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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BULLETIN OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU, No. 47

WOMEN IN THE FRUIT-GROWING AND
CANNING INDUSTRIES IN THE
STATE OF WASHINGTON
A STUDY OF HOURS, WAGES, AND CONDITIONS




[Public—No. 259—66th Congress]

Vf

[HR. 13229]

An Act To establish in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the

Women’s Bureau

Be it enacted by the Semite and Mouse of Representat ives of the United
States of America in Coru/ress assembled, That there shall be established
m the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the Women’s
.Bureau.
Sec. 2. That the said bureau shall be in charge of a director, a
woman, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual compensa­
tion of $5,000. It shall be the duty of said bureau to formulate
standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage­
earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their
efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employ­
ment. The said bureau shall have authority to investigate and
report to the said department upon all matters pertaining to the
welfare of women in industry. The director of said bureau may
from time to time publish the results of these investigations in such
a manner and to such extent as the Secretary of Labor may prescribe.
Sec. 3. That there shall be in said bureau an assistant director,
to be appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who shall receive an
annual compensation of $3,500 and shall perform such duties as
shall be prescribed by the director and approved by the Secretary
of Labor.
Sec. 4, That there is hereby authorized to be employed by said
bureau a chief clerk and such special agents, assistants, clerks, and
other employees at such rates of compensation and in such numbers
as Congress may from time to time provide by appropriations.
Sec. 5. That the Secretary of Labor is hereby directed to furnish
sufficient quarters, office furniture, and equipment, for the work of
this bureau.
Sec. 6. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and
after its passage.
Approved, June 5, 1920.







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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
JAMES J. DAVIS, SECRETARY

WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director

BULLETIN

OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU, No. 47

WOMEN IN THE FRUIT-GROWING AND
CANNING INDUSTRIES IN THE
STATE OF WASHINGTON




A STUDY OF HOURS, WAGES
AND CONDITIONS

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1926




ADDITIONAL COPIES
OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE PROCURE® FR®M
THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENT*
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON, D. C.
AT

40 CENTS PER COPY

CONTENTS

,

"

*

-•

-.x

Part I. Introduction______ __________________________
The fruit-growing and canning industries in Washington.
Scope and method________________________________
Statistical summary
_
II. Personal and Family History of the Women Workers..
Personal information _____________________________
Ase:......................... —................
Conjugal condition
_
__
Nativity___________________________
_ _
Living condition _
Family relationship and responsibilities_________________
Size and make-up of family_______
Children
_
Migrant households without adults________________
Share of women workers in family support_________
Reasons for working____________________
In relation to position in family______________
In relation to place of employment________________
III. Migrants_________________________
Migrants and the various industries_________________
Typical cases of migrant workers_________________
Berry workers_________________________
Orchard workers_______________________
Stranded migrant workers. .1 _
IV^ Housing ___________________________________
"" ~
Period of occupancy of living quarters__________________
Size and location of the ranches_________________
Types of labor._________________ _____ ___________
"
Types of living quarters______________________________
Size of living quarters
54
Drainage_________ _______ ______________ t_____________
Toilet facilities___________ ___________ ___
Drinking, bathing, and laundry facilities________________
Cooking facilities
___________________________________
Lighting............................................................................ ^
Disposal of garbage________________________________
Furniture_____
_ _
__ _
Food61
V. Women Workers in the Berry Fields__________________
Facts about the industry_____________________________
Earnings and time worked..._______________________
VI. Women Workers in the Prune Orchards______________
Facts about the industry_______________ _________
Earnings and time worked____ ______
_
Picking-----------------------------------------------------------------'
Sorting________________________
Working conditions in driers
81




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CONTENTS

IV

Part VII. Women Workers in Apple and Pear Orchards------------Facts about the industry
83
Earnings and time worked—Women in apple and pear
orchards
Apple thinning
Apple picking----------------------------------------------- -—
Pear picking
88
Other types of seasonal work of women in apple orchards __
VIII. Women Workers in Fruit and Vegetable Canneries
and

Evaporators

Facts about the industry....................... -.............. ...............
The women’s occupations
94
Working conditions---------------------------------------------------Buildings
94
General plan and cleanliness of workrooms........... ..
Seating
Temperature
Sanitation and service facilities----------------------------Hours----------------------------------------------------------------------Hours and days actually worked in canneries--------Hours actually worked by six-day workers in can­
neries________________________
Irregularity of hours in fruit and vegetable can­
neries....
Regularity of hours in evaporators------------------------Canneries with different hour policies-------------------Wages
HI
Earnings and time worked-----------------------------------Earnings of timeworkers and pieceworkers------------Earnings by occupation---------------------------------------Daily earnings
118
Hourly rates and earnings-----------------------------------Time worked and earnings during the season---------IX. Women Workers in Fish Canneries
Facts about the industry-------------------------------------------The occupations of the women
Working conditions
Buildings_______
General arrangement of the workrooms-----------------Seating.
Temperature
Sanitation and service facilities----------------------------Hours.------------Hours and days actually worked---------------Hours actually worked by six-day workers------------Irregularity of hours in fish canneries--------------------Canneries with different hour policies_____________
Wages---------------------------------------------------------------------Earnings and time worked-----------------------------------Timework and piecework
137
Daily earnings, by occupations----------------------------Hourly rates
138
Time worked and earnings during season---------------




Page
83

85
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93
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108
112
114
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118
119
121
121
122
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124
125
125
127
128
129
129
131
133
134
137
138

CONTENTS

Part X. Women Workers in Clam Canneries
141
Facts about the industry
Occupations of the women
Earnings and time worked in one month________________
Season’s earnings
144
XI. Women Workers in Apple and Pear Warehouses______
Facts about the industry
145
Occupations of women________
Working conditions___________________________ 145
Buildings
146
General arrangement of workrooms________________
Seating
147
Lighting----------------------------------------------------Temperature
•
Sanitation and service facilities
Hows--------------------------------------------------------------- •_____
Time worked during the week________
Length of days worked
152
Wages....................
Earnings for sorting and packing apples___________
Earnings for sorting and packing pears_____________
Comparison of earnings for work 011'apples and pears.
Time worked and earnings during the season_______
XII. Labor Turnover in Canneries and Warehouses______
Fruit and vegetable canneries
163
Fish canneries
165
Fruit warehouses
167
Comparison of industries as to labor turnover__________
XIII. Occupational Histories of the Women Workers_______
Regular, irregular, and seasonal occupations____________
Actual time of seasonal work during a 12-month periodBeginning and present age of workers:__________________
Beginning occupations__________
Chief occupations_______________________ ______________
Reasons for leaving chief occupations
lg3
XIV. Industrial Accidents and Diseases
lg5
Types of disease
185
Records of State department of labor and industries____
Disability due to specific causes
187
Time lost on account of injuries
188
Causes of injuries
188
Extent of injuries..
189
Prevalence of fruit and fish infections______ _______
Appendixes:
A. General tables
193
B. Schedule forms_________________________________________________




V

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141
142
143
145
145

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151
I53
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155
155
158
161

168
171
171
177
179
181
lg2

186

190

219

VI

CONTENTS

TEXT TABLES
1. Number of establishments and number of women included in the
survey_____________________________ ---------------------------------------2. Age of the women employees, by industry
22
3. Conjugal condition of the women employees, by industry___________
4. General nativity and country of birth of the women employees, by
industry....__________________________________________________
5. Living condition of the resident and migrant women, by industry___
6. Composition of the families of the women employees, resident and
migrant, showing persons at work and persons not at work, by size
of family___----------------------------------7. Males in the families of the women interviewed—resident and migrant—
who were in the same industry as the women, according to whether
chief wage earner or not chief wage earner---------------------------------8. Age composition of families, resident and migrant--------------’-----------9. Number of families—resident and migrant—having children of specified
ages, by number of children in family----------------------------------------10. Type of living quarters in berry fields and in apple and prune
orchards, and number of groups housed------------------------------------11. Number of rooms occupied by households in berry fields and in
apple and prune orchards, by size of household---------------------------12. Average daily earnings in picking berries, and number of days
worked—180 women reported---------------------------------------------------13. Average daily earnings in picking prunes, and number of days
worked—40 women reported-----------------------------------------------14. Average daily earnings in sorting prunes, and number of days
worked—45 women reported-----------------------------------------------------15. Average daily earnings in thinning apples, and number of days
worked—23 women reported-----------------------------------------------------16. Average daily earnings in picking apples, and number of days
worked—74 women reported-----------------------------------------------------17. Average daily earnings in picking pears, and number of days worked—
41 women reported*----------------------------------------------------------------18. Average daily earnings in all agricultural pursuits, and number of
days worked—69 women returning questionnaires on work done
during the year---------------------------------------------------------------------------19. Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by
women working on same number of days—fruit and vegetable can­
neries-----------------------------------------------------------------20. Variation in number of hours worked, within one day—maximum and
minimum hours of women in fruit and vegetable canneries-----------21. Extent of the 10-hour day in evaporating plants----------------------------22. Variation from normal schedule of daily hours of work during one
pay-roll period—women in fruit and vegetable canneries--------------23. Variation from normal schedule of weekly hours of work during the
season—the 34 steadiest women in two fruit canneries-----------------24. Median earnings in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators,
by time worked

25. Median earnings of women on timework and on piecework, by days
worked—fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators------------------26. Number of women on timework and on piecework, and their median
week’s earnings, by number of hours worked—preparation and
canning operations in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators.




Paga

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CONTENTS

YII

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27. Idamber of women on timework and on piecework, and their average
hourly earnings—fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators___
28. Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by
women working onsame number of days—fish canneries___________
29. Variation in number of hours -worked within one day—maximum and

minimum hours of women in fish canneries

Page

118
129

130

30. Variation from normal schedule of daily hours of work during one
pay-roll period—womenin fish canneries
131
31. Median earnings in fish canneries, by time worked
135
32. Number of women and their hourly rates of pay in various occupa­
tions in fish canneries______________________________
_
33. Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by
women working on same number of days—apple and pear ware­
houses
34. Variation in number of hours worked within one day—maximum and
minimum hours of women in apple and pear warehouses__________
35. Median earnings of women sorters and packers in apple and pear ware­
houses, by time worked________________________________________
36. Days worked during the season, women in three fruit and vegetable
canneries and one evaporator
37. Days worked during the season, women in fish canneries____________
38. Days worked during the season, women in fruit warehouses_________
39. Time worked during the season, women in canneries and warehouses..
40. Number of women’s names appearing on pay-roll records of 1923__
fruit and vegetable canneries and warehouses
169

133

1-j
152
155
153
16(»
167
168

41. Character of other employment, as regular or irregular, by over-all

period of employment—all industries
474
42. Number of occupations in other employment, by over-all period of
employment—all industries
43. Average number of weeks in seasonal work during a 12-month period,
by industry________________________________________ _______
44. Number of weeks worked during a 12-month period, by industry____
45. Number of years worked in all employment, by age at time of survey.
46. Age at time of survey, by age at beginning work
184
47. Age at beginning work and industry in which first employed—women
in the berry fields_______________
48. Chief occupation of the women interviewed, and number for whom
such work was regular or irregular______________________________
49. Women’s reasons for leaving chief occupation—all industries________
50. Number of cases of injury and number of days lost in fruit warehouses
and fish canneries, and in canning, preserving, and pickling of fruits
and vegetables, by nature of injury. (Records of State dei>artment
of labor and industries for 1923) _

479
477
178
180

lg2
433
184

437

APPENDIX TABLES

I. Hours worked within one pay-roll period by women in fruit and
vegetable canneries and fruit evaporators, by number of days on
which work was done
II. Earnings of women in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators,
by time worked________________________________________
III. Earnings of women on timework and on piecework in fruit and
vegetable canneries and evaporators, by number of days on which
work was done
499




493
495

VIII

CONTENTS

Page
IV. Hours worked within one pay-roll period in fish canneries, by number
of days on which work was done-------------------------------------------V. Earnings of women in fish canneries, by time worked.........................
VI.Month’s earnings of time workers in clam canneries, by time
worked
212
VII. Season’s earnings of women in clam canneries, by time worked-----VIII. Earnings of sorters and packers in apple and pear warehouses, by
time worked__________________________________ _____________
IX. Season’s earnings of selected women in fruit and vegetable canneries
and evaporators, in fish canneries, and in fruit warehouses--------

205
207

215
218
218

ILLUSTRATIONS
Apple picking Frontispiece.
Page

Migrants had come from 18 States------------------------------------------------------

40

Pacing page

The houses occupied by migrants in the clam industry are mere shacks,
often built close together in little settlements at the water’s edge-------On some ranches tents were the accepted type of housing---------------------Many migrants lived in the row type of quarters—one room for a family
and a stove in common------------------------------------------------------------------The blackberry vines are trained along wire trellises with much of the fruit
lying on top
Raspberries are usually at a comfortable height for picking-------------------In prune picking the women work in the soft dirt in a cramped position. Prune sorting is done in the drier, a large frame structure on the edge of
the orchard--------------------------------------------------




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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, June 30, 1925.
There is transmitted herewith the report of a survey of women
employed in seasonal industries in the State of Washington. The
survey was made in the summer and fall of 1923 and was requested
by the Presidents’ Council of Tacoma, an association made up of the
presidents of 50 women’s organizations. The survey was requested
because of the need of definite information concerning the conditions
of women employed on fruit ranches and in canneries. Mrs. Hildred
Hawkins, industrial assistant, and Miss Caroline Manning, industrial
supervisor, were in charge of the survey.
Miss Caroline Manning, Miss Mary V. Robinson, editor, Miss
Blanche Halbert, research assistant, and Miss Loretta Sullivan,
statistical clerk, collaborated in writing the report.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. James J. Davis,
Secretary of Labor.
Sir:




IX

WOMEN IN THE FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES IN THE
STATE OF WASHINGTON
PART I
INTRODUCTION
During the summer and fall of 1923 the Women’s Bureau, in con­
junction with the Children’s Bureau of the United States Depart­
ment of Labor, made a surrey of the women and children employed
in seasonal industries in the State of Washington, in response to
requests from the following organizations: Presidents' Council of
Tacoma (an association made up of the presidents of 50 women’s
organizations), the State League of Women Voters, the State Minute
Women, and the National Board of Young Women’s Christian Asso­
ciations. Because of their interest in the welfare of all women
workers, these organizations felt the need of definite information
concerning the conditions under which women and children were
employed in outdoor industries, and especially on fruit ranches, in
Washington, since these types of employment were outside the juris­
diction of the industrial welfare committee of the State department
of labor and industries. Consequently, these several organizations
applied, through the Secretary of Labor, to the Women’s Bureau and
the Children’s Bureau with the request that these two bureaus make
a joint survey of the working and living conditions of women and
children in certain agricultural industries—fruit growing hi particu­
lar—in Washington. It was believed by the forces desiring this in­
vestigation that the information revealed by such a study would be
of greatest benefit in securing proper legislation for the workers.
The two Federal bureaus, also realizing the value and importance
of the requested investigation, decided to cooperate for this purpose,
each agency collecting the data bearing on the problems with which
it was specifically concerned.1
The Women’s Bureau is charged with the task of formulating
standards and policies to promote the welfare of wage-earning women,
to improve their working conditions, to increase their efficiency, and
1 This report is confined to the conditions of employment affecting women—those 18 years of age or
over—who were working in the districts covered. The report on children is issued in a separate bulletin:
U. S. Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau. Child labor in the fruit and hop growing districts of
the northern Pacific coast, Bui. 151.




1

2

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

to advance their opportunities for profitable employment. At the
time the request for the survey was received—in the fall of 1922—
the Women’s Bureau in its brief history had made no definite study
of women engaged in such outdoor pursuits as those which would
he covered in the type of survey requested by the Washington organi­
zations. The very fact that according to the 1920 census 2 a large
group of women (12.7 per cent of the total number of wage-earning
women in the country) were reported as engaged in agricultural
pursuits, served as an inducement to the Women’s Bureau to seize
this opportunity to study the conditions of employment of a repre­
sentative group of women working on ranches—a highly seasonal
occupation. Moreover, closely allied with fruit-growing activities
in Washington is the canning and preserving industry, also seasonal;
in fact, the business of the grower and that of the canner so dovetail
that the success of the one depends upon the success of the other.
It seemed advisable, therefore, to all forces interested in the survey
of women in outdoor work in Washington to include in the investi­
gation the women employed in canneries and fruit warehouses.
A complicating feature of the study was the fact that seasonal
agricultural work, such as the picking of berries and the harvesting
of orchard fruits is done in many sections of the country largely by
migrant laborers, and even the canning of such products is a form
of employment which attracts to some degree migratory workers.
'The problems of these people differ in a number of respects from those
of resident workers, since the former have very little control over the
living conditions with which they are confronted while on the job.
The Women’s Bureau survey in Washington was carried on from
the middle of June to the middle of November, 1923, by personal
canvass and was continued for several months by correspondence.
As a preliminary to the actual interviewing of employers and
employees and. the scheduling of information, consultations were held
■with authorities in the State, in both private and public positions,
connected with the types of industry covered by the survey. To the
State officials and the agricultural department of the State College
of Washington especial credit is due for helpful information. The
work of the agents also was much facilitated by the courtesy and
interest shown by employers and employees during the interviews and
by their continued cooperation in filling out questionnaires and re­
turning them to the bureau after the field work was completed.8
8 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census, 1920. Population, v. 4, Occupations, p. 34.




WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

3

THE FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES IN
WASHINGTON

The State of Washington seemed especially well qualified as a
place in which to study women’s work on ranches and in canneries.
The raising of small fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, black­
berries, and loganberries, and of the larger orchard fruits—apples,
pears, peaches, and prunes—is an important feature in the State’s
activities.
Census figures3 for 1919 show that 7,434 acres in Washington were
given over to the cultivation of the various kinds of berries, and
that 16,884,745 quarts of berries were produced. Of this number,
strawberries were the most important crop, accounting for 6,377,368
quarts; raspberries and loganberries followed with 5,757,456 quarts,
and blackberries and dewberries came last with 3,691,065 quarts.
In 1920 Washington had 7,964,167 apple trees of bearing age, New
York being the only State that outranked it in this respect; in 1919
the State produced 21,568,691 bushels of apples, a far greater yield
than that of any other State, New York falling behind this record by
over 7,000,000 bushels. In the number of prune and plum trees of
bearing age in 1920 (875,363) and in the number of bushels of such
fruit produced in 1919 (785,920) Washington was surpassed by only
two States, California and Oregon. In pear-raising also Washington
had a creditable record, with 866,634 pear trees of bearing age in 1920
and 1,728,759 bushels of fruit produced in 1919.4
Washington is also an important State in the canning and pre­
serving industry. The Bureau of the Census 5 6
shows that in 1921 it
ranked first among the States in the value of its canned sea food and
tenth in the value of its canned fruits and vegetables. The total
value of all the canned products was $13,653,129, and the value of
the canned sea food $6,193,458.” The State stood third in regard to
the number of wage earners in the fish canneries and seventh in the
number of wage earners in the fruit and vegetable canneries.7 8 Salmon
and clams constituted the greater part of the canned sea food. The
canned fruits consisted chiefly of apples, berries, cherries, and pears.
With the exception of Oregon, Washington produced more cases of
canned berries (278,150) than did any other State, and, with the
exception of New York, more cases of canned apples (439,969).
Washington also took a leading part in the apple-drying industry.
In regard to vegetables the principal canned product was beans.8
3 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census, 1920. Agriculture, v. 6, pt. 3, p. 289.
« U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census, 1920. Agriculture, v. 6, pt. 3, p. 291.
1 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Biennial Census of Manufactures: 1921. p. 53.
6 Ibid, p. 64-05.
’ Ibid, p. 53.
8 Ibid, p. 62-63.




4

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

SCOPE AND METHOD
The survey necessitated the collection of data on many subjects
and the analysis of many problems. In fact, the investigation covers
two distinct kinds of work: the first, outdoor employment, which
includes the women engaged in picking berries, prunes, apples, and
pears, and in performing other orchard jobs; the second, indoor
labor, which includes the women employed at canning vegetables,
fruit, salmon, and clams, and at sorting and packing prunes, pears,
and apples. The work done by the women in each of these lines is
of short duration and seasonal, controlled by the length of the har­
vest season and by the supply, as well as the perishability, of the
product.
•
The districts covered by the survey were confined to very small
sections of the .State. The Puyallup Valley, a section about 3 miles
wide and 15 miles long on both sides of the Puyallup River, is the
center of intensive berry culture. It has had a most dramatic devel­
opment. Twenty-five years ago it was devoted to hop growing, but
the market price of hops dropped from 42 cents in 1889 to 3 and 4
cents in 1897. It is probably due more to Mr. W. II. Paulhamus
than to any other person that the prosperity of the valley was re­
stored, since he saw the possibilities of cultivating the wild berry,
which grew luxuriantly hi the native black soil. By 1902 the coop­
erative marketing of raspberries was well established. The berry
ranches vary in size from 2 or 3 acres to 10 acres, and the rancher
usually has his home adjoining the field. The fields themselves are
planted in orderly rows; they are not a tangle of briers, but are
pruned, and the growing canes are trained on trellises. In July and
August trainloads of fresh, firm berries from the valley are shipped
daily in refrigerator cars for the eastern markets, and the local can­
neries use as many more. It has been estimated that 1 acre produces
an average of 6,000 pounds of berries, the harvesting of which requires
at least six pickers. This estimate means the possibility of 10,000
berry pickers needed to harvest the berry crop, and although part
of the labor is done by resident ranchers, great numbers of “extra
help,” chiefly women and children, must be hired.
Since the valley is located very near Seattle and Tacoma, it enjoys
excellent transportation facilities—street car service, bu3 lines, and
railroads—and much of the labor comes from neighboring towns and
cities. Pickers’ quarters have been built to accommodate the sea­
sonal influx of labor. A standard equipment, providing two rooms
per acre and costing the rancher about $250, includes a furnished
shack (the furnishings consisting of stove, bench, table, and bunks),
toilets, and the installation of water.




SCOPE AND METHOD

5

The prune orchards visited during the survey were located in the
southwestern part of the State, in Clarke County, just across the
Columbia River from Portland on the Oregon side. Vancouver,
Wash., has been the shipping center of this prune district for many
years. Since the prunes raised here are dried for market, they are
shaken from the trees onto the soft, well-cultivated soil when they
are ripe. Women are employed to pick up the prunes as well as to
sort them in the driers on the ranches. Much transient labor is
needed to harvest this crop.
Two large apple raising districts were visited; both are just east
of the Cascade range of mountains toward the central part of the
State, which has developed tremendously in the last few years through
irrigation projects. Yakima is the center of the more southern of
these two districts and Wenatchee of the northern. Around Yakima
soft fruits also are grown, so that women are found employed there
in peach and pear as well as in apple orchards. These orchardists,
like the berry and prune growers, are dependent on outside labor to
got in the crop. From a statement made by the manager of the office
of the United States Employment Bureau in Yakima and published
in a local paper in October, 1923, the following quotation is taken:
Those who came for work in the orchards or packing houses waited for work
to pick up, hundreds camping in the tourist parks and other available sites.
Camper pickers are still in greater demand by local growers than there are such
travelers ready to go into the field. Approximately 150 men and women are
employed from this bureau every day, and orchard work will continue for three
to four weeks more. More family campers can be used readily in Yakima, but
pickers who want room and board can better be accommodated in the Wenatchee
Valley.

The apple and pear warehouses employing women on inside work
also were located in the Yakima and Wenatchee districts. Most of
the women were engaged in sorting and packing the apples in com­
mercial warehouses situated alongside the railroads at shipping points,
but some were employed in smaller warehouses located very near the
orchards and operated by individual ranchers.
The salmon canneries included in the study were scattered along
Puget Sound in the following centers: Anacortes, Bellingham, Blain,
Everett, Friday Harbor, and Lummi Island. Aberdeen, Hoquiam,
Westport, and Copalis Beach were the only places visited in connec­
tion with the study of the clam industry.
The fruit and vegetable canneries and fruit evaporators were more
scattered than the other industry groups. In general they were
located in the Puyallup berry valley, in the Yakima orchard valley,
and also in towns along the railroad from Bellingham at the northern
end of Puget Sound to Vancouver, Wash., on the Columbia River;
that is, in the following places: Bellingham, Everett, Everson, Fern-




6

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

dale, Kent, Mayfield, North Puyallup, Olympia, Puyallup, SedroWoolley, Selah, Sumner, Sunnyside, Vancouver, and Yakima.
The investigation of hours, wages, and conditions of employment
of women in the two broad occupational groups touched upon by the
study—the outdoor and indoor industries—called for different meth­
ods of study and treatment.
The investigation was carried on along several lines in each indus­
try covered. The absence of systematic records in agricultural em­
ployment was a great handicap. Bookkeeping frequently was so
haphazard that it was difficult to get definite information concerning
either hours worked or earnings of individual pickers. The ranchers
who had reliable data were probably among the more progressive,
and their books proved very valuable in arriving at trustworthy
conclusions on wages of field workers. Some ranchers in their desire
to cooperate kept individual pay records after the visit of the Women’s
Bureau agents and submitted them later. Several of the women
pickers also were interested enough to send in statements of their
earnings and time worked. In general it may be said that the data
were collected either in interviews or by correspondence with the
ranchers and their workers.
The rancher’s questionnaire covered points on acreage, crop con­
ditions, labor supply, policies, and housing. A quite different
schedule was used in the personal interviews with the women, to
record the many details sought, these being in general connected
with the personal, family, and industrial history of the women.
Their age, nativity, marital status, and living condition were recorded
and supplemented by information concerning the number of persons
and number of wage earners in the family, and their occupations,
as well as the home duties and financial responsibilities of the women
interviewed. The worker also was questioned not only about her
present job, the type of work, the reason for entering upon it, the
working hours, and the pay, but about her former jobs, the length
of time held, and the reason for leaving such employment. The
women were classified as to whether they were resident or migrant
workers; if the latter, they were asked to give information about the
living quarters which they occupied. Inspection of such quarters
was made by the agents, who scheduled details as to kind, size,
equipment, and facilities.
Since it was not possible at the time of such interviews to get all
the information desirable and necessary for an analysis of seasonal
work, the agents at the end of the harvest season sent questionnaires
to some of the workers, requesting them to furnish data for their
whole season’s work on the ranches; that is, to state the over-all
period of their employment and the actual number of days or weeks




SCOPE AND METHOD

7

Worked; the days lost for various reasons; and the total earnings,
including any bonus that was paid.

These questionnaires were sent to a selected group of women,
to those who, when interviewed during the personal canvass, had
promised to keep a detailed and systematic record of their season’s
work, and to those who had seemed especially interested, alert,
and capable of supplying the desired information.
In the canneries where systematic pay rolls were kept, definite
data about numbers of employees, hours, wages, and working con­
ditions were scheduled by investigators from interviews with em­
ployers and managers, from inspection of plants, and from examina­
tion of pay rolls. In order to obtain accurate and uniform material,
wage figures were copied from the pay rolls by the agents of the
bureau. A factory schedule was used to record data as to the number
of employees—men, women, and children—the occupations of the
women, their scheduled daily and weekly hours wherever scheduled
hours were found, and rates of pay. In addition, facts were recorded
about the working conditions in each plant; the type of buildings;
lighting, heating, ventilation, and cleanliness of workrooms; the
seating arrangements for women employees; the occupational and
workroom hazards and strains; and sanitary and service facilities
provided for the use of employees.
Pay-roll data were copied on a special form and showed the exact
week’s earnings, the rates, and the time worked—-sometimes recorded
in hours, sometimes in days—for individual women in each occupa­
tional group in a representative pay-roll period—weekly, if possible,
but semimonthly or monthly where wages were paid on such a basis.
This definite information has been used as the basis for the dis­
cussion of earnings in canneries and warehouses, and of the differences
in earnings of pieceworkers and timeworkers and of workers in various
occupations. The data also show the fluctuation in hours between
the extremely short and the extremely long days in canneries and
the steadiness of the 10-hour day in warehouses. In every plant
where data were secured the manager selected the period which he
considered would give a satisfactory picture of the earnings of his
women workers. The pay-roll periods chosen in the fruit and
vegetable canneries fell somewhere between July 9 and September 29.
The evaporator pay rolls from which information was copied ran from
September 29 to November 11. The apple warehouses all furnished
pay rolls for the first week in October, whereas the pear warehouse
pay rolls extended from August 17 to September 19. The pay rolls
taken in fish canneries covered the period from July 6 to September 7,
and in clam canneries the month of May. Wherever possible, the
season’s earnings for a representative number of women in each
establishment were recorded on a special schedule.
57206°—26t-—2



8

WOMEN IN EKL'II-GEOWING ANI> CANNING INDUSTHIES

The women in the canneries also were interviewed as to their
personal, family, and industrial history in the same method as were
the women working on ranches. The privilege of talking with the
women at work was given by the employers.
The outstanding impression left by the interview with the
women was that many of them were merely casual workers who during
the rest of the year were non-wage-earning housewives, and that
their standards of punctuality and steady attendance were not
businesslike. On the whole, however, they wrere intelligent Ameri­
cans, serious of purpose, cooperating with the employer during the
emergencies arising from the handling of perishable products such
as fruit and fish.
From several pay-roll records were made tabulations which show
that the canner has a tremendous labor turnover problem, for a
large number of employees never work more than one or two days and
only a very small proportion work as much as six -weeks. This is more
than just a turnover problem, for the product is perishable, and the
employer has no time during the emergency to select help carefully
but must take what comes, trusting to keep a full force by not dis­
criminating.
Repeatedly the agents were reminded of the great number of
workers employed in the outdoor jobs who were migrants, living
wherever they happened to be at work. This type of workers is so
numerous, in fact, that especial provision must be made for housing
them in the harvest season, and they are called by various names—
“fruit laborer’s,” “fruit tramps,” and “fruit gypsies.” The charity
commissioner of Yakima County cooperated with the agents by
furnishing records showing to -what extent migrant laborers had
appealed to the charity organization for aid.
The rumors of “fruit poisoning” were so frequent that the investi­
gators felt the importance of looking into this matter, and upon request
the Washington State department of labor and industries presented
the Women’s Bureau with records of all complaints received in 1923
from this industry group. An analysis of these cases is included in
this report.
As it was impossible in the limited time of the survey to cover all
the ranches and canneries employing women in the State, a represent­
ative number of each were chosen. In order to give a general idea
of the extent of the survey the following table, showing numbers of
establishments included in each industry, is presented:




SCOPE AND METHOD
Tabus

9

1—Number of establishments and number of wonlen included in the survey

Industry

Number
of estab­
lish­
Number Number
ments
of estab­
of
in­
lishwomen spected
ments
inter­
as to
visited
viewed working
condi­
tions

Number
of estab­
lish­
ments
with
living
quarters
for mi­
grant
workers

Number
of
women
reported
in living
quarters
for mi­
grant
workers

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

282

3,014

166

641

Outdoor industries.......

219

9.58

166

641 -

Berry fields...............
Prune orchards and
driers......................
Apple and pear orchards.................

131

607

114

445

137

166

26

109

26

Number of
women for
Number
of estab­ whom wage
data were
lish­
ments secured from—
furnish­
ing
pay-roll
Ques­
Pay
data
tion­
rolls naires

87

Indoor industries____
Apple and pear warehouses..............
Prune-packing houses
iruit and vegetable
canneries................
Evaporators.............
Fish canneries____
(’lam canneries.........

70

217

51

185

63

2,056

53

19
2

425
19

*2

15
3
13
11

1,176
73
297
66

60
: “

4,399

345
345
m

15
3
5 14

c)

80
60

4,399

42

4 18

10

208

19

* Driers were visited on 17 of the 37 ranches.
2 Driers only.
’ Scattered instances of living quarters provided in these industries not included.
- JfOrfcmg conditions and wage data not discussed, because of small number of establishments.

» One hrm with two separate buildings—a cannery and a warehouse—considered as two establishments.

In the course of the study 219 ranches were visited, the 131 berry
ranches constituting about three-fifths, apple and pear ranches some­
what less than a fourth, and prune ranches about one-sixth of the total
number covered. In addition 63 establishments connected with
canning, preserving, and packing food were visited. Eighteen of
these were fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, 24 were
clam and fish canneries, and 21 were fruit warehouses. A little over
3,000 women employed in all these various places furnished personal
information about themselves and their families. Of the approxi­
mately 3,000 who reported on whether they were resident or migrant
workers, about one-third were migrants.
Hour and wage data were obtained from the pay rolls of 60 estab­
lishments—canneries, warehouses, and evaporators—employing 4,399
women. Information on wages and time worked was secured for 345
women in outdoor industries by means of questionnaires sent by
mail. Much of this material was furnished by the women themselves,
although for a number of these workers the data sent in by the fruit
growers were the only source of the wage figures.
Attention is called to the fact that in the wage tables and analyses
connected with the outdoor industries, it has been necessary to give
average rather than median earnings, because in so many instances
the numbers of women in the groups under discussion are too small




10

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GROWIXG AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

to permit the computation of medians. In the tables on indoor
industries, however, in which much larger groups of women appear,
it has seemed more advisable to present medians.
The conditions under which the women were employed on indoor
work connected with the canning, preserving, and packing of fruit
and vegetables are represented in this report by 70 plants. These
were inspected by the agents of the bureau. A picture of the housing
conditions of the migrant workers is presented through reports from
166 ranches, concerning camp quarters which accommodated 641 of
the migrant women workers.
STATISTICAL SUMMARY
I. Scope.

In the course of this survey on the hours, wages, and working and
living conditions of women in the fruit-growing and canning indus­
tries in the State of Washington, interviews were held with 958
women working in outdoor industries—on 219 ranches (berry fields
and apple, pear, and prune orchards)—and with 2,056 women em­
ployed in indoor industries—in 63 establishments (fruit, vegetable,
fish, and clam canneries; evaporators; apple and pear warehouses;
and prune packing houses.)
II. The workers.
1. Age.

Of the 2,973 women who reported their age, more than one-fourth
were under 20, nearly two-fifths were under 25, one-fifth were from
30 to 40 years old, and over three-tenths were 40 years of age or over.
The outdoor and indoor industries show little difference in the
proportions of women in the under-18-years and the 40-years-andover groups.
2. Conjugal condition.

Of the 3,014 women reporting on conjugal condition, approximately
one-third were single, one-half were married, and nearly one-seventh
were widowed or divorced. Over seven-tenths of the women in the
outdoor industries, as compared with more than three-fifths in the
indoor industries, were or had been married.
3. Nativity.

Of the 3,013 women whose nativity was ascertained, 82.5 per cent
were native-born whites, 1 per cent were native-born Indians, and
16.5 per cent were foreign born. Of all the industries represented,
the berry fields gave employment to the largest number of foreign
born, followed closely in this respect by fruit and vegetable canneries.
Moreover, the berry fields had a larger proportion of foreign born
among their women (28.2 per cent) than had any other industry.




SCOPE AND METHOD

11

4. Living condition.

Of the 2,941 women reporting on living condition, only a little less
than 6 per cent were living independently of their families.
5. Migrants.

Of the 3,014 women interviewed, almost one-third were migrant
workers. Of all the industries surveyed, berry fields showed the
largest proportion of migrant workers, with more than three-fourths
of the total number of women so classified. About 55 per cent of the
women in apple, pear, and prune orchards were migrants.
6. Size of families.

Of 2,591 women who were members of a family, approximately
three-fourths belonged to families consisting of two, three, four, or
five members.
7. Wage earners.

Every family of five or more members averaged at least three wage
earners. Of the 2,591 women who were living with their families,
12.4 per cent had no male wage earner in the family and 5.7 per cent
had no other wage earner in the family than the woman herself.
8. Women’s contributions to the family income.

Of the 2,513 women reporting on the amount contributed to the
family income, over two-thirds contributed all their earnings, as con­
trasted with one-fifth who contributed none.
9. Reason for working.

More than one-half of the approximately 3,000 women reporting
on the subject stated that their reason for working was the need to
help meet the expenses, or to supply the necessities, of the family.
III. Housing.
1. Women in temporary quarters.

Of the 607 women interviewed in the berry fields—representing
320 households—not far from three-fourths were temporarily housed
on the premises of 114 ranches.
Of the 185 women interviewed in prime orchards—representing 60
households—a little less than three-fifths were in temporary quarters
on 26 ranches.
Of the 185 women interviewed in apple orchards—representing 66
hous holds—not far from one-half were in temporary quarters on 26
ranches.
2. Types of living quarters and by whom supplied.

Of the 320 households on the berry ranches, 96 per cent were
living in quarters supplied entirely by the ranchers. For three-fifths
of the 60 households found on the prune ranches and approximately
one-third of the 66 households domiciled on the apple ranches were
the quarters supplied entirely by the ranchers. One-third of the




12

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

households on the prune ranches and not far from one-half on the
apple ranches provided tents for themselves.
Nine-tenths of the households on berry ranches were domiciled
entirely in frame buildings, as compared with one-half of the house­
holds on prune ranches and 13.6 per cent of the households on apple
ranches.
3. Size of quarters.

Over four-fifths of all the households and 72 per cent of all the
persons reported upon in regard to size of households had living
quarters limited to one room, with opportunity of sharing small
porches or kitchens with other families similarly housed. In a few
cases the crowded living conditions were extremely bad, with as
many as six or seven persons quartered in one room.
4. Toilet facilities.

Toilet facilities were in many instances inconveniently located and
used by too many households and too many persons. For 130 of the
431 households reported upon, the toilets were located at a distance
of 200 feet or more from the house. In 186 instances toilets pro­
vided for migrant households were used by more than one house­
hold. In 32 cases 20 persons or more were using one toilet.
5. Drinking, bathing, and laundry facilities.

Generally speaking, the water fixtures were much more conven­
iently located than might be expected for camp communities. Only
35 people, however, domiciled on 7 ranches enjoyed the comfort of
having running water inside the house. Except for 7 ranches which
had installed facilities for shower baths and 2 others where workers
were permitted to use the bathroom in the rancher’s house, no other
special equipment had been provided for baths. On 38 ranches the
women were provided with no equipment for laundry work.
6. Cooking facilities.

Altogether there were 82 cookstoves shared by 186 households, or
an average of 2.3 households to each stove. Over one-half of the
cookstoves were located in sleeping rooms.
IV. Working conditions.

Data compiled from 15 fruit and vegetable canneries and evapo­
rators, 14 fish canneries, 19 fruit warehouses, and 17 prune driers
show that, in addition to the strain of long hours which so frequently
accompanies work in these establishments, there are certain charac­
teristic problems in connection with the working conditions bearing
on the comfort and well-being of the women employed,
1. Crowded condition of workrooms.

In a number of workrooms in canneries and warehouses crowded
conditions and poor arrangement of equipment and workers made
for inefficiency and discomfort.




STATISTICAL SUMMARY

13

2. Wet floors.

Wet floors in fruit and vegetable and fish canneries constituted
another problem which had not been satisfactorily solved in some
establishments. This difficulty was partially overcome in other
places by the use of wooden racks or platforms.
3. Inadequate seating.

Seating as an important item in the comfort of the workers seemed
to have been overlooked in many plants in the rush to save the crop.
Many women were reported as having jobs at which they stood
continuously with no opportunity to sit—537 in fruit and vegetable
canneries, 375 in fish canneries, and 338 in apple and pear warehouses.
In many cases the only seats available for a brief rest were packing
boxes. Definite information on the number of women who stood at
their work is not available for prune driers, but sorting was gener­
ally regarded as a standing job, and in most of the driers visited the
women stood. As proof of the possibility of improvement in this
respect were a few establishments where arrangements had been
made so that women performing exactly the same sorts of jobs as
the foregoing women could either sit or stand at their work.
In a number of instances women whose work necessitated constant
sitting had not been provided with comfortable seats; in such oases
stools, benches, or packing boxes were the only seats supplied.
4. Temperature.

