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/-M'3T/M State Teachers College ut»r&r> UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WOMEN’S BUREAU Bulletin No. 185 The Migratory Labor Problem in Delaware UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary WOMEN’S BUREAU MARY ANDERSON, Director + The Migratory Labor Problem in Delaware By ARTHUR T. SUTHERLAND O? Bulletin of the Women’s Bureau, No. 18S UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON : 1941 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents. Washington, D. C. Price 10 cents . CONTENTS Page Letter of transmittal_________________________________ _ Salient facts___________________________________ Introductory________ ______________________ Analysis of data reported by canners and camp deputies'""Products on which migrant labor was employed_______ Number and composition of the cannery work force____ Number of persons living in the camps in September 1940 Method by which canners obtained workers_____________ Wage payments for cannery work__________________ Extent of farm work on canners’ farms_____ ______ Types of living quarters and facilities furnished___II..” Analysis of data reported by individual workers ___________ Composition of family groups___________ ________ Age_of the migrants, by sex____________________ III____ I Residence of the migrant workers_____________ __________ Movements of the migrants, 1939 and 1940____ 11111 Method of obtaining work_____________ _______ Mode of transportation to camp______ _______ _ _ Types of employment in September 1940_____11111111 Earnings and time worked by migrants_______________ _ School children in Delaware labor camps_________ II_____ _ Sex and age_____________________________ School attendance_________________ v 1 2 5 5 6 6 6 7 8 8 12 12 12 13 14 16 17 18 18 22 22 22 TEXT TABLES Table 1. Age of migrants, by sex and type of group_________ .. _ Table 2. Average earnings per family, year’s and week’s, and" average worked, by size of family and number of wage earners, 1939 and Table 3. Average earnings, year’s and week’s, and average weeks' worked" by sex and by location of camp, 1939 and 1940___________________ nr . LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL United States Department op Labor, Women’s Bureau, Washington, February 12, 1941. I have the honor to transmit our initial study of migratory labor. This study was made in Delaware at the request of the Dela ware Labor Commission, Board of Health, and Unemployment Com pensation Commission. ^ The interviews were conducted by Carrie G. Hager and Mary Turner. The report was written by Arthur T. Sutherland. Madam: Respectfully submitted. Hon. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor. Mary Anderson, Director. v THE MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE SALIENT FACTS The migratory workers in Delaware are largely employed in can neries or on the nearby farms that supply the canneries with produce. Eight canneries were found to have camps for migratory workers in 1940 where the workers and their families could live during their stay in Delaware. The camps generally consisted of one or more frame buildings divided into single rooms. Beds or bunks with straw were furnished, the migrants supplying covers, but other furniture or house hold equipment usually -was lacking or was of a make-shift character— rude tables, benches, boxes. Water was supplied by outdoor faucets and pumps. Many of the families were provided with oil stoves or brought their own stoves, but practically all camps furnished one or more stoves under sheds at which the people took their turns. Only three camps had electric light. All the migrants were Negroes and included men, women, and children; the majority traveled in family groups, but a substantial proportion, roughly about one-fourth, were unattached individuals. Some groups had come to the Delaware camps as early as June, the largest numbers, however, arriving in the latter part of July or in August. Nearly all expected to remain at the camp until the end of the canning season, in most cases in October. On the basis of number of persons, the most important States from which these people had come to the camp were Maryland and Florida, followed by Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, and Alabama. Relatively few had come from seven other southern and eastern States, one even from the Bahama Islands. Six canners had obtained some of their migrants through a labor agent or their camp boss; these people were transported to and from camp in company trucks. The majority of the migrants, however, had come in private cars, a few by bus or train. The employment situation was not very favorable for these migra tory workers, being characterized by low cash incomes and much unemployment. Taking all wage earners together, family members and individuals without families, earnings in 1939, for the average of 28)4 weeks worked, averaged $6.64 a week, and in the 8 or 9 months of 1940, for the average of 16% weeks worked, week’s earnings averaged $6.75. 1 THE MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE INTRODUCTORY Until recent years the extent of and the hazards created by the migratory labor movements were practically unknown to the general public and usually were ignored by State and Federal labor, health, and relief agencies. Since 1930, however, the depression, the droughts, and the extended use of agricultural machinery have caused an in crease in the number of migrants so great that a large proportion of them have been unable to find sufficient employment to purchase even the minimum necessities of life. This has forced them., in ever-growing numbers, to live in unhealthy squatter camps, without money to buy food and clothing at the barest subsistence level, and has required them to go to relief agencies already overtaxed by the needs of local citizens. Consequently their problems have become of vital impor tance to the communities into which they move. The conditions of destitution with which these agricultural migrants have had to cope, and which have been so poignantly publicized in recent years, have necessitated both State and Federal agencies to give increasing attention to the alleviation of their immediate suffer ings, particularly to securing nutritious food and adequate housing and sanitation facilities, and to formulate plans to regulate the migra tion of workers considered necessary to seasonal industries, so that such pressing conditions will not continue to exist. The hazardous plight of migrants has been excellently described as follows: “For them and for their families, constant shifting from place to place sets the patchwork pattern of life. The broken-down car piled high with meager belongings and the makeshift shanty town are its symbols. Low wages and long gaps between jobs keep most of them within the lowest income group in the Nation. At best they are hardly above the thin edge of distress, without margin for health, education, or other family needs. Any emergency—illness, added miles of travel— * * * deprives them even of such public aid as other families may turn to in times of want. ******* “Migratory agricultural workers and their families as a group are not protected under the Social Security Act [nor Federal or State wage-and-hour laws] for one or both of two reasons: Either they do not stay in one place long enough to establish the residence required for public assistance and public welfare and health services; or they are engaged mainly, in occupations which are specifically excluded from the insurance [and fair-labor-standards] programs.” 1 2 1 Migratory Labor. A Report to the President by the Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities, July 1940, pp. 1, 15. 