sieve-like truck body catch the
cane at the lower end of the flume for transport to the mill.
(c) Tractor trains.—The Athey wagons for use in connection with
crawler tractors appeared in 1925. Six to ten wagons comprise a
train, with 4 tons of cane per wagon. A 60-horsepower crawler
tractor was used. They are expensive and slow, obtaining a maximum
speed of only 2 to 3 miles per hour, and are being abandoned.
(d) Cableways.—Volcanic formations and heavy rains have pro­
duced deep ravines and sharp rocky formations in Hawaii; hence
when ordinary forms of transportation are not feasible, it is necessary
to stretch cables on supporting towers to form lines of transportation.
A hook hanging from a trolley wheel running on the cable is the
carrying unit. Cane, made up into 200 pound bundles, travels down
the cable by gravity. Since cableways are generally used on steep
slopes, cane bundles obtain very high speeds. The system is costly
because of the small units that can be carried and the additional labor
of making up bundles. During the past 8 years there has been a
general tendency to abandon the less accessible areas on the planta­
tions because of high unit costs.



46

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

(e) Motortrucks.—Until 1936 trucks were considered to be imprac­
tical; because of insufficient traction in the field they often mired on
rainy days. Multiple-axle drives, powering four double-tired rear
wheels and two front wheels, have overcome this difficulty. Since
trucks are more adaptable to varying conditions and require fewer
man-hours per ton of cane transported to the mill, there is a general
trend throughout the whole of Hawaii toward large cane trucks,
which are custom-built with unusually large tires to provide traction
and powered with Diesel engines.
Mill operations
On most plantations the mill operates on a 24-hour schedule of
three 8-hour shifts. There must be a constant flow of cane into the
mill and the careful planning of planting, harvesting, and transporta­
tion is all designed to that end. The milling of cane and the manu­
facture of raw sugar is divided into nine operations: (1) unloading,
(2) washing, (3) crushing and pressing, (4) clarification, (5) evaporation,
(6) crystallization, (7) drying, (8) bagging, and (9) shipping.
(1) Unloading.—On those plantations that use railroads, a long
line of small cars loaded with cane stands outside the mill. This fine
moves a car length at a time into the mill, where each car is picked
up by a mechanical dump which empties the cane directly onto a belt
conveyor and returns the car to the track.
The use of trucks has resulted in unloading by slings or automatic
dumps. It is customary to dump the cane directly on the conveyor
or, in some cases, in a yard around the end of the conveyor where it is
picked up by cranes fitted with grabs which place the cane on the
conveyor.
(2) Washing.—Under the old system of hand-harvesting, washing
was a minor operation and, of course, is not needed where fluming is
used to transport the cane. But the grab harvester has made it
necessary to shake out and wash the cane in order to make certain
that small stones, dirt, and other debris is eliminated before the cane
passes into the crusher. This step is relatively new, and the process of
washing the cane varies all the way from a simple washing by spray on
the conveyor belt to a very elaborate cleaning by machines especially
constructed to shake and thoroughly wash the cane. If grab harvest­
ing continues as the primary harvesting technique, it will be economi­
cal to introduce the machine washers. If, on the other hand, the
newly developed cane cutter accompanied by a harvester is successful,
an elaborate washing process will not be necessary.
(3) Crushing and pressing.—The equipment for this consists of a
crusher and four 3-roller presses in tandem through which the crushed
cane is passed for juice extraction. The top roller of these presses is
under automatic pressure of 75 to 100 tons per foot of length. In a
single tandem mill the rate varies from 25 to 100 tons of cane per hour.
A double tandem will crush and press up to 150 tons per hour. The
average for all mills, however, is about 58 tons per hour.
(4) Clarification.—The juice is first heated and limed and then
goes to a settling tank (tray type clarifier). The clear juice is drawn
off and goes to the evaporators. The muddy settlings are then piped
to filters to clarify the remainder of the juice. The Oliver Campbell
filter, which first appeared in 1927, is still generally used. It consists
of a drum, covered with very fine holes, which constantly revolves



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

47

through the settlings. A vacuum inside the drum draws juice through
the holes but leaves the mud and extraneous material deposited on the
outside of the drum, where it is mechanically removed by a scraper
knife.
(5) Evaporation.—Excess liquid is removed from the juice by
boiling it in quadruple evaporators. The exhaust steam from the
main mill engines generally provides the heat. Boiling is under
vacuum to increase the drying efficiency.
(6) Crystallization.—After boiling, the thick sirup flows into tanks
where it is slowly stirred by mechanical paddles until it crystallizes.
Since all operations in the milling process are mechanical up to this
point, the only labor required is that necessary to check on the progress
of the juice and cane sirup through the various processes. Such labor
as is required, however, must be highly trained and experienced.
(7) Drying.—When tests show that the proper degree of crystalli­
zation has been obtained, the sugar is dried (called purging) by
pouring it into metal cylinders, 30 to 40 inches in diameter, which
are then revolved at a rate of 900 to 1,400 revolutions per minute.
The centrifugal force throws out the noncrystalline liquid through
fine holes in the cylinder wall, leaving the raw sugar. This is then
dropped out of the cylinder to a conveyor which carries it to the
bagger.
(8) Bagging.—Automatic machinery drops the raw sugar into jute
bags, weighs it, sews the bag, and delivers it to the conveyor.
(9) Shipping.—Transportation to port is by rail or truck. Sugar
shipping ports are equipped with warehouse sugar conveyors for
loading ships. Two plantations are so located that it is less costly
to load directly onto steamers from the shore by cableways. Most of
the raw sugar is shipped to the mainland for refining. Two Hawaiian
mills refine sugar for local consumption.
A few general observations on mill operations should be noted:
1. Operations are checked at every step by frequent chemical analyses
of juices, sirups, and sugars by technical experts.
2. The equipment (such as steam-pressure regulators, liming
regulators, temperature regulators, juice level regulators, and density
Indicators) is automatic and requires only occasional inspection and
control.
3. In respect to both cane tonnage per acre and juice extraction
per ton, Hawaii shows a high degree of efficiency and compares
favorably with other sugar-producing areas.
Maintenance and plantation services.—A large number of laborers
are engaged in foundry and repair work, carpentry, painting, servicing
water pumps, road repair, maintenance of irrigation ditches, and
similar operations. In addition, there are special services represented
by hospitalization, sanitation, and various types of experimental work.
Because of the need of constant statistical controls to make certain
that a maximum volume of cane moves into production on schedule,
it is necessary to maintain a continuous flow of detailed information
on all operations. This flow requires the services of a clerical force
in the central office of each plantation.
Annual period jor general repairs.—Since the mill operates 24 hours
a day, it becomes necessary once a year to close it for a thorough over­
hauling. This requires 1 to 2 months and generally occurs sometime
between the 1st of October and the latter part of December. Har


48

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

vesting necessarily ceases, since cane cannot be stored, and the entire
character of the work throughout the plantation changes. The bulk
of the labor is then assigned to general clean-up and repair jobs, in­
cluding roads, track and irrigation ditch construction, repairs, painting,
and carpentering on buildings and houses, and various odd jobs. At
this time the maintenance division works intensively on mill machin­
ery, tractors, trucks, rail engines, and other plantation equipment and
its numbers are considerably increased by assistance from the field
labor force. The use of the grab harvester has increased the annual
damage to mill machinery and, in some cases, has made it necessary to
close the mill in midseason for general repairs.
This over-all review of operations on the sugar plantations has been
presented in some detail because it indicates the character of the work
performed by the largest group of laborers in Hawaii and because it
provides a basis for understanding wage problems and other labormanagement problems.
Table 15.— N um ber of workers assigned to each operation on a typical sugar
plantation in 1947 (excluding supervisors)
Field work:
Cultivation:
Irrigation__________________________________________________
87
Field-equipment drivers_____________________________________
32
Helpers. ___________________________________________________
17
Seed cutters, planting and replanting, weeding, spraying fertilizing- 162
Total................
298
Harvesting:
Cane loader operators__________________
12
Rake operators_____________________________
11
Ground crew and broomers____________________________________ 106
T o ta l--............................
129
Transportation:
Cane-truck drivers _____________________________________________ 39
Crane operators and pick-up_________________________________
9
Sugar-truck drivers_______- _________________________________
15
General truck drivers__________________________________________
29
92
Total
Agricultural research____________________________________________
6
Total, field work__________________________________________ 525
Mill and shop work:
Fireroom___________'_____ _____________________________________
18
Cleaning plant___________________________________
22
Crushing plant__________________________________________________
26
Boiling house and laboratory_____________________________________
58
Machine shop and welders_________________________________
18
Blacksmith shop_______________ - ------------ ------------ ------------------6
Garage and field repairs_____________________
38
Electricity and pumps___________________________________________ 26
Total, mill and shop work_________________ ______________________




212

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

49

Table 15.— Num ber of workers assigned to each operation on a typical sugar
plantation in 1947 (excluding supervisors) —Continued
Other work:
Civil-engineering department_____________________________________
24
Construction department (plumbers,masons, carpenters,painters)____
49
Office and warehouse__________________________________ _1________
34
Stores__________________________________________________________
34
Medical________________________________ _______________________
2
Industrial relations______________________________________________
6
Total, other work_____________________________________________ 149
Summary:
Field work_____________________________________________________ 525
Mill and shop work (3 shifts)____________________________________ 212
Other work_____________________________________________________ 149
Total............................................................................................ ................... 886
EFFECT OF THE WAR ON PLANTATION PRODUCTION AND POLICIES

All plantations showed a somewhat similar pattern of economic
change during the war.3 The principal movement of labor from the
plantations to defense construction projects occurred between February
and December 1941. The plantations did not suffer heavy losses of
labor throughout 1942-44 in spite of the urgent war demand for
construction labor because the military maintained complete control
over all travel between islands so that workers could not move without
authorization, which was difficult to obtain.4 Although the plantations
had an insufficient number of workers to increase sugar and pineapple
production to meet increased war demands, they did have enough
labor to maintain normal operations.
On the other hand, on each of the islands the Army officers in
command did not hesitate to requisition plantation equipment (trucks,
tractors, bulldozers, and cranes) and plantation labor for local defense
projects. An effort was made to schedule these operations in such a
way as to involve a minimum of interference with plantation produc­
tion. Payments were made to the plantations on a contractual basis
at the same wage rates normally paid to plantation laborers. The
plantations in turn paid their own laborers. These rates were generally
lower than those paid workers hired directly by the Army engineers for
similar work.
Certain special problems arose, such as the lack of rice, which,
because of the many orientals working on the plantations, caused
administrative difficulties and a few serious riots.
There was necessarily a lack of replacement and maintenance
equipment. All plantations adopted a very careful program of main­
tenance. Equipment, on the whole, lasted well until the end of the
war. By that time, however, it had become very badly worn. Thus,
the worst period from the point of view of maintenance on the planta­
tions was not during the war but rather from 1945 to 1947, inclusive.
In summary: (1) The population of Oahu rose and that of all other

8The war affected the,pineapple plantations in much the same way, and to the same degree; this section
could just as logically have been incorporated in the chapter on the pineapple industry.
4See ch. II, section on Period of Military Control, for further detail.




50

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

islands declined, indicating the general movement of labor into Army
and Navy civilian employment on the island of Oahu. (2) The bulk
of the interisland labor migration occurred in 1940 and 1941. The
interisland passenger restrictions prevented any significant exodus
of labor from the plantations during the war. (3) All plantations
suffered from shortages of shipping, food, equipment, and labor.
Such shortages tended to be larger in Oahu because local demand rela­
tive to local supply was much greater there. On the other hand,
Oahu was in a more favorable position to obtain relief, because it was
the shipping center and could more readily obtain and exercise priori­
ties. (4) The plantations contributed heavily to defense construction
and maintenance in men and equipment and were paid for their
assistance. (5) High-production levels were maintained during the
war years only (a) by the most strenuous efforts of the labor and
management forces that still remained on the plantations, (6) by the
gradual depletion of equipment (since replacements were not avail­
able), (c) by appeal to the patriotism of regular plantation labor and
to intermittent labor (particularly of students), and (d) by using
emergency methods which maintained high wartime output at the
cost of impairing future production. Plantation managers thus
inherited serious production problems from the war quite apart from;
those which later arose from unionization and strikes.




CHAPTER 5. UNIONIZATION
The first written agreement in the sugar industry, between a
plantation on the island of Kauai and the United Cannery, Agricul­
tural, Packing and Allied Workers of America (a CIO affiliate), was
signed in August 1941. The union had previously won an election,
for representation. With the exception of one other plantation that
was brought under contract by the American Federation of Labor in
the summer of 1944, additional union agreements were not obtained
by organized labor until August 1945. An intensive organizing drive
conducted during the latter part of the war by the International
Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union, affiliated with the CIO,
brought most of the employees in the industry into the organization.
This made it possible to obtain contracts during the latter part of
1945 with all except a very few of the sugar plantations.
Union recognition was not obtained, however, without recourse to
elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Peti­
tions for union representation, covering nearly all of the plantations,
were filed by the ILWU with the NLRB and the resulting elections,
with the exception of a few involving small bargaining units, were won
by the union. Although agricultural employees were excluded from
NLRB jurisdiction, the industry reached a mutual agreement with
the union to conduct a cross check for the purpose of determining
representation for such employees.1
With the signing of this first contract with the ILWU on August
1, 1945, the industry granted a general increase in wages amounting
to 7 cents per hour, establishing a base rate of 41 cents per hour for
unskilled workers on the island of Hawaii and a minimum of 43 %cents
on all other islands. Although the contract provided that the em­
ployer could make individual increases in wage rates, it was also agreed
that a job-classification system was to be prepared (by the company).
The negotiations for a new contract in 1946 involved a number of
issues that could not be readily settled and the union conducted a strike
vote in July. According to a union announcement, 15,406 ballots
were cast in favor of strike action and only 123 workers voted against
a strike. On August 27, the industry, represented by the Hawaii
Employers Council, proposed a 50-cent minimum hourly wage (47%
cents per hour on Hawaii) plus 15 cents an hour cash payment in lieu
of perquisites. This offer was not acceptable to the union. In
addition to the wage and perquisite issues, the negotiators could not
reach agreement on union demands for a 40-hour workweek, union
shop, holiday pay, vacations with pay, travel time, paid sick leave,
and a uniform pension plan.
The workers on 33 sugar plantations went on strike on September 1,
1946. This proved to be the longest and most costly strike in Hawaii­
an history. It was attended by practically no violence, except on the
island of Maui. It lasted 79 days, until mid-November (and on one
plantation until January 1, 1947). Over 21,000 employees were
involved, and the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association estimates
that 1,381,000 man-days were lost. The final settlement was said
1In 1945 the Territorial legislature passed the Hawaii Employment Relations Act which provided machin­
ery for determination of representation for employees not covered by the National Labor Relations Act
(except for certain categories of employees including domestic service).



51

52

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

to provide $10,500,000 more annually in wages and benefits to
employees.
Following the strike, the ILWU negotiated a new contract with the
industry in which it was agreed that all employees covered by the
agreement were to be classified in accordance with provisions outlined
in an industry-prepared job classification manual. This job-classifica­
tion plan and wage schedule became effective on November 19, 1946:
T able

16.— Sugar in dustry wage schedule of Nov. 19, 1946
Grade

1 . . . _____ _________ ______________________________ ______

2_______ _______________________________________
3.............................-_______________________________
4 .._______ ___________________________________
5 _______ ______ _____________________________
6____ _____________________________ _________ _
7 .............................. .........................................................
8__________________________________________ ____
9 _______ ______ _______________________ ______
10. . . .........................................................................................

General Companies Company Company
wage
C
D
schedule A and B
$0.705
.74
.785
.83
.89
.96
1.045
1.14
1.25
1.38

$0.74
.775
.815
.86
.915
.98
1.06
1.15
1.255
1.38

$0.75
.785
.82
.865
.92
.985
1.065
1.155
1.26
1.38

$0.80
.83
.87
.91
.96
1.02
1.09
1.175
1.27
1.38

Exceptions to the general wage schedule were made in the case of
four large plantations, three of which were located on the island of
Oahu and the fourth on the island of Maui.2 A comparison of these
special wage schedules with the general schedule applicable to the
bulk of the workers in the industry reveals that the wage differentials
are greatest in the unskilled jobs and progressively diminish along the
labor grade scale with a common wage of $1.38 applicable to jobs
grouped in grade 10.
The union agreement also provided that all employees* rates were
to be brought to the levels of their respective grades but in no case
would an employee receive an increase of less than 25 cents per hour
over his previous rate, subject, however, to the effect of another pro­
vision that dealt with the conversion of perquisites. Prior to 1946
practically all plantations provided perquisites to plantation workers
and their families which constituted a very significant part of their
“ real income.” These perquisites included housing, medical care,
recreation fields, and gymnasiums. There were numerous minor
services, which varied from plantation to plantation, consisting of
electric lighting, fuel, transportation to beaches for outings, plots of
land for vegetable gardening, permission to hunt on plantation-owned
wooded lands, and the like. With the unionization of the plantations
there has been a general conversion of all perquisites into higher wages
with the understanding that workers are required to pay for what was
previously received free under the perquisite system. Medical
service was maintained to January 1, 1948, except that from November
19, 1946, employees made a contribution toward such medical care as
follows: $1.65 per month for a single man, $2.50 per month for a
married man, including his wife, and $1.10 per month for each child
up to six children. Under the union agreement a more permanent
group medicine plan is being worked out which is to be patterned after
that of the Hawaii Medical Association.
This conversion of the perquisite system was one of the most difficult
of problems which faced management and the unions. There were

. 2Since the date of signing of the contract, the lands owned by one of the plantations have been purchased

 by another sugar company.


53

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

contradicting viewpoints within the unions, because some workers
gained less than others by the conversion. The valuation of per­
quisites continues to be a point of contention between labor and
management. Since perquisites in the pineapple industry and in
many smaller industries went through a transition similar to that in
sugar, this problem permeated the whole field of labor-management
relations throughout Hawaii in 1946 and 1947 and is still a problem.
The union-management contract of November 1946 provided that
simultaneously with the installation of the new wage rates (general
wage schedule and increase per hour test), all perquisites were to be
eliminated and employees would be charged for housing and other
facilities in accordance with agreed-upon schedules. Each individual
who was paying rent would have his monthly rental divided by 208
and if the resulting amount, subtracted from his per-hour increase, left
him less than the following guaranteed increase, his rate would be
increased by the amount of the difference:
Minimum net
guaranteed in­
crease (cents per

Status:
hour)
Single_______________________________________________________ 19. 0
Married, no dependents________________ ______________________20. 0
Married, 1 dependent________________________________________ 21. 0
Married, 2 dependents_____________________________
22.0
Married, 3 dependents_____________________ _________________ 22. 0
Married, 4 dependents_______________________________________ 23. 0
Married, 5 or more dependents________________________________23. 5

The adoption of the job-classification plan and wage schedule,
together with the general wage increases that were granted, brought
about a greater standardization of occupational rates within the in­
dustry. Although personalized job rates in effect at the time of sign­
ing of the contract were not eliminated, the nature of the wage adjust­
ments was such that it tended to reduce the spread in rates paid within
any particular job classification. In line with the program of bringing
about a formalized rate structure within the industry, it was agreed
in this second contract that further wage increases would only be
made within the provisions of the job-classification plan or through
action on wages that might follow a reopening of the agreement.3
On August 1, 1947, a new wage agreement was successfully nego­
tiated by the sugar industry and the unions. This provided for an
increase in the minimum hourly wage in all classifications of 8 cents
“across the board.” There was also a provision that those receiving
more than the minimum wage in their classifications would receive
an increase of not less than 5 cents an hour. This change should be
taken into account in interpreting the basic tables indicating hourly
earnings as of February 1947. The August agreement provided that

3 Sec. 1 of the agreement reads aS follows: “Duration of agreement: Except as otherwise provided herein
this agreement shall become effective November 19, 1946, and shall remain in effect until August 31, 1948.
It shall be deemed renewed thereafter from year to year unless either party hereto gives written notice to the
other party hereto of its desire to amend, modify or terminate the same, which notice shall be served not more
than seventy-five (75) days nor less than forty-five (45) days prior to said expiration date, in which event
negotiations shall begin within fifteen (15) days from date of notice. This agreement is further subject to
reopening by either party solely on the question of wage adjustments upward or downward once between
August 1, 1947, and September 30,1947, inclusive, on thirty (30) days’ written notice by either party, and
further subject to reopening on the questions of wages, classifications, or hours once between February 1,
1948, and March 31,1948, on thirty (30) days’ written notice by either party. In the event these interim
reopenings are exercised, negotiations shall commence within ten (10) days from date of notice. In the event
of such reopening and failure to agree the parties shall be free to strike or lock-out, but solely on the questions
of wages, or wage classification, or hours, depending upon the particular reopening. Otherwise, all provi­
sions of section 14 shall remain in full force and effect.
“Notices served under this section shall be accompanied by the proposals of the notifying party.”

75798—48----- S



54

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

wage negotiations could be reopened on February 1, 1948. No
additional changes were made in the contract.
T able

17.1— Sugar in dustry m onthly rental rates of dwellings according to floor
area , class , and condition of building
Floor area

500 square feet or less............
600—......................................
700......................................800...........................................
900.......................................
1,000......... ...............................
1,100.........................................
1,200.........................................
1,300.........................................

Class 1
A

B

1

Class 2
C

A

B

C

Class 3
A

B

$10.00 $12.50 $15.00 $12.50 $15.00 $18.00 $15.00 $18.00
11.00 14.00 17.00 14.00 17.00 20.50 17.00 20.50
12.00 15.50 19.00 15.50 19.00 23.00 19.00 23.00
13.00 17.00 21.00 17.00 21.00 25.50 21.00 25.50
14.00 18.50 23.00 18.50 23.00 28.00 23.00 28.00
15.00 20.00 25.00 20.00 25.00 30.50 25.00 30.50
16.00 21.50 27.00 21.50 27.00 33.00 27.00 33.00
16.75 22.50 28.50 22.50 28.50 35.00 28.50 35.00
17.50 23.00 30.00 23.50 30.00 37.00 30.00 37.00

C
$21.50
24.50
27.50
30.50
33.50
36.50
39.50
41.75
44.00

i See p. 55 for further comment on this table.
A. Rental for houses with floor area falling between the above points will be adjusted to the nearest
25 cents per month.
B. This schedule will not apply to future construction.
C. Rental adjustments for improvements or repairs affecting the class, condition, or floor area of the house
will be made effective on the 1st of the month following completion of the work.
D. Floor area is that area expressed in square feet under the roof line of each dwelling including service
facilities directly attached to the house or, in an elevated house, the enclosed or concrete area on the ground
floor.
E. Water, when metered, will be charged for at current county rates in effect in the locality. Otherwise,,
a flat rate of $1 per month will be charged to families occupying dwellings up to 1,000 square feet in floor area
and $1.50 per month for those from 1,001 to 1,500 square feet.
F. Electricity will be purchased by each tenant for his own account from the local public utility where
available; otherwise from the plantation at public utility rates.
Q. Fuel will be purchased by each tenant from any source available to him.
Source: Exhibit E in the sugar industry—ILWU agreement effective Nov. 19, 1946.
T a b l e 18.1— Sugar in du stry m onthly rental rates of bedrooms in single m en’s
quarters according to house floor area per bedroom , class and condition of buildingr<
and per capita m inim um rentals
House floor area per
bedroom

Class 1
A

B

100 square feet or less_____ $5.00 $6.75
125.......................................... 5.25 7.25
5.50 7.75
175___ ____— ..................
225........................................... 5.75 8.25
275.......................................... . 6.00 8.75
325_____________________ 6.25 9.25

Class 2
C

A

$8.50 $6.75
9.25 7.25
10.00 7.75
10.75 8.25
11.50 8.75
12.25 9.25

B

Class 3
C

A

B

C

$8.50 $10.50 $8.50 $10.50 $12.75
9.25 11.50 9.25 11.50 14.0010.00 12.50 10.00 12.50 15.25
10.75 13.50 10.75 13.50 16.50
11.50 14.50 11.50 14.50 17.75
12.25 15.50 12.25 15.50 19.00

Per capita minimum rentals
100 square feet or less............ $3.00
3.25
125.......................... ............
175........ ................................. 3.25
225........................................... 3.50
275............................................ 3.50
325.......................................... 3.75

$4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75
5.00
5.25

$5.00
5.50
6.00
6.50
7.00
7.50

$4.00 $5.00 $6.25
4.25 5.50 7.00
4.50 6.00 7.75
4.75 6.50 8.50
5.00 7.00 9.25
5.25 7.50 10.00

$5.00
5.50
6.00
6.50
7.00
7.50

$6.25
7.00
7.75
8.50
9.25
10.00

$7.25
8.00
8.75
9.50
10.25
11.00

i See p. 55 for further comment on this table.
A. Rental for bedrooms with house floor area per bedroom falling between the above points will be ad­
justed to the nearest 25 cents per month.
B. This schedule will not apply to future construction.
C. Rental adjustments for improvements or repairs affecting the class, condition, or square-foot area of
the building will be made effective on the first of the month following completion of the work.
D. House floor area per bedroom is the total floor area of the house divided by the number of bedrooms in
the house.
E. Water, when metered, will be charged for at current county rates in effect in the locality. Other
wise a flat rate of $0.50 per month will be charged each single occupant of single men’s quarters.
F. Electricity will be purchased by each tenant for his own account from the local public utility whereavailable, otherwise from the plantation at public utility rates.
G. Fuel will be purchased by each tenant from any source available to him.
Source: Exhibit E in the sugar industry—ILWU agreement effective Nov. 19.,1946.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

55

Classification of dwellings on sugar plantation
The following descriptions set forth the types of construction and of
the facilities provided:

Class 1 .—A dwelling constructed of rough merchantable lumber, stud framing,
single wall, floors 1 by 12 inches or 1 by 6 inches; stock sized or T and G doors;
sliding windows; drop cord electrical outlets; toilet, bathing, and laundry facilities
detached; kitchen and sink and tap may be attached or detached.
Class 2 .—A dwelling constructed of surfaced lumber; ceiling of canec, surfaced
lumber, or other material; single wall; stock doors, sliding or hung windows; stain
or paint outside and inside; drop cord electrical outlets; kitchen, with sink and
tap, attached; toilet and bathing facilities and laundry, with laundry trays,,
detached, sewer or cesspool connections.
Class 3 .—A dwelling constructed of surfaced lumber; canec or surfaced lumber
ceiling; T and G floors; stock doors; sliding, double hung or casement windows;
stain or paint outside and inside; clothes closets; some kitchen cabinet work;
floor plugs and outlets for electrical equipment; shower or bathtub, standard
flush toilet, lavatory, and kitchen sink in the dwelling; individual laundry and:
laundry trays; sewer or cesspool connections.

All of the houses in each of the categories may not correspond in
every detail.
The three classes of physical condition are as follows:

Class A .—A dwelling requiring major repairs or thorough renovating or pos­
sibly complete replacement.
Class B .—A dwelling requiring general, but not major, repairs and painting.
Class C .—A dwelling which has been well maintained and repaired, or which
has been built, remodeled, or thoroughly renovated within the past 5 years and
well maintained since.

Source: Exhibit E in the sugar industry—ILWU agreement effec­
tive November 19, 1946.




CHAPTER 6. WAGES AND WORKING CONDITIONS
WAGE STRUCTURE IN 1947

The study of hours and earnings in the industry is based on data
obtained from eight selected plantations. Major factors considered
in the selection of the sample (approximately one-fourth of the planta­
tions) included management, irrigation, location, wage schedule, union­
ization, and plantation size as measured by employment. Each of
the four sugar-producing islands was represented, three plantations
having been chosen on the island of Hawaii, two each on Kauai and
Maui, and one on Oahu.
February 1947 was selected as the period for study. Strikes that
occurred in the industry during the latter part of 1946 necessitated
changes in plantation operation schedule with the result that Feb­
ruary, ordinarily an off-season harvesting period, appeared to be
representative in respect to the various fields of activity associated
with the production of sugar. Data were obtained for adult men
workers other than those employed in managerial, supervisory, and
professional positions.1 The type of work and racial group classifica­
tions appearing in the report are those used in the industry.
Straight-time average hourly earnings of 5,993 men employed on the
plantations studied amounted to 94 cents in February 1947. How­
ever, a substantial majority of these workers received less than this
amount, as indicated in table 19, which shows that 65.1 percent of the
men earned less than 95 cents per hour. A small number of workers
were found to be earning less than 70 cents an hour at the time of the
study; most of these workers were employed on the island of Hawaii,
in cleaning camps and in yard work.
T able 19.— Percentage distribution of men workers on H aw aiian sugar plantations
by straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 and method of wage paym ent , February
1947

Annual hourly earnings1

All work­ Hourly rate Contract
ers
workers workers

Salaried
workers

1.0
1.3
Under 70.0 cents_________________________________
70.0 to 72.4 cents ,
^ .
10.2
8.8
7.0
0.4
72.5 to 74.9 iv.nts
........
14.4
11.0
2.6
.2
75.0 to 77.4 cents
, n ........ _ .
_
4.5
5.5
2.5
.2
10.5
13.4
3.4
.6
77.5 to 79.9 cents___ ______________________________
11.3
13.4
6.4
3.7
80.0 to 84.9 cents_________________________________
11.3
12.8
8.8
4.5
85.0 to 89.9 cents___ ______________ _______________
6.7
5.8
11.1
4.3
90.0 to 94.9 cents______________________ ___________
4.1
6.8
4.6
3.9
95.0 to 99.9 cents.......................... .........................................
8.1
6.7
14.5
5.7
100.0 to 104.9 cents........................................ ........................
7.9
4.5
3.7
4.3
105.0 to 109.9 cents________________________ _______
3.1
1.5
9.6
2.9
110.0 to 114.9 cents.................................................................
i Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
i Employees in the following positions or activities were specifically excluded: Manager and assistant
manager; heads of shops and industrial departments; office manager; cost accountant; head timekeeper;
doctor; personnel officer; and employees engaged during any part of the selected 4-week pay-roll period in
Bong-term cultivation work. Women and minors play a relatively unimportant role in the sugar industry.
Very few minors are normally employed except during the summer vacation when considerable numbers
obtain part- or full-time employment. This is discussed In the section on child labor in this report (ch. 25).

56




57

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 19.— Percentage distribution of men workers on H aw aiian sugar plantations
by straight-tim e •average hourly earnings 1 and method of wage paym ent, February
1947 —Continued
Annual hourly earnings1
115.0 to 119.9 cents.................................................................
120.0 to 124.9 cents.................................................................
125.0 to 129.9 cents........................ .......................................
130.0 to 134.9 cents.................................................................
135.0 to 139.9 cents................. ..............................................
140.0 to 144.9 cents.................................................................
145.0 to 149.9 cents...............................................................
150.0 to 159.9 cents........................................................-___
160.0 to 169.9 cents..............................................................
170.0 to 179.9 cents................................................................
180.0 cents and over.............:.............................................
Total............................................................................
Total number of workers....................................................
Average hourly earnings1...................................................
1

All work­ Hourly rate Contract
ers
workers workers
2.2
1.5
3.0
1.0
1.1
1.0
.8
1.0
.8
,9
1.3
100.0
5,993
$0.94

0.8
.7
2.8
.5
.5
.3
.3
.4
.1
.4
.4
100.0
4,377
$0.87

4.4
2.4
3.0
1.3
L8
1.9
1.7
1.5
.4
.9
.1
100.0
1,129
$1.01

Salaried
workers
8.7
6.6
5.3
4.7
4.9
4.9
3.3
5.1
7.7
5.5
12.6
100.0
487
$1.35

Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Although many jobs, especially in cultivation and harvesting work,
were paid on a contract (piecework) basis, the great majority of the
workers in the industry were employed in jobs that carried an hourly
rate. Of the nearly 6,000 workers included in the study, 73 percent
were hourly rated employees, 19 percent were engaged in contract
work, and the remaining 8 percent were salaried employees. The
average earnings of contract workers ($1.01) exceeded that paid to
hourly rated employees by 14 cents an hour, but were well below the
$1.35 averaged by salaried employees. The latter group was made
up, for the most part, of office employees, employees in the first level
of supervision (lunas, overseers), and employees with special skills
and training.
The pattern of earnings in this as in any industry is determined by
a number of related factors. The factors that play a major part in
the sugar industry in determining the proportion of employees at
various earnings levels can be summarized as follows: (1) The jobclassification plan and wage schedule agreed upon by management
and labor ; (2) the placement of jobs in the various labor grades; (3) the
proportionate employment thus concentrated in any given labor grade;
(4) the influence on earnings of contract work; and (5) the influence
of personalized rates.
While adjustments in the basic wage rates applicable to the estab­
lished labor grades will probably continue to be the most important
factor in re-forming the earnings picture, other factors will, over time,
bring about shifts in the wage structure. Mechanization, for example,
may completely eliminate certain hand jobs and involve the establish­
ment of new jobs that justify a placement in the labor grade scale
quite different from that held by workers performing the tasks by hand
methods. An illustration of the effect of even a partial mechanization
of a process engaging large numbers of workers is to be seen in the use
of mechanical equipment in harvesting sugarcane. Although all of the
plantations have not been able to discontinue the older hand-cutting
method, the proportion of the labor force engaged in harvesting work
has already been greatly reduced. The present study revealed that
17 percent of men workers were employed in harvesting occupations in



58

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

February 1947, whereas a similar study conducted in 1939 (covering
a March pay-roll period) reported 41 percent of the force to be engaged
in this field of activity. The proportions employed in each of the
other types of work increased during the 8-year period, the greatest
increases, on a percentage basis, being noted in transportation work,
maintenance work, and clerical work. Changes in work methods will
often eliminate or lessen the need for unskilled workers in the operation
involved and the proportion of the labor force classified in the lowerpay grades will, therefore, tend to become smaller.
Job representation in all or most of the labor grades was found in
each general type of work activity. As shown in table 20, individual
earnings ranged from less than 70 cents to $1.80 or more in each of
the six major types of work divisions, a single exception being found
in the case of clerical work, in which the lowest individual rates fell
in the 72.5-74.9-cent earnings bracket. Because a larger proportion
of the workers employed in clerical and maintenance were in jobs
classified in the higher labor grades, the group earnings in these types
of work averaged well above the average rates paid in cultivation,
transportation, manufacturing, and industrial service work. The
comparatively high average earnings reported for harvesting workers
may have been partly due to the large proportion (one-half) of workers
employed in harvesting jobs that were paid on a contract basis (see
table 21).2
T a b l e 20 .— Percentage distribution of men workers on H aw aiian sugar plantations ,
by straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 and type of work} February 1947
f
Culti­ Har­ Trans­ Manu­ Main­ Indus­
Total vation vest­ porta­ factur­ tenance trial Cleri­
Average hourly earnings1
ing tion ing
service cal
1.0
Under 70.0 cents____ ____________
70.0 to 72.4 cents............................... .
8.8
72.5 to 74.9 cents_________________ 11.0
4.5
75.0 to 77.4 cents_________________
77.5 to 79.9 cents.................................. 10.5
80.0 to 84.9 cents.................................... 11.3
85.0 to 89.9 cents................................... 11.3
90.0 to 94.9 cents.................................... 6.7
95.0 to 99.9 cents.................................... 4.6
100.0 to 104.9 cents................................ 8.1
4.5
105.0 to 109.9 cents...............................
110.0 to 114.9 cents........... .................... 3.1
115.0 to 119.9 cents............................. . 2.2
1.5
120.0 to 124.9 cents......................... ......
125.0 to 129.9 cents............................... 3.0
1.0
130.0 to 134.9 cents................................
135.0 to 139.9 cents________________ 1.1
140.0 to 144.9 cents....................... ........ 1.0
.8
145.0 to 149.9 cents...............................
150.0 to 159.9 cents________________ 1.0
.8
160.0 to 169.9 cents................................
.9
170.0 to 179.9 cents............................
1.3
180.0 cents and over............ ..............
Total............................................ 100.0
Total number of workers.................... 5,993
Average hourly earnings1_________ $0.94

0.8
17.0
15.1
6.3
12.0
9.1
8.9
6.7
3.6
6.6
2.8
1.8
2.0
1.2
1.0
.5
1.2
.8
.3
.5
.7
.5
.6
100.0
1,534
$0.88

0.2
0.2
0.2
0.6
4.5
3.4
1.3
7.0
8.4 11.4 11.4 10.2
2.8
3.2
3.0
6.1
7.6
7.8 15.1 10.5
11.4 14.9 20.9
5.9
5.2 23.9 13.9 13.7
7.4 11.8
4.9
6.1
7.6
2.6
5.3
3.4
10.8
4.4 13.8
5.6
7.2
3.4
3.4
6.6
8.0
1.4
1.9
3.8
4.5
.2
1.6
1.6
1.9
.5
2.1
1.9
3.2
9.4
1.0'
.8
1.6
1.4
.3
.3
.8
.5
.5
1.3
1.6
1.0
.2
.6
1.8
.2
.5
.7
1.9
.6
1.4
.2
.2
.5
.2
1.3
1.1
.8
1.6
.3
.3
1.8
1.7
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
1,025
625
971 1,173
$0.99 $0.91 $0.89 $1.00

7.2
21.7
7.6
5.7
9.2
10.5
5.5
5.1
7.6
3.4
2.1
1.7
2.5
2.1
.8
1.5
1.3
.6
.4
.6
.2
.6
2.1
100.0
472
$0.89

1.0
1.0
3.6
4.7
9.8
4.1
5.7
7.9
6.7
4.7
5.2
1.6
3.1
5.2
4.7
6.2
3.6
3.1
5.7
2.6
9.8
100.0
193
$1.24

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
2 Data obtained from the cooperating firms did not permit a determination of the proportions classified
within each of the 10 labor grades provided in the job classification system.




59

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

21.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of men workers on H aw aiian
sugar plantations, hy type of work and method of wage paym ent, February 1947

T able

All men work­
ers
Field of work

Cultivation_____________________
Harvesting___________ ___ ____
Transportation.................. .................
Manufacturing______ ____ ____
Maintenance____________________
Industrial service________________
Clerical_____ ___________________
Total.................................... .

Hourly rate
workers

Aver­
Num­ age Num­
ber of hourly ber of
workers earn­ workers
ings

Contract work­ Salaried work­
ers
ers

Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
age Num­ age Num­ age
hourly ber of hourly ber of hourly
earn­ workers earn­ workers earn­
ings
ings
ings

1,534 $0.88
923 $0.80
.99
.84
1,025
450
.91
625
535
.88
971
.85
.89
860
1,173 1.00 1,102
.97
472
399
.89
.81
193 1.24
108 1.04
5,993
.94 4,377
.87

465 $0.92
506 1.11
79 1.05
.85
58
14 1.15
7 1.13
1,129

1.01

146
69
11
53
57
66
85
487

$1.23
1.15
1.43
1.61
1.49
1.31
1.50
1.35

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

One-half of the men workers employed on these sugar plantations
were Filipinos. The second largest racial group, the Japanese, account
for fully one-third of the force. As shown in table 22, the racial
composition of the work force differed greatly from one type of work
to another. Whereas Filipinos outnumbered Japanese by 4 to 1 in
harvesting work, there were nearly five times as many of the latter
group in clerical jobs and Japanese outnumbered Filipinos by 2% to 1
in maintenance work. It should be pointed out that many of the
Filipino workers on sugar plantations were brought in during the last
few years and, lacking previous work experience in the industry, they
were generally employed in field or mill jobs requiring little training.
Earnings of Filipino workers, as a group, averaged 86 cents sin hour
in February 1947, 8 cents below the average earnings of all men
workers combined, and 6 cents less than the average wage rates paid
to Puerto Ricans, who had the next lowest earnings. (See table 23.)
T able 22.

— Percentage distribution of men workers on H aw aiian sugar plantations ,
by type of work and racial group, February 1947

Racial group
Filipinos........... ...... ...................
Japanese.....................................
Portuguese.^____ ______. ____
Puerto Ricans___ ______ ____
Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians.
Anglo-Saxons— _____________
Chinese____________________
All others...... ................ ..........
Total___ _____________
All races: Number of workers..




Indus­
Culti­ Har­ Trans­ Manu­
Total vation vest­ porta­ factur­ Mainte­ trial Clerical
ing tion ing nance service
50.0
34.2

60.6

71.8

.5
.8

.2
.7

.3
.4

38.1
24.3
23.2
6.7
5.4
.3
.2
1.8

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

5,993

1,534

1,025

625

971

1,173

9.4 26.9 17.5
2.2 6.8 7.7
2.1 2.2 1.1
1.8 .8
.4
.8
.8

66.0

27.0
2.8
.9

1.0
1.0
.7
.6

23.1
57.4
12.7
1.6
2.6
.9
.7
1.0

32.2
14.0
49.8
68.5
8.7
9.8
3.8
.5
2.8
1.0
.8
3.1
.4
3.1
1.5 .............
100.0 100.0
472
193

60

t h e eco no m y of

H a w a ii

in

1947

T able 23.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of men workers on H aw aiian
sugar plantationsf by racial groupf February 1947

Number of Average
hourly
workers earnings1

Racial group

5,993
2,995
2,047
564
134
124
49
30
50

All races............................
Filipinos.....................................
Japanese......................................
Portuguese-................................
Puerto Ricans______ _______
Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians
Anglo-Saxons..............................
Chinese.................................. .
All others...................................

0.94
.86

1.06
.92
.95
.95

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Straight-time average hourly earnings in each of 24 selected occu­
pations are presented in table 24. Due to differences in mechaniza­
tion and work methods, each of the occupations was not found on all
plantations. Cane cutters, for example, were employed only on the
plantations on the island of Hawaii.
T able 24.— Average straight-tim e hourly earnings 1for m en workers in selected
occupations on H aw aiian sugar plantations , February 1947
Occupation
Cane cutters.. .
__ __
Carpenters, journeymen .
Crusher feeders____________ ___
Fertilizers (hand)_____________
Ground crewmen (rake or grab
A) - ____
Hand weeders (hoe) ____ _
High-grade-centrifugal operators..
Intemal-combustion-engine me­
chanics, journeymen _ ____
Irrigators__________ __________
Janitors_____________________
Juice-pan men______ ______
Loading-machine operators (grab
A)...............................................-

Num­ Average
ber of hourly
employ­ earn­
ees ings 1
300
35
18
34
220
169
39
17
108
22
16
54

$0.97
1.22
.79
1.08
.93
.79
.84
1.22
.80
.74
.75
1.19

Occupation
Locomotive brakemen________ _
Locomotive engineers..................
Machinists, journeymen________
Meat cutters_________________
Mill firemen________________
Mill tenders_____ ____________
Pan men (senior)______________
Sales clerks___________________
Seed cutters__________________
Tractor drivers, ‘A’.......................
Truck helpers_______________
Utility truck drivers (under 5
t o n s ) ____ _______ ________

Num­ Average
ber of hourly
employ­ earn­
ees ings i
33
27
16
11
23
34
28
26
63
85
97
83

$0.85
1.16
1.30
1.02
.84
.84
1.07
.93
.98
1.03
.76
.86

i Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Among the occupations studied, janitors had the lowest average
earnings (74 cents) and journeymen machinists, averaging $1.30, were
the highest-paid workers. The range of individual earnings within
each of the occupations in the list amounted to 22 cents an hour or
more, and in seven of the occupations this range exceeded 50 cents.
Although variations in earnings of individuals employed on contract
work explains much of the dispersion of earned rates in those occupa­
tions in which contract work is common, equally wide ranges of
individual rates were reported in occupations that are typically or
universally paid on a straight-time basis. A higher wage scale
maintained on several plantations by union agreement, together with
personalized rates paid to many employees, are assumed to be the
major factors contributing to the spread in earnings found in the
hourly-rated jobs.



61

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Among the selected jobs, average hourly earnings tended to be
lower on the island of Hawaii than on the other sugar-producing
islands. Although the recent introduction of the job classification
plan and wage schedule is believed to have had the effect of narrowing
the interisland wage spread, differences in occupational wage rates did
still exist at the time of the study. This situation remained as a
result of the maintenance of personalized rates above the labor grade
rate (more common on Oahu, Kauai, and Maui than on the island of
Hawaii), and higher wage schedules, set forth in the union agreement,
on a few plantations, none of which are located on the island of Hawaii.
An illustration of the lower level of wages existing on the island of
Hawaii is provided in the case of three jobs, important from the stand­
point of the number of workers employed in them. (See table 25.)
T able 25.— Average straight-tim e hourly earnings 1 for men workers in selected
occupations on H aw aiian sugar plantations, by islan d, February 191ft
Island of Hawaii
Occupation
Hand weeders (hoe)..............................................................
Truck helpers........................................................................
Utility truck drivers (under 5 tons)...................................

Island of Oahu, Kauai,
and Maui

Number of Average Number of Average
hourly
hourly
workers earnings1 workers earnings1
85
35
36

$0.76
.74
.85

84
62
47

$0.82
.77
.87

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

In occupations in which contract workers as well as hourly rated
workers were employed, it was found that the average straight-time
hourly earnings of the contract workers, as a group, were higher than
those paid to workers employed on a time basis. Cane cutters working
on a contract basis, for example, averaged 35 percent more than did
hourly rated workers in the same job. The straight-time average
hourly earnings in three jobs, shown separately for contract workers
and hourly rated workers, point out the wage advantage to workers in
the contract method of wage payment.
T able 26.— Average straight-tim e hourly earnings 1 for men workers in selected
occupations on H aw aiian sugar plantations, by method of wage paym ent, February
1947
Hourly rate
Occupation
Cane c u tte r s.....................................................................
Ground-crew men....... ........ ....................... .....................
Hand weeders (hoe)................................... ...................... .

Contract

Number of Average Number of Average
hourly
hourly
workers earnings1 workers earnings1
81
111
106

$0.78
.83
.73

219
109
63

$1.05
1.04
.88

i Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

The higher earnings on contract work may help explain part of the
interisland differences in wage levels found in some occupations. As
indicated earlier, hand weeders on the island of Hawaii averaged 76



62

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

cents, 6 cents less than the combined average on the other islands.
Time workers in this job averaged 72 cents on Hawaii, as compared
with an average rate of 76 cents on the other islands. The greater
differential found on the basis of averages representing a grouping of
time workers and contract workers is due to the fact that only 18 of
the 85 weeders on Hawaii were contract workers whereas 45 of the
84 workers in the occupation on the other islands were employed on
this basis.
Work performed in excess of 8 hours per day (except when chang­
ing shifts) or in excess of 48 hours in any 1 week was paid for at one
and one-half times the regular rate of pay.3 The overtime rate also
applied to work performed on nine holidays, with the added provision
that if such holidays fell on Sunday or the employee’s regularly sched­
uled day of rest, the following work day would be considered as the
holiday and the overtime rate was to be paid.4
Overtime worked during the selected 4-week pay-roll period had the
effect ot increasing average earnings of all men workers combined by
3 cents an hour. Average hours worked, and consequently extra
overtime earnings, varied greatly by field of work. Manufacturing
employees averaged 206 hours of work during the 4-week period and
their gross average hourly earnings amounted to 94 cents, or 5 cents
above the straight-time average for the group. Harvesting workers
averaged the lowest hours (172) and grossed $1 per hour, as compared
with a straight-time average of 99 cents. The average number of
hours worked and the added amount averaged in other fields of work
were: Transportation, 199 hours, 5 cents; maintenance, 189*hours, 4
cents; industrial service, clerical, 183 hours, 2 cents; and cultivation,
178 hours, 1 cent.
Annual earnings
The present study included a measurement of annual hours worked
and annual earnings of individual workers. Because of the strike
that took place in the industry during the latter part of 1946, the
calendar year 1945 was selected for study. Annual hours and earnings
data were obtained only for those employees who were included in the
study of hourly earnings during the February 1947 period. Em­
ployees who worked during 1945 but were no longer on the pay roll in
February 1947 were excluded. The earnings data are limited to cash
earnings, exclusive of the value of perquisites provided by the
employer.
It was found that nearly one-fourtb of the 5,993 adult men workers
employed on the 8 selected plantations in the 1947 period had been
hired since the end of the year 1945.5 As shown in table 27, the
average annual earnings of 4,588 men workers combined amounted to
$1,396 in 1945. Many of these employees, however, had either been
hired after the beginning of the year or had left the plantation during
the year. Two-thirds of the men worked 2,000 or more hours during
the year and, as a group, averaged $1,633. On the 48-hour work­
3 During the period in which the factory is shut down for its annual overhaul employees engaged in work
subject to maximum-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act are paid overtime rates for time work
in excess of 40 hours per week.
4 The list of holidays includes: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day, general election day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and VJ-day or an alternative agreed
upon by management and the union.
5 Part of the difference between the February 1947 employment figure and the 4,688 workers included in
the report of 1946 earnings represents men who were in the service or in other employment during the entire
year 1945 but had returned to their old employment; also contributing to this difference is the fact that
workers employed in long-term cultivation during any part of 1945 were excluded from the study.




63

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

week schedule maintained throughout most of the year on the plan­
tations, workers who were on the pay roll during the entire year and
who did not lose an excessive amount of time due to illness, injury,
or other reason generally worked 2,400 hours or more during the year.
Survey results indicated average earnings of $1,827 for a group of
1,643 employees who worked 2,400 hours or more.
T able 27.— Percentage distribution of men workers on H aw aiian sugar 'plantationst
by annual earnings and annual hours , 1946
Annual earnings
Under $400........ ...............
$400 to $599.......................
$600 to $799___________
$800 to $999_______ ____
$1,000 to $1,199..................
$1,200 to $1,399..............
$1,400 to $1,599................
$1,600 to $1,799................
$1,800 to $1,999..................
$2,000 to $2,199................
$2,200 to $2,399..................
$2,400 to $2,599..................
$2,600 to $2,799.................
$2,800 to $2,999..................
$3,000 and over___ _____
Total.....................
Number of workers.........
Average annual earnings.