•

The minimizing of excessive heat in summer was not so much a
problem as the supplying of artificial heat in the fall in the .canneries
and warehouses. Lack of proper heating facilities caused many
workers in the fall to suffer from the cold and dampness in the plants.
In the fish canneries and fruit warehouses the rooms can not be too
warm on account of the product, but in a few such plants arrange­
ments had been made to add to the comfort of the workers without
injuring the product.
5. Sanitation and service facilities.

Washing facilities varied in the plants visited, being wholly ade­
quate in comparatively few. The lack of hot water and the use of
common towels were the most usual defects.
In regard to drinking facilities, the common drinking cup was found
in 25 establishments—6 fruit and vegetable canneries, 7 fish can­
neries, 5 warehouses, and 7 driers. Although 26 plants had installed
bubble fountains, only 5 of these were of a sanitary type.
Toilets varied considerably in the plants inspected. All but three
of the fruit and vegetable canneries had inside toilets with modem
plumbing. In 6 of the 14 fish canneries the only toilet accommoda­
tions were privies, most of them of a primitive nature. Five of the
warehouses had outdoor privies that were not well kept. With one
exception the driers had provided outdoor privies.




14

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

With only a few exceptions the toilets in the various plants were
clean, light, well ventilated, conveniently located, and separate
for men and women.
The number of toilet seats was not always adequate, some can­
neries having as many as 30, 40, 50, or 60 women to a seat; one
warehouse showing a maximum of 100 women to a seat in the height
of the season.
In the matter of cloakrooms, lunchrooms, and restrooms, ware­
houses had by far the poorest record, since but little effort had been
made in these plants to provide such rooms. Fruit and vegetable
canneries made a better showing in regard to such service facilities
than did the fish canneries.
V. Hours and wages.9
1. Data from 53 berry ranches.
Number of women _ -Average working period (days).

180
1

21.

Average amount earned_ __
_
Average daily earnings

$33. 74
$1. 60

2. Data from 20 prune ranches.
Prune picking

Prune sorting

40
Number of women.. ------- --Average working period (days) _
15. 1
$46. 75
Average amount earned . .
$3. 09
Average daily earnings ...

Number of women .
45
Average working period (days) _
18. 8
Average amount earned_ __ $64. 59
_
$3. 43
Average daily earnings

3. Data from 31 apple and pear ranches.
Apple thinning

23
25. 9

Average amount earned. . . $82. 04
Average daily earnings_______ $3. 17

Apple picking

Pear picking

74
Number of women_____
_
Average working period (days) _
14. 9
Average amount earned. . . $51. 02
$3. 42
Average daily earnings
_

Number of women..
41
Average working period (days).
6. 5
Average amount earned_ __ $19. 41
_
Average daily earnings. .. . $2. 97

Number of women.
_
Average working period (days).

4. Data from 14 fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators.
TIME WORKED

Of the 1,228 women on the weekly pay rolls whose time was reported
in both days and hours, 18.4 per cent worked more than a 56-hour
week and 7.3 per cent included a Sunday in the week’s work. About
two-fifths had a week of more than 48 hours.
IRREGULARITY IN LENGTH OF WORKING DAYS

Only 26 of 1,151 women for whom records were secured of the
length of each working day had a uniform day. The working days
of the other women ranged from a minimum of under 1 hour to a
»Lack of uniformity in methods of presenting data for the various industries is due to differences
existing in the industries, explained in detail in the different sections of this report.




STA'fcpTICAL, SUMMARY

15

maximum of 20 and under 21 hours. Hours in evaporators were
much more regular, since 71.4 per cent of the women worked a full
10-hour day on the days on which they worked.
EARNINGS

Median earnings of 1,364 women on weekly pay rolls whose time
worked was reported in hours were $12.30.
Median earnings of 507 so-called full-time workers on weekly pay
rolls (women who worked 50 hours or more during the week) were
$16.35.
Median earnings of 610 women on half-monthly pay rolls were
$13.65.
Median earnings of 231 women whose wage records for the season
were obtained were $225.60.
Median earnings of 48 women with 100 days or more of employ­
ment during the season were $295.
5. Data from 12 fish canneries.
TIME WORKED

Of the 279 women on the weekly pay rolls whose time was reported
in both days and hours 18.3 per cent worked in excess of 56 hours a
week. Almost three-fourths of the women with a weekly pay period
worked less than 48 hours—a situation due not to regulation of hours
but to the run of the fish. A little over one-fourth worked more
than 48 hours. One-fifth of the women on the weekly pay rolls
were reported as working on seven days of the week.
IRREGULARITY IN LENGTH OF WORKING DAYS

Only 1 of the 85 women for whom records were secured of the
length of each working day had a uniform schedule. The working
days of the other women ranged from a minimum of 1 and under 2
hours to a maximum of 22 and under 23 hours.
EARNINGS

Median earnings of 279 women on weekly pay rolls whose time
worked was reported in hours were $12.50.
Median earnings of 71 so-called full-time workers on weekly pay
rolls (women who worked 50 hours and over) were $20.65.
Median earnings of 120 women on the semimonthly pay rolls were
$22.90.
Median earnings of 223 women on the monthly pay rolls were
$39.55.
Median earnings of 125 women whose wage records for the season
were obtained were $137.95.




16

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND^'ANNING INDUSTRIES

Median earnings of 58 women with 50 days or more of employment
during the season were $190.
6. Data from 9 clam canneries.
EARNINGS AND TIME WORKED

Median earnings of 46 women on monthly pay rolls whose time
worked was reported in hours were $18.75.
Median earnings of 17 women on monthly pay rolls who worked 50
hours or more were $30.50.
Median earnings of 101 women whose wage records for the season
were obtained were $52.40.
7. Data from 19 apple and pear warehouses.
TIME WORKED

Of 421 women on weekly pay rolls whose time worked was reported
in both hours and days, 49.6 per cent of the women worked more than
56 hours in the week, 69.4 per cent worked more than 48 hours.
Only 9 women worked on 7 days.
IRREGULARITY IN LENGTH OF WORKING DAYS

Of 122 women for whom records were secured of the length of each
working day, 16 women had a uniform day of 10 hours. The work­
ing days of the other women ranged from a minimum of 1 hour to a
maximum of 13 hours. In general, with the 10-hour day as the
standard, the daily hours were much more regular in length in the
warehouses than in the canneries.
EARNINGS

Apple sorting.—Median earnings of 358 women on weekly pay rolls
were $18.45.
Median earnings of 42 full-time workers on weekly pay rolls
(women who worked over 50 hours) were $20.90.
Apple packing.—Median earnings of 183 women on weekly pay
rolls were $31.05.
Median earnings of 125 full-time workers on weekly pay rolls
(women who worked over 50 hours) were $35.85.
Pear sorting.-—Median earnings of 62 women on weekly pay rolls
were $18.05.
Median earnings of 42 full-time workers on weekly pay rolls
(women who worked over 50 hours) were $18.35.
Pem packing.—Median earnings of 53 women on weekly pay rolls
were $25.85.
Median earnings of 29 full-time workers on weekly pay rolls
(women who worked on six days) were $31.30.




STATISTICAL. SUMMARY

17

Apple and pear sorting.^-Median earnings of 87 women whose wage
records for the season were obtained were $156.80.
Median earnings of 34 women who worked on 50 days or more were
$197.80.
Apple and pear pacAinej.—-Median earnings of 65 women whose
wage records for the season were obtained were $235.
Median earnings of 22 women who worked on 50 days or more
were $315.
VI. Occupational histories.
1. Types of work formerly engaged in.

Nearly one-half of the workers employed in seasonal work in the
fruit-growing and canning industries had previously been engaged in
regular occupations. A little more than 42 per cent had done nothing
but seasonal work all their lives. About 6 per cent had been work­
ing in occupations which are irregular in nature, and approximately
4 per cent had worked in both regular and irregular occupations.
The proportion of workers who had engaged in seasonal occupations
only varied little for the several industries, berry fields with 36.5 per
cent of the workers so classified having the smallest percentage, and
fish canneries with 46.7 per cent the largest.
2. Average time of employment in types of work.

For all the women reporting on the subject, the average number
of months of employment at regular occupations was 59.2, the aver­
age number of months at irregrdar occupations was 105.5, and the
average number of months at seasonal work was 6.
The highest average time spent in seasonal work for any one group
was 3 years, the average for the women who had done seasonal work
only and whose work period was between 20 and 30 years.
3. Number of occupations formerly engaged in.

Nearly three-fourths of the 1,042 women who had formerly en­
gaged in regular occupations reported but one kind of work, and onefifth reported two kinds. Also, by far the largest majority of women
who had engaged in irregular occupations had had but one kind of
work.
4. Age at beginning to work.

Of the 2,775 women reporting on the age at which they had begun
to work, one-fourth had begun before the age of 16, and not far from
one-half before 18 years of age; nearly 12 per cent had not worked
before the age of 40,
5. First occupation.

Of 545 berry pickers who gave information in regard to their first
occupation, almost one-half reported that the first job had been sea


18

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

sonal work in canneries or on ranches. Almost one-fourth had en­
gaged in domestic service at the beginning of their careers.
6. Chief occupation.

Of 2,720 women reporting on the subject, the largest proportion,
or over one-half, stated that their chief occupation was seasonal in
nature. The next largest proportion (13.5 per cent) reported do­
mestic service as their chief work.
VII. Labor turnover.
1. Time worked during the season.

In the three fruit and vegetable canneries reporting upon the sub­
ject, 21.5 per cent of the women worked less than 7 days during the
season, 73.3 per cent worked less than one-fourth the greatest num­
ber of days worked by any one woman, 10.2 per cent worked onehalf or more of this time, and 5.4 per cent three-fourths or more of
this time.
In the six fish canneries reporting upon the subject, 34.9 per cent
of the women worked less than 7 days, 55.1 per cent worked less than
one-fourth the greatest number of days worked by any one woman,
20.2 per cent worked one-half or more of this time, and 7.6 per cent
three-fourths or more of this time.
In the three fruit warehouses reporting upon the subject, 14.9 per
cent of the women worked less than 7 days, 40.4 per cent of the
women worked less than one-fourth of the greatest number of days
worked by any one woman, 37.9 per cent worked less than one-half
or more of this time, and 22.4 per cent worked three-fourths or more
of this time.
In the one evaporator reporting upon the subject, 45.3 per cent of
the women worked less than 7 days, 59.4 per cent of the women
worked less than one-fourth of the greatest number of days worked
by any one woman, 22.9 per cent worked less than one-half or more
of this time, and 10.6 per cent worked three-fourths or more of this
time.
2. Maximum and minimum number of women on pay rolls.

The numbers of women employed during the season ranged in the
three fruit and vegetable canneries and one evaporator reported upon
from 6 to 105, from 4 to 255, from 41 to 151, and from 49 to 90,
respectively; in the two fish canneries reported upon from 7 to 14
and from 5 to 63, respectively; in the three fruit warehouses from 12
to 61, from 19 to 25, and from 7 to 10, respectively.




STATISTICAL SUMMARY

19

VIII. Industrial accidents and diseases.
1. Nature of injuries.

Of 1(58 records of injuries received in 1923 by employees in fish
and fruit and vegetable canneries, 94 were for women. Of these 94
women, 70 had suffered from infections and poisons, 17 from bruises,
burns, or cuts, and 7 from strains, sprains, dislocation, fracture, hernia,
and the like.
2. Time lost on account of injuries.

Of the total time lost by the men and women (3,403 days), almost
three-fifths was on account of infections or of fish or fruit poisoning,
the aggregate time lost for these reasons amounting to almost five
and a half years.
3. Cause of injury.

More than one-fourth of the injuries were due to tools or machines
used in the preparation of the product for canning, and approxi­
mately one-fourth were attributed to the handling of the raw product.







PART II
PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY OF THE WOMEN WORKERS

Because women are producers not only of economic goods but of
future citizens, because they are homemakers as well as wage earners,
certain facts about their personal history and family responsibilities
are of interest in connection with any analysis of their gainful employ­
ment. In the first place the women workers encountered in the fruit­
growing and canning industries in the State of Washington may be
divided into two main classes—resident and migrant. The problems
peculiar to the latter group will be treated at length in the next two
sections of this report. In this chapter such matters as the age, the
conjugal condition, the nativity, and the family relationship and
responsibilities of all the women will be discussed, the resident and
migrant workers being classified separately in only a few instances.
PERSONAL INFORMATION

Age.

Of the 2,973 women in the present survey who reported their age,
nearly two-fifths (38.5 per cent) were under 25 years; more than onefourth (25.5 per cent) were less than 20 years; and about one-seventh
(13.9 per cent) were not yet 18. A great many of the last named were
school girls at work only in the vacation. (Table 2.)
One-fifth of all the women were 30 to 40 years of age. This was
much the largest group in the berry fields and the prune orchards.
In the apple and pear orchards and warehouses the largest group was
.20 and under 30 years, and in the canneries it was a group younger
still—girls under 20.
The fruit and vegetable canneries ranked first in the proportion
of young people, having 30.6 per cent under 20, followed by the fish
canneries with 26.6 per cent. Apple and pear warehouses ranked
the lowest, with only 18 per cent under 20, but the women slightly
older brought up the warehouse group so that it ranked first in number
of women under 30 years, 58.4 per cent of the employees being so
reported. About three-fifths, 61.4 per cent, of the warehouse workers
were from 20 to 40 years of age, a period which may be considered
the best of a woman’s active working years.
The fact that considerable numbers of housewives enter these
industries for the few weeks of the peak of employment accounts for
the unusually high percentage of women of 40 years of age or more,
31.9 per cent being so reported. Fruit and vegetable canneries had
the greatest numbers of elderly women, 19.7 per cent of their women




22

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

being 50 years of age or more, followed by the berry fields, with 16.4
per cent, and in contrast to 7.1 per cent in apple and pear orchards
and warehouses. Of the total of 145 women at least 60 years of age,
55 were 65 years or more and 17 were at least 70 years old. Two
women were in their eighties, one being 82 and the other 87.
Table 2.—Age of the women employees, by industry
Number and per cent of women whose age was—

j

Number
Per cent

j

Number
Per cent

Per cent

Number

Per cent

Ih

Q
Ps

Number

Per cent

Number

'

Per cent

Number

Per cent

Number

i

Number

,

Industry

Num­
ber of 16 and 18 and 20 and 25 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 years
and
wo­ under under under under under under under
men 18 years 20 years 25 years 30 years 40 years 50 years 60 years over
report­
a
ing
8

All industries............ 2,973 412 13.9 347 11.7 385 12.9 289 9.7 593 19.9 508 17.1 294 9.9 145 4.9
Berry fields..................... .
680 81 14.0 40 6.9 49 8.4
Prune orchards and driers.
182 25 13.7 20 11.0 15 8.2
Apple and pear orchards...
182 21 11.5 19 10.4 34 18.7
Apple and pear warehouses 423 32 7.6 44 10.4 94 22.2
Fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators... 1,245 196 15.7 185 14.9 141 11.3
Fish and clam canneries...
361 57 15.8 39 10.8 52 14.4

52 9.0 152 26. 2 111 19.1
23 12.6 59 32.4 20 11.0
25 13.7 37 20.3 33 18.1
77 18.2 89 21.0 57 13.5

59 10.2
13 7.1
11 6.0
25 5.9

36 6.2
7 3.8
2 1.1
5 1.2

83 6.7 171 13.7 224 18.0 163 13. 1
29 8.0 85 23.5 63 17. 5 23 6.4

82 6.6
13 3.6

Conjugal condition.

Of the 3,014 women who reported their marital status, approxi­
mately one-third were single, one-half were married, and two-thirds
wore either married, widowed, or divorced. (Table 3.) The age
distribution of the 2,973 women in the several marital groups who
reported age was quite usual. Unpublished figures show that only
about one-tenth of the single women were 25 years or over, while
more than one-half of the married women were between 30 and 50
years, and nearly three-fourths of the women with broken marital
relations were 40 years of age or older.
All but one of the various types of employment showed a strik­
ingly larger proportion of married women than of single or widowed.
The largest proportion of married women was found in the apple
and pear orchards, with almost two-thirds of the total number of
women so reported. In the fruit and vegetable canneries, owing
to the large numbers of young women, the number of married women
was only slightly in advance of the number who were single, these
latter constituting two-fifths of the women workers. This industry
showed also the largest percentage of women with broken marital
ties, 17.2 per cent of the total number in the industry.




PERSONAL AND' FAMILY HISTORY

23

Table 3.—Conjugal condition of the women employees, by industry

Number and per cent of women who were—
Industry

Total............................................
Berry fields. 11___________________
Prune orchards and driers................. .
Apple and pear orchards________
A ppie and pear warehouses
Fruit and vegetable canneries and
evaporators..................................
Fish and clam canneries.......................

Num­
ber of
women
report­
ing

Single
Num­
ber

Widowed or
divorced

Married

Per
cent

Num­
ber

Per
cent

Num­
ber

Per
cent

3,014

1,030

34.2

1,565

51.9

419

13.9

607
185
185
425

164
59
47
136

27.0
31.9
25.4
32.0

361
112
123
240

59.5
60.5
66.5
56.5

82
14
15
49

13.5
7.5
8.1
11.5

1,249
363

501
123

40. 1
33.9

533
196

42.6
54.0

215
44

17.2
12.1

Nativity.

Of the 3,013 women who reported on their country of birth, the
great bulk, 82.5 per cent, were native-born whites. One per cent
were native-born Indians. (Table 4.) Only 16.5 per cent of the
women were foreign born.
Many countries were represented among the foreign born, but
each showed only a small group of women. The largest group, 146
women, were from Scandinavian countries—Norway, Sweden,
Denmark, and Iceland.. The next largest groups were the 89 women
from Canada and the 51 from Finland. Germany, Great Britain
and Ireland, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Poland, Italy, Japan, and
Holland, named in the order of numerical importance, each furnished
a small quota of the women.
Of all the industries represented, the berry fields gave employment
to the largest number of foreign-born women, followed closely by the
fruit and vegetable canneries. The berry fields had a larger pro­
portion of foreign born among their women employees than had any
other industry, 28.2 per cent, followed by the fish canneries, with
21.8 per cent of their women workers born outside the United States.
In the apple and pear warehouses the women of foreign origin com­
prised only 8 per cent of the women employees.

t

57206°—26t-----3




24

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES
Table 4.—General nativity and country of birth of the women employees, by

industry
All women
reporting

General nativity and country
of birth

Grand total............... .............
Native born, white..........
Foreign bom_____ _____
Country of birth of foreign
born:
All countries.___ _____
Canada—
White..................
Great Britain and
Italy.
Scandinavian conntries........................
Other countries.........

Number of women with nativity as specified who wero
employed in—

Prune
Berry orchards Apple
and
and pear
Number Per cent fields
driers orchards

Fruit
and
Apple
vege­
Fish
and pear table
ware­
can­ and clam
houses neries
can­
and
neries
evapo­
rators

3,013
2, 486
30
497

100.0
82.5
1.0
16.5

606
423
12
171

185
150

185
168

425
391

1,249
1,088

35

17

84

161

363
266
18
79

497
33

100.0
6.6

171
10

35

17
1

34
1

161
3

79
18

62
27
51
40

12.5
5.4
10.3
8.0

18
25
17
14

3

3

8

28
10
19

2
2
15
3

37
10
14
11
18
22

7.4
2.0
2.8
2.2
3.6
4.4

9
10
7
8
3

i
4
3
3

11
10
1

2

5

1
5

6
6

146
26

29.4
5.2

47
3

6
6

2
2

7
3

58
9

9
1

3
1

9

7

26
4

Of the 2,516 native Americans, 30 were Indians; there were no
negroes. More detailed figures than are here published show that
only two of the native whites were unable to read and write, whereas
12 of the Indians could neither read nor write, and 8 of them were
unable to speak English. As a whole, the foreign born were a very
literate group, 83.6 per cent of them reporting ability to read and
write.
. Quite naturally, owing to the war conditions, few of the foreign-born
women had been in the United States so short a time as 5 to 10 years,
a length of residence in this country which means arrival during
the period of 1913 to 1918. Almost two-fifths of the immigrants
arriving in the last five years had come from Canada. Over twofifths of the foreign born had been residents in the United States 20
years or more, Japan being the only country not represented by a
long-time residence.
.
Three hundred and seventy of the women reporting on country of
birth were from non-English-speaking countries. All but two of
these reported on their ability to speak English, and of the 368,
only 30 women were without this accomplishment. Twenty-three of
these had been in the United States 10 years or more. In addition
to the women from non-English-speaking countries were 18 Indians




PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY

25

born in Canada and 8 Indians born in the United States who could
not speak English.
Living conditions.

An interesting aspect of the living conditions of the women engaged
in the lines of work covered by this study is whether the women were
living as members of a family. Of the 2,941 women reporting on the
subject, only 171, not quite 6 per cent, were living independently
of their families and relying upon their own resources. (Table 5.)
By far the largest number living in such fashion, 90 women, were found
among the workers in the fruit and vegetable canneries and evapo­
rators. These represent, however, a very small part of all the can­
nery workers, as more than one-half of the women interviewed in
the survey were workers in the fruit and vegetable and fish canneries.
There was very little difference in the proportion of resident and that
of migrant women living independently, 5.4 per cent of the former
and 6.6 per cent of the latter being so reported.
Table 5.—Living condition of the resident and migrant women, by industry

Number and per cent of women who were—

Industry i

Num­
ber of
women
report­
ing

Resident
Total
Num­
ber

Per
cent

Migrant

Living Living
with
i nderela­ pend­
tives ently

Total
Num­
ber

Per
cent

Living Living
with
inde­
rela­ pend­
tives ently

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

2,941

1,970

67.0

1,803

107

971

33.0

907

Berry fields...........................
Prune orchards and driers...
Apple and pear orchards_
_
Apple and pear warehouses.
Fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
Fish canneries 1.......... _ r

GOO
185
183
422

130
77
88
304

22.4
41.6
48.1
72.0

129
75
85
292

7
2
3
12

470
108
95
118

77.6
58.4
51.9
28.0

447
102
95
103

23

1,248
297

1,113
252

89.2
84.8

1,039
243

74
9

135
45

10.8
15.2

119
41

16
4

a

15

'■ Clara canneries have been omitted from this table, since only 5 of the OS women employed in them at
the time of the survey were migrants. The five whose homes were not in the district were visited in
towns near-by but the data are not representative, as there are many migrant workers in the season.

FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Since such a majority of the women were living in families, it is
of interest to consider some of the social and economic problems
affecting them as a group.
In this discussion of family relationship a married woman without
children has been called a wife, a woman with children but no hus­
band has been called a mother, and a married woman with both
husband and children has been called wife and mother. In the
group designated as “other” have been included nieces, cousins,
granddaughters, and more distant relatives. This classification also




26

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

includes a number of women living in households of rather complex
families, as, for example, a married woman in her father’s home, who
might be daughter and wife or daughter and mother. The numbers
of women reporting in each family relationship group are as follows:
Wife
422
Mother ______________________________________________
Wife and mother____________________ 1, 113
Daughter
834
Sister
116
Other
65

257

Size and make-up of family.

Data on the size and make-up of the family were secured from
2,591 women who were members of families. (Table 6.) Approxi­
mately three-fourths of the families consisted of two, three, four, or
five members, with a fairly even distribution in the two, three, and
four groups, about one-fifth in each case. Only 2 per cent of the
families reported as many as 10 members.
The total number of families showed 653 more women than men
wage earners, a situation which can be explained by the fact that
the data presented in the table were obtained in every case from
interviews with working women 16 years of age or more. The small
proportion of persons not at work in the families of two members
is due to the same fact.
Every family of 5 or more members averaged, at least 3 wage
earners. In the case of the families numbering 10 persons the aver­
age number of wage earners was 4.3, and the number of workers in
the two families of 14 members averaged 6.
The average number of persons to each wage earner was not exces­
sive in any case, the highest average, 4, being found in the families
of 12 persons. The average for all the families was less than 2. There
was an almost uniform increase from 1.1 to 2.8 with the increase in
the number of persons in the families, the two of 14 members each
showing, however, an average of only 2.3. Of all the persons in the
families, only about two-lifths were not working. Since it is possible
that some of the non wage-earning members living elsewhere at the
time of the interview were not reported, the average number of per­
sons to each wage earner is probably slightly lower than it should be.




*
Table 6.—Composition of the families of the women employees, resident and migrant, showing persons at work and persons not at work, by
size of family
All families

Size of
family

Number
reportiDg
complete
data

Eesident families

Number of persons in
families

Number of persons in
Number
families
Average reporting
number complete
of per­
data
At work
sons to
each
Not
wage
Total
at
earner Num­ Per
Fe­ work
Male male
ber cent

Aver­
age
num­
ber of
wage
earn­
ers

2.6

1.7

737 100.0 3,032

949 1,139

1.8
2.1
2.5
2.8
3.0
3.1
3.7
3.8
4.1
3.4
3.3
6.0

1.1
1.4
1.6
1.8
2.0
2.3
2.2
2.4
2.4
3.2
3.6
2.3

167
144
166
115
56
46
28
9
3
2
1

137
142
221
181
78
102
59
11
9
8
1

180
198
254
206
111
101
59
15
8
6
1

__ Total... 2,591 100.0 11, 309 3,094 3,747 4,468

2.6

1.7 1,854 100.0 8,277 2,145 2,608 3,524

19.7 1.022
19.6 1,527
20.6 2,140
14.8 1,915
10.1 1,572
6.8 1, 225
4.5
936
1.9
432
1.2
310
.5
154
.2
48
.1
28

1.9
2.2
2.6
3.0
3.1
3.4
3.8
3.6
4.3
3.9
3.0
6.0

1.1
1.4
1.5
1.7
1.9
2.0
2.1
2.5
2.3
2.8
4.0
2.3

2..................
3
4__.......... .
5............. .
6..................
7
8..................
9................
10...........
11.................
12.................
14

511
509
535
383
262
175
117
48
31
14
4
2




398
481
630
515
375
287
211
87
67
29
8
6

553
640
764
619
435
314
233
88
65
26
4
6

71
406
746
781
762
624
492
257
178
99
36
16

344 18.6 688
365 19.7 1,095
369 19.9 1,476
268 14.5 1,340
206 11.1 1, 236
129 7.0 903
89 4.8 712
39 2.1 351
28 1.5 280
.6
12
132
3
36
.2
28
2
.1

261
339
409
334
297
185
152
76
58
21
7
6

373
442
510
413
324
213
174
73
57
20
3
6

54
314
557
593
615
505
386
202
165
91
26
16

Number of persons in
families
Average Number
number reporting
complete
of per­
data
At work
sons to
each
Not
wage
Total
at
earner Num­ Per
Fe­ work
Male male
ber cent

22.7
19.5
22.5
15.6
7.6
6.2
3.8
1.2
.4
.3
.1

334
432
664
575
336
322
224
81
30
22
12

Aver­
age
num­
ber of
wage
earn­
ers

Average
number
of per­
sons to
each
wage
earner

944

2.8

1.5

17
92
189
188
147
119
106
55
13
8
10

1.9
2.4
2.9
3.4
3.4
4.4
4.2
2.9
5.7
7.0
2.0

1.1
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.8
1.6
1.9
3.1
1.8
1.6
6.0

PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY

Aver­
age
num­
At work
ber of
Not wage
Total
at earn­
Fe­ work ers
Num­ Per
Male male
ber cent

Migrant families

to

-3

28

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Of the women who were living with their families, 147 represented
families with no wage earner but the woman herself. These were
exceptions, however, as the majority were in families where all who
could work seemed to be employed. The distribution of the women
who were sole breadwinners and that of all women unassisted by
male workers is shown according to industry in the following state­
ment:
Number of
Number of
women who women who
had no male had no wage
wage earner earner but self
in family
in family

Industry

322

Prune orchards and driers____ ______________

___ _

Apple and pear warehouses. _ __________ ____ __
Fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
Fish and clam canneries______
___ __ _ - __

147

50
2
8
49
183
30

IS
2
2
21
92
12

Of all the women interviewed, including the 174 living independ­
ently, 2,020 were resident and 993 were migrant; and of all the women
whose families had male wage earners, 1,615 were resident and C72
were migrant.
Of the male wage earners, 2,134 were the chief breadwinners in
their families; 1,336 of them were husbands of women interviewed,
646 were fathers, 66 were sons, 70 were brothers, and 16 were more
distant relatives. A total of 1,155 male wage earners—670 chief
wage earners and 485 others—were engaged in the same industries
that employed the women interviewed. (Table 7.)
In actual numbers there was an almost even division between
resident and migrant men employed in these industries. The
following table indicates that many more male relatives of
migrant women than of resident women were employed in the berry
fields and that almost two-thirds of these were not chief wage earners
but evidently were younger boys. One berry rancher remarked, in
discussing his troubles with labor, “ If you see a man picking berries
you may know he is there for his health only.”
Almost no men from migrant families represented in the survey
were employed in the canneries, but a large number were in the fruit
orchards. A fair number of migrant men worked in the fruit ware­
houses, but a much larger number of resident men found employment
there. In the prune orchards, as in the berry fields, the males were
not chief wage earners but young boys.




PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY

29

Table 7.—Males in the families of the women interviewed—resident and migrant—

who were in the same industry as the women, according to whether chief wage
earner or not chief wage earner
Males in all families

{Males in resident
families

Number re­
ported to be—

Industry

Total
re- *
ported Chief
wage
earner

Males in migrant
families

Number re­
ported to be—

Number re­
ported to be—

Num­
Num­
Not ber re­
Not ber re­
Not
chief ported Chief chief ported Chief chief
wage wage
wage wage
wage
earner earner
earner earner
earner

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

1.156

670

485

574

361

213

581

309

272

Berry fields............................
Fruit orchards.......................
Apple and pear warehouses.Fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators.......
Fish and clam canneries.......

300
373
205

114
238
165

186
135
40

57
145
142

25
102
110

32
43
32

243
228
63

89
136
55

1.54
92
8

156
121

73
80

83
41

133
97

59
65

32

23
24

14
15

9

it

Many of tlie women answered so vaguely about the exact kind of
work which the men and boys of their families were doing that it has
been possible to throw them only in large industry groups or occu­
pations. Only 342 men were reported definitely as laborers. This
is probably* a misleading figure, since often the wife said that her
husband ‘‘worked in the mill yonder,” and when asked what he did
in the mill, replied indefinitely, with a shrug of the shoulders, “some­
times one thing and sometimes another.”
The industries or occupations in which the men usually were em­
ployed may be arranged in descending scale as follows:
Agriculture___________________
594
Lumber and woodworking
367
Laborers (not elsewhere specified)________________________
244
Transportation
179
Building trades__________________________________ ______
163
Food canneries
89
Trade and commerce__________________________
Personal service
73
Machinists and millwrights
61
Firemen and engineers
51
Fishing
37
Public service
34
Metal trades
26
Miners
16
Clerical
16
Professional
16
Other_______________________________________ _____________
55
Total........................ .........................................................................2,099

As would be expected, the two largest groups of men were in the
chief industries of the State, 28.3 per cent in agriculture—this pro­
portion including many small ranchers struggling to clear their land



78

30

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTKIES

and get a start—and 17.5 per cent in the logging camps and sawmills.
In the personal service group were many camp cooks, and in trans­
portation were many who worked in garages and on street railways.
Of the men who were chief breadwinners, 166 were reported as hav­
ing secondary jobs, supplemental to their regular work, and as about
30 per cent of these secondary jobs also were agricultural or lumber
pursuits, it is apparent that a considerable proportion of the women
interviewed in the survey were wives or daughters of men engaged
in these important industries.
Children.
Since 2,811 women reported the ages of the members of the family,
it has been possible to group the individuals in these families into
those under 6 years, or below school age; those 6 and under 16; and
those 16 years or over.
Table 8.—Age composition of families, resident and migrant

Number and per cent of persons whose age was—
Number and class of families

Number
of
persons

Under 6 years

6 and under 16
years

16 years and over

Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent
All families_ ............... 2,811
_
Resident___ ______ ________ 1,991
Migrant__________ _______
820

11,717

838

7.2

2,990

25.5

7,889

67.3

8,513
3,204

567
271

6.7
8.5

2,165
825

25.4
25.7

5,781
2,108

67.9
65.8

The proportions of children under 6 years and of children between
6 and 16 years were slightly larger in the migrant than in the resident
families. Altogether about one-third of all the persons in the families
for whom data were available were children under 16 years of age.
Table 9 further analyzes the make-up of the families, both resident
and migrant, with respect to the number of children, and shows the
number of families with only young children under 6 years, with only
children aged 6 to 16, and with children in both the younger and older
age groups.




T

T. able 9.

Number of families—resident and migrant—having children of specified ages, by number of children in family
Total number of families with
children under 16 years

Number of children in
family

Resident

Migrant

Families with children under 6
years only
Resident

Families with children 6 to 16 years
only

Migrant

Resident

Migrant

Families with children under 6
years and from 6 to 16 years
Resident

Migrant

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

1,218

2,732

500

1,096

142

189

69

93

777

1,416

297

528

299

1,127

134

475

1........................................
2............................. .........
3.......... ......... ............ .........
4..................................... .
5.......................... ............
6___........................................... .................... ..

492
322
189
107
67
25
12
4

492
644
567
428
335
150
84
32

196
138
92
38
24
8
4

196
276
276
152
120
48
28

108
25
6
2
1

108
50
18
8
5

48
18
3

48
36
9

384
226
111

384
452
333

148
87
46

148
174
138

71
72

142
216

33
43

66
129

17

85
18

4

20

7.........................
8............................




i

I

32

28

PER SO N A L AND' FA M ILY H ISTO R Y

Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number Number
of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­ of fami­ of chil­
lies
lies
dren
dren
lies
dren
lies
dren
lies
dren
lies
dren
lies
dren
lies
dren

03

32

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The resident families, constituting about 70 per cent of the total
number, naturally had the larger number of children in each age
group, but it is interesting to note that 500 migrant families had with
them 1,096 children under 16 years of age—an average of more than
2 children per family. Sixty-nine of these families had 93 children,
all under 6 years, an average of 1.3 per family; 297 families had 528
children between the ages of 6 and 16, an average of 1.8 per family;
and 134 families had children in both age classifications, under 6
and from 6 to 16, the total number of children in this group being
475, or an average of 3.5 per family.
The following summary gives the number and proportion of chil­
dren 6 to 16 years old who were at work:
Children 6 and under 16 years
Class of families

Total
number

Number
at work

Per cent
at work

2, 990

491

16. 4

825
2, 165

338
153

41. 0
7. I

In spite of the fact that there were many more children from 6 to
16 in the resident than in the migrant families, 69 per cent, or over
two-thirds, of all the children who were working were migrants, and
41 per cent of the migrant children were employed, -while only 7 per
cent of the resident children were so reported.
Only 23 children under 16 were at work in places other than those
where the women were employed. Many, of the children in the older
group were working with the women interviewed. Altogether there
were 468 cases where a child in the family of the woman interviewed
was engaged in the same industry as was the woman. Of these boys
and girls, 49 were the children of widows interviewed, 291 the chil­
dren of the married women, 119 the brothers and sisters of women
interviewed, and 8 the more distant relatives of such women.
The same 468 children were distributed in the various industries
as follows:
Industry

Total
number In resi­
dent
of
children families
employed

In mi­
grant
families

Total.......................................-........-........................................... ......

468

135

333

46
41
5
30

258
68

Fruit and vegetable canneries...................... .............. ......................... ........
Fish and clam canneries.................................... ...........................-..............

304
109
5
34
16




4

PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY

33

The most striking fact here is that almost two-thirds of these
children were at work in the berry fields. Over one-fourth of the
children were in fruit orchards. Children were very rarely seen in
apple orchards but were employed to such an extent in picking up
prunes that the school in at least one district visited had closed until
after the prune harvest. It is therefore safe to assume that these
109 children were employed largely in the prune orchards.
Migrant households without adults.

The analysis of the family and household groups in relation to the
number of children brings out an interesting fact in connection with
the berry pickers. Several of the migrant household groups whose
members were engaged in this line of work were devoid of persons
older than 18 years; that is, the groups consisted of young girls and
children camping together in a shack and working in the field. In
eight cases a girl of 17 was the oldest in a camping unit, and in eight
instances a 16-year-old girl was the head of a household group.
The following examples give an idea of the make-up of such house­
holds :
Two girl friends, each 17 years old.
A girl of 17 with a brother of 13 and a girl friend of 16 years.
A girl of 17 with two brothers and two sisters all under 16 years
of age.
A girl of 16 with a girl friend aged 15.
A girl of 16 with a younger brother.
A girl of 16 with a sister, cousin, and two friends, all under 16.
Altogether there were 20 household groups on the berry ranches
none of whose 55 members were over 18 years of age and whose
heads were girls of 16, 17, or 18 years. Most of these households
consisted of only two young people, but in two cases they had five
members.
In addition to the households just discussed there were 23 work­
ing girls 16, 17, or 18 years of age not under the care of adult mem­
bers of their own families but living with other women, sometimes
friends and acquaintances, who also had come to pick berries. Occa­
sionally they had met since their arrival in the berry fields the families
with whom they were living.
The greatest difference in the living arrangements of the young
migrant girls was between those employed in the berry fields and those
in the apple orchards, for among the apple pickers there w'as no girl
of 18 or under who was living even temporarily away from her family.
In the other industries the migrant girls of 16, 17, or 18 years of age
were on, the whole, with relatives, older friends, or neighbors.




WOMEN IN FBUIT-GR0WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

34

Share of women workers in family support.
One indication of the degree of responsibility which the worker
feels toward her family is the amount of her earnings which she con­
tributes to the familys upport—whether she gives all or none of it to
the common cause. The degree of responsibility differs, naturally,
with the woman’s position in the family.
The statement that a worker gives part of her earnings to the
family is so indefinite that without further details an analysis of the
real value of such contribution is impossible. It merely shows that
the part contributor does feel some obligations toward her family
and does not consider herself entirely independent.
The following shows the relationship to their families of the women
interviewed who reported contributions, and the proportions of each
group who contributed either all or none of their earnings.
Position in the family

Per cent
contributing
all earnings

94.
90.
82.
20.
18.
61.

6
2
8
2
8
8

Per cent
contributing
no earnings

3.
7.
12.
50.
41.
20.

6
4
4
5
2
0

The same relative scale of contributions obtains whether the
women were from resident or migrant families, and the percentage of
earnings contributed varies but slightly between the residents and
migrants, whether wives, mothers, wives and mothers, or women
having other relationship are considered. Another tabulation of
interest in this connection is the following, which shows the proportion
of women contributing all or none of their earnings, correlated with
size of family:* 5 * * * * * 11
Number of persons in family

2.

3­
4:
5-

6_
7_
8_
9_
I0„
11

-

12_
13_




Per cent
Per cent
of women who of women who
contributed
contributed
no earnings
all earnings
to family
to family
80.
76.
69.
60.
57.
56.
57.
36.
45.
42.
25.
50.

5
7
4
2
9
4
6
2
7
9
0
0

14.
15.
19.
26.
24.
22.
27.
40.
31.
35.
25.
50.