2 INTRODUCTORY 3 The large majority of the reports relating to the migratory labor problem, whether by Federal, State, or private agencies, have been concerned with conditions in the Far West, Southwest, and “Dustbowl” areas, where the concentration of the problem has become so intense that it has threatened a complete break-down in the existing economic and social standards of those areas; relatively few of the reports men tion or describe the migratory problem which exists, and is believed to be increasing, along the Atlantic seaboard. However, fragmentary material obtained in a few more or less superficial surveys indicates that there are significant numbers of migrant workers and their families, estimated to be in the thousands, who each year follow the maturing sequence of crops from Florida north, many traveling as far as Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. These migratory movements do not form a steady and constant stream but vary all along the route, with workers joining or leaving at places where seasonal work is available. Considerable numbers move only from one State to the next, and it is probable that no great proportion travel the entire distance from Florida to New Jersey, but many do go from southern States—Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas— into Maryland, Delaware, or New Jersey without stopping along the way. The vast majority of these migrants are Negroes, and the movement includes men, women, and children, some traveling as unattached individuals but many moving as family groups. Most of them are employed in harvesting the seasonal crops or in the canning and packing plants that process the crops, but a substantial proportion find employment also in the seasonal fishing (oyster and crab) and construction industries for part of the year. The conditions under which these migrants live and work are known to be comparable to the distressful situations, described above, relating to other areas. As a means to determine the scope and the nature of the migratory problem and to suggest and plan methods whereby the economic and social distress of these workers could be eliminated, an interstate conference on migratory labor, sponsored by the labor commissioners of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia, was held in Balti more in February 1940. Representatives of State labor, health, education, welfare, and agriculture departments, and of several coop erating Federal agencies, participated in the conference. This conference recommended, among many other things, “That an up-to-date survey of the migratory labor problem, including the actual needs for migratory labor, be made in each of the four States by the appropriate agency, or agencies, assisted where necessary by Federal agencies.” 2 To carry out this recommendation, the Delaware Labor Commission, Board of Health, and Unemployment Compensation Commission requested the Women’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor to make such a survey in the labor camps operated by Delaware canning firms, which firms employ about 80 percent of all the migrants who work in the State.1 * 3 The survey was conducted in September 1940. A total of 14 can neries were visited by the Women’s Bureau agents; 8 of them were 1 Proceedings of Interstate Conference on Migratory Labor. Baltimore, Md., February 1940, p. 97. 3Ibid. pp. 22-23. 307013°—41-----2 4 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE found to have camps for migratory workers, and all these were sched uled. In 7 camps combined, data were secured for practically twothirds (64 percent) of the migrants. In one large camp only about two-fifths of the total were scheduled. Effort was made to report on every child in the camp. All the migrants living in the camps at the time of the survey were Negroes; many came from nearby States, but substantial numbers reported that they came from as far as Georgia, Alabafna, and Florida. Of the 562 persons scheduled by the Women's Bureau, 69 percent gave southern States (8 such States) as their permanent residence, 40 percent naming 4 States in the deep South, chiefly Florida. The data that form the basis of this report were obtained by the Bureau’s agents direct from the canners and their camp deputies or bosses, and by personal interview with individual migrants. The information requested from the canners related to: Total size and com position of the cannery work force; total number of migrants living in the camp; usual practice of obtaining the workers; usual method of pay; extent of farm work by members of migrant families in each case where the canner owned or controlled the producing farm; and a brief description of the types of living quarters and camp facilities available to these migrant workers and their families. Individual migrant workers were interviewed at the camp; the agents visited them early in the morning before the cannery was operating or late in the afternoon and evening after the day’s work was done. In practically every case the information was from mem ory, as only an insignificant number had any written records of their earnings for work done previous to their arrival at the Delaware camp. Questions were asked concerning: Age and sex of each person inter viewed, and relation, age, and sex of other family members in camp; type of employment at time of the agent’s visit; permanent residence; method by which they obtained employment; method of transporta tion to camp; occupational history of each worker during the year of 1939 and from January up to some time in September 1940. In addi tion, the persons interviewed who had children under 16 with them were asked where the children had attended school last, and whether they had attended regularly or had lost time because of the family travels or for other reasons. When reviewing the analysis of the data reported by the workers, it must be borne in mind that the figures relating to the occupational histories are estimates, made orally, by the persons interviewed; in some cases, when giving the length of time worked, they stated a figure followed by the term “off and on,” and in relation to earnings, “I earned about” such and such an amount. However, the agents, understanding the type of persons whom they were interviewing, were extremely careful in their questioning, and it is believed that the figures as presented in this report are reasonably accurate and may be accepted as indicating the work and earnings of these migrants during the period covered. ANALYSIS OF DATA REPORTED BY CANNERS AND CAMP DEPUTIES The data reported by the canners do not give a complete picture of the employment conditions in the canneries, as the questions were limited to the bringing out of pertinent data relating to the scope and nature of the migratory labor problem in each plant. Products on which migrant labor was employed. Obviously the number of workers employed depends largely on the number of products canned and the size of the cannery. There were wide variations in the products canned in the eight firms visited, but in most cases migratory labor was employed solely in the period when only one product was canned, or in the period when, with two or more products being canned, the seasons of the various products over lapped. In four of the camps most of the migrants arrived in June or July, and in four not until August; the migrants expected to remain at the cannery until anywhere from the 1st of October to about the 1st of November. Two of the firms visited canned only tomatoes, the season in both cases lasting from about the second or third week of August to about the first of October. Two firms canned both peas and lima beans; peas were packed in the first half of June and lima beans from early August to late October. One of these firms employed migratory workers during both seasons, though there was considerable time between those canning periods when the plant was not operating; the other had migratory workers only in the lima-bean season, and a relatively small force, probably consisting of local workers, was employed on peas. Three firms each canned three products. In one firm canning peas, stringless beans, and lima beans there was a short break between the canning seasons of the products. Some migrants arrived for the first season, in June, but others did not arrive until July and August. In another of these firms there was a considerable break between the packing of peas and that of corn, from the last of June to the middle of August, but the corn and tomato seasons overlapped. Figures on the number of employees indicate that many migrant men, though few or no women, are employed on all three packs. In the third firm canning three products local labor was employed on the early asparagus pack, and local labor and migrants worked later on the corn and the tomato pack, these two canned over much the same weeks. The remaining firm put up seven products, and there was over lapping from the start of canning operations until the cannery closed in the fall. s 6 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE Number and composition of the cannery work force. In regard to the seasonal work force, canners were asked to estimate the proportion who were migrant workers and those who were local people or were brought in from nearby cities or farms. In each case the migrants were Negroes, but other groups consisted of both white and colored workers in five canneries and of white workers in three canneries. In September 1940 the total force in the 8 canneries numbered about 2,066 workers, 648 men and 1,418 women. As shown in the summary following, the proportion of the men reported to be migratory workers varied from 15 to 35 percent in 4 canneries but was 50 percent or more in 4 canneries. Of the total men employed in all canneries, not far from one-half (46 percent) were migrants. Less than one-third of the women employed were migrants; in 5 canneries the proportion varied from only 10 percent to 35 percent, but it was 50 or 52 percent in 3 firms. The numbers of men and women employed in the eight canneries and the estimated proportions of migratory workers are as follows: -----Men :' Women .JL Camp Number employed Percent who were migrants Number employed Percent who were migrants Total........... ................................................ 