Total

Annual hours
Under
1,200

1,200 to 1,600 to 2,000 to 2,400 and
1,999
1,599
2,399
over

3.6
44.8
0.5
3.9
31.1
11.4
16.1
6.7
25.6
6.3
11.3
29.0
14.4
1.4
21.0
15.2
7.6
12.4
.3
2.8
10.4
1.8
7.6
.3
4.3
3.7 ________ ________
2.5
1.5
.9

2.2
10.1
22.4
22.3
22.4
10.6
5.0
3.4
.5
.4
.4
.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

366
$420

395
$907

774
$1,165

1.6

100.0

4,588
$1,396

0.1
4.3
12.8
21.3
19.6
16.0
9.6
6.2
3.1
2.1
2.0
.9
.9
1.1
100.0
1,410
$1,408

0.6
1.7
6.2
13.4
15.0
17.9
14.3
9.0
8.4
5.1
3.2
1.8
3.4
100.0
1,643
$1,827

T able 28.— Total H aw aiian sugar plantation p a y rolls , 1989-47
Year

Amount

Year

1939. _________ _______ _____ — $27,075,521 1944.......................................................
1940 .
______________ ___ 25,723,858 1945______ ________ ________ ____
1941
___ _________ 26,337,699 1946......................................................
1942...............—...................................... 29,741,464 1947 (9 months)_______ __________
1943....................................................... 33,087,939

Amount
$34,469,027
37,581,582
37,786,148
146,653,066

i The estimated total of plantation pay rolls for 1947 was approximately $60,000,000, an all-time high..
Source: Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association.
LEAVE POLICY— VACATION AND SICK LEAVE

Vacation
Paid vacations were provided by terms of the union contract to all
employees who qualified on the basis of having worked 265 days in
the 12-month period preceding July 1 or their employment anniver­
sary date. Qualified employees received a week’s vacation (6 days)
credit for the first 265 work days and an additional day of vacation
for each unit of 6 days worked in excess of that number of days. A
limit of two calendar weeks (12 days) of vacation was allowed in any
one calendar year and vacation credit was not cumulative. Vaca­
tion pay was computed on the basis of the eligible employee’s straighttime hourly rate if on day work, or his average straight-time earnings
for all days worked if on piece work.
Employees received credit for purposes of computing their vaca­
tions for (a) lost time due to illness up to a maximum of 12 work days



64

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

when excused by the plantation; (b) lost time due to industrial acci­
dents up to a maximum of 30 work days; (c) authorized vacation
leave taken during the year; (d) regularly scheduled work days if no
work was offered on such days, including the off-season; and (e) nine
holidays.
Sick leave
Effective on the date of the conversion of perquisites, a sick benefit
allowance plan was put into effect. As provided in the union agree­
ment, covered hourly rated employees received benefit payments for
disability, lasting more than 3 work days, resulting from sickness
or accident not incurred in the performance of their duties in accord­
ance with the following schedule :
7 otal days of
benefit per
year at two-

Years of service:
thirds pay
1 year but less than 2 years________________________________________ 6
2 years but less than
3 years__________________________________ 12
3 years but less than
4 years__________________________________ 18
4 years but less than
5 years__________________________________ 24
5 years or more___________________________________________________ 30

Benefit payments were payable beginning with the fourth workday
of disability and unused benefit allowances could not be accumulated
from year to year.
SEASONALITY AND EMPLOYMENT TRENDS

Continuity of employment in the production of Hawaiian sugar is
comparable to employment in manufacturing operations that have
minor seasonal fluctuations rather than to typical mainland agri­
cultural operations. The equable climate of Hawaii makes possible
the continuous growth of sugar and it is technically possible to carry
on every type of operation every day in the year.
At least once a year the mill is stopped for a thorough overhauling
which requires 1 to 2 months, usually sometime between the first
of October and the end of December.
Sugarcane cannot be stored for more than 48 hours, hence much
of the field work ceases during the repair period. In the past, planta­
tion management has made an effort to carry its employees through
this period by using the time not only for mill repairs but for general
overhauling of the whole plantation including the repair of roads,
irrigation ditches, railways, power plants, and the building and
painting of houses, offices, and shops.
In normal prewar times 6 there were three periods in the yearly
cycle of employment on the plantation. The slack period extended
over the last 4 months of the year, the lowest point generally occur­
ring in October or November. Employment rose in January and
continued to rise moderately for several months, reaching a peak
in June or July. During the summer months the industry employed
approximately 7 percent more workers than were normally employed
throughout the year.
An examination of the employment figures for the period 1939 to
1948 reveals (1) a marked decline in total plantation employment
until the time of the “travel freeze” in December 1941; (2) a slightly
« For the details of prewar seasonality and turn-over see Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 687
Labor in the Territory of Hawaii, 1939, pp. 57-61.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

65

declining level of employment throughout the war; (3) a further sharp
decline with the lifting of the “travel freeze” when the war terminated
in 1945; (4) a bulge in employment (between the end of 1945 and the
sugar strike which began September 1, 1946) because of the importa­
tion of Filipinos;7 (5) a drastic drop during the strike which lasted
from September 1, 1946, to November 18, 1946; (6) a sharp return to
near-normal levels (but lower than the level of employment which
existed before the strike began) from November 1946 until the end
of 1947; and (7) obliteration of seasonal changes.8
Thus it is clear that throughout the period from 1939 to 1948 other
and abnormal factors have had a far more pronounced effect on the
levels of employment than have seasonal factors; in fact, they have
obliterated any evidence of seasonality.
Presumably the normal prewar pattern of seasonality of employ­
ment will eventually return at a lower over-all employment level
(because of mechanization), but at the time this study was made no
seasonality was observable in employment figures.
EARNINGS OF LONG-TERM CULTIVATORS

To understand long-term cultivation contracts, it is necessary to
remember that plantations are divided into fields for the purpose of
maintaining planting and harvesting programs which will provide a
continuous supply of cane to the mill. Such fields necessarily vary
greatly in size due to problems of irrigation, topography, and trans­
portation, and range from 25 to over 300 acres. The contract period
for the long-term cultivators begins when the cane “covers in” (i. e.,
has covered the field so completely that weeding is no longer necessary)
and ends just prior to the harvesting. Each gang of long-term culti­
vators has its own contract which covers the particular field or fields
to which the gang is assigned. The work consists primarily of irriga­
tion, including fertilizing (the fertilizer being added to the irrigation
water). Payments are made at an agreed rate per ton upon the basis
of the number of tons harvested from the field, hence it is to the
interest of each gang to provide cane with the best possible conditions
for growth.
Workers generally consider the assignment to a long-term contract
as a promotion, since the work involves more responsibility and less
supervision. The average daily earnings for long-term cultivators
are higher than the average for all field labor.
In the central office each field is carried as a separate unit on the
company’s books and is continuously checked as to the date it will be
ready for harvesting. These records also serve as a basic plantation
unit for cost analyses. Costs are carefully allocated by fields and
unless a field yields enough to cover its costs, it is abandoned as an
area of cultivation.
When all preliminary work of preparing and planting is completed,
the contract is let to a gang of workers, generally led by an old exper­
ienced plantation hand in whom the management has confidence.
The size of the gang will vary with the size of the field and the diffi­
culties of irrigation. When the contract period is completed, the long-*

7 Of the 6,126 Filipinos who were imported under an arrangement with the Department of the Interior
4,237 were assigned to the sugar plantation.
* With the exception of minors who obtained employment during summer vacations. See ch. 26 on the
school-work program during the war.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

66

term cultivators are paid an amount equivalent to the agreed rate per
ton multiplied by the number of tons harvested by the field under con­
tract. This sum is then divided by the number of man-days and each
member of the gang is paid in accordance with the number of man-days
he worked. Advance payments are made during the contract period,
plus a lump-sum payment at the time of the harvest. Climatic con­
ditions may vitally affect production, hence, if in the judgment of the
management injustices occur because of this, adjustments are made.
The process of arriving at the final payment is extremely compli­
cated.9 The over-all average payment per man-day for long-term
cultivators is indicated in table 29.
T able 29.— Average daily earnings of long-term cultivators,1989-46
Average daily
earnings

Year
1939........................................................
1940........................................................
1941.......................................................
1942.........................................................

$2.35
2.38
2.61
3.26

Year
1943.............................. .........................
1944...................................................
1945......... .........................................
1946......... ..........................................

Average daily
earnings
$3.98
4.38
5.01
14.97

J Average earnings in 1946 were affected by the 79-day sugar strike beginning on Aug. 31.

THE ADHERENT-PLANTER SYSTEM

The adherent-planter system represents an adjustment of the sugar
industry to the topography of Hawaii. Small areas of land suitable
for growing cane are often isolated from the main body of the plan­
tation land by (1) deep ravines, (2) small rivers, (3) long narrow
lava flows, and (4) excessively steep slopes. It is not practicable to
include this land in the mass production field operations of the plan­
tation, hence the usual practice is to make special agreements with
“adherent planters” for the cultivation of such isolated areas. Con­
tracts vary in accordance with local conditions, and the terms of
agreement have gradually developed with experience by a process of
trial and error.
Some agreements make the adherent planter little more than a
“long-term cultivator.” Other contracts provide a greater freedom
of action. In all of them, however, the plantation management,
rather than the adherent planter, determines the time of planting
and fertilizing and the measures to be taken against insects and plant
diseases.
Although there are a few such planters on Kauai and Oahu, 98
percent of the adherent planters work under contract with the plan­
tations on the island of Hawaii. There was a decline in the number
of adherent planters between 1940 and 1947 because of the unusual
opportunities for employment afforded by war construction. It is
probable that a number of these abandoned plots which were on
marginal land will remain uncultivated.
The number of adherent planters constantly fluctuates, the total
being slightly less than 1,800 in November 1947. The average area
of land cultivated by adherent planters at that time was about 11
acres.10 Fifty-seven percent of the area under this system is cultivated •
• For detailed discussion of this, see Bureau of Labor Statistics' Bulletin No. 687, Labor in the Territory
of Hawaii, 1939, pp. 67-69.
m 20,145 acres were under cultivation by adherent planters in. November 1947.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

67

by “plantation planters” who have various forms of leases, subleases,
and cane purchase agreements on land owned by the plantations.
They are often employed by the plantations when not working in
their leased fields. The remaining 43 percent of the area is operated
by “outside planters,” who either own their own land or lease land
not owned by the plantations. Many of the outside planters have
homes on their own land.
In most cases adherent planters are not able to finance themselves
entirely and are dependent on the plantations for credit. The income
of the adherent planter 11 is dependent upon his own bargaining
capacity, his industry, and his ability as a farmer; that is, he is an
independent contractor, not a wage earner.

11 Adherent planters live in widely scattered, isolated areas that are difficult to reach. Their records of
earnings are generally inadequate (and in some cases nonexistent). For these reasons a study of adherent.ulanter incomes was not feasible within the limitations of personnel and funds available for this report.




CHAPTER 7. THE LABOR MARKET AND THE ECONOMICS OF
THE HAWAIIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY
The sugar plantations have suffered from repeated shortages in the
supply of labor for plantation work from the earliest beginnings of the
industry to the present time. Until 1933, a primary cause was the
continuous expansion of the industry. Two additional factors have
been operative throughout the history of the industry and remain
important today: (1) The return of plantation laborers to their coun­
tries of origin or their migration to the American mainland (the princi­
pal returnees being Filipinos who consitute a large element in the
unskilled labor force on the plantations). (2) The rise in educational
and living standards among island-born citizens who look upon
plantation labor as an unacceptable way of life and who tend to crowd
into Honolulu rather than to remain on the plantations.
The shortage became so acute toward the end of the war that on
June 28, 1945, the Hawaiian Sugar Planted Association requested
that 6,000 Filipino laborers be imported. On July 5, the Pineapple
Producers’ Association requested an additional 3,100. The Governor
approved these requests on the basis of a reduced joint importation
for both industries of about 6,000 Filipinos.1 The Department of the
Interior accepted this recommendation and a total of 6,126 Filipinos
were imported, 4,237 being assigned to the sugar plantations and 1,889
to the pineapple plantations. As an indication of the trend from the
plantations to the cities, by April 1947, 1,435, or 35 percent of the
total allotment of Filipinos assigned to the sugar plantations had gone
to Honolulu 1 or into other industries in spite of the fact that the
2
plantations still faced an acute shortage of labor.
By 1947, the sharp decline in Federal construction and other civilian
employment for the Army and Navy together with the return of war
veterans tended to flood the labor market and to develop a rising tide
of unemployment in Honolulu. In spite of this fact, the plantations
still faced a shortage of labor. In the spring of 1947 many vacancies
(particularly in skilled classifications) were listed by the plantations
with the Territorial employment service.
The explanation for the apparent paradox of a labor shortage on the
plantations at that time and growing unemployment in Honolulu
involves a study of complex and opposing tendencies.
The factors which tended toward a relative shortage of labor on the
plantations during the first part of 1947 were:
(1) The gradual shift in the population from uneducated imported
aliens to educated island-born Americans whose ambition takes them
away from plantation work.
(2) The employment opportunities offered in the postwar construc­
tion industry.
(3) The fact that wages in some other fields of work (even for un­
skilled labor) are higher.
1 The act of 1935 restricted the annual immigration of Filipinos to a quota of 50 but provided that the
number could be increased at the discretion of the Director of Insular Affairs, Department of the Interior,
should conditions justify it.
2 Conferences indicated that some of the Filipinos who were recruited for plantation fieldwork had edu­
cation and training considerably above that required for such work. This was an important factor affect­
ing those who moved to Honolulu.
68




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

m

SUGAR PRODUCTION RELATIVE TO ACREAGE
AND MAN POWER
thousan ds

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OP LABOR
BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS

 75798—48------6


thousan ds

Source: HAWAIIAN SUGAR PLANTERS ASSOCIATION

70

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

(4) The fact that large sums of money were made during the war
years which now provide a backlog for the maintenance of higher levels
of economic activity in Honolulu.
(5) General unemployment benefits as well as the bonus and the
unemployment compensation available to returned veterans.
(6) The tendency to establish numerous small enterprises (groceries,
drug stores, restaurants, service stations, curio shops, barber shops,
florist shops, and the like) which makes wage earners into own-account
employers.
Most of these factors were short-lived, however. The increase in
plantation wages during the latter half of 1947, the further mechani­
zation of plantation operations and a marked drop in the price of
sugar caused a decline in the demand for plantation labor. At the
same time, a general decline in employment throughout the Territory
resulted in an increase in the supply of labor. There was thus a marked
change in the labor market between the summer of 1947 and the spring
of 1948.
The industry is now more vulnerable to higher costs and other ad­
verse influences than it would have been in the earlier stages of its
history. By 1933 it had expanded into marginal land which has since
become unprofitable to cultivate as production costs have increased.
This is clearly indicated by employment and production figures.
According to the HSPA, the total number of employees on sugar
plantations declined from 44,605 in 1939 to 26,916 in March 1947.
Sugar production declined from 8,609,543 short tons of cane in 1939 to
7,371,158 short tons of cane in 1945.3
From its beginning, Hawaiian sugar has been increasingly supported
by favorable Federal policies: (1) by a Reciprocal Trade Agreement
with the United States established in 1876, (2) by the protection of the
American tariff system established in 1898, (3) by the Jones-Costigan
Act of 1934 which brought Hawaii within the American sugar quota
system. Under these conditions it was profitable to intensify culti­
vation in terms of labor, fertilizer, and irrigation and to extend acreage
to less favorable areas of land. By 1933 the industry had achieved its
optimum expansion. At the then prevailing wage rates and other
production costs, the intensive and extensive margins for the culti­
vation of sugar had reached their limits. The rise in wages between
1933 and 1940, the wartime labor shortage, the further sharp rise in
wages since 1944, and the increase in other production costs have
forced the industry to retreat from both margins. It is no longer
possible to apply labor to sugar production as intensively as it was
applied a decade ago. For the same reasons, it is not possible to
cultivate as large an acreage as before. The total area in sugarcane
declined from 252,237 acres in 1934 to 208,376 in 1946. The obvious
means of combating higher costs is increased mechanization, but
there are three types of fields which necessarily require the continued
use of a large number of field laborers: (1) Those that lie on ex­
cessively steep slopes, (2) those that are divided by old lava flows into
small, and often rocky, areas, and (3) those that are isolated from the
main body of the plantation by deep ravines.
Plantations consisting primarily of such fields are at a decided dis­
advantage in attempting to offset higher costs by increased mechani­
zation. As production on such plantations declines, the overhead
«The sugarcane production for 1946 was 6,002,127 short tons but is not a valid indication of the downward
trend because the sugar strike in the autumn of 1946 made that year one of abnormally low production.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

71

costs for the maintenance of the mill and other basic plantation
operations remain relatively fixed and must be allocated to a smaller
output; hence there is a rapid increase in the production cost of sugar
per ton.
Because of the decrease in the number of plantations, there is an
exaggerated impression in the Territory as to the total decrease in
cane acreage. The best land of the liquidated plantations has been
absorbed by adjoining plantations, thus increasing their scale of opera­
tions and decreasing overhead cost per unit of production; only the
poor lands on such plantations are being abandoned. As of 1947,
two plantations were in the process of harvesting the remaining fields
of cane preparatory to a liquidation of operation.
The decline in acreage does not necessarily indicate a continued
decline in over-all production in Hawaii, however, for the following
reasons:
(1) Improvement in strains of cane, in the use of fertilizer, and in
the control of plant diseases and pests continues to be available to all
plantations.
(2) Mechanization tends to offset the higher costs on the better
sugar lands. Programs for further mechanization, which were sharply
retarded by the war because new equipment could not be purchased,
are being carried forward as machine production returns to normal
levels. 4
(3) Many of the factors which are presently causing the labor short­
age are temporary :
(a) The reserves accumulated from war profits are being expended
which will force those living on such reserves into the labor market.
(b) It appears improbable that all of the numerous small enter­
prises established during the postwar period can survive; some of
the self-employers will again become wage earners.
(c) Bonus payments and unemployment benefits to veterans will
not continue at present levels.
(d) Federal expenditures in Hawaii are rapidly declining to normal
levels with a corresponding decrease in Federal employment.
The pressure for employment rose during 1947 and the exodus from
the plantations is being checked. The decrease in heavy muscular
work through mechanization, improvements in living conditions in
plantation communities, the increase in transportation facilities
which makes it possible to go to near-by cities at frequent intervals,
and the recent wage increases are added inducements toward a
stabilization of plantation labor. It is possible that the need for em­
ployment may even lead to a temporary reversal of the flow from the
plantation to the city.
From a broader point of view, the basic factors affecting future
production are the price of sugar and the competitive position of other
sugar-producing areas. Unless there is an unexpected upward trend
in the price of sugar, any considerable expansion of the Hawaiian
sugar industry over prewar levels does not seem probable, but assum­
ing an increase in mechanization and a stabilization of the labor on
the plantations, production can be stabilized at or near the 1,052,000
tons 5 per year, the figure which was established as Hawaii’s quota
in August 1947.
4In October 1947 the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association announced that comprehensive plans for
mechanization during 1948-49 had been adopted throughout the entire industry.
5In October 1947 the HSPA estimated that sugar production in Hawaii would reach the established quota
"by 1951 or prior to 1952.”










P art III

THE PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY




CHAPTER 8. THE DEVELOPMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF
THE INDUSTRY
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY

Pineapples did not become a significant island product until the
middle of the nineteenth century. In 1851, 21,310 pineapples were
exported. The first pineapple plantation appeared in 1885 but as
late as 1909 only 5,000 acres were in pineapples. In that year the
Ginaca machine was developed for peeling and coring pineapples,
which gave a great impetus to the canning of the fruit. By 1920 the
land owned or leased by pineapple companies amounted to 46,845
acres.
Between 1920 and 1930 there was a marked shift in the areas under
pineapple cultivation. During that decade, production on the island
of Hawaii entirely ceased, whereas Lanai and Molokai became largescale producers. The relatively small island of Lanai had been
virtually useless until it was developed for pineapple production but
it has since become one of the most important pineapple-producing
areas in the Territory, being second only to Oahu.
Because the Hawaiian pineapple industry is much younger than
the sugar industry, pineapple plantations have adopted a pattern of
organization and of policies based on the experience of the sugar
plantations. Its earnings, however, have been less stable than those
of the sugar industry. The value of the pineapple pack, for example,
reached a high of $50,055,569 in 1930 but sank to only $9,570,569
2 years later. This was followed by a marked recovery to $59,454,9761
in 1937 which was only $4,000,000 less than the total value of sugar
shipments in that year. The following year, however, there was a
decline of 36 percent in the value of pineapple and juice.
The causes of this instability have been (1) the repeated inroads of
insect pests and plant diseases throughout the history of the industry
which can be controlled only by continuous scientific work and costly
operations on the plantations; (2) climatic factors, particularly rain­
fall, which affect the quantity and quality of production; (3) the com­
petition of other canned fruits/ which have a significant effect on the
pineapple market; and (4) the fact that pineapples are a luxury food
rather than a necessity so that an economic depression causes an
unusually sharp drop in sales.
Prior to the war the Hawaiian industry represented 80 percent of the
total world production of canned pineapples. The effect of the war
was to diminish Philippine and Formosan production and to increase
the relative importance of Hawaii. On the other hand, the industry
now faces increased competition from Mexico and Puerto Rico.
ORGANIZATION OF THE PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY

The pineapple industry has developed in the direction of large-scale
plantation organization in much the same way and for the same1
2
1 By 1937 canned juice had become important, representing $16,749,976 of total pineapple exports.
2 A large peach crop (on the mainland) accompanied by a lowering in the price of canned peaches has an
especially depressing effect on the pineapple market.



75

76

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

reasons as did the sugar industry. There were 13 companies with
11 canneries in 1929. Ten years later only nine companies with eight
canneries totaled 33 percent greater production, measured in value.
There is a considerable degree of coordination between the various
companies by virtue of (1) intercorporate and intrafamily holdings;
(2) interlocking directorates; and (3) close relations among the pine­
apple concerns and the five factors comprising the Hawaiian Sugar
Planters’ Association. In spite of these developments the pineapple
industry has not achieved so high a degree of unity as has the sugar
industry (1) because some of the important pineapple-producing
concerns in Hawaii are branches of large packing companies on the
mainland; (2) because the industry is younger and has not had time to
achieve full coordination; and (3) because it has suffered from violent
fluctuations in production and demand. The first organization of the
pineapple-growing firms was established in 1909 as the Pineapple
Growers’ Association, primarily for the purposes of mainland adver­
tising. This organization initiated scientific experimentation in the
growth of pineapples in 1920 and further expanded it in 1922. The
association passed through several reorganizations and emerged in
1932 as the Pineapple Producers’ Cooperative Association. Under a
cooperative arrangement the members agreed (1) to limit production
under a quota system to the needs of the market; (2) to sell the pine­
apple pack through a marketing committee; (3) to pool their adver­
tizing; and (4) to standardize the pack. The agreement covered
canned pineapple only and ended May 31, 1942.
The quota system was not continued following the termination of
the cooperative agreement because production was curtailed and war
demands were so great that the market would absorb all that could be
produced. Government purchases of both canned pineapple and juice
rose rapidly and in 1944 amounted to more than twice the total which
remained for civilian consumption.
A dual organization replaced the cooperative association on Febru­
ary 29, 1944, as (1) the Pineapple Growers’ Association of Hawaii
(primarily for developing policies, handling advertising, and conduct­
ing marketing research); and (2) the Pineapple Research Institute of
Hawaii (for research in new types of pineapples, insect and disease
control, and mechanization). The institute and the various pineapple
companies have spent as much as $945,000 per year on research.3
The 8 member companies operate 12 plantations and 9 canneries as
indicated in table 30.
T able 30.— Pineapple companies— Members of the Pineapple Growers1 Association
of Hawaii
Companies
Hawaiian Pineapple Co _______
Libby, McNeill & Libby _ _
California Packing Corp
Maui Pineapple Co....................

Plan­ Can­
tations neries
2
3
2
1

1
2
1
U

Companies
Kauai Pineapple Co_______1___
Baldwin Packers, Ltd_________
Hawaiian Canneries Co_______
Hawaiian Fruit Packers, Ltd___

Plan­ Can­
tations neries
1
1
1
1

11
11
21
1

1Associated with Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd.
2 Associated with American Factors, Ltd.
3 The association developed a high regard for the value of research in the early thirties when the pineapple
wilt threatened the entire industry. It was saved from extinction only by intensive research on the part of
the best experts that could be found.



77

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The total area used for pineapple production (including roadways
and camp sites but excluding ravines or other nonusable areas)
amounts to 62,677 acres. Of this, 33 percent is owned by the com­
panies and 60.9 percent is leased from various estates (including a
small area leased from the Government). The remaining 6.1 percent
represents pineapple production on homestead land and that of small
independent growers.
T able 31.— The market for canned pineapple and canned pineapple juice,during
the war years in number of cases 1
Canned juice

Canned pineapple

Calendar year

Govern­
ment 2

Total

1942:
Cases................................
Percent____ ___________
1943:
Cases..................................
Percent______________ _
1944:
Cases..____ ___________
Percent........................... .
1945:
Cases......................... ........
Canners repurchased 8___
Cases............................... .
Percent.............................
Total:
4 years___________
Percent.....................

Civilian

Total

Govern­
ment 8

Civilian

9,027,805 3,132,559 5,895,246
100
34.70
65.30
10,154,387 3,972,235 6,182,152
100
39.12
60.88
8.704,955 5,851,090 2,853,865
100
67.22
32.78

6,148,604 1,635,551
100
26.60
6,953,913 1,537,716
22.11
100
5,804,979 4,304,336
74.15
100

4,513,053
73.40
5,416,197
77.89
1,500,643
25.85

3,340,155 4,171,317
617,658
617,658
7,511,472 2,722,497 4,788,975
36.24
63.76
100

6,333,633

1,858,971
569,167
6,333,633 1,289,804
20.36
100

4,474,662
569,167
5,043,829
79.64

35,398,619 15,678,381 19,720,238 25,241,129 8,767,407
44.29
55.71
34.73
100
100

16,473,722
65.27

7,511,472

1 The sizes of cans and cases vary. These figures are reduced to the equivalent of 24 cans (No. 2^ size)
to a case.
* The Government purchases indicated in the above tabulation were made under the various set-aside
orders. Previously, in 1941, the Army had purchased 625,749 cases (24 No. 2)4 cans basis) of pineapple
direct from canners on bids or by negotiation, in addition to sundry other Government purchases made
prior to the first set-aside order in the spring of 1942.
8 Out of the 1945 calendar year pack, the Government originally purchased the equivalent of 3,340,155
cases of pineapple and 1,858,971 cases of juice on a 24/214 basis. This does not include a large number of
contracts, which had been tendered by the canners and were in process of being negotiated when the Gov­
ernment terminated its purchasing program, which were therefore returned to the contractors uncompleted.
Later, in November 1945, the Government declared surplus previously purchased lots in canners’ island
warehouses aggregating 674,007 actual cases of pineapple and 740,639 actual cases of juice. This was repur­
chased by the original canners in December 1945 and represented the equivalent of 617,658 cases of pineapple
and 569,167 cases of juice on a 24/214 basis.
N ote.—During the pack year of June 1,1945, to May 31,1946, a total of 9,050,898 actual cases of canned
pineapple and 8,671,204 cases of canned juice were produced.
T able 32.— Shipments of canned pineapple and canned juice from Hawaii to the

United States mainland for calendar years 1934-45 1

Year
1934..
1935..
1936..
1937..
1938..
1939..
1940—
19411942 2.
1943 2.
1944 2.
1945 2.

Quantity
pineapple

Quantity
juice

Quantity
total

Pounds
540,935,612
436,800,865
571,947,430
595,790,000
373,516,447
536,327,235
434,426,037
648,525,912
328,488,569
248,848,467
190,891,949
143,762,433

Pounds
2,035,477
103,529,320
233,029,338
283,849,733
220,801,559
311,676,574
351,847,499
396,505,682
221,960,254
209,571,542
102,330,000
162,133,331

Pounds
542,971,089
540,330,185
804,976,768
879,639,733
594,318,006
848,003,809
786,273,536
1,045,031,594
550,448,823
458,420,009
293,221,949
305,895,764

Value
pineapple Value juice Value total
$34,156,106
28,239,449
38,835,794
42,705,000
24,632,467
34,098,779
27,829,668
42,051,697
25,014,144
24,351,548
18,728,401
14,369,453

$115,975
5,647,112
12,612,689
16,749,976
13,216,993
16,723,754
17,843,367
21,255,675
13,967,632
15,554,330
7,297,292
12,566,041

$34,272,081
33,886,561
51,448,483
59,454,976
37,849,460
50,822,533
45,673,035
63,307,372
38,981,776
39,905,878
26,025,693
26,935,494

1 Monthly summary, U. S. Department of Commerce.
2 Mainland shipments of both canned pineapple and juice were affected during the war years by the
amount shipped to the armed forces (not included in these figures).



CHAPTER 9. PRODUCTION IN THE PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY
OPERATIONS ON PINEAPPLE PLANTATIONS

Pineapple production in Hawaii passes through, a 4- to 5-year cycle.
The first crop requires approximately 18 months to mature. The
second and third crops grow on the already matured plant, hence
require only about 12 months each to mature. The greater the
number of such “ratoon” crops, the smaller the average size of the
pineapples. Therefore, it is not considered advisable to attempt a
fourth crop without replanting. On a typical field there is thus an
18-month period for the first crop, 12 months for the first “ratoon”
crop and 12 months for the second “ratoon” crop, or 3K years of
continuous crop growth. This is sometimes followed by a year in
which the land is allowed to lie fallow and recuperate 1 after which a
new crop cycle is begun. Because of the lack of rainfall in recent
years the island of Lanai is on a full 5-year cycle. On Oahu, Mauai,
and Kauai, however, the present tendency is to reduce the crop cycle
to 4 years.
(1) Preparation oj the soil.—Crawler tractors and heavy-duty
plows similar to those used on the sugar plantations are used to pre­
pare the soil. There recently has been a tendency toward contour
farming and well over half of the total pineapple acreage is planted in
contoured rows. Although a decided benefit in minimizing soil
erosion, contour farming has reduced the efficiency of machinery in
the fields and has considerably increased farming costs.
Tractor drivers and their helpers are the principal types of labor
required for preparing the soil. After being plowed and harrowed
the fields are laid out in rows 4 to 6 feet wide and well treated with
fertilizer. Owing to the widespread appearance of nematodes and
other root pathogens during recent years, it is now essential to fumi­
gate the soil heavily before planting. Chloropicrin (a tear gas) is
commonly used. An inexpensive byproduct of petroleum refining
known as D. D. has proven effective in amounts of from 200 to 400
pounds per acre. In December 1946, a more effective method for
using D. D. was developed. The D. D. is released from a tank and
plowed into the soil when the fields are being prepared for planting.
D. D. T. also has been used recently as an insecticide.
An important additional operation is the laying of asphalt-treated
mulch paper in rows about 3 feet in width. This serves three purposes:
It prevents the growth of weeds; it holds the moisture; and it attracts
heat. Thus all of the fertilizer and the growing power of the soil is
reserved for the fruit alone and the labor of hoeing and weeding is
reduced.
(2) Planting.—A successful planting machine has not, as yet, been
developed. After the paper is laid, holes are made through the paper
and each planting material (slip, crown, or sucker) is set by hand in

1This was also designed to reduce soil infection. Newly developed soil fumigants make it possible to
eliminate this waiting period and to use the land for continuous crop growth.
78




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

79

the amount of 17,000 to 20,000 plants per acre. There follows a
long period of growth during which field work consists primarily of
spraying.
(3) Spraying.—Spraying is used for five purposes: (1) To keep down
insect pests, (2) to provide elements lacking in the soil, (3) to destroy
weeds, (4) to retard or accelerate ripening, and (5) to force the “fruit­
ing” and the size of the pineapples on weak “hold-over” plants.
There is little iron in Hawaiian soil and this must be provided in the
form of iron sulfate sprayed on the plants by large mechanical
sprayers. Formerly, with straight-line farming, it was common to
drive two trucks along parallel roads with a cable strung between
them across the field on which was a long hose with nozzles for spray­
ing sulfate. With the development of the contour system, this
method is no longer feasible, hence a larger number of individual
spray machines and drivers is required.
Spraying for insect control is an important factor in the cost of
production. The greatest enemy to pineapple production is the
mealybug, which attacks the roots. Diesel-oil emulsion spray is
commonly used as an insecticide. Machine sprayers with booms of
various lengths can be used to keep mealybugs away from the periph­
ery but within the fields it is necessary to employ hand labor to eradi­
cate these pests. Plants must be examined and, if infested, marked
and sprayed by hand with small power sprayers. Experimentation
looking toward the development of insect enemies of the mealybug
has been unsuccessful so far because mealybugs are protected by the
ants who cultivate them and destroy their enemies. A recently dis­
covered Brazilian parasite (pseudophycus) can quickly deposit four
eggs in each mealybug and escape before it is killed by the ants. The
eggs produce larvae which destroy the mealybugs. The use of this
parasite, however, is still in the experimental stage. If successful, it
will reduce the cost of pineapple production by effecting a considerable
reduction in the field force now required to combat insect pests.
The other pests and diseases which do not necessarily destroy the
pineapple plant but may reduce the size of fruit by 50 percent or
more are: (1) The anomala bug, (2) nematodes (microscopic eel-like
worms which bore into the roots), and (3) a fungus disease known
as root rot which thrives at cool, high elevations. Present experi­
mentation in cross breeding strong South American wild pineapple
with present Hawaiian types gives some promise of overcoming the
fungus.
Spraying is used for weed control in spaces between the mulch
paper. Herbicides are applied with small high-clearance tractors and
fan-shaped sprays close to the ground to avoid contact with plants.
Experts believe the use of cultivators for weed control to be unde­
sirable because they tear the edges of the paper and cut the roots.
Sprayers do not entirely eliminate the necessity for hand hoeing and
weeding close to the plants.
Still another form of spraying is designed to control ripening.
This method achieves two purposes: (1) It will cause the fruit to
ripen earlier and thus spread the harvest season and prevent losses
which occur when so much fruit ripens at the peak of the season that
it cannot be handled, and (2) it forces the ripening when a drought
causes weaker plants to “hold over” (i. e., fail to fruit) till the next
season. Inspections early in the growing period will indicate whether



80

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

this operation is necessary. If applications are made early enough
the plants that would otherwise hold over will fruit and the size will
be normal. The use of fruit-ripening hormones (alphanathalenacetic
and related hormones) not only shorten the ripening period if applied
early but retard the ripening of fruit already formed if that is desired.
Carbides injected with hand applicators also are used for “spot
forcing” specific plants.
Most of the pineapple plantations are highly mechanized in respect
to spraying operations, but a considerable amount of field work in
the elimination of insect pests must be done by hand. Insect control
costs the industry well over a half-million dollars a year.
(4) Harvesting and transporting.—Operations have been greatly
simplified in the last few years by the development of various types
of “field-fruit carriers.” These consist of a boom (or long arm) which
extends at right angles from the truck over several rows of pineapple
plants. A conveyor belt runs along the boom and the field workers
move slowly forward behind it picking the fruit, cutting the crown
and placing the pineapples one at a time on the belt which carries
them to the double-bin truck-trailer for transport to the cannery.
This method has eliminated much of the heavy field work involved
in harvesting.
Such machines are equipped with powerful electric lights so that,
at the height of the season, it is possible to operate at night with an
extra shift.
The secret of turning out the best canned pineapple is to obtain
the fruit at the peak of ripeness. If it is either green or overripe the
quality is impaired. The advantage of the field-fruit carrier is thus
that it increases the rapidity of harvesting operations. The effect of
these machines has been: (1) to increase man-hour production, (2) to
reduce the number of laborers required, (3) largely to eliminate women
and minors from field labor, and (4) to reduce losses at the seasonal
peak.
OPERATIONS IN THE CANNERIES

The canneries are operated by the same concerns that control the
pineapple plantations. It is necessary to maintain a close coordina­
tion between the day-by-day volume of harvested pineapples and the
operating levels in the canneries. In contrast to the sugar industry,
pineapple harvesting and canning tend toward sharp seasonal peaks.
There is a major fruiting season in July, a minor fruiting season
beginning in January, andvlimited, sporadic harvesting throughout
the other months. Cannery operations thus continue at low levels
during the off seasons, reach a small peak in midwinter and a high
peak in midsummer. Seasonal workers are essential to the industry.
The three largest pineapple canneries (Hawaiian Pineapple Co.,
California Packing Corp., and Libby, McNeill & Libby) are located
in Honolulu. They pack four-fifths of the total output. The five
other canneries are located as follows: Baldwin Packers, Ltd.,
Lahaina, Maui; Maui Pineapple Co., Paia, Maui; Kauai Pineapple
Co., Kalaheo, Kauai; Hawaiian Canners Co., Kapaa, Kauai; and
Hawaiian Fruit Packers, Ltd., Kapaa, Kauai. Libby, McNeill &
Libby maintains a branch plant at Pauwela, Maui.
Canning operations begin on the receiving platform. Railroads are
still used for transporting pineapple to some of the canneries, but the
trend is strongly toward double-deck truck-trailers. Canning opera­




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

81

tions consist of: (1) unloading pineapples on conveyor belts; (2) peel­
ing and coring (a single machine operation); (3) inspecting, trimming,
and slicing; (4) packing into cans; (5) processing and sealing; and
(6) labeling, warehousing, and shipping. In addition to these basic
operations there are other types of work connected with the newly
developed quick-freezing of slices, the recovery of juice and the
processing of byproducts.
(1) Unloading.—In a number of the canneries truckers still move
boxes of pineapple by hand-truck across the loading platform to the
bins. Dumpers empty the fruit from the boxes into the bins and
truckers return the empty boxes to the railroad cars or trucks to be
sent back to the plantations. Pineapples are fed from the bins to a
belt conveyor which carries them to the Ginaca machines.
A recent development is the large, double-deck truck trailer which
is, in effect, a movable bin. This trailer is taken directly into the
field where the fruit is fed by belt conveyors from the hands of the
pineapple pickers into the truck-trailer. Upon arrival at the cannery
the trailer is left in such a position that the pineapples can be me­
chanically dumped onto the belt conveyor whenever required. The
double-deck arrangement is to prevent the fruit from being bruised
by too great a weight of other pineapples being piled upon it. This
system does away with hand trucking at the receiving platform. In
the largest cannery in Hawaii over 95 percent of the loading platform
workers were eliminated in this way. The belt conveyor carries the
pineapples from the loading platform through a sorter which divides
them according to size and carries them into the cannery where they
are automatically fed into Ginaca machines of the proper size.
(2) Peeling and coring.—Peeling and coring are combined in a single
operation performed by Ginaca machines which will handle as many
as 90 pineapples per minute. The machines are electrically operated
and are tended by a machine operator. The cylinder of fruit which
remains automatically passes to the inspection and trimming tables.
The cores and the peelings fall onto another conveyor to be processed
into “pineapple bran” (cattle feed) and sirup.
(3) Inspecting, trimming, and slicing.—This work is performed by
lines of girls wearing white aprons and white rubber gloves who stand
beside trimming tables, take the cored cylinders of pineapples as
they pass by on belt conveyors, inspect them, complete the trimming
(if necessary), and return the fruit to the conveyors. Relief trimmers
are available to fill in when it is necessary for an employee to drop out
of line. As the fruit passes automatically from the trimming tables
it goes through slicing machines where it is washed, cut into slices of
uniform thickness, and delivered to belt conveyors for the canning
tables. Foreladies are in charge of inspection, trimming, and can
packing.
(4) Packing into cans.—This operation is also performed by girls
who take the cylinders of sliced pineapple, make selections as to grade,
and fill the cans. Slices that are imperfectly cut are picked out and
passed to conveyors to be used as crushed pineapple.
(5) Processing and sealing.—The cans are fed by a conveyor belt
into machines which place in each can a quantity of clarified pine­
apple juice (from the recovery plant of the cannery). The juice is
thickened to a sirup by the addition of refined cane sugar.2 Passing
2 If present plans are successful the sirup will be made as a byproduct from the cores and peelings of the
'^pineapples.




82

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

from the siruping machines, the cans are heated by lire steam, air
bubbles are expelled and the can covers automatically sealed upon
them, after which the sealed cans pass through steam pressure cooking
equipment with a temperature slightly above the boiling point. The
cans are then given a lacquer bath to improve appearance and provide
protection against rust. From there they go through the drying
machine and the cooler, at the other side of which tray stackers pick
up the trays of canned fruit and stack them. Truck operators with
electric trucks take these stacks to cooling rooms where they are kept
24 hours or more for inspection for leaks, bulges or other imperfections.
(6) Labeling, warehousing, and shipping,—After the 24-hour period
for cooling and inspection, the bare cans are taken from the tray and
stacked in the warehouse. In filling orders, cans are taken from the
stacks, again inspected, and placed on conveyor belts to be carried
to automatic labeling machines. Labeling is inspected as the cans
pass on a conveyor; then the cans are packed in corrugated boxes for
shipment.
(7) Other operations,—Sliced pineapple is the primary product of
the canneries, but crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, and frozen
pineapple are becoming increasingly important. Crushed pineapple
is canned in much the same way as sliced pineapple and consists of
(1) fruit chosen for that purpose and (2) pieces of pineapple from the
inspection and trimming tables. The fruit passes through crushing
machines into kettles where it is cooked. The sterilized brew is then
conveyed to automatic filling machines, and from this point the cans
are handled in the same manner as sliced pineapple.
Juice is recovered from the cores and the peelings which are delivered
by belt conveyors from the Ginaca machines to a roller mill. The
pressed juice automatically passes to the recovery department where
it is neutralized, filtered, concentrated, and treated with refined cane
sugar to make sirup of the correct standard for use in filling cans of
sliced pineapple. Juice is also canned as a beverage but contains less
sugar than that which is added to canned pineapple.
Frozen fresh pineapple slices are packed in cardboard boxes of the
standard size used for retailing frozen foods in grocery stores and are
subjected to a quick-freezing process. This development is still in its
infancy. If consumers should generally prefer the taste of frozen
fresh pineapple to that of the cooked canned fruit, it will become an
important development resulting in a reduction in the quantity of
equipment and labor now required.
Byproducts.—The pressed peelings which remain after the extraction
of juice are shredded, dried, and treated for use as stock feed. For
each ton of canned fruit, 50 to 60 pounds of stock feed are obtained.
Citric acid, used in the manufacture of drugs, beverages, and food
products, is another byproduct. The most recent development is a
process for obtaining sugar by an ionization process from the cores
and peelings. A pilot plant is in operation and has been so successful
that larger installations are already being built. In this way the
canneries will provide the sirup used in the manufacture of canned
pineapple.
Working conditions in the canneries are good. Rooms are light
and airy. Rest rooms, toilet facilities, restaurants, protective devices,
and medical care compare favorably with mainland standards. This
over-all review of cannery operation has been presented in some detail
to indicate the character of the work performed by the largest group
of
 factory workers in Hawaii.


CHAPTER 10. UNIONIZATION

Unionization of the 'pineapple industry
The unionization of the pineapple industry is in many respects
similar to the development of union organization in the sugar industry.
In each of these industries, the organizing drive conducted by the
International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union was
highly successful and resulted in written agreements covering the
majority of the regularly employed persons in the labor force. Nego­
tiations in both industries involved (1) conversion from the per­
quisite system, (2) the adoption of a uniform job classification
system and a standard wage scale, (3) special wage scales in the case
of a few companies, and (4) the granting of a general wage increase.
These major changes were brought about in the pineapple industry
with the signing of the first agreement with the union, whereas
similar changes were introduced in the sugar industry some months
later, on the effective date of the second contract.
Prior to World War II, the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing,
and Allied Workers of America had obtained a single agreement in the
industry with one of the smaller companies (operating on the island of
Kauai) which signed with the union in June 1940. Between October
1944 and September 1945 the ILWU filed petitions for representation
of factory workers employed by the other seven companies with the
National Labor Relations Board. In all cases involving the basic
bargaining units in canneries the union won the elections and was cer­
tified as collective-bargaining representatives. Elections were held
under the Hawaii Employment Relations Act for the pineapple planta­
tion workers and the ILWU was also certified as representative for
these workers. Separate industry-wide contracts were negotiated for
cannery workers and for plantation workers, with major agreements
going into effect on May 31, 1946. All of the canneries (9) and 11 of
the 12 plantations were operating under terms of written agreements
with the ILWU by August 1, 1946.
Although office workers, guards, and supervisoiy employees were
generally excluded from the basic bargaining units, a number of elec­
tions covering such occupational groups were held later and nearly
all of such elections were won by the union. In some cases where
office and clerical employees were added to the groups covered by the
contract, supervisory, professional, technical, and confidential employ­
ees engaged in office positions were typically excluded from such cover­
age. Similarly, where supervisory positions were brought within the
scope of the contract, these were generally limited to employees in the
first level of supervision, such as table foreladies and “lunas.”
Large numbers of workers are employed on a short-term basis on
the plantations and in the canneries during the peak harvesting period.
Such workers were specifically excluded from coverage by the agree­
ment. The agreement covering plantation workers excluded stu­
dents, seasonal employees and part-time employees. The cannery
agreement stated that intermittent employees covered will be those



S3

84

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

who have worked through the peak season and thereafter for 75 per­
cent of the canning days each month between seasons; if an employee
does not work 75 percent of the canning days in any month between
seasons, he shall be excluded from coverage of the contract until after
the next peak season when the same tests will again apply to deter­
mine coverage.
An industry-wide job classification system, covering plantation jobs
as well as factory jobs, went into effect on May 1, 1946. All employees
covered by the union agreement whose services had not been termi­
nated prior to the signing of the agreement received a minimum in­
crease, as of May 1, 1946, of 10 cents per hour, irrespective of the
placement of their jobs under the classification system.1 The mini­
mum guaranteed increase primarily affected employees whose per­
sonalized rates were at a level that would have otherwise called for
little or no upward adjustment with the adoption of the job classifica­
tion plan. According to the agreement, each employer had the option
on or before January 1, 1947, of discontinuing the provision of any
perquisites upon making arrangements for the continued availability
of service. Upon the discontinuance of perquisites, employees would
be charged for rent in accordance with an agreed-upon schedule and
the employer would put into effect an increase of 15 cents per hour
for men and 10 cents per hour for women employees receiving full
perquisites. Employees receiving partial perquisites would receive
a pro rata share of the perquisite payment, but in no case would
receive less than the appropriate classification rate. By November 1,
1946, all of the pineapple companies had exercised the option to elimi­
nate perquisites.
T able 33.— P ineapple plantation wage schedules
Labor grade
I_______ __________ ____________ _____ ____________ ____
II.................................................................... ...................................
III________________________ ___________________________
IV............................................................... ........................................
V .............................................................................................. ..........
VT______________________________________ _____________
VII_______ ___________________ ______________ _______
VIII..................................................... ................................ ..
IX.............................................. ........................................................
X ............................................................. ..........................................
X I................... .............................................................. ....................
X II........................................................................................... ..........

Oahu, Maui, Lanai,
and Molokai
Men
$0.80
• .85
.905
.965
1.035
1.105
1.185
1.275
1.38
1.48
1.60

Women
$0.70
.75
.805
.865
.935
1.005
1.085

Kauai
Men
$0.75
.80
.855
.915
.985
1.055
1.135
1. 225
1.33
1.43
1.55
1.675

Women
$0.65
.70
.755
.815
.885
.955
1.035

The schedules of rates established for pineapple canneries are
identical with plantation scales, with an additional rate of $1,725
applying to jobs in labor grade X II in canneries located on Oahu and
Maui.13 Wage rates on the island of Kauai were set 5 cents below
2
the schedule prevailing on the other islands. Lower rates, amounting
to a 10-cent differential, were also established in each labor grade for
women workers. The lack of employment opportunity for women
in the more highly skilled jobs is indicated by the fact that the wage

1 The employees also received retroactive payments at the rate of 10 cents per straight-time hour for all
hours worked during the period between January 1,1946, and May 1, 1946.
3 Canneries are located on 3 islands only: 3 each on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.




85

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

schedule provides rates for the first seven labor grades only in the
case of women employees, whereas five additional grades have been
set up to cover jobs held by men.
The full range of rates shown in the composite schedule adopted
by the pineapple industry is not necessarily to be found on each
plantation and in each cannery. Differences in degree of mechaniza­
tion, organization of work, and types of services provided account,
for the most part, for interestablishment differences in the composition
of the labor force. Thus, while all companies employ workers in the
lower labor grades, job representation in the highest grades, for men
as well as women, may be missing in some of the operations. Examples
of the placement of plantation jobs in the classification system are
provided below:
Grade I:
Dispensary attendant.
Planting material carrier.
Weeder.
Grade II:
Fruit harvester.
Plant sprayer.
Trade helper.
Grade III:
Fruit loader.
Planter.
Light-truck operator.
Grade IV:
Butcher.
Tractor operator, second class.
Grade V:
Heavy-truck driver.
Tractor operator, first class.

Grade VI:
Earth-moving-equipment operator.
Painter, second class.
Grade VII:
Automotive-equipment operator,
second class.
Carpenter, second class.
Grade VIII:
Automotive-equipment operator,
first class.
Carpenter, first class.
Gradr> IX:
Welder-blacksmith, first class.
Grade X:
Machinist, first class.

A listing, by labor grade, of a few of the jobs considered to be
common to all or most of the pineapple-canning plants, is shown below.
In contrast to their position on plantations, large numbers of women
are employed in the canneries and their typical jobs have, therefore,
been listed separately:
Men

Grade
i—

.

n ...

IIIi v ~

.

v...
V I.

VII.
VIII
IX -

x...

.

Janitor.....................................
Tray b oy ..............................
Ginaca feeder..........................
Trucker, hand...... ..................
Guard___________________
Small-truck operator_______
Lift-truck operator..................
Head checker, shipping.........
Carrier operator___________
Plant mechanic, second class.
Carpenter, second class____
Plant mechanic, first class...
Auto mechanic, first class__
Carpenter, first class.............
Electrician, second class.........
Machinist, second class..........
Electrician, first class.............
Machinist, first class..............

Women
Case packer, labeling.
Ginaca operator-picker.
Inspector, packing.
Trimmer.
Label-machine operator.
Temperature regulator (cooker).
Porelady.

The classification examples shown for plantation as well as cannery
jobs were drawn from a more complete listing used by one of the larger
companies. It should be recognized that some jobs may differ suffi­
ciently from plant to plant to justify a different placement in the
labor grade scale.
75798—48------7




86

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Wage negotiations between the unions and the management of the
pineapple industry were reopened by the unions at the height of the
coming season in July 1947. Failure to reach an agreement resulted
in a strike which began July 11 and ended July 16, 1947.3 The strike
was settled by an agreement for an increase of 10 cents per hour
“across the board” in the minimum wage for each labor grade. It
was also agree that the wage differential between Kauai and the other
islands would be eliminated. Since the wage tables in the following
chapter were derived from data obtained in the early part of 1947,
allowance should be made for this change in basic wage rates in inter­
preting these data.*

* The strike involved 18,510 employees. The Hawaii Employers Council estimated that 71,300 mandays and $480,000 in wages were lost.