3
7
0
1
2
1
1
4
4
7
0
0

PERSONAL A-XI) FAMILY HISTORY

35

The percentage of those who gave all their earnings to the family
decreases gradually from 80.5 to 57.6 as the size of the family increases
from 2 to 8 members, probably indicating that the larger families
represented by wage-earning women in this study had children of
working age, so that the responsibilities were spread among more wrage
earners, and the individual necessity of contributing all earnings was
not so urgent.
In the family groups consisting of 9, 10, or 11 members the sudden
rise in percentage of those contributing none of their earnings to the
family was due to the decreasing numbers of wives and mothers w7ho
contributed all, and to the larger proportion of daughters who con­
tributed nothing. Only 22 mothers or wives and mothers of the total
1,241 were wmrking in families composed of 9, 10, and 11 members,
(none belonged to families larger than 11 persons), and 21 of these
were contributing all their earnings to the common needs of the
family. On the other hand, 65 daughters of the total 717 were work­
ing in families of 9, 10, and 11 persons, and 32 of them were con­
tributing nothing to the family needs.
REASONS FOR WORKING

Closely allied with the foregoing subject is that of reasons for
becoming wage earners, as given by the women interviewed, since
family responsibilities were more frequently than not at the root of
the whole matter.
Detailed data show that although a wide variety of reasons was
given, more than one-half of the approximately 3,000 women
who reported stated that they were working to help meet the
expenses, or supply the necessities, of the home and family. A few of
the women in this group definitely stated that they had to work
because the man breadwinner wTas ill, incapacitated, or for some other
reason not working. A few others included in this general classifica­
tion were earning money to help in the purchase of a house, house
furnishings, or extra equipment, such as a gas range, an electric
washer, or a vacuum cleaner. A much smaller group, about 7 per
cent of the total, reported that they had become wage earners in
order to support themselves only. About the same proportion gave
as their motive for working the need of money for their own or
others’ education. The necessity of buying clothes for themselves or
others was the reason given by a few women.
Choice rather than necessity was the explanation of wrage-earning
activities offered by about one-tenth of the women; they wranted to
earn spending money, or enjoyed the work or the chance to work
with their friends. A few other women stated that they were work­
ing merely as an accommodation to the employer. Desire to be in
the country, either for their own sakes or to benefit their children,



36

WOMEN' IN EBUTT-GHOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

had caused another small group to accept the job at which they
were engaged when interviewed. Certain women had undertaken
the job because it enabled them to make a change in occupation or
to take a sort of vacation, and a few others seized this opportunity
to earn money for a vacation elsewhere.
Some had entered the job because it was the only kind of work
available, some because they belonged to a family engaged in migrant
labor, while others announced that they were working because they
were accustomed to do so, because it was their habit to work, because
they needed or expected to work, or because they had been curious
to try employment for wages.
In relation to position in family.

The need to help in the maintenance of the family was the cause
given for working by approximately one-half of the wives and mothers
and one-sixth of the daughters reporting.
Nearly two-thirds of those who gave as a reason for working tne
need to secure money for education were daughters, and nearly
three-fourths of these daughters contributed nothing toward the
family expenses. Daughters comprised three-fourths of the number
who gave as their motive for gainful occupation the need to earn
money for clothing and also more than tliree-fifths of those who
stated that they worked from choice rather than necessity in order
to have “spending money” and their “own things.”
The chance to work in the country apparently did not appeal to
the daughters as a group as it did to the group of wives and mothers,
since the latter made up more than three-fourths of the number who
reported the desire for country influences as their reasons for working.
Aside from the wish to help with expenses, 118 of the wives and
mothers were employed because the normal chief breadwinner was
incapacitated or temporarily out of work. Other reasons which the
married women gave for working were that this employment offered
a chance for the family to work together or that they wanted a job
which, on account of the camp life connected with it, bore some
resemblance to a vacation.
In relation to place of employment.

The reasons for working offered by the women berry pickers
differed somewhat from those given by women in other places of
employment. Of the 109 women giving the desire for a vacation as
a reason for working, 78 were in the berry fields; two-thirds of these
regarded the job itself as the necessary change, and one-third hoped
to earn money for a “real vacation.” Of 71 who claimed to be at
their present work because it was an outdoor job, beneficial to the
health of self or family, or was one permitting a trip to the country,
54 were employed in the berry fields. Seventy-seven of the women




PERSONAL. AND* FAMILY HISTORY

37

were influenced chiefly to undertake their work because of the
possibility of having the family work together; 28 of these were in
the berry fields and the next largest group were in the prune orchards.
Of 22 who were working mainly to accommodate their employer, 19
were berry pickers.
An important reason given by the women as their motive in seek­
ing employment was to earn a living for themselves. Almost onehalf of the women working to support themselves were in the fruit
and vegetable canneries, and more than one-fourth were employed
as sorters or packers in fruit warehouses.
Of 27 women who worked because their neighbors did, or because
they preferred being with friends to remaining at home alone, about
one-half were employed in fruit and vegetable canneries.




t




PART III
MIGRANTS

The workers, as already stated, may be divided into two main
classes—resident and migrant. The word migrant is used in this
study to indicate those who were not permanent residents in the
place where they were working and those who were camping tempo­
rarily near their work. In its wide application, therefore, it includes
all housed temporarily near their places of seasonal employment, both
those who had a permanent residence elsewhere to which they ex­
pected to return and those who had no permanent residence. Most of
this last group could give an address which they had had before be­
ginning to wander, but others had little idea of what they had ever
called home; they seemed only “to come from where they started.1'
Of the approximately 3,000 women interviewed during this sur­
vey, 993, or almost one-third, were nonresident workers living only
temporarily near their seasonal jobs.
During the hearings conducted in 1914 by the United States Com­
mission on Industrial Relations in Seattle the testimony presented
by one witness, Mr. E. W. Olson, at that time State labor commis­
sioner, is pertinent to this subject of migrant and seasonal labor.
Referring to fish canneries, the commissioner said:
That employment goes hand in hand with a lot of other intermittent employ­
ment that we have in the State. As a matter of fact, this State is seething with
intermittent employment. That is one of the great faults of our industrial life
here; we have so much intermittent employment that men and women are not
employed in the same industry but a short time, when they have to seek work
in other lines. We require probably 50 per cent more people here in summer
time in these different industries than we do in the winter.1
MIGRANTS AND THE VARIOUS INDUSTRIES

Of the women employed in all the various types of work included
in this study, those in the berry fields showed a striking influx of
migrants, since more than three-fourths of the total number of women
reported at work in the berry fields were living during the harvest
season in ranch quarters. Many of them did not come from great
distances, but from homes within a radius of 30 miles of the Puyallup
Valley. As they had no convenient and inexpensive means of trans­
portation for going back and forth daily, they found it necessary to
1 Testimony of E. W. Olson, State labor commissioner of Washington, before U. S. Commission on Indus­
trial Relations, Seattle, Aug. 10, 1914. Final report and testimony, v. 5 (U. S, Commission on Industrial
Relations), pp. 4120, 4121.

57200°—26t—




4

39

\tU

J MINN.

/ °Ta

~Y

ill.

COLO.

I

\
/

ariz.

\ oH'0>;rv^^o'
<y S’ v/r^sL

OKLAHOMA V

j

N.MEX.

ARK. j
(MlSS-i ALA. V
)
(

TEXAS

MIGRANTS HAD COME FROM 18 STATES

VA-

K.Y-

\ s.c.

W O M E N IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES




o

MIGRANTS

41

camp in the shacks supplied rent free on the ranches. Some families
even regarded this arrangement as a cheap way of giving their chil­
dren a vacation in the country. Moreover, since these women
brought little camp equipment with them, the berry ranchers pro­
vided more and better housing accommodations than did the em­
ployers in other districts who also depended on migrant labor. Ex­
clusive of the Indians, only 25 berry pickers among those interviewed,
reported “no home,” and only 14 seemed to be typical migrants from
distant points outside the State. These 14 moved wherever their
husbands found work, and only 5 had their own cars and camp
outfit.
About 55 per cent of the women working in the apple, pear, and
prune orchards belonged in the so-called migrant class. Like the
berry pickers, the majority of the prune pickers did not come great
distances from their permanent homes, but with no direct means of
daily transportation the only practical thing for them to do was to
settle at the ranch for the short season. Many of these seasonal
prune workers anticipated returning to their homes in the adjoining
counties or in Portland and its environs. However, other migrants
in the prune orchards claimed Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas,
Colorado, New Mexico, or California as the State in which they had
last lived for any length of time. Their next permanent addresses
were a matter of no concern to them. With the apple crop the situation
was different. The reputation of the apple orchards for steady work
and good pay has spread far, and it is customary for many pickers
and packers to come long distances, with their own camp equipment,
to the famed orchards. The apple harvest follows the wheat harvest,
which, as is well known, requires large numbers of seasonal laborers,
and as the orchards are just west of the grain districts, they are the
next natural stopping point, especially since the orchard wages are
attractive. There is little employment for the women of the families
in the grain harvest, except in the cookhouses, but in the crop of
pears and apples they find work, a few in the orchards and many more
in the ■warehouses. In general, the fruit ranchers may be said to be
as dependent upon transient labor as are the wheat growers ; conse­
quently, there are shifting families in the orchard districts just as
there are shifting men in the great wheat fields.
In the Wenatchee Valley and farther north a few dormitories are
provided fof the migrants, which are a great convenience for single
women, making it possible for them to live without their own camp
outfit. A few such women among those interviewed made a prac­
tice of “working the fruits” in California in winter, then following
the harvest seasons, and ending their migrations in the fall in the
Washington apple orchards in time to return for winter work in




42

WOMEN IK FRUIT-GROWING AKD CAKKIKG INDUSTRIES

California again. In the Yakima Valley the majority of the tran­
sient women were with their families and traveling in their own
automobiles with camp equipment, which included at least the barest
essentials for living. More than 20 apple pickers had come from 11
other States and Alaska and were bound for no definite destination.
The proportion of migrant workers was considerably smaller among
the women in apple and pear warehouses than among the women
in the apple and pear orchards, because in some instances the ware­
houses were situated in towns and cities.
The cannery groups had the fewest migratory workers, a fact due
to the location of canneries in towns and cities with a local labor
supply. There were almost no migratory workers among the
employees of the fish canneries, except for a small number of women
imported to do the work in a few establishments remote from popu­
lous centers. The case of one young girl is interesting but not typi­
cal. With a friend she had left the Middle West to see the country.
At home she had followed the trade of typesetting, but, being in need
of funds on her journey, she took the first job that offered—that in
the fish cannery. With a glance at her soiled apron and the remark,
“I’m just smiling through this place,” she told her story. Before her
cannery experience she had picked berries two weeks, but “there was
nothing in that,” and one wondered with her what her next job
would be.
A great majority of the women employed in the fruit and vegeta­
ble canneries who were not permanent residents in the cannery towns
had come from homes within 30 to 40 miles of the cannery. The
few who were following the harvest seasons as typical “fruit tramps”
were employed in those canneries located in the orchard districts,
while frequently other members of their families had work in the
fruit orchards. These workers had come originally from Illinois,
Oklahoma, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia
and had little intention of returning to these starting points. A few
had followed the crops so long, with so many changes in winter quar­
ters, up and down the coast, that they were at a loss to name any
one place as a residence.
TYPICAL CASES OF MIGRANT WORKERS

The subject of migrant labor is so closely tied up with the various
lines of employment covered by this report that it runs "as an essen­
tial theme throughout the discussion of almost every problem con­
nected with the study. To furnish a background to the general
analysis and to emphasize the human-interest aspects of the subject,
the following typical stories of the circumstances of migrant laborers
are presented.




MIGRANTS

43

Berry workers.

1. A woman, 37 years old, with husband and two children, socalled “tourists,” had started from North Dakota with their few
possessions and had come to the Puyallup Valley by way of El Paso,
Tex., and San Diego, Calif. They had their own camp equipment
and automobile, working whenever necessary. They had started
originally in search of health and thought of settling late in the fall.
The woman was picking berries, but added proudly that her husband
had a better job in town.
2. A woman, 31 years old, with husband and two children, had
started from Illinois. They had wanted to travel, and not being
able to do so in an elaborate way had set forth in their car with the
expectation of being gone a year at least, and perhaps of never return­
ing east. They had found jobs en route. The woman was picking
berries, while her husband worked in a sawmill. She was a very
intelligent woman, a normal-school graduate, and had taught several
years.
3. A woman, 56 years old, and her nusband were camping in a tent.
They had been traveling around for 11 years, going from place to
place. In the winter he canvassed, but in the summer they worked
together picking berries, fruit, and hops. For several years pre­
vious to this they had picked chiefly apricots, walnuts, and apples.
“They just travel around” and have no plans of settling.
Orchard workers.
1. A woman, 44 years of age, was traveling with her husband from

Oregon. They had their own car and camp equipment, which in­
cluded bed springs, an improvised curtained clothes closet fitted with
hangers on a rod, and other conveniences. This was the third sea­
son at this sort of work, which the woman felt she must do, in
conjunction with her husband, as she could not do it to advantage
“ without a partner.” They had started June 1 and had begim pick­
ing strawberries, together clearing about $60. During the next six
weeks they picked 6 tons of cherries, making $40 a ton; this was
the best-paying field work they had done that year. In the prune
orchards they had worked one week—a type of work which the
woman found very hard; in apricot orchards two weeks, where
they just made expenses; in blackberry fields a month, where they
had not cleared much; and in hop fields one week, where they had
made good. At the time of the interview they were settled in the
apple district, hoping to find work there for six more weeks, to
keep them busy up to November. Before her marriage this woman
had been a practical nurse, but she explained that her present way
of earning a living paid about as well as nursing and that the ner­
vous strain was much less.



44

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

2. A girl of 18 with her parents had started from Oklahoma five
years before. The father formerly raised cotton, but “the grass­
hoppers and boll weevil had beat them out”; they had come north,
working their way around from job to job, traveling by automobile,
and living in their own tents. For about four months of the year
the father was employed in lumber camps, This girl was a typical
outdoor worker, having begun to pick cotton when she was 11 years
old. For the last four harvest seasons she had lost little time, having
managed to keep busy with the rest of tire family. She had worked at
cutting potatoes, picking hops, peaches, and pears, and was engaged
in picking apples at the time of the interview. The preceding winter
she had had to work also for a few weeks in a restaurant, because the
harvest season of 1922 had been poor, and she and her parents had
not cleared enough to carry them through the winter. The family
appeared to enjoy this mode of living and had no plans for settling.
3. A woman ol 28,, with her husband and one child, calling them­
selves “tourists,” had left their home in Texas in 1921 and worked
their way through to Oregon and Washington in 1923. They had
their own car and convenient camp equipment. The woman was
not always able to find work where her husband could make the best
money. They had spent much of the season in the wheat fields of
eastern Washington, where he had run a threshing machine. She
had picked berries for a few weeks and prunes for a short time. In
Texas she had done much farm work, chiefly picking cotton.
4. A woman of 33 was traveling with her husband and five chil­
dren. They had left New Mexico about a year before and were
trying different places before making up their minds where they would
settle down. In her former home the woman had worked part of
the time on her own ranch and some of the time for wages on other
people’s ranches. She had done many kinds of farm work, but
especially hoeing, picking cotton, and shucking corn. The last sea­
son she had been busy picking plums, prunes, and apples. Her
husband and three of her children were busy with her, picking up
prunes from the ground for drying.
5. A woman of 22 and her husband did not know what or where
their home was. In the winters, through January and February,
they packed oranges in California, then they worked their way north
into the prune district of Walla Walla in August and planned to spend
September, October, and November in the apple orchards and ware­
houses near Wenatchee.
6. A single woman of 24 whose home was in California had come
north the past three seasons to work in apple packing. She was a
stenographer during the winter months, but found she made better
pay on fruit ranches in the summer.




MIGRANTS

45

7. A woman of 47, with her husband and four children, gave her
address as “just traveling around in fruits.” They had their own
tent and equipment and earned their living as they went along.
They had begun their outdoor work this season in cherries, then had
moved over to a peach and pear district, and were, at the time of
the interview, in the apple district for the fall work. Their plans for
the winter were undecided.
8. A self-supporting widow of 30 years had made a practice for
three years of going to the apple district in the fall months. This
season she had had some sorting of pears in cold storage, where she
“nearly froze.” Always when the fruit season was over she hunted
around for a job as a clerk in a store, which did not pay so well but
kept her alive. For her address she gave that of her father in Ore­
gon, as she had none of her owrn.
9. A woman of 36 was traveling with her own equipment from Idaho
to California. Her husband, an itinerant preacher, was able to earn
little. Whenever their finances rail low, they stopped touring and
preaching and went to work. Two of the four children were helping
the mother pick up prunes. They expected to work in hops and
apples before the season ended. The mother added, “We really
have no home.”
10. A woman of 39, with husband and seven children, two of whom
were helping her while two smaller ones were in school temporarily
by a special and unusual arrangement with the teacher of the dis­
trict, when asked her permanent address replied, “We just travel
around.” During the summer they had thinned apples and picked
pears, peaches, and apples, and on the whole the husband had been
busy most of the time. Their moves had been short ones this year,
at no time more than a hundred miles.
11. A woman of 23 was traveling with her husband in their car
and with their own camp equipment. Before and since marriage
their business had been “following the fruits.” Their address was
wdierever they could find work or wherever they happened to be,
They had worked in California from November until June, chiefly
packing oranges; then they had moved northward, packing tomatoes
and peaches, en route to the apple orchards, where they were busy
packing apples in October. At the expiration of the apple season
they expected to return south again and had no plans for the future
except the seasonal migrations.
12. A woman of 31, with her husband and young son, had started
from southern Idaho in May and had worked on about 20 ranches in
three States, up to the middle of October. They were en route for
the South, not knowing what they would do or where they wanted
to go. They had lost then- farm in Idaho and had bought a car by
paying $21 a month for it. They did not feel, when interviewed, that



46

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING > AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

they had earned enough to tide them over the winter and hoped to
find work in some other line after the harvest season closed. They
had worked for four weeks, off and on, in the berry season, and had
managed to keep busy about a month picking cherries, a job which
had paid particularly well. They had also picked prunes, peaches,
and apples.
13. A widow of 39 years and her son and daughter, traveling in a car
with friends from St. Louis, were working along the way. They had
seen a general notice of the need for prune pickers and had gone into
that district. The next move was to be into the Yakima Valley for
work in the apple orchards. Ultimately‘they hoped to settle in
San Francisco, but they realized that it would take a long time to get
there, and that they might even then have to keep up this mode of
life in order to exist.
14. A woman of 19 was touring with her husband from Niagara
Falls; they camped in auto parks whenever they stopped to work.
He was busy temporarily at his trade, and she in the field. They
were looking over the country and working as necessary, with no
plans of settling and with no ties or possessions to call them any­
where in particular.
STRANDED MIGRANT WORKERS

As already indicated, many families arrive in their automobiles,
pitch their tents near the orchard where they get work, and are free
to move to the next orchard as soon as they are through at their first
place. That such working travelers deserve the title of “fruit tran­
sients” or “fruit hobos” is obvious from the following comments
made by a few of the women interviewed, which illustrate the mode of
life of the seasonal migrant worker: “ Just traveling in our Ford; heard
we could make good money; plan to take in the apple orchards next.”
“Our Hudson Six is our home.” “Just traveling around, working
as we need to, and heard about this place along the road.” “Home?
Where we pitch our tent.” “Went broke dry farming and now
we’re just chasing a job here and there.” In their wanderings they
seem to have a definite idea of following a succession of crops, but
otherwise they are carefree and irresponsible.
Most of them, of course, do well, but others fail to make their
expenses and are compelled to wait around somewhere until spring.
The severity of the winter, especially east of the Cascade Mountains,
and the lack of substantial protection sometimes force these people
to appeal for aid and to become a charge upon the community.
Failure is doubly hard for the fruit hobo with a family and equally
difficult for his family, which is never long enough in a place to be
part of the community and its organization or to know what the
friendship of old neighbors means. Some very needy cases have



47

MIGBANTS

appealed for help to the charity commissioner in Yakima County,
and his office courteously furnished the following data on the nature
of the applications for aid made by the transients, who invariably
explained that they had come to the district because they had heard
that fruit was plentiful and help was needed.
Of the total number of applications from the entire county for the
period from October 7, 1922, to February 28, 1923, 16.8 per cent were
made by transients who had come into the district to work on fruit
ranches. For the similar period, a year later, October 7, 1923, to
February 25, 1924, 16.9 per cent of the applications for aid were made
by fruit transients. Thus, approximately one-sixth of the applica­
tions in each of the two seasons were from this group of workers.
For both seasons the data were given on the length of residence in
the county before help was solicited. The figures are as follows:

Residence in the county

Number of families
seeking aid during
season of—
1922-23

Total_____________________________________________

t week________________

. _ __
............. .....
- -_
__ _
____________
month_ _
_ _ ___ _
_______
. .
__ _
months_ . _ - _ ____
_
.
_
months _ __________ _ _
_
_
-____
months ___________
_
. ____
___
months_________ ____ - _
___ _
_ ____
____
months__
___ _
.
.
_____
months........
.............. _
__ ___
months___ -____
______
_____
_ -___ _
months.. _______ _______
__________ ____

36

1923-24

24

1

2 weeks - - -

2

2

2

1

3
4

5
6
7
8

9

Not reporting residence

4

5
9

4

7
5
3

1
2

1

4

3

2
4

1

Help had been needed almost upon arrival by some, and not until
nine months afterward by others. Those who had been in the
county more than five months probably were those who hoped to
winter there and to find occasional odd jobs until spring.




48

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The following statement, showing the months in which most of the
appeals were made, indicates that the hard times come after the
harvest:
Number of families
seeking aid in—
Month in which aid was requested
1922-23

3
3
11
13
3

1923-24

2
7
<>

4
2

For the first season, 1922-23, either insufficient or poorly paid
employment, or unemployment, was the main reason in 30 cases,
and 4 of these were complicated by illness. Six families were in
distress because of a misdemeanor of the chief breadwinner. Onethird of all these applicants were given transportation to some former
place of residence; others received medical attention, fuel, groceries,
or clothing. The records for the second season were more complete
than for the first, showing the make-up of the family as well as the
reason for asking aid. Each of the 24 families applying during the
second season had children. In all there were 93 children, 6 families
having 2 each, 5 families 3 each, and 3 families having 7, 8, and 9
children, respectively.
It is impossible to quote any figures showing what proportion of
all migrant labor becomes stranded, but the records already referred
to emphasize the fact that the traveling families do have a difficult
problem. Moreover, many other such families are helped by private
individuals and do not come to the attention of the county authorities.




^ '

THE HOUSES OCCUPIED BY MIGRANTS IN THE CLAM INDUSTRY ARE MERE
SHACKS, OFTEN BUILT CLOSE TOGETHER IN LITTLE SETTLEMENTS AT
THE WATER’S EDGE

48—1




>> I

.

■

•

ON SOME RANCHES TENTS WERE THE ACCEPTED TYPE OF HOUSING

w:;...
MANY MIGRANTS LIVED IN THE ROW TYPE OF QUARTERS—ONE ROOM
FOR A FAMILY AND A STOVE IN COMMON

48—2




PART IV
HOUSING
The employment of migrant labor, or persons who go from place
to place in quest of work, involves an added complication in the neces­
sity for the rancher to provide camping sites and often living quarters
for the workers during their temporary sojourn of a few weeks or
months on his promises. The housing question is of even more vital
importance to the workers, since their general health and welfare arc
so closely tied up with the living conditions encountered. It is not
surprising, therefore, that individuals or families w'ho make a practice
of going to work in the fields and orchards season after season are
eager to secure employment on ranches where they find not only
fruit of a high grade for picking, together with satisfactory wages, but
comfortable quarters for living and sleeping. Shacks equipped with
running water on a porch and a good cook stove under cover, for each
household, arc remembered and serve as a strong inducement to the
pickers to return to a particular ranch the next season; while other
places, where a tumble-down building with cramped quarters, six
families using one stove, an inconvenient water supply, and in­
adequate toilet facilities, also are remembered and avoided if possible.
At best, camp life carries with it certain crudities, and housekeeping
is apt to be sketchy. It should be remembered, moreover, that in
many cases families have to be cared for, and that the routine jobs
of cooking, cleaning, and laundering must be attended to by the
women of the household before and after their work in the fields.
Such jobs are not likely to be performed in the routine way. For
example, the “wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday” method is per­
force discarded. The picker either waits for a slack day “in the fruit ”
or takes time off from her field work to do the washing. Then sho
collects the available pails and basins, for only occasionally is she
lucky enough to find the camp equipped with tubs; she heats a little
water over the camp stove, often shared with other families, and under
difficulties “rubs out” the clothes.
PERIOD OF OCCUPANCY OF LIVING QUARTERS

It is needless to say that women appreciate anything that makes
easier the necessary housekeeping. On the other hand, the rancher,
realizing that these living quarters are occupied for only a few weeks
each year, is apt to feel that he can afford to provide merely the sim­




' 49

50

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

plest necessities. The length of time that the workers stay on the
premises varies on the different kinds of ranches.
The prune harvest, for example, continues little more than four
weeks. In fact, 15 of the 26 prune ranches reported that the pickers’
quarters were occupied in general only from three to four weeks, and
that six weeks was the maximum.
The harvesting of berries extends over a longer period, especially
if the rancher raises both raspberries and blackberries. Of the 162
quarters reported upon by the 112 berry ranchers giving information
on this subject, only 8 were occupied less than six weeks; 73, or more
than 45 per cent, were occupied for a period of six weeks; 10 for a
period of over six weeks and under three montlis; 53, almost onethird, for three months; 6, for tliree and under four months; and
12, or approximately 7 per cent, as long as four months.
The report from the apple growers on this point was rather meager.
The length of the apple harvest depends upon the number of varieties
raised on a ranch. Some kinds of apples ripen as early as August,
and these are followed by the harvesting of other varieties in succes­
sion through October. None of the living quarters for the workers
in apple orchards for which a report on the subject was given were in
use for less than six weeks, and most of them were occupied for three
or four months.
SIZE AND LOCATION OF THE RANCHES

In a study of the housing question it is interesting to take into con­
sideration the size .and location of the ranches. Many of the berry
ranches were located within the city limits. They were, on the whole,
small; over one-half of those visited were only 5 acres or less in size,
three-fourths were less than 10 acres, and barely 7 per cent com­
prised as much as 20 acres. The range in the size of orchards was
greater. The prune ranches varied from one of 8 acres to one of 115
acres, two-fifths of the total number covering from 20 to 50 acres.
The apple orchards were, on the whole, more extensive, since they
ranged from five of less than 20 acres to one of 400 acres. One-third
of them were from 50 to 100 acres.
TYPES OF LABOR

The extent to which the owners had attempted to furnish living
quarters varied with the type of labor employed, due in turn to the
kinds of crops raised on the various ranches. The great majority of
the workers in the berry fields were women and children, who brought
with them little or no housekeeping equipment. There were very
few men.
Of the 607 women scheduled in the berry fields, 445, or 73.3 per
cent, were temporarily housed on the premises of 114 ranches. Alto­



HOUSING

51

gether these women represented 320 households, the word household
being used here in preference to family to indicate persons living
together as a unit under the same roof, since the members of the
household may represent several families in their more permanent
and normal home conditions. Especially was this true among the
berry pickers, where several women, neighbors at home, would live
together with their children in quarters provided for one group of
pickers. Occasionally, women who were strangers to each other
upon arrival at the ranch would find it necessary to “double up”
and live as one household in the camp.
Of the berry pickers’ households, 65 had only one male member
each and 8 had more than one, while 238 had no males over 16 years
of age. There were 64 household groups without any children under
16; on the other hand, 172 groups had children between the ages of
6 and 16, and 19 had children under 6. These two groupings in
regard to the age of children were not exclusive of each other, for 58
households reported children both under and over 6 yearn. Nat­
urally each household included one woman of over 16 years of age,
as the personal information in all cases was obtained from women over
16 years old who were interviewed by the agents of the bureau. Of the
total number of households represented, 114 had more than one
woman, 89 had two, and 21 had as many as three. In the 60 house­
holds on the prune ranches was a much smaller group of women than
on the berry ranches, that is, 109 women, and only 50 men. There
were 28 children under 16 and 79 between the ages of 6 and 16.
In the question of the make-up of the labor force the apple orchards
formed a striking contrast to the berry fields; in fact, there was very
little difference between the numbers of men and women—83 of the
former as compared with 87 of the latter. Moreover, there were only
80 children in the 66 households on these ranches. In general it
may be said that the conditions of work in the apple orchards at­
tracted many men, who frequently migrated with their families,
coming from a distance in their automobiles and camping along the
way. Consequently, the final settling for work meant pitching their
tents, arranging their camp equipment in or near the orchard, and
making themselves at home. These migrant families occasionally
used, in addition to their own supplies, an extra tent or building
provided by the rancher.
TYPES OF LIVING QUARTERS

Table 10 discloses for the various household groups in the several
industries, the types of housing provided and by whom, whether by
the workers or by the ranchers.




52f

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIF.S

Table 10.—Type

of living, quartern in berry fields and in apple and prune
orchards, and number of groups housed
Number of household groups in—

Type of living quarters

Air

Apple Prune
orchards orchards

places

Berry
fields

Grand, total................................................................................

446

320

66

GO

Ranchers provided lodging______________ ______ ____ _ _
_
W ooden quarters........................... ........................................... .
Tent's—
With wooden floors...................................... ............... ......

367
327

308
288

23
9

36
i 30

21)

9
4
3
4
7
5

9
2
1
2
30
1
12

3
1
20
3
1

6
7-

With dirt floors-______ ___ ............... ....................... ..........
Rooms in ranch house and tents 2_.............................................
Pickers provided tents 3________________________ ...
Ranchers provided wooden quarters and pickers tents __________
Ranchers and pickers provided tents 4........................................ ......

i

57
9
13

2

1 Includes 1 shack with dirt floor.
2 Includes 3 tents with dirt floors and 2 with wooden floors and sides; a were used as kitchens.
3 Includes 5 cases whereberry pickers preferred own tents, though ranchers would have provided quarters.
4 Includes 10 cases where ranchers provided wooden floors and sides and pickers provided the canvas tops.

From the table it is apparent that 96.3 per cent of the 320 house­
holds on the berry ranches were living in quarters supplied entirely
by the ranchers and; that 90 per cent of these were in frame buildings.
The ranchers supplied equipment for much smaller proportions of
the households of workers connected with the apple and prune
orchards; in fact, for only about one-third and three-fifths of such
households, respectively, was the equipment supplied entirely by the
rancher. On the other hand, one-third of the households on prune
ranches and not far from one-half on the apple ranches provided
tents for themselves. Another striking contrast to be pointed out is
that nine-tenths of the berry-pickers’ households were domiciled
entirely in frame buildings, as against one-half of the prune-pickers ’
households and 13.0 per cent of the apple-pickers ’ groups. In some
instances the discomfort of living in tents was increased by the lack
of wooden floors.
The most effective effort to provide adequate housing had been
made by the berry ranchers. The prevailing type was a one-story
house consisting of a single row of rooms of uniform size, each with
its outside door and windows. Sometimes one of the rooms was
furnished as a kitchen used in common by the occupants of the other
rooms, or the row varied, having one or two oommon kitchens
attached as depicted in the accompanying diagram.
Bedroom Bedroom Bedroom Bedroom Bedroom Bedroom
1
Kitchen




2

3

4
Porch

5

;

6
Kitchen

HOUSING

53

In, many houses the common kitchen was on the porch, or the
porch was the kitchen. The row type ranged from 2 to 13 rooms, the
following statement showing the prevailing sizes:
23
23
19
15
8

of
of
of
of
of

two rooms.
three rooms.
four rooms.
six rooms.
seven rooms.

In some cases of the row type each room had its own door and
stove, with a window opposite the door, and one household occupy­
ing each room. The pickers’ quarters often were in the berry patch
in close proximity to the rancher’s house.
The buildings on the berry ranches were comparatively new and
in good condition. Ninety-six of the berry ranchers were able to
give the approximate age of their 125 pickers’ shacks, one-eiglith of
which were over 10 years, the oldest being 17 years. Nineteen of
them either were new or had had extensive repairs or additions the
year of the survey. Nearly one-half of the 125 had been in use three
years or less.
It is also true that several buildings used to house berry pickers
had served other purposes, most of these having been the first home
of the rancher, and a few others the woodsheds, garages, old barns,
and even chicken houses.
In some of the houses not of the row type, the arrangement of
rooms was such that it was necessary for occupants of one bedroom
to pass through another room, either their own or a common kitchen,
but in only one case, a bedroom occupied by another household.
In the apple orchards the custom of employing the migrant families
who “follow the fruits” and carry the few necessities of life with them
has relieved the ranchers of providing extensive housing accommo­
dations for their force of workers, and tents are the accepted style in
housing. There is, however, a great difference in tents, from small
ones pitched on the ground to house tents with wooden floors and
wooden sides 3 feet high fitted with canvas tops. With few exceptions
the frame buildings used to house the “ apple gypsies” had been built
originally for other purposes. One such arrangement was a very
large room on the second floor of a packing shed. Two families occu­
pied this and had made a partition of empty packing boxes in order
to have a little privacy.
In the prune.orchai’ds many packers had their own tents, but they
had frame buildings furnished by the ranchers more often than had
the apple pickers. On 10 of the prune ranches one-room cabins and
on 4 ranches rows of rooms from two to six in number were provided.
In 10 other instances buildings used to domicile the pickers originally
had been ranch houses, one of which was in a particularly bad and




54

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

dilapidated condition. Three other buildings were garages and one
was a woodshed. One group was living in the barnlike prune drier,
which that season was not being used for drying.
It may he said that many of the buildings formerly used for other
purposes which had been converted into living quarters were, on the
whole, satisfactory as temporary dwellings, although in a few instances
they were rather crude makeshifts.
SIZE OF LIVING QUARTERS

A correlation of the size of the household groups and the number of
rooms which they occupied is extremely significant. Such a corre­
lation is possible for 313 of the households for which information was
secured during the course of the study, and it is presented in the
following table:
Table

11.—Number of rooms occupied by households in berry fields a?id in apple
and prune orchards, by size of household

Number of rooms
occupied

Number of households composed ofNum­
ber of Total
house­ number
holds
of
8 or
1
2
3
4
5
7
6
re­ persons person persons persons persons persons persons persons more
ported
persons
313

1,157

17

80

67

71

35

20

13

126
132
34
9
9
2
1

417
416
159
63
67
17
18

7
9
1

37
41
1

27
31
9

33
29
6
1
2

11
18
5
1

9
2
6
1
1
1

2
2
4
4
1

1

10
2

22

4
*1
A1
3

* Includes the use of a room in common with other households.
3 Includes 1 household of 12 persons.

s I Deludes 1 household of 9 persons, 2 of 10 persons, and 1 of 15 persons.
•* 11 persons.

* 18 persons (Indians).

In this table the classifications, one room +, two rooms +, and
three rooms +, indicate an arrangement where a household had one or
more rooms of its own and in addition shared a kitchen, possibly a
small porch or other closed-in area, with one or more other house­
holds. Such a distinction has been made to indicate the possibility
of reducing confusion and crowding of floor space for some activities
of family life without having any additional room for sleeping or
privacy. Tents have been classed as rooms; for instance, itsometimes
happens that in addition to the one-room apartmept provided by
the rancher the group had its own tent; in such cases the household
has been regarded as occupying two rooms. If some of the family
slept in the barn, as a means of reducing the inevitable overcrowding,
the household has been credited with additional space. However,
where a camp stove was reported as out in the open, exposed to all




HOUSING

55

the elements, it has not been regarded as an extra room or living
space.
The most striking fact brought out by the table is that 82.4 per
cent of all the households (72 per cent of all the persons) had living
quarters limited to one room or one room with opportunity of sharing
small porches or kitchens with other families similarly housed.
These one-room quarters in a row were rarely larger than 9 by 12 feet,
and in these restricted quarters the families lived and slept. With
only one exception every room had at least one window, and some
had two. Fortunately the elders worked in the fields during the
day, and the children too young to work could play outdoors. Al­
though the ranchers repeatedly stated that their standard for
occupancy was two pickers per room, the figures show that over
three-fifths of the households had more persons to a room. In
some cases the crowded living conditions were extremely bad.
For example, 11 households reported six or seven persons as quar­
tered in one room; in another household there were 15 members in
the three rooms.
Not only were the kinds of houses and the amount of space avail­
able for the pickers and their families influential factors in the
possibilities for comfortable living during the picking season, but
other matters, such as the drainage of camp sites, toilet facilities, water
and food supply, cooking and lighting arrangements, disposal of gar­
bage, and household equipment, had a very important bearing on the
whole situation.
DRAINAGE

The land in the Puyallup Valley where the berry fields are located
is gently sloping toward the river, and the drainage of the soil where
the pickers’ quarters were situated was most satisfactory. Only
two camps were found on low, damp ground. The natural drainage
was good also in the prune orchards. The apple orchards were in a
district dependent upon irrigation, and living quarters were very
generally placed on dry, loose soil. However, on two ranches the
tents were pitched on the edge of the orchard so close to the irri­
gation canals that the effects of overflow from the orchard ditches
in recent irrigating were very noticeable, and the ground which
formed the floor of the tents was actually soft and damp.
TOILET FACILITIES

In an analysis of the adequacy of the toilet facilities it is necessary
to consider the location and convenience of the toilets, the number of
households and number of persons using individual toilets, and the
sanitary conditions. The convenience to the camps is shown in the
57206°—261——5




56

WOMEN IN I'BUIT-GKO WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

following summary of the approximate distances which the toilets
were from the camp houses:
_.
,
Distance from camp house

Number of
households

Not any (plumbing within house)
4
Less than 25 feet, ____________ ____ 74
25 and under 50 feet 64
50 and under 100 feet 159
100 and under 200 feet 70
200 feet_____________________________
300 feet____________________________ _____ _______ _________
One city block_______

45
5
10

For 15 the distances were not estimated, including one household
group, camped far from the ranch house, reported as “using the
woods.”
The distribution of single toilet buildings used by more than one
household group was as follows:
Number of households per single toilet

single toilets

2 ................ —------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------- --------------3 ------------------4
5 ------6 ----7 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9-------------- ----------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -............................... ...........................