648 46 1,418 32 Camp: A----------- --------------- ----------- -----B______________ ____________ _____ C__________________________ _____ D............................. ............................. . E............... .................. ......... ................. F_____________ ________ __________ G____________________ _ H.......... .............. ........ ............................ 100 20 25 130 48 50 200 75 15 90 15 50 25 50 67 35 300 . 130 85 410 8 100 185 200 20 52 10 25 25 50 50 35 Roughly, the number of migrants employed in the 8 canneries totaled 300 men and 450 women. Number of persons living in the camps in September 1940. The figures concerning the total number of camp inhabitants are not exact, as in some cases both the canner and the camp deputy or boss reported that persons were continually arriving and leaving, and also that they did not attempt to keep a strict count on children, so that only close estimates were given. In the 8 camps combined there were approximately 950 migrants; by camp the number varied from a low of 25 persons in 1 camp to a high of approximately 250 persons in another. In each of 4 camps there were over 110 but less than 175 persons; the remaining 2 had 30 and 75 workers. Method by which canners obtained workers. The method by which canners obtained their workers also differed widely among the various firms. In regard to local labor, that is, housewives, students, industrial and casual workers, and agricultural workers living nearby, three canners reported that they notified a few, but that the majority knew when to come in, as they were familiar with the crops or kept in touch with the firm; three reported that all local workers called; and two reported that they sent trucks to the nearby neighborhood or towns to collect them. DATA REPORTED BY CANNERS 7 There was somewhat more variation in regard to the migrants, particularly since they were out-of-State workers. Two canners reported that the migrants just drift in looking for work, or come because they hear of work at the particular cannery from friends. One of these reported that many migrants came back year after year. Another canner reported that they came and applied, but that he sent a truck out once in order to get 8 or 10 additional men. Each of the other firms, however, secured workers through an agent, or their camp boss acted as employment agent. Two firms secured migrants from Maryland; 1 contracted with a woman who also supervised the camp, paying $1 for each person collected; the other sent the camp boss out to gather workers. Both of these sent trucks to Maryland and transported the workers free of charge; the firms also send them back by truck at the end of the season. Another firm bargained with a man and sent out trucks to transport the workers to and from the camp free of charge; the majority of workers trans ported were from Virginia. Another firm had a bargain with a man in North Carolina, and this firm also sent a truck to transport the workers to and from the camp, the only charge in this case being a 50-cent ferry charge each way. The remaining firm also secured migrant workers through an agent, but in this case the agent owned the truck or trucks used for the transportation of the workers. The majority of the workers were from Florida and reported that they paid from $5.50 to $8 for the trip to the Delaware camp. Wage payments for cannery work. One firm paid hourly rates to all employees, but seven paid both piece and time rates. Piece rates were paid for peeling tomatoes and for sorting beans. The piece rates were as follows: Peeling tomatoes: 1 firm 4 cents a bucket, amount not reported. 1 firm 4)4 cents for 12 quarts. 1 firm 7 cents for 16 quarts. 1 firm 8 cents a bucket, amount not reported. Sorting beans: 1 firm 12 cents a 14-quart bucket lima beans. 1 firm 12 cents a 10-quart bucket green beans, 5 cents a 10-quart bucket white beans, plus 2 cents for green beans if worker stays all season. 1 firm 13 cents for 18 pounds lima beans, plus 2 cents for staying all season. Hourly rates of pay also differed considerably among the various firms. Men’s usual hourly rates were: 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 firm 18 to 25 cents. firm 20 cents, plus 5 cents for staying all season; 30 cents for a few. firm 24)4 to 30 cents. firms 25 cents (in 1 the rates were reported by the workers). firm 30 cents. firm 30 to 35 cents; few at 40 cents. firm 30 to 50 cents, average 35 cents. 1 1 1 1 1 firm firm firm firm firm Women’s hourly rates of pay were: 20 cents, plus 2)4 cents for staying all season. 20 to 23 cents. 24)4 cents. 25 cents. 25 cents for white women (rate reported by workers). 22 cents for colored women (rate reported by workers). 2 firms 30 cents. 1 firm 30 cents for the majority, 32)4 cents for a few, 40 cents for foreladies. 8 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE In addition to cash wages, the migrant workers were given a room in the camp without charge. Water, usually outdoor faucets, also was supplied in each camp. One camp provided electricity and heat, and one provided electricity in each room, in each case free of charge. A third canner provided free electricity to part of the workers. In another camp the boss reported that electricity had been provided but the wires were torn out by the migrant tenants. Extent of farm work on canners’ farms. Five of the canncrs reported that they did not own or control the farms that supplied them with produce. The other three controlled the farms, and two of these stated that only men were employed on farm work; the other reported that men were employed in harvest ing asparagus, but that both men and women worked at picking string beans. Types of living quarters and facilities furnished. In general, the living quarters maintained at the camps were the usual unpainted frame typo of building designed for only temporary use and not supplied with the sanitary facilities or household equip ment ordinarily considered essential. The buildings were arranged in long rows or in small units grouped closely together; in both types the buildings were divided into single rooms, each with a door and usually only one window. In four camps no screens were provided, and one had an insufficient number, thus constituting a distinct health hazard, as this was the time of the year when flies are numerous and annoying. Sleeping facilities provided consisted usually of built-in beds or bunks with some straw, the tenants providing their own covers. Tables and chairs were lacking in most cases, and only crudely made benches or boxes served as seats. Drinking water was supplied by outdoor faucets, placed at intervals through the camp, and obtained from a nearby well or hydrant. Cooking arrangements generally were inadequate. In one camp each room was provided with an oil stove for cooking, and in each camp a few families had their own oil stoves. In seven camps one or more cook stoves were provided by the employer. These cook stoves were community affairs and were in open sheds having a roof but in most cases no sides. The family groups without oil stoves took turns at cooking and then ate as comfortably as they could at the make-shift tables or benches. _ Toilets also were out-of-doors; in some camps they were too few in number and offensive, but in others they were adequate, clean, and plainly marked for men and for women. About half the camps had colored supervisors. County officers were employed in two cases. One camp employed social workers in the busy season. The foregoing is a general description of camp facilities, but as the camps differed in size and in the number and type of tenants, details for the various places may be of interest. The following paragraphs give the agents’ description of the camps and their remarks concerning the various groups of migrants. Camp A1—This, one of the largest camps, consisted of four long frame buildings, divided into single rooms, each with two windows. 