CHAPTER 11. EARNINGS
THE PLANTATION WAGE STRUCTURE IN 1947

A survey of hours and earnings of workers employed on pineapple*
plantations was made in the early part of 1947. Four of the twelve
plantations in Hawaii were included in the sample, with consideration
given in the selection process to such factors as management, location,
wage schedule, unionization, and number of workers employed.
Accounting, as a group, for one-third of the labor force engaged in thisbranch of the industry, the sample included one plantation each on
Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai.
The period selected for study (February) represents a secondary
seasonal peak in the industry. Data relating to a 4-week pay roll
period (5-week period on one plantation) were obtained for all em­
ployees other than those employed in managerial, supervisory, and
professional positions.1 Although minors (under 18) were included
in the study, few were found to be employed in February 1947 and
their employment and earnings position is, therefore, presented
separately in the report (p. 89). Earnings data relating to plantation;
office workers were grouped with data for other industries and appear
in a chapter devoted to office workers (ch. 19).
That opportunity for employment on pineapple plantations is*
limited almost entirely to men is suggested by the fact that only 115
of the 1,745 adult workers employed on the 4 plantations included,
in the study were women. Classified for the most part as laborers,
women averaged 15 cents an hour less than men in February 1947.
The straight-time average hourly earnings of all women combined
amounted to 74 cents, as compared with an 89-cent average rate
recorded for men. Individual wage rates were concentrated at the
bottom of the wage scale (as set forth in the union agreement), re­
flecting the heavy concentration of employment in jobs classified in
the first two labor grades. As reported earlier, rates of 80 cents for
labor, grade I, and 85 cents for labor, grade II, were established for
men workers on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai and
a lower scale was agreed upon for plantations on Kauai. As shown
in table 34, approximately two-thirds of the men were distributed in
an earnings range applicable to these labor grades. Similarly, the
wage scale for women provided a rate of 70 cents an hour for jobs in
labor, grade I, and a 75-cent rate for jobs in labor, grade II, with lower
rates maintained on Kauai. It can be seen that seven-eighths of the
women earned less than 77.5 cents. Because of the lower rates paid
on plantations located on Kauai, and variations in earnings to be
found within individual labor grades, exact proportions employed inu
each of the labor grades cannot be determined from the table.
1 Employees in the following positions were specifically excluded: Manager and assistant manager; headsof shops and industrial departments; office manager; co3t accountant; head timekeeper; doctor; personnel
officer; supervisory employees other than in first level of supervision. Adjustments were made in the*
tabulation process for variations in length of pay period.



87

88

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Nearly all of the employees included in the study were paid on am
hourly rate basis. Only 26 persons, all men, were salaried employees
and most of these were gang “lunas.” Contract work (piecework)
was found on only 1 of the 4 plantations and most of the group
of 28 workers employed on this basis were classified as general
laborers.
It was found that Filipinos, as a group, accounted for an even
larger proportion of the work force on pineapple plantations than they
did on sugar plantations. In February 1947, nearly three-fourths of
the adult men employed on pineapple plantations were Filipinos, while
the proportion in the sugar industry was one-half. As shown in table
35, Japanese held second position, numerically, among men workers
but greatly outnumbered all other racial groups among women
workeis. The comparatively small number of Filipino women
employed on plantations is explained by the fact that the great
majority of the Filipino immigrants were single men.
The average hourly earnings of Filipino men, which were 10 cents an
hour lower than the average earnings in the Japanese and Caucasian
groups, and 5 cents less than the average wage rates obtained by
Hawaiian workers, reflect a shorter average period of service by
Filipinos in plantation work. Individual Filipinos, however, were
found to be among the highest paid workers on the plantations. Of
the 246 men employees who earned $1 or more an hour, for example,
113 were Filipinos.
Work performed in excess of 8 hours in any one day (except when
changing shifts) or in excess of 48 hours per week was paid for at time
and one-half rates. By the terms of the union agreement, this rate
also applied to work performed on 9 holidays, with the provision
that if any of these holidays should fall on Sunday, the following
Monday would be considered as the holiday for overtime purposes.
T able 34.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 on H aw aiian pineapple plantations
by straight-tim e average hourly earn in gs 2 and sex— February 1947
All
All
Average hourly earnings2 workers Men Women Average hourly earnings2 workers Men Women
05.n t.r»07.4- cents
1.3
67.5 to 69.9 cents_______
70.0 f o 74.9 cents
to 72.4 cents............... 3.3
72,5
1.0
5.7
75.0 to 77.4 cen ts______
1.1
77.5 to 79.9 cents______
80.0 to 84.9 cents_______ 43.1
85.0 to 89.9 cents. _ _ _ _ 12.6
90.0 to 94.9 cents............... 10.0
7.6
95.0 to 99.9 cents_______
100.0 to 104.9 cents........... 6.4
1.9
105.0 to 109.9 cents_____

0.3
.1
5.5
.9
45.9
13.4
10.6
8.1
6.7
2.0

20.0
46.0
13.0
9.6
3.5
.9
2.6
1.7
.9

110.0 to 114.9 cents_____
1.3
115.0 to 119.9 cents_____
1.6
.3
120.0 to 124.9 cents............
1.2
125.0 to 129.9 cents...........
130.0 to 134.9 cents.........
.6
135.0 cents an d over _ __ 1.0
Total__
100.0
Total number of workers. 1,745
Average hourly earnings2 $0.88

1.4
1.7
.3
1.3
.7
1.1
100.0
1,630
$0.89

.9
.9
100.0
115
$0.74

i Excludes office workers and minors.
*Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Overtime worked during the selected pay-roll period had the effect
of increasing average earnings of all workers combined by 2 cents an
hour. Approximately two-thirds of the men employees worked over­
time, and the aggregate extra earnings were sufficient to bring the
gross average of all men workers to 91 cents an hour, as compared
with straight-time average hourly earnings of 89 cents. Although
one-third of the women employees worked some overtime during the
period, the extra overtime earnings, in the aggregate, were so insignifi­



89

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

cant that the gross average hourly earnings of all women workers com­
bined were identical with the straight-time hourly average of 74
cents recorded for them.
T able 35.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of workers 2 on H aw aiian
pin eapple plantations by racial group and sex , February 1947
Women

Men
Bacial group
All races..................................................................—
Filipinos.................................................................................
Japanese..................................... '..........................................
Caucasians............................................................................
Hawaiians and part Hawaiians..........................................
All others..............................................................................

Number Average. Number Average
hourly
hourly
of
of
workers earnings1 workers earnings1
1,630
1,205
314
46
30
35

$0.89
.87
.97
.97
.92
.84

115
15
88
2
5
5

$0.74
(3) .74
(3)
(3)
(3)

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work
2 Excludes office workers and minors.
2 Insufficient number of workers to justify presentation of an average.

Employment and earnings of minors
Less than 2 percent of the workers on pineapple plantations during
February 1947 were minors (under 18). A total of 23 boys and 6 girls
were employed on four plantations included in the study. Of the 29
minors, 3 boys and 1 girl were in the 14-15 age bracket and the remain­
der were 16- and 17-year olds. The boys as a group averaged 68
cents an hour with individual earnings ranging from 50 cents to 92.5
cents an hour. The group average for the girls also amounted to 68
cents and individual rates ranged from 50 cents to a high of 86.5
cents an hour. Hours worked by minors were found to be less, on the
average, than those recorded for adult workers on the plantations.
None of the employees under 18 years of age worked overtime during
the pay-roll period studied. Although most of the minors were
classified as laborers several were employed as tractor operators and
in clerical positions.
Annual earnings
All of the pineapple plantations had converted from the perquisite
system to a cash basis by October 1, 1946. As indicated earlier, the
union agreement provided that, coincident with the change-over to
the basis whereby employees would be charged for rent, wage rates
would be increased to compensate for the loss to the employees. The
agreed-upon increase amounted to 15 cents an hour for men and 10
cents an hour for women employees receiving full perquisites, with
workers receiving partial perquisites getting a pro rata share of the
adjustment.
The study included a measurement of hours worked and earnings
of individual workers during the calendar year 1946. The earnings
data presented in the report are limited to cash earnings as recorded
in pay roll records, exclusive of the value of perquisites provided on
the plantations during the major part of 1946. Annual hours and
earnings data were obtained only for employees who were included in
the study of hourly earnings during February 1947 and who, in addi­
tion, were carried on the plantation pay roll during the entire 1946
year. Employees who worked during 1946 but were no longer on the




90

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

pay-roll in. February 1947 were not covered. Of the 1,745 employees
reported in the discussion of hourly earnings 1,056 or about 60 percent
were employed throughout the previous year and were included in
this phase of the study. It should be pointed out that all of these
workers, although on the pay roll throughout the year, did not work
regularly during this period.
The average cash earnings of the 1,056 workers included in the
study amounted to $1,929 in 1946. Accounting for 95 percent of total
employment, men averaged $1,954 during the year, $480 more than
the earnings averaged by women. Due to the variation in the total
number of hours worked by individual employees during 1946, the
distribution of workers by annual earnings, presented in table 36
shows a greater amount of dispersion than was found in the distribu­
tion*^! workers by hourly rates. Only 294 of the 1,001 men included
in the study worked with enough regularity in 1946 to total 2,400 or
more work hours. The average cash earnings for this group of men
amounted to $2,619 or $693 more than the average earnings of 410
men whose annual work hours fell in the hours range 2,000-2,399.
It was noted that a larger proportion of the higher paid employees
worked regularly throughout the year than was the case with em­
ployees whose wage rates were at or near the bottom of the wage scale.
T able 36.— Percentage distribution of all w orkers 1 on H aw aiian pin eapple
plantations by annual earnings , annual hours and sex, 1946
Men

Annual earnings
Under $800....................................
$800 to $999...................................
$1,000 to $1,199 . .
$1,200 to $1,399.............................
,$1,400 to $1,599.............................
:$1,600 to $1,799.............................
:$1,800 to $1,999.............................
$2,000 to $2,199.............................
$2,200 to $2,399.............................
$2,400 to $2,599.............................
: $2,600 to $2,799.............................
$2,800 to $2,999.............................
.$3,000 and "over _ . _
Total...................................
'Number of workers.....................
Average annual earnings...........

All
workers
2.0
2.2
4.8
8.0
14.5
14.5
14.2
9.3
6.5
7.5
7.2
4.9
4.4
100.0
1,056
$1,929

i Excludes office workers and minors.

Total
2.0
2.3
4.5
7.1
13.1
14.8
14.4
9.6
6.9
7.9
7.6
5.2
4.6
100.0
1,001
$1,954

Under
1,600
hours
18.0
20.7
37.9
14.4
4.5
1.8
1.8
.9
100.0
111
$1,011

Women,
all
1,600 to 2,000 to 2,400 to workers
1,999
2,399 hours and
hours hours
over
1.8
1.6

28.5
39.3
16.7
10.2
2.7
.5
.5
100.0
186
$1,528

0.5
12.9
27.3
26.6
15.6
7.6
4.9
1.7
1.2
1.7
100.0
410
$1,926

1.4
5.4
9.2
12.2
19.4
23.1
16.0
13.3
100.0
294
$2,619

10.9
25.5
40.0
7.3
10.9
3.6

100.0
55
$1,474

Vacation policy
Paid vacations were provided by contract to all employees who
qualified on the basis of having worked with their present employer
for a continuous period of 1 year and had worked at least 2,100
straight-time hours during that period. Qualified employees with
It year of service received 1 week with pay and those with 2 years
or more of service received 2 weeks of vacation leave, such vacation
credit not being cumulative from year to year. Vacation pay was
computed on the basis of 48 hours per week at the employee's straighttime rate.
Employees received credit toward a vacation for time lost on a
schedule workday for the following: Compensable industrial accidents,



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

91

illness up to a maximum of 12 working days when excused by the
company, authorized vacation days, and days when employee was
available for work but no work was offered because of weather condi­
tions.
EARNINGS OF CANNERY WORKERS IN 1947

The study of hours and earnings of pineapple cannery employees
is based on data received from five companies. Although only five of
the nine canneries in the Territory were included in the sample,
approximately 80 percent of the employment in the industry is con­
centrated in this group of plants. Proper representation of the major
factors to be considered was, however, obtained within this group.
Each of the three islands (Oahu, Kauai, Maui) on which canning
operations are carried on is represented in the coverage.
Employment in the industry reaches a high for the year in the
peak canning season during June, July, and August. Time limitations
however, necessitated the selection of an earlier period for study.
February (1947), the month selected for study, represents a secondary
seasonal peak in the industry. The canning lines in most of the fac­
tories were operating on a 3-day-a-week basis during the month.
Because of the day-to-day fluctuations in the numbers of workers
required in the canneries, personnel and pay-roll practice in the
industry group the employees into two categories, namely, regular
and intermittent. The need for maintaining an efficient operating
staff of key workers in the various departments is especially marked
in an industry that must rely on large numbers of students and house­
wives, many of whom lack previous factory work experience, for the
major part of the work force during the peak season. It was noted
that the regular employees are provided with work throughout the
week even in those periods when actual canning operations are sched­
uled on an intermittent basis. In conducting the study, data were
obtained on a basis permitting a separate examination of the earnings
structure in these two groups. As in the other industries studied,
employees in managerial, supervisory (other than first level of super­
vision) and professional positions were excluded from the survey.
Office workers and minors have been excluded from the tables relating
to pineapple-canning establishments. The employment and earnings
of minors employed in canneries are discussed separately in this
report. Earnings data relating to cannery office employees are
presented in a separate chapter devoted to office workers in the
Territory of Hawaii (ch. 19).
The adult labor force (exclusive of office employees) in the 5 can­
neries included 1,582 men and 1,082 women in February 1947. Of
the total of 2,664, 442 men and 904 women were carried in the inter­
mittent-employee status. Only 16 percent of the women, as compared
with 72 percent of the men, were classified as regular employees. The
explanation for this difference in employment status between the sexes
lies in the nature of the jobs held by men and women in the industry.
The field of work in which most of the women were engaged covers
the processing of the fruit, packing it into cans, and such supple­
mentary operations as labeling and case packing. The great majority
of the women are thus employed only on days when canning operations
are scheduled. While men are employed to some extent in jobs that
provide work only on canning days, large numbers of them are engaged
in maintenance and custodial work, warehousing, and other indirect




92

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

activities that are carried on throughout the workweek. In the typical
pineapple cannery, the maintenance of buildings and the wide variety
of mechanical equipment used, including processing machinery, con­
veyor lines, industrial trucks and automotive equipment, require a
staff of trained specialists and helpers, and a program of training new
workers in the maintenance trades. The greater opportunity that
men have for employment in (or advancement to) the more highly
paid jobs found in canneries is to be seen in data relating to earnings
of workers in the industry.
Average straight-time hourly earnings of all workers combined
amounted to 94 cents an hour in February 1947. As shown in table 37,
men averaged $1.01 an hour on a straight-time basis, whereas the
average earnings of all women combined amounted to 77 cents an
hour. While a part of the 24-cent difference in average hourly earnings
can be accounted for by the lower wage schedule established for
women (rate for women 10 cents below men’s rate in each labor grade),
most of the difference in earnings of men and women simply reflects
the fact that comparatively few women are employed in jobs classified
in the high labor grades. The earlier presentation of the job-classi­
fication plan and wage schedule showed that 7 labor grades were pro­
vided for women as compared with a total of 12 grades for men.
That little representation is to be found in the top 2 or 3 grades estab­
lished for each sex is suggested by the grade classification in which
typical maintenance jobs and working supervisory positions are listed.
First-class electricians and machinists, for example, are classified in
labor grade 10 in the men’s scale, and foreladies are grouped in labor
grade 4 in the seven-grade scale used for women.i
T able 37.— Percentage distribution of workers 1in H aw aiian pin eapple canneries by
straight-tim e average hourly earnings,2 sex and em ploym ent status , February 1947
All workers
Average hourly earnings2

Under 65.0 cents_________
65.0 to 67.4 cents
67.5 to 69.9 cents....................
70.0 to 72.4 cents....................
72.5 to 74.9 cents....................
75.0 to 77.4 cents....................
77.5 to 79.9 cents....................
80.0 to 84.9 cents....................
85.0 to 89.9 cents....................
90.0 to 94.9 cents...........................
95.0 to 99.9 cents...........................
100.0 to 104.9 cents......................
105.0 to 109.9 cents......................
110.0 to 114.9 cents......................
115.0 to 119.9 cents......................
120.0 to 124.9 cents......................
125.0 to 129.9 cents......................
13ft ft tn 134 ft cents

Regu­
lar
Total work­
ers
0.2
3.7
.4
18.1
.7
10.7
.8
11.7

0.4
.1
1.4
.5

Men
Inter­
Regu­
mit­
lar
tent Total work­
work­
ers
ers
7.4
.7
34.5
.8
17.5
.6
15.0
15.5
5.6
.6
.5
.1
.4
.4
.1

0.3

0.4

.1
.1
.1
1.1
.4

.1
.1
.1
1.5
.4

Women
Inter­
Regu­
mit­
lar
tent Total work­
work­
ers
ers
9.1
.8
44.7
1.6
24.8
1.2
5.0
7.3
2.3
.7
.8
.5
.4
.7
.1

9.6"
3.4
18.4
3.9
12.4
22.4
13.5
4.5
3.4
2.8
1.7
3.4
.6

3.8
0.5
.9
16.2
8.3
7.7 38.4
22.0 15.8 38.2
16.7
12.1 10.3 17.0
1 :?
10.7
4.4
6.9
8.3
8.9
1.8
3.4
3.4
2.7
.9
2.0
3.4
2.6
3.5
.2
1.7
8.3 16.3
13.7 18.6
.9
8.1 11.0
.7
5.1
9.9
2.4
1.9
2.6
1.2
4.4
2.3
3.8
.5
5.1
1.4
1.9
1.7
.8
135.0 to 139.9 cents
1.7
2.4
2.0
1.0
140.0 to 144.9 cents
.4
.5
.2
.5
1.7
2.0
.3
1.7
.9
145.0 to 149.9 cents________ 1.0
150.0 cents end over
3.2
2.7
3.7
1.6
Total............................. 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
442 1,082
178
Total number of workers__ 2,664 1,318 1,346 1,582 1,140
Average hourly earnings *___ $0.94 $1.03 $0.79 $1.01 $1.05 $0.86 $0.77 $0.85

i Excludes office workers and minors.
*Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.




Inter­
mit­
tent
work­
ers
11.0
1.0
51.6
1.2
26.0
.7
3.5
4.3
.1
.3
.1
.2

100.0
904
$0.73

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

93

The great majority of men and women classified as intermittent
employees were engaged in work that could be performed satisfactorily
after a short period of training. As would be expected, therefore,
the average earnings in this group were substantially below the average
earnings of regular workers. Among men workers the difference in
earnings between regular and intermittent employees amounted to
19 cents an hour with an hourly average of $1.05 recorded for regular
workers and 86 cents an hour averaged by the intermittent group.
Women in the regular employee status averaged 85 cents an hour as
a group, or 12 cents an hour more than the group average for women
intermittent employees. A few men were found to be earning less
than the lowest rate paid in jobs classified in grade I (75 cents on
Kauai). These workers were employed as apprentices in the main­
tenance departments. With the exception of a few salaried workers,
all of the employees included in the study were paid on an hourly
rate basis.
A summary of employment in the canneries by racial group, pre­
sented in table 38, reveals that 53 percent of the men and 62 percent
of the women employees were Japanese. An even more dominant
position, insofar as employment is concerned, was held by the Japanese
in the group of workers with regular employment status. In this
group, 61 percent of the men and 71 percent of the women were
Japanese. Filipinos constitute the second largest racial group in the
industry, but the majority of them were employed on an inter­
mittent basis. Among both men and women workers, and in each
employment-status group, Filipinos averaged the lowest earnings per
hour. The greatest racial differences in average wage rates were
noted among men regular workers. In this group Filipinos averaged
96 cents an hour, while the averages for the other racial groups tabu­
lated separately were as follows: Chinese, $1.03; Japanese, $1.06;
Hawaiians and part Hawaiians, $1.13; and Caucasians, $1.19 an
hour. These differences in earnings by racial group reflect differ­
ences in the racial composition of the work force engaged in the
various types of work activity in and about the canneries. Com­
paratively few Filipinos were found to be employed in the skilled
maintenance trades, for example, which illustrates the differences in
skills brought to (or acquired in) the industry by individual workers.
T able 38.— Straight-tim e average hourly ea rn in gs 1 of w orkers2 in H aw aiian
pineapple canneries by racial group , sex , and em ploym ent status , February 1947
Men
Women
Regular
Regular
Intermittent
Intermittent
workers
workers
workers
workers
Racial group
Aver­ Num­ Aver­ Total Num­ Aver­ Num­ Aver­
Total Num­ age
ber of age ber of age
ber of
ber of age
work­ hourly work­ hourly
work­ hourly work­ hourly
earn­
earn­ ers earn­
earn­
ers ings 1
ers ings 1 ers ings 1
ings 1
442 $0.86 lr082
904 $0.73
178 $0.85
All races........ 1,582 1,140 $1.05
.73
.84
541
143
127
694 1.06
.86
668
Japanese.................. 837
.71
2
209
.96
217
.85
Filipinos.................. 426
48
46
.74
.94
6 (3)
56
Caucasians..............
105
26
62
79 1.19
(3)
.74
.89
17
14
110
93
49 1.03
63
.88
Chinese__________
Hawaiians and part
.75
13
57
.88
63
6 (3)
Hawaiians...........
50
37 1.13
131
20
.75
29
.86
111
72 1.10
.87
All others................ 101
1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
2 Excludes office workers and minors.
* Insufficient number of workers to justify presentation of an average.



94

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Time and one-half was paid for work in excess of 8 hours per day
(except when changing shifts) or in excess of 40 hours per week.2
The overtime rate also applied to work performed on nine holidays,
with the added provision that if any of the holidays fell on Sunday,
the following Monday would be considered as the holiday for purposes
of determining the rate of pay.
The effect of this overtime policy on earnings in the industry is
indicated in table 39. Although the employees averaged only 32.4
hours of work per week during the pay-roll period covered, a sufficient
amount of time was worked at overtime rates to bring the gross average
hourly earnings to 97 cents, or 3 cents above the average straight-time
rates prevailing in the industry. As would be expected, most of
the overtime was worked by regular employees. It will be noted,
however, that workers in the intermittent employee category, averag­
ing only 23 hours of work per week, were also paid overtime rates
for a part of these hours. While a few of the intermittent employees
did work more than 48 hours a week, it was found that most of the
overtime paid within the group was earned by employees working
only 2 or 3 days a week, who had opportunity to work more than
8 hours per day.
T able 39.— Average hourly earningsy average weekly hours , and average gross weekly
earnings of workers 1 in H aw aiian pineapple canneries , by sex and em ploym ent
status , February 1947
Sex and employment status
All workers:
Total..........................................................
Regular......................................................
Intermittent.............................................
Men:
Total..........................................................
Regular......................................................
Intermittent..............................................
Women:
Total..........................................................
Regular......................................................
Intermittent..............................................

Average Average
gross
Number of straightworkers time hourly hourly
earnings earnings
2,664
1,318
1,346
1,582
1,140
442
1,082
178
904

$0.94
1.03
.79
1.01
1.05
.86
.77
.85
.73

$0.97
1.06
.80
1.04
1.09
.88
.77
.86
.74

Average
weekly
hours
32.4
42.0
23.0
39.3
42.5
30.9
22.4
38.8
19.2

Average
gross
weekly
earnings
$31.30
44.60
18.46
41.01
46.33
27.27
17.34
33.49
14.16

i Excludes office workers and minors.

Women averaged fewer hours of work per week than did men and
worked a negligible number of hours at overtime rates. These differ­
ences in total hours worked and hours worked at overtime rates are
reflected in correspondingly lower earnings for women. In the regular
employee group, for example, average straight-time hourly earnings
of men exceeded the average hourly rate of women by 24 percent,
whereas average gross weekly earnings of men were 38 percent higher
than the average recorded for women. An even greater difference is
indicated in the case of intermittent workers; the wage advantage held
by men amounted to 18 percent on the basis of average straight-time
rates and 93 percent in weekly earnings.
2 The Fair Labor Standards Act provides for a period of 14 exempt weeks in the industry. The industry­
wide agreement with the ILWU states that this exempt period will be taken in 14 consecutive weeks and,
during this period, overtime rates are to be paid for time worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 44 hours per
week.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

95

Employment and earnings of minors
A total of 153 minors were employed in February 1947 in the can­
neries included in the study. Accounting for 5 percent of the total
employment (exclusive of office workers), the group of minors included
104 boys and 49 girls, all in the 16-17 age group. The boys, as a
group, averaged 83 cents an hour on a straight-time basis, with individ­
ual rates ranging from 75 cents to as high as 97 cents an hour. The
group average for the girls amounted to 70 cents an hour, with the
great majority paid at that rate. Boys were employed principally as
tray boys, bin boys, and feeders on the Ginaca machines, while the
majority of the girls were found working as trimmers, packers, and
labelers. Most of the employees under 18 years of age were classified
as intermittent employees and worked less than a full workweek
during the period studied. Despite the fact that 77 of the 104 boys
and all except 1 of the 49 girls worked less than 40 hours during the
workweek, about one-half of the boys and one-fourth of the girls
were paid for part of their time at overtime rates. Gross average
hourly earnings, as in the case of the adult workers, were shghtly
above the straight-time averages.
Annual earnings
Total employment in pineapple canneries is subject to much wider
fluctuation during the course of a year than is the case on sugar
plantations or in any other important industry in Hawaii. If a study
of annual earnings in the industry included all of the workers who
were employed in cannery work during any part of the year under
study, it would be found that the great majority of these workers
were employed only during the peak canning season that occurs in
June, July, and August. Great numbers of students, for example,
seek employment in the canneries during the school-recess period.
In addition, many others, mainly housewives, enter the labor market
during the peak season and their cannery earnings may represent
their total income for the year.
In the present study, the measurement of annual earnings was
limited to workers, in either the regular or intermittent employment
status, who were on the pay roll during the entire 1946 year. This
phase of the general study was further limited to employees who
were included in the study of hourly earnings in the February 1947
period. Because of the variations in work opportunity offered to
intermittent employees, total hours worked by individual workers in
this category were also obtained and earnings data are presented by
annual-hours groups.
Of the 1,140 men and 178 women with regular employment status
who were included in the report on average hourly earnings, 872 of
the men and 120 of the women were employed throughout the 1946
year. As a group, these workers averaged $2,687 during the year,
with men earning $2,778 and women earning $2,022. As shown in
table 40, none of the women employees earned as much as $3,000
during 1946, while more than a third of the men earned that much
or more.




96

t h e ec o n o m y of

H a w a ii

194 7

in

T able 40.— Percentage distribution of regular workers 1 in H aw aiian pin eapple
canneries by annual earnings and sex , 1946
Annual earnings
Under $1,600.....................
$1,600 to $1,799..................
$1,800 to $1,999..................
$2,000 to $2,199..................
$2,200 to $2,399..................
$2,400 to $2,599..................
$2,7QQ
$2,800 to $2,999..................
$3,000 to $3,199..................
$3,200 to $3,399..................

All
workers Men Women
2.8
5.2
8.0
10.8
9.6
12.0
10.3
10.9
8.6
5.6

2.3
3.1
4.8
10.3
9.1
12.8
11.1
11.8
9.7
6.4

6.7
20.8
30.8
14.2
13.3
5.8
4.2
4.2

All
workers Men Women

Annual earnings

$3,400 to $3,599.................. 6.0
6.9
$3,600 to $3,799........... .
2.6
3.0
$3,800 to $3,999.................. 2.7
3.1
$4,000 and over.................. 4.9
5.6
Total........................ 100.0 100.0
Number of workers.........
992
872
Average annual earnings. $2,687 $2,778

100.0
120
$2,022

1 Excludes office workers and minors.

The annual earnings of intermittent workers are presented in table
41. As would be expected, the proportion of the intermittent work
force employed in February 1947 that was carried on the pay roll
throughout 1946 was much smaller than that found in the regular
employee group. Thus, only 169 of the 442 men and 399 of the 904
women workers reported on in the discussion of average hourly earn­
ings worked often enough to be maintained on the pay roll during the
entire year. It was found that men averaged a greater number of
hours of work during the year than did women. This was reflected
in correspondingly higher annual earnings reported for men. The
average annual earnings for men were $1,594, or 50 percent more than
the average of $1,064 recorded for all women intermittent workers
combined. The wage advantage held by men on the basis of compari­
son of straight-time average Hourly earnings, however, amounted to
only 18 percent, which indicates the importance of the greater number
of hours worked by men.
T able 41 .—-Percentage distribution of interm ittent w orkers1 in H aw aiian pin eapple
canneries by annual earnings, annual hours, and sex , 1946
Annual earnings

Men—annual hours
Women—annual hours
All
work­
ers Total Under 1,600 2,000 Total Under 1,600 2,000
to
and
to
and
1,600 1,999 over
1,600 1,999 over

Under $800
27.2 14.2
8.9
$800 to $999............................. 7.4
1.2
$1,000 to $1,199.......................
7.7
4.1
$1,200 to $1,399....................... 17.1
$1,400 to $1,599....................... 17.6 14.8
9.5 16.0
$1,600 to $1,799.......................
$1,800 to $1,999....................... 4.2 11.2
$2,000 to $2,199.......................
5.8 17.8
$2,200 to $2,399................ ...... 2.3
7.7
4.1
$2,400 and over_____ _____
1.2
Total............................. 100.0 100.0
Number of workers............... 568
169
Average annual earnings___ $1,222 $1,594

* Excludes office workers and minors.




46.2
28.8
3.8
13.5
7.7 "~39.~6~
45.3
11.3
3.8

32.5
6.8
10.5
22.5
18.8
6.8
1.3
.8

4.7
20.3
43.8
20.3
10.9
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
53
64
52
399
$850 $1,666 $2,139 $1,064
l
1

60.4
12.6
16.3
10.2
.5

4.2
41.0
41.0
10.2
2.4
1.2

33.3
55.5
5.6
5.6

100.0 100.0 100.0
215
166
18
$723 $1,441 $1,646

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

97

Vacation policy
Under terms of the union agreement, employees with a year of
service received a 1-week vacation with pay and those with two or
more years of service were eligible for an annual vacation of 2 weeks
with pay. In order to qualify for the vacation, however, the employee
must have worked at least 1,800 straight-time hours in the year
immediately preceding his anniversary date of employment. Vaca­
tion pay was computed on the basis of 40 hours per week at the
current straight-time hourly rate.
Credit w&s given towara a vacation for time lost on a scheduled’
workday for the following: Compensable industrial accidents; illness;
up to a maximum of 12 working days when excused by the company;
and authorized vacation days.







P art IV

NONPLANTATION AGRICULTURE




99




CHAPTER 12. PRODUCTION AND WORKING CONDITIONS
ON NONPLANTATION LAND
FARMING

Farming conditions in Hawaii
The Hawaiian economy is essentially agricultural. It is a striking
paradox, therefore, that the Territory is 65 percent dependent upon
outside sources to meet its food needs. Sixty percent of the meat and
meat products consumed in Hawaii come from the mainland. Nearly
all of the grains, preparations, stock feed, vegetable oils and animal
fats are also imported. Fifty-five percent of the eggs and egg prod­
ucts, and 80 percent of the fresh poultry imports come from the
mainland. Less than 30 percent of the dairy products consumed in
the islands are produced there. Even the production of fruits,
vegetables and nuts represents only 50 percent of the annual local
consumption.
For these reasons, there have been repeated efforts to make the
islands more self-sufficient in food. The fear of isolation during the
war intensified these efforts, and, at that time, there was a marked
expansion in nonplantation agriculture (particularly in truck garden­
ing) throughout all of the islands. This was a temporary wartime
effort and since early 1945 there has been a recession toward prewar
production levels.
This is not because land in Hawaii is unproductive. The mean
temperature at sea level varies only 6° between winter and summer
months. This equable climate permits very intensive cultivation on
all arable land. It is possible, for example, to raise six to eight
crops of garden vegetables in a single year. In view of these possi­
bilities and the local market for farm products, why has not truck gar­
dening and fruit growing expanded to meet the demand?
The basic answer to this question, which puzzles newcomers to
Hawaii, is that the mass production methods on the plantations pro­
vide greater productivity per man-hour. The people of Hawaii
achieve a higher standard of living by specializing in the two basic
products and exchanging them for fruits, vegetables, and other
requirements than they could maintain if sugar and pineapple land
were taken over for diversified farming to meet local requirements.
Of the 331,000 cultivated acres in the Territory, only 15,000 are
devoted to nonplantation crops.
In addition to this basic reason, there are other impediments to the
expansion of nonplantation agriculture:
(a) Extreme variations of soil, topography and rainfall exist within
very small areas. Within the limits of the city of Honolulu, for
example, there are variations in rainfall from 3 inches to as much as
120 inches per year. On Kauai, within a distance of a little over
1 mile, rainfall varies from a low of 5 inches to more than 250 inches a
year. Altitude ranges from sea level to 14,000 feet. Soil types vary
75798— 48

------ 8




101

102

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

from new lava and young soils to well-weathered lateritic types.
Since the plantations already occupy the bulk of the arable land, only
marginal land remains for nonplantation agriculture. Until recently,
most of the farming was thus subsistence farming on small plots of
marginal land as family enterprises. The primary limitation on the
expansion of nonplantation farming is the lack of water. Govern­
ment assistance has been requested for the development of irrigation
projects which are now under consideration. The most promising
project of this sort appears to be on the island of Molokai. These
comments do not, of course, apply to beef cattle ranches which depend
largely on land which, because of rocky soil, topography or insufficient
rainfall, is not suitable for growing crops.
(b) The endless summer of Hawaii tends to encourage the rapid
spread of insect pests and fungus diseases. Control measures are
possible and in general are practiced, but they involve higher costs
than competing farmers face in California, Oregon and Washington.
(e) An important limitation on the expansion of nonplantation
agriculture is the high wage structure. Hawaii does not have the
commercial advantage of cheap labor which is generally associated
with production of fruits in other semitropica! countries. This is a
limiting factor in any future development of bananas or other tropical
fruit as a Hawaiian export.
Eighty percent in value of Hawaiian agriculture is in sugar and
pineapple. The remaining 20 percent is represented by cattle raising,
dairying, vegetable production, hog raising, poultry and egg produc­
tion, fruit and nut production, coffee, rice and taro production, flower
growing, sheep raising and honey production. With the exception of
sugar and pineapples, the bulk of the agricultural products of Hawaii
are marketed within the Territory.
Nonplantation agricultural marketings totaled $25,000,000 in 1946
as compared with $112,000,000 for the two basic plantation crops.
Beef and dairy cattle marketings comprise 40 percent of nonplanta­
tion market values; fruit and vegetable marketings constitute 28 per­
cent; hog raising, 12 percent; poultry and egg production, 10 percent;
coffee, 6 percent; and all other, 4 percent.
Despite impediments to nonplantation farming, the economic
pressure resulting from the increasing population has lead to a grad­
ual expansion. Although there has been a postwar recession from the
abnormally high levels of the war years, the basic trend is toward an
increase in farm crops.
Truck farming
The value of annual vegetable production in Hawaii averaged
about $2,000,000 per year prior to the war. In 1941, 47,500,000
pounds of vegetables were produced. The leading crops at that time
were cabbages, potatoes, tomatoes, and snap beans.
During the early war years the constant threat of isolation of
Hawaii from the mainland, and of the islands from each other, led to
a widespread effort to increase local self-sufficiency in food. Hence
there was a sharp rise in the production of these crops and of normally
imported vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, potatoes, onions, pep­
pers, and sweetpotatoes. The total acreage of planted vegetables
rose from 5,685 acres in 1941 to 7,395 acres in 1943. Vegetable pro­
duction reached a peak of 8,550 acres in 1944, but receded to 7,760



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

103

Acres in 1945 and still further declined to 5,915 in 1946. The bulk of
the nonplantation cropland in Hawaii is marginal and until 1941 most
of the vegetable production in Hawaii was on small subsistence farms*
Many of the families engaged in this work are also marginal. The
more energetic and able workers generally have obtained positions in
•connection with plantations or in town.
Early in 1936, sugar processing tax funds became available for the
general benefit of agriculture in the islands. This provided for studies
of vegetable production, and of the marketing of locally grown
vegetables. Grading and packing demonstrations improved processing
and marketing procedures. Crop reporting and market reporting
services provided the farmers with information on which to base the
timing of production for the most profitable marketing of each crop.
As a result of these improvements and the stimulus of the war
itself, postwar vegetable production has remained on somewhat higher
level than prewar. A larger percentage of vegetables is now grown
on well-managed truck-gardening areas, but the small subsistence
farm continues to be an important factor in production. A subsistence
farm is generally a one-family enterprise, the majority of such families
being Japanese. Occasionally the farm family may hire an outsider
who generally lives with them and receives room and board as per­
quisites.
It should be noted that it is possible to commute into local towns
from almost any of the farming areas in Hawaii and that it is quite
common for some members of families operating subsistence farms
to work in town. Thus the farm frequently represents only a part
of the family income. Under these conditions the work on the farm
may be intensified or diminished in accordance with the job oppor­
tunities which are available to the members of the farm family.
Because of the high value of vegetable products, truck farming
was profitable throughout the period from 1940 to 1946. Its future is
dependent upon the costs of producing vegetables in Hawaii as
compared with costs of producing and transporting vegetables from
the West Coast States of Washington, Oregon, and California.
Fruits and nuts
With the exception of pineapples, fruit production in Hawaii is
small by mainland standards and consists primarily of bananas,
papaya, avocados, and mangoes. A total of only 2,819 acres were
devoted to fruit and nut cultivation in 1946; 976 acres were used for
growing bananas, 518 for papaya, 755 for macadamia nuts,1 and the
remaining 570 for minor crops such as avocados and mangoes. Mod­
erate quantities of bananas have been shipped to mainland markets
ever since 1856, and exports reached a peak value of $255,614 in 1925,
but the present annual value is less than $100,000.
Locally grown fruits and nuts form a significant element in the
Hawaiian diet. Efforts are still being made to develop production to
export levels, but recent increases in land values and wage levels and
the cost of combating insect pests have stood in the way of any signifi­
cant expansion of exports in these fields.i
i The macadamia nut is a specialty of Hawaii and efforts are being made to increase the exports to the
mainland. It has a unique flavor, but production costs are such that it must be marketed as a luxury item.




104

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947
THE COFFEE INDUSTRY

The first planting of coffee in Hawaii was made in 1813, but coffee
plantations under intensive cultivation did not appear until 1842.
The industry reached its peak in 1898, when coffee acreage reached a
high of 13,947 acres on all islands, or nearly 10,000 acres more than
are devoted to coffee today. Between 1900 and 1910 the large coffee
estates were gradually divided into 5- to 10-acre holdings and leased to
cultivators. This change from a plantation system to small individual
lease holdings also witnessed a shift from Caucasian to Oriental growers,
primarily Japanese. Between 1920 and 1930 the industry experienced
some sharp ups and downs but was, on the whole, decidedly profitable
because of the high prices resulting from the “Brazilian valorization
policy.” By 1936 coffee production, previously established on all of
the islands, had centered in Kona on the island of Hawaii. Kona
coffee is unusually strong and is considered excellent for blending,
hence the concentration of the industry in this area.
The present coffee acreage is at an altitude of between 800 and 2,200
feet in a strip 2 miles wide and 25 miles long on the steep Kona slopes.
The annual rainfall in this belt varies from 40 to 80 inches a year.
The largest crop was reported in 1934 with a production of
10,387,629 pounds. Until recently, coffee production was largely
financed on credit. Small stores advanced merchandise, supplies,
and fertilizer for the crop year to associated groups of 10 to 30 planters.
These retail stores were, in turn, financed by the large coffee whole­
salers. If the coffee growers were not able to finance harvesting, they
obtained cash from small loan banks or from the storekeepers. Some
coffee mills also made such advances to farmers. The harvested
crop was typically sold to the stores, which in turn used it to pay the
mills or the wholesalers who had advanced supplies or cash to them.
This complicated system of wholesale and retail credit was the basis
on which the coffee industry in Kona originally developed.
With the collapse of coffee prices in November 1929, the Hawaiian
coffee industry entered into its worst period of depression. Heavy
investments in the period of high prices by both growers and mills
resulted in serious losses and a general tightening up of the credit
system. During the past decade, there has been a gradual trend from
the former credit system to a cash system which is attributable to four
factors: (1) The cancellation or scaling down of the small growers’
debts by the large creditors; (2) the promotion of sound financing by
the Farm Security Administration and the Farm Credit Bureau; (3)
the rise in coffee prices resulting from the war; and (4) the gradual
improvement in techniques of production due to the agricultural
experiment substation in Kona and the work of the agricultural
extension agents.
Because of the extremely weak position of the industry in the early
thirties, legislative action has exempted coffee land and property from
taxation whenever the average wholesale price for parchment coffee
is below 10 cents per pound.
Following the depressed conditions of the early and middle thirties,
there was a decided improvement in the industry. Prior to the war
the local price of coffee rose from 4 cents to 9 cents per pound largely
due to the American coffee agreement of 1941. Prices for parchment
coffee rose from 11.6 cents per pound in 1942 to 12.6 cents in 1943-44



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

105

and to 19.5 cents in 1947. Since that time the labor shortage and the
level of wages, rather than prices and markets, have been the pri­
mary cause in the decline of coffee production. During the past few
years it has been necessary to reduce production below maximum
levels because of the lack of pickers.
Operations in the coffee industry
A. Coffee farm operations.—1. Pruning (removal of dead branches)
takes place shortly after the crop has been harvested. Such replant­
ing as is necessary is also undertaken at this time. The average age
of coffee trees is 20 years, so very little replanting is necessary in any
given year. Part of the pruning operation consists of thinning out
trees (removal of new shoots) and takes place intermittently during
the year.
2. Cultivation (including weed and pest extermination): The
coffee fields are kept in condition by spraying, weeding, hoeing, and by
poisoning weeds. A second and even a third application of weed
poisoning may be made later if undergrowth is persistent. The pri­
mary coffee pest is the rat. Rats eat the tender new shoots. As high
as 80,000 rats have been exterminated during the dry season between
January and June.
3. Fertilizing: Two applications of fertilizer are made, one in
January or February, another in July or August.
4. Harvesting: At the peak of the season a good picker can pick
as much as three bags a day. Five acres usually requires four or five
pickers—about one picker per acre. The payment for picking a
100-pound bag of coffee during the regular harvest period rose from
65 cents in 1939 to $1.65 in 1945 and to $2 in 1947. In periods prior
to and after the peak of the season the farmers pay an additional 25
cents per bag because it is then not possible to pick more than one
or two bags a day. Since the average farmer operates only 5 to 10
acres, in the early and late period of picking when only a small quantity
of cherries is ripening, the labor usually consists only of members of
the farm family.
B. Processing cherry coffee.—1. The processor collects the cherry
coffee from the farmers and puts it through the pulping machine to
take off the cherry skin.
2. After pulping, the beans are fermented in vats of water for
approximately 12 hours which makes it easy to wash the beans.
Then they are spread out on drying floors to be sun-dried and are
frequently turned. Sliding roofs above the drying floors must be
closed promptly whenever it rains. Drying requires 3 to 6 days.
At the peak of the season the coffee may be steam-dried to speed
up the drying process.
At this point the coffee becomes “ parchment coffee” and is ready
for sale to the mill.
C. Mill operations.—1. The parchment coffee goes through a hull­
ing machine which takes off the parchment skin and the inner “ silver”
skm.
2. Then it goes to the grader and is sorted according to size.2
3. The beans are then bagged in 100-pound sacks and shipped to
the roaster.*
* Large beans command a higher price (1) because there are proportionately fewer inferior beans in the
larger sizes, (2) because it is more difficult to roast small beans evenly.



106

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Wages and working conditions
In the coffee industry, which is not unionized, the minimum hourly
rate in 1947 was 72 cents. In the mill the rate for the typical laborer
ranges from 72 cents to $1 per hour. The most highly skilled workers
get as high as $1.25 an hour. In the coffee mills, time and a half is
paid for overtime (hours over 40 per week).
Including seasonal labor, in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 2,500
workers are employed on the estimated 700 “farms,” which average
5 to 6 acres each.
In picking of cherries, adult males are continuously employed
throughout the year. Women workers, who are predominantly wives
and daughters of growers, are employed intermittently, and their
efforts are especially strenuous at the height of the season.
With the exception of the shortage of labor at the peak of the
coffee picking season, the coffee industry was in good condition in
1947 and the outlook for 1948 appeared good. Before the war it was
common for Filipino laborers from sugar plantations to come to
Kona for the coffee-picking season for additional earnings and for a
change from plantation life. But the war prevented the movement
of plantation labor, as noted before. Following the war, the planta­
tions (also suffering from a labor shortage) had so increased wages
that coffee picking was no longer financially attractive. There is
now an acute shortage of labor to pick coffee during the height of the
season (October, November, and December). Until 1947 this prob­
lem was partially solved by an arrangement whereby school vacation
coincided with the peak of the coffee picking season. In May 1947,
however, the Kona district voted to change the school year to conform
to that of other areas.
The lack of labor at the height of the season results in a serious
loss in coffee which ripens faster than it can be picked. This condi­
tion is especially bad if heavy rains occur at the height of the ripen­
ing, since cherries are knocked off and become spoiled very quickly.
Contact with the ground contaminates the beans and spoils the taste
of the coffee. In some cases, such losses run as high as 20 to 30
percent.
RANCHING

The first cattle were brought into Hawaii from California by Captain
Vancouver in 1793. By 1830, they had become commercially im­
portant, and by 1930, there were 138,316 beef cattle in the islands.
The first cattle were Spanish longhorns, but today Herefords are most
commonly raised. The increase between 1900 and 1940 is indicated
below.
T a b l e 42.— Cattle in H a w a ii, 1 9 0 0 -4 0

Year
1900........... ..........................................
1910.........................................................
1920......................... ..............................

Number 1

Year

85,391 1930.........................................................
136,447 1940.........................................................
137,091

Number i
138,316
139,078

1 U. S. Census reports.

Mainland Americans are surprised to learn that one of the largest
ranches in the United States is located on the island of Hawaii. As
of January 1, 1947, there were 82,730 head of cattle on this island on a



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

107

grazing area of slightly less than a million acres; 24,600 head on Maui
on a grazing area of 141,250 acres; 13,860 on Kauai and Niihau on
135,250 acres; 3,760 on Oahu on 16,600 acres; and 5,360 on Molokai
and Lanai on 76,625 acres.
Hawaiian beef cattle marketed in 1946 totaled 38,835 head (ap­
proximately 17^ million pounds of dressed beef) valued at the slaugh­
terhouse at $4,513,000, an increase of 24 percent over 1945. This
total does not include 8,605 head of dairy cattle and calves sold for
meat in 1946, valued at $323,000.
In spite of the increase in local production, considerable quantities
of beef must be imported to meet Hawaiian needs. It is interesting to
note that 20 years ago, nearly 4,000,000 pounds of chilled beef and veal
were annually imported, largely from New Zealand and Australia.
Since that time, there has been a rapid shift to purchases from the
mainland. Although three times as much beef and veal are now im­
ported, practically none of it is purchased outside of the United States.
T able

43 .— Beef im ports, 1930-45

Year
1030
1935......................................................................................................
1940......................................................................................................
1945......................................................................................................

From the
From foreign mainland,
countries United States
(Pounds)
3,080,682
279,320
366,298
None

(Pounds)
631,837
4,334,013
9,410,477
12,270,115

Total
3,662,519
4,613,333
9,776,775
12,270,115

Source: Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce reports.

Imports of mainland fresh chilled beef in 1946 aggregated slightly
over 13,000,000 pounds. It should be noted that imported beef was
largely for the use of military forces and that military needs still con­
stitute a significant element in the total demand for such imports.
In January 1947 there were 228 commercial ranches in the Territory
(a ranch being defined as one with 20 or more cattle).
To date the ranches of Hawaii have been less directly affected by
unionization than have the plantations. The present trend on those
ranches that are operated in connection with plantations is toward
standardized working arrangements on the ranch in conformity with
those on the plantation. Generally speaking, the ranches still provide
perquisites including housing, medical care, and such special perqui­
sites as the sale of beef and milk to ranch workers at less than the
market price, the use of trucks to transport workers and their families
to beaches or places of amusement, and the use of mules or horses
to hunt wild pigs or other game. Such special arrangements are so
numerous and varied that it is not possible to place an accurate
evaluation on ranch perquisites.
Ranch hands must be able to turn to any type of ranch work when
the occasion requires it. The primary operations are: (1) The mainte­
nance of fences, houses, buildings, and pens; (2) the maintenance of
the water system; (3) the control and eradication of noxious weeds;
(4) the maintenance of motorized equipment; and (5) the round-up
and shipment of cattle.
In the even, warm climate of Hawaii little attention need be given
directly to the cattle so long as the regular operations continue



108

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

smoothly. Thus, fence repair, weed control, and other maintenance
operations are more important on Hawaiian ranches than are the
activities normally associated with the cowboy. Many ranches main­
tain dairies to meet local needs and a few raise corn and oats for feed
and fresh vegetables for use on the ranch, or for commercial sale.
In conformity with the Territorial Wage and Hour Act, ranches
maintain a 48-hour week with time and half for overtime and on
Sundays and holidays.
In April 1947, hourly rates of pay for ranch labor exhibited a wide
range—from about 40 cents to $1.15 per hour. On some of the older
and larger ranches, salaries, rather than hourly rates, are typical.
Monthly earnings of full-time salaried employees range from approxi­
mately $140 to $300. Part-time or temporary workers are often
hired to assist regular employees in meeting emergencies or during
peak periods. Skilled maintenance men (carpenters and mechanics)
and the older experienced cowboys are the most highly paid groups.
Women are not employed for regular ranch work, but a few are
employed as office workers and cleaning women. Occasionally
schoolboys are hired for general utility and clean-up work on a parttime basis on holidays; but pay rolls indicated the employment of
minors to be negligible.
DAIRYING

The dairy industry was originally established on the island of Oahu
to supply settlers and ships while in port. Longhorns were first in­
troduced, but today Holstein cattle are the most numerous, followed
by Guernseys, Jerseys, and Ayrshires. There has been an expansion
during the past 15 years from fewer than 7,000 milk cows in 1932 to
over 10,000 mature dairy cattle in 1947. About half of these are on
the island of Oahu, 30 percent on Hawaii, 10 percent on Kauai, and
10 percent on Maui.
Milk production increased from 2,336,480 quarts in 1900 to 20,630,340 quarts in 1940. The industry suffered a temporary set-back after
December 7, 1941, due to black-out restrictions, the shortage of
labor, and the scarcity of feed. Expansion was resumed in 1943,
however, by virtue of the “freezing” of dairy labor, first by the office
of the military governor, and later under the Hawaii Defense Act.
The wartime office of food production recorded an annual production
of 30 and 31 million quarts of fresh milk for 1943 and 1944, respec­
tively.
Marketings by the dairy industry during 1946 were valued at
$5,000,000. This high valuation was only partially due to increased
milk production (33,000,000 quarts). Higher feed and labor costs
have resulted in sharp price increases. In March 1947 the retail
price of fresh milk in Honolulu averaged 23.7 cents a quart.
Hawaii produces negligible amounts of butter, cheese, and other
processed dairy foods; consequently, the Territory is dependent upon
outside sources for these items. In the late twenties and early
thirties, they were supplied largely by New Zealand and Australia.
At present, they are imported from the mainland.
Dairying in Hawaii ranges from small family units to large com­
pany-owned dairies. Many of the plantations also operate dairies.
Conditions on dairy farms are similar to those on the ranches, that is,
perquisites are generally furnished to dairy workers in the form of



109

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

free housing and the opportunity to buy milk and meat at lower
than market prices.
Practically all of the local production is consumed in the form of
fresh milk or ice cream. The processing and distribution of these
products, as well as the grinding and distribution of cattle feed to
dairies, are highly unified in respect to ownership and operations.
A study of labor in the dairy industry in April 1946 3 indicated that
there were 2.7 percent part-time employees (20 hours or less per week);
75 percent were on a 40-hour week, and 22.3 percent on a 48-hour
week. Their hourly earnings are given in table 44.
T able 44.— Average hourly earnings of workers in the dairy in du stry, A p ril 1 9 4 6 1
Occupation
Clerks (’stockroom, hilling, shipping, office) _
.......
Supervisors, milk route_________________________________________________
Driver-salesmen (wholesale)
Drivers, retail___________ _____________ _____________ ________________
Foremen, plant and milker
_. _
Milkers________________ ___________________________________________
Laborers (dairy)__________ __________ _________________________________
Laborers (warehouse)
Pasteurizing and process men___ _______________ ____________________ ____
Ice box men, junior and senior___________________________________________
Loaders____ ____________________ __________________________ ___ _____
Mechanics, auto and refrigeration______________ _________________________
Machine operators, bottle fillers, bottle and ban washers........................ .................
Helpers, mechanics, carpenters, machine operators, e$c______ _______ _______

Number of Average
hourly
of workers earnings
30
2
13
6
3
6
30
9
8
13
8
26
5
24

$0,978
1.947
21.125
2 1.178
1.354
1.094
.902
.900
1.101
1.074
1.058
1.379
1.050
.964

1 Territorial department of labor and industrial relations, prevailing wages and hours of employees in the
dairy industry, April 1946.
2 Excluding commissions.