87
37
15
11
5
1
1

In 62 of these 157 cases the toilets were used also by the rancher’s
family. In 19 cases there were separate toilets for men and women,
accommodating in each instance from 2 to 12 households. Each of
186 toilets was used in common by more than one family. There
were only 7 toilets individual for separate households.
The following shows approximately the number of persons accom­
modated per toilet :
Number of pcrsous per toilet

2 and under 10_______________________
10 and under 20
20 and under 30
30 and under 40
40 and under 50_______________________ ________
50___________________

toilets

_

_ _

86
75
19
9
2
2

Only the people housed on the ranches constituted the basis for
the above estimate. In many cases the other persons, countless day
workers and the members of the rancher’s family, should have been
included in the estimate of the number using each toilet, but as it
was not possible to get an exact enumeration—the number of workers
varying during the season—they were not considered. Accordingly,




HOUSING

57

the foregoing summary of persons per toilet, although somewhat
approximate, is an underestimate.
In the case of 405 households the toilets used were clean and in
a fairly good condition, but in the case of 15 households they were
extremely dirty. Twenty-one other households were annoyed by the
proximity of toilets that needed more lime or other deodorizer.
For the most part no thought had been taken of the inconvenient
distance between toilet and place of work. This fact was especially
true in the larger prune and apple orchards, where only 15 of the
camp toilets were fairly near the fields also. Five apple ranchers
had provided toilets in their orchards.
DRINKING, BATHING, AND LAUNDRY FACILITIES

Naturally the question of the water supply had a close relation
to the adequacy of the facilities for drinking, bathing, and laundering.
The proximity of the berry ranches to the city made it possible
for the pickers on 63 ranches to have convenient access to the city
water supply. Twenty-one other berry ranches had the convenience
of spring water piped from the hills. These two systems supplied
about three-fourths of the people housed on the berry ranches, the
rest of the households being dependent upon driven wells. The
workers on the prune and apple ranches used wells and cisterns.
As the apple orchards were located in a country dependent entirely
upon irrigation, their water supply was largely from reservoirs, the
water being carried down in flumes from the mountains. On some
ranches where storage cisterns were in use the water was filtered, but
not in all instances. In one case the campers were dipping water
for all purposes—drinking as well as washing—from the open irriga­
tion ditch in the orchard near their tents, although they could have
had filtered water by walking much farther for it. Two ranchers
were hauling drinking water a long distance, though irrigation water
was used for other purposes.
Generally speaking, the water fixtures were much more conven­
iently located than might be expected for camp communities. It is
true that only 35 people, domiciled on 7 different ranches, enjoyed
the comfort of having running water inside the house, and on only
2 of these ranches were all of the households so supplied, Water on
the porches was reported for 13 ranches, supplying 138 individuals.
For about one-half of the camp workers, on 78 ranches, the outside
water supply was located at a distance of less than 50 feet from their
dwellings. At the other extreme were a few—about 18 people, the
members of one household—who were one-quarter of a mile from the
water supply, and 40 persons on 3 ranches who were forced to go the
distance of a city block for their water. For the average transient




58

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

dweller, however, it might be said that the water was pure and con­
veniently near.
Less can be said for the adequacy of the laundry and bath facilities,
although the pickers on at least 6 ranches were privileged to use the
washing machine at the ranch house. On 86 the ranchers furnished
a tub. In a very few instances hot water was supplied. But on 38
ranches the women found absolutely no equipment to aid in doing
their camp wash, so that many postponed the wash day until they
could get home, or, as one wandering “fruit gypsy” hopefully ex­
claimed, “It’ll probably be easier to wash at our next place.”
A real bath was a rare event, for very little attempt had been made
on the various ranches to give the workers a chance to keep clean.
However, credit should be given seven ranches who had installed
arrangements for shower baths. To be sure, one such equipment was
most inadequate as to water supply, but, on the other hand, another
on a prune ranch had water heated from the furnace of the drier. In
two cases the pickers used the bath in the rancher’s home. Except
for the occasional use of the washtubs—and sometimes these had to
be borrowed—there were no other special arrangements for baths.
Picking prunes is a particularly dirty job, for the soil is loose,
usually ankle deep, and the prunes must be picked from the ground;
also the customary position for picking is on the knees in the dirt.
Many pickers besides those on the prune ranches complained because,
despite their dusty or dirty jobs, they had no chance to make them­
selves clean.
COOKING FACILITIES

To the housewife upon whom falls the responsibility of cooking for
a family of hungry fruit workers, her kitchen equipment is of great
importance. When several women come in from the field about noon
to prepare a meal in a hurry so as to be back in the field in an hour,
and when all must use the same stove, the situation calls for much
forbearance and consideration. Nevertheless, the women manage
such inconveniences with apparent good temper, and rarely, to quote
one picker, does a woman “hog the stove.”
In very many cases the cook stoves in the camps were used in
common by two or more households. The most extreme cases of
such cooperation were found in connection with the rows of rooms in
berry-pickers’ quarters, where, for example, four, five, or six house­
holds shared one stove, seven households shared two stoves, and eight
shared three. Altogether there were 82 cook stoves shared in com­
mon by 186 households, or an average of 2.3 households per stove.
Such comm on use of stoves was very rare among the prune and apple
orchard workers. Here there were only five stoves which were used
in common by two or three households.




59

HOUSING

The location of the stoves furnished by the rancher adds to the
picture of camp living.
.
Location

Sleeping room______________
Individual kitchen__________
Individual porch____________
Common kitchen___________
Common porch_____________
Outdoors with canopy roof—
Outdoors without canopy roof

Number
of stoves

158
24

6

31
64
8
14

Over one-half of the stoves (52 per cent) were located in sleeping
rooms. Another bad arrangement was found on a few ranches where
the stove was placed outdoors without a protecting roof of any sort.
The difficulties of such a situation are illustrated by the statement
of one prune picker, whose family consisted of three adults and one
child. “Of course, we began living in our own small tent and cooking
outside in the open,” she said, “ and then those rains came about the
second week, and it was too hard; we couldn’t even make a fire and
were all for quitting until the rancher let us cook in his kitchen; so
we stuck it out.”
The problem of fuel also was investigated by the bureau’s agents.
It was found that the berry ranchers in every case furnished fuel for
the campers, either wood or oil. When wood was provided it was
always placed in piles convenient to the shacks, seldom more than
20 feet away.
The matter of fuel was a fairly simple one for the workers on the
prune ranches. On the ranches where there were driers equipped
with wood-burning furnaces it was easy for the campers to obtain
some of the wood for their own use. In very few instances did the
pickers have to rely on whatever wood they could find scattered
about the orchard. A few of the prune pickers preferred to buy oil for
the stoves which they had brought with them.
The apple pickers did not have fuel so conveniently or satisfactorily
provided. One woman remarked, “Yes, wmod is furnished, but it
is hard to pick it up in the sage brush.” Wood left in the orchards
as a result of pruning the trees is so limited in quantity that the great
majority of the campers on the apple ranches did not attempt to
depend upon it but used oil which they supplied for themselves.
One apple rancher had coal to sell to his employees.
LIGHTING

The fact that so many of the berry ranches were located within
or near the city limits of Puyallup made it possible for the ranchers
to enjoy the convenience of electricity. Furthermore, 15 of the berry
ranchers visited had installed the necessary equipment and were



60

WOMEN IN ERUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

furnishing electricity to 41 groups housed on their premises. Another
household of pickers on one of these ranches was paying for its own
current. Other ranchers supplied lamps and kerosene oil. Of the
various households on the berry ranches, 96 had been equipped with
lamps and 93 others with lamps and oil. All the other groups fur­
nished their own lights, although some of the shacks had lamp
fixtures.
One prune rancher and two apple ranchers also furnished electricity
for their pickers, and several other ranchers provided oil. As it
seemed to be the more general custom, however, for the orchard
migrant workers to supply all of their own equipment, the ranchers
apparently felt little responsibility for the provision of lightingfacilities.
DISPOSAL OP GARBAGE

The system or lack of system in the disposal of garbage and tin
cans might make or mar the general appearance and sanitation of the
camps. It sounds well to say that on approximately one-fourth
of the ranches the garbage was kept in receptacles for collection and
that on one-fifth it was burned, but unfortunately the receptacles
were sometimes uncovered, and at the time of the harvest rush_
just when there was most waste—the collection was not always
mane as often as desirable, or there was sometimes an unwarranted
delay in burning.
In camp housekeeping the accumulation of tin cans may be more
objectionable than decaying garbage, and to prevent this annoyance
many ranchers had as definite and regular arrangements for haulinoaway the cans as the garbage.
In such haphazard living and confusion a few cases of carelessness
by one or two households made the entire surroundings of the camp
confused and untidy, even insanitary. Often garbage was thrown
“to the chickens,” “on the garden for fertilizer, ” “ down the gully, ”
or “just on the garbage pile,” but, on the whole, the pickers’ camps
were clean. However, the very nearness of the campers to the ranch
house probably had great influence in maintaining, in general, a fair
degree of orderliness in the pickers’ quarters. Some ranchers said
that they occasionally had found it necessary to discharge pickers
for keeping dirty premises. On the other hand, it was noticed that
where garbage and tin cans were thrown “down the gully” the
rancher’s family also dumped all their refuse there. The situation
in regard to the disposal of debris was good on the whole, and there
were only occasional complaints.




HOUSING

61

FURNITURE

The practice of equipping the pickers’ shacks with some furniture
was much more prevalent among the berry than among the apple
and prune ranchers, possibly on account of the large proportion of
women and children among the berry pickers. In fact, berry ranchers
supplied beds, tables, and chairs for all but 10 household groups,
6 of whom were regular tourists with their own equipment. On the
other hand, one-third of the prune pickers and two-thirds of the
apple pickers furnished their tents or cabins.
Wherever the rancher furnished the quarters, the pickers found
bed, chairs, and table ready for them. There was little space for
anything else, and even so, the small rooms were crowded. The
pickers invariably brought their own bedding. Twenty-five ranchers
had fitted their shacks with bunks, sometimes one above the other.
About 100 others supplied beds of varying degrees of comfort, but
12 households of prune pickers were given only straw on the floor.
The chairs and tables provided were sometimes crude, improvised
from boxes, but they served the purpose. Thirty-six ranchers
supplied only a box, stool, or bench, but the great majority of the
households had at least one chair with a back and occasionally a
rocker. Altogether about 50 households on 12 ranches had to share
a table with other groups living in the row. This arrangement com­
plicated housekeeping almost as much as using the same stove, for
these tables served both kitchen and dining purposes. Over 287 of
the households on the berry pickers’ ranches enjoyed the luxury of
shelves or cupboards, and 10 of them had screened shelves. Almost
none of the shacks were screened, but there were comparatively few
flics.
Most of the migrant pickers supplying their own sleeping equip­
ment lived in tents and could not boast of real beds. Instead they
had arrangements consisting of straw spread .on the ground or floor
and kept within the limits by upright boards fastened in box fashion.
Naturally, in damp, cold weather this arrangement had its drawbacks.
FOOD

Besides supplying rent-free houses, furniture, fuel, and frequently
light, many of the berry ranchers also supplied some food. In their
advertisements for pickers this was one of the inducements offered.
Over one-half the ranchers provided potatoes. The arrangement
was not altogether satisfactory, since several women complained that,
although they had been promised potatoes, they had either received
none or had been given potatoes too old to use. One rancher’s version
of the potato situation was that the pickers had used so many at
first that he had no more to give. Thirty-three households were




62

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

benefiting from free milk in limited quantities, and on a very few
ranches eggs were allowed, in some cases two to each picker daily.
Other ranchers supplied some foodstuffs below cost. In the orchards,
however, it was not customary to provide food, although once in a
while the pickers were given a few potatoes or other vegetables,
“if plentiful.” This difference in the custom of supplying food to
berry pickers and orchard workers may be due partly to the difference
in the personnel of the families and partly to the higher wages paid
in the orchards.




PART V
WOMEN WORKERS IN THE BERRY FIELDS

The Puyallup Valley is the center of the berry raising in the State
of Washington, and the survey of the Women’s Bureau was confined
to the berry ranches in this section. Although in the course of the
study data were gathered from and about women who had picked
four kinds of berries—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and
loganberries—more attention was given to the raspberry and black­
berry industries than to the other two.
The strawberry season was practically over when the Women’s
Bureau investigation began, and information was obtained frorfi only
a few women who were actually engaged in picking strawberries at
the time of the interview. The raspberry season was just starting.
Harvesting of these berries began as early as June 21 on some of the
ranches and lasted on others through the first week in August. On
most ranches the harvesting of raspberries extended over a period of
four weeks.
The loganberry and blackberry harvests followed soon after the
raspberries; blackberries were ready for picking about the middle
of August and lasted to the middle of October before frosts interfered.
This was a longer season than usual, but many ranches stopped
picking early in October. Accordingly, if the women picked berries
more than 30 days it is quite likely that they worked on at least
two kinds of berries.
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

Raspberry and blackberry bushes are planted in rows and held
in place by stout wires. The ground between the rows is cultivated
so that the soil is loose and free, and the picker acquires much dust
in shoes and clothing.
The raspberry bushes have two kinds of branches or canes: Those
new this year, which, though attaining a height of 8 to 10 feet, yield
no berries, and at the end of the season are cut down, pruned and
trimmed, to be the berry producers the following year; and the
bearing canes, usually of a height comfortable for picking when stand­
ing in an upright position, on which the berries have developed.
Considerable stretching or reaching may be necessary to pick the
fruit which has grown on the inner branches, and some bending




63

64

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

in order to pick that near the ground. The blackberry vines are
trained along wire trellises with much of the fruit lying on the top.
Except to pick the small quantity growing below, there is very little
reaching for this fruit. Generally speaking, there were few strains
or hazards noted in the berry-picking industry. Stiffness for the
first day or two, the discomfort of constant standing on uneven ground,
and scratches from the briers on the blackberry vines were inevitable,
though as a prevention of the last mentioned, pickers wore old
stockings or gloves cut to leave the fingers free. The real hardship
was the lack of facilities for frequent bathing. The Puyallup River
runs near many of the berry ranches, but few pickers had the courage
to plunge into its glacial waters.
Most of the ranches were small, with the living quarters within
or at the edge of the fields. The water supply in such cases was
available for the pickers. Where the fields were large or at a distance
from the living quarters, either water was piped to the crate sheds
or pails or jugs of water were kept there. Some of the pickers com­
plained that they had to carry their own jugs of water with them.
In regard to toilet facilities, besides those at the camps many of the
ranches had privies located in the fields.
The largest proportion of the ranches supply fruit for both the
eastern markets and the canneries. In such cases some skill and
judgment are necessary on the part of the pickers in order to dis­
criminate between the fruit designed for shipping and that for
canning, and many pickers find this a nuisance. Berries must be
picked for shipping before they are quite ripe, else they will spoil
in the box. The general plan is to pick the berries for shipping
and canning at the same time, if conditions permit. The picker is
supplied with two different sizes of boxes, placed on a tray-like
holder or carrier, suspended from the neck and attached to the belt.
The smaller boxes are for the berries that are firm and less ripe
and are to be shipped. The larger boxes are for the canners, and into
these are put all the berries which are soft. For carrying the filled
boxes to the crate sheds, each picker has a container, or rack, holding
from 6 to 12 boxes.
The first raspberries to ripen are usually the finest and are the
ones shipped East. During the season of the survey, however,
the three days of rain at the beginning of the raspberry harvest
made the berries so soft that for a long time almost none could be
picked for shipping. Consequently, after the rain everyone picked
at top speed, and practically all the berries had to be sent to the
canneries. Another matter to be emphasized in the method of
picking berries is the need to pick rows "clean” each time. In
other words, all the ripe berries must be gathered, for if any are
left on the bushes they are too old by the time of the next picking



WORKERS IN THE BEERY FIELDS

65

and are a total loss because they must be thrown away. If they
are put in the boxes with other berries they spoil the good fruit.
The opinion of one woman picker who was interviewed is of interest
at this point as illustrating a system in force on a number of ranches.
She said:
,
I always pick clean. Of course, you can hurry through and pick a lot when
the berries are at their height, if you just pick the very best ones and the easy
ones, leaving those that are low down and hard to get at, or that are smaller
or farther in the bushes. But the person who comes along in those rows after
such a picker has a hard time of it. You can’t find so much and are apt to get
in some of the sour or old berries without intending to. I do not like to pick
after other people, so ever since my first year of picking I have insisted on having
my rows assigned to me at the beginning of the season; then I keep right straight
through and am responsible for them.

Picking is paid by the box, and the rate varies for the different
kinds of berries and for the same kind on different ranches, with a
bonus sometimes paid to pickers remaining for the entire season.
One worker stated that she thought payment by the pound would
be fairer, since the growers were paid in this way and since some
pickers piled their boxes up much more than did others, a heaped
box of fruit weighing from one-quarter to one-half pound more than
a level box.
Wages for picking are generally paid at the end of the season,
though the pickers may draw what they need at any time. The
amount they draw is then punched on their tickets, so that they
can always see just how much has been drawn. The bonus is paid
at the end of the season to those who have stayed until the last
berries have been harvested. These are always scarcer and harder
to pick, and the pickers make very little money from them.
By many of the ranchers bookkeeping was done most casually.
The whole problem of securing data on the hours of employment
and earnings of the women berry pickers is well illustrated by one
berry rancher, who apologized for his inability to fill out a question­
naire including items on time worked, saying:
I can’t see how I am able to answer the questions you ask, as we do not keep
a record of the number of hours per day or the number of days any picker works.
There is no stated time for a picker to begin or end, while it is generally under­
stood by the pickers that they should be out picking by 8 a. m. and should pick
about eight hours. Some days a picker may go out to the field at 6 a. m. and
pick steadily until 7 p. m., with a short noon hour, while a greater number of
days during the picking season this same picker may start between 7 and 9
and quit between 4 and 7, taking what noon hour she wishes. The only time we
try to work a picker a stated number of hours is during the peak of the berry
season, or if the berries get. too ripe, and then it is impossible for us to insist
on a certain number of hours.




60

WOMEN IN FKUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Another rancher explained his inability to furnish information
about either the earnings of the berry pickers or the time they had
worked, as follows: ■
When the pickers first started to pick berries they received a ticket on which
I would punch the number of boxes they brought in. On this ticket they could
draw from 5 cents to $2 if they had that much coming at the time. But when
the pickers drew some money I didn’t put down the pickers’ names. I just
put down the amount they drew, and so it is quite impossible for me to tell
the amount each picker earned or the time she picked. Sometimes a woman
with children would want all to pick on one ticket, and after a week they would
change their minds and pick on tickets of their own. Sometimes about six or
seven of the neighbors’ pickers would come over for a half or a whole day and
help me out, but I didn’t put down their names or the wages they drew.
EARNINGS AND TIME WORKED

Because of the fact that so many ranchers knew only their total
labor cost regardless of the number of persons who worked or the
time they worked, the definite records furnished by 18 ranchers for
114 women for whom they had individual records have been greatly
appreciated. In addition, 66 women who worked on 38 ranches also
cooperated by giving the desired information on earnings and days
worked, so that the data on these subjects represent conditions on
53 ranches (3 ranches were represented by both ranchers and women)
for 180 adult women berry pickers. Earnings that covered the work
of more than one person have been omitted, as have also the records
stating the over-all period within which the working days fell instead
of the actual days on which the women worked.
It was possible to secure at the end of the season an unusual record
kept daily by an industrious picker, a school-teacher by profession,
who was spending part of her vacation in this way. She had started
on June 29 and stopped on August 4, working on 29 days altogether
and receiving for the whole season’s work 148.25. It was only after
an interview with an agent of the Women’s Bureau on July 11, how­
ever, that the woman began to keep a definite account of her picking.
The following record, therefore, represents only two-thirds of her
season:




67

WOBICEKS IN THE BEEBY FIELDS
Daily record of a raspberry picker

Number of
crates and boxes
picked i

Hours of work
Date
Begin

July 12
" 13
14
16
18

28
31

End

5.45 p. m....... .
_________________________
............... ......... ......... -.............. - 7.40 a. m____ 6.15 p. m....... .
___ ______ ____ 7.30 a. m____ 5.00 p. m.........
12.00 m_____
..................................... 7.45 a. in____ 5.00 p. m....... .
5.00 p. m____
............................... 7.30 a. m------ 5.30 p. m____
5.20 p. m____
7.45 a. m____ 5.15 p. m___
5.00 p. m____
7.45 a. in........ 5.15 p. m.........
7.45 a. m........ 5.15 p. m-- --8.00 a. m_....... 5.00 p. m........
7.45 a. m____ 5.15 p. m____
8.00 a. m........ 5.00 p. m____
8.00 a. m____ 5.15 p. m____
5.00 p. m.........
8.00 a. m____ 5.30 p. m.........
.................................... .
8.00 a. in------ 4.00 p. m____
7.45 a. m......... 5.00 p. m _
_
8.30 a. m____ 4.00 p. m.........
8.30 a. m......... 11.30 a. m___

Total
hours Crates Boxes
worked
9

WA
m

4K

m
m
9
m
m
m
m
m

3
3

2

1

2

3
2
3

15
5
10
10
16
20

2
2

13
12

8

m

2
2
2

8

2

8

2
2
1
1
1

12
6
12
6
6

&A
m

7

m

3

3

2

3
21
18
6
14

i A crate contained 24 boxes.

In the 22 days on which this woman reported employment, she
picked 51 crates of 24 boxes each, or an average of 2 ha crates a
day. The record is interesting also because it shows the irregular­
ities of the time of beginning and ending as well as the variations in
the number of hours worked a day. It is possible to estimate what
the woman earned each day and each week, since data for the ranch
on which she worked showed that berries picked for shipping were
paid for at the rate of 50 cents a crate, and those picked for canning at
the rate of 60 cents a crate, these amounts including a bonus paid
to pickers remaining for the whole season. Moreover, the woman’s
record in detail revealed the number of crates of each kind of
berries that she-had picked daily. Taking as a'representative week
the one beginning July 16, we find that this picker worked 51 hours
in six days and picked 16 crates and 13 boxes, earning $9.71. The
next week, also one of six days, she worked 49 M hours and earned
$8.85. Although she worked on six days during the last week she
picked for only 41 % hours and earned only $5.75. Her record shows
that she had earned about the same amount, $5.77, in the four days
July 12 to 15, inclusive. This dwindling in earnings bears out the
idea that picking berries is less remunerative at the end than at the
height of the season. For the whole season from June 29 to August
4, inclusive, in which time she picked on 29 days, she earned $48.25,
an average of $1.66 a day.




68

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

It must be pointed out that this record of an individual woman
is that of an exceptional worker. It is much more significant, there­
fore, to get a picture of the time worked and the earnings of a group
of berry pickers. For 180 women the number of days on which
each worked and the earnings of each during the season were se­
cured and have been tabulated. As already stated, the data used in
the table were obtained from two sources, in some instances from the
ranchers and in others from the pickers themselves.
Table 12.—Average

daily earnings in picking berries, and number of days worked—
ISO women reported

Days on which work was done

1 day................. ........................
2 days...................................................... .
3 days............ ........................................................
4 days___ ____________________
5 days............... ...................................
6 days _____________
7 days. ............ ............... ............
8 days________
9 days._______________________
.
10 days............................
11 days...................................
12 days..................................................
13 days.............................. ..............
14 days...... ..............................
15 days............................... ..........................
16 days....... .......................................
18 days ................................
19 days................. .............................
20 days_________ ___ _____
21 days________ ____ ____________________ ____
22 days............ ............................
23 days___________________
24 days....... .................................. .
25 days.......................... ...................
26 days_______ ______ ____
27 days ....................................
28 days___ _____ ________
29 days__________________
30 days...................................
31 days............ ......... ............
32 days__________ _____
33 days. ................................. .........
34 days________________
_
36 days _
............... ...............................
38 days......................................... ........
41 days.......................................
42 days....................................................... ..................
46 days_____ _________________________ ________
47 days_____ _________________
48 days______________ ____________
49 days______________________
51 days.................................. ............
54 days.......................... ............................................
57 days..................................................
62 days.................... .................... ..........
72 days____ ___________

Num­
ber of Amount earned
women

Aver­
age
daily
earn­
ings

4
2
3
G

Ifi 50 to $17 5ft

1.16
1.46

19
3

1 75
1. 71

4

1 80
1 78
1. 30

11
3
5

1 78

10
3
4

1 84

4
4

3
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
5

2 10
$55 58
$100

2. 08

$90
$60

1.13

Summary:
Number of women—180.
Average working period—21.1 days.
Average amount earned—$33.74.
Average daily earnings—$1.60.

The table is interesting because it illustrates definitely the many
elements entering into the whole question of berry picking. The
data are representative of the picking of the various kinds of berries.




WORKERS IN THE BERRY FIELDS

69

The 180 women included in the table show a wide range in the num­
ber of days worked, from 4 women who picked on just 1 day to the
5 who picked on 72 days. There is, on the whole, a fairly even dis­
tribution of the workers in the various time classifications, except
for the 41- to 62-day groups. One-sixth of the women (16.7 per cent)
worked 7 days or less. Slightly more than a fifth (21.1 per cent)
worked from 8 to 14 days, inclusive, making a total of three-eighths
who picked for not more than 14 days. Nearly one-fifth (18.9 per
cent) of the women worked from 15 to 21 days, inclusive, and a
fifth wTorked from 22 to 28 days, inclusive, a period representative of
the average season of a berry harvest. About one-sixth picked from
29 to 45 days, inclusive, and 13 women (7.2 per cent) had a record
of more than 45 days of picking. The whole group of 180 women
totaled 3,795 days of work, averaging slightly more than 21 days
per woman.
•
The wage variations are brought out in the table by the range
in the earnings of any group of pickers working the same number
of days. For example, the figures for the 19 women who picked on 12
days show a minimum of $9.60 and a maximum of $40, and those
for the 4 who worked on 26 days, a range of from $27.50 to $80.
To some extent the experience and the skill of the workers are
responsible for the uneven earnings of women working the same num­
ber of days. One rancher explained: “It all depends upon the
woman herself; some can pick, others can’t. Some come for a vaca­
tion and don’t intend to kill themselves to earn a penny.” This, how­
ever, is only one side of the story. Several factors other than the
experience and reliability of the workers tended to cause variations
in earnings. On account of the yield and condition of the berries
and the fields, picking was much better on some ranches than on
others. Also, the several kinds of berries were paid for at different
rates, and the workers on the various ranches received different rates
for picking the same kind of berries. Then, too, frequently the earn­
ings of individuals were lowered because they picked for shorter
poriods on certain days than on others, such shortened days being
due in some cases to personal reasons on the part of the worker, and
in others to the poor run of berries or to bad weather.
In a consideration of berry picking as a source of income it is neces­
sary to take into account the various vicissitudes tending to keep
earnings down. In a general estimate, therefore, it seems advisable
to strike an average which may be taken as fairly representative of
the whole situation. The average earnings of the 180 women for
the berry season were $33.74. The average daily earnings were $1.60,
a figure arrived at by dividing the total earnings of all the women by
the total number of days worked by all. More detailed figures than
those given in the table show that the average daily earnings com­



70

WOMEN IN FKUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDNSl'RIES

puted from individual reports furnished by the women themselves
were $1.53, whereas the average for those women whose records were
given by the ranchers was $1.65.
The average daily earnings are lowest in the 6-day group ($0.86)
and highest in the 34-day group ($2.54). Of the various groups,
3 disclose an average below $1; 16 of $1 to $1.50; 19 of $1.50 to $2;
and 8 of $2 or more.
The following is an arrangement of individuals’ average daily earn­
ings—not averages of groups—computed from figures more detailed
than those published in this report:
Number of women
2.......... ........................
5.................. ...............
3
6
6__________ ______
12
7
17........ .......................
10
11________ ____
19______ _________
12_________
7

Average daily earnings
$0.50 and under $0.60.
$0.60 and under $0.70.
$0.70 and under $0.80.
$0.80 and under $0.90.
$1 add under $1 J O.
$1.10 and under $1.20.
$1.20 and under $1.30.
$1.30 and under $1.40.
$1.40 and under $1.50.
$1.50 and under $1.60.
$1.60 and under $1.70.
$1.70 and under $1.80.

Number of women
7___
15
10
12
3
4
4__
2
2
2__
1__.

1

Average daily earnings
$1.80 and under $1.90.
$1.90 and under $2.
$2 and under $2.10.
$2.10 and under $2.20.
$2.20 and under $2.30.
$2.30 and under $2.40.
$2.40 and under $2.50.
$2.50 and under $2.60.
$2.60 and under $2.70.
$2.70 and under $2.80.
$3 and under $3.10.
$3.30 and under $3.40.

From the daily averages given in the foregoing statement it appears
that about one-eighth of the berry pickers averaged less than $1 a
day, over one-third averaged as much as $1.20 but less than $1.70,
and two-thirds were in the groups averaging as much as $1.20 but
less than $2.20. The number with an average of $2.20 or more a
day almost balances the number with an average of less than $1.
Unpublished data show that the largest number averaging the same
definite amount were nine women at $1.25 a day.
Not far from three-fifths of the total number of pickers (58.3 per
cent) worked on 18 days or more. Some.idea of the range in the
earnings of these 105 women, which may be taken as somewhat
representative of season’s earnings, can be obtained from the follow­
ing statement, which gives the proportions earning specified amounts:
Per cent

Under $20
$20 and under $30__ ____ __________________ ______
$30 and under $40_______ 22. 9
$40 and under $50 16. 2
$50 and under $60 13. 3
$60 and under $70______
$70 and over 16. 2




3. 8
18. 1

9. 5

WORKERS IN THE BERRY FIELDS

71

In general it would appear that berry picking was not an especi­
ally remunerative occupation for the average woman picker. The
testimony of one worker is interesting in this respect. She said:
As a money-making proposition I, myself, do not think much of it, but the
people of the cities and those who love to be out of doors like it. And as it is
not strenuous work and is pleasant to those who are not so familiar with it,
many people do it for their health. Of course, there are exceptions, but it usually
takes serveral years to become an expert picker.

Table 12 shows that the highest amount earned by any woman
was $119.50 for 51 days’ work. Another woman earned $104.25 for
42 days of picking, and a third $100 for her work on 48 days during
the season. The women with the highest daily averages did not
work for so long a time as these; for example, one averaged $3.08
for 26 days, and another $3.33 for 12 days. It is apparent, how­
ever, from the foregoing analyses that all these wTere the unusual
earnings of exceptional pickers.
57206"—set----- 6







THE BLACKBERRY VINES ARE TRAINED ALONG WIRE TRELLISES WITH
MUCH OF THE FRUIT LYING ON TOP

;®

f-. '

r •/ .
■&Tt

RASPBERRIES ARE USUALLY AT A COMFORTABLE HEIGHT FOR PICKING

72—1




73^

*

m:m

P»-'. ,4*

wmm

IN PRUNE PICKING THE WOMEN WORK IN THE SOFT DIRT IN A CRAMPED
POSITION

k
!

0UP
________

PRUNE SORTING IS DONE IN THE DRIER, A LARGE FRAME STRUCTURE
ON THE EDGE OF THE ORCHARD

72—2




PART VI
WOMEN WORKERS IN THE PRUNE ORCHARDS
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

One of the chief prune-raising districts in Washington is Clarke
County, which is bounded on the south by the Columbia River and
which has its county seat across the river from Portland. Here the
prunes are raised for drying and left on the trees until they become
ripe enough to be shaken off. The ground under the trees is cultiva­
ted so that it is free from ail vegetation, and the earth is in a soft
powder-like condition that does not bruise the ripe fruit when shaken
from the trees. The prunes are then gathered into pails by the pick­
ers, who work in the soft dirt usually in a cramped position on their
knees. A few prefer to stand bending from the waist, but in either
case the process is very dusty, and it is a strain to continue from 7
to 10 hours a day in such position and at the same time maintain
any speed in picking.
The season for picking usually lasts through three weeks, always
with the proviso of “weather permitting,” and in 1923 the weather
did interfere to some extent with the prune harvest. Full time for
workers in the prune harvest varied from ranch to ranch, from
17 days in one case to 31 days in another.
The number of days on which there was orchard work was re­
ported by the ranchers very definitely, accompanied in many cases by
a statement of time lost by the workers on account of crop condi­
tions or because of illness. Through possible misunderstanding the
report may include one or two cases where the over-all period in­
cludes a little lost time not so specified; but the work of picking is
quite continuous while it lasts, and the time at least indicates the
days spent on the ranches, with no chance of other remunerative
employment.
Picking is paid by the box, a boxful weighing from 60 to 70 pounds.
The flat rate per box varied on the ranches included in the survey
from 6 to 10 cents—the latter uncommon in the orchards visited—
but in order to hold pickers until the harvest was over a bonus of 2
cents and occasionally 3 cents per box was paid at the end of the
season. Accordingly, it was very much to the advantage of the
pickers to remain, since it meant 8 or 9 cents instead of 6 cents, and
might be even 12 instead of 10 cents a box. The number of boxes
73



74

WOMEN IN FRUIT-CRO WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

one person can fill depends upon the endurance and agility of the
picker, upon the condition and abundance of the prunes, as well as
the absence of interfering grass under the trees. Furthermore,
pickers must use judgment about which prunes to leave on the
ground as unfit for drying.
Another important occupation connected with the prune orchards
is that of sorting the fruit after it is dried. Not every ranch has a
drier, as this sort of establishment frequently has a much greater
capacity than is necessary for the owner’s harvest, and in such a
situation he contracts to dry his neighbors’ crops.
The driers are large, frame, barn-like structures, built on the edge
of the orchard convenient to the road. On the ground or basement
floor is the furnace, and rising above it is the large heated chamber
which is divided vertically into sections called tunnels. Each tun­
nel is of the width of the prune trays and fitted with brackets on
which the trays rest. One kiln visited had 18 such tunnels, each
tunnel being divided into 16 shelves, and each shelf equipped to
accommodate a row of seven trays. The trays are of wire. Their
usual size is about
by 3 feet, and two trays are required to hold
one 60-pound box of fresh prunes. The fruit dries down to approxi­
mately one-third of its weight after being exposed in the kiln to a
steady heat of not less than 160° for about a day. Although the
technique of drying varies slightly from ranch to ranch, the prin­
ciple is the same.
Where prunes are dried on ranches, women are employed to sort
the dried fruit. The number of women sorters in the driers visited
varied from one to six, the average being three. There were
usually twice as many men as women employed in the drier, but even so
the total number of men and women did not average over nine.
Men employed in the drier are kiln tenders working on day and night
shifts; they wash, dip, and spread the fresh prunes on trays, fill
the tunnels, and draw out the trays. Then they stack the trays in
piles reaching from the floor to a height of about 7 feet. The trays
weigh as a rule approximately 7 pounds, and with the dried fruit
from 12 to 16 pounds. The work is usually arranged so that the
girls lift the trays to the sorting table, where they pick out poor
prunes and dump the good ones into a box, scrape the empty trays,
and stack them. Where girls have been trained, it is possible for
them to sort at the rate of one tray a minute, while others require
three minutes for a tray. In many instances men helpers carry and
lift the trays for the sorters, and in other cases the girls sort the good
prunes through chutes extending from the top of the table to bins
under the table or to the storeroom located on the floor below.
When they sort to the chutes, from the prunes heaped on the table,
they can work efficiently while seated, as the chute is near the front



WORKERS IN THE PRUNE ORCHARDS

75

edge of the table. One rancher who was visited had given up
employing women as sorters, because the process entailed so much
standing, reaching, and stretching that he considered it a type of
work too taxing on women, and his experience with men helpers for
these women had not been satisfactory.
The usual hours of work for women sorters in the driers visited
were from 7 a. m. to 6 p. m., the allowance of an hour for lunch
making a 10-hour day. However, on two ranches the 9-hour day
was the standard followed. Of course, there were many departures
from the usual schedule, for frequently sorting was finished earlier,
and occasionally in a rush a sorter would work until 11 p. m. But
as one rancher said, “If the daily picking is limited to the amount
the drier can handle, one can avoid the night work.” Another said,
“If there are a sufficient number of trays for the drier’s capacity, it
eliminates night work for all except the kiln man.” However, the
urgency of the season is due primarily to weather conditions that
may affect the fruit, as in fair weather the ripe prune itself will not
spoil if left on the ground several days.
Sorters are paid by the hour, and the wages of sorters were found
to be 30, 35, and 40 cents an hour. Not infrequently when the rate
was 30 cents an hour, a bonus was paid at the end of the season.
Three ranchers reported that they had not settled the rate for
sorters, since they were waiting to see what their neighbors would
do, but that it would not be lower than 30 cents. The season is
sfiort, from the middle of September through the first week of Octo­
ber, and there is more often than not work on the three Sundays.
In all, 37 ranches were included in the survey of the Women’s
Bureau. In these ranches the women workers constituted about
one-third of the orchard force. The size of the ranches visited
varied from many of 10 acres to an occasional one of 100, and the
majority yielded somewhat over 2,000 pounds of dried prunes to
the acre. A field of 10 acres usually required one man to shake the
trees and from three to four pickers during the harvest season. One
orchard of 100 acres had 40 laborers, about 25 of whom were women
and children. One rancher with a large acreage kept more helpers
than necessary, so as to be ready for an emergency, since, as he said,
“they are always coming and going.”
In order to get first-hand information personal interviews were
held with 128 women picking prunes on the 37 ranches visited, and
with 38 women sorting prunes in the driers on the 17 ranches which
had such equipment.




76

WOMEN IN EBUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES
EAENINGS AND TIME WORKED

Picking.
Of the 37 ranches visited, only 8 furnished data on pickers’
wages. On the whole, however, the ranchers who cooperated in this
matter were regarded in the community as among the leaders, and
on their ranches the agents of the Women’s Bureau found conditions
particularly good. A few ranchers had no women on their orchard
force. Moreover, since it is customary for families to work together,
other ranchers kept accounts only in the name of the head of the
family when two or more members were working on a particular job.
Where the reports revealed that members of a family worked to­
gether regularly and had a joint account kept for them, their wages
have not been included. Many other ranchers had records showing
total picking costs, which were not adaptable to the method of using
wage data in this survey.
The ranchers furnished information for 19 pickers. In addition
to these data, reports were received from 21 women employed on 13
ranches, 5 of which ranches also were represented by data from
ranchers. Twelve of these women, in answer to questionnaires sent
by the Women’s Bureau at the end of the season, were able to give
very definite facts on the amount of work they had done throughout
the period of prune harvesting; the other nine had reported before
the end of the season. The data from the various sources have been
combined in a table which shows the individual earnings of 40
women who picked prunes.
Table 13.—Average daily earnings in picking prunes, and number of days
worked—40 women reported

Days on which work was done

Number
of
women
1
6
3
2
1
3
2
1
2
2
1
3
3
5
1
2
1
1

Summary:
Number of women—40.
Average working period—15.1 days.
Average amount earned—$46.75.
Average daily earnings—$3.09.




Amount earned

$1.26______________
$6.48 to $9.48...............
$15.40 to $26.................
$10 and $12.80
$16.30............... ......... .
$32.90 to 39.24
$36.77 and $40.35..........
$27.65________ ____
$54.84 and $66.42. ..-. .
$38.75 and $61.72
$68.20..... .....................
$70 to $125....................
$40.64 to $62.10............
$50.95 to $111.42
$76.16
$77....... ................... .
$100..............................

Average
daily
earnings
$1.42
1.97
3.82
1.90
2.04
3.53
3.21
1.63
3.34
2.64
3.41
4. 35
2.27
3.23
3.17
3.35
2.85
3.23

WORKERS IN THE PRUNE ORCHARDS

77

An analysis of the data on earnings brings out certain significant
facts. There is in some instances a wide range in the earnings of
women who worked the same number of days. For example, one
woman who had worked on five days earned $15.40 as compared with
$26 earned by another working the same number of days. An
even more striking illustration of the wide range in earnings is found
in the 23-day group, the minimum earnings of the group being $50.95
and the maximum, $111.42. Moreover, a woman working 12 days
and another working 22 days received about the same pay, $40.35
and $40.64, respectively. These striking extremes may be partly
traceable to certain facts. In but few instances were the boxes of
prunes weighed. The customary record kept was of the number
of boxes only, a system which gave opportunity for slightly varying
standards, so that some pickers gave scant measure while others
heaped their boxes. Also, frequently women picking on the same
number of days did not pick for the same number of hours. The
most important factor, however, was the speed or endurance of the
women.
Another method of considering earnings is to compare the average
earnings for each time group. These averages are computed from
figures more detailed than those given in the table. The season’s
average is obtained by adding the entire earnings of all the women in
a time group and dividing by the number of women; the daily average
is obtained by dividing the total earnings of the women in a group
by the total number of days worked by the same women. The
average season’s earnings of the total number of pickers (40 women)
working from 3 to 31 days were $46.75. The average earnings of
12 pickers who worked 6 days or less were $10.98. The average
earnings of 22 pickers who worked 17 to 31 days, inclusive, were
$69.96. This last figure is fairly representative of earnings for the
whole season, since, as already noted, the season lasted on the differ­
ent ranches from 17 to 31 days.
The average daily earnings of the 40 pickers working from 3 to 31
days, inclusive, were $3.09. Although the average daily earnings
of the 12 pickers working 6 days or less ($2.44) were considerably
below this sum, the average of the 22 pickers who worked approx­
imately the whole season ($3.15) exceeded it slightly. The average
of the 19 pickers for whom data were reported by the ranchers was
$3.31; the average of the 21 women who gave wage information
about themselves was $2.83. The highest amount earned was $125,
reported by one rancher as paid to a woman who worked only 21
days. This amount averaged $5.95 a day, a sum equivalent, even
at the maximum rate and the bonus, to earnings for picking 55 or 60
boxes of prunes daily.