1 To avoid identification, the camps listed here as A to H are in different order from those listed on page 60- DATA REPORTED BY CANNERS 9 The buildings were provided with screens at both doors and windows. There was also a rough porch. Some rooms housed as many as live or six people, but others only two or three, depending on size of family. Two large stoves under a long open shed were provided for cooking. A few families had their own oil stoves. Water was secured from a faucet in the yard. Outside toilets were provided. Of the migrants reporting the place of last employment, 15 perceht had come to this camp from other points in Delaware, 8 percent from New York or New Jersey, 49 percent from Maryland or Virginia (chiefly Virginia), and 30 percent from Florida and other far southern States. Camp B.—This camp, also a large one, consisted of five long rows of frame buildings, divided into single rooms. Each room had a door and one window, some of which were screened. The number of per sons to a room varied from two to four or five; in some cases two fami lies, or a family and a boarder, or groups of four single women or men, lived in a room. Part of one building formed an open shed, under which were four large stoves where the families did their cooking. Many workers had their own oil stoves and cooked in their rooms. The company had a store and sold staples and candy, cigarettes, and soft drinks. The workers were allowed credit until they earned enough at the cannery to pay cash. There were few chairs. The people sat on boxes or baskets and ate their meals at rough board tables. Water was obtained from hydrants. Three toilets, respectively for men, for women, and for children, were provided. • A Negro camp boss supervised the camp, assisted by regular men cleaners. Of workers reporting place of last employment, 6 percent had come here from Delaware, 5 percent from New York or Penn sylvania, 62 percent from Maryland, 8 percent from Virginia, and f9 percent from Florida or North Carolina, all but one from Florida. Camp C.—This camp, of medium size, consisted of small un'ts of frame buildings divided into single rooms. Some rooms had two win dows, others one; all were screened. The camp was not overcrowded; there were from one to four persons in a room. Electric lights were provided free of charge. For cooking, the company provided one main stove in a shed; it also supplied some of the tenants with oil stoves. The workers purchased their food at a store some distance from camp, but the company operated a small store, selling candy, cigarettes, and cold drinks. The toilets, plainly marked for men and for women, were clean. When work was slack the women made preserves for their own use, the company furnishing the firewood and all the tomatoes the women wanted. Nearly all these people—90 percent—came here from Maryland; only one who reported came from so far south as Virginia. Camp D.—This camp, also of medium size, consisted of a number of frame buildings built in small units, well spaced for air and light and situated in a large yard that was clean and well kept. The buildings were in fair repair; however, the windows were not screened though there were many flies. Some of the rooms had electricity. One building, not divided into rooms, was occupied by a group of single men. The others were divided into rooms, each occupied by one fam ily, varying in size from one to four persons. The camp did not seem overcrowded. 10 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE Cooking facilities consisted of brick ovens in a 3-sided building. A few of the families had their own oil stoves. Water was secured from hydrants placed at intervals through the yard. There were outside toilets, screened from the other buildings and plainly marked for men and for women. These were clean and well kept. Seventy percent of the migrants came here from Florida, 16 percent from Georgia, the Carolinas, or Alabama, 12 percent from Virginia or Maryland, and 2 percent from widely separated localities. Camp E. This camp consisted of two buildings, one of frame con struction and one of another type. They were close together and were long narrow buildings, divided into small dark rooms with doors opening into a narrow central corridor. Each room had one small unscreened window. The camp was dirty and flies were a nuisance. From one to three or four people, never more than one family, lived in a room; they did their cooking there also, as the company furnished an oil stove to each. There were no outside stoves. Toilets were near the buildings. They were plainly marked for men and for women, but were not clean. Forty-two percent of the migrants came here from Maryland, 36 percent from Virginia, 13 percent from North Carolina or Florida, and only 8 percent from New Jersey or Delaware. Campi F.—The several frame buildings of this camp were in small units fairly close together. They were divided into single rooms; no screens were provided, and the flies were bad. The number of per sons to a room varied from 3 or 4 to as many as 10; many rooms had 2 families, 1 in the front of the room and 1 in the back, with a curtain stretched between. The camp had one main stove out-of-doors under a shelter. Many of the workers had their own oil stoves with them. Water hydrants were at convenient intervals through the yard. The women com plained that the toilets, located nearby, were dirty and offensive. About 41 percent of the migrants came from Florida or Alabama, in equal numbers, 31 percent came from Maryland and 16 percent from Virginia, and 11 percent from other southern States. One worker came here from Massachusetts. Camp G.~This camp consisted of a long, roughly built 2-story frame building divided into single rooms. There were only two or three persons to a room, as this was a poor season and at no time do they try to have many migrants. There were no screens in the windows. One room was set aside as a community kitchen, with a large stove and a rough table. The workers complained of this, because some had to wait a long time for their turn at the stove. A couple of families had their own oil stoves. Water for drinking and washing was obtained from a well in the cannery yard about 200 feet away. The toilets were of the roughly-built outside type. The agent who collected the workers was given the privilege of running a commissary at the camp. He sold soft drinks, cigarettes, and candy. About a fourth of the migrants (24 percent) had come to the camp from elsewhere in Delaware, 29 percent from Virginia or Maryland, and 47 percent from North Carolina or Georgia. Camp H.—This camp, with comparatively Tew migrants at the time, had several frame buildings, divided into medium-sized single rooms. The buildings were in fair repair and had screens in most cases. DATA REPORTED BY CANKERS 11 The number of persons in a room varied from one to as many as eight; several rooms contained two families. Only one outdoor stove was provided, but several tenants had their own oil stoves. Water taps were placed at convenient places through the camp. There were outdoor toilets plainly marked for men and women; these were screened and clean. Nine-tenths of the workers came to this camp from North Carolina, the remainder from Virginia. ANALYSIS OF DATA REPORTED BY INDIVIDUAL WORKERS In the 8 camps visited the Bureau’s agents interviewed 299 persons, including 155 members of family groups representing a total of 418 persons, and 144 individuals traveling alone and referred to in this report as single persons. Thus the number of persons covered totaled 562, or approximately three-fifths of the 950 estimated by the canners and camp bosses to be in camp in September 1940. The number of persons represented on the Bureau’s schedules varied by camp from 17 to 157; the number was less than 50 in each of two other camps and more than 80 in each of two others. The smallest group scheduled had 6 families and 2 single persons, in contrast to a total of 42 families and 38 single persons in the largest. Composition of family groups. As the majority of the migrants in the camp were members of fami lies, and as each family group lived in 1 room, it is important to know more about the size of these various groups. Generally they were small families of only 2 or 3 persons, but, as shown in the summary following, as many as 10 families consisted of 5 or more persons and 16 were 4-member families. Much the largest group, 88 families, not far from three-fifths of the total, were 2-mcmber families. Size of family >tal_. 