The processing and distribution functions of the dairy industry
are unionized. The 1947 union contract of the Dairy Workers’
Union of Hawaii, Local 946 (affiliated with the A. F. of L.), covers:
(1) milk, ice cream, and retail departments; (2) feed department. It
provides for a 40-hour week with time and a half for hours over 8 per
day and 40 per week with the exception of the country wholesale
milk drivers and drivers on established ice cream sales routes, who
are on a 6-day, 48-hour week. Time and a half is also paid for 8
holidays when worked. One week’s vacation is given after 1 year
of service and 2 weeks after 2 years of service. The January 1947
increase established hourly rates of $1.30 for drivers, $1.18 for stockroom clerks, $1.67 for senior mechanics, $1.20 for loaders and $1.09
for mechanic helpers.
The expansion of the dairy industry (and the consequent increase in
employment) is based on: (1) the growth in the use of electric refrigera­
tors accompanied by a shift from canned to fresh milk consumption in
rural as well as urban areas, (2) the growth of plantation dairies,
(3) the use of less expensive island-grown feeds (such as pineapple
bran processed from peelings from the canneries) in the place of
imported feeds, and (4) improved techniques for disease control,
weeding out low-production cows, and the use of modem equipment.
At the same time the industry is in the midst of a complicated
transition: (1) toward a single-management control over processing
and distribution functions, (2) toward stronger union organization,
2 Territorial department of labor and industrial relations, prevailing wages and hours of employees in the
dairy industry, April 1946.



110

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

(3) toward more government action in the regulation of labor-manage­
ment relations, the maintenance of quality and the prevention of
exploitive practices. In spite of the expansion of the industry, fresh
milk consumption in Hawaii is low as compared with mainland
standards. The Territory annually imports 20,000,000 pounds of
canned milk valued at $15,000,000, and is dependent upon imports
for processed dairy products.
HOG RAISING

No records are available covering introduction and development of
hog raising in Hawaii, but during the latter half of the nineteenth
century there was a swine-exporting business to California from
Hawaii. In 1900 the total number of hogs in the Territory amounted
to 8,087 which, by 1940, had increased to 31,684. Duroc-Jerseys,
Berkshires, and Tamworths are the predominant breeds. A charac­
teristic of the industry in Hawaii is that it is heavily dependent upon
garbage collected from homes, hotels, restaurants, and schools. Dur­
ing the war large amounts of garbage available from Army and Navy
kitchens scattered throughout the Territory resulted in a program for
raising swine to convert this waste and to make the islands more
self-sufficient. The number of swine rose sharply to 65,186 in 1943
and to 90,800 in 1944. The postwar period has witnessed a decline to
80,000 in 1945 and a further decline to 56,900 in 1946. Marketings in
1946 totaled 12,382,000 pounds live weight. The Hawaiian swine
industry is limited to fresh pork production. Practically all cured
pork products, such as hams, bacon, lard, and sausages, are imported.
The industry is largely in the hands of the Japanese and Chinese.
The Japanese tend to concentrate on production and the Chinese
on marketing.
POULTRY AND EGG PRODUCTION

Annual poultry and egg production in Hawaii gradually rose from
31,888 chickens producing 155,710 dozen eggs in 1900 to 272,590
chickens producing 2,053,000 dozen eggs in 1939.
Hawaii produces slightly less than hah of the eggs needed for the
island markets, and in 1946 imported 3,400,000 dozen eggs. The
annual per capita consumption of the Territory is slightly over 11
dozen eggs, which is somewhat lower than the mainland consumption
level.
Prior to 1930 the industry was generally regarded as a source of pin
money for women and children on subsistence farms, but it now ranks
fifth in value of all nonplantation farm products. The total number
of chickens in December 1946 was estimated at 415,200 with an egg
production for the year of 2,366,000 dozen eggs. The total wholesale
value of egg marketings for that year was $1,948,000. The industry
has been subject to serious fluctuations. Poultry feeds are imported,
hence production is directly affected by transportation problems and
changes in the prices of mainland feed.
As of August 1946, there were 748 commercial poultry farms,4 357 of
these being on Oahu and 256 on Hawaii. These farms are primarily
for egg production and are not large by mainland standards, 92 percent
of all farms having less than 1,500 layers.
<Includes farms with poultry flocks of 100 or more hens 6 months old and over.






P art V

TOURIST TRADE

m




CHAPTER 13. TOURIST TRADE
As of 1947 the tourist trade in Hawaii was far below prewar levels
and could not be considered as a primary source of income to the
Territory. One immediate effect of the Japanese attack of December
7,1941, was to blot out the tourist industry. The lack of transporta­
tion and the acute shortage of housing in Hawaii have been serious
impediments to a return to normal levels. These difficulties are
gradually being overcome and it is expected that the tourist trade
will eventually exceed that of the prewar period.
The primary reason for this expectation is that Hawaii is now served
both American and foreign air lines. Rates were reduced in the
spring of 1947, and the time between Honolulu and San Francisco
was cut. It thus becomes practicable for those who are limited to
2 weeks' vacation to consider Hawaii as a vacation resort.
As an added inducement, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau is urging
the expansion of hotel and transport facilities on the various islands.
The prewar tourist trade centered in the Waikiki area of Honolulu
and relatively few tourists visited the other islands. The present
program is designed to enlarge the area of tourist attraction and, to
a limited degree at least, decentralize the trade. This again is
feasible because of air travel. Interisland passengers are now carried
almost exclusively by air lines and traffic is expanding rapidly.
Scheduled planes leave Honolulu several times daily for all principal
islands. The longest of these flights requires only 90 minutes.
The tourist industry in 1939 was estimated to rank third among
the industries in Hawaii in creating occupational opportunities. A
steady increase in number of through passengers and tourist arrivals
from 1932 through 1939 is revealed by the data compiled by the
Hawaii Tourist Bureau.1 In 1940 and 1941 the number of through
passengers declined because of political uncertainties in the Far East
but the number of tourist arrivals continued to increase. In 1941,
30,425 tourist arrivals were from the mainland, 991 were from the
Orient, and 430 from the Australia and New Zealand areas. Tnree
hundred and thirty-four steamers and clippers arrived in Hawaii in
1941 (exclusive of interisland ships and planes).
It is estimated that the number of tourists (nonresidents who remain
in Hawaii 2 days or more) will be approximately 50,000 in 1948,2 or
twice that of the last prewar year. The number of through passengers
(passengers on trans-Pacific steamers or air lines who are in Hawaii
only during the ship's or plane's stop-over) are not included in the
estimate.
In the prewar period Honolulu was a regular port of call for ships
operated by five American steamship lines and two fdreign-flag*
> i The Hawaii Tourist Bureau was directly associated with the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. How­
ever, in recognition of the importance of the tourist trade the Territorial government appropriated onethird of the funds for the organization, which were matched 2 to 1 by subscriptions raised in the islands.
The bureau suspended operations on June 30, 1942. It resumed operations in June 1945 as the Hawaii
Visitors Bureau. by Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Matson Navigation Co. in its hearings before the Civil
* Estimate made
Aeronautics Board forecast 55,000 arrivals a year.



113

114

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

steamship lines. Passengers brought into Hawaii exceeded 40,000
in 1941.*
3
*
1
T able 45.— N um ber of through passengers and tou rist arrivals, 1 9 2 2 -4 1 1
Year
1922......................................
1923......................................
1024
1925.....................................
1926......................................
1027
1928......................................
1929......................................
1930......................................
1931......................................

Through Tourist
passengers2 arrivals3
18,202
19,492
19,103
19,201
19,478
19,657
20,793
22,262
21,585
19,268

Year

9,676 1032
12,021 1033
12,468 1034
15,193 1035
16,762 1936....................................
17,451 1037
19,980 1938......................................
22,190 1939......................................
18,651 1040
15,780 1041

Through Tourist
passengers2 arrivals3
16,662
17,173
25,110
25,992
27,942
31,951
27,132
41,156
24,171
23,830

10,370
10, 111
16,161
19,933
22,199
21,987
23,043
24,381
25,37$
31,846

1 No figures after Dec. 7,1941, are available due to the war.
* All cabin passengers on trans-Paciflc steamers and air passengers who are in Hawaii only during ship’s
or plane’s stay in port.
* Those who spend 2 days or more in port.

The present capacity of the two major steamship lines is approxi­
mately 4,000-5,000 through passengers per month and 1,100 passen­
gers with Hawaii as their destination point. If ships being converted
and under construction arte placed in operation by 1948 these steam­
ship companies should approximate their prewar capacity.4
In April 1947 the scheduled passenger air-line capacity was approxi­
mately 3,500 a month.5 This did not include unscheduled flights.
Plane travel between Hawaii and the mainland is expanding rapidly.
Assuming that the majority of resident guests vacate tourist hotels
by 1948, the hotel capacity for tourists in Hawaii has been estimated
to be 80,838 per year.
There has been a remarkable rise in interisland air travel. In
1940 the total number of passengers carried by the Interisland Steam
Navigation Co. was 158,328 with 28,624 passengers flown by Hawaiian
Airlines, Ltd., or a combined total of 186,952 passengers.6 In 1940
the passenger travel had increased to a total of 297,692 of which only
47,097 were ship passengers.7
The estimated income from approximately 25,000 tourists in 1940
was $12,000,000. Data on numbers of tourists in 1946 and 1947 are
not available, but the number was small by prewar standards. If the
forecasts for 50,000 tourists in 1948 should materialize, the amount of
* Figure compiled by Hawaii Tourist Bureau.
* Matson Navigation Co.:
Prewar, 4 ships (3, capacity 700) 5 sailings between California and Hawaii a month—(1, capacity 350)
1 sailing to Australia every 4 weeks.
Present, 1 ship, average capacity 550, 1 sailing between California and Hawaii every 2 weeks.
Future, 3 additional reconverted ships, capacity 750 each, weekly sailing between California and
Hawaii. Sailing to Australia every fifth week.
American President Lines:
Prewar, 6 trans-Pacific ships (average capacity 400), 10 arrivals a month in Hawaii; 7 round-the-world.
Present, 4 converted troopships every 2 weeks; trans-Pacific (2, capacity 1,500 each), 1 stopping at
Hawaii en route to coast—(2, capacity 1,000 each), 1 stopping at Hawaii en route to Orient.
Future, 4 additional vessels (average capacity 550).
* Pan American World Airways: Daily flight each way, Los Angeles-Honolulu, capacity 25-30; San Franeisco-Honolulu, capacity 25-30. Arrivals from local flights 50-60 a day. Three flights a week, San FrandscoHonolulu-Manila, arrivals 90 a week. Six flights a month, San Francisco-Honolulu-Australia-New Zea­
land, arrivals 180 a month.
United Air Lines: Started operating May 1, 1947, 1 flight daily Honolulu-San Francisco, capacity 40-44;
1 flight daily San Francisco-Honolulu, capacity 40-44, arrivals, 40 a day.
* Throughout 1947 there was a rapid rise in the capacity of air lines operating between Hawaii and the
mainland.
7 The large decrease in passenger travel by water is due to the reduction in intcrisland passenger boats
from 4 to 2. On May 27,1947, the Interisland Steam Navigation Co. announced discontinuance of regularly
scheduled passenger ships.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

115

revenue from this source would sharply increase not only because of
the increase in the number of tourists but also because of the general
rise in prices between 1940 and 1948.
The expenditures of tourists were a basic source of income in Hawaii
for most of the hotels and restaurants, taxicab and car-rental enter­
prises, curio shops, bathing and surf-boarding establishments, as well
as a large portion of the income of clothing establishments (especially
beach wear), theaters, interisland transportation companies, public
clubs for golfing and dancing and such colorful occupations as the
vending of leis and hula dancing.
Although the tourist trade was nonexistent from December 1941
until the end of 1945, and in 1946-47 had only begun to show signs
cf a revival, it is nevertheless an important factor in any analysis of
Hawaii's present economic position. During the war the expenditures
of service personnel and of civilians employed by the Army and Navy
in Hawaii far exceeded those of the prewar tourists in those industries
formerly dependent upon such income. There has been a sharp post­
war decline in the number of service personnel and in Federal em­
ployment. The best immediate prospect for offsetting this decline is
the tourist trade.
An increasing dependence on tourists will add to the complexity of
employment and welfare problems in the Territory. Unlike the sugar
industry, the tourist trade is a luxury trade and is highly sensitive to
basic economic conditions. The greater the dependence on the tourist
industry, the greater will be the ups and downs of prosperity and de­
pression in Hawaii.







P art VI

SUBSIDIARY INDUSTRIES

117

75798—48------1






CHAPTER 14. BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
The nature of construction in Hawaii
Construction activity in the Territory of Hawaii, as on the main­
land, has been subject to wide fluctuations in volume and type of
construction during the last decade. The sharp rise in norma] con­
struction activity in the 1936-41 period was brought to a halt by the
attack on Pearl Harbor. Materials and labor were largely diverted to
the construction of Army and Navy installations. Defense construc­
tion rose to an all-time high during the war. The rapid growth of
Honolulu and adjacent areas during the war, together with the
restrictions on normal building construction, has produced an acute
housing shortage. Statistics on construction activity on the island of
Oahu are thus especially significant in an examination of basic (non­
military) trends in the industry. Figures drawn from reports prepared
by the Department of Buildings, City and County of Honolulu, on the
estimated value of construction (including new construction, repairs,
additions and alterations) reveal that a new high level of building
activity was reached in 1946.
T able

46

.— Number and estimated value of building permits issued on the island
of Oahu, 1936-46

Year
1936......................................
1938 ___*....................1940......................................
1941.....................................
1942......................................

Number of Estimated
value
permits

Year

3,008 $4,490,075 1943......................................
4,420 9,584,438 1944 ....................................
6,797 10,845,312 1945...............-....................
6,268 11,874,279 1946......................................
2,303 2,683,895

Number of Estimated
permits
value
4,201 $3,374,208
4,729 9,490.511
5,475 11,817.863
7,470 123,020,734

1 That a part of the sharp rise in dollar volume of construction in the postwar period represents increased
costs in building is suggested by a comparison ofiunit costs. In 1944, permits were issued for 701 1-family
dwellings estimated to cost $3,981,136, with an average value of $6,679. By 1946, the average value of permits
issued for 1-family dwellings had risen to $6,644, or 17 percent, based on 1,058 permits with an aggregate
value of $7,029,053.

Although only 2,473 of the 7,470 permits issued in 1946 were for
new construction, nearly $18,000,000 of the aggregate estimated
value of all construction projects in that year went for new dwellings,
factories, institutions, stores, and other buildings. A major change in
the nature of construction activity took place in the postwar period. A
comparison of data for 1944 and 1946, by type of construction, showed
that the volume of construction of stores and mercantile buildings (as
measured by total permit values) rose very sharply and the increase
in this type of building accounted for nearly one-half of the total rise
in value of new construction during this period. Multifamily dwellings
and factories accounted for much larger proportions of total value of
new construction in 1946 than in the earlier year.




119

120
T able

t h e eco no m y of

H a w a ii

in

19 47

47.— E stim ated value of building perm its for new construction issued on the
islan dlpf Oahu , by type of construction , 1944 and 1946
Estimated permit valuation
Type of construction

1944

1946

Amount Percent of Amount Percent of
total new
total new
in
in
thousands construc­ thousands construc­
tion
tion
Dwellings, 1- and 2-family...................................................
Dwellings, multifamily............................................ ..........
Factories..... ........ .................................................................
Public works and utilities.................................................
Stores and mercantile buildings....................................... .
Other buildings....................................................................
Total.............................................................................

$4,107
175
60
1,185
250
1,364
7,141

57.5
2.5
.8
16.6
3.5
19.1
100.0

$7,128
2,464
881
149
5,517
1,808
17,947

39.8
13.7
4.9
.8
30.7
10.1
100.0

Total employment in all types of contract construction activity in
Hawaii was estimated to be in excess of 10,000 in September 1946.
Of the more than 500 contractors employing 1 or more workers at that
time, nearly one-half were general contractors engaged in the construc­
tion of buildings used for residential, commercial, or industrial pur­
poses. Nearly 6,000 of the total employment in construction activity
were employed directly by this group of general contractors. The
largest group of contractors, accounting for more than one-half of the
total, were classified as special-trade contractors. Employing slightly
less than 2,000 workers, this group included contractors who specialized
in one or a related group of activities such as plumbing, heating, and
air conditioning; painting, paperhanging, and decorating; electrical
work; masonry, stonework, tile setting, and plastering; carpentering
and wood flooring; roofing and sheet-metal work; or concrete work.
A third group, numbering less than a score but employing one-fourth
of all construction workers in September 1946, was composed of
general contractors who were primarily engaged in heavy nonbuilding
construction work including highway and steel construction, bridges,
and viaducts.
With few exceptions, general contractors employing 10 or fewer
workers limit their operations to residential construction. Nearly all
commercial and public-building construction is done by the larger
firms, most of which do little or no residential work. A few of the
general contractors normally engaged in the construction of buildings
undertake the building or maintenance of public and private roads,
or engage in other types of business activity, such as general trucking
or millwork production.
Earnings in the construction industry
The study of hours and earnings in building construction is based
on data collected from 53 contractors accounting, as a group, for
approximately one-fourth of the total employment in the industry.1
Establishments visited, including 28 general contractors and 25
special-trade contractors, were selected to represent each segment of
the industry as well as other important factors bearing on wages.
Reflecting the heavy concentration of construction activity in Hono­
1 The study was limited to contractors employing five or more workers. General contractors primarily
engaged in work other than building construction were excluded from the study.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

121

lulu, 46 of the 53 contractors included in the study^were located on
the island of Oahu. Although minors, part-time workers, and office
workers were included in the study, data for these groups have been
omitted from the tables and are presented separately.
Straight-time hourly earnings of 1,972 adult, full-time workers (all
men) employed by the 53 contractors averaged $1.41 during M archApnl 1947, the period selected for study. Rates of individual workers
ranged from under 70 cents an hour to as high as $3 per hour. As
indicated in the percentage distribution of workers by average hourly
earnings intervals, presented in table 48, the heaviest concentration of
workers was found in*the 10-cent class interval 150.0 to 159.9, in which
21.2 percent of the workers fell. Other 10-cent class intervals in
which 12 percent or more of the workers were grouped were as follows:
100.0 to 109.9 cents; 110.0 to 119.9 cents; and 170.0 to 179.9 cents.
The concentration of workers at these points along the earnings scale
results from the occupational composition of the work force in the
industry. The great majority of the workers fell into two general
groups, widely separated as to wage rates. At the lower end of the
wage scale were the construction laborers and the helpers in the various
crafts. The second group, composed of skilled workers and working
foremen ip the numerous constructipn trades, accounted for nearly
one-half of total employment in the industry, which explains the
concentration of workers in the higher-wage brackets*,
T able 48.— Percentage distribution of all workers 1 in the building-construction
in du stry in the Territory of H a w a ii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,3
M a rch -A p ril 1947

Average hourly earnings2
Under 80.0 cents__ _______________

8ft ft tn 84 9 rants
85 ft t.n 80 9 rants
Oft ft tn 04 0 rants
95.0 to 99.9 cents__
Iftft.ft tn 1ft4 9 rants
105 ft t.n IftO Orants
lift ft t.n 114 9 rants
115 ft t.n 110 0 rants
19ft ft tn 194 O rants
195 ft t.n 199 9 rants
13ft.ft tn 134 9 rants
135,ft tn 139.9 rants

_ _________

140.0 to 144.9 cents......................................

All workers
1.6
.7
1.6
1.4
.6
11.7
.9
8.0
4.0
3.3
5.1
1.4
5.8
2.1

Average hourly earnings2
145.0 to 149.9 cents............................. ..
150.0 to 159.9 cents...................................
160.0 to 169.9 cents...............................
170.0 to 179.9 cents...................................
18ft ft t.n 189.9 ra n ts _
_ _ ___ _
19ft ft tn 199.9 ra n ts
_ _____
200.0 to 209.9 cents___________________
210.0 cents and over_________________
T n ta l

Total number of workers_____________
Average hourly earnings2____________

All workers
1.6
21.2
8.1
12.0
2.9
2.6
1.8
1.6
100.0
1,972
$1.41

1Excludes premium pay minors, and part-time workers.
2 Excludes office workers,for overtime and night work.

Straight-time average hourly earnings in the lowest-paid job
classification, i. e., laborer, amounted to $1.01 at the time of the study.
As indicated in table 49, first-class carpenters averaged $1.51 and
first-class painters, as a group, earned $1.52 an hour. The group
averages for first-class workers in the electrical, bricklaying, and pipe­
fitting and plumbing trades were closely grouped, the average hourly
earnings, in the order named, having been recorded as $1.68, $1.69,
and $1.70. First-class tile setters averaged $1.82 an hour. Many
of the contractors employed workers who did not qualify as journey­
men (first-class) in their trade and were, therefore, classified (by the
employer) as either second-class or third-class workers depending
upon the ability and experience of the individual employee. The



122

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

majority of the workers in each trade, however, were found to be
designated as first-class workers.2 The difference in average hourly
earnings between first-class and second-class workers in individual
trades ranged from 18 cents, in the case of carpenters, to as much as
38 cents an hour for pipe fitters and plumbers.
T able 49.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 in selected occupations in the
building construction in d u stry 2 in the Territory of H a w a ii , M arch -A pril 1947
Occupation and grade
B r ic k la y e r forem en

....

Bricklayers:
F irst-cla ss
_
.
_ ____
Second-class________________ ___________________ __________________
Bricklayers’ helpers................................... ............. ............................ ___............. ......
Carpenter foremen____________________ ____________ ______ __ __________
Carpenters:
F irst-cla ss
........
......
S econ d -cla ss
_
. . ..
__
T h ird -c la ss. .
. ___
.
____
C a rp en ter’s h elp ers _
. ...... _
T_
E lectricia n forem en .
_ ___
___ .
E le c tr ic ia n s, first-class
_ __ _
......
L ab orers
. .
__
_ ___
Painter foremen_______________________________________________________
P a in ter s, first-cla ss. _
_ _ __ _
_
_
Painters' helpers_______________________________________________________
P ip efitte r a n d p lu m b er forem en _____ ____ .
_ _____
Pipefitters and plumbers:
F ir st-c la ss.
_

S econ d -class . . . . . .
P ip efitte r s an d p lu m b er s’ h elp ers
_
T ile sette r s, first-class
. . . .
T ile se tte r s’ h elp ers
_
_
......
Truck drivers:
10 to n s or o v er
_. ____ . . . . _ _. .
______ ... . _
5-10 to n s
. _
_ _ .....
... ____ . . . . . . . . ... .
U n d e r 5 to n s
_ _
T o n n a g e n o t sp ecified

Number of Average
hourly
workers earnings1
8
45
6
22
109
305
62
15
52
13
45
274
25
66
19
12
62
15
48
15
13
14
12
9
41

$1.80
1.69
1.33
1.17
1.72
1.51
1.33
1.17
1.08
1.93
1.68
1.01
1.72
1.52
1.09
1.96
1.70
1.32
1.14
1.82
1.16
1.37
1.23
1.05
1.18

i Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
*Excludes minors and part-time workers.

Although some variation was found in wage rates paid in individual
job classifications, the majority of the workers in all except one or two
of the job categories were paid the rate established in May 1946 by
the wage-adjustment board for the building and construction industry.
In the case of laborers, for example, the board order of May 21, 1946,
authorized a rate of $1 an hour. Although the wage controls were
discontinued in November 1946, two-thirds of the laborers were paid
at this rate at the time of the study, and the rates paid to the remainder
were about equally divided above and below the general rate. As
another illustration of the continuing use of the authorized wage scale,
85 percent of the first-class carpenters were paid $1.50 an hour, the
rate established by the Federal board. An exception to the general
rule was noted in the case of bricklayers, for whom a rate of $1.90 was
authorized in 1946. The group average for first-class bricklayers was
found to be $1.69 an hour in March-April 1947, and 24 of the 45 workers
reported in this job category were paid less than the $1.90 rate.
Japanese workers in the industry outnumbered all other racial
groups combined. Only two other racial groups, Filipinos and Cau­
casians, accounted individually for as much as 10 percent of the labor*
*The number of second-class or third-class workers found in some of the construction trades was too small
tojustify the presentation of an average wage-rate figure.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

123

force. As shown in table 50, the highest wage rates, on the average,
were paid to Caucasians, who earned $1.49 an hour compared with
average hourly earnings of $1.20 recorded for Filipinos, the racial
group with the lowest average earnings. Japanese and Chinese work­
ers averaged $1.46 an hour, or 5 cents an hour more than the average
earnings of all construction workers combined. These differences in
earnings did not arise from a practice of paying lower job rates to
some of the racial groups, but rather from the fact that the various
races were unevenly distributed in the construction trades and other
jobs in the industry. While 19 percent of the workers were Filipinos,
51 percent of the laborers but only 3 percent of the first-class carpen­
ters and 11 percent of the first-class painters were found to be Filipinos.
In contrast, only 18 percent of the laborers were Japanese, whereas
88 percent of the first-class carpenters and 77 percent of the first-class
painters employed in the covered establishments were of that race.
T able 50.— Average hourly earnings , average weekly hours, and average gross weekly
earnings of workers 1 in the building construction in du stry in the Territory of
H aw aii by racial group, M a rch -A p ril 1947

Average
Average
gross
Number of straight- Average Average weekly
gross
time
hourly
workers hourly earnings weekly earnings
hours
earnings
All rafifis „
_ _
$64.41
1,972
$1.41
43.2
$1.49
Japan
68.75
1,003
1.54
44.6
1.46
Filipinos
__
53.08
365
1.20
1.27
41.8
68.20
329
42.7
1.49
1.60
Caucasians_______________________
Rawniians __
57.52
156
40.3
1.35
1.43
ChinASA _ anrl part "Hawaiians _ .. .
_
64.34
72
1.54
41.7
1.46
PnA.rt.n Rinans
47.80
35.9
1.33
26
1.28
A11others
......
66.64
21
46.6
1.33
1.43
i Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers.
Racial group

a sa

_

_

A 48-hour workweek was scheduled by most of the contractors.
Shorter weekly hours were, however, reported by 6 of the general
contractors and 14 of the special-trade contractors. In the latter
group, a 40-hour week was the general rule among roofing and sheetmetal contractors and among most of the electrical contracting firms.
Time and one-half the regular rate was paid for overtime by all
except two of the contractors, both of whom were general contractors.
Fourteen of the general contractors and an equal number of specialtrade contractors visited indicated a policy of paying the overtime
rate for work in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. Most
of the other firms also paid the overtime rate for work in excess of 8
hours per day but otherwise limited the payment of overtime to time
in excess of the scheduled workweek which ranged within this group
from 44 to 48 hours. The effect of these overtime policies on earnings
in the industry is indicated in table 50. The average weekly hours
worked by the 1,972 employees included in the study amounted to
43.2 hours. A sufficient amount of time was worked at overtime
rates to bring the gross average hourly earnings to $1.49, or 8 cents
above the straight-time average hourly earnings in the industry.
Gross weekly earnings averaged $64.41 in March-April 1947. Of the
53 establishments included in the study, 21 general contractors and
18 special-trade contractors paid tbeir employees each week. The



124

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

length of the pay roll period was found to be 2 weeks in five establish­
ments, one-balf month in the case of four firms, and a month in the
remaining five firms.
A few adult workers were employed on a part-time basis. In
several cases employers reported that their part-time employees
worked only on week ends to supplement wages received from other
regular jobs. Only 6 minors (16- and 17-year olds) were employed
by the group of contractors visited. All of the minors were employed
as helpers at rates ranging from 65 cents to $1 an hour.
More than half of the contractors visited had a policy of granting
Christmas or year-end bonuses to their employees. While several
firms reported granting bonuses of $100 or more to key employees or
employees with records of long service, the great majority of these
gift payments amounted to $25 or less. The larger firms, among
general contractors as well as special-trade contractors, generally did
not have a policy of granting bonuses and the proportion of the
total number of workers who received bonuses in 1946 was, therefore,
considerably less than half.
At the time of the study only 3 of the 28 general contractors and
6 of the 25 special-trade contractors were operating under terms of
written agreements with labor unions. The firms that had signed
contracts with unions were, in most cases, among the largest employers
in the various branches of the industry.
Vacations with pay were granted by 18 of the 53 contractors in­
cluded in the study. Only 8 of the 18 firms, however, indicated a
policy of granting paid vacations to construction workers, the remain­
der having stated that such leave was limited to office workers and
salaried employees. Vacation plans for construction workers as well
as office workers generally provided 2 weeks of vacation to employees
with a year or more of service. Formal plans for granting paid sick
leave had been adopted by two contractors, and several others indi­
cated that office workers and other salaried employees received full
pay for time lost due to illness or injury.




CHAPTER 15* PUBLIC UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION
PUBLIC UTILITIES

With the exception of the Hawaiian Board of Water Supply,
public utilities in Hawaii are privately owned. In structural organi­
zation, services rendered, and types of labor required, they are similar
to mainland utilities. All utilities are under public regulation.
Gas and electricity are commonly used for cooking in urban areas,
but kerosene is used extensively for household fuel in districts not
yet serviced with gas and electricity. The Japanese custom of using
charcoal for cooking is not uncommon in some districts. It should be
noted that household fuel is needed only for cooking because of the
warm and even climate.
Gas consumption has remained fairly stable on all islands except
Oahu where, due to the rapid increase in the population of Honolulu,
the number of meters in service rose from 29,109 in 1942 to 33,772
on January 1 , 1947.
The total number of electric consumers in Honolulu rose from 54,573
in 1942 to 60,048 on January 1 , 1947.
Telephones in service in Hawaii rose from 52,164 in 1942 to 61,353
in 1946, the great bulk of this service being concentrated in Honolulu.
As of January 1, 1947, there were 43,959 telephones in Honolulu and
6,386 in other parts of Oahu. Communications are provided between
the various islands and between Hawaii and other parts of the world
(including radio telephone service with harbor craft and with ships at
sea). The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps also maintain large
installations. Interisland commercial radio-telephone messages rose
from 48,106 in 1942 to 153,803 in 1946. Trans-Pacific commercial
radio telephone messages rose from 55,852 in 1942 to 92,834 in 1946.
Taken as a whole, public utilities rank third among island enter­
prises, being exceeded in value and annual revenue only by the sugar
and pineapple industries.
Because there are so few concerns (in some cases a single public
utility services the entire Territory), it was not possible to break
down the statistical data into analyses of the wage structures of each
industry without revealing the identity of specific firms, which is
contrary to policy governing the publication of wage data. It was
necessary, therefore, to treat public utilities as a whole.
Because of the size of individual establishments and the compara­
tively large proportion of skilled labor employed, public utilities play
an important role in establishing standards affecting labor. Occu­
pational requirements of the various types of utility concerns differ
substantially, however, and no attempt has been made to present
detailed wage data for the group.
Eleven privately owned public utility firms, including four electric
companies, two gas companies, one telephone system, three radio
communication and one cable communication firms, were included
in the study. With an aggregate pay roll of nearly 3,500 in April



125

126

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

1947, this group accounts for over 95 percent of the employment in
privately owned public utilities in the Territory. Although the five
major islands are represented in the study, it should be noted that
more than 80 percent of the total force were employed in Honolulu
and another 10 percent were located in the second largest city, Hilo.
Women, accounting for less than one-fourth of the labor force,
were proportionately much more numerous in the communication
industries (telephone, radio, and cable) than in the electric and gas
utilities, where they were employed almost exclusively in office work.
Eighty percent of the women in the public utility group were con­
centrated in the five communication firms where, in addition to being
employed in office jobs, they were engaged in substantial numbers as
telephone operators, service representatives, automatic-printer oper­
ators, and messengers.
With the exception of one electric utility concern that employed
only a few workers, the public utilities included in the study operated
under terms of written agreements with labor unions. In terms of
the number of firms under contract and the proportion of employees
affected, the major union in this industry group was the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of America, an A. F. of L. affiliate.
Employees of the radio and cable communication companies, however,
are represented by the American Communications Association, a
CIO affiliate. Although executives, supervisory employees (other
than working foremen), confidential employees, and part-time or
extra employees, were typically the only groups excluded from con­
tract coverage, several contracts excluded all clerical and office
personnel.
The public utilities in Hawaii, as on the mainland, have formalized
their rate structure by establishing a rate, or rate range, for each
occupation, such wage scales being included in union contracts.1
Company policies differed in the matter of advancement of individual
employees within a rate range, some employers reporting that satis­
factory progress must be shown by the individual before a reclassifica­
tion is authorized, while others reported that advancement was based
entirely upon length of service in an occupation. Minimum rates
paid to unskilled men workers ranged from 70 cents to 88 cents per
hour among the five largest utilities, the only fimis reporting employ*
ment in this category.i2 Union agreements covering employees of the
radio and cable communication companies provided for differentials
over mainland wage scales. The amount and form of the differential
and groups affected varied, however, from firm to firm, one contract
calling for a general 10 percent allowance and limiting the payment of
an additional 10 percent differential to employees hired on the main­
land (paid when contract fulfilled), whereas all employees (except
messengers) of another firm received 18 percent above base pay each
pay period. Three utility firms that had paid monthly cost-of-living
bonuses or year-end bonuses during the early war years reported the
incorporation of such bonuses into the rate schedule. Only 2 of the
11 firms included in the study paid an annual bonus in 1946 and such
payments, amounting to 10 percent of each individual’s annual earn­
ings, were limited to salaried personnel.
i An exception was found in the case of a small electric utility firm (nonunion) that paid personalized rates,
a The reported hourly rates were: 70 (2 establishments), 80,84, and 88 cents.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

127

A majority of the^utility employees were scheduled to work 40
hours per week at the time of the study. A shorter workweek was
the rule among the radio and cable communication firms, reflected,
in turn, in more liberal overtime pay provisions. Two of these firms
paid time and one-half rates for work over 7% hours per day or 37%
hours per week, while most of the other utility, firms paid such rates
for time worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.
Public utilities operate on a 24-hour basis, requiring the employment
of workers in certain jobs on second and third shifts. While most of
the firms reported a practice of rotating the employees on shift
operations, several small concerns paid additional amounts for such
work instead of rotating the employees.3
Formal provisions for granting paid vacation leave were reported
by all firms. With minor exceptions, the general practice provided 2
weeks’ vacation upon the completion of a year of service. Six firms
granted longer vacations to employees with longer service records,
with two of them providing for 4 weeks’ vacation to employees who
had 10 years or more of service.
All except two of the firms had a formal policy for granting paid
sick leave, the union agreements typically providing for a minimum
of 2 weeks for employees who had completed a year of service with
greater amounts of leave indicated for employees with longer service.
In many cases, a waiting period of 3 days was specified.
A great majority of public utility employees had received wage
increases during the 12-month period preceding the study, amounting
to 14 cents per hour to all employees in the case of one large firm, and
from 10 to 15 percent (according to classification) in another company.
TRUCKING

Trucking, transfer, and drayage services, provided on a commoncarrier or contract basis, play an important role in the movement of
products and goods within the Territory. A decline in railroading
operations on the major islands has contributed to the growth in
the number of trucking concerns and to total employment engaged
in trucking activities. There are over a hundred trucking establish­
ments in which one or more workers were employed. Commercial
trucking is also an ancillary activity of several of the railroad and
stevedoring companies; one-third of all workers in commercial truck­
ing were employed by the railroad and stevedoring companies.
The majority of the trucking concerns are very small and engage
in general hauling of household or commercial goods. The larger
firms do a considerable amount of trucking on contract (mail or
freight) and, in some cases, provide packing, shipping, and storage
service. In addition, it is not uncommon for a trucking firm in
Hawaii to engage in other completely unrelated business activities.
Data on hours and earnings of individual workers were obtained
from 12 trucking firms, each employing 10 or more workers and
accounting, as a group, for approximately 50 percent of the employ-*
* One firm paid 10 percent additional to employees on second and third shifts, another credited night
shift workers with an additional hour for each 6 hours worked, and a third firm paid 6% cents additional
for regular time worked between 9:55 p. m. and 8 a.m .




128

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

ment in the size group covered.4 The sample included one or more
establishments on each of the four major islands. Data presented in
the tables relate to adult, full-time workers, exclusive of office workers,
and are based upon information transcribed from representative pay
rolls in March and April 1947.5
The study revealed that trucking workers, as a group, averaged
$1.05 an hour on a straight-time basis. While a few workers were
found to be earning less than 80 cents an hour and, in a few instances,
more than $1.50 an hour, the rates of the majority of the workers were
grouped in a 20-cent range starting at 85 cents, as indicated in table 51.
The average earnings of truck drivers equaled the $1.05 averaged by
the entire work force and exceeded the average hourly earnings of
truck drivers’ helpers by 14 cents an hour. Rates paid to workers in
these job categories varied widely within the group of establishments
studied. A part of the spread in rates reflected the granting of merit
increases to the more experienced workers, and, in the case of several
firms, a policy of paying higher rates to workers handling heavy
trucking equipment. In most of the establishments included in the
study, the highest paid truck drivers received from 15 to 20 cents an
hour more than the lowest rate paid in the job in the same establish­
ment. The intraestablishment range of rates paid in the helper
classification generally amounted to 5 or 10 cents an hour. Fourfifths of the workers in the industry are employed either as drivers or
helpers. The remainder of the workers are employed in a variety of
jobs, the ones most commonly found being dispatchers, automotive
mechanics, packers, and warehousemen.*
T able 51.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in the trucking in du stry in the
T erritory of H a w a ii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,2 M a rch -A p ril 1947
Average hourly earnings 2
Under 80.0 cents. ........................................................................................
80.0 to 84.9 cents.......................................................................................
85.0 to 89.9 cents......................... .......................................... ....................
90.0 to 94.9 cents........................................................................................
95.0 to 99.9 cents.. ....................................................................................
100.0 to 104.9 cents.......................................................................................
105.0 to 109.9 cents
110.0 to 114.9 cents__________________ __________ ____________
115.0 to 119.9 cents.......................................................................................
120.0 to 124.9 cents............. ........ ...............................................................
125.0 to 129.9 cents............. ........................................ ...........................
130.0 to 139.9 cents......................................................................... ............
140.0 to 149.9 cents.......................................................................................
150.0 cents and over.......... .......................................................................
Total _ _ _ _ _ ___ __
__ _
Total number of workers......................................................................
Average hourly earnings2....................................................... .................

All
workers 3
1.5
5.9
10.3
11.5
14.7
17.3
4.1
7.1
8.3
8.6
2.4
2.1
3.8
2.4
100.0

339
$1.05

Truck
drivers

Truck
drivers’
helpers

0.6
1.3
9.5
19.6
17.7
6.3
13.3
15.2
10.8
3.2
1.9
.6
100.0
158
$1.05

3.4
14.4
16.9
6.8
36.5
20.4
.8
.8

100.0
118
$0.91

1 Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers. Women were found only in office jobs.
2 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
* Includes data for occupations not shown separately.
* Establishments employing fewer than 10 workers were not covered in the study; the aggregate employ­
ment in such establishments is estimated to amount to less than one-fourth of the employment in the entire
industry.
« Only three boys under 18 years of age were found to be employed in the establishments studied. Parttime workers were too few in number to justify separate presentation of data. Data for office workers are
included in a separate section of this report. (See ch. 19.)



129

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The racial composition of the labor force and average hourly earn­
ings by race are presented in table 52. Japanese constituted the
largest single racial group in the industry, with Caucasians, Filipinos,
and Hawaiians (including Part-Hawaiians) ranking in the order
named . Filipinos, who were largely employed as helpers, constituted
the lowest earnings group.
— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of w orkers 2 in the tru ckin g
in dustry in the territory of H aw aii by race, M a rch -A p ril 1947

T able 52.

Racial group
_ ...
........ ... . . .
. . . . . . . . ___ . . .
Caucasians________________________________________________ ___________
Filipino*?
....
. ..
__ _____
. ....
_ ... . . .
.
H a w a iia n s and P a r t-H a w a iia n s
_
... . .. . ..
A ll o th ers
.
......
. T__. __

A ll races__
Ja p a n ese r

... .... .

Num ber of Average
hourly
workers earnings1
339
105
81
69
59
25

$1.05
1.12
1.04
.98*
1.00
1.02

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
* Excludes office workers, minors and part-time workers; women were found only in office jobs.

Five of the twelve firms operated on the basis of a 44-hour, 5%-day
week, three firms reported a 40-hour schedule, and the remainder
indicated the normal work hours to be longer than 44 hours. Time
and one-half the regular rates was paid for overtime work by all
firms, six of the firms indicating a policy of paying the overtime rates
for time worked in excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, the
other six firms stating that overtime rates applied only if the weekly
hours (40) were exceeded. The more liberal provisions applied to
workers in the larger establishments. One of the firms paid time
and one-half rates for all work performed on Saturdays, regardless
of the horns worked up to that day. Similar provisions applied to
Sunday work in the case of three firms, with another firm reporting
that double time was paid for work on that day. With the exception
of three of the smaller firms that paid regular rates for work on
holidays, it was found that workers were paid time and one-half rates
for work performed on stated holidays (generally 8 to 10 in number).
The few salaried workers in the industry were generally paid for holi­
days on which no work was done. Although the workers included in
the study averaged only 38.5 hours of work during the period studied,
a sufficient amount of time was worked at overtime rates within the
group to bring the gross average hourly earnings to $1.12 an hour,
or 7 cents above the straight-time hourly earnings figure. Gross
weekly earnings averaged $42.98 during the same period. Nine of
the twelve firms paid their hourly rated employees each week. More
than half of the hourly rated workers included in the study, however,
were employed by three firms that paid all of their employees on a
once-a-month basis.
The five largest trucking firms, accounting for three-fourths of the
workers included in the study, were operating under terms of written
agreements with labor unions in the early part of 1947. Two unions,
the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (CIO)
and the Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers Union
(A. F. of L.) had contracts with firms in the industry.



130

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Paid vacations were granted to eligible workers by all except the
three smallest trucking concerns visited. The minimum practice
(applying to outside workers as well as office workers) provided a
1-week vacation upon the completion of a year of service with the
employer, with an increase, in the case of the three largest firms, to
2 weeks for those who had 2 years or more of service. Four establish­
ments reported a policy of granting a 2-week paid vacation to all
employees with a year of service. Four of the five union establish­
ments and two of the nonunion establishments reported a formal policy
of granting paid sick leave to their employees. The total amount of
such leave available in any one year ranged from 6 to 10 days. Eligi­
bility for paid sick leave was generally limited to workers who had
completed a year of service.
STEVEDORING

The importance of maintaining a continuous two-way flow of goods
between the mainland and Hawaii sets the stevedoring industry apart
in any examination of labor standards and labor-management rela­
tions in the Territory. The industry, which employed approximately
2,500 workers in March 1947, is concentrated in Honolulu, with minor
units located in the shipping ports on the other major islands.
The three largest firms (two in Honolulu, one in Hilo) employ .
approximately four-fifths of the workers in the industry and are the
only stevedoring companies that caii normally provide stevedoring
work on a full-time basis. Stevedoring operations at other ports are
generally intermittent in nature, and as the firms handling such work
are engaged in other activities as well, the stevedoring work force is
offered supplementary hours of work at other jobs,6 classified as
“nonsteamer day work.” The rates paid for such work were found
to be from 40 to 50 cents per hour less than the basic rate paid to the
same workers for stevedoring. Whereas six firms were included in
the study, the collection of information relating to hours and earnings
of individual employees, summarized in this report, was limited to the
three largest companies 7 comprising 80 percent of total employment.
The racial composition of the labor force in this industry has changed
greatly in the last few years. Filipinos, at the time of the study,
greatly outnumbered other racial groups, as shown in table 53.
• A composite listing of the more important activities engaged in by three such firms includes (in addition
to stevedoring) the operation of bulk sugar warehouses; bus lines; planing mills and lumber yards; a freight
railroad; trucking service; and the merchandising (wholesale) of building materials, mill machinery and
supplies, and groceries. Stevedoring was the chief source of revenue in the case of only one of these firms.
7 Two of the three smaller firms visited had a 10-cent per hour lower rate for stevedoring jobs but provided
perquisites (housing and water, and fuel in one case; to their regular employees. Employees who furnished
their own housing received compensation at the rate of 7 cents per hour for married employees and 5 cents
per hour for single persons. The basic rates paid to stevedoring labor by the third company were identical
with those paid in the major ports.




131

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 53.— Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring in du stry in
the Territory of H aw aii by racial origin , 1939 and 1947
Percentage of total
labor force

Racial group
F ilip in o s _.
Jap an ese
H a w a iia n s and p a rt-H a w a iia n s
......
C au casian s
.. _
A ll oth ers
. . . . . . .

1939»
.
...

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

10.3
36.4
33.8
13.6
6.9

1947
48.5
18.7
17.5
8.3
7.0

l U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 687, Labor in the Territory of Hawaii, 1939.

Increased employment opportunities in this industry brought
about by the war, together with the loss of large numbers of workers
(especially Hawaiians) to other activities, apparently caused many
Filipinos employed in plantation industries to seek jobs in the industry.
The stevedoring industry operates under terms of union agreements
with the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union,
a CIO affiliate. The first contracts with the three major companies
were obtained by the union in June 1941 and a basic rate of 70 cents
per hour was established for stevedores, representing an increase of
10 cents per hour (retroactive to May 1941) and the elimination of a
lower wage schedule maintained by one of these firms. Increases of
5 cents in 1942, 15 cents in 1943, 10 cents in 1945, and 30 cents in
November 1946 brought the basic rate paid to stevedores, accounting
for two-thirds of the labor force in the industry, to $1.30 per hour, the
effective rate at the time of the study. Adjustments made in rates
paid in other key jobs during this period generally followed the
pattern shown for stevedores.
The union agreement provides for the maintenance of a basic work
force and (in order to reflect the day-to-day variations in the size of
the work force required by individual employers) for periodic adjust­
ments by the employer so as to permit a minimum average of ap­
proximately 40 converted hours of work opportunity per week for
basic employees during the ensuing 4-week period.8 Employees not
classified as basic employees are designated as permit employees and
work opportunity is offered to available men in this category after
all basic men called on a particular day have been assigned.
The basic job rates shown in table 54 are paid by all of the em­
ployers with the exception of those that also provide perquisites.
Gross average hourly earnings, ranging from 24 to 34 cents per hour
above the base rates among the selected jobs shown, reflect the pay­
ment of overtime rates, emergency hours' rates, and penalty cargo
rates.9 The last-named item accounted for only a minor part of the *
•

s The agreement provides that an equal distribution of work opportunity shall be made on a gang basis,
and that the employer shall provide the union data (at 4-week intervals) showing the work opportunity
provided to each gang in each calendar week.
• The union contract defines overtime work (to be paid for at one and one-half times the straight-time
rate) as all work performed in excess of a specified 8 hours, Monday to Friday, inclusive; all work performed
on Saturday and Sunday; and all work performed on 12 holidays (New Year’s Day, Roosevelt’s Birthday,
Lincoln’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Kamehameha Day, Washington’s Birthday, Independence Day,
Labor Day, Armistice Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and VJ-day). One and one-half times
the prevailing rate (regular or overtime) is to be paid for all contmuous hours in excess of 12 continuous
hours and for work when an employee is recalled to the job before an 8-hour rest period (following the
emergency hours) has elapsed. This rate is also to be paid for all time work in excess of 5 hours without
being given mi opportunity to eat. Employees working certain types of cargoes or working cargoes under
certain conditions as specified in the contract are to receive special (penalty cargo) rates.



132

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

additional earnings, one of the larger firms, for example, reporting
that the premium for work on penalty cargoes typically amounted
to less than 1 percent of the stevedoring pay roll.
T a b l e 54.— Average hourly earnings , weekly hours and gross weekly earnings of
m en workers in the stevedoring in dustry in the Territory of H a w a ii , by occupation ,
February-M arch 1947
Number Average Average Average Average
gross
gross
of
basic hourly weekly weekly
workers rates earnings hours earnings

Occupation
A11 wnrkp.rs 1

Stevedores, basic men________________________ _
Stevedores, permit men_________________________
TVTar>hinp operators
.
. _
Winch drivers and hatch tenders________________
Gang foremen_________________________________

1,791
1,135
57
126
141
78

$1.35
1.30
1.30
1.40
1. 50
1. 55

$1.63
1.58
1.54
1.70
1.81
1.89

47.3
46.1
32.6
47.5
47.8
48.4

$76.94
73.03
50.25
80.77
86.48
91.60

i Includes occupations (other than office) not shown separately.

The gross weekly earnings in the industry averaged $76.94 at the
time of the study (table 55). In striking contrast to the results of a
similar study made in May 1939 when a majority of the employees
earned less than $30 per week and only 2.9 percent earned $50 or
more, it was found that 93.4 percent were currently earning at least
$50. The wide range of earnings found within individual jobs reflects
individual differences in offered and accepted work opportunity, and
variations in the proportion of hours worked by individuals at over­
time rates, penalty cargo rates and other special rates of pay.10
T a b l e 55.— Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring in d u stry in
the Territory of H a w a ii by gross weekly earnings , by occupation , F ebruaryM arch 1947.
February-March 1947

May 1939
Item
Average weekly earnings...........
Total workers:
Number.................................
Percent..................................
Weekly earnings:
Under $30..............................
$30 and under $40________
$40 and under $50.................
$50 and under $60.................
$60 and under $70.................
$70 and under $80.................
$80 and under $90.................
$90 and under $100...............
$100 and under $110.............
$110 and over........................