78

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The following is an individual daily record for the season of the
number of boxes of prunes picked by an average steady worker who
felt the urgent need of her earnings. She was so eager that she even
worked one day in the rain. She was on a ranch where conditions
were fair, the crop and soil conditions being neither the best nor the
poorest. Occasionally she worked 10 hours a day, but more often
it was 9 and sometimes only 8. Her daughter relieved her of the
housekeeping duties in camp life, so that she had all her time and
energy for outdoor work.
Date

pt 12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

Number
of boxes

18
31
29
28
16
24
21
18
20
15
16
20
40
35
35

Number
of boxes

Date

picked 1

Sept. 27
28
29
30
Oct. 1 _________
2
3
4

picked 1

36
33
22

_

--

5

6
7
8
9
Total (28 days)

- -

31
35
40
18
31
17
20
17
21
3
690

i Sixty to seventy pounds to the box.

The work the last few days was most discouraging as the prunes
were not thick, having fallen at the fourth shaking of the trees.
This picker felt, however, that she must stay through the harvest to
get her bonus of 3 cents a box on the season’s work; otherwise her
rate of pay would have been only 6 cents a box, the 9-cent rate being
conditioned upon her remaining to the end. As a whole, the rancher
and picker agreed that the picking was good for half the time only;
that she should have picked, on an average, 35 boxes in a 9-hour
day; but that only in the orchards with a high bearing rate and
especially clean dirt was this possible.
Sorting.
The records of sorters were furnished almost entirely by 12 ranchers.
Each individual who sorts is paid for the hours she actually works,
and as it is her definite job the bookkeeping is not complicated
by family wages and other confusing elements, as in the case of
picking. As already stated, the rate of pay for the prune sorters
was 30, 35, or 40 cents an hour, sometimes with a bonus paid at




79

WORKERS IN THE PRUNE ORCHARDS

the end of the season, and, since the day consisted normally of from
9 to 10 hours, the wage scale, although not uniformly ascending,
is decidedly regular as compared with that for prune pickers.
This table on sorters, who are paid by the hour, naturally reveals
less startling extremes in earnings for the women in any one group
than does that on prune picking, in which the women are paid by
the box. Although there is, on the whole, a rather consistent increase
in earnings with increase in time worked, the earnings of an occasional
sorter, paid at a higher hourly rate, were above those of women who
had worked on more days.
Table

1*1.—

Average daily earnings in sorting prunes, and number of days
worked—Jf5 women reported

Days on which work was done

3 days______________ ___________ ______
4 days............................ ...............................................
6 days..... ............................. ...... .....
7 days...................................................................................
8 days_______ ________________________ _____
9 days.......... ........... ............................................. .........
11 days....................................................... ........
13 days....... ......................................... .....................
16 days........................................... .......... ......... ............
17 days..................... ......................................
18 days............................ ............... ............... ................
19 days............. ............ ......................................
20 days.......... ........................................
21 days......................................................................
22 days.......... .....................................
23 days....... .........................................
24 days.................... ........................ ................
25 days........................................... ...........
27 days............................................................. .
29 days..... ...................... .......................................
30 days.......... .......... ................................
31 days............................

Num­
ber
of
women
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
5
3
2
2
4
10
1
1
1
1
1

Amount earned

Average
daily
earn­
ings

$9
$12 and $13.20
$21
$19.20 and $22.75
$28
$27
$35
$36.75
$45.50
$56
$59.50
'
$77 and $88
$78
$99
$114.40
$98
$101

3. 26

Summary:
Number of women—45.
Average working period—18.8 days.
Average amount earned—$64.59.
Average daily earnings—$3.43.

The total number of sorters (45) reveal average season’s earnings
of $64.59 and average daily earnings of $3.43. Unpublished figures
show that the average earnings of 33 sorters working approximately
the full season (17 to 31 days, inclusive) were $78.22, and their aver­
age daily earnings $3.44.
In general, it is apparent that the earnings of the sorters were
considerably in advance of those of the pickers. This difference can
be brought out by a comparison of average daily earnings. The
following is an arrangement in ascending scale of the average daily




80

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

earnings of the groups of pickers and sorters as revealed in Tables
13 and 14:

Amount

$1

Average daily Average daily
earnings of
earnings of
groups of
groups of
pickers
sorters

and under $2.

$1.
1.
1.
1.

42
63
90
97

$2 and under $3.

2.
2.
2.
2.

04
27
64
85

$3 and under $4.

3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3,

17
21
23
23
34
35
41
53
82

$4 and over.

4.35

$3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3,
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.

00
00
00
12
15
16
26
27
31
34
41
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
58
67
75
94

It is apparent at a glance that the groups of sorters averaged con­
siderably more per day than did the groups of pickers. Practically
one-fourth of the groups of pickers show a daily average of between
$1 and $2, and another fourth an average of $2 and under $3, whereas
none of the groups of sorters fall below the $3-and-under-$4 classifica­
tion of daily earnings. It is true, however, that none of the sorters
show daily earnings of as much as $4, but one group of pickers—
including the exceptionally rapid worker already referred to as aver­
aging $5.95 a day—reveal an average of $4.35.
ft is quite evident that the work of the sorters, employed in the
driers at a job paid on a time basis with the definite possibility of
earning about $3.50 a day, was, in general, much more remunerative




WORKERS IN THE PRUNE ORCHARDS

81

than the work of the pickers in the orchards under varying weather
conditions and on a piecework job paying anywhere from $1.50 to
over $5 a day but depending on physical endurance and adaptability.
WORKING CONDITIONS IN DRIERS

In all, the working conditions for women were inspected in 17
driers. These plants were, on the whole, crude structures, and the
conditions under which the women worked were in some respects
unsatisfactory.
Too great heat in the driers, however, was not one of the objec­
tions, for despite the proximity of the workers to the kilns the tem­
perature of the workrooms was comfortable, chiefly because of the
many open windows and doors. Nor was inadequate lighting a
common defect. A good light is essential for sorting, and tables
were invariably placed by the windows or under skylights. In only
one drier, where sorters faced south, was there any glare from the
windows.
The question of seating apparently had received but scant consid­
eration. Sorting was generally regarded as a standing job, and in
most of the driers visited the women stood. In four driers the work
was so organized that the girls did not carry the trays to and from the
sorting tables, and they could sit or stand according to desire. To be
sure, the seats in each instance were improvised from prune boxes, and
in other driers such boxes were available for sorters to sit if they had
a spare moment. In one drier the women explained that the sorters
could work to much better advantage if they stood. Although this
was true in that particular plant because of its arrangements and
equipment, nevertheless a man doing identically the same work
near by was sitting on a box. In another drier the manager’s wife,
who was sorting, remarked that she preferred picking, which
allowed a change in position, to sorting, which required constant
standing.
The toilets provided for the women employed in the driers were
outdoor privies. The only exception was where the one woman
sorter was permitted to go to the home of the rancher. The toilets
usually were placed in a position convenient to both the drier and the
camp, although in one case the privy was at least a block and a half
from the drier. That it was unusual to provide separate toilets for
men and women is not surprising when one considers how few women
were employed as sorters. Only one privy was in a disgusting con­
dition, with broken seat and full pit. The rancher responsible for
this situation certainly had not followed the prevalent custom of
cleaning the privies before the harvest season. In very few cases
did the ranchers supply paper in the toilets.




82

WOMEN IN FEUIT-GHOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

In 14 driers tlie drinking water was obtained at the faucets supply­
ing water for washing the fruit, usually in a section of the drier
adjoining the sorting tables. However, drinking water from a dis­
tance was brought in pails for two driers and in a covered milk can
for a third. In another case either the water was carried from the
ranch house in a pail or the employees could go to the house for it.
In seven driers a common cup was placed conspicuously near the
faucet or pails.
Washing facilities were strikingly inadequate. The usual wash
place was at the faucet supplying water for the fruit-washing vats.
Sinks or washbowls were noticeably absent, although occasionally a
basin or bucket was seen near the faucet. Fortunately the faucet
usually was so placed that the waste water from washing did not run
into the fruit tubs. In many cases pails of water stood on the floor
by the sorting table so that the workers could wash their hands as
often as they wished and with little inconvenience. The water was
changed at least daily and in some driers oftener. Sorting prunes is
sticky work, but in only three driers was hot water easily obtained.
One drier did have a washroom, but even so there was no soap or
towel. The only woman who had such facilities supplied for her was
the one privileged to use the ranch-house bathroom.




•

PART VII

WOMEN WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR ORCHARDS

The Yakima and Wenatchee Valleys are the center of the apple
and pear growing industry of Washington, and this section of the
report deals mainly with women wnrkers in the orchards of that
region. Because of the migratory habits of the field labor and the
seasonal nature of the work, however, a detailed discussion of the
reports secured from women employed in the apple and pear orchards
necessitates some references in this chapter to their employment in
connection with other crops.
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

The first work done by the women employed in the apple orchards
is the thinning of the fruit, some of the women working at this occu­
pation for only a few days but others continuing at it for some weeks.
The women who do this work are likely to be local laborers, as the
migrants do not come into the Yakima Valley in large numbers until
the harvest time. The process consists of picking a certain percentage
of the apples before they mature to allow the fruit left on the trees
to grow to a larger size than would be attained otherwise. Trees
which have been thinned bear approximately the same amount of
fruit in weight, but of a better quality; furthermore, it takes less time
to pick the fruit at harvest. The thinner uses pliers or snaps the
apples off with the thumb and finger. Ordinarily, the apples left
to ripen hang about 7 inches apart, but some ranchers take off more
apples than this. The cost of thinning is from SI to $1.50 per tree.
Men, women, and children are employed for this job. In some cases
the women stand on the ground and pick from the lower branches,
while the men, by means of ladders, work on the upper branches.
However, many women also climb the ladders and thin the high
branches as well as those below. The ranchers generally paid 30 or
35 cents an hour for thinning, and on one ranch visited the workers
received 40 cents an hour.
Pear picking begins with the Bartlett pears, which are ready to be
harvested by the middle of August and are completely picked by the
first of September. They are picked green and left to ripen in cold
storage. The packing and shipping also are done in cold storage, as
the pears would spoil if they were taken in their cooled state to a




83

84

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

warm atmosphere to be wrapped and packed. The pear season, all
told, is short, but the work is intensive while it lasts. Winter pears
mature late in September and are frequently picked at the same time
as are apples. Since this variety of pear ripens slowly, it is unneces­
sary for it to be packed in cold storage.
The most important crop in these valleys is the apple crop, and the
different varieties ripening at different times prolong the harvest
from the last of September to the first of November. On the whole,
the intensive harvest activity in the highly developed orchard dis­
trict is in September and October, when by far the greatest number
of women are employed.
The job of picking pears and apples from the trees means that the
worker must climb a ladder and in this position pick the fruit and
place it carefully in a canvas pouchlike bag suspended around the
neck and fastened in front to the waist. When the bag is full the
worker descends to the ground to empty the contents, by opening the
bottom of the bag, into a large 60-pound box beneath the tree. The
filled boxes are taken by truck to the warehouses.
Because of the climbing and constant stretching and carrying, many
ranchers consider the work too onerous for the average woman. Con­
sequently, not a great many women pickers were encountered in the
orchards visited. Wherever found in this occupation, they appeared
to work more advantageously when doing “team work” with a
husband or other male member of the family, the woman picking
from the lower branches and ihe man confining himself to the higher
ones and also being responsible for moving the ladder from tree to
tree. As a rule the woman fills her bag only partly before emptying
it into the box, in this way lightening the strain of carrying. The
personal efficiency of the picker is a most important factor in the
question of how remunerative is the job of picking. The rates
quoted for picking apples were 35 and 40 cents an hour, or 5 to 7 cents
a box. The rates for pears were slightly lower, generally 5 cents a
box or 30 to 35 cents an hour. A 10-hour day was the accepted
standard in the orchards. Almost invariably in the fruit orchards
and warehouses men and women are paid at the same rate for the
same kind of work. One rancher gave 5 cents an hour more to the
men pickers than to the women because, he said, the former did more
work. On the other hand, a rancher who paid the same rate per hour
to women and men did so on the basis that the more careful handling
of the fruit by the women more than compensated for the greater
amount of work done by the men. On many ranches men did all the
picking and women only the sorting and packing.
An average woman can pick about 70 boxes of apples or pears a
day, though a great deal of care is necessary to avoid bruising the




_ WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR ORCHARDS

85

fruit, and in cases where apples or pears are picked especially for
color, judgment is needed for the selective process.
Before September the work in the orchards is done almost exclu­
sively by local women, who live near the ranch or not so far away but
that they can ride back and forth each day. Many migrant workers,
however, are employed during September and October.
For local women the problem is to find work near home or con­
venient means of transportation to more distant fields. For migrant
women the problem is to secure employment for the family where there
is a good camp site. Frequently steadier jobs are available for the
men in the migrant families, so that the family continues to camp at
the ranch, and the women work whenever it is possible.
It does not often happen that a woman employed in thinning apples
and picking cherries finds these jobs on the same ranch. For the
most part those women who were working in apple orchards at the
end of the season were employed on ranches devoted almost exclu­
sively to apple raising. Pears are grown more often with apples
than is any other fruit, but the acreage in peaches, cherries, and other
fruits is so small that there is comparatively little work for the women
in orchards except in connection with apples and pears. Accordingly,
those women who desire steady employment during the entire fruit
season must go from ranch to ranch where different kinds of fruits are
grown.
EARNINGS AND TIME WORKED—WOMEN IN APPLE AND PEAR
ORCHARDS

As already noted, very few women pickers were encountered in
the orchards. On many ranches no women were employed for pick­
ing; on the majority there were one or two picking with their hus­
bands, and rarely were there more than five women. As exceptions to
this situation were two ranches, one of 400 acres with 14 women pick­
ers and another of 200 acres with 11 women.
Eight ranchers replied to questionnaires on time worked and
earnings of women employed in apple and pear orchards, in form so
complete as to permit the tabulation of individual earnings of
pickers. These ranchers gave definite data concerning 48 pickers,
and in addition 58 women who had picked orchard fruits gave infor­
mation so definite that their reports have been combined with those
of the ranchers in the study of earnings in apple and pear orchard
work. Also for 26 other women pickers sufficient information was
furnished to make it possible to include them in some of the tabula­
tions. Of these 130 women, a number had picked both kinds of
fruit—apples and pears— or had had more than one occupation among
the picking, sorting, or packing operations. Consequently they




86

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

appear in more than one table. Besides the data on picking, informa­
tion was obtained from these same sources showing which of the
pickers had worked for a definite period at thinning apples or at sort­
ing and packing fruit in the ranch warehouses. Further information
was available concerning 43 additional women, who had not picked
but had been employed in the other occupations connected with the
apple and pear crops.
Altogether the data on earnings in these orchards are representative
of work done on 31 ranches. Occasionally the reply to the question
about wages was given in terms of rates instead of actual amounts
earned. Whenever it was feasible to compute the earnings from
wage data given in either the ranchers’ or the women’s reports this
was done. When information was given such as “picked apples 10
days at 35 cents an hour” the computation of earnings was made on
the basis of a 10-hour day. This would mean an overestimate
rather than an underestimate, for almost never did picking last more
than 10 hours a day.
Apple thinning.

Wage data compiled for 23 women who thinned apples are pre­
sented in the following table:
Table 15.—Average daily earnings in thinning apples, and number of days

worked—£8 women reported

Days on which work was done

Num­
ber of
women
1
1
11
6
*3
2
1
2
2
2
1
1

Amount earned

$10
$38
$42
$54 to $63
$72 to $96
$103
$74 and $114
$138 and $147
$144
$155

Aver­
age
daily
earn­
ings
$3.33
3.00
3.50
3.08
3.33
3. 42
3.96
3.13
2.75
3. 39
3.00
2. 87

.

1 Also thinned prunes on 3 other days for $9. Total thinning, 15 days, $51.
2 One woman also thinned pears and peaches for 18 days for which there is no wage report. Total time
thinning, 42 days.
Summary:
Num ber of women—23.
Average working period—25.9 days.
Average amount earned—$82.04.
Average daily earnings—$3.17.

Figures more detailed than those in the table reveal that $3 for a
day of 10 hours was the usual wage, since this was the rate for 10
of the 23 women, and that the daily average earnings of individuals
dropped below the $3 mark for only 3 women, their averages being
$2.47, $2.50, and $2.87. The 23 women averaged 25.9 days per
woman, $82.04 for entire earnings, and $3.17 as daily earnings.



WORKERS IK APPLE AND PEAR ORCHARDS

87

The table shows one woman to have worked as much as 54 days,
earning $155 in that time. The women whose jobs lasted through
42, 48, and 54 days were exceptionally fortunate in securing such
steady employment in this sort of work, since the usual thinning
period does not extend over 30 days. The highest average daily
earnings which appear in the table are $3.96 over a period of 26 days
in the case of one woman, though one of the group working 24 days
exceeded this slightly, being paid $96, an average of $4 a day. Ten
of the 12 daily averages given are between $3 and $4.
Apple picking.

Altogether the earnings of 74 women who picked apples were
reported, and these are included in the following table:
Table 16.—Average daily earnings in -picking apples, and number of days worked—

74 women reported.

Days ©n which work was done

1 day................................................
2 days._________________ ___
3 days............................ .............
4 days..____ _________
6 days....... .....................................
7 days....... ......................................
8 days_______ ___________
9 days...____ __________
1« days................................. ...
12 days____ _____ _______
13 days______ ____
15 days_________ ..............
18 days.._______________
J9 days................................
20 days________
21 days........................................
24 days________________
30 days..... ......... .................
31 days_____________
3G days____________________
48 days..___ ___________

Num­
ber of
women
4
3
3
1

Amount earned

$9.55 to $9.98
$12.06

10
2 $18.20 and $22 75
2
2
4
8
1 $24.25
3 $39.70 to $60
6
3 $69.97 to $76
2
1 $74.10
6
4
2
2
3

Aver­
age
daily
earn­
ings
$3.49
2.64
3. 28
3.02
2.19
2. 91
2.93
3. 49
3.50
3.46
3.57
1.87
3. 55
3. 39
3. 89
3. 53
3.53
3.48
3.80
3.34
2. 96
3.49

Summary:
Number of women—74.
Average working period—14.9 days.
Average amount earned—$15.02.
Average daily earnings—$3.42.

Since the apple harvest lasts from the picking of the early apples
before the middle of September until the last crop is gathered about
the end of October, it is surprising to see that more than one-half
of the 74 pickers reported in this table did not work more than 12 days,
and that three-fifths were employed not more than 15 days. The
different varieties of apples mature at different times, and this situa­
tion prolongs the season and permits pickers to go from ranch to ranch
participating in the various harvests. Nevertheless not one in ten of
the women included in the table worked more than a month.
57206°-—26t—-—7




88

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The several day groups show some striking extremes in the range of
earnings, due largely to the varying degrees of steadiness and strength
of the individual women. The widest variation in earnings is in the
6-day group, consisting of 10 women, since the maximum amount
earned by any individual in this period ($24) is 3.8 times as great as
the minimum amount ($6.30).
The average daily earnings in the various groups have been secured
by dividing the total earnings of all the women in a group by the
total number of days which they worked. The averages obtained
range from $1.87 to $3.89. Almost three-fourths of the groups reveal
an average of between $3 and $4.
The average season’s earnings for the whole group of 74 women
were $51.02. The average period of employment was 14.9 days,
and the average daily earnings were $3.42. The largest amount
earned by any one woman was $192 for 48 days of work. This
woman’s daily average of $4 was exceeded, however, by that of a
woman who was paid $59.59 for 12 days of work, an amount which
averages $4.97 a day, and by that of another who received $106.50
for 24 days of work, an average of $4.44 a day.
Pear picking.
Notwithstanding the lower rate, pear picking is much more selective
and therefore slower work than apple picking, as the fruit is picked
carefully for size, and sometimes the trees are gone over as many
as four times, the smaller fruit being left until it grows larger.
It was possible to secure data on earnings for only 41 women pear
pickers, and these appear in the following table:
Table 17.—Average daily earnings in picking pears, and number of days worked—

41 women reported

Days on which work was done

Num­
ber of
women

Amount earned

6 $1.10 to
4 $4.55 to $7_-_
3 $6.60 to $10.50
5 $3.85 to $12.50.—
1 $17.50-...................
6 $16.45 to $21.............
1 $21_______
2
1 $30__________
10 $20 to $48.55.................
1 $45........................ .
1 $54_____ ____ _____
Summary:
Number of women—41.,
Average working period—6.5 days.
Average amount earned—$19.41.
Average daily earnings—$2.97.




Aver­
age
daily
earnhags
$2. 39
3.19
2.90
2. 30
3. 50

3. 10
3. 00
3. GO
a. 00
2.97

3.46
3.00

WORKERS IK APPLE AKD PEAR ORCHARDS

89

The number of days on which the women picked varied from 1 day
for 6 women to 18 days for 1 woman, but the largest group of women
(10), about one-fourth of the total, picked on 12 days. The limited
pear season is emphasized by the fact that 25 of the women—prac­
tically 3 in 5—worked 6 days or less, and only 2 worked more than 12
days.
The average working period for the total number was 6>2 days.
The entire earnings averaged $19.41, and the daily earnings, $2.97.
As already stated, the rates paid for pear picking are somewhat
lower than those paid for apple picking, in spite of the fact that
picking pears is a more selective process, and the averages for the
various groups of pear pickers in this table show that this was the less
remunerative occupation. The average daily earnings of the pear
pickers were 45 cents less than the daily average for the apple pickers.
The highest daily average shown in Table 17 is $3.50, but one woman
who was paid $48.55 for 12 days of wrork averaged daily earnings
slightly above $4. Four of the twelve averages presented are be­
tween $2 and $3.
OTHEE TYPES OF SEASONAL WORK OF WOMEN IN APPLE
ORCHARDS

Altogether data on earnings and time worked were secured from
173 women employed in apple and pear orchards. These records,
which were supplied both by the ranchers and the women, also reveal
the other types of work in which the women had engaged during the
season. Sixty-eight of them had worked on only one kind of fruit—50
in apple orchards only and 13 exclusively in pear orchards. Fifty-six
had handled two kinds of fruit, 23 of these being employed in apple
and pear orchards, and 25 had worked on three kinds. Thirteen
others were reported as having worked on four kinds of crops, nine
on five kinds, and two on as many as six varieties. In addition to
the work on apple and pear crops given as the type of employment,
there was a miscellaneous group of occupations connected with
fruit and vegetable crops, comprising peaches, prunes, berries,
cherries, grapes, oranges, hops, onions, potatoes, asparagus, corn,
and beets.
A special effort was made to secure full wage data for the season’s
employment for the women interviewed in apple and pear orchards.
The ranchers’ reports could not give the earnings for the whole season
but only for the work done on their ranches. Sixty-nine women
orchard workers who responded to questionnaires sent to them late
in the fall, at the end of the harvest season, were able to give the com­
plete record of all their work in agricultural pursuits. The data on
earnings and time worked furnished by these women are presented
in the following table:




90

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Table 18.-—A verage daily earnings in all agricultural pursuits, and number of days

worked—69 women returning questionnaires on work done during the year

Days on which w'ork was done

Num­
ber of
women
1
2
3
2
1
3
2
2
2
1
3
4
1
3
3
4
4
2
2
1
3
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Amount earned

$35..... ..........................
$39.70 and $60
$64 to $72....................
$70
$66.80 to $78............... ..
$56.67 and $100............
$107.26 and 117............
$93.45 and 165.............
$146. 80_.................. ___
$96.80 to 120..............
$102.25 to $114.10
$105. 50........................
$111 to $149.52..............
$72.25 to $193.10..........
$111.58 to $139.98
$132.90 to $198.20.........
$147 each.
$137.50 each
$163
$139. 50 to $214. 68
$156.86 and $186.20___
$261,60.......................
$262. 40___ ___ ____
$162_______________
$227.60....... .............. .
$200.50.........................
$225.60 —____ _____
202.50_______ _____
$264 and $304.56.........
$290 and $555.33..........
$329
$450.................. .........
$473.13.......................
$302.05............ ..........
$317.25.........................
$565.46......................
$424

Aver­
age
daily
earn­
ings
$3. 50
3. 32
3. 53
4.00
3. 50
3. 32
3.26
4.15
4. 62
5.06
3.58
3. 41
3.20
3. 44
3.68
3. 40
3.82
3.50
3.20
3. 47
3. 79
3. 50
5.13
5.05
3.00
3. 61
3.13
3. 27
2.89
3.64
4.40
3. 39
4.59
4.11
2.58
2.62
4. 35
3. 07
.

Summary:
Number of women—69.
Average working period—46.8 days.
Average amount earned—$170.29.
Average daily earnings—$3.64.

Due to the fact that the orchard work was not quite finished when
many of the women answered the questionnaires, the report given
on earnings and the number of days worked in some instances may
be slightly below the actual total for the year. In the main, however,
the data show what the average woman could depend upon in agri­
culture, in respect to both time worked and earnings. The season
was limited to 10 days for one woman, 15 days for two, and so on
to the opposite extreme of 138 days for the .woman with the maxi­
mum amount of time spent in such pursuits. The harvest, begin­
ning with cherries in June, is not over until the apples are picked,
usually by the first of November, but the harvest of each crop, except
apples, is limited to a few days or weeks.
The range of earnings in some groups is strikingly great, but this
is not to be wondered at, since the skill and endurance of workers
are not alone responsible for the differences. The earnings represent
remuneration for work on many sorts of crops; women employed



91

WORKERS IK APPLE AND.PEAR ORCHARDS

for the same number of days might have performed very different
jobs. The greatest differences are seen in the group of three women
who worked 37 days with earnings that ranged from $72.25 to $193.10,
and the two women with employment on 96 days, one earning $290
and the other $555.33. Of all those whose records were secured, the
last-mentioned woman showed next to the highest season’s earnings,
and next to the highest daily average ($5.78). The woman who
earned $165 for 28 days heads the list in the matter of daily average
earnings, with the figure $5.89, and the woman whose earnings
amounted to $565.46 for 130 days of employment revealed the
largest sum secured during the season.
None of the 38 averages in the table drops as low as $2, and only
3 are between $2 and $3, whereas 10—or more than one-fourth—
range from $4 to a little over $5. The great bulk, or about twothirds, are between $3 and $4.
In a consideration of the 69 women as a whole it is found that the
average working period was 46.8 days, the average season’s earnings
were $170.29, and the average daily earnings were $3.64.
From the records of the 69 women reporting upon all work in
which they had engaged during the period from May to November,
1923, are taken the following examples of those who worked at var­
ious jobs on several ranches as the different crops came on and who
managed to have fairly steady employment:
Over-all period

Occupation

Number
of days
worked

Amount
earned

Number 1

Approximately
months.

5

Cut potatoes for planting
Thinned apples_______ _______ _____
Picked cherries.. __________ .. _ _
Picked pears, peaches, and apples___
Picked apples

$18.
54.
18.
73.
62.

69

Total.

6
18
6
21
18

00
00
00
50
10

225. 60

6
48

21. 00
76. 80

Number 2

Approximately
months.




6

Weeded onions_______ _______
Picked berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries).
Picked peaches__ . . ____ _____
Picked prunes- .. . ________ ______
Picked pears_____________ ___
Sorted pears_____
_
._
Picked hops.. ________________
Picked apples.__
Total

4
2
1

m

6
48
116J^

16.
6.
3.
5.
19.
154.

00
00
00
25
20
80

302. 05

92

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Number
of days
worked

Occupation

Over-all period

Amount
earned

Number S

About 4 months

Packed peaches ________________
Packed pears _ _______________
Packed apples________ ___ _____

8
18
72

20. 00
70. 00
360. 00

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

1 98

450. 00

Number 4

About 4 months___

Picked cherries _
Thinned apples ___
__ _____
Picked peaches ...... ...
......
_
Picked prunes__
_ ...
Picked pears _ _______ _____ ___
Sorted apples . . - - ______
Total

2
12
12
3
6
12

7.
42.
42.
9.
21.
42.

47

00
00
00
00
00
00

163. 00

Number 5 2

About 3 months___

Packed
Packed
Packed
Packed

prunes _
peaches
_
pears __
apples

_____ _
____ _
____ ______

Total.. ________

10
18
12
12

30.
89.
64
79.

00
00
20
20

_______

52

262. 40

Thinned apples____
Picked cherries __________
Picked prunes--_____ _______ __
Picked pears______ .
Picked apples-- __ _____________

18
12

X

54 00
30. 00
1. 50
9. 00
108. 00

693^

202. 50

About 5 months..... Thinned apples_____ _______
Picked cherries___ __ __ _
Picked pears _________ - ____
Picked apples.__ ___________ ___
Packed peaches__ ___ _____
Packed apples-___
__

30
4
30
6
6

74
10.
7.
120.
36.
17.

Total.. ___________ _____

78

264. 00

Number 6

About 5 months

Total. .

3
36

Number 7 3

Number

About 4 months

2

00
00
00
00
00
00

S 4

Thinned apples. ______________
Picked peaches___ ______ __
Picked hops ________________
Picked apples___________ __
Sorted apples. _ _________
__
Total. ____ _______ ____

3
6
18
19 3^
17
63 X

10
20.
40.
71.
59.

00
OP
00
00
50

200. 50

1 Days worked for wages in 5 different orchards; also worked in own orchard 2*4 weeks.
2 Did not work before July, and season incomplete, with possibly one more week of work after this record
was given.
3 In the interim between fruit jobs the worker was “forced to do housework” for 30 days altogether.
The fruit jobs averaged over $3 and the housework less than $1 a day.
1 When work on the ranches was over, this worker was employed'in town in a cannery for 24 days.




PART VIII
WOMEN WORKERS IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CANNERIES
AND EVAPORATORS
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

Most of the canneries included in this section of the report were
scattered along the coast and west of the Cascades from the north­
ern part of the State on Puget Sound to the Columbia River on
the south, while a few of the canneries and evaporators were in the
Yakima Valley.
Some of the establishments visited in this survey canned several
different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Many of them were open
only during the seasonal rush, but some few held their steadiest em­
ployees for more than six months. One very large cannery operated
throughout the year; all of the workers employed at this plant during
the peak of the season were, of course, not retained throughout the
52 weeks, many of them having desired only a short seasonal job.
The survey included 15 fruit and vegetable canneries and 3 evapo­
rators. In these 18 establishments there were employed at the time
of the inspection 899 men and 2,203 women—about 7 women to
every 3 men, or more than twice as many women as men.
In contrast to the confusion in the housewife’s little kitchen on
canning days is the orderly routing of the work in an up-to-date
cannery. The fruit is carried along from one worker to another and
from one process to another by conveyors, and in the canning of
certain products even the peelings and waste are removed by con­
veyors.
The machinery operates with such precision that the sealing of the
cans looks much simpler and easier than the housewife’-s struggle to
make her jars “air-tight.” A machine drops the tin cover in exact
position and clinches it lightly on the open top of the can. From the
clincher the cans pass along the conveyor to the sealing machine,
which exhausts the air from the can, and at the same time the double
seamer traces the outside edge of the can, folding it in with the rim
of the cover so tightly that it is hermetically sealed. It is not unusual
for cans to pass along the line at the rate of 60 a minute. These
operations are all done rhythmically, quickly, and without assistance
from human hands. The cooking process follows, and it also has
been simplified by the application of mechanical means for moving
and lifting the cans and by the scientific use of steam or hot water for
cooking the product.




93

94

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GHO WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The women’s occupations.

When women can or preserve in their own homes, they perform
all the work connected with “putting up,” for example, a crate of ber­
ries or a box of pears. When they go to a cannery to work, however,
they find the jobs specialized. Generally speaking, women clean or
prepare the fruit, and men oversee the job and have the responsibility
of the cooking. One group of women sorts pears, another peels, an­
other splits and cores, and still another carefully fills the cans. The
large majority of the women are concerned only with the preparation
of the fruit. A few are employed “on the line,” so called because of
the direct course the filled cans take as they are conveyed in single file
along a moving belt from the hands of the filler to the capping and
sealing machine, and then into steam or hot-water cookers. “On the
fine” the women’s chief business is to watch the machines and the
course of the cans. Men do the cooking, or to use a more technical
term, the processing, as well as the heavier work of moving the bas­
kets, boxes, and heavy crates.
Modern mechanical equipment has greatly simplified some of the
monotonous labor of the women. One power-driven cherry pitter
makes the work of a 4°zen women hand pitters seem ridiculously
slow; even gooseberries are snipped by machine, and apples are
peeled by power-driven knives, not so perfectly, however, but that
women trim them afterward, in order to remove spots and little pieces
of skin that the machine fails to take off. Yet the preparation of the
softer and more perishable fruit is done entirely by hand and keeps
the many women busy. The snipping of string beans by hand is
probably as monotonous and at the same time as poorly paid a job
as the women had in the canneries visited. Some women make a
practice of leaving their jobs during the bean pack and returning again
for pears and apples, since they consider that the fruits pay better.
WORKING CONDITIONS

Buildings.

The establishments visited during the survey usually covered con­
siderable ground space and always had an adequate number of exits.
The women in most cases were at work on the first floor, but in a few
instances where they were performing jobs on the second floor the
stairways were not satisfactory. In one case, the stairway lacked a
hand rail, and in another the stairs were decidedly sticky.
General plan and cleanliness of workrooms.

The cannery workrooms were invariably freshly painted, or at
least clean, airy, and light. In fact, commenting on the adequacy
of daylight, one canner said, “ Daylight is cheap, so why not use it?”
In one case the light was so direct and bright that the girls* had




WORKERS IK CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

95

pinned paper at the window to eliminate the glare. Skylights and
monitor roofs served both as a help in lighting and in ventilation,
being especially efficacious in the removal of steam from the cook
rooms.
The width of the passageways between the long parallel rows of
tables at which the girls worked, usually on both sides, determined
to some extent the degree of cleanliness of the floors around the
tables during the work hours. In one cannery the space between
the tables was so wide that the man whose sole duty was to collect
the waste and peelings could wheel the large barrel down the aisle
without crowding against the women at work, and he also had room
to dump the containers carefully without spilling refuse on the floor.
In another cannery that had just been fitted with the latest equip­
ment in the way of worktables, conveyors, and cookers, the long
aisles between the rows of girls were barely wide enough for one
person to elbow his way through and it was practically impossible
for two to pass each other. The confusion was increased by the fact
that the waste, which on the day of the visit consisted of pear peel­
ings, was removed in buckets by several men who bad to reach over
the girls’ shoulders to get the pans full of peelings. As the aisles
were closed at one end, the same passage served traffic both entering
and leaving. No one could wind his way through without becoming
smeared with sticky pear juice. A few women working at the tables
had taken the extra precaution of tying rubber aprons across their
backs also, but even so they were not completely protected.
The arrangement of the work also made a difference in the clean­
liness of the floors in canneries that were engaged in packing string
beans. Snipping beans is a very clean and dry process compared
with the preparation of berries or pears, yet in one cannery the
snippers were huddled together in such a haphazard and crowded
manner in one corner of the preparation room that by noon the floor
looked as if it had not been swept for a week, whereas it had been
swept the night before. In another part of the same cannery bean
snippers sat in regular order, and the aisles were well defined, so that
it had been possible to sweep around the work places twice during the
morning and the floor was free from refuse.
Occasionally the arrangement of workbenches and conveyors
was such that they inclosed the women in hollow squares. The
exits from these spaces were by means of steep stairways of six to
eight steps, with narrow treads, although usually of substantial
structure and equipped with hand rails. These stilelike stairs led to
a platform constructed above the trunk line of the conveyor and
extending the length of the conveyor to the end of the cannery. The
overhead platforms were necessarily well built and railed in, but only
wide enough for a single file.



96

WOMEN IN FKUTT-GRO WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Only five of the canneries had a cement or waterproof floor in the
preparation departments, the other's having wooden floors. The
cleanliness of the floors depended largely upon the kind of crop that
was being canned, whether soft berries or hard apples, and upon
the time of day. One floor was described as “so sticky and rough
with an accumulation of dirt that it needed scraping,” but this was
an exception to the usual cleanliness.
Most of the floors were constructed with a pitch drain sloping to a
gutter or conduit extending the length of the building, frequently
near the “line.” In some cases the conduits were closed over with
secure but removable plank covers. They were cleansed with lime
at least weekly and with live steam daily. The cannery gutters
discharged into a cesspool or catch basin, which, in turn, was con­
nected with the sewer system where such was available.
Wet floors were more prevalent than dirty floors. Parts of at
least half the canneries visited had disagreeably wet floors. This
situation in places was partially overcome by the use of wooden
lacks or platforms raised 2 inches or so above the floor level. In
some plants the racks were long enough to accommodate several
girls; in others they were short and for individual use only. But
these racks could not be depended upon always for adequate protec­
tion, and too often there were not enough for all the girls who really
needed them.
The floors were more apt to be wet under the “can line” and
sticky by the preparation tables. Along the line there were occa­
sional splashings and overflows from the constant use of water and
the frequent hosing of machinery and floors. In one cannery a
most unsatisfactory drainage system had but recently been installed.
All preparation work on pears, after they were peeled, was done in
water. Each worker had one of a line of sinks or tubs to work in,
the water in which had to be changed frequently. The waste water
did not drain into a closed pipe below the sink, but gushed out into
an open catch gutter, splashing the girls’ skirts and legs. The
branch drains from these three or four lines of sinks, as well as usual
floor drainage, entered the main trunk line in the floor at the end of
the factory. Moreover, this main line, instead of being closed, was an
open gutter, which was so inadequate for the amount of water that
it overflowed, with the result that there was an inch of water over a
considerable part of the floor. One girl working in this section was
very proud of her recent purchase of a pair of rubber boots. The
foregoing is the exceptional case of wet floors, but it illustrates a
cannery problem that has been solved in a more efficient manner by
most canners.