2 persons 3 persons 4 persons 5 persons 6 persons 7 persons Number of families Total persons ___________ 155 418 ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ 176 123 64 30 18 7 88 41 16 6 3 1 Unpublished tabulations show that 120 of the 155 family groups scheduled, including 20 of those with 4 or more members, 33 with 3 members, and 67 with 2 members, were normal families consisting of husband and wife or of husband, wife, and children. The remaining family groups were composed as follows: Mother and children; father and children; sisters; brothers; brother and sister; grandmother and grandson; mother, son, and grandson; sisters and nephews; and cousins. Of the 418 persons in the 155 families, 174 were women, 149 were men, and 95 were children under 16 years old. Of the 144 persons traveling as single or individual persons, 67 were women and 77 were men. Age of the migrants, by sex. The 562 persons scheduled were divided almost equally as to sex— 282 males and 280 females—and in broad age groups they differed little in distribution; for example, the males had 68 and the females 64 persons under 20 years, the males had 134 and the females had 140 at 20 and under 40, and the males had 8Q and the females had 76 at 40 and over. A further break-down of the age groups, however, 12 13 DATA REPORTED BY WORKERS shown in the following summary, discloses significant differences. Of the 68 boys under 20 years of age, all but 12 were under 16; whereas of the 64 girls under 20 years, 25 were 16 or more; among those 20 and under 40 years, the men were almost equally 20 and under 30 years and 30 and under 40, but more than three-fifths of the women were below 30; while among those of 40 and over, only about onefourth of the men, in contrast to two-fifths of the women, were as much as 50. Because of the inclusion of children, the family groups appear to be younger than the single persons, as many as three-tenths being under 20 years and less than one-fourth being as old as 40, while only 7 percent of the single persons were less than 20, and 40 percent were 40 years or more. Table 1.—Age Sex and type of group of migrants, by sex and type of group Total number of migrants Total. ..................... .......... Male...____ _______________ Female.___ ________________ Family members Single persons 562 282 280 418 144 Number whose age was Under 16 years 95 56 39 95 16, under 20, under 30, under 40, under 50 years 20 years 30 years 40 years 50 years and over 37 12 25 27 10 119 65 54 88 31 155 69 86 109 46 104 59 45 72 32 52 21 31 27 25 Residence of the migrant workers. Each person interviewed was asked what State he considered his permanent residence. Of the many who had been traveling for some years, a few had not returned to their residence in either 1939 or 1940, but had gone directly to Florida, and a few others had remained in Delaware or Maryland instead of returning to the South. However, the majority of these workers had been employed in the State of their residence at some time in the period covered. The largest proportions of the migrants, about 25 percent in each case, reported Maryland or Florida as their State of residence; these were followed by from 11 to 14 percent reporting their State as Georgia, North Carolina, or Vir ginia. Less than 5 percent of the total reported any other single State. The summary following gives the permanent residence of the migratoiy workers in Delaware camps. State of residence Family groups Number Total_________ _____ _____ Alabama_________ _ Arkansas____ __ Delaware ____________ Florida_______________ Georgia_____ _ . Louisiana.......... ......... Maryland_____ ___ _ New Jersey. _ . New York___ ____ North Carolina___ ... Pennsylvania................... South Carolina. __ __________ Virginia______________ West Virginia____ ____ _ Bahama Islands___ _ _ Persons 116 36 110 18 20 48 Single per sons 14 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE Movements of the migrants, 1939 and 1940. Considering these people as a group, their migrations were extremely complicated. The majority of those found in the Delaware camps do not appear to be connected with the groups of seasonal migrants who start their trek in Florida and follow the crop harvests north. Rather, most of the people had come direct to the Delaware camp from their home State, even when such State was Florida, Georgia, or Alabama. Very nearly all the people who claimed Maryland as their residence moved only in these two States, that is, from Maryland to Delaware and return. A small proportion of the migrants interviewed may be considered as the truly seasonal migrant, travel histories for 1939 such as the following being not unusual: Florida—North Carolina—New Jersey'—North Carolina—Florida. Florida—North Carolina—Virginia—Florida. Florida—Virginia—New Jersey—Delaware—Florida. Florida—Virginia—Maryland—Delaware—Florida. Florida—Virginia—Delaware—Florida. North Carolina—Virginia—Delaware—North Carolina. However, the proportion of migrants who moved along with the crops, working in each of the coast States on the way, is surprisingly low. Possible reasons may be the type of work, that is, cannery as well as farm work in Delaware, and also the fact that some seasonal work is available in Delaware as early as June and July, or a period corresponding to that when seasonal work is available also in the more southern States. On the other hand, the proportion of the people who were in camp in 1940 but who had not moved out of their home State in 1939 was very striking; and it appears that the turn-over of individuals, at least between 1939 and 1940, was extremely high. As many as 222 members of 95 family groups and 77 single persons were in only one State in 1939, most of them in their home State; this means that more than half of the people in the Delaware camps in 1940 were not part of the migratory movement in 1939. The number who were in Delaware in 1939 totaled 191 family members and 59 single persons. The large number who came to camp in 1940 but not in 1939 may be due in part to three factors: (1) The recruiting practices of the labor agents who collect the workers, that is, the agents not going to the same place each year or not securing the same workers. Thirty-six family groups and 36 single persons not in camp in 1939 reported that in 1940 they obtained work through the company agent or came to camp in the company truck; (2) the low earnings in Florida in the 1939-40 winter, caused by lack of work due to the frozen crops, may have led these workers to migrate in 1940 in order to get work, whereas in years with good crops migration was not necessary; and (3) the poor year in Maryland and Virginia oyster fisheries in 1939-40 may have caused many migrants to look for other work to supplement the earnings received in their usual employments. If reduced earnings in their usual work led migrants to Delaware canneries in 1940, the result must have been disappointing to many of them. Some crops were damaged also in Delaware, and cannery DATA REPORTED BY WORKERS 15 work was neither plentiful nor steady in 1940. Worker after worker stated that they had obtained very little work, “only 2 or 3 days in weeks.” A typical example is presented in the following case history. Mr. and Mrs. A from Annapolis, Md., a young couple aged 30 and 26 years, did not migrate from their home in 1939, but in 1940 had joined the migrant group. Mrs. A did housework by the day throughout 1939. For only about 3 months of that year was she able to obtain fairly steady employment at rates ranging from 15 to 25 cents an hour; the rest of the time she had only a day’s work now and then. Her husband shucked oysters or got odd jobs on nearby farms, depending on the season. Neither of these occupations afforded very full or steady employ ment. The combined earnings of this couple for the year 1939 were about $550. By the middle of March 1940, when the oyster season was about over, Mr. and Mrs. A decided to go to Delaware, where friends had told them they could get work picking berries. From that time until interviewed in September, they had been migrants living in company camps; for 6 weeks they picked berries in Delaware, then they heard there was work in Virginia grabbling potatoes and for 2 weeks they worked there, then they traveled to Maryland to pick cucumbers for 3 weeks, and next they signed up to go on a company truck to a tomato cannery in Delaware.. They had been there about 5 weeks at the time of interview. Mrs. A explained that by moving from one place to the next they had so far always obtained work but very rarely had the work