Steve­
All
All
workers workers1 dores,
basic

Steve­ Machine Winch
dores,
drivers Gang
permit opera­ and hatch foremen
tors tenders
men

$29.46
1,058
100.0

$76.94
1,791
100.0

$73.03
1,135
100.0

$50.25
57
100.0

52.4
35.3
9.4
22.9

2.2
1.7
2.7
8.7
15.7
31.9
17.0
9.1
6.0
5.0

2.4
1.0
2.7
8.9
19.9
40.1
13.7
5.5
4.8
1.0

8.8
15.8
17.4
43.8
5.3
5.3
1.8
1.8

$80.77
126
100.0

$86.48
141
100.0

$91.60
•78
100.0

0.7
.7
3.5
5.7
21.3
29.8
20.6
9.9
7.8

2.6

1.6
4.8
14.3
26.9
29.3
12.7
5.6
4.8

3.8
2.6
16.7
15.4
30.7
9.0
19.2

1 Includes occupations (other than office) not shown separately.
* $50 and over.
i° One firm employed stevedoring gangs on a two-shift basis with shift rotation practiced, each gang work­
ing the day shift for 3 weeks and the night shift for 1 week; hours and earnings data covering a typical 4-week
period were obtained but are properly represented in the group averages.




133

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

A majority of the employees worked 48 hours per week or more
during the period studied. As shown in table 56, gang foremen, winch
drivers and hatch tenders, and machine operators averaged more
hours than did the stevedores. Despite the efforts of management
and labor to equalize work opportunity in the industry, considerable
variation was found in hours worked by individual employees and
gangs.
Paid vacations were provided by each firm to each employee who
qualified on the basis of having worked 85 percent of the hours avail­
able to him during the 12-month period preceding his vacation accrual
date, but not less than 1,800 converted hours during' such period.
Qualified employees with 1 year of service were entitled to a 1-week
vacation with pay and those with 2 years or more of service were
granted vacations of 2 weeks. Vacation pay was computed on the
basis of 40 hours per week at the employee’s straight-time rate.
Two of the three firms included in the study maintained a policy of
paid sick leave for stevedoring gangs and shop workers amounting to
56 hours of credit each year, with an accumulation feature for unused
portions. Payments are made on.the basis of 4 hours at the employee’s
basic rate for each day of disability beginning with the eighth day.
T able 56.— Percentage distribution of men workers in the stevedoring in dustry in
the Territory of H aw aii by weekly hours , by occupation, F ebruary-M arch 1947
Winch i
Steve­
Item

Average weekly hours worked....................
Total workers:
Number............................................ ~ ~
Percent.....................................................
Hours worked:
Under 30 hours.......................................
Over 30 and under 40 hours..................
40 hours......... ..........................................
Over 40 and under 48 hours..................
48 hours....................................................
Over 48 and under 60 hours..................
60 hours and over....................................

Steve­
All
workers1 dores,
basic
47.3
1,791
100.0

46.1
1,135
100.0

32.6
57
100.0

47.5
126
100.0

47.8
141
100.0

48.4
78
100.0

4.8
9.7
3.7
31.7
7.0
34.0
9.1

4.2
10.6
3.3
37.5
6.6
30.8
7.0

36.8
29.8
21.1
7.0
1.8
•3.5

0.8
11.9
4.8
28.5
6.3
42.9
4.8

1.4
5.7
3.5
29.8
9.9
44.7
5.0

2.6
6.4
2.6
29.5
6.4
42.2
10.3

1 Includes occupations (other than office) not shown separately.

75798—48----- 10



dores, Machine drivers Gang
permit opera­ and hatch foremen
tors tenders
men

CHAPTER 16. MANUFACTURES
MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURING

It has been estimated that manufacturing operations exclusive of
raw-sugar production and pineapple canning provided employment to
7,550 persons in January 1946. Of these, more than 40 percent were
concentrated in the apparel, baking, and printing industries. The
remainder, accounting for oiily 2){ percent of the total labor force in
Hawaii, were distributed among various other manufacturing indus­
tries. From the standpoint of employment, the most important of
these miscellaneous manufactures were: (1) Can production, (2)
heavy machinery and equipment, (3) malt liquors, (4) canning of
tuna fish, (5) nonalcoholic beverages, (6) structural insulation board,
(7) fertilizers, (8) compressed gases, (9) sash and door and other
planing-mill products, and (10) candy manufacture. This list em­
phasizes the fundamental importance of the sugar and pineapple
industries in the Hawaiian economy. Most of these miscellaneous
manufactures are heavily dependent on the plantation industries in
one way or another. Can production exists because of the pineapple
canneries; the heavy machinery and equipment concerns are primarily
for servicing plantations; structural insulation board is made of
bagasse, a byproduct of the sugar mills; fertilizer processing and dis­
tribution is entirely dependent upon the plantations; and candy
manufacture has developed in Hawaii because it is a sugar-producing
area. There are numerous small manufactures not included in the
above list. Many of these, too, are dependent on the plantation
industries.
Twenty-six establishments, all except seven of which were located
in Honolulu, were visited in the study.1 Of the aggregate employment
of over 2,000 workers in these establishments less than 10 percent
were women and the majority of these were employed in office work.
The majority of the production employees in shops producing handblock printed linen, etched glass products, and paper boxes, however,
were women.
Two-thirds of the aggregate employment is concentrated in 10
establishments that operated under terms of agreements with labor
unions. Unionization in manufacturing, as in the plantation indus­
tries, is of recent origin, the first contracts in the majority of union
establishments having been signed in the 1945-46 period.
Minimum entrance rates for plant workers in this group of manu­
facturing plants ranged, as indicated in table 57, from a low of 60i
i The major products of these establishments were: Cans, compressed gases, etched glass products,
fertilizer, hand-block printed linens and scarfs, heavy machinery and equipment, industrial chemicals,
malt liquors, mattresses and box springs, meat products, nonalcoholic beverages, paper boxes, sash and
door products, structural insulation board, Venetian blinds, wood furniture, and welding and machine
shop work. A single firm employs all, or nearly all, of the workers engaged in several of these fields of
production. It is therefore not possible to present as detailed a wage report for workers in this group as for
other industries. On the other hand, interindustry differences in the wage structure, primarily reflecting
differences in occupational requirements, precluded the consolidation of the figures for such a heterogeneous
group of producers.

134




135

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

cents for men and women to highs of $1.10 for men laborers and 90
cents for unskilled women employees. The lowest rates were reported
by the smaller, nonunion shops.
57.— D istribution of m in im um entrance rates for plant workers in m iscel­
laneous m anufacturing, Territory of H aw aii, A p ril 1947

3

2
1

6
1

2

1

1

6

$1.10

&

$1.05

1

96 cents

1

95 cents

2
3

90 cents

1

86 cents

79 cents

1
4

80 cents

77 cents

___ __

Womftn ..........................

76 cents

Mftti

60 cents

Sex

72 cents

Number of establishments with minimum of—

2

1

No established
minimum 1

T able

3
10

i Includes establishments that did not employ workers in group indicated.

A 40-hour 5-day workweek was reported by two-thirds of the
establishments surveyed, and longer hours of 44 and 48 were found
only in the smaller shops. Eleven plants had a policy of paying time
and one-half for time worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours
per week, while an equal number limited such payment to hours in
excess of 40 per week. A few of the establishments with scheduled
workweeks of 44 or 48 hours reported a policy of paying overtime
rates for hours in excess of 8 per day or the normal scheduled weekly
hours. Nearly all of the plant workers were paid on an hourly-rate
basis and, for the most part, received their pay weekly, whereas office
personnel were salaried and generally were on a twice-a-month pay­
ment basis. With the exception of one large establishment that
employed a few wrappers on a piece-work basis, incentive systems of
wage payment were pot employed. Year-end or Christmas bonuses,
on the other hand, were paid in 1946 by 15 of the 26 establishments
contacted. Ranging in amount from gifts of $10 to a high of
25 percent of the individual employee’s gross annual earnings, these
annual payments were made nearly exclusively in small nonunion
estabhshments. Several of the more important employers reported
the incorporation of such annual payments, as well as quarterly or
monthly bonuses, into the basic wage scale at the time of signing an
agreement with a union.
Formal provisions for granting paid vacation leave were reported
by all except two of the establishments. Applying to plant as well as
office employees, the minimum practice provided 1 week’s vacation
upon the completion of a year of service with the employer, with an
increase, in the case of nine firms, to 2 weeks for those who had 2 years
or more of service. Five establishments reported a policy of granting
2 weeks’ paid vacation to all employees with a year of service.
Less than half of the establishments had a formal policy for granting
paid sick leave. Union agreements in these industries typically
provided for a minimum of 1 week and more commonly 2 weeks of paid
sick leave. Although all time lost to illness, up to the yearly limit,
was to be paid for according to the contracts, several specified that
such payment would be made only for illness beyond 3 days.
General wage increases, together with the incorporation of wartime
monthly and quarterly bonuses into the basic wage structure, were



136

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

quite common during the period from VJ-day to the time of the study.
Shop workers in union plants received, on the average, greater wage
increases than did employees in the nonunion plants. Although
individual plants granted increases as high as 15 percent in one case
and 18 cents per hour in another, the most common amount noted
was 10 cents per hour.
APPAREL MANUFACTURING AND CUSTOM TAILORING

Apparel production in Hawaii, as on the mainland, is carried on
in two general types of establishments, differing from each other in
methods of manufacture, distribution, type of labor employed, and
method of wage payment.2 Apparel plants produce ready-to-wear
garments on a factory basis, and all or most of the output is generally
sold through apparel and department stores. The more important
ready-to-wear items produced in the Territory are: Aloha shirts,
beach wear, and other sportswear for men, women, and children;
women’s blouses, house coats, gowns, and children’s play suits; men’s
work shirts and trousers; and Navy whites and dungarees. In con­
trast, custom tailors make, and sell at retail, men’s and women’s
clothing to individual order. Suits and trousers for men, women’s
suits, uniforms (Army, Navy, air line, school) are among the major
types of apparel produced in custom-tailor shops. Some of the tailor
shops also make Aloha shirts and slack suits on a made-to-order basis,
or sell other apparel items and yard goods.
Although tailor shops outnumber apparel plants by at least 3
to 1, the total employment in the latter, estimated to exceed 500
workers at the time of the study, was about 50 percent greater than
in custom tailoring. Less than one-third of the employers in custom
tailoring, as compared with three-fourths of the apparel factories,
employed five or more workers. The manufacture of ready-to-wear
apparel is carried on, for the most part, under a production system
that permits a higher degree of work specialization than is possible
in the custom shops. Although a few men are employed in apparel
plants, generally as cutters or maintenance men, women perform the
specialized sewing and finishing operations and account, as a group,
for about 95 percent of the work force. Workers in tailor shops
generally make the entire garment or a complete section of a garment,
and men as well as women are engaged in such work.
Because of the greater standardization of articles produced, piece­
work systems are commonly employed in apparel plants, whereas
time rates are the general rule in custom shops. Neither of these
industries has been unionized.
Hours and earnings data for a representative pay period during
March or April 1947 were obtained from 12 apparel-manufacturing
firms and 11 custom-tailor shops. Representing a 50-percent sample
(of establishments employing five or more workers) in each of these
industries, the coverage included establishments in Hilo as well as in
Honolulu, where the employment in these industries is concentrated.
The survey findings are presented separately for apparel manufactur­
ing and custom tailoring. Data for the latter industry, one of the*
*Dressmaking carried on as a home industry is not included in the industries studied. Home workers
were found to bewere omitted from data presented. manufacturing concerns and custom tailors included
n the study but employed by several of the apparel



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

137

smaller segments of the retail-trade group, are discussed in this section
of the report because the major part of the work force is engaged in
the production rather than the sale of garments. While minors,
>art-time workers, and office workers were included in the study, data
or these groups have been omitted from the tables.3
Apparel manufacturing
Workers in apparel plants earned 77 cents an hour, on the average,
during March-April 1947. Straight-time average hourly earnings of
individual workers, in the group of 269 women and 13 men employed
in the 12 factories, ranged from 50 cents to more than $1.40 an hour.
As shown in table 58, nearly two-thirds of the workers fell in the range
of 55 to 79.9 cents an hour. Although differences in the general
level of wage rates paid in the various occupations accounted for part
of the dispersion of individual rates, the range of individual earnings
in several of the key jobs in the industry nearly equaled the range
for the group as a whole.

{

T a b l e 58.— Percentage distribution of w orkers 1 in apparel m anufacturing in dustry
in the Territory of H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,2 M arch A p ril 1947
Average hourly earnings2
50jto 54.9 cents........................................
55 to 59.9 cents____________________
60 to 64.9 cents.........................................
65 to 69.9 cents.........................................
70 to 74.9 rants
75 to 79.9 rants

80 to 84.9 cents___________ ______
85 to 89 9 rants
90 to 94.9 cents_____________ _____
95 to 99.9 cents____________________

All workers

Average hourly earnings2

2.1 100 to 109.9 ran ts
16.6 110 to 119.9 cents......................................
12.4 120 to 129.9 cents......................................
14.5 130 to 139.9 cents.....................................
9.6 140 ra n ts a n d o ver
12.4
Total...............................................
5.0
5.7 T o ta l n u m b e r of w ork ers
5.7
1.8 A verage h o u r ly ea rn in g s 2

All workers
4.6
3.5
1.1
1.8
3.2
100.0
282
$0.77

1Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers.
2Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Average hourly earnings are presented in table 59 for a group of key
jobs in the industry. Occupational earnings among women workers
ranged from 67 cents an hour, averaged by buttonhole-machine opera­
tors, to $1.07 an hour, averaged by foreladies. Sewing-machine
operators, accounting for 158 of the 269 women employed in the fac­
tories visited, averaged 73 cents an hour. Pressers and trimmers
averaged 2 cents an hour less than the sewing-machine operator group
and 10 cents an hour less than garment finishers. With the ex­
ception of the forelady category, the highest rates among women
workers were paid to cutters, who averaged 92 cents an hour. Men
cutters were paid higher rates than those paid to women in this
occupation. With a single exception, men and women cutters were
not employed in the same establishments. The degree of variation
in earnings found in these selected jobs can be illustrated with a dis­
tribution of sewing-machine operators by average hourly earnings
groups. The operators were distributed as follows: 50-59 cents, 42
workers; 60-69 cents, 41 workers; 70-79 cents, 33 workers; 80-89
cents, 15 workers; 90-99 cents, 9 workers; and $1 and over, 18 workers.

«Only 2 minors were found to be employed in each of the 2 industries; adult part-time workers on the pay
rolls of the firms visited totaled 23 (16 men, 7 women) in apparel manufacture and 4 (1 man, 3 women) in
custom-tailors’ shops; data for the few office workers employed in the industry have been grouped with
other industries in a special section on office workers in Hawaii. (See ch. 19.)



138

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Of the 158 workers in the occupation, 112 were paid on a piecework
basis and, as a group, averaged 75 cents an hour. Sewing-machine
operators who were paid time rates averaged 67 cents an hour. Nearly
all of the workers in the other occupations were paid time rates.
T able 59.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 in selected occupations 2 in the
apparel-m anufacturing in dustry in the Territory of H aw aii , M arch— p ril 1947
A
Occupation and sex
M e n : C u tte r s.
_
_
. . .
Women:
Buttonhole-machine operators________________________________________
C u tters
F in ish e r s. _
____ _ _ _ _ ____ __ _. _ _
F o rela d ies
...
. ___ ____ ____ ____
P ressers
__ _
_____ _.
__
S ew in g -m a eh in e op erators ...
____
_
_ _ ...
T rim m ers _
__ ... _ ____ _
.
.
..

Number of Average
hourlyworkers earnings 1
8
15
5
7
9
15
158
9

$1.44
.67
.92
.81
1.07
.71
.73
.71

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
* Excludes minors and part-time workers.

In the matter of frequency of wage payment, the firms were about
equally divided in number between those that paid their employees
each week and those that paid on a 2-week or twice-a-month basis.
Scheduled hours of work per week ranged from 40 to 48 among the
firms visited. With the exception of three firms whose officials
indicated that no overtime was worked, overtime was paid for at one
and one-half times the regular rates. A majority of the workers in­
cluded in the study were employed by firms that paid overtime^ rates
for all work in excess of 40 hours in a week. The 282 workers in the
study averaged exactly 40 hours of work during the March-April
period. Hours worked by some individuals exceeded 40, however,
and a sufficient number of hours were worked at overtime rates to
bring the gross average hourly earnings to 78 cents, 1 cent above the
straight-time average for the group. Gross weekly earnings averaged
$31.24 a week.
Several of the firms granted Christmas or year-end bonuses to their
employees, the amounts paid out in 1946 ranging from gifts of $10 to
each worker, reported by one employer, to an additional month’s pay
granted by one of the larger firms. Nine of the twelve firms reported
a formal policy of granting paid vacations to their workers. The most
common practice, reported by six employers, provided a 1-week
vacation with pay to all employees who had completed a year of
service. One of these firms allowed 2 weeks of vacation for those who
had five or more years of service. Two firms provided 2 weeks with
pay to employees with a year of service and another firm reported a
policy of granting 2 weeks to each worker, regardless of her period of
service. Formal plans for granting paid sick leave to factory workers
were reported by only two firms.
An examination of the racial composition of the work force in the
group of apparel plants included in the study showed that 88 percent
of the workers were Japanese and the second largest group, the
Chinese, accounted for 8 percent of the total.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

139

Custom tailoring
The study revealed that workers in custom tailor shops averaged
83 cents an hour in the March-April period of 1947. Of the 126 adult
full-time workers employed in the 11 shops included in the survey, 36
were men and 90 were women. Average hourly earnings, on a straighttime basis, amounted to $1.07 in the group of men and 72 cents in the
case of women workers. As indicated in the distribution of workers
by straight-time average hourly earnings presented in table 60, fully
30 percent of the workers earned less than 60 cents an hour. Nearly
half of these workers were apprentices, employed in the larger shops,
and only one man was found in this earnings group. Most of the
men employed as cutters, coat makers, and garment finishers earned
more than a dollar an hour. Women, whose employment in these
occupations was found to equal that of men, were generally paid
lower rates. It should be noted that men and women were seldom
found to be employed in the same job in the same establishment.
T able 60.— Percentage distribu tion of workers 1 in custom tailor shops in the T erri­
tory of H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,2 M a rch -A p ril 1947
Average hourly earnings2
TTnder 40.0 ran ts
..
__ _
. __
40.0 tn 44.0 ran ts ___ . _
4/5.0 tn 49.9 rants
J50.0 tn /54.9 rants
/i/5.0 tn /59.9 rants
60.0 tn 64.9 rants _
65.0 to 69.9 cents...................................
7 0.0 tn 74.9 rants _ ________ _ _ __
75.0 tn 79.9 rants
80.0 tn 84.9 c e n ts.
...

85.0 to 89.9 cents......................................
90.0 to 94.9 cents......................................

All workers

Average hourly earnings2

n ts
4.0 95.0 t.n 99.9 raran ts . . . . . .
tn 109.9
9.5 100.0 tn 119.9 cen ts
1.6 110.0
2.4 120.0 tn 129.9 cents_________________
to
12.6 130.0 c e n139.9 c en ts
4.8 140.0 ts and n ver
7.8
T n ta l „
r _
_ _. . _
9.5
5.6
3.2 T n tal n u m b er nf w ork ers.
4.8 Average hourly earnings2......................
4.8

All workers
2.4
11.0
3.2
5.6
3.2
4.0
100.0
126
$0.83

1 Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers.
2 Excludes premium pay lor overtime and night work.

A few workers in two of the shops were paid on a piecework basis.
The remainder of the workers in the group studied were about equally
divided into three methods-of-pay groups, namely, monthly salaried,
weekly salaried, and hourly rated. Most of the firms paid their
workers either on a biweekly or monthly basis. Seven employers
reported the scheduled hours of work to be 48 per week, two shops
operated on a 44-hour week, and the others indicated shorter work­
weeks. Overtime was paid for at one and one-half the regular rates
by the eight employers whose policies did not prohibit overtime work.
Overtime rates generally applied to time worked in excess of 48 hours
per week. Shops scheduling 44 or fewer hours of work, however,
paid overtime rates for time worked in excess of the scheduled hours.
A negligible amount of time was worked at overtime rates during the
selected period. Average weekly hours worked amounted to 41.4
hours for the group, with men averaging 45.7 hours and women
averaging 39.7 hours per week. Gross average weekly earnings dining
the same period amounted to $34.60 for all workers combined, $49.01
for men, and $28.83 for women.
Nonproduction bonuses, amounting to 10 percent of each indi­
vidual's weekly earnings, were paid by two of the employers.8 Christ-*
*These bonus payments are reflected in the earnings data presented in the report.




140

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

mas or year-end bonuses were paid in 1946 by several employers. A
formal policy of granting paid vacations had been adopted by seven
employers, the most common practice providing a 1-week vacation to
employees with a year of service. Paid sick leave was granted on a
discretionary basis by several of the employers.
Filipinos constituted the largest racial group among men workers
in the study, with Japanese and Chinese representing the next largest
racial groups. More than two-thirds of the women in the custom
tailor shops were Japanese.
BAKERIES

Exclusive of small bakery establishments primarily engaged in
selling their products in their own retail shops, there were 17 bakery
concerns employing a total of 800 workers in the Territory in 1947.4
Although a few bakery products firms operate on the islands of
Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, nearly 90 percent of the employment in
all bakery establishments employing 10 or more workers was con­
centrated in Honolulu.
Nine bakery establishments were included in a study of hours and
earnings of bakery workers during the March-April period of 1947.
Because a few firms employ more than half of the workers in the indus­
try, the establishments visited were selected, and data for them
tabulated, in a manner that would provide a representative 50-percent
coverage in the industry. The study revealed that bakery workers
as a group averaged 94 cents an hour on a straight-time basis in
March-April 1947. Of the 309 full-time employees in these bakeries,
180 were men and 129 were women.5 Although both men and women
were found to be employed in some types of work, such as clean-up
and general helper work, the basic manufacturing operations such as
measuring and mixing ingredients, forming, pan greasing, and oven
tending were done by men, whereas women were employed, for the
most part, in packing and wrapping bakery products and in sales work
in shops operated in conjunction with the bakery. These job differ­
ences would appear to explain the lower earnings of women, who
averaged 77 cents an hour as compared with average earnings of
$1.04 an hour recorded for men. As shown in the distribution of
bakeiy workers by average hourly earnings, presented in table 61,
individual rates of pay ranged from under 60 cents to $1.45 or more
an hour. The disparity in the earnings position of men and women
can be seen in the proportions found at each end of the earnings scale.
Onfy 1.1 percent of the men, as compared with 24.8 percent of the
women, earned less than 70 cents an hour. More than half (53.9
percent) of the men earned $1 or more, while the number of women in
this earnings group amounted to only 3.9 percent of the women
employees.*
4 Small bakery establishments (employing less than 10 workers) have been grouped, for study purposes,
with retail food stores; the greater part of the employment in such establishments is engaged in sales work
rather than in the manufacture of bakery products.
* Employee groups not represented in the data shown included 15 minors (9 boys, 6 girls), 6 adult parttime workers, 35 driver-salesmen, and 24 office workers.




141

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 61.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in bakeries in the T erritory of
H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earn ings 2 and sex, M arch -A pril 1947
Average hourly earnings2
Under 60.0 cents____________________________________________
60.0 to 64.9 cents______________________________________ _____
65.0 to 69.9 cents.........................................................................................
70.0 to 74.9 cents.........................................................................................
75.0 to 79.9 cents.......................................................................-................
80.0 to 84.9 cents................................................................................. ........
85.0 to 89.9 cents..........................................................................................
90.0 to 94.9 cents..........................................................................................
95.0 to 99.9 cents.—.....................................................................................
100.0 to 104.9 cents......................................................................................
105.0 to 109.9 cents.......................................................................................
110.0 to 114.9 cents......................................................................................
115.0 to 119.9 cents.......................................................................................
120.0 to 124.9 cents___________________________ ____________ _
125.0 to 129.9 cents...................................... ...........................................
130.0 to 134.9 cents......................................................................... ........
135.0 to 139.9 cents................................................. ...................................
140.0 to 144.9 cents.......................................................................................
145.0 e e n ts and o v er
_
Total_____ _________ ________ ______1........................... ........
Total number of workers..........................................................................
Average hourly earnings2. ........................................................................

All work­
ers
2.3
4.2
4.5
5.5
8.7
9.1
12.6
3.6
16.6
7.8
6.8
6.5
1.9
1.9
1.6
.3
1.9
2.9
1.3
100.0
309
$0.94

Men
1.1
3.9
3.3
.6
9.4
3.3
24.5
11.7
11.1
10.6
3.3
3.3
2.8
.6
3.3
5.0
2.2
100.0
180
$1.04

Women
5.4
10.1
9.3
7.8
16.3
20.8
17.1
3.9
5.4
2.3
.8
.8

100.0
129
$0.77

1 Excludes office workers, minors, part-time workers, and driver-salesmen.
2 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

With the exception of some of the driver-salesmen and sales clerks,
bakery workers were typically paid hourly rates rather than salaries.
Pay periods varied in length within the group studied, four firms
paying once a month, two firms paying every 2 weeks, with the
remainder reporting pay periods of 1 week, half-month, and 4 weeks.
Six firms scheduled a 48-hour workweek for their employees and the
others fewer hours of work per week. Time and one-half the regular
rates was paid for overtime in all establishments. While three firms
indicated that overtime rates applied only to time worked in excess
of 48 hours in a week, establishments employing most of the workers
paid the overtime rate for work over 8 hours per day or 40 hours per
week. The special rates also applied to work on holidays or, as in
the case of the two establishments that were operating under terms of
written agreements with a labor union, to work on the day preceding
holidays. This latter provision is explained by the fact that much of
the production in the bakery industry is carried on during night hours
and the night crew would not ordinarily work on the eve of a recog­
nized holiday. A majority of the workers were paid overtime rates
for part of their hours during the pay period studied. On the basis
of 44.4 hours of work averaged by the 309 bakery workers, gross
average hourly earnings amounted to 99 cents, 5 cents above the
straight-time average. Men workers averaged 45.9 hours of work
and averaged $1.12 an hour with extra pay for overtime included.
Women worked fewer hours, averaging 42.3 hours per week, and their
gross average hourly earnings amounted to 81 cents. A comparison
of straight-time and gross averages shows that men added 8 cents and
women 4 cents an hour through overtime rate work. Gross weekly
earnings averaged $51.35 for men, $34.09 for women, and $44.14 for
the two groups combined. Driver-salesmen, omitted from the groups
for which hourly earnings data are shown, averaged $62 a week. A



142

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

majority of a total of 35 driver-salesmen were employed in the larger
establishments in which commissions were paid on sales.
Christmas and year-end bonuses were granted by a few firms to
their employees but the proportion of the workers in the industry
that received such additional payments in 1946 and the average
amount granted were found to be generally less than in other industries
studied. Paid vacations were provided to eligible workers, plant and
office alike, by all except one of the small firms. Five employers
granted 2 weeks with pay to all workers with a year or more of service.
Three firms limited the vacation period to 1 week for employees with
a year of service, but two of these provided longer vacations to workers
who had worked two or more years with the firm. The two union
establishments had a formal policy of granting paid sick leave, and
such protection from pay loss was granted on a discretionary basis
in several of the other bakeries.
PRINTING

The printing, publishing, and allied industries in Hawaii furnished
employment to approximately 1,600 persons in the early part of 1947.
Included in this group of industries were some 55 or more establish­
ments engaged in one or more activities, such as publishing and
printing newspapers, periodicals, or books; commercial or job printing;
lithographing; and performing services for the printing trades. More
than four-fifths of the establishments and nearly nine-tenths of the
workers in the industry are concertrated in the city of Honolulu.
The two large daily Honolulu newspapers (English) together employ
more than one-half of the workers in the industry group. A number
of other newspapers, published in various languages, are issued in
Honolulu on a daily, triweekly, semiweekly, or weekly basis. The
larger newspaper establishments, including the language papers, have
job printing departments and, in some cases, publish and print
periodicals and books. Job printing is also done by book and periodi­
cal publishers and printers. In addition, there are many small
shops that specialize in commercial printing.
Newspapers are published in English and other languages on the
islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, generally on a semiweekly or
weekly basis. A small number of job-printing shops are also located
on these islands. Newspaper establishments on several of the islands
(including Oahu) also operate radio stations.
Hours and earnings data, together with related information, were
obtained from 19 establishments in the industry group. The survey
coverage represented a 50-percent sample of printing establishments
employing five or more workers (smaller shops not studied). Es­
tablishments visited were selected to represent each segment of the
printing industry as well as other important factors bearing on wages.
Employees in the editorial, commercial, and circulation departments of
newspaper establishments were excluded from the study, as were
workers employed in radio stations and in other activities not related
to printing. In the case of most of the establishments visited, data
were obtained for a representative pay period in March 1947; in the
remainder of the establishments an April 1947 pay period was selected.



143

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Data presented in the tables relate to adult full-time workers, ex­
clusive of office workers.6
The 400 workers (300 men, 100 women) employed in the shop
departments of the establishments included in the study averaged $1.30
an hour on a straight-time basis in March 1947. Men workers, as a
group, were found to be averaging $1.45 an hour, exceeding the 83-cent
average hourly earnings of women workers by 75 percent. As indi­
cated in the percentage distribution of workers by average hourly
earnings, presented in table 62, earnings of individual workers were
scattered over an unusually wide earnings range, reflecting the spread
in rates between unskilled jobs and the specialized printing trades in
which the workers typically acquire their training during a period of
apprenticeship. Although a few men were earning less than 60 cents
an hour, the total earning less than $1 an hour amounted to only 15.4
percent (which equaled the size of the group earning $2 or more an
hour). Women, accounting for one-fourth of the workers in the labor
force, were employed mainly in bindery-room work and in other jobs
that required a comparatively short period of on-the-job training. Of
the 100 women employed in the covered establishments, 11 earned
less than 60 cents an hour, more than half (56) earned less than 85
cents an hour, and only 3 women earned more than $1.25 an hour.
6 2 . — Percentage distribution of workers 1 in the prin ting in du stry in the
Territory of H a w a ii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings 2 and sex, M arch
1947

T able

A ll w ork ers

A v era g e h o u rly ea rn in g s 2
TTnder fift.ft cen ts
_____
60.0 to 64.9 c en ts
.
65.0 to 69.9 cen ts
......
70.0 to 74.9 cen ts _ . _
_
____
75.0 to 79.9 cen ts . . . . . .
....._
80.0 to 84.9 cen ts
_
____
85.0 to 89 9 cen ts
90.0 to 94.9 cen ts ___________ _ __
_ __
95.0 to 99.9 c e n ts ___ _ _
_____
100.0 to 104.9 cen ts
_
_____
105.0 to 109.9 cen ts
_
____
110.0 to 114.9 c e n ts _______________________
______________
115.0 to 119.9 c e n ts..................................................................................................................
120.0 to 124.9 cen ts
...........
125.0 to 129.9 cen ts
130.0 to 134.9 c e n ts ___ _____
.... .
135.0 to 139.9 cen ts
140.0 to 144.9 c e n ts. _ ______ . _
___ _
145.0 to 149.9 c e n ts ____
150.0 to 159.9 c e n t s .. . . . . ..........
........................... .. _ ____
160.0 to 169.9 cen ts
170.0 to 179.9 cen ts ______
180.0 to 189.9 cen ts
_
_ _____
190.0 to 199 9 cen ts
200.0 to 209.9 c e n ts ....... . ____ ____
210.0 cen ts a n d o v er .. .
__________ _________________ _ ______
T o ta l . _ __________
T o ta l n u m b er of w o r k e rs___
A v era ge h o u rly earn in gs 2. _

________________
_ _ __ _

____

____

3 .7
4 .8
2.7
3 .5
2. 7
3 .0
3 .7
4 .3
2 .7
9 .0
1.8
5 .0
2 .7
3 .7
1 .8
2 .2
2 .5
1 .3
1 .8
4 .0
6 .0
4 .0
3 .3
8 .0
8 .3
3 .5

M en

100.0

1 .3
2 .0
2. 0
2 .0
.7
.7
2 .3
2 .7
1 .7
9 .0
2 .0
5 .3
3 .3
4 .0
2 .3
3 .0
3 .0
1 .7
2 .0
5 .3
8 .0
5 .3
4 .3
10.7
10.7
4 .7
100.0

400
$1.30

300
$1.45

W om en
11.0
13.0
5. 0
8 .0
9. 0
10.0
8 .0
9 .0
6 .0
9 .0
1 .0
4 .0
1 .0
3 .0
1 .0
1 .6

1 .6
100.0
100
$0.83

1 Excludes minors and part-time workers; only the mechanical departments are included.
2 Excludes premium pay for overtime.
e Only nine boys and two girls (all 16- and 17-year-olds) were employed in the establishments studied.
Adult part-time workers were too few in number to justify presentation of data for the group. Data for
office workers were grouped with office workers in other industries and appear in a separate section of the
report. (See ch. 19.)




144

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The study revealed unusual interestablishment differences in occu­
pational wage rates. Workers employed in shops paying the lowest
rates generally received half or less of the rate paid for similar work
in establishments with the highest wage scales. Examples of the
degree to which plant rates differed are provided in the list of occupa­
tions for which average hourly earnings data appear in table 63.
Hand compositors, averaging $1.55 an hour in the industry, were paid
less than 70 cents an hour in three establishments, whereas the day
rate for this occupation was $1.95 an hour in the large establishments
operating under terms of written agreements with the Honolulu
Typographical Union (an A. F. of L. affiliate).* Of the 38 workers
7
6
employed in this occupation, 8 earned less than $1 an hour, 11 fell
into the $1 to $1.94 earnings group, and 19 were paid $1.95 or more
per hour. The distribution of linotype operators by average hourly
earnings was somewhat similar to the pattern of rates for hand com­
positors. Averaging $1.69 an hour as a group, plant rates paid to
linotype operators ranged from less than 70 cents an hour to $1.95
an hour on day work, with the higher-paying establishments also
adding the shift premiums for night work. In the case of linotype
operators, however, 25 of the 42 workers were paid the union scale
for the job.
T able

63.—prin ting in dustry in the Territory in gs 1aw aii , M arch 1947 2 in
Straight-tim e average hourly earn
in selected occupations
of H
Occupation and sex

Men:
Hand compositors__________________________________________________
Janitors. _
_____________________________________________
Linotype operators_________________________________________________
Press helpers______________________________________________________
Pressmen................... ...............................................................................................
Women: Bindery workers_________________ _____________ ______________

the

Number of Average
hourly
workers earnings1
38
11
42
11
40
44

$1.55
.86
1.69
1.19
1.47
.82

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime.
2 Excludes minors and part-time workers.

While similar interestablishment differences in wage rates were
noted in the pressman classification, part of the variation in rates
found in this job was attributable to differences in rates established
for the various types of presses. Contracts entered into by the Hono­
lulu Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union (an A. F. of L. affiliate)
provided that journeymen pressmen shall be paid $1.60 an hour on
hand-fed platen presses (pressman in charge of three presses) and
$1.75 an hour on small automatic presses (pressman assigned to two
presses). As another example, a contract entered into by the Amal­
gamated Lithographers of America (affiliated with the CIO) and one
of the firms included in the study provided a scale of weekly salaries
for offset pressmen, with the rates increasing according to the num­
ber of colors involved and the width of the press plate. Among
unskilled workers, the janitor job provides another illustration of
the wide range of rates prevailing in the industry. Averaging 86
7The union agreement provided a rate of $2.05 an hour for night work (shift beginning or ending after
6 p. m. and before 7 a. m.), and a rate of $2.15 an hour for work on the third shift (shift beginning after 10
p. m. and before 4 a. m.). Several of the larger establishments operated on a two- or three-shift basis at the
time of the study. The data presented in the tables for this industry reflect the inclusion of shift premiums.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

145

cents as a group, janitors in two small shops earned less than 60 .cents
an hour, and $1 or more an hour in two of the larger establishments.
The lowest occupational rates were paid by the foreign-language
publishing concerns, most of which were comparatively small in size.
Generally speaking, the highest level of wage rates was found in the
large union establishments located in Honolulu. Of the 19 firms
visited, 4 were operating under terms of written agreements with
labor unions, with 2 of the largest firms having signed agreements
with 3 separate unions.
Japanese workers, who constituted the largest single racial group
in the industry, were paid less, on the average, than workers of other
races. Japanese hand compositors, for example, averaged $1.23 an
hour as compared with an average of $1.55 recorded for all men in
this job. Similarly, Japanese linotype operators, averaging $1.51 an
hour, earned 18 cents an hour less than the group average for all men
linotype operators. Although Japanese, like workers of other races,
were employed by the larger firms, many of them were working in
small shops that paid comparatively low rates.
With very few exceptions the establishments included in the study
operated on a 40-hour schedule in March 1947. A minimum of time
and one-half the regular rates was paid for overtime work by all
firms, with most of them indicating that the overtime rate applied
only if the weekly hours (40) were exceeded. Three union establish­
ments and one of the larger nonunion shops paid time and one-half
for the first 4 hours in excess of 8 hours in any one day, with double
time paid for time worked in excess of 12 hours a day. Another union
establishment indicated that the double-time rates went into effect
beginning with the twelfth hour. Overtime rates also applied to work
on holidays in the larger establishments, and several indicated a policy
of paying overtime rates for all work (in some departments) on Satur­
days and Sundays. Overtime worked during the period studied had
the effect of increasing the average hourly earnings of all workers by
6 cents an hour. Men workers averaged 42.5 hours of work and their
gross average hourly earnings amounted to $1.52, as compared with
straight-time hourly earnings of $1.45. Women worked less overtime
than did men. Averaging 39.4 hours of work, the gross average hourly
earnings of women were found to be 85 cents, 2 cents above their
straight-time earnings. Gross weekly earnings of $64.50 were aver­
aged by men employees and $33.41 by women. The gross weekly
earnings for all workers combined amounted to $56.73 during the
period studied. With very few exceptions the employees of the Hon­
olulu printing concerns were paid on an hourly rate basis. Workers
in the skilled trades were generally salaried, however, in the establish­
ments located on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui,
Christmas or vear-end bonuses were granted in 1946 by most of the
firms visited. Among the firms that made such additional payments,
the amount and nature of the payment varied greatly. On a percent­
age basis, these gift payments generally amounted to from 2 to 5 per­
cent of the annual earnings of the employee. Several firms reported
the incorporation of bonus payments, made previously, into the basic
rate structure.
Paid vacations were granted to eligible workers, in shop and office
alike, by 14 of the 19 printing concerns. Six firms provided a 1-week



146

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

vacation upon the completion of a year of service with the employer,
with an increase, in the case of two of these firms, to 2 weeks for those
who had 2 years or more of service. Eight firms, including four of the
largest establishments included in the study, granted 2 weeks with pay
to all employees who had completed a year of service. The five firms
that did not have a formal policy of granting vacations with pay
included three foreign-language publishing concerns and two small job
printing shops. Formal plans for granting paid sick leave had been
adopted by three firms, of which two were Targe union establishments.




CHAPTER 17. TRADE
W HOLESALE TKADE

The total number of wholesale trade establishments in Hawaii was
estimated to exceed 300 at the beginning of the year 1947. The more
important types of concerns included in, this broad group are: whole­
salers (wholesale merchants, distributors, jobbers, exporters, and
importers) who are engaged in buying and selling on their own account;
sales branches and sales offices of manufacturing concerns (mostly
mainland firms); and agents and brokers. Although the typical whole­
saler generally handles a single line of merchandise such as meats,
groceries, liquor, business machines, or paints and paint supplies, some
of the larger establishments not only sell a wide variety of unrelated
types of merchandise but engage in other business activities as well.
Several of the sugar factors, for example, have wholesale outlets on
each of the major islands, and, although these sales establishments are
among the most important wholesale outlets on each of the islands,
they do not necessarily account for a major share of the income of the
individual factors.
The study of hours and earnings of workers in wholesale trade is
based on data received from 28 establishments operated by 25 firms.1
The survey coverage represented a one-third sample of wholesale trade
establishments employing 8 or more workers (smaller operations not
studied). Establishments visited were selected to represent each
segment of wholesale trade on each of the major islands, as well as
other important factors bearing on wages. Data were obtained for a
representative pay period during February or March 1947. Data
presented in the tables relate to adult, full-time workers, exclusive
of office workers.1
2
The straight-time average hourly earnings of 1,168 workers em­
ployed in these establishments amounted to $1.25 an hour during the
pay-roll period studied. The 1,104 men workers, as a group, averaged
$1.28 an hour and the small group of women employees, numbering
64, earned 85 cents an hour on the average. As shown in table 64,
approximately one-sixth (16.0 percent) of the workers earned less
than a dollar an hour, the earnings of 53.6 percent were grouped in the
next 30-cent range (100.0 to 129.9 cents), and the remainder, amount­
ing to 30.4 percent of the labor force, earned $1.30 an hour or more.
Of the 1,168 workers included in the study, 77 workers, most of whom
were outside salesmen, earned $2 or more an hour.
Average hourly earnings of men workers in 5 selected occupations
are presented in table 65. Both laborers and truck drivers’ helpers
averaged $1.04 an hour on a straight-time basis. Warehousemen,
1 In the case of firms that had wholesale trade outlets on several islands the operation on each island
was classified as a separate establishment. In scheduling firms that also operated in other fields of busi­
ness activity, employees were grouped by type of activity and data for wholesale trade workers only were
included in this section of the report.
2 Only four minors and one adult part-time worker were employed in the group of establishments studied.
Data for office workers are presented in a separate section of the report.



147

148

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

with average earnings of $1.10 an hour, and truck drivers, with $1.14
an hour average, also earned less than the $1.25 an hour average for
all workers combined. The highest-paid workers in the wholesale
trade occupations studied were the salesmen, who as a group averaged
$1.81 an hour. Salesmen, who represented one-sixth of the employ­
ment in the establishments covered, averaged 67 cents an hour more
than the composite average earnings in all of the remainder of the
jobs in the industry. Comparatively little dispersion of individual
rates was found in the laborer and truck drivers’ helper classifications.
In each job only three workers earned less than $1 an hour and only
eight workers received more than $1.05 an hour. Rates paid to
warehousemen, however, ranged from less than 70 cents to over $1.40
an hour, with only minor concentrations scattered along the scale.
The distribution of average hourly earnings of truck drivers was
somewhat similar to that for warehousemen. As would be expected,
the greatest variation in earnings, among the five selected occupational
categories, was found in the sales group. Of the 194 salesmen em­
ployed in the 28 establishments visited, 61 earned less than $1.50 an
hour, 66 earned between $1.50 and $1.99 an hour, 45 earned between
$2 and $2.49 an hour, and 22 earned $2.50 or more an hour.
T able 64.— Percentage distribution of workers 1in wholesale trade in the Territory
of H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,2 F ebruary-M arch 1947
Average hourly earnings2

All workers

50.0 to 59.9 cents...................... ...............
60.0 to 69.9 c e n ts___
_
70.0 to 79.9 c e n ts. __ .
80.0 to 89.9 cen ts
90.0 to 99.9 c e n ts. . _
100.0 to 109.9 cents..................................
110.0 to 119.9 cen ts
120.0 to 129.9 c en ts
. ... __ ....
180.0 to 129.9 cen ts
140.0 to 149.9 c e n ts. . _ .
150.0 to 159.9 c e n ts. . . .
160.0 to 169.9 cents...................................

Average hourly earnings 2

All workers

1.2 170.0 to 179.9 c e n ts ____
2.1 180.0 to 189.9 cents___ _________ __
2.7 190.0 to 199.9 cents___ ___ ______ _
to
cents___
___ __
4.5 200.0 to 209.9 c e n ts.
5.5 210.0 219.9
25.6 220.0 cen ts an d ov er _
15.8
T o ta l. ......
12.2
6.3
_
4.5 T o ta l n u m b er o f w o rk ers ....
......
2.3 A v era ge h o n rly earn in gs 2
4.1

3.9
2.1
.6
1.9
.9
3.8
100.0
1,168
$1.25

1Excludes office workers, minors and and night work.
2Excludes premium pay for overtime part-time workers.

T able 65.—Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of m en workers 2 in selected
occupations in wholesale trade in the Territory of H a w a ii , February—M arch 1947

Occupation
Laborers _ _ . _
_ .....
_
. .. _.
.. . _____ _.
Salesmen._____ _________________ _____________________________
Truck drivers’ helpers
drivers__________________________________________________
Truck
....
. . . ... .
__ _ ________
Warehousemen _
___
_
. .....

Number of Average
hourly
workers earnings1
113
194
136
49
156

$1.04
1.81
1.14
1.04
1.10

1Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
2Excludes minors and part-time workers.

The larger establishments paid higher rates than were paid to workers
in the same jobs in the smaller establishments. In the four largest
establishments (each employing 100 or more persons), truck drivers,
as a group, averaged $1.19 an hour, as compared with an average of
$1.06 an hour paid in this job in the group of establishments employing



149

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

less than 100 workers. Similarly, salesmen averaged $1.89 an hour
in the large establishments and $1.57 an hour in the small firms.
The racial composition of the work force and average hourly earn­
ings by race are presented in table 66. As in most Hawaiian in­
dustries, Japanese workers were more numerous in wholesale trade
than members of any other racial group. Caucasian workers, the
highest-paid employees in the industry, average $1.50 an hour. The
group average for Japanese amounted to $1.17 an hour, and for
Filipino employees $1.05 an hour, the lowest hourly earnings recorded
for any racial group. The great majority of the Filipinos employed
in these wholesale trade establishments were grouped in the laborer
category, and very few Filipinos were employed as salesmen. A
majority of the salesmen were Caucasians.
T a b l e 66. Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of w orkers 2 in wholesale trade
in the Territory of H aw aii hy race , February-M arch 1947
Racial group
All raftfts

..........
._ _
______
_____
_ _ _ _ ..... .
_ ...
_ ___ . .... _
........
_ ._
■ RfVW/nfvns and Part-TTawaiians
_
_
__
Chinese _ _ _______ _ ______________ _________________________
All others
____ _ __ _______ _ . _ ____________________
JapanASA ,..
C anA asians ,
E ilip in n s

, , _

Number of Average
hourly
workers earnings1
1,168
498
289
146
127
95
13

$1.25
1.17
1.50
1.05
1.20
1.32
1.30

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers.

2

With very few exceptions, the establishments included in the study
operated on a 40-hour-week schedule during the early part of 1947.
A sufficient amount of overtime was worked, however, to bring the
average weekly hours of the entire group to 42, with the 1,104 men
employees averaging 42.2 hours of work per week and the 64 women
employees, 38.9 hours. Time and one-half the regular rates was paid
for overtime work by all firms, three-fourths of which paid the over­
time rates for time worked in excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a
week, while the remainder paid overtime rates only if the weekly
hours (40) were exceeded. During the period studied, gross average
hourly earnings, including premium pay for overtime, amounted to
$1.30 an hour for all workers combined, or 5 cents above the straighttime average hourly earnings of $1.25 an hour. Gross weekly earnings
averaged $54.75 during the same period. The frequency of pay­
ment varied according to the status of the employee; salaried workers
in nearly all cases were paid on a once-a-month basis, but hourly
rated workers generally received their pay each week.
Sales personnel were typically employed on a straight salary basis;
only a few of the smaller firms indicated a policy of paying commissions
on sales. Christmas or year-end bonuses were granted by most of the
firms in 1946. Several of the larger establishments formerly had a
policy of granting year-end bonuses but recently discontinued such
payments when general wage increases were granted. Among those
firms that made additional payments to their employees in 1946, the
amount and nature of such payments varied greatly. The smaller
75798— 48---------------- 11



150

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

companies generally limited the payment to the equivalent of the
individual’s pay for 1 week. One of the largest employers in the
industry, however, granted to each employee 20 percent of his total
straight-time pay for the year.
With the exception of a few small firms that adjusted wage rates on
an individual employee basis, general wage increases had been granted
since the end of the war by all of the firms included in the study.
Although no attempt has been made to determine the average amount
of adjustment that has been made in rates (hourly, weekly, and
monthly), examination of data relating to wage changes made by the
cooperating firms between January 1946 and February 1947 would
indicate that the majority of the position rates have been increased by
at least 15 cents an hour during that period. At the time of the study
cfnly 5 of the 28 establishments were operating under terms of written
agreements with labor unions. Nearly all of the workers in the union
establishments had received increases of 15 cents or more an hour
during 1946.
In 22 of the 28 establishments included in the study, workers were
eligible for paid vacations after completing a minimum period of
service. Vacation plans usually provided 2 weeks’ vacation to em­
ployees with a year or more of service. Several firms provided longer
vacations (with pay) to employees with 2 years or more of service.
On the whole, salaried workers averaged more vacation leave than did
workers paid on an hourly basis. Formal plans for granting paid sick
leave had been adopted by several of the firms visited. Most of the
firms indicated that such protection from pay loss was granted on a
discretionary basis.
GENERAL MERCHANDISE AND APPAREL STORES

Department stores, limited-price variety stores, dry-goods stores,
apparel and accessories stores, shoe stores, and general merchandise
stores in Hawaii provided employment to approximately 4,000 persons
in the early part of 1947. This number of workers was estimated to
be on the pay rolls of more than 400 employers in the trade group.
Hundreds of additional persons were directly engaged in the industry
as proprietor-employers, or as operators of small stores in which the
store help was limited to members of the owner’s family.
The largest establishments in this field of business activity are the
Honolulu department stores. Apparel shops constitute an important
segment of the group from the standpoint of number of stores as well
as number of workers employed. The majority of the employers in
Honolulu and outside Honolulu, however, are engaged in the opera­
tion of small, general-merchandise stores and dry-goods stores. With
the exception of a few local concerns that operate several stores, and
a mainland limited-price-variety store chain with operations on each
of the major islands, the trade group is one of single-store units.
Data on hours and earnings ox workers were collected from 23 firms,
representing a 20-percent coverage of the group of establishments
that employed 5 or more workers. Establishments visited were
selected to represent each segment of the trade group. Data were
obtained from each firm for a representative pay period in February
or March 1947 and covered, as in the case of other industries studied,



151

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

all employees other than persons employed in executive, administra­
tive, or professional positions.3
The study revealed that 533 adult full-time workers in the stores
included in the survey averaged $1.04 an hour on a straight-time
basis. The 208 men averaged $1.27 and the 325 women averaged
89 cents an hour. Although a wide range of individual rates were
found among both men and women, as shown in table 67, a majority
of the workers of each sex were concentrated in a relatively narrow
earnings range. Of the group of men, 10.5 percent earned less than a
dollar an hour, 63.5 percent fell in the 30-cent earnings range, 100.0
to 129.9 cents, 14.9 percent were grouped in the 130.0 to 199.9 cents
earnings bracket, and the remainder (11.1 percent) earned $2 or
more an hour. Among women workers, 66.3 percent were grouped
in the 70.0 to 99.9 cents earnings group, 10.4 percent earned less than
70 cents an hour, and the remainder (23.3 percent) earned a dollar or
more an hour.
Part-time workers were employed by 12 of the 23 firms included in
the study. The average earnings for the 80 adult workers regularly
employed on a part-time basis amounted to 82 cents an hour; 19 men
averaged 92 cents an hour and 61 women, as a group, averaged 78
cents an hour. A majority of the men as well as women were found
to be earning between 70 cents and a dollar an hour.
T a b l e 67.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in general m erchandise and apparel
stores in the Territory of H aw aii by straight-tim e average h ou rly earnings 2 and
sex, February-M arch 1947
Average hourly earnings2
Under 60.0 cents.__________________________________________
60.0 to 69.9 cents __________________________________________
70.0 to 79.9 cents____________________________________________
80.0 to 89.9 cents___________________ ______ _________________
90.0 to 99.9 cents ___________________________________________
100.0 to 109.9 cents__________________________________________
110.0 to 119.9 cents____________ ______________________________
120.0 to 129.9 cents......................................... ....................... ...................
130.0 to 139.9 cents__________________________________________
140.0 to 149.9 cents _________________________________________
150.0 to 159.9 cents __________________________________________
160.0 to 169.9 cents _________________________________________
170.0 to 179.9 cents__________________________________________
180.0 to 189.9 cents........-...................... -........................_........................
190.0 to 199.9 cents ____________________ ,_____________________
200.0 cents and over_________________________________________
Total
. Total Tinmh«r o f w ork ers
...........................
________________________________________________
Average hourly earnings 2

All workers
3.6
3.0
13.9
13.1
17.3
10.1
17.5
6.4
1.5
2.1
.9
2.6
.6
1.3
.8
5.3
100.0
533
$1.04

Men
0.5
4.3
1.4
4.3
14.9
36.1
12.5
2.4
3.4
1.4
2.9
.5
2.9
1.4
11.1

100.0
208
$1.27

Women
5.8
4.6
20.0
20.7
25.6
7.1
5.8
2.5
.9
1.2
.6
2.5
.6
.3
.3
1.5
100.0
325
$0.89

1 Excludes office workers, minors, and part-time workers.
2 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

The sales clerk job category accounted for 283 of the 533 full-time
workers and 72 of the 80 part-time workers studied. No other occu­
pation was found in a sufficient number of stores to be considered
typical of the industry. The volume of work in the larger stores
justifies job specialization to the point that a part of the work force
is employed in handling material stocks, as stock clerks, stock handlers,
markers and checkers. The larger stores also employ truck drivers,*
* While minors and office workers were included in the study, data relating to these groups are presented
separately; data for office workers appear in ch. 19.