WORKERS IX CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

97

Seating.
Some of the women had work so arranged that they had to be on
their feet all day while others sat continuously. More fortunate
workers could sit or stand. The 776 women who were reported as
having sitting occupations were, with very few exceptions, sorting
and preparing the fruit and vegetables for canning. Of the 537
women who stood continuously, 148, more than one-fourth, also
were engaged in similar work of sorting, peeling, and cutting the fruit,
but no provision had been made for them to sit. The other women
who found it necessary to stand were stamping and labeling cans in
the warehouse, or were working on the line filling cans or watching
the machines, or were checkers and floor girls helping to keep records
of amount of work done and to assist those busy preparing the
product.
Convenient adjustments of the height of seats and tables had been
made in several plants, so that 736 women could either sit or stand
while they worked; and of these, 478 women, almost two-thirds,
were doing exactly the same kind of work in preparation of the
product as were women wrho were forced to sit all the time while
working in most canneries, or to stand in a few others. Also, there
were many labelers, packers, and line girls for whom suitable seats
had been provided so that they could sit occasionally while at work.
Seating as an important item in the comfort of the workers seemed
to have been overlooked in many plants in the rush to save the crop.
In one cannery packing boxes were the only seats available. In
another, the women had impro vised high stools by placing a packing
box endwise on a broader and lower box, laid flat, which served also
as a foot rest. In five other canneries the shortage of ordinary
stools led to the use of packing boxes as seats. In one cannery
there were kitchen chairs which, by means of wooden stilts nailed to
the legs, had been raised to a height convenient to the tables, but
as a board made it impossible for the workers to get their knees
under the table when using the chairs, the women stood. In one
place the stools were so low that when the women sat on them they
were in a strained position, and their elbows were so much lower
than their hands that the water and fruit juice ran down their arms
instead of into the receptacle on the table. In another cannery
where stools were provided for all, though some could work to an
advantage while sitting, others found them too high to use. The
benches furnished as seats in certain plants were far from satisfac­
tory. It is easy to imagine the discomfort involved when several
women occupied a long bench, at least 3 feet high, before a peeling
table, and the difficulty for any one woman to get out without
disturbing all the other women sitting beyond her. In preference
to this, the women pulled themselves up and jumped down, and



98

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

the struggle to get up when returning to their work positions was
even harder. There was a foot rail on these tables by the high
benches, but in many cases the women were too short to reach the
rail, so that their feet dangled all day. The manager of one cannery
had nailed crude board back-supports on his stools, and the workers
said they were a great help, but in no case were the scats such as
could be adjusted to different heights of tables or women.
Temperature.

Next to proper drainage and seating, probably the regulation of
the atmosphere has most to do with the comfort, health, and indi­
rectly the efficiency, of the women employed in canneries. The
inspections of the canneries were made in the pleasant weather of
summer. One canner frankly said, “Well, we collect more steam
in the colder days of the fall,” and more than one woman complained
that she was obliged to quit work in the fall because it was so cold
and damp then. The minimizing of excessive heat in summer is
not nearly so much of a problem as supplying artificial heat in the
fall. Under a few worktables in some plants was seen a one-pipe
extension from the boiler room, and in one cannery a steam pipe
was laid on the floor with racks over it for the women to stand on.
In some canneries it was customary to confine the work in the fall
to a limited section of the room, which could be inclosed by a tem­
porary partition, thus making a smaller area to heat. Another
plant, equipped with a few steam pipes at the ceiling, hung large
canvas flaps in an attempt to shut out drafts. The workers there
had cold feet, for although the sunshine was bright outside, the
thermometer registered only 58° in the room. One room was
described as comfortable at 60°, because there were adequate steam
pipes on the side wall not far from the workers and a good exposure
to the sun, and because the floors were dry. The standard of comfort
was much lower in a cannery where the only heat was the damp,
steamy atmosphere from the adjoining cooking department; how­
ever, there was a little stove in the dressing room, and on this the
women heated bricks, their only foot warmers, which they them­
selves had brought to the cannery.
Sanitation and service facilities.

Uniforms.—The women instinctively wear wash dresses and aprons
for cannery work, and the large oilcloth or rubber apron is much more
of a protection in some kinds of work than is the gingham cover-all.
Many of the firms provided aprons and caps at wholesale prices, but
there were plants reported where the workers were entirely devoid
of caps.
Washing facilities.—There were washing facilities of some sort in
every cannery, a provision quite essential in plants handling food




WORKERS IK CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

99

products and one not difficult to make where such large supplies
of water are used for other purposes. As in other conveniences, there
was great contrast in the type of washing facility provided in dif­
ferent canneries. In one, for example, was an iron sink in the dark
corner of a toilet room, while in another was a white porcelain bowl,
with hot and cold water, liquid soap, and paper towels. In one can­
nery there was the primitive arrangement of a washtub under a
faucet in a room adjoining the cannery proper. “ The workers can
wash there if they want” was the comment of the superintendent,
but there were no towels and no soap. In still another establishment
the only opportunity offered for washing was at the tank in which
the large crates of cans were lowered for cooling after the cooking
process. No matter what the type, all washing arrangements were
reported to be clean or fairly so.
Only three washbowls had a liot-water supply. One foreman
remarked, “ They can fetch hot water from the cookroom when they
want it,” but few women would bother for that in the rush to leave
at the close of the workday. Twelve of the canneries, or two-thirds
of the total number, provided towels; three furnished roller towels,
seldom changed in two plants, but changed three times daily in the
third cannery; eight supplied paper towels, and one provided indi­
vidual linen towels, furnished, according to the report, in plentiful
supplies.
Drinking facilities.—Eleven of the canneries had bubble drinking
fountains, but in only three were these of a sanitary type.1 These
bubble fountains were conveniently placed, usually in the workrooms.
Six plants were reported to have common drinking cups by the
faucets, and there were "tin cans a plenty,” as one man explained.
In this connection it is interesting to quote the State law, which is as
follows:
No drinking cup, glass, or vessel for common use shall be provided in any car,
vessel, vehicle, or other common carrier, * * * nor in any manufacturing,
mercantile, or industrial establishment, nor in any public resort or recreation
camp, nor in any logging, railroad construction, or industrial camp.1
2

One establishment suffered during the season from a water supply
inadequate for canning purposes, so that the water was shut off from
the bubbler, and the pressure in the toilet and sink was insufficient.
Toilets.—All but three of the fruit and vegetable canneries had
inside toilets with modern plumbing, and these were in good repair
in all but one case. One of the privies reported was located at
least half a block distant from the cannery, and was used by both
1 According to the National Safety Council the most approved type of sanitary bubbler is one with an
adequate collar to prevent contact of the lips with the orifice and one with the tube inclined at an angle
of 30° or more from the vertical.
2 Washington Department of Health, v. 1, Rules and regulations of the State board of health, adopted
July 27, 1921, sec. 67 (a).




1-00

WOMEN IN Ffl-UIT-GRO WIN6 AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

men and women. One of the others was especially clean, not in­
convenient, and its approach and entrance were effectively screened.
In seven canneries matrons were constantly on duty, and even
where there were no matrons there were definite arrangements for
cleaning, either by janitors or the night force of cleaners; in no case
were the girls employed in the cannery held responsible for scrubbing
the toilets. Usually toilets were cleaned once or twice during the
day or at night. Only one was reported dirty, and it looked as if
it had not been scrubbed the entire season. As this toilet was not
adequately screened, there was no privacy from the cloakroom in
which it was located. The toilets were light and well ventilated,
with one exception, this being a toilet with a transom opening into
the workroom. The number of women per toilet seat varied greatly
from month to month during the season. One manager stated that
the number ranged from 20 to 60 women; 5 canneries had a maxi­
mum of not over 20 women per seat; 10 bad never less than 20,
and sometimes as many as 30, 40, 50, and 60 women per seat.
Cloakrooms.—In consideration of the nature of cannery work, a
dressing room in which to change clothing seems essential, but it
was not found in all the canneries visited. In one, nails in the work­
room walls, on which the girls hung their skirts or sweaters, were the
nearest approach to a dressing room. A slight improvement on this
arrangement was an open corner of the warehouse, which was used
for a cloakroom. A small, dark, closetlike room at the entrance to
the toilet and entirely inadequate w'as another plant’s provision
for the workers’ wraps. Another cloakroom was described as too
small, since one hook held the wraps of as many as three girls. Three
dressing rooms had no provision for seats, not even a bench con­
venient to use in changing shoes. But on the whole, the dressing
rooms were very clean, light, and airy, and seven had matrons or
foreladies who gave them close supervision. Although some were
crudely equipped, one had lockers and a few others shelves and
coat hangers. Five of the cloakrooms were combined with toilet
and washrooms, and six served for lunchrooms.
Lunchrooms.—In five canneries the women were expected to leave
the workrooms to eat their lunches, and in such cases excellent
provision had been made in the way of lunchrooms and cafeterias
serving soup, coffee, sandwiches, and other popular dishes at a
nominal cost, or of attractive rooms furnished with gas plate, chairs,
and tables.. In contrast to these was the cruder provision of a few
benches in the cloakroom, where one could eat. One unheated cloak­
room was so cheerless on disagreeable days that the girls ate in the
workroom or sometimes went to the boiler room.
Restrooms.—Ten canneries made no provision for restrooms.
Four had cloakrooms large enough to be used in case of emergency,




WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

101

but they were lacking in suitable equipment. One cannery had a
canvas cot folded away but available for use, while two other can­
neries had fully equipped first-aid rooms, with clean, attractive cot
beds.
HOURS

Because of the seasonal nature of the industry and the perishability
of the product, regulation of the hours of work of women in canneries
has not, in general, been thought practicable. Although the great
majority of the States have passed laws restricting manufacturing
industries in the hours of employment of women, only a very few of
these have not excepted canning and preserving establishments from
the general law.
In recent years the opinion has been growing that some regulation
of the canning industry in this respect is possible. An expression of
this opinion is found in the hour laws in three States—Arkansas,
Massachusetts, and New York—and in the orders of the industrial
welfare commissions in three other States—California, Kansas, and
Wisconsin. Massachusetts, although including canneries in its
48-hour law, allows these establishments to operate 52 hours in
any one week, provided the weekly average for the year is 48 hours.3
The New York 9-hour-day and 54-hour-week law applies generally
to establishments canning perishable products, but the industrial
commission has permitted overtime to the extent of 1 hour daily
and 6 hours weekly from June 15 to October 15, and 3 hours daily
and 12 hours weekly from June 25 to August 5.4 * In Arkansas a
more rigid check is placed on the hours of canneries, for the State
law' limits the working hours of women in such establishments to 9
a day and 54 a week, and although the industrial welfare commission
allows overtime on 90 days in the year, time and a half must be
paid for all hours in excess of 9 a day.3 In Kansas the order of the
industrial commission covering manufacturing establishments is very
elastic when applied to canneries, since overtime without penalty is
permissible for six weeks during the peak of the season or for two
periods not to exceed three weeks each.6 Stricter regulations of the
hours of women in fruit and vegetable canneries have been enacted in
California and Wisconsin through the application of the overtime rates
of pay in connection wTith the minimum-wage laws. In California a
basic 8-hour day has been established, with punitive overtime rates
of time and one-quarter after 8 hours a day and double time after
12 hours.7 Wisconsin, too, has enforced orders which, through their
3 Massachusetts acts of 1919, eh. 113, sec. 48.
4 Session laws of New York, 1921, v. 1, eh. 50, sec. 173, pp. 161-162.
3 Digest of the statutes of Arkansas, 1919 (ed. by T. D. Crawford and Hamilton Moses), ch. 117, sec.
7109, p. 1858.
6 Kansas Court of Industrial Relations. Industrial welfare order No. 13, May 19, 1922.
7 California Industrial Welfare Commission. Order No. 3a, Aug. 8, 1923.




102

WOMEN" IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

successful operation, show the advisability of regulating hours of
work for women in canneries. The State industrial commission in
1924 promulgated an order whereby factories canning beans, cherries,
corn, or tomatoes must arrange their work so that no woman employee
may be required or permitted to work more than 9 hours in any day
or 54 hours in any week, except in emergencies occasioned by break­
downs, bad weather, or climatic changes, when women may be
employed for 10 hours a day (60 a week) or not more than eight days
during the season.8 In 1924 also a similar order was issued for pea
canneries, except that in emergencies women may work 11 hours a
day.0
In a consideration of the figures compiled in the Washington
survey it is apparent from the number of women whose weekly
hours of work exceeded 60 that there was great need of State limi­
tation. Long hours, day after day, emphasize the necessity for a
revision of the hours of work for women, since so many of these
wage earners are called upon to perform two jobs—one as wage
earner outside the home and the other as homemaker, attending to
household duties and caring for the family. The study of working
hours found in this industry in Washington presents striking evidence
that when the season was at its height long hours did prevail, some
firms reporting even a 7-day week.
In all, 14 fruit and vegetable canneries and 3 evaporating plants
are included in the report on hours and wages. None of the fruit
and vegetable canneries worked a definite and uniform schedule of
hours, although one firm reported a standard 11-hour day, four a
10-hour day, one a 9 Li-hour day, five a 9-hour day, and three an
8-hour day when the fruit “ran steady,” but these are slight indi­
cations of the hours actually worked, for the fruit did not “run
steady.”
Since regular or scheduled hours were not characteristic of the
industry, it is necessary in giving a picture of the hours of employ­
ment of the women to discuss the hours which they actually worked.
The data on this subject as well as those on wages were secured
from the pay rolls of the 17 plants visited. Nine of these, with
1,475 women (51.3 per cent), had a weekly pay roll, and eight estab­
lishments, employing 1,403 women (48.7 per cent), used the semi­
monthly basis of payment.
The pay rolls were selected by the management as representative
of a typical period in the industry—rather a normal period in the*
* Wisconsin Industrial Commission. Orders relating to the hours of labor for women employees and
establishing minimum-wage rates for women and minor employees in factories which can beans, cherries,
corn, or tomatoes. Form 0-9, 1924.
« Wisconsin Industrial Commission. Orders relating to the hours of labor for women employees and
establishing minimum-wage rates for women and minor employees in Wisconsin pea-canning factories.
Form C-8, 1924.
^




WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

103

output than a time when the hours were irregular and the wages low.
The dates of the pay rolls varied between July 27 and September 29,
the period covered being the two months wherein the high point of
the industry in regard to production and numbers employed was
reached.
Hours and days actually worked in canneries.

Table I in the appendix shows all those women in the fruit and
vegetable canneries for whom both days and hours worked were
recorded. In this instance it has been found advisable to tabulate
the women having weekly payments separately from those for whom
a semimonthly record was secured, because of the difficulty encoun­
tered in attempting to prorate the hours and earnings of the workers
to a common basis. For each mode of payment six establishments
were reported, although the weekly pay-roll data account for more
than twice the number of women on the semimonthly records, since
for many of those with this latter method of payment either days or
hours worked were not reported, and these women could not, there­
fore, be used in the table requiring that both these be given.
From Table I it is readily seen that 226 women (18.4 per cent of
the 1,228 on the weekly pay rolls) worked more than a 56-hour
week—the legal limitation of the State for women employed in other
than cannery work—and that 90 women (7.3 per cent) included a
Sunday in the week’s work. All but a very few of the women having
a 7-day week were employed in one establishment.
The semimonthly pay rolls show 7.9 per cent of the women work­
ing a period of more than 120 hours, which, according to the 8-hour
limitation of the State for industries other than those here considered,
would be the number of hours for 15 possible working days. About
one-tenth of all the women in this table included two Sundays in
their working period. Statistics10 have shown that a decline is notice­
able in the production per hour for a 7-day week as compared with a
6-day week, and even more significant is the fact that production dur­
ing the week following a Sunday worked does not show a recovery
in production rate to the standard of the previous weeks without
Sunday work. All of these points serve to emphasize the effect
of long hours on production and on the individual—on the industry
by decreased output and on the employee by cumulative fatigue.
As already noted, California, a neighboring State, has adopted a
standard 48-hour week for women in canneries as well as in other
industries. For about two-fifths of the women on the weekly pay
rolls of canneries in Washington there was reported a week of more
than 48 hours, or the equivalent of six 8-hour days, and though the
Illinois Industrial Survey. Hours and health of women workers. Springfield, 1918, p. 93,

57206°—26t---- 8




104

WOMEN IN 1'B UIT-GBO WING ANI> CANNING INDUSTRIES

semimonthly records show only a small proportion averaging more
than an 8-hour day, this is more often due to the work’s being slack
than to any attempt at standardization of hours.
Cases where women worked extremely long hours day after day
are exceptions to the rule and but tend to prove the assertion made
elsewhere in this report that it was almost impossible for a woman to
work full time every day for a period as long as a half month, as the
hours in the canneries were so very irregular. One of these excep­
tions shows hours to have been 12J4, 11)4, 12)4, and 13)4 on four
consecutive days of the working period, and the 14-day schedule
of another woman gives the hours she was employed in the cannery
as 10)4, 14, 11)4, 11, 11, 14)4 (Sunday, no work), 9, 12, 14, 11)4,
14, 1134, (Sunday, no work), 6, and 9)4, totaling ICO hours, or an
average of almost 11 J4 hours a day. Another woman averaged more
than 13 hours a day for 13 days. To be sure, there were intermis­
sions of two Sundays for the woman with the 14-day schedule but
such long hours, day after day, must soon take their toll of woman’s
energy and efficiency.
Hours actually worked by six-day workers in canneries.

After a consideration of the number of hours worked by the women
in the several day groups, it is interesting to select one group of women
and show their distribution according to the specified number of hours
they were employed. Six days being regarded as a normal -working
week, the exact hours of the 522 women thus classified in the table are
given in the following summary as representative of what might be
called approximately full-time work. This analysis also shows that
though all are reported as working on six days their actual hours
ranged from 33 to 71.
Hours actually worked by the 522 women working on six days of the weekly pay roll

Hours

33 and under 40____
40 and under 48____
48________________
Over 48 and under 56.
56_______________
Over 56 and under 60
60________________
Over 60___________
Total

Number of
women

25
162
5
130
7
86
S
00

522

Less than 5 per cent of these 6-day workers failed to work at least
40 hours, and almost one-third of them had a working period of from
40 to 48 hours; nearly five-eighths worked more than the 48 hours
indorsed by authorities on the subject as a satisfactory working week



105

WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

for women; 35.2 per cent were employed during the week more than
56 hours, the legal maximum in the State for other industries, while
17.2 per cent had hours of more than 60.
As elsewhere stated, Wisconsin has a maximum 60-hour law for
factories canning beans, cherries, corn, tomatoes, and peas, and yet
the above analysis shows that more than one-sixth of the women in
Washington with a record of hours worked during a six-day week
exceeded the maximum fixed by Wisconsin.
Irregularity of hours in fruit and vegetable canneries.

That great differences existed in the hours of any one day group
is apparent from Table I in the appendix. By combining the weekly
and semimonthly pay rolls, it is possible to give the maximum and
minimum number of hours worked by the women in each of the day
groups, for the given period.
The following table shows the difference between the highest and
lowest number of hours actually worked by 1,759 women in the speci­
fied number of days they were employed during the pay-roll period11
in the fruit and vegetable canneries:
Table 19.— Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by
women working on same number of days—fruit and vegetable canneries

Days on which work was done

1 day................................................................................................... ..........
4 days....... ............... ........................... .......................................

10 days......................... .................................................................................
H days......... ......... ...................... .................................................................
15 days............................................... ......... ......... ................... .......... ........

Mini­
mum
Number number
of
of hours
women
reported worked
during
period
134
125
135
190
235
550
108
40
26
35
36
30
62
51
2

Maxi­
mum
number
of hours
worked
during
period

1
4
8
8
8
10
19

12
22

21
27
43
49
89
101
121

90
95
112

45

160
132

This table is introduced to emphasize the extremes and great
irregularities in the number of hours different women were employed
when at work on the same number of days; for example, one and
possibly more of the 550 who worked on each of six days were actually
employed only 10 hours during this period, while one or more of the
others were employed as much as 70 hours. If we take as another
example those who worked on 13 days, we find the minimum number
of hours worked to have been 89 and the maximum 172, this latter
11 Based upon records of 1,228 women for whom pay rolls were on a weekly basis and of 531 on a semi*
monthly basis.




106

WOMEN IK FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

averaging as high as 13 hours for each of those 13 days. In some
instances the minimum averages two hours or less a day.
The wide variation in the length of the working day is a factor
to be seriously considered. The report of hours actually worked by
each woman on each of the days in the pay-roll period and the sum­
mary giving the actual hours for one selected group are not in them­
selves sufficient to tell the whole story. The hours of employment
of the majority of women in canneries are subject to sudden and
drastic changes, and a long day may follow a short one, another long
one, or several long ones. Since workdays of almost any length are
permitted in this industry, it is significant to realize the extremes in
the hours each woman is employed, and the following table is pre­
sented to show the maximum and the minimum number of hours of
the individual worker.
Table 20.— Variation in number of hours worked within one day—maximum and

minimum hours of women in fruit and vegetable canneries
Number of women with maximum hours as specified whose minimum time
worked in one day was—
Num­
Maximum num­ ber of
ber of hours
7
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
worked in one women
re­
Un­ and and and and and and and and and and and
day
ported 5 der 1 under under under under under under under under under under under
5'
hour
3
4
7
2
6
8
9
10
11
12
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
Total..........

1,151

JO and under 11__
11 and under 12_
_
12 and under 13_
_

1
7
16
18
28
37
229
188
264
216
54
71
12
5
3
1
1

36
1
4
1
5
4
14
4
2
1

82
2
4
4
3
9
26
13
7
6
4
4

177
1
3
2
6
5
9
86
25
26
11
3

319
1
2
3
9
10
43
65
103
55
4
21
1
2

154

144

75

57

57

41

8

1

4
4
2
3
7
19
31
45
12
21
3
i
1
1

4
1
27
10
43
20
20
16
1
1
1

1
9
12
13
31
3
4
1
1

7
14
11
15
5
2
2

10
19
13
9
4

7
13
20
1

2
2
1

1

1

1
I

3

* Includes only women who worked on two or more days.

The arrangement in Table 20 shows the longest as well as the
shortest workday for each of 1,151 women in the periods for which the
pay rolls were taken. It was possible to get such data because the
time books in some of the fruit and vegetable canneries had entries
showing the number of hours worked by individual women on each
day.
For only 26 of these women did the hours of their longest and their
shortest day fall in the same group. Of these women, 10 had a
day of 8 and under 9 hours throughout the week, 7 had a day of 9
and under 10 hours, 2 did not vary from 10 and under 11 hours, and



WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

107

1 worked 11 and under 12 hours each day. All the rest of the women
had varying lengths of workdays with such extremes as 1 hour one
day and 13 hours another, or 3 hours on one and 15 another, or 4
hours on one and 20 on another. But the variation occurring more
often than any other was 3 hours for the shortest day and 10 hours
for the longest.
An analysis of the minimum and maximum daily working hours of
the individual women shows also that the shortest or minimum
workdays ranged from less than 1 to 11 and under 12 hours, whereas
the longest or maximum days ranged from 2 and under 3 to 20 and
under 21 hours. The longest days for over three-fourths of the women
(77.9 per cent) were in the classifications of 8 and under 12 hours,
but nearly as many had 11 as 8 hours for their longest workday.
The longest day was under 8 hours for not quite one-tenth of the
women, while for about one-eighth it was over 12 hours, and slightly
more than 6 per cent of the women fall in the group whose longest
working day was 13 and under 14 hours. For almost four-fifths of
the women (79.3 per cent) the shortest day was 5 hours or less, that
is, about half a day of work. This was not due to a custom established
in some industries of closing a half-day Saturday, for the short hours
in the cannery were just as apt to come one day of the week as another,
and the lay-off was as often in the forenoon as in the afternoon.
For about one-tenth of the women the shortest day of the week was
less than 2 hours, a fact indicating that the women had barely got a
good start when they quit; for over one-half of them (53.4 per cent)
the minimum day was under 4 hours, while for only 49 of the women
was the shortest workday equivalent to the 9- or 10-hour day presumed
to be the standard in this industry.
Such irregularities in the hours of employment from day to day
can not but mean uncertainty as to how much the pay envelope will
contain at the end of the working period.
Regularity of hours in evaporators.

Evaporators have been included in this section of the report and
in general have been classified with canneries because of the similarity
of work in the two industries. The regularity of the day’s work in
evaporating plants, however, is in striking contrast to the uncertainty
of hours in canneries. The following summary table for evaporators,
showing the number and per cent of women who worked the various
numbers of days during the week and the number working 10 hours
daily, reveals the large proportion of workers found in the six-day
group. The great proportion of the women (71.4 per cent) who
put in a full 10-hour day is especially significant in view of the irregu­
lar hours which prevail in canneries.




108

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES
Table 21.—Extent of the 10-hour day in evaporating plants
Women reporting

Days on which work was done

Total.................................................................................................
2days__ ................................................................. ................... ......... ........

Women
working
10 hours
daily
Number Per cent
119

100.0

85

19
8
8
7
13
64

10. 0
0.7
6. 7
5.9
10. 9
53.8

12
2
6
3
8
54

These evaporators were preparing apples for market and were
situated in towns where there were many apple warehouses. In
both the evaporators and warehouses handling apples a 10-hour day
was the standard in force, but, as this fruit is not a highly perishable
crop, it would seem possible to have the daily hours in these estab­
lishments reduced to 8—the standard in industries regulated by the
State law.
Canneries with different hour policies.

The various canneries differed in their policies in regard to the
length of time of operation, uniformity of hours being a practice
rarely attempted. Information relative to the length of each of the
working days of 1,231 women was secured from the pay rolls of 11
fruit and vegetable canneries. Of these 11 plants, only 1, with 243
women workers, had arranged its work so scientifically that it operated
according to a standard schedule; another plant, with 181 women,
had an irregular schedule but operated considerably below normal
time, due to lack of forethought in securing sufficient materials and
to breakdowns in machinery; while the other 9 canneries, showing
807 women on the pay rolls, were irregular as to schedule and worked
long horns, the managements yielding sometimes to the temptation
to preserve or can as much as possible during the rush of the season.
The following table gives a picture of the working days in the
three types of canneries:




109

WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

Table 22.—Variation from normal schedule of daily hours of work during one

pay-roll period—women in fruit and vegetable canneries
Days of each specified number of hours worked in—

Hours worked in one day

No. 1: One can­
nery operating
near standard
schedule (243
women employed)

No. 2: One can­
nery operating
irregular and sub­
normal schedule
(181 women em­
ployed)

No. 3: Nine can­
neries operating
irregular and long
schedule (807
women employed)

Number Per cent Number Per cent Number
of days
of days
of days Per cent
Total...........................................................
1 and under 2......................................................
2 and under 3________________ ____ _
3 and under 4..............................................................
4 and. under 5......................... ................. ............
5 and under 6__________ _________________
6 and under 7.......................................................
7 and under 8_. .................................................
8 and under 9____________________________
9 and under 10................. ......... ........... ............ .
10 and under 11.............................. ......................
11 and under 12...................................... ............

1,227
14
111
5
12
86
i

34
583
135
224
16

969

1.1
9.1
.4
1.0
7.0
.6
2.8
47.5
11.0
18.3
1.3

100.0

65
107
91
155
170
100
84
65
98

100.0

6. 7
11.0
9.4
16.0
17.5
10.3
8.7
6.7
10.1
2.3

22

8
3
1

.8

.3
.l

5,328

100.0

21
51
378
230
223
393
311
817
1,547
663
445

0.4
1.4)
7.1
4.3
4.2
7. i
5.8
15.3
29. 0
12.4
8.4

112

2.1

22

5

16__________________ ___________________

4

.4
.1

.1

A better conception of the situation may be derived by summariz­
ing this table as follows:
Per cent working each specified number of
Daily hours
Type No. 1

Under 8 hours____
_______________
8 hours._ _ . __ _______________
Over 8 hours__ .. ____
________

Type No. 2

21. 9
47. 5
30. 6

8G. 4
10. 1
3. 5

Type No. 3

30. 2
15. 3
54. 5

In type No. 1 almost one-half of the workdays were in the
8-hour group, whereas in type No. 2 more than one-half of the
workdays ranged from 2 to 6 hours in length, with only about a
tenth being a standard 8-hour day; and for the third type, although
15 per cent of the workdays were 8 hours in length, 54.5 per cent
exceeded 8 hours, at least 13 per cent of the days being 11 hours or
longer.
Following a discussion of the length of each of the days worked,
the time put in during each week of the season becomes of double
interest. With this idea in view data for 34 of the steadiest and
best workers were selected from the material secured from the pay
rolls. Moreover, the selection was based on the decision that only




110

WOMEN IN ERUIT-GKOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

plants which had operated more than 20 weeks were to be con­
sidered as representative of steady seasonal work. The 34 women
chosen for this special study were employed in two canneries which
had such complete records that it was possible to obtain data con­
cerning the length in hours of each week that each woman worked.
The two classifications in the accompanying table reveal the length
of the weeks worked by the picked group of steady workers in a
cannery whose schedule was fairly well standardized and by another
picked group of steady workers in a second establishment which
operated irregularly.
Table 23.—Variation from normal schedule of weekly hours of work during the
season—the 84 steadiest women in two fruit canneries
Cannery operating Cannery operating
near standard
irregularly
schedule
Hours worked in one week
Number
Number
of weeks Per cent of weeks Per cent
Total....................................................................................

424

100.0

353

100.0

21
28
32
69
198
66
10

5.0
6. 6
7. 5
16. 3
46. 7
15. 6
2.4

9
30
25
27
44
66
89
36
23
3
1

2. 5
8.5
7.1
7.6
12. 5
18.7
25.2
10.2
6.5
.8
.3

It is apparent from the table that the first cannery, which had
standardized its work, had apparently maintained throughout its
season of five to six months the same general trend of work hours that
was shown for the one week scheduled in the preceding table, almost
one-half of the weeks falling in the 40-to-50-liour group. The cannery
operating irregularly and for long hours (included in the last group
of canneries in the preceding table) kept up its overtime record for
many of the weeks worked throughout the season, so that the one week
selected for the current pay roll was not at all unusual but really
typical of the plant. In the first cannery it appears that 62.3 per
cent of the weeks worked were from 40 to 60 hours, 2.4 per cent were
from 60 to 70, and none were longer than 70 hours. In the second
cannery 31.2 per cent of the weeks worked were from 40 to 60 hours,
25.2 per cent were from 60 to 70, and 17.8 per cent were from 70 to
110 hours.




WOKKEBS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPOBATORS

111

WAGES

As canning is considered a seasonal industry, wide variations in the
weekly wages of women workers would seem a most natural con­
clusion. Many modifying factors, such as the seasons of the year,
the occupations of the women, the time and piecework system, the
hours actually worked, employment in different establishments, the
skill of the worker, and the economic conditions existing in the coun­
try, all tend to cause the earnings of the individual worker to fluctu­
ate week by week. As elsewhere stated, the management was asked
to select pay-roll data for a period in which the work was normally
steady, so that the records showing time worked and earnings might
be considered representative of the industry.
Some of the fruit and vegetable canneries and all of the evaporators
kept the pay-roll data on a weekly basis; other canneries used the
semimonthly method of pay. Because of the outstanding differences,
no effort has been made to combine the two.
Ihe detailed figures for the weekly and the semimonthly period
disclose the fact that irrespective of time worked the former shows a
range in earnings of from less than $1 to approximately $41, while the
latter reveals earnings of from less than $1 up to about $52.
In fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators the median of the
week’s earnings for all women without regard to time worked was
$12.10; that is, one-half of the women, or 737, received less than
$12.10, and 737 received more than that amount. The median
earnings for the number who may be considered as full-time workers—
those working 50 hours or over, or on 6 days or more—were $15.90
a week.
The minimum rate established by California for experienced
woikers in canneries is $16; yet more than one-half the women who
put in so-called full time in Washington canneries and evaporators
received less than the amount fixed by a neighboring State as a decent
living w'age for women. Since the specified period for which these
pay-roll data were taken is considered fairly representative of the
industry, it can not be said that the earnings reported were less than
those of any other pay roll in the season. Indeed, as already stated
the effort was made to secure records for a busy time rather than a
dull one.
The table of week’s earnings (Table II in the appendix) also shows
that more than three-fourths (76.3 per cent) of all the women whose
wages are there classified received less than this $16 minimum of
Califomia, and that almost three-fifths (57.8 per cent) received less
than $13.20, which is the minimum rate required in the State of
Washington for experienced workers in industries other than seasonal.




112

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The Industrial Welfare Committee of the State of Washington
includes a proviso in its last order, which went into effect January 22,
1922, whereby “in the fruit and vegetable canning industry, at least
66% per cent of such employees (pieceworkers) shall be paid not less
than the minimum wage rate, and not more than 33% per cent of
such employees shall be paid at a weekly wage rate of less than
$13.20.” 12 Table III in the appendix, showing earnings of piece­
workers, indicates that more than two-thirds of those women working
on 6 days and over who were paid on a basis of output received $13
or more.
An indication of the great uncertainty prevailing in the cannery
industry is shown in the fluctuations in tire average daily earnings
of two crops. Pay-roll data were secured for apples and for beans
in the same plant, covering periods when each of these products was
reported at its peak. The records show 70 women canning beans
and 58 canning apples, the average daily earnings of the women
for these two crops being $1.48 and $2.22, respectively. An analysis
of the records of 38 women whose names appear on both registers
in this plant reveals average daily earnings of $1.65 for beans and
$2.24 for apples; in other words, any one of these women who worked
on two crops averaged 59 cents more per day when she canned
apples than when “putting up” beans. Four of these 38 reported
13 days, or full-time work for a half-monthly period, on each product,
and daily averages for this group amounted to $1.77 for beans and
$2.12 for apples, netting the worker an additional 35 cents per day,
or $4.55 for the period, when the product for full-time work was
apples rather than beans.
Earnings and time worked.

It was not always possible to secure data regarding the number
of hours the women worked—a fact due, in great part, to the custom
in many plants of recording only days for pieceworkers—so that it
has been necessary to divide the weekly and semimonthly wage
tables into two sections, one correlating earnings with hours worked
and the other correlating earnings with days worked. Where both
hours and days worked were reported, the hour data have been
recorded.
» Washington Industrial Welfare Committee. Order No. 29, nov. 22, 1921.




WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

llg

Tabus 24.—Median earnings in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by

time 1worked
Weekly pay roll
Time worked

Number Per (tent
of women
distri­
reported
bution

Half-monthly pay roll

Median
earnings

Number Per cent
of women distri­
reported
bution

Median
earnings

A. WOMEN WHOSE TIME WORKED WAS REPORTED IN HOURS
Total.........................................

1,364

100.0

$12. 30

610

100.0

$13. <55

94
136
117
172
338
326
174
7

Under 10 hours.........................
10 and under 20 hours...
20 and under 30 hours............
30 and under 40 hours.................
40 and under 50 hours___
•i0 and under 60 hours................
60 and under 70 hours............
70 and under 80 hours..................
80 and under 00 hours...............
90 and under 100 hours.....................
100 and under HO hours.
110 and under 120 hours _______
120 and under 130 hours..
130 and under 140 hours..............
140 and under 150 hours___
150 and under 160 hours___
160 and under 170 hours.................
1/0 and under 180 hours............

6.9
10.0
8.6
12.6
24.8
23. 9
12.8
.5

1.95
3. 65
6.90
9.80
12. 45

59
65
68
63
43

9. 7
10. 7
11. 1
10.3
7.0

1. 25
3.85
6.45
9. 90
12. 40

17.80
0)

27
23
47
46
42

4. 4
3. 8

18. 55

7 5
3&00
0)

1

B. WOMEN WHOSE TIME WORKED WAS REPORTED IN DAYS
Total................. .............
1 day______________
________
2 days.................................................. .
3 days________________
4 days........................................
5 days_________
6 days.......................„..............
7 days........... .............
8 days__________
9 days___________
10 days______
11 days___________
12 days.....................
13 days______________ _
14 days_________________
--------------

111

100.0

$10. 05

791

100.0

$11.25

17
15
15
38
26

15.3
13. 5
13.5
34.2
23.4

3. 70
5.60
9. 40
11.65
14.25

59
70
69
54
68

7.5
8.8
8.7
6.8
8.6

2.55
4.20
6.70
8.00
10.60

45

|---------------I'

1

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.

Of the 1,974 women for whom records of earnings and hours worked
were furnished, more than two-thirds (69.1 per cent) were on a weekly
basis of pay, the remaining 30.9 per cent having a half-monthly
record.
Less than three-eighths (37.2 per cent) of the 1,364 women who
were paid wreekly and whose time was reported in hours worked 50
hours or more, or what might be considered a full week in canneries,
and the median earnings for this group were 116.35 (see appendix,
Table II). As the majority of the women did not get in a whole
week’s work, the median week’s earnings for all women were lowered
to $12.30.
Of the women paid half monthly whose hours were reported, com­
paratively few—a little less than one-fifth—worked 100 hours or



114

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GRO WING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

more, or what might be called two full weeks. In fact, not far from
one-half of the women failed to work as many as 50 hours in this half­
month period. There is much more lost time in a semimonthly
period than in a weekly one, and it may have been easier to choose
a pay roll representative of a full time working period for one good
week in August than for the longer period, as busy seasons are indeed
short. Compared with the $12.30 median week’s earnings, the
median of $13.65 for a half month seems astonishingly low, unless
one bears in mind that almost two-thirds of the women (64.9 per cent)
did not work during the half-month period beyond the limit of the
weekly group—70 and under 80 hours.
For 902 women employed in fruit and vegetable canneries, the time
books did not show the actual number of hours worked in the pay
period, but only the number of days on which the women were em­
ployed; therefore, their earnings could not be included in the pre­
ceding discussion. Of all the women in the day group, 12.3 per cent
had weekly payments, while more than seven times as many (87.7
per cent) received their wages twice a month.
Appendix Table II shows that of the smaller group, almost threefifths worked on five and six days. None of the women in this
group were reported as working on either one or seven days. The
median earnings for all these women on the weekly pay rolls amount
to only $10.05. Very few of the half-monthly group of women
classified by days worked had full-time work. Only about 12 per
cent were employed on 12 days or more and not far from one-half did
not work more than six days during the half-month period; it natur­
ally follows, therefore, that the median earnings for the half-month
period would be proportionally much lower than for the weekly
period.
It is interesting to note that the median earnings were higher
in both weekly and semi-monthly periods when time records were
kept by hours than when kept by days. This is apparent from the
following summary:
t--

■:-------------------------------------------------------------Median

week’s

earnings

Time worked reported in hours__ _______ ________ _
Time worked reported in days _ _ _ _ _

$12. 30
10. 05

Median
half­

month’s

earnings

$13. 65
11. 25

Earnings of timeworkers and pieceworkers.

The pay rolls showed many more pieceworkers than timeworkers
the exact numbers being 1,845 women paid on output and 604 paid on
a time basis.




WORKERS IX CAXXERIES AND EVAPORATORS

115

Table 25.—Median earnings of women on timework and on piecework, by days

worked—fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
Timeworkers
Days on which work was done

Pieceworkers

Number Per cent Median Number Per cent Median
distri­
of women bution earnings of women distri­ earnings
bution
A. WOMEN IN ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE WEEK

Total..................... ........
1 day............................................
2 days......................................
3 days............................
4 days______ ____
6 days.............................
7 days...........................

476

100.0

$12. 25

793

100.0

$11.30

43
24
37
29
56
257
30

9.0
5.0
7.8
6.1
11.8
54.0
6.3

2.30
4.00
5.65
9.60
12.20
14.35
17.15

72
84
73
109
167
284
4

9.1
10.6
9.2
13.7
21.1
35.8

2.15
3.75
6.70
10.10
12.10
14.10
«

.5

B. WOMEN IN ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH

Total..................
I day________________
2 days.........................

7 days_______ ...

128

100.0

5

3.9
6.3
1.6
7.0
6.3

8
2
9
8
7
3
15
11
6
12
10
21
12

5.5
2.3

11.7
8.6
3.9
9.4
7.8
16.4
9.4

$22. 40
(0
(')
<>)
(')
0)
(>)
«

14. 90

0)
(')
0)
(>)
32. 75
«

1,052

100.0

$10. 40

102
80
96
103
65
85
98
90
54
57
70
62
61

9.7
7.6
9.1
9.8
6.2
8.1
9.3
8.6
5.1
5.4
6.7

1.10
2.60
4.20
6.15
7.70
10.40

29

5.9

5.8
2.8

12.35

16.30
17.15

15.30

18. 50
18.85
24.15
32.50

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.