been full time, with the result that their combined earnings for the first 9 months of 1940 had amounted to only about $330, of which Mrs. A had earned approximately $100. Due to the movements of the workers, it was to be expected that there would be a discrepancy between the number reporting a par ticular State as permanent residence and the number coming from that State directly to Delaware. From the summary following it is apparent that the numbers coming to Delaware directly from the more northern States, Maryland and Virginia, are larger than the numbers reporting those States as their permanent residence, whereas the proportions are smaller for North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. There was less difference in the case of Florida because workers went to Florida for the winter though some other State was their residence. The summary following shows the last State the migrants had visited prior to their arrival in Delaware. Several of the family groups were not traveling as a unit before coming to Delaware, so the family is counted only once but the individual members are credited to the State from which they came. Family groups State last visited Number Total......................................... ... Alabama__________ __________ Delaware....... ....................... Florida............. ............... Georgia. _____________________ Maryland............................. Massachusetts_____ ______ New Jersey... ___ ___________ New York....... ........ ........................ North Carolina______ _____ _____ Pennsylvania _____ South Carolina................................. Tennessee.......................... .......... Virginia...................................... .................. Bahama Islands...................................... _ Persons Single persons 155 55 _ 1 11 1 1 1 26 57 32 2 65 1 The general direction of the migrations has been given, but it is important to know also the number of States visited by these people. If a State was visited more than once in a period, it has been counted 16 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE each time; but a State has not been counted unless the person reported an actual stop in the State. For example, a movement from Florida to Delaware and back to Florida is counted as only three States visited, and the States between these, which were traveled through, are not counted. In 1939 as many as 43 members of 16 family groups and 8 single persons visited either 4 or 5 States, and as many as 145 members of 46 family groups and 53 single persons visited 3 States; many of this latter group traveled only from their home State to Delaware and return. The 1940 record is, of course, not complete, as practically all expected to leave the camp in October or November. However, the 1940 figures indicate greater movement than those for 1939; crops were said to be poor “from Florida up,” and crab and fish work also was slack. All but the few already in Delaware had moved this year, and less than half the group moved in 1939. By September 1940, 29 members of family groups and 15 single persons had been in 4, 5, or 6 States, and as many as 73 family members and 22 single persons had visited 3 States. The summary following shows the number of States reported by the migrants as visited in 1939 and from January to September 1940. 1940 1939 Number of States visited 1 ... 2 ____ ___________________________________ 3 ______________________ _____________________ 4 ____ ______________________________ ________ 5 . Family members 222 8 145 30 13 Single persons Family members 77 5 53 5 3 1 21 295 73 19 7 3 Single persons 6 101 22 10 4 1 Method of obtaining work. As many of these people came from distant places, it is interesting to know how they came to find their way into these Delaware camps, that is, whether it was an intentional move on their part because they knew definitely there was work, or whether the move was by chance. Though 6 canners reported that an agent was sent out or commis sioned to secure migratory workers, only 89 family members and 35 single persons, just over one-fifth of the total, had secured work through the company man; 9 family members and 7 single persons had been employed by another branch of the same firm that operated the Delaware camp in which they were scheduled. The method of obtaining work probably was more haphazard in the case of other workers. Eleven family members and 20 single persons definitely stated that they were “just looking for work” and happened to ask for work at the cannery. The others reported either that they had been to the same camp previously—some only once before, but many regularly for 5, 10, or more years—or that they had heard of the particular camp from friends or relatives who had been there. DATA REPORTED BY WORKERS 17 The following description illustrates the more or less haphazard method of obtaining work, as well as other aspects of migrant em ployment. The B family, whose home is in Florida, heard through other workers with whom they were picking beans in Florida that there was work to be had in North Caro lina picking potatoes. The bean-picking season had yielded so little that Mr. and Mrs. B had been obliged at the first of the year to take their 14-year-old son from school to help them. At the end of April they took their other child, a 12-year-old boy, out of school, packed up their belongings, and went to North Carolina. For about a month all members of the family but the 12-year-old had employment picking potatoes. Then this job petered out and word got around that there was similar work to be had in New Jersey. Again the B family packed up and went to New Jersey for another month’s employment. Potato picking brought the family only about $60 in 2 months of joint effort, bean picking had yielded about $70 over a 6-week peri d, and on these jobs there was no supple ment in the form of free camps. In New Jersey the family heard of work in Maryland canneries, so they made their way to the Eastern Shore. But Mrs. B was the only member of the family who could find a job there. She peeled tomatoes in two different canneries, earning only about $27 in 2 months’ time as work was not steady. Then again through fellow workers the news was spread around that a Delaware cannery had work, and once again the B family, took to the road, getting a ride with friends by sharing expenses. They had been at the Delaware cannery about 3 weeks when interviewed and all but the 12-year-old son were employed. Mrs. B was peeling tomatoes, Mr. B was a general laborer in the cannery, and the 14-year-old boy was picking tomatoes on a nearby farm. Their combined earnings for the 3-week period had amounted to about $70. As Mr. B explained: “We have been following around from one place to another; we would hear of work, get there, and then couldn’t get any to speak of.” Mode of transportation to camp. Few migrant workers earn enough to pay for train or bus fare, so if the employer does not send out trucks the workers usually manage to buy second-hand “rattle-traps” or “jalopies.” To save on transpor tation costs, they crowd into their cars as many people as can possibly get in, pile their meager belongings on running boards and fenders, and off they go. The means of transportation for approximately half the migrants interviewed was a private car; only 40 family members and 31 single persons had come by bus or train, and 139 family members and 53 single persons had come by company truck. Of this latter group, 10 family members and 4 single persons paid a 50-cent ferry charge; 1 single person paid a fare of $3; and 18 family members and 6 single persons a fare of from $5.50 to $8 for each grown person. The remaining 111 family members and 42 single persons were transported to camp free of charge and stated that they expected to go back the same way at the end of the season. Seventeen family members and 13 single persons reported that they begged rides when moving from one place to another. As shown in the following table, there were 99 persons who came in their own cars; of these, 66 had paid their own gas and other expenses and 33 had transported others who helped to pay for the gas. As many as 160 had obtained transportation with someone else; 53 of these were transported free of charge, but the others helped to pay for the gas. 18 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE Family groups Method of transportation Number Company truck-----------------------Free__________ __________ Paid fare__________________ Paid ferry charge----------------Bus or train----------------------------Begged rides---------------------- -----Had own car__________________ Paid all expenses----------------Others helped pay for gas------Rode in other car---------------------Free______________________ Shared cost of gas___________ Not reported__________________ 55 42 9 4 13 7 32 20 12 45 15 30 3 Persons 139 111 18 10 40 17 96 63 33 119 33 86 7 Single persons 53 42 7 4 31 13 3 3 41 20 21 3 Types of employment in September 1940. Of the 469 persons 16 years old and over, that is, of working age (including 2 who were working at 15 years), only 73 were reported doing other than cannery work or were not employed at the time of the interview. Thirty-four persons were employed at other types of work, as follows: 6 worked in the camp (cook 3, camp boss 2, laborer 1). 