152

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

janitors*, and, in some cases, watchmen. In connection with garment
alteration work, fitters, tailors, seamstresses, and pressers are em­
ployed in the larger apparel stores and apparel departments of depart­
ment stores. Men sales clerks employed on a full-time basis averaged
$1.58 an hour at the time of the study. Earnings varied greatly
among the stores visited, as indicated by the fact that of the 70 men
reported in this job category, 7 earned less than 80 cents an hour, and
9 earned more than $2.50 an hour. Although at a generally lower
level, earnings of women sales clerks were also distributed over a
wide earnings range. Averaging 90 cents an hour as a group, indi­
vidual earnings of 213 women employed as sales clerks on a full-time
basis were distributed as follows: under 50 cents, 7 workers; 50 to 99
cents, 158 workers; $1 to $1.49, 34 workers; and $1.50 and over, 14
workers. A partial explanation for the unusually wide range of earn­
ings recorded in sales work is to be found in variations in method of
wage payment found in the industry. Four firms, including several
of the largest firms visited, paid commissions on sales and average
earnings of sales clerks in this group of stores were well above the
average earnings in other stores where sales clerks were paid on a
straight salary or hourly rate basis. Limitations of the study did not
permit an examination of other factors, such as type and price of
merchandise sold, to determine the part they play in influencing earn­
ings of sales personnel.
Minors were employed by 6 of the firms, but the total number of
boys and girls under 18 years of age was too small to justify presen­
tation of earnings data. Most of the group of 17 girls and 4 boys were
employed as sales clerks, usually on a part-time basis.
Nearly one-half of the men and two-thirds of the women workers in
the stores included in the study were Japanese. Second in number
were the Caucasians who accounted for one-fourth of the men and
more than a fifth of the women employees. Chinese, Hawaiians
(including part-Hawaiians), and Filipinos, in the order named, came
next in numerical importance.
Seventeen of the firms employed their workers on a salary basis.
Of these, 11 employers paid their workers once a month and workers
in the other 6 establishments received their pay each week. Six
firms used the hourly rate basis of payment with all of their workers
and most of this group paid on a once-a-month basis.
Little uniformity was found in the matter of scheduled hours of work
per week. Workers in the larger Honolulu establishments were ex­
pected to work 40, and in some cases 42, hours a week. Longer hours,
ranging from 45 to 48, were the general rule in the small shops in
Honolulu as well as outside Honolulu. One and one-half times the
regular rate was paid for overtime in all except a few small stores.
Employers scheduling 45 hours or more of work per week generally
indicated a policy of paying the overtime rates for work in excess of 48
hours per week. In the larger stores in Honolulu, workers received
the overtime rate for work in excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a
week. The amount of added earnings due to overtime work can be
seen in the average earnings data presented in table 68. Men full­
time workers, averaging 40.8 hours of work, had gross average hourly
earnings of $1.30 an hour, 3 cents above their straight-time hourly
earnings. Although women employed on a full-time basis also
averaged a fraction of an hour over 40 per week, they worked, in the
aggregate, an insignificant total number of hours at overtime rates.



153

THE ECONOMY OP HAWAII IN 1947

It should be noted that few men were employed in the smaller shops
in which the longest hours were worked. Gross weekly earnings of
$52.88 and $35.97 were averaged by men and women full-time workers,
respectively, during February-March 1947.
T able 68.— Average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, an d average gross weekly
earnings of workers 1 in general m erchandise and apparel stores in the T erritory
of H aw aii, hy sex, F ebruary-M arch 1947

Average
Number of straighttime
workers
hourly
earnings

Sex
AH workars, total
Full tima .
_
_
Part tima.
Man, total __ _ .
Full time............................................... .
Part tima__
Woman, total __ _
Full time...................................................
Parttima ___ _
_

613
533
80
227
208
19
386
325
61

$1.03
1.04
.82
1.26
1.27
.92
.88
.89
.78

Average
gross
hourly
aamingg

Average
weekly
hours

$1.04
1.05
.82
1.29
1.30
.92
.88
.89
.78

36.8
40.7
11.0
38.5
40.8
14.0
35.8
40.6
10.1

Average
gross
weekly
earnings
$38.19
42.57
9.06
49.53
52.88
12.90
31.53
35.97
7.86

1Excludes office workers and minors.

A practice of granting Christmas or year-end bonuses was indicated
by 18 of the 23 firms. Several employers also reported the payment
of bonuses on a quarterly or twice-a-year basis. A formal policy of
granting paid vacations to eligible employees was found in 20 of the
23 establishments. The most common practice, reported by 12 em­
ployers, provided for a 2-week vacation with pay for all employees
who had completed a year of service. Eight employers provided a
1-week vacation to employees with a year of service, with an increase,
in the case of three of these firms to 2 weeks for those who had 2 years
or more of service. Formal plans for granting paid sick leave were
reported by six firms. Unionization was found to be less extensive in
this trade group than in most of the industries studied.
RETAIL FOOD STORES

Retail merchandising of food in Hawaii, to an even greater extent
than on the mainland, is carried on by small enterprises. Although
a few local grocery concerns operate two or more stores, and a main­
land grocery chain has established units in Hawaii, the vast majority
of the food stores are operated as single units. In addition to a con­
siderable number of owner-operated or family-operated stores, there
were estimated to be about 500 food stores in the Territory in 1947
in which one or more workers were employed. This group included
grocery stores, meat and sea-food markets, fruit and vegetable mar­
kets, small retail bake shops, and stores that combined several of
these food fines. More than four-fifths of the food-store operators
in the group employed less than five workers in 1947. Out of a
total estimated employment of 1,600 persons in these 500 stores,
nearly 1,000 workers were on the pay rolls of food-store operators
that employed 5 or more workers.
The study of hours and earnings of workers in retail food stores is
based on data collected from 30 establishments. The sample chosen




154

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

for this survey represented one-third of the food stores employing
five or more workers, smaller stores being omitted. Twenty-four of
the thirty stores visited were in Honolulu which reflects tne heavy
concentration of population in that city. Data were obtained from
each firm for a representative pay period in March 1947. Although
minors and office workers were included in the study these groups
have been omitted from the tables and data for them are presented
separately.
The study revealed that workers employed on a full-time basis
averaged 93 cents an hour, exclusive of overtime pay, in March 1947.
As indicated in table 69, men averaged $1.06 an hour and women
averaged 70 cents an hour on a straight-time basis. Although women
were employed in nearly all of the establishments, they accounted
for only three-eighths of the total employment in these stores. Women
were generally employed as cashiers, cashier-sales clerks, and as general
grocery clerks. In stores that provided fountain service, women were
also employed as fountain attendants.4 While men also were em­
ployed as sales clerks, the numerical superiority of men in the industry
is attributable to the fact that, with few exceptions, butchers, delivery
men (truck drivers), stock clerks, warehousemen, and janitors were
men. The higher-average earnings of men were also due, in great
part, to their greater employment in the higher-paid jobs.
Part-time workers accounted for 9 percent of the adult work
force in the group of stores studied. Men part-time workers averaged
73 cents an hour and women workers employed on this basis averaged
64 cents an hour. Most of the men as well as women part-time
workers were employed as sales clerks.
T a b l e 69.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in retail food stores in the Terri­
tory of H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings 2 and sex , M arch 1947
All
workers

Average hourly earnings8

_ _
. ...

0.5
1.6
2.1
7.9
5.8
4 .7
3.2
6.8
5.3
6.3
5.3
7.4
1.6
4.7
6.3
6.3
8.3
3.2
5.3
2.1
1.6
3.7

4.4
5.3
13.1
7.9
15.8
21.8
13.1
4.4
7.9
1.8
1.8
.9
.9

_________ _____________________

100.0

100.0

10 0.0

.
______ ______ _____
_____________________ _____

304
$0.93

190
$1.06

114
$0.70

_ ___ _ _. _
_ _
. ___ _

____

85.0 to 89.9 cents____________________________________________

90.0 to 94.9 cents.................... .......... ................... __ ..........................................
95.0 to 99.9 c e n ts
_
. . . . . .
..
100.0 to 104.9 cen ts
_ _
..........
.. . .
105.0 to 109.9 c e n ts . . _ _
. . . _____________ _ _____ . _
110.0 to 114.9 cen ts
115.0 to 119.9 c e n ts
120.0 to 124.9 c e n t s ___
125.0 t o 129.9 cen ts
180.0 to 134.9 c e n t s _____
.........
_
135.0 to 139.9 cen ts
140.0 to 149.9 c e n ts ________
_ ____ _
____
150.0 to 159.9 c e n ts
160.0 to 169.9 cents........ ................. ............ ...................................................
170.0 cen ts an d o v e r ________
_ _
....... .... .
____
T o ta l . _ _______

___

T o ta l n u m b e r o f w o rk ers . ____
A v era g e h o u r ly ea rn in g s 2. _

Women

2.0
2.0
5.9
4.3
10.9
11.9
7.9
3.6
7.2
3.9
4.6
3.6
4.9
1 .0
3.0
3.9
3.9
5.3
2 .0
3.3
1.3
1 .0
2.6

45.0 to 49.9 cents____________________________________________
50,0 to 54,9 c e n ts
.
55,0 to 59,9 ca n ts _ _ _
_ _
60.0 to 64.9 cents___________________________ _____ ____________
65.0 to 69.9 cents_______________ _______ ___________ _____________
70.0 to 74.9 cent-s _
75.0 to 79.9 c e n ts
_ _
80.0 to 84.9 c e n ts _ . _

Men

1Excludes office workers,for overtime and night workers.
*Excludes premium pay minors, and part-time work.

.9

* Most of the food stores in Hawaii also sell nonfood items; 15 of the stores visited sold liquor. Drugs, dry
>ods, general merchandise, hardware, flowers, gifts, and curios were sold by one or more of the stores,
sveral stores also provided delicatessen and soda-fountain service.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

155

An examination of the racial composition of the work force in this

stores revealed that Chinese
40 percent,
Jroup of 32 percent, and Caucasians 19 men comprisedmen workers.
apanese
percent of all

Among women workers, 64 percent were Japanese, 21 percent were
Caucasians, and only 10 percent were Chinese. A small number of
Hawaiians, Filipinos, and Koreans were also employed in these stores.
A normal work week of 48 hours was reported by 25 of the 30
stores, while 3 of the largest stores indicated shorter hours and 2
small stores had scheduled hours in excess of 50 per week. Time
and one-half rates were paid for overtime by 16 employers, and the
remainder indicated a policy of limiting the hours to the normal
schedule. Eleven of the sixteen employers who paid the higher rates
for overtime work limited such payment to time worked in excess of
48 hours per week, two employers paid time and one-half for hours
worked over 40 hours per week, and three employers indicated a policy
of paying the overtime rate for all time worked in excess of 8 hours per
day or 40 hours a week. Although men, as a group, averaged fewer
hours of work per week than did women, they worked more hours at
time and one-half rates. As shown in table 70, men employed on a
full-time basis averaged 46.1 hours of work and their gross average
hourly earnings ($1.09) exceeded their straight-time average hourly
earnings by 3 cents an hour. Women full-time workers averaged 46.4
hours of work and averaged 71 cents an hour with overtime included,
as compared with a 70-cent straight-time average. Among part-time
workers, women averaged four more hours of work per week than did
men. Gross weekly earnings of $50.33 were averaged by full-time
men employees as compared with an average of $33.07 earned by
women who were scheduled to work the full week. Weekly earnings
of part-time workers, with men averaging $12.91 and women averag­
ing $13.82 a week, reflect the shorter hours worked by them, 17.7 and
21.7 per week, respectively, together with the fact that part-time
employment was generally limited to lower-paid work in the stores.
In addition to the 335 adult workers, a total of 32 minors were
employed in the group of stores visited; 17 of the 22 boys and 8 of the
10 girls were in the 16-17-age group, and the remainder were in the
14-15-age group. With a single exception, the minors were employed
on a part-time basis, generally as sales clerks. Boys, as a group,
averaged 49 cents an hour, 3 cents an hour more than the average
earnings of girls.
T able 70.— Average hourly earnings , average weekly hours , and average gross weekly
earnings of w orkers 1 in retail food stores in the T erritory of H a w a ii , by sex , M arch
1947
Sex
AH workers, total............................................
Full time...................................................
Part tim e-................................................
Men, total........................................................
Full time...................................................
Part time...................................................
Women, total..................................................
Full time...................................................
Part time...................................................
i Excludes minors and office workers.




Average Average Average Average
gross
Number of straightgross
weekly
weekly
workers time hourly hourly
hours
earnings
earnings earnings
$0.92
$41.02
$0.94
335
43.7
304
46.2
43.86
.95
.93
.69
.69
19.2
13.26
31
46.92
43.5
209
1.05
1.08
50.33
190
1.09
46.1
1.06
12.91
19
17.7
.73
.73
31.24
126
.71
44.0
.70
33.07
46.4
114
.70
.71
13.82
12
.64
.64
21.7

156

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Most of tlie workers in the industry are salaried, with monthly
rates more common than weekly rates. Part-time workers, both
adults and minors, were typically paid on an hourly-rate basis.
Christmas or year-end bonuses were paid to employees in threefourths of the stores visited. Although several firms granted bonuses
in 1946 amounting to 10 percent of the individual's annual earnings,
these additional payments, in most of the stores, took the form of
cash gifts of from $15 to $50.
Vacations with pay were less common in this industry than in most
of the other industries studied. In 19 of the 30 stores visited, em­
ployees did not receive vacations with pay. Eight firms indicated a
policy of providing a 1-week vacation with pay to employees who had
completed a year of service, with an increase, in the case of three of
these firms, to 2 weeks for those who had 2 years or more of service.
Three firms granted 2 weeks with pay to all eligible employees (em­
ployees with a year of service). Formal plans for granting paid sick
leave had been adopted by three of the largest firms, and several of
the others indicated that such protection from pay loss was granted
on a discretionary basis. None of the firms had written agreements
with labor unions at the time of the study.
EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS

Restaurants, cafeterias, lunchrooms, sandwich shops, and drinking
places, numbering approximately 1,000 in the Territory, provided em­
ployment to 6,000 wage earners at the end of 1946.5 A substantial
additional number are employed in hotel dining rooms, drug-store
lunch and fountain service, industrial cafeterias, private clubs, and
boarding houses. The large number of servicemen stationed in
Hawaii and the increasing volume of tourist traffic help make the
industry one of the most important in the Territory from the stand­
point of total employment. Most of the establishments are located
in Honolulu and typically employ only a few workers; nearly 50 per­
cent of them have four or fewer persons on the pay roll, according to
available estimates.
A survey covering 360 Honolulu 'eating and drinking places, con­
ducted in April 1946 by the Department of Labor and Industrial
Relations of the Territory of Hawaii, revealed that 1,669 of the 3,270
persons employed in these establishments received free meals during
working hours and an additional 121 employees received free board
and lodging. In addition, waiters, waitresses, and fountain attend­
ants, as a group accounting for over 40 percent of the labor force,
generally receive gratuities that supplement cash wages paid by the
employer. It should be recognized, therefore, that a measure of
cash wages understates the earnings position of workers in the in­
dustry. A distribution of employees by hourly cash wages received
in April 1946 showed that 71 percent of the employees were paid less
than $1 an hour, with nearly half (48 percent) grouped in the 50-cents
and under-80-cents-per-hour bracket. Cash wages paid to women
employees, accounting for 54 percent of total employment, were
generally lower than those for men employees. Although this was
due in great part to the fact that men were more commonly employed
in the higher-paid jobs (manager, chef, cook, bartender), there was
evidence to indicate that women received lower wages than did men1
1The estimates exclude owner- or family-operated establishments not employing help.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

157

in the same occupation. Cash wages received by waiters, for example,
averaged 83.4 cents per hour as compared with an average wage of
60.2 cents paid to waitresses. Both sexes are seldom employed in
this work in individual establishments, however, and the difference
in average cash wages may reflect the influence of such factors as type
and location of establishment, unionization, and opportunity to
receive gratuities.
Two-thirds of the employees in Honolulu eating and drinking
establishments had a scheduled workweek of 48 hours. Although
shorter hours were worked by a few workers in most of the restaurant
occupations, hours worked by bartenders, bar maids, and bouncers
were generally lower than those worked by employees in restaurant
kitchens and dining rooms.
Many of the larger establishments in the industry are currently
operating under terms of agreements with labor unions. While the
proportion of the industry operating under such agreements could not
be determined, the outcome of elections recently conducted by the
National Labor Relations Board would suggest that the number of
firms under contract has increased substantially since the end of the
war.6 Union representatives have estimated that wage rates con­
tained in 1947 contracts represent an average increase of 10-15
percent over cash rates specified in 1946 contracts. Current contracts
entered into by the Hotel and Restaurant Employees, International
Alliance and Bartenders International League of America, an A. F. of
L. affiliate, provide for overtime pay after 8 hours per day or 48 hours
per week, a 2 weeks’ vacation upon the completion of 1 year of service,
and paid sick leave up to a total of 12 working days per year for
employees with a record of continuous employment for 6 months.
AUTOMOTIVE SALES AND SERVICE

The various automotive industries of Hawaii (sales, repair services
and garages, and service stations) tend to employ similar types of
labor. Automotive sales agencies typically operate a service station
and repair garage in conjunction with the sales of new or used cars.
Few car salesmen are employed even in the largest sales establish­
ments; the major occupational groups on the pay roll are those needed
in the garage, service station, and parts and accessories departments.
Most of the service-station operators also sell auto parts and acces­
sories and provide general repair services on the premises. Similarly,
automotive garage firms, especially those engaged in general repair
work, commonly sell gas and oil and provide the types of services
generally associated with service stations. There are, of course,
many firms that specialize in a single activity. Among these are the
used-car lots, body-repair shops, and automotive welding shops.
However, in the key automotive occupations there is a ready trans­
ferability of skills from one type of establishment to another.
There were approximately 250 employers in the industry group in
1947. Filling-station operators accounted for nearly one-half and
retail automotive sales firms represented less than one-fifth of the
total employers (classified on the basis of their major activity). The
sales group, however, employed about 40 percent of the more than two
and a half thousand workers employed in the automotive industries.*
* During the period between July 1946 and February 1947 unions filed 24 petitions for representation with
the National Labor Relations Board and won elections in 12 cases.




158

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The study of hours and earnings of workers in the automotive sales
and service industries is based on data collected from 27 firms operat­
ing a total of 30 establishments.7 The survey coverage represented a
one-fourth sample of the total number of automotive firms employing
four or more workers. Establishments were selected to represent each
segment of the industry group as well as other important factors
bearing on wages. Each of the four major islands is represented in
the study. Although minors, part-time workers, office workers, and
auto salesmen were included in the study, covering the March-April
period of 1947, data for these groups have been omitted from the
tables. With the exception of office workers, grouped in a separate
section of the report (ch. 19), data for these employee groups are
presented separately.
The overlapping of activities, noted above, is indicated in the
following summary of the operations of the establishments visited*
Of the 30 establishments, 29 operated repair garages, 23 had servicestation facilities, 17 sold parts and accessories, and 15 sold new or
used cars. In addition, 11 of the 30 establishments were engaged in
one or a combination of the following: Auto-rental service; operation
of a parking lot; machine-shop work; general welding service; or
sales and service of farm implements. The tendency to provide a
combination of automotive services and to engage in other, nonautomotive activities was especially noticeable in the case of firms operat­
ing on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
Straight-time average hourly earnings of 523 workers employed on
a full-time basis amounted to $1.13 an hour at the time of the study.
Only 11 women were employed in other than office work and most of
this small group worked as parts clerks. As indicated in the per­
centage distribution of workers by average hourly earnings, presented
in table 71, rates paid to individual workers ranged from less than
60 cents to $1.80 or more an hour. One-twelfth of the workers earned
less than 70 cents an hour, nearly one-third earned less than 90 cents
an hour, and two-fifths of the work force earned less than $1 an hour.
The numerical importance of auto mechanics and skilled specialists
(painters, body-repair men, welders) in the work force is reflected in
the concentration of workers in the higher earnings brackets.
T a b l e 71.— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in automotive sales and service
establishm ents in the Territory of H aw aii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings ,2
M arch -A pril 191+7
Average hourly earnings2
_ _______
65.0 to 69.9 cents__________________
70.0to 74.9cents __ _______________
75.0 to 79.9 cents__________________
80.0 to 84.9 cents......................................
85.0 to 89.9 cents__________ _____ __
90.0 to 94.9 cents__________________
95.0 to 99.9 cents....................................100.0 to 104.9 cents_________________
105.0 to 109.9 cen ts
110.0 to 114.9 cents...................................
115.0 to 119.9 cents...................................

TTnder 60.0 cen ts
60.0 to 64.0 c en ts

All workers
2.9
2.3
3.1
3.1
5.5
7.1
9.0
4.4
3.1
9.8
3.4
5.5
3.1

Average hourly earnings2
120.0 to 124.9 cents..................................
125.0 to 129.9 cen ts
130.0 to 139.9 cents_________________
140.0 to 149.9 cents__ ______________
150.0 to 159.9 cents__ ______________
160.0 to 169.9 cents...................... ......... .
170.0 to 179.9 cents________ ________
180.0 cents and over________________
Total-............................................
Total number of workers........................
Average hourly earnings2......................

All workers
2.5
4.4
5.5
3.3
14.4
2.3
1.5
3.8
100.0
523
$1.13

1 Excludes minors, office workers, part-time workers, and auto salesmen.
2 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
11n the case of firms that operated on several islands, the operations on each island were classified as
separate establishments. However, where filling-stations operators, for example, operated at more than
one location within a community, all such operations were grouped and counted as a single establishment.



159

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Average hourly earnings of men workers in five selected occupations
are presented in table 72. First-class mechanics, accounting for onethird of the workers in these establishments, had the highest earnings,
averaging $1.42 an hour on a straight-time basis. The lowest occu­
pational earnings (84 cents an hour) were recorded for mechanics’
helpers. Service-station attendants, numerically the second most
important group, averaged 86 cents an hour, 10 cents an hour less than
the average earnings oi second-class mechanics and 22 cents an hour
less than the average wage of parts clerks. Individual earnings, how­
ever, varied widely within each of these job categories. Of the 139
first-class mechanics, for example, 10 earned less than $1 an hour, 58
fell into the $1 to $1.49 earnings group, 46 were paid $1.50 an hour,
and the remainder (25) earned more. Rates paid to service-station
attendants ranged from below 60 cents to as high as $1.50 an hour.
The highest rates were generally paid in the larger Honolulu establish­
ments. It is interesting to note that nearly 50 percent of the mechan­
ics employed on the less-populated islands were rated as second-class
mechanics by their employers, in contrast to a similar rating covering
only 10 percent of the mechanics employed in Honolulu. The com­
bined average for first-class and second-class mechanics amounted to
$1.49 an hour in Honolulu and 97 cents an hour on the islands other
than Oahu.
T a b l e 72.— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings 1 of men workers 2 in selected
occupations in autom otive sales and service establishm ents in the Territory of
H aw aii , M a rch -A p ril 1947
Occupation
Attendants, service station__________________________________________
Mechanics, first class________________________________________________
Mechanics, second class_____________________________________________
Mechanics’ helpers____ ______________ ______________________________
Parts clerks________________________________________ _______________

Number of
workers
85
139
38
45
22

Average
hourly
earnings1
$0.86
1.42
.96
.84
1.08

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
2 Excludes minors and part-time workers.

Although half of the establishments were engaged in selling auto­
motive equipment, auto salesmen were employed in only seven of these
establishments. Employed on a straight-salary basis, the 29 auto
salesmen averaged $1.79 an hour.
A total of 37 men were employed on a part-time basis in 11 of the
establishments visited. Part-time workers were employed as servicestation attendants and, in a few instances, as mechanics’ helpers. The
average hourly earnings for the group amounted to 82 cents an hour, a
few cents less than the average rates paid in these occupations to
full-time workers.
Minors were employed in 10 establishments, but represented only
4 percent of the total employment in all of the establishments included
in the study. Nearly all of the minors were employed as servicestation attendants or mechanics’ helpers. The group of boys, includ­
ing 24 in the 16-17 age g;roup and 1 younger boy, averaged 73 cents
an hour. They were paid lower rates than those received by adult
workers (either pact time or full time) employed in similar work.
Nearly two-thirds of the workers in the automotive industries
were Japanese. Caucasians comprised one-fifth of the work force



160

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

and most of the remainder of the workers were Chinese, Filipinos, or
Hawaiians.
Most of the workers included in the study were paid on an hourly
rate basis. Although the entire staff in a few of the smaller shops
was salaried, this method of payment was generally limited to key
workers, such as working foreman, in most of the establishments.
Incentive systems, whereby workers engaged in repair work receive a
percentage of the labor charge on each job, are much less common in
Hawaii than on the mainland. Commissions on sales were paid by
several firms, but the total number of workers receiving such pay­
ments was very small. While a few firms paid their hourly rated
workers once a week, most of the hourly rated as well as salaried
workers in the study were paid semimonthly.
A normal workweek of 48 hours was reported in 14 of the 30 estab­
lishments, the scheduled weekly hours in 10 establishments were 40,
and the remainder reported hours over 40 but less than 48 hours per
week. Overtime was paid for at time and one-half rates, with the
most common practice providiog for the payment of overtime rates
for all work in excess of 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. A sub­
stantial majority of the workers, however, were employed in establish­
ments in which overtime rates were paid for all work in excess of 40
hours per week. With the exception of the smaller firms, employers
also paid the overtime rates for all work performed on legal holidays
and, in some cases, for all work performed on Sundays. The 523
adult, full-time workers included in the study averaged 41.4 hours of
work per week and their gross average hourly earnings (including
overtime pay) amounted to $1.15 an hour. As indicated earlier, the
average hourly earnings for the group amounted to $1.13 an hour on
a straight-time basis. Gross weekly earnings averaged $47.76 for
the same group.
A practice of granting Christmas or .year-end bonuses or gift pay­
ments was found in two-thirds of the establishments visited. Exami­
nation of data on payments made in 1946 would indicate that most
of the individual payments fell into the $25-$ 100 range, with employees
with the longest periods of service receiving more than $100 in many
of the establishments.
\ Vacations with pay were granted to eligible employees in all except
six of the establishments. In 16 establishments a 1-week vacation
with pay was granted to employees who had completed a year of serv­
ice, with an increase, in the case of 11 of the establishments, to 2 weeks
for those who had two or more years of service. Employees with a
year of service were granted 2 weeks' vacation in eight establishments.
With minor exceptions the vacation provisions applied to workers in
office and nonoffice jobs alike. Formal plans for granting paid sick
leave had been adopted in six of the largest establishments. At the
time of the study only four of the establishments were operating under
Therms of written agreements with labor unions. Policies governing
payment of overtime rates, vacations with pay, and protection from
pay loss due to injury or illness were, on the whole, more liberal in
union establishments than in nonunion establishments.




CHAPTER 18. SERVICE INDUSTRIES
LAUNDRIES AND DRY CLEANERS

Because of the continuous summer weather and the presence of a
large number of tourists and officers in the armed services, laundry
and dry-cleaning establishments constitute an important service in­
dustry in Hawaii. The 70 or more employers in these industries
employed approximately 1,300 workers at the beginning of 1947.
This estimate includes power laundries, dry-cleaning establishments,
combination laundries and dry cleaners, and hand laundries. Owneroperated and family-operated shops in which no outside workers are
employed are not included in the establishment count. Nearly twothirds of the total employment was found to be concentrated in the
five largest establishments, each employing 100 or more workers.
Nearly all of the remainder of the workers were on the pay rolls of
fewer than 30 concerns that employed between 4 and 100 workers.
More than 90 percent of the laundry and dry-cleaning workers are
employed in Honolulu and nearby areas.
Hours and earnings data relating to a representative pay period in
March and April 1947 were obtained from 15 laundry and dry-clean­
ing establishments in the Territory. The establishments visited were
selected to represent each segment of the industry group and accounted
for 50 percent of the total employment in these fields. Both laundry
and dry-cleaning operations were carried on in five of the establish­
ments visited. It has been possible, however, to maintain a division
of laundry and dry-cleaning workers in the presentation of data.
Group averages and distribution of workers by straight-time aver­
age hourly earnings are presented for men and women laundry and drycleaning workers in table 73. The survey revealed that the 611 em­
ployees in the 15 establishments averaged 76 cents an hour as a group.1
Men laundry workers earned 93 cents an hour as compared with
average earnings of 97 cents recorded for men working in dry-cleaning
departments of laundries and in dry-cleaning plants. On the other
hand, women engaged in dry-cleaning work averaged only 1 cent more
than women laundry workers; the average hourly earnings for these
groups were 71 and 70 cents, respectively. As indicated in the table,
individual rates in each type of work and sex group ranged from under
60 cents to $1.20 or more an hour. Nearly half of the women (48.2
percent in laundries and 48.6 percent in dry-cleaning operations)
earned less than 70 cents an hour, and most of the remainder fell
into the next 15-cent earnings class, 70 and under 85 cents. Com­
paratively few men were found to be earning less than 70 cents an
hour. Much of the work performed by men in dry-cleaning plants
requires greater skill than is generally associated with laundry jobs,
which explains, in part, the greater concentration of men in the higher
earnings classes inJhe dry-cleaning division of the industry.
1 Employee groups omitted from the data presented in the tables included 13 minors (5 boys, 8 girls) 3
adult workers employed on a part-time basis, 50 drivers and driver-salesmen, and 50 office workers. Eamngs data for driver-salesmen are presented separately and those for office workers were included in another
section of this report relating to office workers in Hawaii (ch. 19).




161

162

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

73

T a b l e .— Percentage distribution of workers 1 in laundries and dry-cleaning plants
in the T erritory of H a w a ii by straight-tim e average hourly earnings and sex,
M arch— p ril 1947
A

,2

All establishments
Average hourly earnings 2
Under 45 cents______________
45 to 49.9 cents______________
50 to 54.9 cents............................
55 to 59.9 cents.............................
60 to 64.9 cents............................
65 to 69.9 cents.............................
70 to 74.9 cents.............................
75 to 79.9 cents.............................
80 to.84.9 cents.............................
85 to 89.9 cents.............................
90 to 94.9 cents.............................
95 to 99.9 cents.............................
100 to 109.9 cents..........................
110 to 119.9 cents..........................
120 to 129.9 cents.—....................
130 cents and over.......................
Total...................................
Total number of workers...........
Average hourly earnings2..........

All
workers
1.1
4.3
1.1
5.1
15.1
13.7
16.4
10.6
10.0
4.6
4.9
2.8
4.1
2.6
1.3
2.3
100.0
6lT
$0.76

Men
3.1
1.5
3.8
3.1
7.7
4.6
11.6
9.2
9.2
10.0
13.9
6.9
5.4
10.0
100.0
130
$0.95

Laundry operations

Women
1.5
4.6
1.5
6.0
18.1
16.6
18.6
12.3
9.6
3.3
3.7
.8
1.5
1.5
.2
.2
100.0
481~
$0.70

Men

Women

5.8
1.4
1.4
1.4
8.7
4.3
14.6
14.6
11.6
8.7
10.1
2.9
2.9
11.6
100.0
69~
$0.93

1.9
4.1
2.2
5.6
18.8
15.6
20.6
12.5
7.8
4.1
3.4
.6
.6
1.9
.3
100.0
320~
$0.70

Dry-cleaning
operations
Men

1.6
6.6
4.9
6.6
4.9
8.2
3.3
6.6
11.5
17.9
11.5
8.2
8.2
100.0
61~
$0.97

Women
0.6
5.6
6.8
16.9
18.7
14.9
11.8
13.0
1.9
4.3
1.2
3.1
.6
.6
100.0
161
$0.71

i Excludes office workers, minors, part-time workers, and driver-salesmen.
* Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

Women greatly outnumbered men in dry-cleaning plants as well as
in laundries. Of the adult plant workers studied, 82 percent of the
laundry workers and 73 percent of the dry-cleaning workers were
women. The number of workers employed in each occupation,
together with occupational average hourly earnings, are presented for
the two industry divisions in table 74. Among the selected occupa­
tions, occupational averages for men ranged from 93 cents an hour for
washers (hand or machine) in laundries to $1.14 an hour for spotters
in dry-cleaning work. With the exception of working foreladies in
laundries, who averaged $1.04 an hour, occupational averages for
women ranged from 60 cents for mangle workers to 77 cents for markers,
both job categories being found in laundry work. Earnings of
workers employed in the occupations shown in the table varied from
plant to plant. In the numerically most important job held by
women—viz, hand ironer in laundries—earnings of individual workers
ranged from 55 cents to over $1 an hour. Interplant differences in
method of wage payment were found to be a major factor in causing
the spread in rates in individual occupations. Piecework systems of
payment were common in the industry; approximately one-third of
the women in laundry work as well as dry-cleaning work were employed
on this basis. The jobs in which one-third or more of the women
workers were paid piece rates were checkers, laundry; hand ironers,
laundry; markers, laundry; and pressers in both laundry and drycleaning. With the exception of pressers in dry-cleaning work, few
men in either laundries or dry-cleaning were employed on a piecework
basis.




163

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

74.

1

2

T able
— Straight-tim e average hourly earnings in selected occupation s in
laundries and dry-cleaning plants in the Territory of H aw aii M arch— p ril
A
1947
Occupation and sex

Number Average
of
hourly
workers earnings1

LAUNDRY

Men:
Pressers..............................
Washers, hand or machine.
Women:
Checkers.............................
Counter clerks___ _____
Foremen______________
Ironers, hand__________
Mangle workers________
Markers..............................
Pressers..............................
Seamstresses. .....................

Occupation and sex

,

Number Average
of
hourly
workers earnings 1

DRY-CLEANING

7
16
47
18
7
80
29
34
60
7

$0.94
.93
.69
.72
1.04
.72
.60
.77
.66
.69

Men:
D ry cleaners
Pressers...............................
Spotters..............................
Women:
Checkers............................
Counter clerks..................
Ironers, hand__________
Seam stresses

9
14
10
14
11
12
7

$0.99
1.02
1.14
.70
.71
.66
.70

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
2 Excludes minors and part-time workers.

The salary method of payment was limited to a few key workers
with special skills, driver-salesmen, and clerical workers. Pay periods
varied in length within the group studied, five firms paying every 2
weeks, three firms each week, five firms once a month, and the remain­
ing two firms twice a month. The longest pay periods were found in
the establishments outside of Honolulu. Although a 48-hour work­
week was the general rule in the smaller establishments, the larger
companies reported their hours as either 44 or 45 per week. Over­
time work was paid for at one and one-half the regular rates by all
except two of the smaller concerns whose officials indicated that
straight time was paid for all hours worked. While eight firms indi­
cated that overtime rates applied only to hours worked in excess of
48 per week, nearly three-fourths of the workers included in the study
were employed in establishments in which the overtime rate was paid
for all time worked over 8 hours in 1 day or 40 hours per week. Time
and one-half rates were paid for all work on holidays for most of the
employees.
Average hourly earnings (straight-time and gross), average hours
worked per week, and average gross weekly earnings are presented in
table 75. Overtime pay raised the average for all workers combined
by 3 cents an hour. Men, with an average of 46.3 hours per week,
worked nearly 5 hours more than women, with an average of 41.5
hours. Average gross weekly earnings amounted to $45.88 for men
and $30.22 for women workers. Driver-salesmen, omitted from the
groups for which hourly earnings data are shown, averaged $80.73
per week. Nearly all of the 50 workers in this job category were em­
ployed on a commission basis with a guaranteed minimum salary
provided.




164

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

75
,

,

T a b l e .— Average hourly earningsy average weekly hours and average gross weekly
earnings of workers 1 in laundries and dry-cleaning plants in the T erritory of H aw aii
by sex M a rch -A p ril 1947
Sex
All estahli shmants, total _
_
Moo__ _
__
Women
Laundry operations, total______________
Mon. _ .
Women__________________________
Dry-olpianing operations, total
Men
. __ • ___ _
Women
. ___ __ _

Average Average
Number of straightgross
workers time hourly hourly
earnings earnings
611
130
481
389
69
320
222
61
161

$0.76
.95
.70
.74
.93
•70
.79
.97
.71

Average
weekly
hours

$0.79
.99
.73
.78
.98
.73
.81
1.00
.73

42.5
46.3
41.5
42.3
47.5
41.2
42.8
45.0
42.0

Average
gross
weekly
earnings
$33.55
45.88
30.22
32.85
46.60
29.89
34.76
45.06
30.86

i Excludes office workers, minors, part-time workers, and driver-salesmen.

Christmas and year-end bonuses were granted to their employees
by several of the smaller companies. Several of the larger firms re­
ported that such payments, made in previous years, had been dropped
in 1946. Two of the dry-cleaning concerns paid turn-out or attendance
bonuses, amounting to 5 cents an hour in the case of one firm and 10
cents an hour in the case of the other establishment. Workers were
eligible for the additional pay only if they worked the full week.2
Such payments were apparently more common during the war years,
as indicated by the fact that one of the largest firms in the industry
paid an attendance bonus until 1946, when the bonus, amounting to
5 cents an hour, was incorporated into the basic wage scale.
Vacations with pay were provided to the great majority of the work­
ers in the industry who had completed a year of service with their
employers, although six of the smallest firms visited indicated that
paid vacations were not granted to their workers. Applying to eligible
workers in plant and office alike, the minimum practice among firms
that had adopted a formal policy of granting paid vacations provided
1 week with pay to employees with a year of service. Two of the
largest establishments increased the leave to 2 weeks for those who
had 2 years or more of service. In four establishments, all workers
were eligible for 2 weeks of paid vacation leave after they had worked
a full year. While full pay for normal hours worked was the usual
rule in connection with vacation pay, several employers limited the
pay per week to 40 hours even though the scheduled or normal hours
exceeded that figure. Four firms, including the two firms in the
group that were operating under terms of written agreements with
labor unions, had adopted a formal policy of granting paid sick leave.
Because of the large number of workers employed in the union estab­
lishments, it is believed that more than half of the workers included
in the study are covered by the plans outlined by these four employers.
Nearly one-half of the women employed in the establishment^
visited were Japanese. Other racial groups that accounted indi­
vidually for 10 percent or more of the total number of women were
the Caucasians, Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians, and Filipinos. Forty *
* Attendance bonus earnings are included in the earnings data presented in the tables.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

165

percent of the men employees were Filipinos, and Japanese men ac­
counted for another 34 percent, with Caucasians and Hawaiians rank­
ing third and fourth, respectively, in the employee count.
BEAUTY PARLORS

Increasing numbers of young women in Hawaii are entering or
training for jobs in the field of beauty culture. This is indicated by
the current ratio of apprentices to licensed operators (approximately
1 to 3), the enrollment at a Honolulu beauty school, and by the
interest shown in licensing examinations held twice a year by the
Territorial board of examiners.3
A 1944 survey covering 20 Honolulu shops, each employing two or
more workers, revealed that 46 licensed operators, as a group, averaged
$1.02 per hour.4 The average earnings of 29 Japanese operators, the
largest racial group, amounted to 99 cents, in sharp contrast to average
earnings of $1.34 recorded for 13 Caucasian operators. Operators
employed in shops owned and operated by Japanese received an aver­
age wage of 88 cents as compared with $1.22 per hour average obtained
by similar workers in beauty parlors owned and operated by Cauca­
sians. Unlicensed operators, employed in 8 of the 20 shops surveyed,
averaged 83 cents per hour; apprentice operators averaged 37 cents
per hour in September 1944. Most of the operators (licensed and un­
licensed) were paid on the basis of a commission, ranging from 40 to
65 percent, on their individual gross receipts. Only 3 of the 15 shops
paying on a commission basis guaranteed the operators a weekly
salary. Paid vacations were granted by only two of the establish­
ments visited.
Revisits made in April 1947 to eight of the shops included in the
earlier study revealed that average hourly earnings of licensed opera­
tors had increased by approximately one-third since September 1944.
Most of the shops had changed from a 48-hour workweek to a 40 or
44 hour schedule since the earlier study. Average weekly earnings
had, therefore, increased only slightly. The higher hourly earnings
can be attributed, in great part, to higher prices charged in beauty
parlors during the later period.
DOMESTIC SERVICE

The number of domestic service workers employed in the Territory
declined by more than 50 percent between 1940 and 1946.5 During
the wartime manpower freeze, referrals for domestic service were
limited by the United States Employment Service to persons who had
no other type of job experience. This tended to reduce the number
of persons entering household employment during a period when
large numbers left domestic service to work in industries offering
higher wages. The stigma attached to domestic service and the
desire to be employed in war work were also significant factors in this
change. A comparison of job openings in private household service*
3 A Honolulu beauty school, established in 1940, had an enrollment of 90 students in April 1947. A great
majority of the students taking the 12 months’ course were said to be Japanese. An average of about 100
persons have taken recent examinations for a license.
* Study conducted in September 1944 by Bureau of Labor Statistics; tips or other gratuities were not
considered in arriving at average hourly earnings figures.
«The U. S. Employment Service estimated that 4,075 persons were employed in domestic service in
January 1946; Bureau of the Census, U. S. Department of Commerce, listed 8,520 domestic service workers
in 1940.

75798—48------------- 12




166

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

in 1947 with referrals made by the Territorial employment service
indicates that available positions are far in excess of the number of
applicants.6
Although wage data were not obtained from employers during the
course of the study, offered rates listed at the placement agency pro­
vide a measure of income in domestic service work in the Honolulu
area. Rates ranging from $60 to $140 per month, plus room and
board, were offered in March 1947 for housework that did not include
cooking. The most commonly offered rates were $75 and $80. Where
the duties included cooking, the prospective employers generally
offered $100 or $125, plus room and board. Lower monthly rates
were offered in cases where room and board were not included. Some
of the lower-rated positions involved part-time work or a 5-day work­
week. It was stated that applicants were generally not interested in
positions paying less than $100 per month and that qualified domestic
workers could command $150 per month, plus room and board, when
the job involved cooking duties. The generally standard rate for
cleaning women employed by the day was reported to be $1 per hour.
Many students and others in Honolulu were doing part-time do­
mestic work in return for room and board, the generally accepted
practice calling for 15 hours of work per week in exchange for three
meals a day and room. For hours worked in excess of 15 per week
the standard rate was 50 cents an hour, the rate in effect since 1944
when the rate was increased from 35 cents per hour.
The rate currently offered to yardmen was found to be $1 per hour
when employed on an hourly rate basis and about $125 per month,
plus room and board, for full-time employment. The hourly rate
represents an increase from a 50-to-60-cent level which was typical in
the Honolulu area during the early war years.
M OTION-PICTURE THEATERS

More than 1,100 persons in the Territory of Hawaii derive their
income, or supplement wages received on other jobs, from employ­
ment in the motion-picture industry. Three firms, operating a total
of 42 theaters on the 4 major islands and distributing films to smaller
operators, employ approximately two-thirds of this number. In
Honolulu and several of the larger island communities where theaters
have afternoon as well as evening shows, most of the employees are
engaged on a full-time basis. Plantation town theaters, however,
schedule evening shows only, and most of the employees have day­
time jobs in other industries.
A survey conducted in April 1946 by the Department of Labor and
Industrial Relations of the Territory of Hawaii revealed that 88
percent of the women theater employees in Honolulu earned less than
90 cents per hour whereas only slightly more than half (54 percent)
of the men received less than that figure, and a sizable group, amount­
ing to 27 percent, earned $1.50 or more. An explanation for this
discrepancy in earnings is to be found in the fact that nearly all of the
women were employed as ushers, cashiers, or stenographers, while jobs
requiring longer training (projectionist, manager, assistant manager,•
• The lack of interest in entering or continuing in domestic service work is reflected in a sharp membership
drop in domestic service worker clubs sponsored by the Young Women’s Christian Association in Honolulu.
Prior to the war three such clubs existed, each with a membership of about 35 girls and women; in April 1947
the YWCA listed only 6 girls in domestic employment.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

167

sound engineer, and maintenance-craft jobs) were held exclusively
by men. Only 200 of the 676 persons employed by the 9* firms
included in the Honolulu study were women.
Occupational average hourly earnings among the numerically more
important jobs ranged from a high of $2,164, earned by theater man­
agers (men), to a low of 66.3 cents averaged by men ushers. Women
ushers averaged 3 cents per hour more than did men employees in the
occupation and women cashiers averaged 88.3 cents per hour. An
unusually wide range of wage rates was reported in many of the
occupations. Projectionists (all men), for example, averaged $1,564
as a group, with rates paid to individual employees ranging from 40
cents to $2,019. Five-sixths of the employees in Honolulu had a
scheduled workwfeek of 40 hours in April 1946.
In April 1947 information relating to (1) general wage increases
granted in the intervening 12-month period, (2) unionization, and
(3) personnel policies was obtained from seven firms in the industry.
While general wage increases, averaging 10 percent, had been granted
by only three of the concerns visited, these firms employed a majority
of the workers in the industry. In addition to increasing base rates
by 10 percent, one of these firms had incorporated a yearly bonus of
1 month’s salary into the basic wage scale.
Three of the theater management firms operated under terms of
agreements with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Em­
ployees and Moving Picture Machine Operators, an A. F. of L.
affiliate. The contract coverage was limited to projectionists in the
case of two firms, but the third company reported an additional
contract covering film exchange workers.
Paid vacations were granted by most of the firms to employees
who had completed a year of service. Three firms provided 2 weeks’
vacation leave after the minimum period of service, one firm granted
1 week, and another granted 1 week after 1 year of service with an
increase to 2 weeks after 2 years of service. Several vacation plans
did not apply to part-time workers. A majority of the employees in
the industry were also paid for sick leave, the most common practice
providing for a total of 1 week with pay during each year for employees
with a year of service.




CHAPTER 19, OFFICE WORKERS
Industries that differ markedly in the types of skills needed in
staffing operating departments have many office occupations in com­
mon. Thus, while persons with manual skills acquired in one indus­
try may find little or no demand for such work knowledge in seeking
employment in other industries, office workers, trained in the opera­
tion of standard office machines or in a specialized activity such as
pay-roll accounting, are much less restricted in their employment
opportunities. Educational requirements established for office posi­
tions, including the more routine clerical jobs, are usually higher than
those to be met by applicants for jobs outside offices. With an
increasingly large proportion of employable persons in the Territory
educationally qualified for office work, the competition for available
office positions has become greater within recent years. A sharp
reduction in Federal employment in the Territory since the end of
the war has forced a comparatively large number of persons trained
in office work to seek jobs in private industry and has made it more
difficult for younger applicants, lacking work experience, to obtain
employment in this field.
One factor that has influenced many persons to seek employment in
the field of office work has been the salaried status of office employees.
Employers have tended to be more liberal in granting paid sick leave,
paid vacations, and year-end bonuses to salaried personnel than to the
hourly rated workers generally employed in operating departments.
Some of these advantages have been eliminated in recent years, how­
ever, since union agreements in many industries now provide for paid
vacations and paid sick leave for all employees covered by contract.
Although office workers are covered by union agreement in some estab­
lishments and industries, they are more typically excluded from the
bargaining unit.
Office workers were studied as a separate group in each of the indus­
tries covered in the survey.1 Officials, administrative and supervisory
personnel, and professional employees were, however, excluded from
the study. In order that a composite earnings structure could be
presented, data for each industry covered were weighted by total office
employment in the industry, exclusive of the very small establishments
omitted from the study.
The ratio of office workers to total employment varied greatly
among the industries studied. Although total employment in whole­
sale trade establishments is considerably lower than employment in
the plantation industries (sugar, pineapple) or building construction,
the office worker force greatly exceeded that employed in these other
industries. Other major industries in which a higher than average
proportion of total employment is engaged in office work are public
utilities and retail general merchandise.
1

A listing of these industries is provided in a footnote to table 77.

168




169

THE ECONOMY OP HAWAII IN 1947

Women outnumbered men in office positions in most of the concerns
included in the study except in stevedoring, sugar, and pineapple
canning industries. The highest ratio of women to men (8 to 1) was
found in offices in the retail general merchandise industry.
Japanese outnumber all other racial groups combined in office
positions in the Territory. As indicated in table 76, 51 percent of the
men employees and 58 percent of the women office employees were
Japanese.
T able

76.— Percentage distribution of officeebworkers inril 1947erritory of H aw aii by
the T
racial origin and sex, F ru a ry-A p
Percentage of office force in
industries studied

Racial group
Japan asa

Cannasians
OhinASA

_

_

...

All em­
ployees

. _ ____ __ _ _
...........
_

_ ...... _ _ _

^

Hawaiians and part Hawaiians................................................................

Filipinns ___ _____ . . ____ _____
All nth firs
_
_
Total ,
__ _

_ . . __ ___

,... .