On account of the large number of pieceworkers for whom hours
worked were not report ed, all the data in this table are on the basis of
days on which work was done. For both piece and timeworkers
the table shows a decided peak in the number of women working on
six days; more than one-half of all the timeworkers and about threeeighths of the pieceworkers were so reported.
On the half-monthly pay rolls there were eight pieceworkers to
every timeworker, 1,052 and 128, respectively, being the actual
numbers involved. About two-thirds of the timeworkers were re­
ported as working on eight days or over, while only two-fifths of the
pieceworkers showed employment for such a period. For the weekly
pay rolls the median earnings of timeworkers ($12.25) are only a little
in advance of the median earnings of pieceworkers ($11.30). The
semimonthly pay rolls, however, show quite a discrepancy between
the median earnings of the timeworkers and those of the piece­
workers, the former being $22.40 and the latter $10.40. The piece­
workers’ median is even slightly less than the median of the piece­
workers on the weekly pay rolls.




116

WOMEN IN TRUTH-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

A glance at the great number falling in the first four day groups
(36.2 per cent) and the straggling figures occurring thereafter would
account for the low median of all the women reporting piecework.
For timeworkers, however, the opposite is true, as few of these women
are found in the first few day groups, and there is a great bulking in
the later groups. Towards the end of the half-monthly period, the
proportion of timeworkers is much greater than that of pieceworkers.
This fact would seem to show that when work is slack, preference is
given to a timeworker rather than to one paid on a basis of output.
For this reason the women find timework more desirable than piece­
work.
In general, the foregoing analysis shows that the work of those
paid by the hour or day was steadier than the work of those paid
by output, but a better idea of this difference is obtainable from the
following summary:
Timeworkers

Pieceworkers

Number of days worked
Number

__ - — -

--

—

Total
Half-monthly pav roll:
Under 13 days
-- -----------13 davs ------------ ------Over 13 days---------- —
.. - Total-

---- - —

-

-

Number

189
257
30

39. 7
54. 0
6. 3

505
284
4

63. 7
35. 8
.5

476

Weekly pay roll:
Under 6 days.
6 davs _
Over 6 days ..

Per cent

100. 0

793

100. 0

95
21
12

74. 2
16. 4
9. 4

962
61
29

91. 4
5. 8
2. 8

128

100. 0

1, 052

100. 0

Per cent

Earnings by occupation.
For comparatively few of the women employed was the occupation
specified on the pay rolls. However, it was possible to collect wage
data for some women working in the preparation of fruit or vegetables,
and for some who were engaged in canning. There are sufficiently
large numbers reported to be representative of these two rather
inclusive occupational groups, each of which was classified also
according to timework and piecework.
The following arrangement shows the actual time worked by time
and pieceworkers in each occupation group during the pay period,
which was a week in some plants and half a month in others.




117

WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

Table 26.—Number of women on timework and on piecework, and their median
week’s earnings, by number of hours worked—preparation and canning operations
in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
Preparation

Canning

Women

Hours- worked and basis of payment

Num­
ber

Women

Per
cent

$12. 70

41
54

47
119

9.85

47

41.2
62.6

8.85
10.05

14
33

50 and under 65 hours—Total.....................

16.10

47

16.25
14.00

26

137

Piecework........................ .
65 hours and over—Total..,......................
Timework.............................................. .........
Piecework___ __________ ______

67
70

Per
cent

95

14. 45
11.95

166
Timework........... ..................................................
Piecework...... ..................................... .......... ......

Num­
ber

100.0
100.0

304
114
190

Median
earn­
ings

58.8
36.8

1

M

1

(>)

.5

21
1
1

Median
earn­
ings

$14. 30

100.0
100.0

16. 05
13. 45

34.1
61.1

7.00
10. 50

9. 90

16.70
63.4
38.9
2.4

16.70
16.50

«
o

i Not computed, owing to small number involved.

In the first place, it is interesting to note how much better, on the
whole, the canning jobs were paid than were the preparation jobs.
The median for all the women engaged in canning processes is $14.30,
as compared with the $12.70 median for those on the preparation work.
However, since about one-half of all the women in both jobs were
employed in the less-than-50-hour classification, this is the most
representative of the hour groups specified in the table. Further­
more, with more than three-fourths (76.2 per cent) of the women
employed in preparation, the most representative wage is for the
women in preparation processes who worked less than 50 hours.
The median for this group is $9.85.
The table shows that more than 60 per cent of the pieceworkers in
each job worked less than 50 hours, and almost that proportion of the
timeworkers in each job worked from 50 to 65 hours. Among the
timeworkers in canning operations 65.9 per cent worked 50 hours or
more, while among the pieceworkers only 38.9 per cent worked that
long. Likewise, in preparation jobs, 58.8 per cent of timeworkers
put in 50 hours or more, while only 37.4 per cent of the pieceworkers
worked such hours. This is additional evidence of the theory that
timeworkers had steadier work or more chances to work than had
pieceworkers.




118

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Daily earnings.

Another and briefer summary of earnings for those engaged in
preparation processes and canning is based on day’s rather than on
week’s earnings and shows the average daily earnings for canners
($2.63) to have been slightly higher than it was for preparers ($2.38).
The averages in this case were obtained by dividing the total earnings
of all the women concerned by the total number of days on which they
worked.
Number of
women

Occupation

Preparation__ __
_
Canning_____
_____

_
____

Average daily
earnings

485
143

$2. 38
2. 63

_ _____

Hourly rates and earnings.

For 976 women paid on the basis of output for whom the pay rolls
gave definite details of hours worked and actual week’s earnings,
it was possible to compute average hourly earnings.
The hourly rates were given on the pay rolls for 940 women paid
on a time basis. The following table is a comparison of hourly
earnings, computed from the actual earnings of 976 pieceworkers and
the hourly rates given for 940 timeworkers.
Table 27.—Number of women on timework and on piecework, and their average
hourly earnings—fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
Timeworkers
Average hourly earnings 1

Pieceworkers

Number
Number
of women Per cent of women Per cent
940
1
2
21
783
1
95
34
2
1

100.0

976

100.0

0.1
.2
2.2
83.3
.1
10.1
3. 6
.2
.1

33
109
154
97
137
123
136
57
41
27
32
30

3.4
11.2
16.8
9.9
14.0
12.6
13.9
5.8
4.2
2.8
3.3
3.0

1 In the case of timeworkers, actual rates.

Contrasted with the large group of pieceworkers with earnings
under 27)^ cents is the small number of timeworkers, 2.6 per cent,
whose rate per hour was below that figure. Contrasted also with
the rather even distribution of pieceworkers with earnings in the




WORKERS IN CANNERIES AND EVAPORATORS

119

groups between 15 and 35 cents is the great concentration of timeworkers (83.3 per cent) at the 27>2 cent rate. There were 45.7 per
cent of the pieceworkers earning over 27>^ cents an hour, whereas
only 14.1 per cent of the timeworkers had rates above this. The
pieceworkers’ earnings ranged from 10 cents an hour for one woman
to 69 cents for another, but there were almost as many women
earning less (393) as earning more (446) than the minimum wage
rate of the State.
Included among those paid on the time basis were several fore­
women and their assistants, 12 of whom were paid from 30 to 35
cents an hour and 14 of whom were paid from 35 to 40 cents an hour.
One forewoman was paid at the rate of 45 cents, the highest rate
quoted for any timeworker.
Time worked and earnings during the season.

Data on the amount earned during the season were obtained for
231 women in 14 fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators,
the records of the steadiest and best workers having been selected
for this study of season’s earnings. Because of the basis of selection,
neither the amount of time worked by these women nor the wage was
representative of the average cannery worker. The period of
employment is unquestionably greater than the time worked by the
majority of the employees’ and the earnings indicate the maximum
possibilities for the season.
The following summary shows the full length of the operating
time, or the over-all period, in the canneries in which were employed
the women whose season’s earnings were recorded:
Operating period

10
13
18
23
24
26
27

weeks___ .. _ ____
weeks______
______
weeks _
__
weeks, _______ _
weeks, _ _
weeks
weeks___ ___
____

Number of
women

10

9
9

7

11
47
18

Number of
women

Operating period

30 weeks _
35 weeks

48 weeks _

.

60
16
26
18
231

The operating period in the several plants ranged from 10 weeks
for 10 women to 48 weeks for 18 women. Four-fifths of the women
whose season’s earnings were reported worked in plants with an
operating period of a half year or more.
57206°—26t---- 9




120

WOMEN IN EBUIT-GUOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The actual number of days worked by this picked group of workers
gives a much more definite picture of employment. Such infor­
mation was secured for 133 women and has been classified as follows:
Women
Days worked
Number
30 and under 40__ _

___

50 and under 60_______ _
60 and under 70
__
70 and under 80 __ ___
80 and under 90_
_ _
90 and under 100
100 and under 110_ __ _

__ _

i

_

______

__ _______ _
_______
___ _ __
_ __ _ _
__
_ __
■ _
_
_ __
__
_

15
10
10
10
24
15
17
12
4

130 and
140 and
150 and
160 and

under
under
under
under

6
5

140 __ ___________
_
_
__
150___ __ _ _
_
160_ ____
__
_
_
170._
_ __ __ _
____ ________

Total-

___

______

_

__________

3

Per cent

0. 8
11. 3
7. 5

7. 5

7. 5

18.
11.
12.
9.
3.

0
3

8
0
0

4. 5

3. 8
2. 3

1
_

.8

133

100. 0

The longest period of employment was for one woman with a
record of between 160 and 170 working days. Only 19 of the stead­
iest, women had employment on 120 days or more, more than onehalf worked less than 90 days, and about two-fifths worked 80 and
under 110 days.
The more detailed figures show a striking descrepancy between
the number of days worked by the women during the season and the
length of their operating period. Of these 133 women, 96 or 72.2
per cent worked in plants having an operating period of 26 weeks
or more. If each week in this period had had six working days, the
total time would have amounted to 156 days or more. Only 4 of
the 96 women, however, had worked on as many as 150 days, while
44 had been employed on 100 days or more.
The earnings of the 231 women whose wage records for the season
were obtained ranged from the $50-and-under-$100 group to the
$550-and-under-$600 group, inclusive (Table IX in the appendix),
the median being $225.60. The more detailed figures, classified in
$10 groupings, reveal the median earnings of the women reported
with 100 days or more of employment to be $295.




PART IX
WOMEN WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

It is of interest to know that the first goods to be canned com­
mercially in America were lobsters and salmon. The art of canning
dates back to 1795, when it was discovered by a Frenchman who
succeeded in preserving foods in sealed glass containers. In 1810 an
English patent was taken out for the process, and shortly after the
knowledge of the process was brought to America.
The first salmon cannery in the United States was started in
Sacramento in 1864, and the first one on Puget Sound was built in
1877. In 1919 the United States fostered 4,280 canning establish­
ments, 410 of which were listed as canning fish, 66 of these being
located in the State of Washington.1 Consequently, to-day fish
canning occupies a place which can be favorably compared with the
other important industries of America. According to the Census of
Manufactures, Washington ranks second among the States in the
number of fish canneries1 and third in the value of products.1
2
Washington regulates the fishing of salmon in Puget Sound waters
by establishing a closed period during the summer and fall in every
week from Friday at 4 p. m. to Sunday at 4 a. m., amounting to 36
hours. This regulation prevents fishing, but does not keep the can­
neries from operating. It rather makes it possible to catch up in the
canning of the fish already on hand, and in rush seasons extra quanti­
ties of fish are unloaded at the cannery on Friday, so that the canners
do not lack for raw material during the weekly closing. Moreover,
the State has established as a conservation measure another closed
season when the run of salmon is at its height; that is, during the run
of the pink or hump-back salmon. This interferes with canning, as
it extends over a week or more, and when this closed season is over
most of the fish have passed the straits and fishing sites and gone into
the inland streams. Accordingly, fishing is dull again. After Sep­
tember 8, when the closed season began in 1923, and until November,
when the fish canneries in Puget Sound closed for the winter, the
number of canning lines was reduced frequently to one or two, and the
number of employees reduced accordingly. One large cannery
employed its force of women only through the peak weeks, laying
them off with the beginning of the closed season on September 8.
1 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth census: 1920. v. 10, Manufactures, 1919, pp. 81-82, tables 22-23.
2 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth census: 1920. v. 10, Manufactures, 1919, p. 82.




121

122

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

It is important to call attention to the fact that in 1923 the market
was so glutted with fish that the canneries wore not equipped to
handle them all, that for a week fishing was necessarily curtailed,
and that according to report thousands of fish went to waste after
being caught.
The process of fish canning is of particular interest. The “iron
chink”—a machine which has replaced the former hand butchering
and is fed and operated by a few men—cleans the fish, cutting off
head, tail, and fins, and removing viscera, after which operation the
fish is put into tanks of constantly changing water. The next process
is locally called sliming. This is a final washing of the fish. A little
scrubbing is still necessary, and perhaps trimming or scraping with
a knife. When engaged in this occupation, the workers stand before
deep tanks of water. It is a heavy and wet job, necessitating con­
tinual handling of the large fish, and the workers’ hands are constantly
wet with the cold water. Floor racks to stand on protect the feet
from the floor, but slimers invariably wear rubber boots and oil cloth
or rubber approns which are furnished by the firms. As it is usually
damp and chilly?- in the fish house, the workers wear sweaters to keep
warm. Good pay is the only compensation for this job.
From the slimers the fish is ready for “the canning line.” It is
first fed into a machine equipped with gang knives which cut it into
lengths that correspond to the height of the cans being used, and the
automatic filling machine thrusts a piece of fish into the can as it rolls
in place before the plunger of the machine. The can then moves
along the conveyor where workers examine it to trim off ragged edges
or refill a too large space left in the machine filling. This job is
known as mending or trimming. Then the cans are watched, as they
travel over the automatic weigher and on the conveyor to the capping
and seamer machines that securely fasten the cap down. Finally
they are placed in the immense iron crates and are run into steam
pressure retorts for cooking.
The proportion of men employed in the fish canneries is greater
than in the fruit and vegetable canneries. The census shows that
only about one-fifth of the industry’s wage earners in Washington are
women.® In the 14 fish canneries visited, however, there were em­
ployed on inside 'work in the canneries 552 men, 524 women, and 22
minors under 16 years, which shows the numbers of men and women
to have been about the same.
The occupations of the women.

In general it may be said that the women employed in the fish
canneries, as in fruit and vegetable canneries, have nothing to do
with the final processing or cooking of the product, nor are they
3U. S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth census: 1920. v. 10, Manufactures, 1919, p. 82.




WOBKEES IN FISH CANNERIES

123

concerned much about the initial cleaning of the fish, these occupa­
tions being left to the men. Though some women of strong physique
are engaged in sliming, the majority of the women feed cans into the
can chute and perform jobs on the canning line—that is, the feeding,
trimming, mending of the cans, and the watching of the capping
machine.
In the warehouse, also, women help with labeling, sometimes by
hand, sometimes on the machine, and occasionally they are employed
on the machine which lacquers the inside of the cans.
Specially fine grades of fish are still packed by hand, so that the
woman hand packer replaces the machine filler and also the girl who
examines and mends the can after the machine filler has done its part.
WORKING CONDITIONS

Buildings.

In the distance the salmon canneries look like large barns along
the shore line, built out over the water. Because of the open struc­
ture of the building and the concentration of most of the operations
on the first floor, it is very apparent that there is no problem of
adequate exits and stairways. In one cannery as many as 12 women
were at work above the first floor, and in several plants the stairways
were reported unsatisfactory. For example, one of the stairways
leading to a can loft where three girls were working was so narrow,
steep, and slippery from condensing steam as to constitute a hazard
for the three women workers. An inclined runway which led to the
can loft in another cannery also was reported as very slippery.
General arrangement of the workrooms.

The walls and ceilings of the canneries visited were of unfinished
wood. Natural light was adequate where most of the women were
at work. All the canneries were wired for electricity, and the usual
lights were the incandescent bulbs, unshaded, and suspended at some
distance above the heads of those employed. In some of the inner
recesses of warehouses and toward the center of the larger cannery
rooms a few electric lights were necessary during the day.
There was ample space, except for the women employed on the
canning lines. Especially where two or more parallel lines were
being operated, the workers in order to reach the positions at the
inner lines had to bend under belts and squeeze through narrow spaces
around the fish-cutting machine, an arrangement perhaps not dan­
gerous but awkward and inefficient.
The floors of the fish canneries were not tight, but had narrow
spaces between the floor boards, a plan which was quite useful in
draining off much of the water that would otherwise have made the
floors impassable, for water was being hosed over some sections of
the plant almost constantly. The floors at best were damp, some­



124

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

times wet, but never dirty. Racks usually were provided for workers
who had to stand in the dampest places, but in some canneries there
were not enough for all the women who needed them.
Seating.

An inspection of the canneries showed that proper attention had
not been given to the question of seating. The following summary
gives the jobs of the women and their positions while performing
these jobs:
Total

Occupation

Work on can lines 1
Work in warehouse 2---Total»

_-------------

-

127
33
218
48
88
9
523

Sit

Stand

Sit or stand

127
9
12

24
75

7

131
48
61
8

20
1

28

375

120

Includes filling, trimming, mending, watching capping machine.
2 Includes labeling and lacquering.
2 Occupation not reported for one woman.
1

The work of 28 women had been so arranged that they sat con­
tinuously; 375 women had to stand, with no opportunity to sit while
on the job; but a more fortunate group of 120 could sit or stand,
and so vary their positions at work, this arrangement being the most
restful and therefore the most satisfactory. All the hand packers
and slimers stood, and 127, or about one-third of all the women who
stood, were slimers.
The work of the 75 women on the canning line and of the 20 women
in the warehouses who could sit or stand at their jobs, according to
preference, was similar to the work of the 131 women on the canning
line and of the 61 in warehouses in other plants who were compelled
to stand all the time. Consequently, since some managers in can­
neries have been able to supply seats and arrange the work so that
more of the women employees can sit for at least a part of the time,
it would seem possible for all such managers to do the same. In one
place the hand labelers sat to label a few cases of cans and then stood
to label the next few. An empty case was placed on top of the
filled case, and the labelers stood as the pile grew too high to reach
easily while sitting. Some of the work required at the beginning of
the can line where the cut pieces of fish were pushed into the auto­
matic filler was especially hard to do. Two firms had planned the
work so that the women in these positions alternated at regular
intervals with women whose work was lighter. Even where the
women could sit at their work, the seats provided were far from
adequate. In 11 canneries packing boxes had been brought in from




WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES

125

the warehouse to serve as seats for the women, but in 4 of these
canneries there were also some stools. In one place the girls were
using a truck, and in another a table, to rest on while they labeled—
mere makeshifts, yet showing the possibility of being seated at work,
which the firm, in its failure to supply seats, had evidently regarded
as a standing job. Not one firm had provided chairs or seats in
any way adjustable to changing heights of tables or workers. In
two canneries no women were sitting at the time of the visit, nor
were there seats conveniently near them. However, there was
always a possibility of the employee’s finding a packing box for herself.
Temperature.

There is no artificial heat in a fish cannery; the colder the better
for the product, but not for those preparing the product for market.
The canning season continues approximately through August, Sep­
tember, and October. Before the end of the season the days are
getting cold, and even in August the fire in the dressing room is a
groat comfort. But in addition to the temperature, there is the
open-work structure of the wet floors of a building stretching out over
the water. The penetrating chill of the atmosphere can not be
overcome altogether by additional clothing, for one must have
freedom of movement and the hands must be free for the wet work.
One cannery was visited late in August and again at the end of the
season. At the time of the first visit the weather was bright with
sunshine; but at the second it was foggy and raw, and one woman
slimer gave up the job, saying she had had enough of the cold and wet
work and at that moment preferred starvation without work to
freezing. Two canneries visited had tried to obviate the suffering
from 'cold by arranging relief systems. In one plant the forewoman
herself acted as relief if necessary, and in the other an extra girl
had been hired to give each of the other girls a chance to go at regular
intervals to the rest room to get warm, and the watchman kept them
supplied with hot bricks.
On cold days the steam increases, but even in August there was
steam enough to impede the vision of girls in two can lofts, and it
was also bad along one canning line. These can lofts were built
like galleries, open on one side with the cook room just below, so
that the can lofts were the natural channels of escape for the steam
from the cookers—a thoughtless arrangement if one desires good
ventilation in the can loft.
Sanitation and service facilities.

Washing facilities.—A convenient and adequate supply of washing
conveniences is most important in the fish canneries, for whenever
the women wash their hands they also wash off their rubber aprons
and the white canvas gloves quite universally worn. Washing,
therefore, is more of an operation than just holding the hands under



126

WOMEN IN EH HIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

the faucet. Only one cannery did not provide a sink especially for
the women, the idea in that case being that many of them lived so
near that they could go home to wash. Instead, however, the
women, like those in another cannery where the faucet in the wash­
bowl was broken, washed their hands, gloves, and aprons at the tap
in the workroom where the hose was attached. Frequently the
slimers washed both hands and aprons under the constantly flowing
water supply at the tanks where they worked. Among the washing
facilities provided in the various plants were porcelain bowls, iron
sinks, and two wooden trough-like sinks, one of the last being sup­
plied with but two faucets, and both troughs being far from clean.
The washroom was invariably combined with dressing rooms and
cloakrooms or toilets, and was conveniently arranged. Hot water
was supplied in only three canneries, and soap and roller towels in
five canneries. In one case towels were changed twice daily; in
another, as often as needed—according to the manager’s statement,
but at the time of the visit they were filthy.
Drinking facilities.—Drinking water was conveniently located in
more than one place in the canneries, sometimes in the cannery
proper, in the warehouse, and in the dressing room or washroom.
Bubble fountains—none of them sanitary—had been installed in six
canneries, and no individual drinking cups were supplied by any
cannery firm. One canner explained, “They can use tin cans,” but
in spite of the convenience of cans there were common drinking cups
in use in seven canneries.
Toilets.—In 6 of the 14 canneries the only toilet accommodations
were privies, most of them with seats made in a very primitive fash­
ion, overhanging the tidewater. In remote places this might be
expected, but hardly in towns of commercial importance, although
this method of waste disposal is permitted by sanitary engineers.
One toilet with modern plumbing and three of the privies were
reported to be dirty. In one privy where long hopper plumbing seats
had been installed, but without strong and adequate water pressure
for flushing, the condition was worse than that of the privies with the
primitive seats.
In the matter of cleaning, four canneries with matrons constantly
supervising the dressing rooms and toilets deserve special commen­
dation. In these cases the toilets were swept daily. Some were
scrubbed every day, some only two or three times a week. In others
the cleaning was quite casual; in three it was done by the women, if
done at all, and in another by one of the men once a week if he had
time. One canncr seemed quite puzzled by the question as to the
provision for cleaning, and suggested that “ the toilet was, maybe,
hosed out as heeded.”
All the toilets were light, well ventilated, conveniently located, and
separate for men and women. The number of toilets was usually



WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES

127

adequate for the women employed. Paper was furnished in only six
toilets.
Cloakrooms.—Cloakrooms large enough to serve as dressing rooms
are a great convenience in shaking out wet aprons and taking off
rubber boots; yet it too often happened that the small combination
toilet and washroom became, by the addition of only a few nails in
the wall, also a cannery cloakroom, and of course inadequate, so
that wall hooks in the cannery proper were utilized for the overflow of
aprons and occasional sweaters.
In contrast to these crowded places, one cloakroom had individual
lockers, several had shelves, and one had a large open closet in which
to hang wet aprons. All but two of the plants had equipped the
cloakroom with seats; although in two these were nothing but boxes,
the majority had convenient and comfortable seats.
The rooms were well lighted and ventilated, but they were difficult
to keep clean. Matrons did effective service in this respect in five
plants. Four other plants maintained a fairly high standard of
cleanliness, but the remaining five failed miserably.
Lunchrooms.—If any room with a table, benches or chairs, and a
stove on which one may heat coffee be designated as a lunch room,
seven of the fish canneries may be said to have had such. Occasion­
ally the equipment included a few dishes, and coffee was made daily
by a matron. At least there was a place to eat even if the lunch room
so called, was combined with a cloakroom or dressing room. But in
the other seven fish canneries where there was no such provision made,
the girls did not stay in the wet, cold cannery to eat. They retired
to a corner of the warehouse, and sat on boxes or low trucks. On
pleasant days, if they preferred, they could go out on the docks and
eat in the sunshine.
As for restrooms, there were none, except as a cloak and lunch­
room, by the addition of chairs or benches, also served as a place to
rest.
HOURS

In fish canneries, as in fruit and vegetable canneries, the scheduled
hours of the firms were most irregular, for the plants were dependent
on the “run of fish” and operated at any time.
Twelve canneries furnished pay-roll data on earnings and time
worked to the agents of the Women’s Bureau. For one other an
inspection of the plant was made, but no records were available,
since this firm contracted with an employment agency for the Indian
and oriental help necessary and kept no records of individual pay.
One firm had two plants—a canning establishment in which the
women were paid on a weekly basis and a warehouse a few blocks
distant, in which the semimonthly method of payment prevailed.
The report shows that wage data were secured for 639 women
engaged in fish canneries; of these, 45.9 per cent were on a weekly,



128

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

19.1 per cent on a half-monthly, and 35.1 per cent on a monthly basis.
One of the 12 plants visited “paid on demand,” so that the operating
period which the earnings covered had to be considered in order to
tabulate the workers in the proper group—weekly, semimonthly, or
monthly.
Honrs and days actually worked.

An effort was made to secure information regarding the length of
the working day and the actual time worked during the pay-roll
period for the women employees. As many as 97.3 per cent of the
total number of women for whom pay-roll data were secured appear in
appendix Table IV, in which days and hours worked were reported
for those employed on a weekly, a half-monthly, or a monthly pay­
roll period.
Unpublished data show that almost three-fourths (72.4 per cent)
of the women on the weekly pay rolls for whom both days and hours
were reported worked less than 48 hours. This is of course due to
“the run of fish” rather than to any regulation of the hours of work
in the canneries. For the same reason, as many as 18.3 per cent of
the 279 women showed a working period in excess of the 56 hours
which constitute the legal limitation of the State for other than sea­
sonal industries.
Appendix Table IV shows that about one-fifth (20.4 per cent) of
the women on the weekly pay roll were reported as working on seven
days of the week. The table also reveals that about three-sevenths
of those having Sunday work had weekly hours of between 65 and
70, which fact seems conclusive of long working days during the
week for which the pay roll was taken, a period in most cases consid­
ered by the managers as representative of the work of the industry.
The data from the half-monthly pay rolls, with only 120 women
reporting days and hours worked, disclose a wide range of hours for
the period, from 2 to 185. A glance at the monthly pay-roll data
shows that almost one-third of the women there tabulated were
reported as working from one to seven days inclusive, and the num­
ber of women included in this group only emphasizes the extreme
irregularity in the work of fish canning, especially in the longer
operating periods. The fact so often stressed in the section de­
voted to fruit and vegetable canneries, that long operating periods
do not necessarily indicate a corresponding increase in the proportion
of days worked, is also an axiom of the present industry. For this
reason, when the pay roll was for a longer time than one week, the
management had difficulty in selecting a period that was good and
at the same time typical of the industry. The great irregularity and
uncertainty in this work are due to the natural dependency of the
industry on “the rail of fish.”




129

WORKERS IK FISH CANNERIES

Hours actually worked by six-day workers.
The following summary on the number of hours actually put in
by the women who performed their jobs on six days in the plants
with a weekly pay roll is of interest in an analysis of the hours of
work in fish canneries:
.

*

Number of
women

Hours worked

Under 33__________ ______ _________ __________ _33 and under 40
40 and under 48
Over 48 and under 56
56
Over 56 and under 60
Over 60 and under 70________________________________
70 and over
Total____ ______ ______

60
6
4
12
2

10
9
2

105

Altogether 105 women are represented, and their hours range
between 18 and 73. Fifty-seven per cent of them worked under 33
hours—an average of less than 5J4 hours a day; two-thirds of the
women are reported as working less than 48 hours. A more vivid
picture of the irregularity of the hours of the industry can be ob­
tained from the more detailed figures, which show that three-eighths
of the 105 women had a record of 20 but under 23 hours of work for
their six days of employment, an average of between 3 and 4 hours
a day.
,
Irregularity of hours in fish canneries.

By combining the weekly, semimonthly, and monthly pay rolls,
so as to illustrate the vast range in the hours worked on any one
day, a table similar to the one made for fruit and vegetable canneries
is here presented. It shows the highest and lowest number of hours
worked by the women during each of the specified number of days
they were employed in the pay-roll periods recorded for fish can­
neries.
Table 28.—Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by
women working on same number of days—fish canneries

Days on which
work was done

Mini­
mum
Number number
of women of hours
reported worked
during
period




43
27
38
45
43
116
72
29
14
30
11
17
23
12
12

2
6
8
12
15
19
21
47
46
45
55
84
85
101
67

Maxi­
mum
number
of hours
worked
during
period
15
22
37
54
61
73
77
85
98
115
119
127
147
184
185

Days on which
work was done

20 days....................
22 days....................

Mini­
mum
Number number
of women of hours
reported worked
during
period

Maxi­
mum
number
of hours
worked
during
period

7
7
10
9
9
11
9
7
2
3
2
3
2

91
104
113
107
129
147
148
167
187
194
182
210
201

167
148
187
189
191
188
180
182
220
207
204
239
212

9

220

249

130

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The great differences existing in the hours worked during each
specified number of days are apparent. Even though seasonal
industries are known to entail much uncertainty in the number of
hours worked, such a range as that shown strongly emphasizes the
enormous irregularity in the fish-canning industry.
Of the 43 women employed on one day, one or more worked only
2 hours, whereas some put in as many as 15 hours. When it is
realized that this one day was all that these women worked during
the current pay-roll period, the great difference in the hours would
seem to be doubly significant. The minimum and maximum number
of hours of the women working on 10 days are 45 and 115 hours,
respectively, a strikingly wide range. The 14-day group shows
101 hours as the period of employment of one or more women, an
average of less than 8 a day, while the maximum number of hours
worked by any woman was 184, or an average of 13| hours for each
of the 14 days worked.
Beyond 19 days the extremes are not so great, the difference
between the highest and lowest hours being much less than for those
shown in the first groups of the table. This fact is undoubtedly due
to the smaller number of women reported for the longer periods, for
naturally 3 or 9 women would not show so great a variance as would
be the case where 40 or 100 were considered
Not all of the plants kept a record of the length of each day worked
by each employee. Information of the hours actually worked during
the pay-roll period was secured for 85 women. From these data
the following tabulation has been made, showing the shortest as well
as the longest day worked:
Table 29.—Variation in number of hours worked within one day—maximum, and

minimum hours of women in fish canneries
Number of women withrmaximum hours as specified whose minimum
time worked in one day was—
Num­
Maximum number ber of
of hours worked in women 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and 10 and
one day
re­
ported under under under under, under under under under under under
5
2
3
4
6
7
9
8
10
11
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours horns
Total.

85

6 and under 7...
7 and under 8...
8 and under 9-..
9 and under 10..
10 and under 11.
11 and under 12.
12 and under 13.
13 and under 14.
14 and under 15.
15 and under 16.
16 and under 17.
18 and under 19.
21 and under 22.
22 and under 23.1

3

3

2
10

5

6

4
7
8

13

2
2
2
8
2
4
1

11

25

1

1

3
16

1

1

1
8

2

7
2
1
2

3

19

6

]

11

1
1

2

1

1
1
1

1
2
6

2

1

2

3
12
1

1 One woman whose maximum and minimum hours were the same—9Y% hours.




1

3

3

1

i1
1
1
1

1

131

WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES

Only one of the 85 workers shows no deviation in the length of
her day, the more detailed data revealing a 9’4-hour day as her
uniform schedule for the three days on which she worked during the
week. There are more women shown in the 2-and-under-3-hour
classification than in any other minimum hour group. It is interest­
ing to note that 42.4 per cent of all the women for whom maximum
and minimum hours are reported have their shortest day fall in the
groups of 5 but less than 8 hours, yet the longest period of these
same women falls anywhere between 10 and 23 hours. Three of
these women had a minimum day of 7 and under 8 hours, with a
maximum on one or more days as high as 22 hours. Sixteen women
show 16 and under 17 hours as a maximum day’s work and nearly
one-third of the total number tabulated reveal at least one day of
from 16 to 23 hours during the pay-roll period secured.
It seems very difficult for a worker to adapt herself to such ex­
tremes as one hour’s employment on one day and 16 hours on
another, or 2 hours one day and 22 hours another, yet the table
shows that such hours—for a minimum and a maximum day—are
not at all uncommon in the life of a fish cataner.
Canneries with different hour policies.

The lack of uniformity in the length of the workday in the various
fish canneries also is obvious. In contrast to the 8-hour standard
required by law in this State in industries other than seasonal, the
following table, giving the length of workdays in canneries operating
a standard, an irregular and subnormal schedule, and an irregular
and long schedule seems additional proof of the irregularity of the
hours worked in this industry:
Table 30.—Variation from

normal schedule of daily hours of work during one pay­
roll period—women in fish canneries
Days of each specified number of hours worked in-

Hours worked in one day




cannery
canneries
No. 1: One cannery No. 2: One irregular No. 3: Three irregular
operating
operating
operating near stand­
and subnormal
and long schedule
ard schedule (62
(56women e m schedule (23 women
women employed)
ployed)
employed)
Number of
days

Per cent

Number of
days

Per cent

321

100.0

127

100.0

16
1
22
24
26
40
26

5.0
.3
6.9
7.5
8.1
12.5
8.1

166

51.7

20
37
12
8
4
16
6
17
2
4
1

15.7
29.1
9.4
6.3
3.1
12.6
4.7
13.4
1.6
3.1
.8

Number of
days
371
3
3
7
8
19
57
21
24
51
31
44
27
19
22
4
20
2
1
8

Per cent
100.0
0.8
.8
1.9
2.2
5. 1
15. 4
5. 7
g. ;
13.7
8. :
11. 9
7.
5. i
5.9
1. 3
5.4
K

.3
2.2

.

182

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

In five fish canneries the hours worked on each day of the current
pay period were secured for 141 women. Cannery No. 1 operated
very consistently on a 10-hour schedule throughout the season, and
not one woman worked more than 10 hours daily even in the busiest
week; 51.7 per cent of the days in this cannery were 10 hours long, all
the other days being shorter. The 7-hour day group for this plant
is the next largest, and it includes 25 cases of Sunday work, all on the
same day, the longest Sunday this fish cannery operated diming the
season.
Cannery No. 2, with shorter working days, shows what a poor
catch of fish means in the possibilities of work for the women employed
in the cannery, almost 45 per cent of their days being 2 and less than
4 hours in length, while less than one-third were 4 and under 8 hours.
In contrast to these short days are the long days of cannery work
that follow a good catch of fish as shown in the results of a busy
period in the three canneries tabulated in the last column of the table.
For this group, 39.6 per cent of the days worked were over 10 hours
long, and 8.4 per cent w«'e 16 hours or more.
The usual warehouse work is not included in the preceding discus­
sion of hours, except as it was combined with other cannery work.
Labeling is not work on a perishable product; therefore warehouses
are subject to the State’s legal limitation of 8 hours a day and 56
hours a week.
The hours reported for a very busy period for 22 women in one
warehouse with a 6-day week showed that 89.7 per cent of the days
worked were exactly 8 hours long and that only 10.3 per cent of them
were less than 8 hours.
Occasionally the women were shifted during the day from cannery
to warehouse work or vice versa, as the conditions of the work
demanded it, and in such cases the pay-roll records were not usually
kept so as to distinguish the hours worked in one department from
those worked in another. One canner naively explained that,
although the hour limit in warehouses was supposed to comply with
the State law limiting the day to 8 hours, he could transfer the women
into the cannery, where the work was on a perishable product, and the
longer working hours permitted there would exempt him from the
legal limitation of the State law.
The time worked by two women in two fish canneries illustrates
the stress of hours during the peak. One worker began on the 16th
of August with 11 hours, and continued with 9, 11 (no Sunday work),
11, 11,11,11,16,18, 6 (Sunday), 16,16,16,11,11 hours, totaling, in the
15 days worked, 185 hours. One Sunday was her only relief, and the
next Sunday was for her a comparatively short day of 6 hours. The
other woman, beginning August 23, worked 12 hours, and then 14%,




WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES

133

14)4,8K (Sunday), 18, 14, 13^, 12, 13, 11)4, 8 (Sunday), 21)4,
(Labor Day), successively, on the different days through September
3, a period including Labor Day and two Sundays but with no let-up
in the work. This record shows a total of 161 hours for the 12
working days, an average of 13-j hours a day.
The tremendous strain in fish canning lasted for about three weeks;
it was preceded by dull times and followed by the closed season, after
which employment dropped to as great extremes in undertime as
there had been in overtime hours. For example, in the second week
of August, just before the big rim of hump-back or pink salmon, quite
a normal schedule for the daily hours worked was 4, 5, 2)4, 7)4, 7)4,
and 4. The record of one woman throughout her 24 working days
begins with the longest peak day in the season, and runs as follows:
22)4, 9)4, 9)4, 11%, 7%, 10)4, 11)4, 6)4, 6)4, 9%, 6, 6, 110%,
9)4, 10M, 8)4, 7)4, 5)4, 4, 3, 4)4, 2, and 4 hours. Although this
record averages 7.8 hours a day, the actual hours worked on each day
of the period show such uncertainty and extremes that it does not
seem possible for a worker ever to become accustomed to the irregu­
larities. The hours of another woman, in her 30 working days of an
operating period beginning the last of July and continuing through
September, were as follows: 3%, 10, 14, 8, 1)4, 3)4, 4, 4, 7)4, 5)4,
12, 8, 14, 16, 12, 17, 21, 4, 9, 10, 10, 9, 15, 9, 6, 5, 6, 3, 3, 3. This
woman did hand packing, which was not steady work, so that she
was idle a few more days than were some others who worked on
machine packing in the same period.
WAGES

Pay rolls in fish canneries were based upon time records for a
week, a half month, and a month. Just as the section on fruit and
vegetable canneries presents separate tables for each type of pay roll
reported, the earnings of the 639 women reported in fish canneries
have been treated and tabulated according to the length of pay period
in the establishment in which they were employed.
In only one of the fish canneries visited were pay-roll records not
available. Here even the women employed were paid by the Chinese
boss who had contracted with the firm to supply the labor needed.
The pay-roll data kept in Chinese ha,d not been submitted in English
at the time the inspection was made. As the women were Indians
and mostly non-English speaking, this cannery has been omitted
from the discussion of wage data.
Six of the canneries kept their pay rolls on a weekly basis, three on
a semimonthly, three on a monthly, and one cannery paid “on de­
mand,” the pay period for the women employed therein varying in
length from one day to the entire season. For the plant paying on




134

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GEOW1NG AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

demand, the working periods were divided into pay-roll groups com­
parable with those of other canneries, but the records of several
women whose pay period was for more than a month were not in­
cluded in the tabulation of wages.
The pay rolls of two firms having a monthly basis of pay covered
two weeks of the very busiest season in August, preceded by two
weeks of dull days; and the pay roll of another firm, comprising al­
most 14 per cent of all the women employed on the monthly basis,
was for the month of July—a decidedly dull period. At the time of
the inspection the August pay roll had not been completed.
The pay rolls of two of the firms using the semimonthly basis of
pay covered the last two weeks of August, and another pay roll com­
prising only 5 per cent of the total number of women employed on the
semimonthly basis covered the first two weeks in August—a com­
paratively poor fishing time; as in the case of one firm paying by the
month, the pay roll had not been made up for the peak period in
August at the time of the inspection.
For three of the firms paying on a weekly basis, the pay rolls
covered only the busiest days in the latter part of August or the
first part of September; two others included some of the usual peak
days in August with the preceding day or so of average or normal
work; and only one pay roll—including about 18.8 per cent of all
those on a weekly basis—was for a subnormal week. Three plants
operated seven days during the weekly pay-roll period. Taken as a
whole, the data for the rush season more than overbalance the data
for dull weeks, but the total results may be considered a fair average
for hours and wages of the entire fish cannery season.
Earnings and time worked.
Because of the irregularities in the working hours in fish canneries,
it is necessary to consider the earnings of the women in connection
with the time which they actually worked during the pay-roll period.
Such a con-elation is presented in detail in Table V in the appendix,
but is summarized in Table 31. The time worked by the women on
the weekly, half-monthly, and monthly pay rolls is presented in these
tables in hours only. No tabulation of earnings by days worked has
been made, since for all but a very few of the women in the fish can­
neries the hours of employment were reported.