20 were working on nearby farms. 8 were employed outside the camp: 2 were doing housework. 2 were employed in an experiment station. 1 was doing general factory work. 1 was in construction work. 1 was in a restaurant. 1 was doing odd jobs. There were various reasons why the remaining group, 39 persons, were not at work, but the largest number, 29, were not employed because no work was available, or they had arrived only a few days previously, or no reason was given. Of the other 10 persons 3 were sick, 1 was too old, 2 were taking care of infants, and 4 were unable to secure work because they did not have their Social Security card with them or had no work certificate. Earnings and time worked by migrants. The significant expression “low wages and long gaps between jobs” has been widely used in referring to the work opportunities of migrants, and it certainly is characteristic of the 1939-40 work histories of these migrants covered by the survey. The particular case of the C family that follows is perhaps extreme, but it points up sharply the low earnings and long gaps in em ployment. The C’s, husband and wife, aged 42 and 35, were tenant farmers in Alabama in 1939. They got free rent, their vegetables, and about $70 in cash, $10 of which came from Mrs. C’s employment for 3 weeks as a bean picker. In 1940 Mr. C got odd jobs on farms at $1.50 or $2 a day. This brought in about $50 during the first 6 months of the year, and Mrs. C again earned $10 picking beans. Then they heard of work in Delaware and took to the road with friends, sharing the expense of their friends’ car by paying for part of the gas and oil. From about the middle of June until nearly the middle of September, when they were interviewed, the C’s had very little work, Mr. C getting 3 weeks picking beans, Mrs. C a total of 6 weeks at picking and sorting beans. Their combined earnings in Delaware were $35, making a total of less than $100 for the first 9 months of 1940. 19 DATA REPORTED BY WORKERS The earnings and time-worked data for 1939 were complete enough to be tabulated for 404 wage earners, comprising with the non wage earners a total of 510 persons. For the 8 or 9 months in 1940 (the survey was made in September), data were secured for 434 wage earn ers, comprising with the non wage earners a total of 531 persons. In the table following the earnings and time worked are tabulated for families of two or more persons by size of family and number of wage earners. Table 2.—Average earnings per family, year’s and week’s, and average weeks worked, by size of family and number of wage earners, 1939 and 19^0 1989 Average Average Number of year’s earn week’s families earnings ings per reporting per wage family earner Size of family and number of wage earners 2-person family: Average weeks worked per wage earner 11 67 421 386 467 10. 59 6.88 8. 20 39.8 28.1 19 0 253 347 426 435 7. 00 6. 27 6. 45 4. 31 36 2 27.7 22 0 25.3 414 220 940 8.40 7.81 24.7 20.0 24.1 1 1 1 6-person family: 26.6 28.3 3 1 2 5-person family: $6.05 6.11 5 10 1 1 4-person family: $161 346 4 28 3 3-person family: 250 338 629 8. 33 3.93 6. 55 42.0 24.0 8 73 $83 212 $5. 55 6.45 15.0 16.4 4 25 7 218 225 322 8.21 6. 57 8. 00 26.5 17.1 13.4 2 12 2 1 137 233 246 346 5.07 6. 90 4.42 4. 55 27.0 16.9 18.5 19.0 3 1 2 226 145 485 8.15 4.39 7.40 27.7 11.0 13.1 2 1 196 171 4.72 6. 60 20.8 7.8 19+01 2-person family: 1 wage earner ......... ..................... ....................... __ 2 wage earners.______ ________________ _____ 3-person family: 1 wage earner _______ _______ _____ _ 2 wage earners_ ____________________ ________ 3 wage earners__ ____________ _______________ 4-person family: 1 wage earner _______ _____ ______ __________ 2 wage earners ____________________________ _ 3 wage earners_____ _____ ______ __________ 4 wage earners _ ____ _____ ____ _____ 5-person family: 1 wage earner ______ _____ ________ _________ 3 wage earners____________ ______ ___________ 5 wage earners. ....... ................................. ............... 6-person family: 2 wage earners. ______________ ________ 4 wage earners_______________ _______________ 1 From January to various dates in September, according to date of agents’ visit. The single migrants, as distinct from members of families, had average earnings in 1939 of $208, averaging, for the 30 weeks worked, $6.92 a week. In the 8 or 9 months of 1940, in which they averaged 17 weeks of work, these single persons had average earnings of $120, or $7.18 a week. Taking all wage earners together, family members and single persons, the earnings in 1939, for the average of 28^ weeks worked, averaged $6.64 a week; in 1940, for the average of 16% weeks worked in the incomplete year, week’s earnings averaged $6.75. 20 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE It is apparent that the average week’s earnings were practically the same in the 2 years—$6.64 and $6.75—and that the average weeks worked comprised roughly half of the period covered, but slightly better in the earlier year; that is, of the 12 months reported for 1939, time worked averaged 6 % months, but of the period in 1940 of January to various dates in September the average time worked was not quite 4 months. In 1939 only 12 families of 2 or more persons received as much as $600 and only 39 earned $400 and under $600. At the other extreme of the wage scale were 10 families who received less than $100 and 23 families who earned $100 but under $200. These workers had relatively little employment as well as low wages. In 1939 the average number of weeks of employment per wage earner varied from 19 to 42. In 7 of the family groups as classed in the table the average employment per wage earner was less than 26 weeks, that is, less than 6 months. The average week’s earnings per wage earner ranged from $3.67 to $10.59 in the various classes. There were many variations among families of the same size. One family of six persons had total year’s earnings of $250 when only one person worked; another earned $629 when there were three wage earners but fewer weeks. In six 5-member families the year’s earnings were $220 for a family with three wage earners at 20 weeks, $414 for three with two wage earners at 25 weeks, and $940 where there were five wage earners at 24 weeks. In 1940 only 11 families earned as much as $400 in the 8 or 9 months and only 63 earned $200 and under $400. The average time worked per wage earner varied, by family class, from almost 8 to almost 28 weeks. Average week’s earnings per wage earner in 1940, also by family class, ranged from $4.39 to $8.21; in four family groups as classed by size and wage earners, week’s earnings averaged less than $5; in three others as much as $8. The wage earners were divided almost equally as to sex, but in the Delaware camps and in all combined the earnings of men and of women differed traditionally. In 1939 men averaged 4.7 more weeks of work in camps than women averaged, the figures being respectively 14.4 weeks and 9.7 weeks, and men’s weekly earnings averaged $8.01 in contrast to women’s $6.89. In the 8 or 9 months of 1940 men had averaged 8.1 weeks of work in camps and women had averaged 5.7 weeks, and men’s earnings had averaged $7.53 a week in contrast to women’s $5.20. The figures on men’s and women’s earnings in camps in the various States are as follows: 21 DATA REPORTED Bt WORKERS Table 3.—Average earnings, year’s and week’s, and average weeks worked, by sex and by location of camp, 1989 and 19Jfi Women Men Location of employment Num Aver Aver Num Aver Aver ber re Aver ber re Aver age age age age porting earn week’s porting earn week’s age age weeks earn ings for weeks ings earn earn worked ings in for the earn worked ings in the ings ings camps period camps period 1939 Total employment in camps... » 85 $116 $8.01 14.4 194 $67 $6.89 9.7 Employment in Delaware camps_ _ Employment in Maryland camps... Employment in Virginia camps Employment in Florida camps....... . 