55
23
12
5
3
2
100

Men
51
18
18
4
7
2
100

Women
58
27
8
5
1
1
100

The only major industry in which the Japanese did not hold a
dominant position in office work was the public-utility group, in which
Chinese were most numerous among men employees and Caucasians
were the largest racial group among women office workers.
Hourly earnings of office employees in the covered industries aver­
aged $1.21 per hour in the early part of 1947. (See t ible 77.) Men,
as a group, averaged $1.40 per hour, or nearly a third more than the
average wage of $1.06 earned by women employees. Further, only
1.7 percent of the men, as compared with 10.1 percent of the women,
earned less than 75 cents an hour, while more than one third of the
former earned $1.50 or more per hour, in sharp contrast to the 7.4 per­
cent of women workers who fell in this upper bracket.
Although the rate structure differed from industry to industry, the
comparative position held by women employees was about the same
in each. A partial explanation for this lies in the fact that women are
employed primarily as clerk-typists, stenographers, and in the lower­
rated clerical positions, whereas a majority of the bookkeeping and
accounting positions are held by men. It was also found, however,
that average earnings of women workers were generally lower than
those obtained by men workers in the same occupations.




T able 77.—Percentage distribution of office workers in the Territory of Hawaii by straight-time average hourly earnings *— February-April 1947
Item

1 U A n ftQ Q o o r l i
lO0A* 1/ t1/U l1O U io b C rU h o -

1 0A A t n 1QQ Q n e m t s

200.0

cents and over......................................
Total......................................................

Men

5,000
$1 .21

2,251
$1.40

0 .8

0 .2

.5

.8
1 .0
1 .0
2 .0

.4
.1

.2
.2
.6
2 .2

3.9
4.6
5.9
6.4
5.5
11.4
11.5
9.0
8.4
7.0
4.5
4.0
3.6
2 .5
1 .5
4.2

1.7
3.4
3.6
3.5
9.1
9.2
9.9
11.4
8.5
6.9
7.1
6.4
4.7
2.4
8.3

1 0 0 .0

100.0

Women

Pine­ Public Whole­
apple utilities sale
trade
canning

Steve­
doring

645
$1.45

76
$1.62

2,749
$1.06
1.4
.6
1.5
1.7
1.7
3.2
5.2
6.9
7.9
8.7
7.2
13.2
13.4
8.3
5.9
5.9
2.5
1.5
1 .2
.7
.7

147
$1.62

.8

100 .0

202

$1.37

Sugar
572
$1.35

Retail
Pine­ Public Whole­
general
apple utilities sale Printing merchan­
canning
trade
dise
137
$1.27

11.5

4.0
3.0
3.0
9.8
13.8
10.9
1 2 .8
5.9
1 1 .8
5.0
5.0
5.0
3.0
5.0

0.5
2.3
.9
5.1
.5
2 .8
7.4
1 0 .2
15.8
1 0 .2
7.0
5.6
7.4
6.5
3.3
.5
14.0

100.0

1 0 0 .0

100 .0

2 .0

4.8
5.4
3.4
2 .0
8 .8
1 1.6

4.8
10.9

1 1.6
1 1.6
1 1.6

136
$0.98
5.9
1.5
2.9
1.5
4.4
1.5
5.9
1.5
13.2
2.9
4.4

.8
1 00 .0

1 00 .0

1 00 .0

0 .8

1 .0

1 .0

909
$1 .1 0
0.7
3.3
1.7
.3
2.3
4.6
4.0
7.6
9.1
7.3
8.5
16.4
9.1
7.3
8.3
5.0
.7
.7
.7
.7
1.7

246
$1.06

5.3
3.9
14.5

3.5
3.5
3.5
4.2
4.2
11.9
7.7
7.0
16.0
10.5
4.9
6.3
4.2
4.9
2 .8
4.9

100 .0

100 .0

1.3
9.2
9.2
6 .6
7.9
18.5
1 1 .8
1 1 .8

2 .2
2 .2

3.6
2.9
13.1
11.7
17.6
8 .8
8 .8
6 .6

.7
7.3
2.9
5.8
5.1
.7
100 .0

11.4
13.1
11.4
8 .1
8.9

1 2 .2
8 .1

5.7
5.7
4.9
2.4
1 .6
3.3
1 .6

2 0 .6
8 .8

16.2
2.9
5.9

525
$1 .0 0
1 .0
1 .0
1 .0
8 .6

9.4
6.7
15.1
12.3
20.9
9.5
8 .6
1.9
1 .0
1 .0

1 .0
1 .0
100.0

i Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.
. „
. , „ _
. .
. a
. , .. .
.
a In addition to the selected industries for which data are shown separately, the composite figures mclude office workers m the following industries: Apparel; automotive sales and
service; bakeries; building construction; custom tailors; laundries, cleaning and dyeing; pineapple plantations; retail food stores; and trucking.
.
a Estimated office worker employment in industry, exclusive of very small establishments; minimum size of establishment included in the study is mdicated m each industry report




THE ECONOMY OP HAWAII IN 1947

Total number of workers8........................—
Average hourly earnings 1............................
Rfl AnantQ
UllUtU UU«ULt/UW—
RDAtn Ri Qoonts
55 0 to 59 9 cents
60 0 to 64 9 cents
65 0 to 69 9 cents
70 0 to 74 ®cents
75 o to 79 0 cents
80 0 to 84 9 cents
85 0 to 89 9 cents
___ ____
90 0 to 94-9 cents
95 0 to 99 9 cents
___ ____
100.0 to 109.9 cents.......................................110.0 to 119.9 cents........................................
120.0 to 129.9 cents.......................................
130.0 to 139.9 cents..........................................
140.0 to 149.9 cents.........................................
1 RA A f n 1 f\Q Q
160 A tto 1169 9 cents
0
1*7A A 7 0 Q n a r t t a

Total

Women

Men

All industries *

CHAPTER 20. WOMEN IN INDUSTRY—HANDICRAFTS AND
HOME WORK
The economy of Hawaii provides much the range of employment for
women as is generally available in mainland communities—that is,
employment in various types of retail stores, in offices throughout the
Territory, in schools and libraries, in hotels and restaurants, in beauty
parlors, and similar occupations typically open to women. Wages,
hours, and working conditions in such employments have already been
discussed in the pertinent sections of this report.
In addition to these fields of work, however, there are some unique
Hawaiian handicrafts which provide employment for women. There
has long existed in Honolulu, Hilo, and to a limited extent in other
parts of Hawaii, a considerable amount of home work. Most of the
home work in Hawaii is not of the nature that is usually considered
industrial home work, however, and embodies features that are peculiar
to the Territory. Because of its highly diversified character and
because it tends to be organized along racial lines (often on the basis
of a family or a group of families), it has been impossible to establish
clear-cut employer-employee relationships or to obtain dependable
data on earnings. The fields in which such minor home-work in­
dustries have developed are (1) lauhala products, (2) dressmaking,
(3) photo studios, (4) curios, and (5) flower leis. Home workers are
paid on a piece-rate basis. Visits to a number of establishments
indicated that, with the important exception of strictly family enter­
prises, little child labor is involved.
Lauhala products 1
The weaving of lauhala is an old art in Hawaii. Before the war the
work was done in rural sections mostly by older women of Hawaiian
origin and often as a craft hobby. A variety of lauhala products
appear in curio stores, gift shops, and department stores. They can
also be obtained on order from the homes of the weavers, from weaving
establishments, and from welfare organizations that use lauhala
weaving as a basis for occupational therapy.
The war made a great difference to the lauhala industry. The
islands were suddenly filled with men with money to spend and a
desire to send typical island products home. The demand rapidly
outstripped the simple home-weaver industry. To prevent profiteer­
ing, OPA set wholesale and retail prices for lauhala. These rates were
higher than those paid before the war and attracted many new weavers
into commercial weaving. The need for marketing the products of
home weavers has developed a unique middleman system. Local
merchants and truckers buy the finished lauhala products from weav­
ers in the isolated areas (the Kona section on the island of Hawaii
and certain areas on Maui and Molokai being the main centers).
Sometimes they supply the lauhala as green leaves and the weaveri
i Lauhala is the leaf of the hala (Pandanus) plant, which is cured and slit to provide the long, thin, pliable
strips that are woven into lauhala products.



171

172

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

cures and prepares it. In other areas the weavers secure their own
materials. Children are commonly used in piocessing the green lauhala
and stripping it but not in weaving because beginners’ products are
not salable.
The largest single product is women’s purses known to the whole­
saler as shells, which are produced in many shapes and sizes. These
are graded by the wholesaler and given out to other home workers
who line the purse, insert zippers, and otherwise finish the product.
Rates for these linings range from 10 cents to $1.25 a bag and the
liners rarely make the 40-cent-an-hour minimum wage. The finished
product is sold to retail stores in the Territory, to Army and Navy
stores, or is shipped for sale on the mainland. Because of the high
price and the great demand for lauhala purses during the war, produc­
tion tended to center on this product to the exclusion of others.
With the termination of the war the demand has fallen off, and
prices and wage rates have decreased slightly; products are now re­
fused when not of good quality and workmanship. The present trends
are thus toward better quality and a wider variety of products.
Lauhala floor mats, for example, are now generally available in
Hawaiian furniture stores.
Garment manufacturing
There has long been a fluctuating amount of home work in the
Hawaiian garment industry. This is primarily due to the demand
for aloha shirts, beach clothes, and other distinctively Hawaiian
garments.
The usual procedure is for the garments to be cut out in the central
shop and given to the home worker to be finished in their homes.
Some shops are giving out materials to be cut and finished by the
workers; others try to approximate mass-production methods by using
streamlined designs and materials so that home workers have to sew
only one part of the garment.
Wages, which are on a piece-rate basis, are determined by each
shop and show wide differences in rates and earnings of workers.2
The general trend, however, is toward garment manufacture in larger
shops by regularly employed workers, as previously discussed in this
report.
Sewing schools and dressmaking
Visitors to Hawaii are impressed by the crisp, fresh dresses of the
thousands of young working women in Honolulu and other parts of
the Territory. Even those from the lowest-grade housing areas are
neatly and attractively attired. The making of clothes for all mem­
bers of the family is a traditional part of a Japanese woman’s work and
learning to sew is an essential preparation for marriage. Sewing
schools in which girls pay tuition to learn dressmaking are common.
Prior to the war, these were often associated with commercial shops
or they directly serviced customers desiring hand-made dresses.
In 1939, a Territorial licensing law was adopted to be administered
by the department of public instruction. In 1942, the Territorial
wage-and-hour law required all such establishments not licensed by
the department of public instruction to be inspected by wage-hour
2 For example, one shop pays 65 cents for swimming trunks which take 30 to 35 minutes to make,
$1.25 for trousers taking 1 hour; another pays 55 cents each for aloha shirts which take |45 minutes to 1
hour to finish.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

173

inspectors. Shops which were not genuine schools according to the
standards set by the department of public instruction were required
to pay wages to enrollees. For this reason, a number of schools went
out of business before the war. The war caused a further decline,
because women found war work in which their sewing skills brought
them higher wages and because Japanese sewing schools, in which
only Japanese was spoken, were suspected as centers of espionage
and were closed for security reasons.
As of March 1947 there were 20 licensed sewing schools, enrolling
about 900 students (primarily Japanese). Licensed schools are estab­
lished on all of the islands. The department of public instruction
prescribes a minimum curriculum which includes general courses in
textiles, fashion, and drafting. Such schools show a range in tuition
from $20 to $30 a month, and provide both day and evening classes
(high school and employed girls often take evening lessons). Parttime students pay from $6 to $12 per month for their instruction.
Teachers said that a normal full-time student could make from 75 to
150 garments in a 10 months’ course. Most students do not advertise
for commercial work 3 as allowed under the regulations of the depart­
ment, but it was generally understood that they did undertake work
for friends as well as for members of their own families. Full-time
schooling is required to the age of 16 in Hawaii, hence most of the
girls in these schools were over 16, since sewing schools are not con­
sidered equivalent to regular schools. In none of the schools visited
were students living in the school, although students from other islands
were enrolled.4
Photo studios
Because of the tourist business and the remarkable scenic beauty
of Hawaii, photo studios for developing negatives and prints are of
more than average importance in the Territory, and tend to over­
shadow the usual personal photograph business.
The demands of servicemen durmg the war resulted m the establish­
ment of a large number of new shops and studios throughout the
Territory. Inspection of these establishments showed a substantial
amount of contract work performed by otherwise regularly employed
workers in their own homes after working hours. The work consists
primarily of retouching or tinting and is paid for on a piece-rate basis.
No records are kept of earnings in this work, and rates vary widely,
hence it is not possible to make any generalizations regarding earnings
and hours worked.5
Curio shops
A few of the curio shops use home workers for stringing shell neck­
laces and for other types of work on curios. Workers are paid by the
completed piece. Most of the shells come from other areas and are
made up in Hawaii. This type of work is decreasing because it is
less expensive to hire labor in Tahiti and Samoa to string shells before
shipment.

* One of the schools visited does take commercial work, and the supervisor stated that girls made about
half the going rate for dressmakers and would average $6 for a simple dress.
* There are several types of private vocational schools in the Territory which also are licensed by the
department of public instruction. These include 7 aviation schools, 2 beauty colleges, and 6 commercial
schools which enroll 1,387 students. In addition there is a technical school and a Hawaiian Institute of
Technology. They are more typically vocational in character than are the sewing schools.
5 Rates are set by the shops, often on the basis of a given payment for a given batch of work taken home
by the employee. One shop paid 80 cents for the tinting of a picture requiring 45 minutes; another paid 75
cents for tinting a picture requiring 30 minutes; still another paid 50 cents a head for retouching photographs
regardless of the time required.




174

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Flower leis
The making and vending of flower leis is one of the most colorful
of the local industries of Hawaii. A lei consists of the petals of
flowers strung in the form of a large necklace. Generally speaking,
only the petals of one type of flower are used for a given lei but a
great variety of flowers and leis are produced. The primary markets
are: (a) local markets throughout the Territory for permanent
residents who use leis on social occasions and holidays, (6) the tourist
market which tends to center in Waikiki, (c) the markets at airports
and steamer docks where leis are purchased for welcoming or bidding
farewell to visitors, and (d) an increasing export market on the main­
land based on air transport.
Leis are a highly perishable product and depreciate almost hourly
after they have been made. On the other hand, the market is highly
capricious. For these reasons, prices tend to fluctuate with the
variations in the daily supply and the even more marked changes in
demand; hence earnings are decidedly variable.
Because they are so perishable, the flowers for making leis are
often brought directly to the point at which they are sold and the
making and vending are thus carried on by the same persons. It is
not uncommon, however, for lei-making to be carried on as home
work, generally as a family enterprise. Children often help in the
making of leis, but no record of the employment of minors in this
field is available. Such work is usually based on advance orders and
tends to be sporadic.
Retailers range from high-priced, fashionable florist shops to curb
sales made by vendors. Some vendors are normally otherwise
employed and appear only on special occasions (such as ship arrivals
and holidays) to reap an extra profit. Prices range from as low as
50 cents to as high as $15-$20 for a good orchid lei. The typical lei
sells for $1 to $3.
Although this work offers only part-time employment on special
occasions to large numbers of street vendors, it does provide con­
tinuous employment to a limited number and is of sufficient impor­
tance to support some large flower farms.




P art V II

LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
THE RECENT EXPANSION OF LABOR
ORGANIZATION







CHAPTER 21. THE ORGANIZATION OF MANAGEMENT

No change in the economy of Hawaii during the war and postwar
period has been more fundamental than the basic shift in labormanagement relations.^ A review of the historic development and
the recent expansion in the organization of management and the
organization of labor is essential to an understanding of this change.
From the inception of the sugar industry until the establishment of
military government in December 1941, organized management held
a dominant position in the economy of the Territory.
Because many aspects of management control are not clear in
respect to degree or detail, there has been an inclination to exaggerate
the concentration of ownership. Less than half of the sugar land is
directly owned by the plantations; the remainder is leased from
Hawaiian and other individual estates and from the government of
the Territory.
The dominant position of the island companies has been somewhat
impaired by an infiltration of mainland concerns into the economy of
Hawaii, including: (1) large mainland packing companies which
control a significant share of Hawaiian pineapple plantations and
canneries, (2) low-price retail chain stores now established on all
islands, (3) branch offices for the conduct of general retail and mail­
order business on a large scale, and (4) the development of mainlandowned air transport facilities which weakens the dominant position
which the island management held over passenger transportation
between Honolulu and the mainland.
There is also a definite record of sharp differences of view and of
bitter struggles for control among various elements of the manage­
ment groups in Hawaii.
In spite of these facts, there remain many evidences of a highly
unified management control applying not only to specific industries
but to the financial and industrial structure of the Territory as a
whole. This centralization of economic authority is not primarily
a matter of the legal ownership of island enterprises but is due to an
integration of management organization and policies. It also is
inherent in the isolated character of the Hawaiian economy and in
the social and family relationships that have developed there over
time. An important aspect of unification and control is thus in
relationships which are not embodied in formal contracts or even in
formal business organizations.
It should be noted that corporations and firms control about twothirds of all taxable real property. Some of this consists of large
private estates under Hawaiian ownership, but such land is largely
under corporate management by virtue of long-term leases between
the plantations and the Hawaiian and other estates. It is thus clear
that in the actual control and use of properties, corporate manage­
ment holds the dominant position. In this respect Hawaii does not
differ from many mainland communities.



177

178

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The unusual aspects of economic control in the Territory are: (1)
the unification of management policy by virtue of a closely-knit
organization of Hawaiian industries in winch the sugar industry has
played the leading role; (2) the development of the agency system in
the hands of the five factors based on a complex series of corporate
and contractual relations with the sugar and pineapple industries, the
shipping and warehousing concerns, the wholesale and retail enter­
prises, the public utilities, the banks and insurance companies, the
hotels, the interisland air and water transport companies, and the
water and irrigation corporations; (3) the unusually large number of
interlocking directorates in Territorial corporations; (4) the compli­
cated system of land tenure which developed out of a primitive Ha­
waiian land system under a feudal king; and (5) the high degree of
intermarriage among influential families of the Territory because of
the relative isolation of Hawaii.
Because the sugar industry is the oldest, most powerful and most
highly unified in the Hawaiian economy, it is common to think of the
economic integration of the Territory exclusively in terms of sugar.
Centralization of control is not confined to the sugar industry; it ex­
tends to every aspect of the economic life of Hawaii. Well over half
of the pineapple industry is island-owned and is closely related to the
sugar industry through interlocking directorates, intra-family hold­
ings, and the agency system. The same may be said of concerns en­
gaged in trade, finance, transportation, manufacturing, warehousing,
and a great variety of minor activities.
Thus, the Territory of Hawaii possesses a strongly centralized
industrial structure, highly integrated in its broader aspects as well as
in its details, extending not only to the economic but even into the
social and political aspects of island life.
Because the five factors that organized the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’
Association not only control nearly all of the sugar industry but main­
tain corporate and contractual relations with numerous other island
enterprises, the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association has been the
most important center for the formulation of management policy.
With the rapid expansion of union organization immediately after
the war it became necessary for all important enterprises in the Terri­
tory to place greater emphasis on industrial relations. In recent years
there have thus been within Hawaiian enterprises a development and
marked expansion of industrial relations departments, often headed
by experts from the mainland. This trend rapidly culminated in the
organization of the Hawaii Employers Council early in 1944. In its
report of June 1947 the council states:

From an original nucleus of 24 firms, the council membership jumped to 173
at the first annual meeting; a year later it had grown to 218; at the third annual
meeting 231 businesses comprised the membership; today, the fourth annual
meeting finds 251 members throughout the Territory participating in council
activities. * * *
Council members now represent the bulk of Hawaii’s businesses of every type,
employing more than 65,000 wage earners. These members, meeting in a com­
mon forum, endeavor to determine the policies and practices which will be in the
best interests of all Hawaii. * * *
Prior to the organization of the council there were only 12 known labor agree­
ments in effect. Today there are 156 such agreements in effect, covering thousands
of workers in 116 separate business enterprises in Hawaii.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

179

As of June 1947 the council’s staff was participating in 80 collective
bargaining negotiations (28 on behalf of council members who were
negotiating their first agreements with unions and 52 on behalf of
council members who had previously had contracts in force).
The Hawaii Employers Council provides four types of services to
its members: (1) contract administration and negotiation; (2) tech­
nical advice and assistance on the details of personnel policies; (3)
research and analysis covering wages, hours, working and living con­
ditions, and other aspects of industrial relations; and (4) public
relations.




CHAPTER 22. THE ORGANIZATION OF LABOR

The fundamental change wrought by the war in the character of
labor-management relations was not apparent until the war ended.
The causes are to be found in forces which have long been developing
in the Territory. But the changes that occurred in less than 2 years
following the lifting of war restrictions would probably have been
spread over a decade had it not been for the effects of the war itself
which gave a powerful impetus to underlying tendencies.
Management policies in Hawaii, from the early beginnings of the
plantation period, tended to prevent the development of strong labor
organization in the Territory. In the period prior to annexation they
were highly restrictive and exploitative, but during the last 50 years
they have been increasingly paternalistic and conciliatory. The pine­
apple industry followed the lead of the sugar industry on labor policy.
The other enterprises in turn accepted the leadership of the sugar and
pineapple industries. In its simplest terms this policy was one of a
strong emphasis on employee welfare programs, the betterment of
working conditions, and a gradual increase in wages, combined with a
well-planned opposition to labor organization.
In this policy, the basic sugar and pineapple industries and most
of the other leading industries in Hawraii were remarkably successful:
(1) Both official and unofficial welfare agencies were firmly established
and, by cooperative arrangements and careful division of responsi­
bility, achieved excellent results. (2) Health conditions were raised
to very high levels in the face of unusually difficult health problems,
not only in urban areas but also on plantations. (3) Through the
perquisite system it was possible for the sugar and pineapple planta­
tions, the ranches, and even some of the public utility and service
industries, to adopt long-range programs for housing, recreation,
medical care, and other items looking toward the improvement of
working conditions. (4) Seasonality of employment was eliminated
wherever possible and special efforts were made to carry plantation
and other workers through slack periods by planning operations so
as to maintain as full employment as possible. (5) Wages were
gradually increased.
Higher wages and better living conditions were made possible by a
unified program for the development of sugar and pineapple produc­
tion, including (1) the adoption of mass-production methods through­
out the industry; and (2) the planned integration of all elements
entering into production including the purchase and processing of
fertilizers, the purchase and improvement of plantation equipment,
the building and extension of transportation systems, the construction
of water-supply and irrigation systems, and the coordination of the
shipping, processing and sales organizations for the marketing of
sugar and pinepples.
The depression of the early thirties did not affect Hawaii so deeply
as it affected the mainland, and the recovery from depression levels
was much more rapid. During the early thirties Hawaiian wages
180




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194?

fell less markedly, and during the remainder of th$ decade' they rose
mow* rapidly than did mainland wages.
*
By 1939 earnings of workers on Hawaiian plantations wtere higher
than average earnings of hfred farm workers on the mainland and the*
plantations provided a greater continuity of employment. Becayse
-of the importation of oriental labor in the earlier days, there is a
general impression that the Hawaiian plantation industries are based
on “cheap oriental labor” ; but long before the Second World War a
labor supply at rates of pay in oriental countries had ceased to exist
in Hawaii. Prior to the war, management organizations of Hawaii
had gradually raised standards of living and wages to levels that would
approximate those of the mainland in similar occupations. These
gradual improvements in wages and working conditions placed man*
agement in a strong position to restrain union organization.1
‘ In contrast with management, labor was decidedly weak and the
largest labor groups in Hawaii remained unorganized until 1944.
The position of the Territory in the Pacific resulted in a partial
isolation from the customs, attitudes, and influences which were
spreading freely through the 48 States. At the same time, Hawaii
was less isolated from oriental influences than was the self-sufficient;
mainland. Hence, the predominantly Asiatic labor force of Hawaii
was less accustomed to material comforts, and less capable’ of being
fused for a common purpose than were mainland American laborers.
Several decades passed before the effects of the American school
system in Hawaii became fully apparent as a unifying and democratiz­
ing force throughout all racial groups.
The historic policy of importing first one and then another racial
group resulted in barriers of language and custom and tended to
divide labor in the islands along racial lines. It also is true that many
smaller enterprises tended to develop along racial lines so that a given
Oriental store, barber shop or printing company came to be known as
a Japanese or Chinese or Filipino concern. In such cases the racial
ties between management- and labor within the enterprise cut directly
across the relations between laborers which form the basis of unioniza­
tion.
Such labor organizations as did exist were generally established
along racial lines. One of the largest str ikes which occurred in Hawaii
in the prewar period 2 was the sugar plantation strike of 1919-20
which was staged by two separate labor organizations (Japanese and
Filipino). The strike occurred on the six plantations on Oahu apd
involved large losses due to the interruption of harvesting and planting
schedules. It was estimated to have cost the plantations $12,000,000.
Japanese workers on the other islands refrained from striking in order
to provide financial support to the Japanese strikers on Oahu. It is
significant that the Filipinos returned to work on February 10, 1920,
whereas the Japanese did not return until the end of July, indicating
that union decisions were being made strictly along racial lines.
Plantation labor organization disintegrated immediately after this
strike.
“1 It would bo sin injustice to imply that the improvement in wages and the unusual development of wel­
fare programs throughout the Territory were solely for the purpose of preventing the organization of unions,
and no such implication is intended here.. Generally speaking, management officials (some of fhem direct
descendants of the old Neto England missionary families) have a strong sadist of social responsibility but
they were equally determined iu their opposition to unions.
* Although strikes had-occurred as early as the eighties and ninotiovthfty were spontaneous, very brief
(2 or X days), and were generally raoial in character. Such strikes were little mam than local demonstra­
tions and were not very effective.
75798—48------ 13



182

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The prewar weaknesses of Hawaiian labor may be summarized as
follows:
(1) Lack of labor-union experience on the part of the bulk of island
labor.
(2) Differences in race, language, and custom which resulted in
distrust, and even racial antagonism, among labor groups.
(3) Union leadership (frequently Caucasian) which was not indige­
nous, hence did not command the full confidence of the rank and file
of Hawaiian labor.
(4) Lack of adequate support for island unions on the part of the
parent unions on the mainland.
(5) A tradition of employer-employee relations along racial lines
(particularly in oriental concerns) which cut directly across the lines of
union organization.
(6) Discrimination within some unions (established in Hawaii by
Caucasian workers from the mainland) against workers of oriental
extraction which intensified economic stratification along racial lines.
These conditions were gradually changing prior to the war. Racial
differences were disappearing since island-born labor, rather than
imported alien labor, had become typical. In addition to their com­
mon cultural background in terms of American schooling, American
ideas of democracy, and the ties which developed from studying and
playing together, there was one aspect of the economic position of all
island-born labor which tended to draw them together. This was the
fact that Hawaii offered the only possible economic future for them.
Island-born citizens of oriental extraction were not welcomed when
they returned to the countries from which their parents had come nor
were economic conditions in Japan, Korea, China, and the Philippines
such that they could find occupational opportunities which were at
all comparable to those in Hawaii. The war heightened the barriers
that prevented a return to the Far East. On the other hand, the
mainland is an equally difficult place in which to find employment
because of the necessity of building up a considerable reserve in order
to get a start there and because of some antagonism to people of
oriental extraction (particularly in west-coast cities). Hence, the
occupational outlook of the average worker in Hawaii is strictly
confined to the island economy.
This being the case, no individual laborer wished to take any action
which would antagonize management. There was a general feeling
among laborers in Hawaii, prior to the war, that leadership in union
activity tended to mark them out as individuals and that, having in­
curred the displeasure of one enterprise, it became difficult to obtain
employment in any other enterprise.3 This intangible impediment to
labor organization was one of the most powerful influences in prevent­
ing the growth of labor unions. The feeling of resentment engendered
by this belief, however, was an equally powerful force tending toward
unionism as soon as labor organizations became sufficiently powerful
so that an individual laborer could enter into union activities without
feeling that he was jeopardizing his economic future.
Workers in nonplantation industry in Hawaii differ from those who
live on the plantations in position and outlook. They represent over
four-fifths of the total of the number of gainfully employed; they live*
* This does not imply a formal blacklisting procedure. The population of the whole of Hawaii is only
one-half million; island communities are small, and union activities are well publicized.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

183

primarily in Honolulu and a few smaller urban centers and their
work is scattered through a great variety of enterprises including can­
neries, public utilities, service industries, retail stores, and small
manufactures. This group includes a larger percentage of Caucasian
workers and skilled trades than does the group on the plantations.
Unionism in Honolulu is older than the Territory, but such small
labor organizations as did exist in the early days were made up of
Caucasian workers from the.mainland who brought their labor unions
with them. A charter was issued to Typographical Union No. 37 in
Honolulu on August 9, 1884, but it was not until 1910 that there were
enough unions to form a central labor council.
The large plantation strike of 1919-20 was accompanied by a wave
of small strikes in such enterprises as the Oahu Railway, the Mutual
Telephone Co., the Honolulu Construction & Draying Co., and the
Inter-Island Steamship Co. This led to an increasing interest in
unions and a stiffening of policy on the part of both unions and manage­
ment. Unions were still decidedly weak however.
In August 1935 three maritime unions (the Sailors' Union of the
Pacific, the Marine Cooks and Stewards, and the Marine Firemen and
Watertenders) sent agents to Honolulu to open hiring halls. These
unions worked under contracts with the shipowners for the first time
in the history of Honolulu. Since that time maritime unions have
been a focal point of labor organization and activity in the islands.
As a result of the maritime strike which began in October 1936, an
effort was made to organize longshoremen. A CIO charter was ap­
plied for and received.
On May 26, 1938, maritime unions centering in Hilo, including
longshoremen, warehousemen, clerks, and transport workers, pre­
sented demands to the Inter-Island Steamship Co. The outgrowth
was a strike which lasted until August 15, 1938. The strike grew in
intensity and the attempt to unload a steamship in Hilo on August 1
was the occasion for a mass demonstration, resulting in the injury of
some 50 persons.
Prewar unionism tended to center in functional groups such as the
metal trades council which included machinists, carpenters, boiler­
makers, molders, and plumbers; the allied printing trades council,
which included the typographical union, the pressmen, the engravers,
and the newspaper guild; and the maritime unions, which were divided
into two groups: (1) Cooks and stewards and firemen, who were
members of the west-coast unions without local charters; and (2)
other water-front unions such as the Interisland Boatmen's Union,
longshoremen, and the Honolulu Water Front Association, each of
which had a local charter. There were also a number of special
unions for musicians; hotel, restaurant, and bar caterers; barbers;
brewery workers; motion-picture operators; plasterers; butchers;
transportation workers; and the telegraphers and radio station per­
sonnel. At that time, such organizations were small and weak. Less
than 1 in 25 of the gainfully employed in Hawaii was unionized, but
the developments of the two decades prior to the war clearly indicated
a rising trend toward labor organization.




CHAPTER 23. THE POSTWAR GROWTH OF THE LABOR
UNIONS
The wartime labor policies of the military government were dis-,
cussed in the first section of this report. They were such as to bring
to a focus all of those forces tending toward labor organization which
had been rapidly accumulating prior to the war.
When wartime restrictions were lifted, the sudden release of forces
which had accumulated before the war, and of the resentments which
military government controls had engendered, resulted in a shift from
a relatively unorganized to a highly organized Hawaiian labor move­
ment which permeated every aspect of the economy of the Territory.
Although no petitions for union elections were filed with the Na­
tional Labor Relations Board in 1942 and only six were filed in 1943,
there were some sporadic increases in union membership in the Terri­
tory during those years by virtue of the large number of civilian em­
ployees with union affiliations who were recruited from the mainland
for military construction. Because of the confused conditions of war­
time employment, the rapid turn-over, and the frequent shifts from
one project to another, these imported mainland workers. were..never
fully integrated into local union organizations, but they had a signifi­
cant influence on the outlook of Hawaiian labor.
In June 1944 the National War Labor Board was established in
Hawaii; in August, the office of the military governor announced that
all labor disputes would be bandied by civilian officials and on
October 24, 1944; Executive Order 9489 of the President of the
United States terminated the martial-law status of the Territory;
These developments made possible a sharp upward trend in organizing
activity on the part of both CIO and A. F. of L. unions during that
year. The ILWU played a leading role and has since become by far
the most powerful union in the Territory.
In very few instances have employers in the Territory granted union
recognition without recourse to an election conducted by the National
Labor Relations Board. Therefore, the record of petitions for union
representation filed with the NLRB constitutes virtually a complete
record of the unions’ efforts to organize.
T able

78.— N um ber of representation petitions filed with the N ational Labor R elations
Board, Territory of H aw aii, 1988-47
Year

1938____________________ ______ _________ __________________
1939....._____________ _______________________ _______________
1940................................................................................ .................... ............
1941...................................................................... . •_.............................
19 42................................................ ..................................................
1943.............................. _____________ ______ ___________________..:
1944.................................................................................................................
1945.................................................................... .
1946____ _____________________________ __________ ______ ______
1947............................................... ......................................... .......................
1By date of the filing of the petition.
2 In addition, there were 2 recognitions without elections.

184




Number of
representation Number of
elections
petitions filed resulting in
with NLRB on union certifica­
which elections
tion i
were held
3
7
4
4
0
6
34
66
105
225

%
6
4
4
6
.6
34
61
95
18

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

185

In 1945 the Territorial legislature passed the Hawaii Employment
Relations Act, known in the Territory as the Little Wagner Act. This
provided machinery for obtaining recognition for those employees not
covered by the National Labor Relations Act.1 Six official elections
were held under this act in 1945; all of them resulted in union certifi­
cation. An additional 15 elections were held in 1946; 14 of them re­
sulted in union certification.
It is not generally possible to obtain accurate figures on union mem­
bership and in this respect Hawaii is no exception. The largest repre­
sentation of A. F. of L. members is in the building construction and
metal trades industries and the next largest in the teamsters unions
(including general teamsters, gasoline and oil drivers, and dairy
workers). The remainder of A. F. of L. membership is in the service
and trade industries.
The great bulk of the CIO membership is concentrated in the
'ILWU, with the remaining membership largely in the National Union
of Maritime Cooks and Stewards (including the culinary and service
workers), and the American Communications Association.
In the spring of 1944, the ILWU first began filing petitions for
representation in the sugar industry. The direction of election was
issued in January 1945 and the certification of representation was
issued on March 22, 1945. The ILWU won all elections with the
exception of an election for one sugar mill in which the A. F. of L. won
the majority. Certain plantation employees were ruled to be agri­
cultural laborers and not within the jurisdiction of the NLRB. A
cross-check was therefore made by mutual agreement between the
union and the sugar companies which resulted in recognition of the
union as the bargaining representative for these workers.1 Thus
2
both plantation and mill workers in the sugar industry were included
in the industrywide union contract.
In 1945 and 1946 NLRB elections were held throughout the pine­
apple canning industry and in each case the ILWU was certified
as the collective bargaining representative. Elections were held under
the Hawaii Employment Relations Act for the pineapple plantation
workers and the ILWU was also certified as representative for
these workers. Separate industry-wide contracts were negotiated
for cannery workers and for plantation workers.
Prior to the war there were relatively few jurisdictional disputes
between the A. F. of L. and CIO unions and until 1947 there was
little jurisdictional friction. Both unions organized in the same in­
dustries and even within the same companies, but matters of jurisdic­
tion were generally settled through established procedures provided
under the NLRB or through mutual consent.
Thus, between 1944 and 1947 the centers of economic power and
the pattern of labor-management relations in Hawaii were decidedly
altered. Prior to the war the unions were weaker than their member­
ship implied because of the effectiveness of management policies. By
1947 Hawaii was one of the most highly unionized areas in the United
States, and for two reasons the unions’ strength was even greater than
numbers would indicate: (1) The concentration of labor strength in
1Under Hawaii Employment Relations Act certain minor categories of employees were excluded, includ­
ing domestic service.
2 The Hawaii Employment Relations Act provides machinery for the determination of representation
of employees not covered by the National Labor Relations Act and the existence of this statute may account
in part for the willingness of the employers to grant recognition of plantation workers on the basis of a cross­
-check.
75798—48------ 14



186

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

the I. L. W. U., and (2) the extreme vulnerability of the island economy
of Hawaii to strikes.
The I. L. W. U. has organized a wide range of island industries, but
the strength of its position derives from its domination of labor in the
three most strategic economic activities in the Territory, (1) sugar
production, (2) pineapple production, and (3) ship transport and
stevedoring. Since the administrative organization of the I. L. W. U.
provides for a high degree of concentration of authority in the hands
of a very small group of labor leaders, it is possible to plan labor de­
mands and to coordinate strikes (or the threat of strikes) in such a
way as to enhance the pressure behind the demands of labor. This
was clearly illustrated in 1947 when the I. L. W. U. arranged its con­
tracts with the sugar industry, the pineapple industry, the shipping
companies, and a number of other industries so that wage negotiations
in all of these activities could be simultaneously reopened on February
1, 1948.
The economy of Hawaii is much more susceptible to an action of this
sort than that of a mainland community of similar size would be. The
extreme vulnerability of the island economy was clearly demonstrated
in the spring of 1947 when the I. L. W. U. threatened a shipping strike
in June. As early as April business firms began to cancel their advance
orders for merchandise from the mainland. This was due to the fact
that, during the strike in the autumn of 1946, merchandise delivered to
west coast docks for shipment to Hawaii rem lined there during
the strike while the purchasers were billed for the invoiced goods which
they could not sell. New business firms and small firms could not
afford to pay for merchandise not actually in physical inventory and
rather than run the risk of bankruptcy they canceled orders. This
later resulted in a loss of sales on such merchandise and created
shortages of various types of consumer goods 3 m the Territory.
As soon as the shipping strike was threatened in 1947, practically
all of the construction contracts that were in negotiation were post­
poned and even construction which was to start in April or May was
held up because neither the owner nor the contractor wished to
assume the risk of starting projects when there was no reasonable
assurance that the materials for completing them could be obtained.
These developments, in turn, affected employment and in a num­
ber of ways affected both wholesale and retail trade. It is significant
that the banks tightened credit throughout the Territory as soon as
the possibility of a strike in June became known.
In the end, the strike did not materialize, but the fact that even
the threat of such a strike was so serious that its effects reached
beyond shipping and stevedoring into financial, industrial, and trad- *

* The immediate effects of a shipping strike are especially feared because 65 percent of all food consumed in
the Territory is obtained from the mainland, hence every resident is directly affected. Strikes in the sugar
and pineapple industries reduce the flow of consumer goods to Hawaii in a way that is less immediately
apparent and is therefore less generally understood; yet their effects are more serious from a long-run point
of view. Hawaii produces only a very small fraction of the items which enter into the present consumption
pattern of the Territory. Sugar and pineapples constitute over 90 percent of all commodity exports and are
the primary industries on which the bulk of other Island enterprises must depend. Thus a strike which
seriously impairs production in either industry (such as the sugar strike in the autumn of 1946) results in a
decline in the power to purchase mainland commodities, accompanied by an eventual lowering of standards
of living throughout the Territory. The threat of a combined sugar, pineapple, and shipping strike is
therefore an extremely powerful weapon in the hands of Hawaiian labor leaders.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

187

ing enterprises throughout the Territory clearly indicates the unusual
power which labor unions can now exert in Hawaii.4
1 he left and right wings of the labor movement
The changes in the wage structure and the development of the
unions can be statistically measured, but the most fundamental
change in the economy of Hawaii during the past decade, the change
in the outlook and the attitudes of Hawaiian labor, cannot be reduced
to statistical terms. Labor in Hawaii exhibited a remarkable degree
of solidarity from 1944 to 1946 in the achievement of a high degree of
unionization. In no other section of the United States were the Na­
tional Labor Relations Board elections so unanimously in favor of
the unions nor the shift from a relatively unorganized to a highly
organized area achieved so rapidly. But no discussion of labor condi­
tions in Hawaii would be complete without some consideration of the
ideological issues which were gradually developing within the ranks of
labor and which marked the beginnings of a left and right wing within
the labor movement in Hawaii in 1947.
It was not surprising that a movement of such forcefulness, largely
under the leadership of unions from outside of Hawaii, should develop
reactions among the rank and file of Hawaiian labor. Throughout
1947, charges of Communist influence in labor unions were made not
only by civic organizations and government officials 5 but also within
the ranks of labor itself. A joint committee of the A. F. of L. unions
started a public campaign in the spring of 1947 against “the Com­
munist influence in the I. L. W. U. and other CIO unions.” The
intensity of this struggle rose steadily throughout 1947 and by the
end of the year had become a focal point of dissension. Following
the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, six petitions for decertification
were filed with the NLRB.6
If collective bargaining becomes confused with abstract ideological
arguments and racial prejudices (not characteristic of the islands in
the prewar years), labor-management relations may become so charged
with antagonisms as to cause break-downs in the Hawaiian economy.
The developments of 1947 pointed clearly to such dangers when ten­
sions rose to, such heights that practical considerations were swept
aside.7 A continuing emphasis by both sides upon a practical approach
to practical problems and a determined avoidance of ideological and
racial issues in dealing with problems of collective bargaining would
do much to prevent labor-management conflicts from reaching
dangerous emotional levels.*

* It should be noted that these widespread effects which harm labor as well as all other residents tend to
cause strong reactions which limit the use of the strike. That is, too frequent a use of this power tends to
weaken the union.
« On November 14,1947, the Governor of the Territory announced that there was definite evidence of a
disruptive and antigovernmental Communist program in the Territory and that it would be necessary
to undertake investigations pending governmental action to deal with the situation. The American
Legion, Department of Hawaii, took an active interest and proposed to support such an investigation.
On November 22, 1947, it was announced that the Territorial Delegate to Congress had written to the
Department of Justice urging the Attorney General to give full support to the American Legion’s request
for the investigation. These announcements intensified discussion in public meetings, in pamphlets,
and in newspapers which extended directly into the unions, thus widening the gap between the left and
right wings.
«It should be noted, however, that*agricultural workers who can apply for certification under the Little
Wagner Act (Territorial) have no channel through which they can apply for decertification. The Terri­
torial Department of Labor is not empowered to entertain such a petition and, since agricultural workers
are not included in the Taft-Hartley Act, the NLRB is in a similar position. Decertification elections
cannot be held during the period of a labor-management contract.
7 This was especially evident in the pineapple strike in the early part of July.




188

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947
SUMMARY

The period of rapid unionization in the Territory of Hawaii has dif­
fered from unionization on the mainland during the same period in
a number of important respects:
(1) Until 1944 Hawaii was one of the least organized areas in the
United States, but within 2 years it had become one of the most
highly organized areas.
(2) There was less effective opposition to union activity by em­
ployers (in comparison to prewar attempts at unionization in the
Territory).
(3) The organizing drive by the CIO was limited very largely to
activity by one union, the International Longshoremen’s and Ware­
housemen’s Union.
(4) Union activity was not limited to employees covered by the
National Labor Relations Act but was extended to agricultural labor
in both the sugar and the pineapple industries.
(5) The two major industries in the Territory, sugar and pineapple,
were unionized.
(6) The I. L. W. U.’s organizing efforts extended to industries not
employing longshoremen or warehousemen, i. e., to agriculture, manu­
facturing, trade, service, utility, and transportation industries.
(7) Complex racial issues played a significant role within the unions
and in labor-management relations.
(8) Both labor and management were strongly influenced by outside
(mainland) representation.8
In other respects the labor movement in Hawaii tended to parallel
unionism on the mainland. In common with many mainland unions,
communism became a central issue as between the left and right
wings of the labor movement in Hawaii in 1947.

8The Employers Council was largely staffed and led by industrial relations experts from the mainland.
Both the A. F. of L. and the CIO are under mainland-born labor officials and have frequently sent highr anking representatives from the mainland to the Territory in connection with major strikes or organiza­
tional drives. The U. S. Conciliation Service has also sent special mainland conciliators to Hawaii in
connection with major strikes.




P art VIII

LABOR LAW AND ITS ENFORCEMENT




189




CHAPTER 24. TERRITORIAL DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Before the Hawaiian Legislature created a Territorial department
of labor there were a number of local and Federal agencies engaged in
setting up and enforcing labor standards. The Production and Mar­
keting Administration,1 the National Labor Relations Board, and
the Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Division of the United
States Department of Labor continue to have a significant influence
on labor-management relations, and in the enforcement of minimum
wage regulations, overtime pay requirements, and child labor regu­
lations.
Because of the influence of Federal legislation and the close coopera­
tion between Federal and Territorial officials, and because of the
long-felt need for a unification of local fact-finding, policy-making,
and enforcement activities, the Territorial legislature created the
department of labor and industrial relations in 1939 (act 237 of the
Legislature of Hawaii). The department is under the general super­
vision of the commission of labor and industrial relations appointed
by the Governor of Hawaii, and contains four bureaus: (1) the bureau
of research and statistics, (2) the bureau of workmen’s compensation,
(3) the bureau of unemployment compensation, and (4) the bureau
of labor law enforcement, all of which are under the supervision of a
director of labor and industrial relations appointed by the commission.
Certain appellate functions relating to action taken by the director
and to a portion of workmen’s compensation decisions are vested in
a labor and industrial relations appeal board appointed by the
Governor.
The Bureau of Unemployment Compensation represents a consoli­
dation of the former activities of the unemployment compensation
board, excepting certain appelate functions, and the functions of the
United States Employment Service (which were returned to the
Territory by the USES on November 16, 1946).
The bureau of workmen’s compensation assumed all except certain
appelate functions of the industrial accident boards which had been
established in 1915. An apprenticeship council was established on
January 1, 1942, and a special wage and hour division of the bureau
of labor law enforcement began operations on March 1, 1942.
The functions of the department thus include: unemployment com­
pensation, workmen’s compensation, enforcement of labor laws, and
the maintenance of a bureau of research and statistics. Since its
inception the department has played an increasingly important role
in these fields.
Although mediation and conciliation functions are conferred upon
the department of labor and industrial relations by the act creating

1 The labor regulations of the Production and Marketing Administration (formerly the AAA) apply
only to agricultural labor in the production of sugar and are not mandatory. But the plantations cannot
receive “compliance payments” unless they observe the standards of the PM A in respect to minimum
wages, maximum hours, and child labor. Since the compliance payments are so large as to be necessary
for the continued operations of plantations, PMA regulations are, in fact, carefully observed.



191

192

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

the department, these functions as well as the regulation of collective
bargaining relationships are, by a later statute enacted in 1945, con­
ferred upon an independent employment relations board. This board
holds elections for choosing collective bargaining representation and
acts to nrevent unfair labor practices.
In April 1942 the Territorial wage and hour law became effective
and its enforcement became a responsibility of the department of
labor and industrial relations. At that time the law called for a
minimum wage of 25 cents per hour for workers on Oahu and 20 cents
on the outer islands, with a 48-hour week and time and a half for
overtime. In 1948 the hourly rates were raised to 30 cents on Oahu
and 25 cents on other islands. In 1945 the minimum was still further
increased to 40 cents an hour and applied to all islands alike. No
changes were made in hour or overtime regulations.
The department of labor and industrial relations has gradually
expanded its inspection program to enforce wage and hour laws.
Between July 1942 and June 1943, 853 establishments were inspected.
Of these, 57 percent were in violation of either wage or hour provisions,
and a total of $55,247.38 was paid to employees in restitution. In
1945-46, 900 establishments were inspected, and 261 or 29 percent
were found to be in violation; $39,982.48 was recovered in restitution.
Between July 1, 1946, and June 30,1947, there were 2,046 inspections
resulting in restitution to 1,254 employees of a total of $41,354.93 for
violation of minimum wage or overtime provisions or both.
Under the labor law of the Territory, the director of the department
may collect wages up to $200 for each individual employee under claims
filed with the department. In 1945-46, 94 wage claims were filed,
involving $7,059.97. In 1946-47, 170 claims involving $12,422.62
were handled.
According to the report of the Territorial department of labor, the
workmen’s compensation law covers approximately 190,000 workers in
the Territory. During the fiscal year July 1, 1946, to June 30, 1947,
$787,260 were paid as workmen’s compensation. A total of 7,491
firms are covered by workmen’s compensation insurance in the
Territory.
The report of the bureau of unemployment compensation for the
year ended June 30, 1947, reflects a serious increase in unemployment.
Job openings declined 65 percent during the year, whereas applicants
for employment doubled and veteran applications in the active file
increased nearly four times.
A total of 13,813 veterans were discharged during the year, and
3,609 (26.1 percent) filed claims for unemployment allowances. Pay­
ments to veterans under the GI bill of rights for readjustment allow­
ances during the year totaled $393,772 as compared with $34,795
for the previous year, ending June 30, 1946.
Payments for unemployment compensation throughout the year
reached an all-time high. Claims paid in January 1947 alone were
greater than the total paid the entire previous fiscal year—$55,759 com­
pared to $55,594. These claims arose largely from the sugar and
maritime strikes in the fall of 1946. Total unemployment benefit pay­
ments for the year ended June 30, 1947, amounted to $345,073, which
is an increase of 520.7 percent over the previous fiscal year.
The amendment of the child-labor law in the 1947 session of the
Territorial legislature raised the certification age for minors employed



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

193

in agriculture from 16 to 18 years and the minimum employment age
of minors from 12 to 14 years. (See discussion of child-labor law,
pp. 196-197.)
All certificates for minors under 14 years of age were revoked as
of June 30, 1947. During the year (ending June 30, 1947) 12,158
certificates were issued for all age groups out of which 60 percent were
for boys and 40 percent for girls.2
These developments indicated a continuing expansion in the respon­
sibility and activities of the Territorial department of labor and indus­
trial relations.
2 Table 79, p. 197, indicates age distribution by calendar years.




CHAPTER 25. CHILD LABOR
The effect of the war
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the schools did not reopen until
February 20, 1942. The need for the maintenance of production and
the building of defenses was so great that everyone worked, even the
children. Records covering the employment of minors during this
period are only fragmentary, but they indicate that minors assisted in
a wide variety of enterprises and in numbers sufficiently large to
constitute a significant element in the total labor force.
They were especially important in three general fields of work: (1)
Defense construction under the Army and Navy, (2) plantation and
other agricultural work, and (3) retail stores, restaurants, and similar
direct consumer-service activities.
The school-work program
By the time plans were being made to reopen the schools,1 the work
of minors had become so important that the department of public
instruction was urged to modify the regular school program to make
possible the part-time employment of students in order to relieve the
acute labor shortage and assist in the maintenance of essential wartime
production.1
2
Soon after the schools reopened, the department of public instruc­
tion made arrangements (first on Oahu and later on the other islands)
to close schools 1 day a week in order to allow all students over 12
years of age to work. The plan provided for (1) supervision of the
student workers in the sugar and pineapple fields by classroom
teachers, (2) supervised transportation supplied by the plantations,
and (3) sanitary and health inspections by the Territorial board of
health. Transportation was carefully handled and no accidents were
reported during the entire period of the program. Because of the
pressure of defense work, on the other hand, teacher supervision was
not always available. Many of the teachers, since they taught only
4 days a week, took other part-time jobs. Comparatively few of them
went with the children to the fields. Health inspections also tended
to be lax, because of other emergency wartime demands on the board
of health.
The children were dismissed primarily to work in the sugar and
pineapple plantations and in truck gardens, but many of them worked
m stores and in other consumer-service enterprises.
Those working on sugar and pineapple plantations3 were paid on
a sliding scale, depending on age and sex. In 1942, for example,
1 Many school buildings had been commandeered for military purposes, teachers were difficult to obtain"
school supplies were lacking, and the schools had to be reopened under makeshift arrangements. Between
February and June 1942 school work was especially irregular.
2 Minors in Hawaii had traditionally made their pocket money in part-time jobs, not only in town but also
on the plantations, in the canneries, and in the coffee fields; hence it was relatively easy to fit them into a
wartime work program.
8 Children over 12 years of age were permitted to work in the pineapple fields, but only those who were
14 or over worked on sugar plantations. This difference was due to the Sugar Act of 1937 which, as amended
in 1940, provided that benefit payments made under that act were subject to a deduction of $10 for each child
under 14 for each day or portion of a day that such child was employed.

194




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

195

Honolulu boys working in pineapple fields earned from 30 cents an
hour for those 12 years to 55 cents an hour for those 17 years of age,
whereas 12-year-old girls received 28 cents an hour and 17-year-oid
girls received 50 cents an hour. These rates were later increased.
In the period between October 1942 and January 1946 students
worked 14,368,008 hours4 in the sugar and pineapple fields. Records
were not kept in all the schools, but the department of public instruc­
tion estimated that 646,052 8-hour days were spent on the sugar
plantations and 1,149,949 8-houj* days were spent in the pineapple
fields.5 Children were estimated to have harvested 350,000 pounds
of coffee and to have raised over 3,000,000 pounds of vegetables in
school gardens.
Officially, the school work program covered a period of nearly 4
years, from February 1942 to January 1946. In reality, for most of
the students in the program, it lasted only 3% years. The objection
of parent-teacher associations and other groups to its continuation
after VJ-day led to the resumption of a normal program in most of
the schools in September 1945. Hence its official termination in
January 1946 merely confirmed the action which had already been
taken at the beginning of the school year.
In summary, the effects of the school work program were:
1. A significant contribution to agricultural production, to defense
construction, and to a wide variety of consumer services.
2. A loss in school training by those students involved in the pro­
gram which can be roughly measured by the loss of 1 day in 5 through­
out the 3% years of the program, and the loss of the final years of
secondary school training by those over 16 who did not return to
school after the war started.
3. A period of practical experience in the basic industries of the
Territory which, to a limited degree, may be considered a partial
offset to the loss of regular school training.
4. A considerable increase in the earnings of multiworker families.
5. A marked but temporary expansion in the volume and variety
of occupations open to minors (which has caused minors to be dis­
satisfied with the restricted employment opportunities and rates of
pay that have been available to them since the war ended).
Employment of minors by the armed services
Employment of minors by any of the branches of the armed services
during the war did not require work permits. The Navy excluded all
minors of Japanese descent, whereas the Army employed minors
without reference to racial origin with the exception of employees in
“high security positions.” It is not possible to evaluate the contri­
bution of minors to defense construction, but there can be no doubt
that it was important.6 On the other hand, as conditions became
more normal in Hawaii after 1942, a strenuous effort was made to
restrict the employment of minors to those who were over 16.7 Be­
cause much of this work was highly mechanized, most of the young
persons in it received some mechanical training and experience. This
4 To this figure should be added the work of those over 16 who in normal times would have returned to
school, but because of the war continued at full-time employment. This was one of the “social costs” of
the war.
« Figures furnished by the department of public instruction for the military citation presented February
13,1946, to the schools of Hawaii for their contribution to American defense.
6An Army report on minors employed in Oahu installations as of April 1945 indicated that 3,091
persons 20 years of age or less were holding jobs in such installations.
7 Of the 3,091 noted above, only 10 were below 16 years of age, and 345 were 16 or 17 years of age,
leaving 2,736 in the 18-, 19-, and 20-year classification.



196

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

broader development of mechanical skills by many young persons
has since been a factor (minor but nevertheless significant) in the
trend toward mechanization on the plantations and in other island
industries.
Child-labor regulations and their enforcement
Prior to 1939 the only Territorial regulation of child labor in Hawaii
was a provision limiting work of children under 16 in any employment
to an 8-hour day, 48-hour week, ayd a prohibition of work between
9 p. m. and 5 a. m. In 1939 the law creating the department of labor
and industrial relations established a 16-year minimum age for work
in any occupation during school hours, or at any time in factories or
in connection with any power-driven machinery, or in any occupation
determined, after hearing by the commission of labor and industrial
relations, to be hazardous. Children between 12 and 16, however,
were permitted to work outside school hours in nonfactory and nonhazardous employment. A maximum 8-hour day, 40-hour week,
6-day week, and a prohibition of work between 6 p. m. and 7 a. m.
were established, but the commission was given power to make varia­
tions, by regulation, in the number of week days or in the night hours
prohibited, for good cause, if the work would not be detrimental to
health or well-being of minors. Combined hours of work and of
school for minors under 16 were limited to 9 a day, and a half hour
lunch period for minors under 18 was required.
The act required employment certificates for children under 16, to
be issued by persons appointed by the director of the department of
labor and industrial relations in such form and under such conditions
as he prescribed.
Work of children over 12 years of age was permitted in agriculture
outside school hours and during vacations, and the certificate require­
ment for children in agriculture applied only to those under 14.
In 1941 an amendment raised from 16 to 18 the age under which
employment certificates are required, except for children in agri­
culture during periods when they were not legally required to attend
school. At the same time, however, it relaxed the child-labor law by
requiring the lunch periods for minors only up to 16 years of age
instead of 18, and by widening existing exemptions. Children be­
tween 12 and 16 years of age were permitted to work “when not
legally required to attend school” instead of only outside school hours
and during school vacations. Employment in domestic service was
entirely exempted from the act.
In 1945 the following changes were made in child-labor regulations:
1. The clause prohibiting minors under 16 from working in, or about,
or in connection with, any power-driven machinery was retained,
but the clause prohibiting work in factories was eliminated (sec.
421 (a), ch. 71, revised laws of 1945). This change had little effect
because relatively few businesses in the Territory were classified as
“factories.” The 16-year minimum age for work during periods when
a child is legally required to attend school remained in effect.
2. Until 1945 children under 14 employed in agriculture during
periods when they were not required to attend school were required
to have employment certificates; in 1945 this requirement was made
to apply to children under 16 employed in agriculture.
3. The hours for minors under 14 were limited to 30 a week and to
not more than 6 hours in any one day. The commission was given



197

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

the power to modify this law by issuing a waiver upon a petition in
which it was shown that such a waiver was required to prevent loss or
deterioration of a perishable commodity, but such a waiver could not
be issued for a minor under 14 to work more than 8 hours a day or 40
hours a week (sec. 1421 (d), eh. 71, Revised Laws of 1945). Although
petitions for such waivers were received, the commission refused to
grant such a relinquishment,
4. The commission was given power to grant lower than the mini­
mum rate of pay to minors under 14 in agriculture (1945, Act 15,
sec. 2). Petitions for such a lower rate were received but were denied.
Thus, prior to the legislation of 1947 the Territorial laws and the
decisions of the commission had done much to eliminate minors under
16 from full-time employment. Of the total of 12,040 certificates
issued for minors under 18 8 for the year ended June 30, 1947, 4,672
were in manufacturing; 2,337 were in agriculture; 1,973 were in
“personal, business, and recreational activities” ; 1,92.9 were in whole­
sale and retail trade; and the remainder were in transportation,
construction, and other fields.
The 1947 legislature revised the child-labor laws to prohibit the
employment of any minor under 14 years of age at any time and to
require work permits for employment of children in agriculture up to
18 years of age. The minimum-age provision applies to employment
in agriculture as well as to all other gainful employment, excepting the
sale and distribution of newspapers or domestic service within a
private home.
The record thus indicates that since 1939 child-labor standards
throughout Hawaii have been repeatedly raised by the Territorial
legislature and enforced by the bureau of labor-law enforcement.
T able

79.— Certificates

Kind of certificate
Ages 14-17:
Regular...........................
Outside school hours___
Reissued—......................
Total.............................
Ages 14-15:
Regular............... ...........
Outside schools hours.
Reissued.........................
Total...........................
Ages 16-17:
Regular3.........................
Reissued..........................
Total.............................
Ages 18-19..............................

issued for the em ploym ent of m inors in the Territory of
H aw aii
For first 5
months of —

For calendar years—
1942

1943

1944

1945

4,077 5,870 7,181
295
578 7,029
1,758 2,884
(2)
4,372 8,206 17,094
694
128
235
295
578 7,029
25
82
(2)
423
838 7.805

5,513
8,999
3,967
18,479
295
8,999
109
9,403
5,218
3,858
9,076
125

4,868
8,070
4,516
17,454
191
8,070
124
8.385
4,677
4,392
9,069
71

4,984
10,469
5,325
20,778
172
10.469
149
10.790
4,812
5,176
9,988
174

19401

3,949
(2)
3,949
398

1941

5,635 6,487
1.733 2,802
7,368 9,289
382
967

1946

1946

4,485 1,050
2,981
796
6,568 1,919
14,034 3,765
103
67
2,981
796
458
91
3,542
954
4,382
983
6,110 1,828
410,492 2,811
150
43

1947
555
292
1,250
2,097
39
292
151
482
516
1,099
1,615
24

116-year minimj^iji in effect January 1940 (when student not legally required to attend school).
2 In 1940 the reisiding of certificates was not in practice.
2 No distinction i$ made between regular certificates and outside-school-hours certificates issued for minors
16 and 17 years of age.
4 It should be noted that the child-labor law was extended (1946 session of Territorial legislature) to cover
minors in agriculture under 16 years of age. Prior to that time children under 14, but not those 14 and over,
were required to obtain certificates for work in agriculture. Beginning in 1946 certificates were required for
children up to 16 in agriculture. The higher figures for 1946 and 1946 are largely due to this change. The
regulations adopted in 1947 did not apply until July 1,1947.
Source: Bureau of Labor Law Enforcement, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Territory of
Hawaii.
8A few of these were issued for minors 18 and 19 years of age. For age distribution in general of certificates
issued, see table 79.




CHAPTER 26. THE REGULATION OF SMALL-LOAN COM­
PANIES AND THE GROWTH OF CREDIT UNIONS
In Hawaii the small-loan problem has been a difficult one to handle
because of the complexity of social and racial conditions and the lack
offexperience of imported laborers in credit matters. On the plan­
tations it was a common practice to permit employees to buy on credit
at plantation stores, but the management found it necessaiy to main­
tain a careful check on store orders and to aid workers in planning
expenditures in order to prevent them from becoming too heavily in­
debted. Another aspect of the debt problem grew out of the fact
that plantation workers were inclined to make purchases beyond their
means on the installment plan. Noncitizens in particular were easily
influenced by high-pressure salesmen. Plantation management there­
fore excluded sales representatives of any company which garnisheed
wages of plantation workers.
The debt problem was not by any means confined to plantation
workers. Among both city and plantation wage earners, electrical
appliances and motorcars have a social significance in addition to
their practical usefulness. This fact and the importance of “face”
to those of oriental origin constituted powerful incentives to buy on
credit.
Before 1933, borrowers from small-loan companies were subject to
the same techniques of exploitation as were such borrowers on the
mainland. In Hawaii this problem was accentuated by loan com­
panies organized as “benevolent associations” along racial lines. They
were dominated by managers who charged excessive interest rates and
used the organization for exploiting members of their own race. Ori­
entals in general and native Hawaiians in particular are hospitable
and friendly. As a result, anyone who wished to borrow experienced
little difficulty in finding a relative or friend who would act as co­
signer for his note. This problem became so acute that, in 1933, the
Governor of the Territory issued an order asking department heads to
restrain Territorial employees from endorsing notes of fellow em­
ployees and friends. Conditions continued to grow worse and the
Governor later found it necessary to issue an executive order requir­
ing that a Territorial employee obtain the written consent of the
head of his department before endorsing the note of any other Terri­
torial employee.
A small-loan law was enacted in 1933 permitting a charge of 1
percent per month deductible in advance and an additional loan fee
not to exceed $2 on loans of $100. The law was too loosely drawn to
be effective. By manipulation of the loan-fee device, rates as high as
1,000 percent were charged. In effect, the law gave the appearance
of legality to a system for charging exhorbitant rates.
In 1937, this act was superseded by the uniform small-loan law
of the Russell Sage Foundation with adaptations to meet Hawaiian
conditions. This limits the highest interest rate to 12 percent a year,
deductible in advance, and specifically prohibits any other charges.
198




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

199

In the same year the Farm Credit Administration initiated the
development of farm-credit unions. By January 1, 1938, there were
60 such unions with 7,654 loans outstanding, totaling $737,029. They
have expanded rapidly to a position of importance, especially in the
sugar and pineapple industries. The high earnings which were pos­
sible during the war and the postwar rise in wage rates throughout
the Territory have tended to lessen the importance of small-loan
companies and to increase the strength of credit unions.
As of December 31, 1946, there was a total of 97 Federal credit
unions in the Territory with an actual membership of 35,866 out of a
potential membership of 69,180. The average savings per member
was $280. Almost all of the credit unions acted as agents for the
sale of United States war bonds. Bonds sold to employees through
credit unions totaled $26,734,044 (issue value) as of January 1, 1947.
The total cumulative number of loans made since organization of the
credit unions was 157,732, in the amount of $25,869,153.
Federal credit unions have been established in a diversity of indus­
tries: 25 cover employees on sugar plantations and mills; 10 cover
employees in the pineapple plantations and canneries; 10 cover Gov­
ernment employees at Federal, Territorial, city, and county levels
with an additional 6 credit unions among teachers; the wholesale and
retail trade group has 7; manufacturing industries, 5; utilities, 5;
transportation, 3; and military establishments, 4; with 6 separate
unions covering civilian personnel at Pearl Harbor. The remaining
16 credit unions cover employees in miscellaneous industries and also
include social and religious community groups and hospitals.
Average savings per member for credit unions on sugar plantations
vary from a low of $180 on Maui to $292 on Hawaii. The average
for all islands was $249. In the pineapple industry, average savings
per member vary from a low of $190 on Kauai to $567 on Maui, with
an over-all average of $333. The amount of United States bonds 1
sold to sugar employees through the credit unions totaled $5,555,329
and the amount of United States bonds sold by the pineapple credit
unions totaled $2,726,136. In both instances these amounts exceed
the total loans made since organization of these credit unions.
No estimate is available of the extent to which such bonds may have
been cashed. However, the credit unions did not consider it advisable
to act as agents for cashing bonds because the demand was of insuffi­
cient volume to warrant assuming this function.
The average savings per member in the sugar and pineapple plan­
tation unions compared favorably with the average per member saving
of $264 in the six Pearl Harbor credit unions covering civilian em­
ployees.
The ratio of actual members to all employees eligible for member­
ship was 53 percent in the sugar industry and 56 percent in the pine­
apple industry.
For the Territory as a whole, the average per member savings has
increased steadily each year from $57.50 as of April 1939 to $280 as
of January 1, 1946. The credit unions have become a primary source
for supplying small-loan needs and a means for promoting savings
among wage earners, having accumulated total assets of over $11,000 , 000.*

Cost, not face or redemption value.



200

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

The sugar strikes in the autumn of 1946, the many smaller strikes,
and the sharp decline in Federal employment (i. e., of civilian em­
ployees, of the Army and Navy) have recently increased the credit
needs of small borrowers; but the financial position of the credit
unions has not been impaired.
The improvement in conditions affecting the small borrower during
the past 15 years reflects the improvement in the political and econ­
omic position of labor. The credit position of small borrowers in
general and laborers in particular has changed from an unprotected
position permitting exorbitant rates to a legally protected position
limiting interest to reasonable rates; from a dependence on small loan
companies and exploitative “ benevolent associations” to the present
independent self-reliant position of the credit unions managed by the
workers themselves.




P art IX

WORKING CONDITIONS AND EMPLOYMENT
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE TERRITORY
AS A WHOLE
201

76798—48------------- 15






CHAPTER 27. STANDARDS OF LIVING
When Hawaii was annexed to the United States in 1898 the wage
structure and the standards of living, although somewhat higher than
those of oriental countries, were decidedly below the American stand­
ards.
There has been a continuous improvement since that time, but statis­
tical measures for the purpose of comparing costs and standards of
living are difficult to develop (1) because of widely differing racial
cultures and living habits in Hawaii, and (2) because of the marked
influence of climate on the pattern of family and social life.
Basic economic developments in Hawaii have been closely geared
to the other parts of the American economy. The air lines, busses,
motorcars, filling stations, and garages; the electrical power systems,
water-supply systems, gas plants, and telephone exchanges; the mail­
order houses, chain stores, motion-picture theaters, and banks of
Honolulu are of the same character as those in any other comparable
American city.1 The mechanization of industry and the use of such
household appliances as electric irons, refrigerators, and vacuum
cleaners also follow the familiar American pattern.
But here the similarity ends. The daily pattern of food consump­
tion, recreational activity, and social life of a worker in a typical
Hawaiian office, mill, or plantation bears little resemblance to that of
the office clerk, factory worker, or harvest hand on the mainland.
For over half a century there has been a gradual trend from various
oriental modes toward an American pattern of living. This trend
was sharply accelerated by the war, because all groups desired to
show their loyalty to the United States (to be “as American as pos­
sible”)* and because of the large number of returned veterans. There
has never been a period in the history of Hawaii when the cultural
gap between the older and the younger generation of orientals was
greater, the shift in standards of living more rapid, or interracial
marriages more prevalent, than at the present time. There is thus
a complex mixture of standards in a range that extends from one
extreme to the other and embraces every conceivable combination of
Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, native Hawaiian, and American
ways of living.
The effect of the climate on living conditions permeates every aspect
of island life. The temperature of Hawaii averages 75.2 degrees.
August and September are the warmest, and January and February
the coolest months, but there is an average difference of only 6.5 de­
grees between these periods. The highest temperature ever recorded
at sea level was 90 degrees in October 1891, and the lowest was 52
degrees in February 1902. Thus, throughout the entire year, Hawaii
enjoys what would be considered, by mainland standards, to be good
summer weather.
1 Honolulu is roughly equal to Providence, R. I.; St. Paul, Minn.; or Portland, Oreg., in size.



203

204

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

In a typical Hawaiian house there is no basement or central heat­
ing system. Fuel is unnecessary except for cooking. House construc­
tion is light and is like that of summer-resort dwellings on the main­
land. Many Hawaiian homes do not even have glass windows but
depend on heavy Venetian blinds to keep out the rain, since the tem­
perature outside and inside is always the same. For similar reasons,
overcoats, heavy underclothing, and seasonal changes in suits are not
necessary.
Hawaiian life is an out-of-door life. In addition to reducing
fuel and clothing costs, the climate greatly influences the character of
other expenditures. Generally speaking, families in Hawaii are
willing to make great sacrifices to own a car, since a car provides ready
access to the many beaches, the mountains, and other recreational
areas where much of their leisure time is spent. It also explains an
unwillingness to make too great an expenditure on housing, since, for
wage earners at least, a house is less often a place to entertain friends
than the shore or the mountains. Over 90 percent of the homes in
Hawaii are less than 20 minutes from a beach by car.
LIVING COSTS

Broadly speaking, present earnings of Hawaiian labor are com­
parable to earnings of labor in similar occupations on the mainland.2
But the purchasing power of a dollar is somewhat lower in Hawaii.
Between 1940 and 1948, the rise in the prices of consumers goods in .
the Territory closely paralleled the rise in the prices of consumers
goods on the mainland, but on a distinctly higher level. Sixty-five
percent of the food consumed in the Territory, and practically all of
the clothing, shoes, household equipment, building materials, motor­
cars, and other manufactured items are imported from the mainland;
hence this continuing differential is partially due to higher shipping
and handling costs. But the prices of many locally produced items,
such as meat, dairy products, eggs, and poultry are also higher in
Hawaii. A part of the price differential is due to the fact that pro­
duction costs of some important consumer items are higher in Hawaii.

2 There is a considerable range in mainland wages. The general level in Hawaii falls somewhat below
that of the West Coast States, for example, but is above the general wage level of the Southern States. There
are also considerable differences in the position of the wage structure of specific Hawaiian industries relative
to the wage structure of similar mainland industries. This statement indicates merely that the level of
wages throughout the Hawaiian economy is not out of line with the general level of the American economy
as a whole.




205

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 80.— Average retail food prices, June 1947, Honolulu and 56 m ainland cities
Item

Unit

Honolulu
price
over
Mainland Hono­ mainland
2
cities 1 lulu1 price
Average price

Beverages:
Cents
Coffee, mainland................................................................. 1 pound
45.5
Tea— ........................................ .......................................... U pound___
24.3
Cocoa...................................................................................... ^ pound._.
14.1
Cereals and bakery products:
Flour, wheat......................................................................... 5 pounds___
49.1
Macaroni........................... .................... ............................. 1 pound.......
19.6
Rice................................................ ............... _........ ............. ___ do.
17.3
Rolled oats__ _______ ___________________________ ___.do .
14.1
Bread, white...............................___............_...................... ___ do.
12. 5
Bread, whole wheat........................................... ........... .......do
13.8
Cookies..................................... ........................................... __ do
40.0
Soda crackers............................................... ..................... ___ d o ...l...
24.7
Dairy products:
Butter.................................................................... _ ... . ___ do
70.7
Cheese............................................................... .................. ___ do...........
55.2
Milk:
Delivered...................................................................... 1 quart____
18.5
Grocery.............. .......................................................... ___ do
17.6
Evaporated....................... ........................................... 14^j ounces..
12.6
Eggs: Eggs, fresh....................................................................... 1 dozen____
63.4
Fats and oils:
Shortening...................................................................... 1 pound
45.4
Salad dressing.................... ................................................. 1 pint ___
38.4
Oleomargarine................................................................. 1 pound
40.3
Oil, cooking or salad............... I.......................................... 1 pint
45.7
Peanut butter__ ^................................................... ......... 1 pound
36.4
Fish: Salmon, pink, canned...................................................... 1-pound can.
41.1
Fruits:
Apples................................................................................... 1 pound . _.
15.5
Bananas.......................................... ............. ....................... ___ do
15.1
Peaches.......................................... .................................. No.2H can..
32.4
Grapefruit juice....................................... .......................... No. 2 can__
10.7
Meats:
Round steak......................................................... ...... 1 pound
78.0
do
Rib roast.................................................... .........................
62.1
Chuck roast............................. ....................... ................ ___do____
50.6
Beef liver............................................. ....................... ........ ___do____
62.2
Hamburger.......................... ....................................... ...... ___ do...........
43.9
do
Veal cutlets......... ...............................................................
84.2
do
Pork chops............... ...........................................................
74.2
do
Bacon, sliced.........................................................................
72.3
Ham, sliced........................................................................... ___do____ _
93.1
Ham, whole.................. ............................ ............... ......... ___do____
66.9
Sausage.............................................................. .................. __ do-—
51.9
66.3
Lamb, leg.............. .
................................. _. do.......—
76.4
Lamb, rib chops................... ............................ ................. ___do..........
Sugar: Sugar............................................................................... ...d o........
9.7
Vegetables:
Vegetables, fresh:
Beans, green.................................................................... ........do_____
17.8
do
Cabbage____________________________________
7.8
do
Onions.................................... ....................... .............
7.4
Potatoes, white_____________________________ 15 pounds...
87.7
Vegetables, canned:
Corn_______________ _______________________ No. 2 can__
18.1
do
Peas............................................... ................................
15.7
Soup, vegetable__________ _________ _ .
14.1
11 ounces__
Tomatoes____________ _______________________ No. 2 can...
20.3

Cents Percent
60.9
34
31. 5
30
7
15.1
59.8
22
25.8
32
—25
13.0
24
17. 5
15.0
20
9
15.0
20
48.0
-3
24.0
24
87. 5
72.7
32
24
23.0
24.2
38
21
15.2
77
112.4
22
55.6
21
46.3
23
49.6
29
58.8
29
47.0
9
44.6
22
18.9
—26
11.1
4
33.8
67
17.9
-3
75.8
9
67.4
13
57.2
5
65.4
28
56.4
-8
77.5
10
81.8
22
88.5
14
105. 7
~82.1
23
43
74.3
75.7
14
3
78.4
9
10.6
22.9
7.5
9.7
111.0
21.5
23.2
17.6
21.6

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor.
2 Bureau of research and statistics, Territorial department of labor and industrial relations.




29
—4
31
27
19
48
25
6

206

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947
T

a b le

81.

—Consum ers9 price index for H onolulu , M a r . 15, 1 948—100.0

Group
All items........................................................
Food................................................. .......
Clothing..................................................
Rent—I ......... ...................... ..............
Fuel, light, refrigeration.......................
Housefurnishings...................................
M iscellaneous—....................................
Transportation............................ _
Medical care______ ____________
Household operation.._________
Recreation.. ________________
Personal care.................................. .

Septem­
ber 1947
129.5
142.9
120.7
105.4
106.1
126.0
123.9
111.8
127.9
124.9
127.6
126.1

June
1947
126.2
137.0
119.5
0)
105.0
123.8
122.2
108.3
125.8
125.9
125.5
126.8

Septem­ Septem­ Septem­ Septem­
ber 1946 ber 1945 b e r ^ ber 1943
115.6
121.4
110.5
101.5
101.1
114.9
115.0
105.2
116.8
105.2
122.5
119.9

104.6
101.6
102.3
99.7
99.8
103.7
111.1
95.6
111.6
104.2
120.0
120.6

102.9
100.1
97.3
100.1
99.8
100.9
110.0
95.6
107.9
103.8
119.3
120.5

100.9
101.6
98.7
100.2
100.1
99.8
101.4
95.0
101. S
101.4
100.1
118. £

Percent change to September 1947
All items2.......................................................
Food........................................................
Clothing....... ...........................................
Rent........ ................................................
Fuel, light, refrigeration.......................
Housefurnishings_________________
Miscellaneous.........................................
Transportation................................j
Medical care....................... ...........
Household operation......................
Recreation____________________
Personal care__________________

2.6
4.3
1.0
0) 1.0
1.8
1.4
3.2
1.7
- .8
1.7
- .6

12.0
17.7
9.2
3.8
4.9
9.7
7.7
6.3
9.5
18.7
4.2
5.2

23.8
40.6
18.0
5.7
6.3
21.5
11.5
16.9
14.6
19.9
6.3
4.6

25.8
42.8
24.0
5.3
6.3
24.9
12.6
16.9
18.5
20.3
7.0
4.6

28.3
40.6
22.3
5.2
6.0
26.2
22.2
17.7
25.6
23.2
27.5
6.6

1 Not available.
2 In September 1947, the index was 29.5 percent above the base period of Mar. 15,1943.
Source: Bureau of research and statistics, Territorial department of labor and industrial relations.

Table 80 provides a comparison between Honolulu and leading
mainland cities in respect to the actual retail prices of certain foods;
table 81 indicates the rise in basic consumer items in Honolulu (in
terms of index numbers and percentages) from September 1943 to
September 1947. A number of other price studies3 have been made
by unions, management organizations, and civic groups, but none of
them was sufficiently broad to be conclusive.
The indexes in table 82 were calculated for Honolulu and Los
Angeles, using prices collected in the two cities in March 1945. It
was found that on the basis of comparative prices available for 112
equivalent commodities and services in the two cities, costs in Hono­
lulu were 25 percent higher than in Los Angeles. The comparison is
incomplete, because data on rents for comparable dwellings and prices
of automobiles and other durable consumers’ goods, like refrigerators
and washing machines, were not available for the period covered.

3 A comparison of the prices of a selected list of canned and packaged standard brands (thus eliminating
qualitative differences) indicated that the price of such articles ranged from 11 percent to 51 percent higher
in Hawaii than on the mainland, the median being 27 percent. This was a limited and specialized list of
items, however, and cannot be considered valid as an indication of the over-all price differential between
Hawaii and the mainland.




207

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

T able 82. Relative differences in the cost of selected goods and services in H onolulu
and Los Angeles, M arch 19^5

Commodity group

Total specified groups......................................................... -........................
Food..................................................................... ....................................................
Clothing................................................................................... .................... ............
Other i......... ..................... .....................................................................................

Indexes
of cost of
selected
goods and
services in
Honolulu,
March 1945
(costs in Los
Angeles=100)

Number of
items priced
to identical
specification
in each city

125
135
105
122

112
50
20
42

1 Fuel, utilities, housefurnishings, transportation, medical and personal care, household operation, per­
sonal services, movies, newspapers, and tobacco. Rents and prices of automobiles and other durable goods
are not included in the comparisons.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor.
DIET AND HEALTH

Health
Hawaii presents many highly specialized problems to health au­
thorities because of (1) its position as “the crossroads of the Pacific/7
(2) the heterogeneous mixture of races and customs, and (3) the high
susceptibility of some racial elements to infectious diseases. Through­
out the period from the time of the discovery of the islands until after
their annexation in 1898, health conditions in Hawaii were distinctly
bad. Ignorance on the part of imported plantation labor; the lack
of hospitals, doctors, and nurses; and especially the lack of facilities
for obstetrical care resulted in high death rates and an unusually high
rate of infant mortality. From the turn of the century until the
present time conditions have been continuously improved.
Five types of agencies are engaged in dealing with health problems:
(1) Hospitalization and medical care is provided by many companies
for their own employees. Plantation hospitals play a decidedly im­
portant role in the maintenance of health throughout the Territory.
With the recent elimination of the perquisite system which made
medical care freely available to all plantation workers and their
families, there arises the problem of the maintenance of plantation
health services. It is expected, however, that the introduction of a
program for “group medicine77 will make it possible to continue
plantation medical service at present levels. (2) Charity funds pro­
vide for indigents and support organizations engaged in preventive
work. (3) The health department of the city and county of Honolulu
maintains an emergency hospital, provides medical service for the
needy, and cooperates with the Territorial board of health in a health
inspection service. (4) The Territorial board of health provides for
the inspection of food and the maintenance of sanitation, including a
bureau which compiles health data and vital statistics. (5) The
United States Public Health Service quarantines communicable dis­
eases against entrance into the Territory or their transmission to the
mainland.



208

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

Considering the difficulties that must be faced, these agencies have
made remarkable progress.4 As an index of the advances that have
been made, the infant mortality rate, which was 279.62 infant deaths
per 1,000 live births in 1900, reached an all-time Territorial low in
1946 of 28.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.5 This is one of the
lowest rates ever recorded for any State or Territory. In the same
year, stillbirths also reached an all-time low of 14.7 stillbirths per
1,000 live births and maternal mortality a corresponding low of 1.5
maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. The general mortality rate
(which was 25.1 per 1,000 in 1900) is now only 6 per 1,000.6
Because of its position in the Central Pacific, there is a constant
danger of the introduction of disease from trans-Pacific vessels.
Three diseases carried by animal vectors must be especially watched:
plague, typhus, and dengue fever. DDT is the principal means of
controlling rat fleas in order to prevent the spread of plague and typhus.
A mosquito-control program is maintained to prevent the spread of
dengue fever.
In June 1946 there were 61 hospitals, 353 practicing physicians, and
207 practicing dentists in the Territory. The ratio of these figures to
total population was not up to prewar standards but was roughly
equivalent to postwar mainland standards. The mainland ratio of
hospital beds to population, for example, ranged from a low of 1.8
beds per 1,000 in the South Central States to a high of 4.8 per 1,000 in
the New England States. The ratio in Hawaii was 4.7 beds per 1,000.
These facts indicate that, with the possible exception of sewerage
disposal,7 Hawaiian health conditions compare favorably with main­
land standards.
Diet
Since medical services have attained a high level of efficiency and
communicable diseases have been largely eliminated, the primary
factor affecting the health of laborers in Hawaii is nutrition. Con­
sidering its size, Hawaii contains a remarkable variety of foods and of
different customs in preparing and eating meals. This is a result of
the mixture of the old native Hawaiian foods, Oriental edibles im­
ported from Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines, still others
brought in by the Puerto Ricans and the Portuguese, and the usual
American types of foods. The food standards of workers are depend­
ent upon: (1) Earning power, (2) food costs, (3) the size of families,
and (4) knowledge regarding nutrition and the proper balancing of
diet.

4 Subsequent to the preparation of this manuscript the board of health issued a report indicating that in
1947 there were 31.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births; 15.7 stillbirths per 1,000 live births, and 1.2 maternal
deaths per 1,000 live births. The general mortality rate remained constant.
s The United States Statistical Abstract for 1947 indicates that the average for the United States as a whole
in 1945 was 38.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and 2.1 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. General
mortality rate in 1945 was 10.6 per 1,000 population (excluding armed forces overseas) for the United States
as a whole.
6 The resident death rate in 1946 would have remained at the record low of 5.8 recorded in 1945 if the tidal
■ wave had not taken 142 lives.
7 In Honolulu and the principal cities on the other islands sanitation is somewhat below the standard of
the average American city. Some of the smaller plantation “camps” and the overcrowded areas in Honolulu
lack proper sewerage disposal. 65 percent of the population of Honolulu is served by 270 miles of sewers.
The remainder of the city depends on cesspools. A 5-year program to construct additional sewerage collec­
tion and sewerage disposal facilities at a cost of $10,000,000 is to be undertaken by the city and county of
Honolulu. The water supply of Honolulu is publicly owned—daily consumption averaging 38,000,000 gal­
lons. New facilities are being installed to meet the increased demand resulting from the growth of the popu­
lation of the city.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

209

Wages have risen sharply, but the rise in food prices has at least
partially offset increased wages. Because of high food costs, very
large families sometimes suffer from malnutrition and unbalanced diet
when the children are young. This is especially true of large planta­
tion families. On the other hand, when the members of the family
have reached the age at which they can obtain employment the situa­
tion is often reversed. Multi-worker families are common in Hawaii,
and some large families receive a surprisingly large aggregate income.
The greatest impediment to a balanced diet for laborers in Hawaii
is the tendency to overemphasize cereals, particularly rice. A general
program for educating Hawaiian labor, led by Dr. Larson, of Queens
Hospital, Honolulu, has resulted in a spread in the use of fresh vege­
tables, fruits, and milk. Studies indicate that a sharp decrease in
the incidence and duration of disease can be achieved by a more
balanced diet. Nevertheless, the consumption of protective foods
such as fresh milk, cheese, fresh vegetables, and eggs is still somewhat
below mainland standards.
Summary
In comparison with mainland living standards, two disadvantages8
of Territorial labor are clearly evident: (1) The cost of food is higher
in Hawaii and the present per capita consumption of protective foods
is below mainland standards. (2) Homes are less substantially con­
structed and the cost of building or buying a home is higher than it is
on the mainland.
On the other hand, Hawaiian labor enjoys some distinct advantages:
(1) Workers in the Territory are free from extremes of heat and cold
which mainland workers must face; hence need not make the expendi­
tures for fuel, heavy clothing, and other items necessary to adjust to
seasonal changes. (2) They have more immediate daily access to
beaches, mountains, and other recreational areas than has the typical
mainland worker. (3) The per capita ownership of motor cars in
Hawaii is high. (4) Schools, hospitals, and social-welfare services are
equal to those of the average American community on all economic
levels in Hawaii. The same is true of public services such as fire and
police protection, bus and other public transportation services, and
public recreational facilities. (5) In those industries that typically
provide, elsewhere, only seasonal or casual employment (such as agri­
culture or building construction), Hawaiian labor enjoys a high degree
of continuity of employment.
Everything considered, the material standard of living of Hawaiian
labor is roughly equivalent to that of mainland labor in comparable
work. Apart from strictly material standards, Hawaiian labor enjoys
two significant advantages: (1) a higher level of year-round comfort;
and (2) greater continuity of employment.

8 Perhaps the greatest single disadvantage of Hawaiian laborers is their isolation. Many a Hawaiian
worker has never seen any island in the Territory except the one on which he was born. Very few of them
are able to afford the expense of traveling to any continental area. The schools, motion pictures, news­
papers, and radio stations bring information regarding world events to the Territory, but the lack of any
direct personal contact with the world outside of Hawaii gives these news reports an air of unreality. The
insularity in the outlook and experience of the island-born Hawaiian worker is not an item that can be
measured in terms of earnings or standards of living, but it is a disadvantage of which he is becoming
increasingly aware.




CHAPTER 28- EMPLOYMENT TRENDS AND NEW OCCUPA­
TIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
In the past three-quarters of a century, the population of Hawaii
has grown nearly tenfold, from a low of 56,897 in 1872 to 525,477 in
1947. Even assuming a stable population, the age distribution in
Hawaii is such that the number of persons of working age will grow
rapidly during the next few years. In view of the increasing pressure
of population against the subsistence resources of the Territory and
the trend toward mechanization on the sugar and pineapple planta­
tions, there is need for the expansion of occupational opportunities
through the development of new fields. Both of the plantation indus­
tries have reached near-optimum levels and there now appears little
prospect of any significant further expansion in employment. As of
1947 the need for new occupational opportunities was strongly under­
lined by the sharp decline in Army and Navy employment of civilians,
the return of war veterans resident in Hawaii, and a general decline
in the number of job offerings.1 Serious consideration is now being
given to possible new developments to provide increased employment
and to absorb the increasing numbers of island citizens who are coming
into the working period of their lives. The following industries may
possibly provide a basis for a limited expansion in employment oppor­
tunity:
T able

83

.— Territorial employment service—Reception contacts, new applications,
referrals, and placements,July 1 , 1946, to June 80, 1947

Month and year

Reception contacts

New applications

Placements

Referrals

Fe­ Vet­
Fe­ Vet­
Fe­ Vet­
Fe­ Vet­
Total male eran Total male eran Total male eran Total male eran

1946
July........................ 7,527
August________ 8,493
September............. 9,687
October................. 12,162
November......... 11,050
December.............. 9,878
1947
January________ 12,653
February. __i........ 10,690
March.................. 11,045
April..................... 10,752
May..................... 11,397
June................ ...... 12,229
Total_____ 127,563

1,735
1,470
1,920
3,002
1,744
1,781

2,143
2,097
2,485
2,787
2,581
3,036

1,275
1,172
1,377
1,621
1,241
1,022

2,645
2,342
2,721
3,250
3,266
2,810
28,686

4,417
4,201
4,164
3,707
3,897
4,839
40,354

1,715 342 826
1,256 271 644
1,214 323 484
1,291 327 533
1,262 266 597
2,354 818 712
16,800 4,178 6,617

305
304
382
369
279
192

529
479
442
470
410
491

1,976
1,673
1,884
1,906
1,585
1,452

388
351
449
428
344
214

644
558
564
586
486
472

929 234
691 142
863 196
800 161
767 169
785 134

247
270
258
233
193
215

1,894 362 721 748 139 231
1,831 297 762 859 145 307
1,877 295 816 962 133 372
1,607 256 650 806 146 308
1,639 274 744 868 143 345
1,373 286 440 645 128 186
20,697 3,944 7,443 9,723 1,870 3,165

Source: Territorial Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (which assumed responsibility in
November 1946, when the authority of the Hawaiian office of the United States Employment Service was
transferred to the Territory).
1 Table 83, covering reception contacts for new applicants for jobs, indicates a sharp rise in unemployment
during the year ended June 30,1947. These figures are incomplete since they do not include unemployed
persons who have not formally applied to the Employment Service. The experience of the Territorial
department of public welfare shows unemployment to be even more critical than is indicated by official
employment figures. Payments by the bureau of unemployment compensation for the year ended June
30,1947, showed an increase of 520.7 percent over the previous year. This is not an accurate indication of
the growth of unemployment, because a large part of this expenditure was due to the sugar strike, but even
allowing for the strike, there still remained a significant rise in unemployment compensation payments.
By early 1948 unemployment was still increasing.

210




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

211

(1) The tourist industry.—During the war the Hawaiian tourist
trade reached an all-time low. The prospects are, therefore, for a
sharp revival as soon as local hotels and other facilities make that
possible. The present thinking is toward (a) a gradual decentraliza­
tion of the tourist business which has tended toward a high concentra­
tion in the Waikiki area in Honolulu; (b) the development of a chain
of modern hotels on all islands; and (c) the sharp expansion of local
tours from island to island, which have become possible at lower rates
and in shorter periods of time because of the extensive development
of interisland air service. It appears probable that the tourist busi­
ness in Hawaii can be expanded to a point considerably above prewar
levels. Because of the necessity of building new local facilities, this
growth will necessarily be gradual. Ever} thing considered, the expan­
sion of tourist business is the most promising basis for the expansion of
occupational opportunity in Hawaii during the next few years.2 The
tourist trade is a luxury trade, and, like other luxury items, is very
sensitive to changes in basic economic conditions. In view of the
postwar economic uncertainties in the United States and the world as
a whole, the tourist trade of Hawaii must be considered as a fluctuat­
ing rather than a steady and dependable source of income. Terri­
torial employment officials will find it necessary to recognize that, as
the tourist business becomes a larger part of the total income of the
Territory, it will intensify the ups and downs of prosperity and de­
pression, that is, it will tend to be large in tim.es of prosperity but will
decline sharply in periods of depression when employment and income
are most needed.
(2) Government employment.—There are four groups of government
employees in Hawaii: (1) Territorial, (2) county, (3) Federal (em­
ployees of departments and agencies), and (4) military (civilian
employees of the armed services).
(а ) Territorial employment.—As of July 1, 1947, there were 4,467
permanent positions3 in the tables of organization of Territorial
agencies. Of these, only 3,956 were actually filled. Table 84 indi­
cates the distribution of Territorial government employment by
minimum monthly salary classifications as of March 31, 1947.
(б ) County employment.—Employment in any of the four county
governments requires a minimum of 3 years' residence in Hawaii
plus 1 year in the county. The local government of the island of
Oahu is known as “the city and county of Honolulu," and since
over two-thirds of the population of the entire Territory five on Oahu,
this government employs more persons than all of the other counties
combined.4 As of November 1947, there vrere 3,194 persons employed
by the city and county of Honolulu as follows:
2 A closely related type of income to the Territory is that which grows out of the expenditures of families
which retire to Hawaii or for other reasons establish residence and purchase local goods and services with
funds based on mainland incomes. This has not been a significant source of income to the Territory, but
with the development of frequent and fast air transport service to the mainland it may become important.
3 This does not include the department of public instruction, which numbered approximately 3,700 as of
November 1947. Of these, 660 were men and 3,040 were women. Four hundred and eighty held civilservice office positions in various classifications and 3,220 were teachers. Over nine-tenths of the teachers
held permanent or limited term positions. Slightly less than one-tenth were employed under the “emer­
gency teachers agreement” which was subject to cancellation on 1 week’s notice. Because the appropriation
for the department of public instruction was less than had been anticipated, transfers and reductions in force
were being made in the latter part of 1947; hence employment was being reduced at the time this estimate
was made.
4 As of December 31, 1947, the total estimated employment in the county government of Hawaii was
605 (not including 37 part-time employees), in the county government of Maui was 938, and in the county
government of Kauai was 389 (not including 140 non-civil-service employees). The salary schedule and
distribution of employment was similar to that of the city and county government of Honolulu.



THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

212
T able

84

.—
Territorial government employment

Classification
Professional:
P-l__................ ............... ...
P-2_____ ________ _____
P-3___________________
P-4___________ ______ _
P-5__________ ________
P-6................... ...... .........
P-7......................................
Clerical-Administrati ve-Fiscal:
CAF-1_____ __________
CAF-2________________
CAF-3________________
CAF-4________________
CAF-5________________
CAF-6......... - _________
CAF-7________________
CAF-8________________
CAF-9_____ __________
CAF-10.........................
CAF-11 ...____________
CAF-12 _____________
CAF-13______________
CAF-14_______________

Num­
Minimum ber em­
salary2 ployed
$192.50
237.50
295.42
342.08
436.67
520.00
645.00

20
44
42
57
29
31
15

127.50
142.50
157.50
174.17
192.50
212.92
237.50
264.50
295.42
328.75
362.08
436.67
520.00
645.00

81
304
346
231
169
98
109
103
71
66
32
45
25
11

1

as of Mar. 81y 1947

Classicfiation
Subprofessional:
SP-2 ..................... .........
SP-3 _______________
S P -4 ________________
SP-5 . ..............................
S P -6 ____ ____________
SP-7...................................
S P -8 ..................................
Craft and custodial:
CC-1.......:.___________
C C -2.............. ..................
C C -3__________ ____CC-4...................................
CC-5..................................
CC-6...................................
CC-7...................................
CC-8.................................
CC-9 ................................
CC-10................................
CC-11___ ____________
CC-12 ...........................
CC-13 .............................
CC-14 ..............................

Num­
Minimum ber em­
salary2 ployed
$127.50
142.50
157.50
174.17
192.50
212.92
237. 50
80.00
112. 50
122.50
132.50
147.50
162.50
177. 50
192.50
212.92
237.50
264.58
295.42
328. 75
362.08

27
98
194
117
196
102
36
2
85
131
472
200
233
154
86
36
16
11
10
0
6

1 In addition to the 4 classifications given here, there were 166 inspectors, 58 of whom were classified as
IN-4 with a minimum salary of $212.92 (not including a $45 monthly bonus).
2 Excluding a bonus of $45 per month. As of July 1,1947, this bonus was incorporated in the regular salary
schedule and a bonus of $25 per month was added. Thus $70 per month should be added to the minimum
salary of every classification to obtain the rates after July 1, 1947. Employment in the Territorial govern­
ment requires a minimum of 3 years residence in Hawaii.
Source: Territorial civil service commission.

(i) 143 professional employees (such as engineers, doctors, lawyers,
and librarians), the largest classification being P-3 with a minimum
salary of $365 per month, including a $25 monthly bonus.
(ii) 220 subprofessional employees (such as nurses, social workers,
hospital attendants, laboratory assistants, and recreational workers).
(iii) 360 clerical, administrative, and fiscal employees (such as
clerks, stenographers, typists, accountants, and administrators), the
largest single group (75) being CAF-3, earning a minimum of $242
per month, including a bonus of $25.
(iv) 1,889 craft and custodial employees (such as janitors, mainte­
nance men, guards, and park keepers), the largest single group (700)
being CC-4, earning a minimum of $202 per month, including a $25
bonus.
(v) 774 police and fire department employees (not included in
the above classifications), 500 of these being in the police department.
Patrolmen and hosemen were the largest classifications with earnings
of $280 per month, including a $25 monthly bonus.
(c) Federal Government employment.—Branch offices of Federal
agencies, other than the Army and Navy,5 employed an estimated
6,000 persons during the wartime peak which occurred in March 1945.
There was a decline to approximately 4,450 by November 1947. On
the basis of total employment, the largest Federal agencies in the
Territory were (1) the Civil Aeronautics Administration (which ex­
panded rapidly throughout 1946-47), (2) the Treasury Department
(the most important subdivision being the Bureau of Internal Kevenue),
« The Army and Navy provided the largest Federal employment of civilians in Hawaii, as discussed in
the section on “The Economic Effects of the War/' ch. 2 of this report.




THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 1947

213

(3) the War Assets Administration, and (4) the Department of
Agriculture.
The trend in Government employment between 1945 and 1948 was
downward, because of the return from wartime to normal levels, but
there are two reasons for assuming that the general level of employ­
ment in Government offices will remain somewhat higher than it was
before the war: (1) The increase in the population and in the impor­
tance of the economic activities of the Territory will necessitate a
somewhat lamer administrative organization. (2) The increased im­
portance of Hawaii as a military outpost will require the employment
of a larger number of civilians by the armed forces than were employed
before the war.
Although Government agencies provide a significant portion of the
total employment in Hawaii, future increases cannot be considered as
to future unemployment problems, since the expansion of Govern­
ment employment is a result rather than a cause of basic economic
growth.
(3) Nonplantation agriculture.—With the decline in the acreage in
sugarcane and the increase in the population of the Territory, the
possibility of expanding vegetable crops to meet local requirements has
grown. The adoption of large-scale techniques, of air freight planes
for quick transport of produce to Honolulu, and of better marketing
procedures has already made it possible for island-grown products to
compete more effectively with those of the west coast. The primary
impediment to a significant expansion in this field is the lack of irriga­
tion water. This is recognized and Government projects designed to
increase the area and efficiency of truck gardening are being urged by
experts in this field.
(4) Fishing.—Fishing offers two separate sources of income to the
Territory: (1) The exploitation of fishing as a sport, and (2) the com­
mercial exploitation of fishing in the central Pacific6 as a basis for
an export industry in canned fish.
Although fishing in the Hawaiian area is recognized as being un­
usually good from the sportsman’s point of view, this field of recreation
has not been developed to the point that it provides a significant
income to the Territory. Convenient air connections with the
mainland and the growth of facilities in the best fishing areas may
result in an expansion of fishing as a sport on a luxury level.
Commercial fishing, on the other hand, is already well-developed,
the most important single product being canned tuna. This industry
was making solid progress prior to the war and gross annual sales
exceeded $1,200,000, making canned fish the third largest export
from Hawaii. The military restrictions necessitated by the war
caused a temporary eclipse of the industry and during the postwar
period labor difficulties have been a serious impediment to a return to
prewar levels.
Hawaii is in a position to exploit fishing areas not readily available
to other fishing fleets, and it is probable that a gradual expansion in
this field will eventually offer more occupational opportunities in the
catching, processing, and marketing of fish. As yet it represents less
than 1 percent of the total employment in the Territory.
• The University of Hawaii and the Department of the Interior are currently making extensive studies of
marine life which indicate some of these possibilities.



214

THE ECONOMY OF HAWAII IN 194 7

(5) Other 'possibilities.—In addition to the occupational possibilities
noted above, there are a number of minor developments which offer
some promise. Although none of them is of primary importance,
taken in the aggregate they are a significant addition to island industry.
Among these are handicrafts and manufactures that turn out distinctly
Hawaiian products, such as (a) lauhala ware; (b) perfume manu­
facture, which specializes in the aroma of the more exotic of the island
flowers; (c) woodenware and wood carving, based on types of wood
which are uniquely Hawaiian; (d) orchids and other flowers designed
to develop a rapidly expanding market by air on the mainland; and
(e) the production of garments typical of Hawaii, such as aloha shirts
and beachwear. Because of the tourist trade, there is a larger volume
of local business and of exports to the mainland in these items than
would otherwise obtain.
Hawaii is the only place where the Macadamia nut has been de­
veloped on a commercial basis. Because of its unusual flavor, it is
possible to develop a limited export market on a luxury level, but the
job offerings in this field will necessarily remain limited.
Repeated, but only partially successful, efforts have been made to
develop and expand export markets for such fruits as bananas,
guava, papa^ya, and mangoes. The high unit costs due to insect pests
and plant diseases, high wages, and the expenses of packaging, trans­
porting, and marketing in distant mainland areas have made it
difficult to produce and sell these items at competitive prices. Until
new technical developments have established less expensive methods
of producing, preserving, and marketing, it does not appear likely that
there will be more than a gradual and fairly limited expansion of
production in these fields. Fruits generally require special conditions
for growth which are available only in certain areas and at certain
altitudes. The limitation in the quantity of land which is favorably
situated for fruit cultivation also limits future expansion.
These observations indicate that the possibilities of increasing
occupational opportunities in Hawaii have not been exhausted.
Barring some new and unexpected technical developments, however,
they appear to be rather limited. Should the rate of population
growth in Hawaii continue at the rate of the past two decades, the
pressure of population against subsistence resources and available em­
ployment opportunities may be expected to rise sharply.