82 5 6 12 92 32 68 131 8.60 5.27 4. 83 7.80 10.6 6.0 14.0 16.8 91 11 4 10 54 34 24 76 7.54 5.07 6.79 5.44 7.2 6.7 3.5 13.9 mo* Total employment in camps... i 211 $62 $7. 63 8.1 i 214 $29 $5. 20 5.7 Employment in Delaware camps_ _ Employment in Maryland camps... Employment in Virginia camps Employment in Florida camps 208 13 20 12 54 31 26 43 7. 89 6. 72 7.87 4.31 6.8 4.6 3.4 10.1 212 23 15 9 24 21 20 29 5.27 4. 97 6.10 4. 35 4.5 4.2 4.0 6.7 1 Details aggregate more than total because some people worked in more than one State. 2 From January to various dates in September, according to date of agents’ visit. In 1939 the migrant women averaged only $5.07 a week while in Maryland camps and only $5.44 a week in Florida, but in Virginia they averaged $6.79 and in Delaware $7.54. The men’s average week’s earnings also varied, as follows: $4.83 in Virginia, $5.27 in Maryland, $7.80 in Florida, and $8.60 in Delaware. The incomplete figures for 1940 indicate that men’s average week’s earnings were lower in Florida and Delaware and were higher in Virginia and Maryland than in 1939; women’s were lower in each State than in 1939, varying from $4.35 in Florida to $5.27 in Delaware. Obviously, such irregular and low-paid employment makes it di Hi cult if not impossible to secure even the barest necessities of life. An insignificant number of persons reported that they had applied for relief or W. P. A. work, but several stated that they had lived with relatives or friends or had been helped by such persons. The figures make it clear that these workers must be given attention by State and Federal agencies if they are to have a standard of living that includes sufficient food and clothing, sanitary housing facilities, and, probably what they have never had before, adequate medical treatment. SCHOOL CHILDREN IN DELAWARE LABOR CAMPS In the 155 family groups there were only 95 children, and 61 of these were of school age, that is, 6 and under 16 years. Data relating to these children are the basis of this section of the report. The number of family groups with school children totaled 43; each of 2 families reported 3 children, each of 14 reported 2 children, and each of 27 reported 1 child. Sex and age. Of the 61 children of school age reported, 40 were boys and 21 were girls. The following summary shows the ages of the 61 children. Total 6 years... Girls Boys Age Age 40 __ 9 years_____ __ __ ... __ 21 5 4 6 3 6 3 1 1 Oirls Boys 11 years_ _ 12 years......... __ __ .................. 16 years.. ___ _ 3 2 6 6 3 3 3 1 3 1 2 School attendance. Concerning the schooling of these children, the family member inter viewed was asked where they went to school in the 1938-39 and 1939 40 school years and if they attended regularly. These school children have been classified according to school attendance, and the ages of the children in each group will be given in this analysis. Practically all the persons interviewed stated that they would remain in camp until the canning season was over, October 1 to 15. As this is generally from 2 to 4 weeks later than the opening of schools, it is apparent that the children will miss some school days unless they attend the Delaware schools. The first group comprises nine children 6 years old who had not been to school previously. All of these were to attend school this year, but they would not start until they left camp, that is, they would not attend Delaware schools for the last few weeks in camp. Of this group one was a Delaware resident, two were from Maryland, one each from Virginia and North Carolina, two from Georgia, and two from Florida. None expected to leave camp before October. The second group comprises 6 children who had gone to school regularly in previous years and who would not miss any school this fall. Two of these were 8 years old, one was 12, one was 13, and two were 15. Two of these children, one 13 and one 15, were in a family that lived in Delaware all year; they were in a camp scheduled before school opened, but they expected to leave when school began. At the time of the agent’s visit the 15-year-old boy was picking tomatoes on a nearby farm. His wages were low, from 50 to 75 cents for a 5-to-6-hour day or $1 to $1.50 for a full day. Work was irregular, 22 23 SCHOOL CHILDREN IN LABOR CAMPS varying from 2 to 5 days a week. The other children were in camps visited later in the month, and were already attending school. Two had attended school in Florida in 1938-39 but had lived continuously in the Delaware camp since June 1939 and expected to stay this winter. The other two had started school in Delaware but will transfer to their permanent residences, Florida and North Carolina, at the end of the canning season. The third and largest group includes children who attended school regularly in previous years, but who will lose some time this year because of not returning until after school has opened. Many of the persons interviewed stated that the time between the opening of school and their departure from camp was too short to have the children entered in the Delaware school. The person interviewed in the Alabama family said the two children may enter the Delaware school, as it had not been decided whether the family would stay in camp all year or would return to Alabama. None of these children were working at the time of the visit to the camp. Five children in two Maryland families had picked berries after school and on Saturdays in May and June but did not lose any time at school. The ages of these 30 children and the States where they attend school are shown in the following summaiy. Number Maryland North Carolina Virginia Alabama Florida Total___ 6 years—. 7 years—. 8 years.... 9 years__ 10 years._. 11 years... 12 years . 13 years . 14 years . 15 years.. The next group is composed of seven children who attended school but who had been in camp each year until after the canning season was over and therefore had lost some time each fall. They expected to do so again this year. Their ages and the States where they attend school follow: Age Number 2 1 1 1 1 1 Pennsyl vania Maryland 1 1 1 Florida 1 1 1 1 The next class comprises two children who lost time from school in both spring and fall because the family left their winter residence before school was out and returned after school began. One was a 10-year-old boy who attended a Virginia school each year from October to May; he was still in the first grade. The other was a 13-year-old girl who attended school in Florida. 24 MIGRATORY LABOR PROBLEM IN DELAWARE The final group is of seven children who missed school most of the previous year or who had quit school permanently. These will be considered individually. One 8-year-old boy attended school in Virginia only half of the 1938-39 and 1939-40 school years; work was so poor that the family could not buy clothes for the boy, so he had to stay home in cold weather. Two boys, aged 10 and 7, of a Florida family attended school regularly until November 1939, when work got so bad that the family had to move to a farm looking for work. As this was 6 miles from the nearest school, it was too far to send the children. A 13-year-old boy in a Florida family was taken out of school early m 1940 when it became necessary to migrate north because work was poor Two other boys, 13 and 14, of Florida families were taken out of school late m 1939 because work was so slack that it became necessary for the boys to help to make a living. The 14-year-old boy was picking tomatoes on a cannery farm in September- waves were from $1 to $1.50 for a full day of work. A 15-year-old girl from a Maryland family left school in May 1940 because she needed clothes and had to go to work to get them. From this discussion it is apparent that relatively few children worked, but during the current year the majority of them were obliged to lose some time from school because the parents were staying in camp until after the opening of school. Compared to the large number of families, 155, in the camps visited the number of children appears small. However, 7 of the persons interviewed reported that they left their children with relatives or friends, some remarking that the camps were not places for children to live in. Each said that the children of school age attended school regularly. In the winter months these families resided in Maryland (2) Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, It was said by the workers that the canners apparently do not welcome children; that there is always the possibility of illness and that on account of the child-labor law they want no question as to whether or not the children work in the cannery. o