135

WORKERS I.N FISH CANNERIES
Table 31.—Median earnings in fish canneries, by time worked
Weekly pay roll
Hours worked

Half-monthly pay roll

Monthly pay roll

Num­ Per Median Num­ Per Median Num­ Per Median
ber of cent
ber of cent
ber of cent
women distri­ earn­ women distri­ earn­ women distri­ earn­
reported bution ings reported bution ings reported bution ings

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

279

100.0

$12. 50

120

100.0

$22. 90

223

100.0

18
31
72
51
36
30
39
2

6.5
11.1
25.8
18.3
12.9
10. 8
14.0

1.90
5. 70
7. 80
12. 65
16.00
17.00
21. 30
0)

7
5
6
2
9
7
16
23
3
13
12
9
6

5.8
4.2
5.0
1.7
7.5
5.8
13.3
19.2
2.5
10.8
10.0
7.5
5.0

0)

6.3
7.6
5.8
3.6
7.6
2.7
3.1

1

.8

«

1

.8

w

14
17
13
8
17
6
7
5
4
12
13
15
8
8
8
11
8
15
14
3
3

.7

90 and under 100________ .
110 and under 120..................
120 and under 130______ •___
140 and under

150_.............. ........

100 and under 170_________
and under 180___ ______
180 and under 190-...............
190 and under 200..... .............
200 and under 210___
___
210 and under 220..................
220 and under 230_____
230 and under 240_________
240 and under 250..................
170

(>)

i
20.25
22.70
0
0
0

8

4

2
1
7

$39. 55
6)

4.85

0
<0
16.40
,0
0
2.2
0
0
1.8
. 0
5.4
0
6.8

6. 7
3.6
3.6
3.6
4.9
3.6
6.7
6.3
1.3
1.3
1.8
.9
.4
3.1

'

39. 85
0

0
0
0
0
70.25
0
. 0
0
0
0
0
0

1 Not, computed, owing to small number involved.

Of the total number of women in the table (622), 279 were on the
weekly pay rolls, 120 on the semimonthly, and 223 on the monthly.
Since the vast majority of the workers in the fish canneries had
hourly rates, varying usually from 30 to 45 cents, and since the table
is arranged in ascending scale of 10-hour groups, it is natural that the
earnings for each group increase as the actual hours worked increase.
The only reason the earnings do not show a uniform advance is
because of the varying proportion of low and high rates in the groups.
Considering first the weekly pay-roll period we find about onefourth of the women (25.8 per cent) in the 20-to-30-hour group, and
more than 61 per cent reported as employed less than 40 hours.
About one-fourth (25.4 per cent) of the women are revealed as having
worked a so-called full-time week (50 hours or more), with resulting
median earnings of $20.65. While the median earnings for all the
women amount to only $12.50, the discrepancy of $8.15 in the medians
of those working full time and the total number of workers is due to
the great number of women who were employed only a few hours
during the week.
The half-monthly basis of pay is shown in the next section of the
table, the largest proportion of women being found in the 70-to-80hour classification, a group representing probably somewhat more than
57206°—26t----- 10




186

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND- CANNING INDUSTRIES1

one-half of the possible working hours of the semimonthly pay-roll
period. The median earnings for these women were $22.70. Over
three-fifths (62.5 per cent) of these 120 women on the half-monthly
pay rolls worked less than 80 hours. This amount of short-time
employment naturally lowers the median earnings for all the women;
these are $22.90 for the period, or only a few cents more than the
median earnings of the 70-to-80-hour group.
The numbers included in the monthly pay-roll period are not
massed in any hour group, hut are spread rather evenly throughout
the1 various classifications. About three-eighths of the women re­
ported on these pay rolls are shown as working more hours than
were put in by the semimonthly workers, the median earnings of
this group of monthly workers being $67.35, as compared with the
median of $39.55 for the total 223 women included in the period of
a month.
Just as the time covered by the semimonthly pay rolls involves
the possibility of more poor days than does the weekly pay roll, so
the monthly records disclose more dull periods than the semimonthly
pay rolls show. When possible the pay rolls were selected to cover
the peak of the run of fish, which occurred in the last few days of
August, and the longer time the pay-roll period covered, the more
poor days of early August it contained. But for this very reason
the semimonthly and monthly pay rolls present a more accurate
picture of employment, in the actual hours worked over a period of
good and poor days, than does the week during the hectic rush. On
the other hand, this weekly period shows the greatest possibility of
peak employment and earnings.
Such an analysis as the following gives the proportions of women
on the weekly, the semimonthly, and the monthly pay rolls, whose
length of actual time worked would be equivalent to the hours usually
considered in a week’s, a half-month’s, or a month’s pay-roll period.
Practically all of the women on the weekly basis worked during the
week a period of less than 70 hours; more than two-fifths of the num­
ber reported on a semimonthly basis are in the group employed during
the time which covered the one week’s pay period, while three-eighths
of those in the firms paying monthly are shown as working less than
70 hours during the whole length of the pay-roll period.
Per cent working specified hours
Hours worked

Under 70
.
70 and under 130
_
130 and under 250 __ ____ __ _




Total—all
periods

66. 1
20. 1
13. 8

Weekly pay­ Semimonthly Monthly pay­
roll period pay-roll period roll period

99. 3
.7

43. 3
55. 0
1. 7

36. 8
25. 6
37. 7

137

WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES

Timework and piecework.

There is very little piecework in the fish canneries, this method of
employment being limited chiefly to hand packing and to some of
the labeling. Only 31 women were paid on the output basis, accord­
ing to pay-roll data taken, while 537 were paid on a straight hour
basis. In addition to these, 70 worked some of the time on an output
basis, and the rest of the time wore paid according to hourly rates.
Daily earnings, by occupations.
It has been possible to compute the average daily earnings of 462
women by occupational groups, these figures being presented in the
following summary:
Occupation.
Timework:
Cleaning___ ..
_
_
_
_ ___
_ _
Canning line.________________ ______ _ _______
Can loft__ ________________________________ .
Warehouse... ________ __ _ __ . _______
_
Piecework:
Hand packing ___ _____
__
Labeling _________
. ... _
_
Miscellaneous basis of pay_______ __
...

Number of
women
125
157
10
79
15
7
69

Average daily
earnings

$3.
2.
2.
2.

47
68
91
47

4. 62
2. 17
2. 89

The highest average daily earnings of any group are the $4.62 for
hand packers. This high average is probably influenced by the
standard in one plant which employed women throughout the season
as pieceworkers on this job. The next best paying job, affecting a
rather large number of women, was fish cleaning, with the daily
average of $3.47 for 125 women. The unpublished figures show that
one of the steadiest cleaners, who worked on 30 days in a monthly
period, totaling 248 hours, earned $119.34, or an average of $3.98 a
day.
The most usual job for women in the fish canneries is work on the
canning line. The average daily earnings of the 157 women engaged
in this occupation were $2.68. More detailed figures reveal that the
steadiest woman on the canning line for a monthly period worked
249 hours in 30 days, earning $100.78, or an average of $3.36 a day.




138

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GEOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Hourly rates.

On some of the pay rolls the hourly rate as well as the kind of work '
was designated, and the following table presents such records for 435
timeworkers in fish canneries:
Table 32.—Number of women and their hourly rates of pay in various occupations
in fish canneries
NumOccupation

Per cent distribution
Warehouse________ _____
Occupation not reported____

Number of women whose hourly rate of pay was-

wom­
en re­ 25
port­ cents
ed

28
35
30
40
cents cents cents cents

100.0

13
3.0

6
1.4

94
155
63
8
115

1
8
1
3

1
5

45
cents

50
cents

55
cents

60
cents

106
24.4

123
28.3

149
34.3

19
4.4

17
3.9

2
0.5

1
31
33
5
36

1
79
14

59
40
8
2
40

15
3

16

2

1

1

29

In general a little over one-third (34.3 per cent) of the women whose
rates were reported wTere paid 40 cents an hour, somewhat over
one-fourth (28.3 per cent) had a rate of 35 cents an hour, and a little
less than one-fourth (24.4 per cent) were rated at 30 cents an hour.
Altogether only 19 women had a rate of less than 30 cents, but this
number was equalized by the 19 women with rates of 50 cents or over.
Besides the women who had one definite rate there were 129 who
had more than one rate in the current pay-roll period. This number
includes a few who worked on as many as three hourly rates. Occa­
sionally the rate changed for the same kind of wTork, but more often
the change in rate accompanied a change in occupation.
The rates for cleaning were far higher than those for any other
occupation, as 62.8 per cent of the cleaners received 40 cents an
hour, and practically none received less than this rate; two cleaners
were paid a rate as high as 60 cents an hour. The women on the
canning line fared next best, 51 per cent of them getting a 35-cent
rate, while about one-fourth were paid 40 cents an hour. Other
occupations did not pay so well, since 52.4 per cent of the warehouse
workers (exclusive, of course, of piece-rate labelers) and 62.5 per cent
of the few women employed in the can loft were on a 30-cent rate.
Time worked and earnings during the season.

Information concerning season’s earnings was secured for 125 of
the best and steadiest workers in nine fish canneries.
The following summary shows that the operating period of the
establishments in which these women were employed was com­
paratively short, as might be expected from the nature of the
industry.



WORKERS IN FISH CANNERIES
Operating period

139

Number of women

4 weeks..
9 weeks. .
10 weeks.
12 weeks .
17 weeks.
18 weeks.
19 weelts.

____
____
....

19
7
12
9

____

62

____
____

13
3

___

Total.

125

None of the women were in plants operating for more than 19
weeks, and only 3 women had so long an operating period. At the
other extreme were 19 women in canneries which had only 4 weeks of
operation. About one-half the women worked in plants operating
for a stretch of 17 weeks. It is apparent from this that the season
in these canneries was, on the whole, considerably shorter than that
of the fruit and vegetable canneries.
Data on the actual time of employment for 110 women in the fish
canneries may be summarized as follows:
Women
Days worked

Number

Under 20_______
20 and 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
Total.........

5
28

Per cent

4. 5

4

5
4
9
1
2
5
7. 3
3. 6

110

100. 0

7
12
21

9
16
8

25.
6.
10.
19.
8.
14.

None of the women were employed on as many as 100 days during
the season. Only about one-fourth worked on 70 days or more,
whereas not far from one-half (47.3 per cent) worked less than 50
days, and two-thirds worked less than 60 days.
The more detailed figures reveal that there was considerable
difference between the amount of time actually worked by the women
and the operating period in the plants. For example, of the 62
women working in plants operating during a period of 17 weeks—
which would consist of approximately 100 working days if work were
available on 6 days of each week—none were employed on as many
as 100 days, 11 worked on 80 to 100 days, 24 on 60 to 80 days, 21 on 40
to 60 days, and the rest for even less time. The other classifications
of operating periods contained such small groups of women as to
make discussion of little worth.




140

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

According to Table IX in the appendix the earnings of the 125
women whose wages for the season were recorded ranged from under
$50, the amount earned by 5 women, to between $350 and $400, the
sum earned by 1 worker. The median for the whole group was
$137.95. From figures more detailed than those appearing in the
report, it has been possible to ascertain that the median for the 58
vromen who worked on 50 days or more was $190.




PART X
WOMEN WORKERS IN CLAM CANNERIES
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

One of the most important factors in the clam industry is not the
uncertainty of the raw product, as in salmon fisheries with their
fluctuating peak loads and dull days, but an increasingly poor pack
and a growing shortage of clams in the past few years. Commercial
clamming is limited by law to the months of March, April, and May,
and the diggers must be citizens who are licensed by the State. In
spite of these precautions, the razor clams, whose habitat is along the
beaches north and south of Gray’s Harbor, are becoming scarcer
each year, so that in 1923 some of the canneries did not operate during
the clam season.
The year book of the Pacific Fisherman in discussing the clam
season of 1923 says:
The razor clam pack of the Washington-Oregon coast district was little more
than half that of 1922, being the smallest in three years. * * * The number of
diggers was probably the greatest on record, as it is estimated that at some
times there were between 1,200 and 1,500 at work on the beaches. Unfavorable
weather held production down to practically nothing during the first month of
the season, and competition for raw material became very keen. * * * Even
at that many diggers found the work unprofitable, and left the beaches before
the first of May. The weather improved somewhat in May, but even then
there was considerable surf running at times of extreme low tide, and the can­
neries seldom operated at anything like capacity.1

Personal experiences related by the workers in the canneries also
served to emphasize the decline in the clam industry. For example,
one woman who made about $70 in three months in 1923, remembered
very distinctly the $150 she had made four years before for her first
season’s work in clams. Likewise, the operator whose output fell
from 10,000 cases one year to 3,000 another was disturbed by the
striking decrease in earnings for the latter season.
However, the State bureau of fisheries is now engaged in scientific
research work in order to be able to make recommendations that in
time will conserve the declining source of supply and restore the
razor clam business to its former prosperity.
Reports of high wages made in occasional past years still attract
migrants who are venturesome enough to take the risk. The beaches
* Pacific Fisherman Year Book, January, 1924, p. 89.




141

142

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

are near large timber districts, but casual laborers come also from the
agricultural districts and live in summer shacks on the beach through
the raw spring days.
The houses that the migrant laborers occupy are owned largely by
the cannery companies. They are mere shacks, often built close
together in a little settlement at the water’s edge, sometimes over the
tide flats. Deductions for the rental of the shacks amounting to
$4 or $6 usually are made from the month’s earnings. Not infre­
quently $2.50 is deducted from the month’s pay for rent of one
room, but sometimes by “crowding together” the workers have their
rent reduced to $1.50 or even $1.25 a month. All transient clam
diggers and cleaners expect to pay for their quarters, a situation quite
unlike that in the orchards and berry fields. The necessity of paying
for such essentials as scissors and rubber boots is responsible for other
reductions in earnings.
The life of workers in the clam industry in general is apt to be
rather haphazard and uncertain. It is customary for the employers
to give orders on the grocery, and it sometimes happens that an
employee leaves the cannery owing his rent and grocery bill. One
employer in explaining the difficulty of holding the force in 1923 said:
The diggers and their families sometimes arrive penniless, and the storms come
with high surf and they are in absolute need. It is necessary to back them up, so
that they can pull through, hoping they’ll live within their expected earnings.
We try to keep them perked up to the end of the season, and hope they’ll have
enough to get out.

Two girls having heard of the high wages possible in this industry
tried work in clam canneries in 1923 for the first time. Fortunately
they had friends who accommodated them in a shed, so that they had
no rent to pay. They lived economically—“there was no chance to
spend anyway”—and at the end of three months they had barely $10
and were obliged to pay a considerable part of that for carfare home.
Occupations of the women.
The women come chiefly for inside work in the canneries, but some
of the foreign women wade into the surf and dig with the men.
Occasionally the wife picks up the clams while her husband digs, for
digging is heavy work and requires a strong physique. In the can­
nery, after the clams are steamed so that the shells open readily, the
women clean the clams, using scissors to cut away the waste parts.
Usually the clams are cleaned by two sets of women; from the initial
clipping at the first sink, the clams are given a final and more careful
inspection at what is called the second sink. The women employed
on the canning line or in the warehouse work by the hour, and their
jobs are not unlike those in other canneries.
The cleaning is done at sinks whose surface usually slopes from the
worker, so that much of the water is drained away. Nevertheless,



WOHKEBS IN CLAM CANNERIES

143

women who work in this industry must at best put up with certain
inconveniences, due largely to the conditions of cold and dampness,
which are characteristic of clam canneries. From experience the
women learn to wear wool socks, overalls, canvas leggings, high boots,
and sweaters, but even then it is difficult to keep dry and warm.
Since the survey of the Women’s Bureau in Washington was made
during the closed season in the clam industry, none of the clam canneries
were seen in operation, and accordingly no inspections could be made
of the conditions under which women were employed in these canneries.
Seven employers furnished pay-roll data, however, and 66 women
who lived in the immediate vicinity of the canneries in Aberdeen,
Hoquiam, Westport, and Copalis Beach were called upon in thenhomes. These resident women described their work in the canneries,
emphasizing the discouragements of an apparently dying industry.
EARNINGS AND TIME WORKED IN ONE MONTH

A comparison with other seasonal industries, of the data on earn­
ings and time worked of the women employed in the razor clam
canneries, is complicated by the fact that the standard pay period in
all clam canneries was a month, whereas in most of the plants in the
other industries the week or the half month was the standard, and in
only a few cases was it the month.
Since the clam season was nearer normal during the month of
May, 1923, the records of this month for 158 women employed in 9
clam canneries were taken as a basis for the women’s earnings and
time of employment. Although May was a much better month than
March or April in the canneries, Table VI in the appendix shows that
even in May the women lost a great deal of time.
For only 46 women was the time worked reported in hours, their
median earnings for May being $18.75. The two women with the
maximum number of hours to their credit during the month are in
the 116-and-under-117-hour group, this time being equivalent to
about 14J^ days of 8 hours each. The actual earnings of these
women fell between $46 and $47. Only 17 women worked 50 hours
or more, this group showing median earnings of $30.50, while the
remaining 29 women, who worked during the month less than 50
hours, which is the equivalent of a full-time week in some more
standardized industries, had a median of $12.50.
The time records for 112 women were given in days, the range of
days on which they worked during the month being 1 to 24. Their
median earnings for the month were $18,65. Only one woman was
employed for 24 days and she earned $110.48. A very small group,
17 women, worked on 18 days or more, their earnings ranging from
$39.45 to $110.48, with a median of $59.25. A considerably larger
group of women, 54, showed a record of employment on 10 to 18
days, with average earnings of $26.50.




WOMEN IN FRUIT-GEO WIN G AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

144

The hour records give a much more vivid picture of undertime than do
the day records, since the days varied considerably in length. The
spasmodic nature of the work is shown in the following time record
of one woman who worked steadily whenever there was a chance:
Hours
worked

Date

May
May
May
May
May
May
May
May

1.
3_
4_
5.
8_
15
17
19

4

5M
2

m

Hours
worked

Date

May
May
May
May
May

7M

4

Total (13 days)

5

22___________
26___________
28___________
30___________
31___________

63h£

214
5
6

7H

5

SEASON’S EARNINGS

Records of the earnings of 101 women who drew pay in each of
the three months, March, April, and May, were secured (Table VII
in the appendix). Their earnings, ranging from $12 to more then
$100, showed a median of $52.40. In an industry with so much
undertime the correlation of time worked with earnings is most
important. Hour records were secured for only 17 women, their
hours ranging from 81 to 142, inclusive, during the three months.
Idle median earnings for this group were $50.75. For 28 other women,
all of whom were cleaners, records of the number of days on which
they worked were obtained; the minimum number of days on which
any woman worked was 8 and the maximum was 34. Twenty of
them (71.4 per cent) were employed less than 30 days, that is, less
than one-third of the period included in the open season. The
whole group of 28 cleaners had a median of $42.
The following statement, showing the number of days on which
three of the representative canneries operated, indicates how impos­
sible it was for the women to work much more than one-third of the
season:
Number of days operated
Month
Plant No. 1

March _______
______________ __
April_
__________ _____ __ __ _ -----------May____
___ __ _________ ____ _ _
Total___ ______

____ ____

_____

Plant No. 2

Plant No. 3

6
7
13

8
12
15

11
11
13

26

35

35

The record for the maximum number of days of employment was
that of the woman who worked 11 days in March, 10 days in April,
and 13 days in May.




PART XI
WOMEN WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES
FACTS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY

The 19 fruit warehouses visited by the agents of the Women’s
Bureau in October, 1923, were situated in the Yakima and Wenatchee
Valleys, a section devoted to the fruit orchards from which the ware­
house supply must, of course, come. These warehouses, used for
the packing and storage of apples and pears, were located chiefly at
the railroad centers; a few were in the orchards, but these were not so
substantially built and were used by the grower to pack his own
fruit for immediate shipment or delivery to the commercial ware­
houses located in the towns. In the 19 warehouses were employed
650 women, 459 men, and 4 girls under 16 years, making a total of
1,113 employees.
Occupations of women.

The sorting of the fruit is invariably done by women, who examine
the fruit for color, shape, and imperfections as it passes on moving
belts or conveyors. The distance occupied by the hand sorters is
rarely over 12 feet in length, and on both sides of the belts the women
stand or sit as close together as possible, with barely elbow room,
while they watch the rolling apples or pears and put them, according
to the grade of the fruit, in the appropriate places on the conveyors.
This sorting requires constant attention and careful handling, for
on it depends the uniformity of quality in the packed boxes.
Most of the warehouses have installed delicate mechanical devices
that size the fruit, so that the packer has no responsibility for the
quality or size of the apples or pears that drop gently into his bins,
for grades A, B, and C fall mechanically into their proper places.
Men as well as women are packers, wrapping each apple or pear in
paper and placing it methodically in the box, the size determining
the arrangement in rows, as the uniform size of the fruit also deter­
mines the number of pears or of apples per box.
The rate of pay for sorting, important as the job is, does not com­
pare with the rate for packing. A few managers remarked upon
their difficulties with the turnover among sorters, but did not know
whether to attribute it to the nature of the job, the lower wage, or
the difficulty of a sorter’s ever advancing to be a packer, the rule




145

146

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

apparently being, once a sorter, rarely a packer. Occasionally the
constant watching of the procession of slow-moving fruit makes the
girls dizzy, but this condition usually wears away after the experience
of a few days’ work.
Packing fruit has become a skilled trade, and some packers follow
the ripening fruit from southern California to Washington, but the
majority of the women employed as packers were residents of the
State. The packers have a habit of speeding up. As it is a piece­
work job, some of the most rapid have acquired the title of “speed
fiends.” They work at a terrific pace while the season lasts. It is
a generally accepted fact that the high-speed years are limited to a
very few, so that the packer feels he must work hard while he can.
Sometimes a rythmic swaying of the entire body accompanies the
motions of picking up an apple from the bin on one side, and a piece
of paper with the other hand, wrapping the fruit and thrusting it
into the box. The complete operation is done more quickly than it
can be described. Such speeding is impossible in packing pears,
because the shape of the fruit makes it more difficult to handle than
a round apple. The pear must be centered accurately in the wrap­
ping paper, and due regard must again be given to the shape when it
is packed in the box, in order that all the pears be laid alike.
WORKING CONDITIONS

In addition to the strain which so frequently accompanies packing,
there are certain characteristic problems in connection with the
working conditions which especially affect the comfort and well­
being of the women employed. These are the seating and crowding of
the sorters, the fighting of their work places, and the temperature of
the workrooms, conditions due largely to the nature and arrange­
ment of the work but partly to the perishability of the product.
Buildings.
The warehouses and packing sheds were large barnlike structures
with unfinished walls and ceilings, usually of wood, sometimes of
brick or cement. In one case they were painted white. The floors
also were of wood, with the exception of two cold-storage packing
rooms in which they were of cement. There was no problem as to
insufficient exits, and the women’s work was generally on the first
floor. In only two warehouses did women work above the second
floor, and stairs were used by the women employed in only six build­
ings. None of these stairways were enclosed by walls, and one was
especially steep and narrow and darkened by apple boxes piled high
around it. Two others were so narrow that two people could not
pass conveniently. They were all in good repair, equipped with
handrails, and normally light.




WORKERS IK APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

147

General arrangement of workrooms.

That the usual custom of crowding in as many as possible at the
sorting section of the belt complicates discipline and detracts from the
efficiency of the sorters, was the opinion of a very few managers who
were trying out other arrangements of work that gave each sorter
more space and that placed more responsibility for the work upon
the individual sorter. But the following description of the crowded
condition in one warehouse is still representative:
The sorters work in very cramped quarters next to the belt. They are on a
raised platform of very awkward height. A rail at the back keeps the girls from
falling off. The girls at the outside end of the table must jump down to let the
girls farther down the line pass out

Seating.

The provision made for seats for women workers was reported for
14 warehouses. In these were 244 women packers who stood con­
tinuously, working under pressure for 10 hours a day, the hours being
7 a. m. to 6 p. m. There was no provision made for them to sit, and
if they had half a minute of respite from their work the only seats
available for a brief rest were stray packing boxes. For 94 of the 386
sorters employed in these warehouses there was absolutely no provi­
sion made for seating, while the work of 126 was so arranged that they
could either stand or sit, and 166 sat continuously. The seats fur­
nished the sorters were mainly packing boxes, placed on end to bring
the workers up high enough for the belts. Consequently, many of the
women were perched on the edge of the boxes, and even this arrange­
ment was better than nothing. Stools were provided in one ware­
house and narrow benches in five.
Foot rests are needed to relieve the strain from an unnatural sitting
posture. In some plants the girls used the rungs of the stools, table
rails, and low boxes for foot rests, but in seven of the establishments
they seemed unable to improvise even such crude foot rests. These
problems may seem small matters, but they are therefore easily
adjusted, and they are as necessary for the health and comfort of
seasonal as of regular workers.
Lighting.

Electric lights invariably are suspended over the sorting table, for
the job requires the best of light and the warehouses are not, as a
whole, naturally well lighted. Ordinarily there are windows on only
one side of the room, where both sorters and packers work, although
sometimes there are windows at both ends of a long, narrow room.
The six warehouses reported as having sufficient natural light in the
packing rooms were exceptions; one had windows on three sides;
another, in addition to good window lighting, had a skylight over the
work line; and another had a monitor roof.



148

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Even the artificial lights were not always satisfactory. The
following description could be applied to more than one sorting table:
“A powerful light was suspended so that the light shone in the
workers’ eyes. It could easily have been adjusted.” One girl in
another plant had remedied the glare by pinning a paper shade around
a drop light. In contrast to these unsatisfactory arrangements are
the following descriptions:
Electric lights needed over sorting table continuously, but blue daylight bulbs
are used and placed at a satisfactory height, so that there is no discomfort to
workers.
Lights over sorting table are under one largo shade and dropped so low that
workers’ heads are above it and their eyes are well protected.

Temperature.
With rare exceptions the workrooms were not regularly heated in
spite of the fact that long before the packing season is over the weather
gets very cold in the apple-orchard districts of the State. The
rooms should not be too warm, on account of the fruit; nevertheless
by the installation of a steam pipe under the floor where the packers
and sorters work and by the maintenance of the temperature at about
60°, one firm had proved that it was possible to add much to the com­
fort of the girls and at the same time not to injure the fruit. One
employer showed with just pride how he had shut out some cold by
putting down a double floor, siding the walls and ceiling of the work­
room, so that two stoves, one at each end of the room, kept the place
moderately warm. The temperature in one room, on the day of the
visit in September, was 55°. “Later,” the manager said, “we’ll
inclose the sorting section in a small canvaslike tent and put an electric
stove under the table.” In another warehouse a sorting section,
even with an electric heater, was only 54° on the day of the visit.
One room had a stove which, the manager admitted, was quite
insufficient, since late in the fall the temperature in this plant was
frequently only 40° to 45°. One superintendent explained in detail
how he stretched a canopy of building paper over and around the
sorting table to keep in the heat from the oil stove placed under the
table.
There is so much more motion in packing than in sorting that the
packers do not feel the cold so much; consequently more effort is
made to keep the sorters warm.
Pears are a much more delicate fruit to handle than are apples,
and the harvest keeps the workers at a tension while it lasts. Most
of this fruit is put in cold storage at once before it is packed for ship­
ping. Later, since the fruit would deteriorate if taken from cold
storage and packed in a warmer atmosphere, it must be packed also
in cold storage, after which it is shipped in refrigerator cars to avoid
atmospheric changes. But the packing of ]>ears in cold-storage




WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

149

rooms is far from pleasant. The desirable temperature for such work
was stated to he, by the superintendents of three plants visited,
variously “from 38° to 40°,” “from 45° to 52°,” and “50° or lower.”
These cold-storage rooms are sealed, electrically lighted, and without
ventilation. Some women working in a place which had a concrete
floor were seen standing in packing boxes, the bottoms of which were
lined with wrapping papers at least an inch thick. They had taken
this precaution in addition to wearing the heaviest kind of hosiery
and boots. In August the girls wore heavy underwear and warm
sweaters, and even then were able to keep warm with difficulty.
Sanitation and service facilities.

Washing facilities.—Five of the warehouses had no facilities for
washing, although one of these maintained an extensive camp, con­
veniently near, which had adequate washing equipment. Another
establishment had a hydrant outside the door which could serve for
washing purposes. In the warehouses reported as having some
washing facilities within the plant, most of the washbowls were in the
toilet rooms, but two were located in the workroom and were used
in common by men and women. None of the plants supplied hot
water; seven supplied soap; seven supplied towels. Of the last
named, four furnished paper towels and three roller towels.
Drinking facilities.—Drinking water was supplied conveniently
near the workers in most of the warehouses. Nine of the plants had
bubble drinking fountains, but only two had bubblers of the sanitary
type. The common cup was in evidence in five warehouses, and paper
cups were supplied in two. Some of the women brought their own
drinking utensils—in some cases a tin can or a milk bottle. In one
warehouse the only supply of drinking water was in the small toilet
compartment.
Toilets.—The condition of the toilet conveniences for the women
varied from plant to plant. Five had outdoor privies that were not
carefully kept. One of these was across the road from the plant,
and another was across the railroad tracks, the latter having no hook
or lock on the door. Two plants had toilets with septic tanks and
the other 12 had modern plumbing, which was clean and in good repair
in all but 3. All the toilets were separate for men and women,
and with but one exception all were decently inclosed. No dark
toilet rooms were reported; most of them had natural and adequate
ventilation, although one did ventilate into the warehouse only.
The majority of the toilet rooms were clean, the degree of cleanliness
depending, however, upon the firm’s practice of having them cleaned
once or twice a year, swept once or twice a week, or scrubbed daily,
and of holding the janitor responsible for the condition or permitting




150

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

a haphazard supervision. The number of women per toilet seat
varied with the season, as in one warehouse of usual size where the
number of women for one seat supplied fluctuated in three months
from 12 or 15 women to 50. For one plant a maximum of 100 women
to one toilet seat was reported. At the time of the visit to the ware­
houses at least eight toilets with inside plumbing averaged 25 or
more women per seat.
Other service facilities.—One firm boasted of a restroom, which
served primarily as a cloakroom * and which contained tables and
benches but was devoid of a cot or comfortable chair. In another
plant was an abandoned office which could have served general utility
purposes, since it was equipped with a stove. One firm had provided
a lunchroom and insisted that employees leave the workroom to eat
their lunches. In two other warehouses there were cloakrooms which
were not combined with toilet rooms, but nails in the walls of the
workrooms and toilet rooms were the customary accommodations
for wraps. Perhaps the almost universal absence of lunch rooms
and cloakrooms is due to the eagerness of the girls to get out of the
cold warehouses at noon when the weather permits, and into the
bright sunshine, even if only onto the loading platform of the ware­
house; and also to the custom of not removing their wraps for work,
but of putting on extra ones in an endeavor to keep warm while at
work. However, these are not ample excuses for the failure to pro­
vide a comfortable place for emergencies and for the sharp cold days
in the later fall.
HOURS

In general the 10-hour day wTas the standard practice throughout
the fruit warehouses, though a few firms observed a day of 9 hours
on Saturday, thus making 59 and 60 hours as a full-time weekly
schedule.
To get a picture of the working hours in this industry, however, it
is more enlightening to analyze the actual hours worked by the
women, because, although irregularities in the daily schedule were not
so characteristic of this industry as of canneries, data gathered for
individual workers showed such deviation from the 10-hour day as to
prove that both overtime and undertime wTere not uncommon.
All but 1 of the 19 establishments visited during the course of the
survey furnished pay-roll data concerning earnings and time worked
on a weekly basis; consequently, in order to avoid identification of
the one warehouse which had a semimonthly system of pay, the
earnings of the women employed by this firm were prorated. All
the tables in this section are, therefore, shown for a weekly basis.
Wage reports were copied for a total of 656 women workers in ware­




WORKERS IK APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

151

houses, 541 of whom were packing and sorting apples and 115 of
whom were engaged .on pears. For many of these women the time
worked was entered either in days or hours, but for 421 of them
(64.2 per cent) both the number of days and the number of hours
were given. (Table VIII in the appendix.)
Time worked during the week.

Table 33 shows the hours worked by the 421 women in the several
day groups of the pay-roll period. About 47 per cent of the number are
in the over-50-and-not-over-60 hour group, all but five of the women
in this classification working a 6-day week. Almost three-fifths were
employed the full week of 6 or 7 days, although only nine women
worked on 7 days. About one-fourth were employed less than 5 days.
Table 33.—Variation in number of hours worked within one pay-roll period by

women luorking on same number of days—apple and pear warehouses
Number of women employed on specified number of days who
worked—
Days on which work was
done

Number of
Over
Over
Over
Over
women 5 and Over Over Over
10 and 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and
re­
not
ported over 10 not
not
not
not
not
not
not
hours over 20 over 30 over 40 over 50 over 60 over 70 over 73
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

Total.......... .
1 day....... ...............................
2 days...................................
3 days....................................
4 days....... ............ .............._
6 days.....................................
7 days..... ......... ....................

421

27

33

26
34
23
22
64
243
9

26
1

33

21

25

20

3
21
1

1

62

197

58
4

5
192

55

47
8

1

The more detailed figures show that of these 421 women for whom
days and hours were reported, about 46 per cent put in 59 hours or
more during the week for which the pay roll was taken.
From the table it appears that only 7 women fell below what is
generally considered the normal time of the industry on the day
they worked, that is, 20 hours’ work on 2 days, 30 hours on 3 days,
and so on, while 56 women, or 13.3 per cent, worked more than nor­
mal time on the days they worked in the time reported. More detailed
figures show that the only group of any size who worked overtime
were the 47 women who worked from 61 to 70 hours on 6 days; 43
of these had hours of 65 or less. Unlike the women employed in
canneries, the 243 women in the 6-day group for whom hours also
were reported did not have so wide a range of hours, showing between
50 and 71. The large number appearing in the normal 59 and 60
horn- groups of the period (32.5 per cent) strongly emphasizes the
prevailing 10-hour day of the industry.
*
57206°—26t----- 11




152

WOMEN IN' FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Length of days worked.
The pay rolls of five apple warehouses showed the actual hours
worked by 122 women on each day of the week for which the pay roll
was copied. The following table gives the longest and the shortest
day for each of these workers:
Table 34.—Variation in number of hours worked within one day—maximum and

minimum hours of women in apple and pear warehouses
Num­
Maximum num­ ber of
ber of hours
worked in one day
ported

Number of women with maximum hours as specified
worked in one day was—
2'A

hours hours

minimum time
10

hours hours hours

hours hours hours hours

Total.
9 hours.
10 hours.
11 hours.
12 hours.
13 hours.

The table shows that 16 women had a uniform day of 10 hours
during the period covered by the pay roll. For each of the other 106
women there was a variance in hours worked on the different days of
the weekly record. By far the largest group for whom the daily
working hours were reported shows a minimum day of 5 hours; almost
four-fifths of these 53 women put in one or more days of 10 hours,
while almost one-tenth of them had at least one working day of as
much as 13 hours. Although not presenting the striking irregularities
so noticeable in canneries, one day’s work of 5 hours and another of 13
hours must be disconcerting, to say the least, and yet almost .one-fifth
of the women who show a minimum day of 5 hours had a long day of
11, 12, or 13 hours.
In great contrast to the irregular hours prevailing in canneries,
warehouses show that over three-fifths of the women had either a
uniform day or a maximum day of 10 hours. Thirty-five of the
women, almost 30 per cent, were reported as working one or more
days of 12 hours, yet in the one week reported they showed other days
of 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 hours.
With the 10-hour day standard in the industry, it is surprising to
find that 44 of the women reported worked on some day or days 11
hours or more and that for 6 of this number there were reported one
or more days as long as 13 hours. Of the 35 whose maximum day
was 12 hours in length, 16 had no day shorter than 10 hours in the
pay period.
Such an arrangement as the following shows the number of women
and the length of their shortest and longest working days during the
week for which the pay roll was taken, the summaries being in de­
scending scale according to the number of women reported.



153

WORKERS II? APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

The shortest workday, arranged in order of number of women
employed, was as follows:
Women employed
Longth of day
Number

Per cent

5 hours____
10 hours___
8J4 hours__
9 hours____
7 hours____
7J4 hours__
8 hours____
6 hours____
1 hour_____
2 hours____
2J4 hours__
4 hours____

53
34
7
7
5
5
5
2
1
1
1
1

43.
27.
5.
5.
4.
4.
4.
1.
.
.
.
.

Total

122

100. 0

4
9
7
7
1
I
I
6
8
8
8
8

The longest day arranged in similar order is here presented:
Women employed
Length of day
Number

Per cent

10 hours___
12 hours___
13 hours___
11 hours___
9 hours____

77
35
6
3
1

63.
28.
4.
2.

Total.

122

100. 0

.

1
7
9
5
8

WAGES

In a study of the earnings of the women in this section of the
report it will be more significant to consider employment on pears
separately from that on apples, because of the different rates of pay
in force for the two types of work. It is also interesting in each
case to correlate the earnings of the women with the two important
occupations in which they were employed—sorting and packing—
since sorting in both the pear and apple warehouses was paid by the
hour, while packing was paid by the piece.
In this discussion of full-time work it seems advisable to consider
as so-called full-time workers only the women who had been employed
more than 50 hours instead of those with a record of 50 hours and
over, the classification used for full-time workers in the fruit and
vegetable canneries and in the fish canneries. This different method
of treatment is due to the fact that, because of the 10-hour daily
schedule customary in the industry, all steady workers who put in
six or seven days worked more than 50 hours.



154

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Earnings for sorting and packing apples.

The rates for sorting apples ranged from 30 cents to 45 cents an
hour. The earnings of sorters in the apple warehouses reported are
presented in correlation with time worked in Table VIII-A in the ap­
pendix. The hours are arranged in groups of 10, corresponding to
the usual 10-hour day.
The next to the last group in the table, over 60 and under 70 hours,
includes eight women who worked on seven days, while the others
accumulated during six days the overtime which raised the total for
the week above the usual 60 hours. The unusual amount of over­
time happened in the case of two sorters who worked 12 hours
daily on the first five days of the week and 10 hours on the sixth day.
The median earnings for all the apple sorters, regardless of the
time they worked, were $18.45, and for those working over 50 hours,
$20.90. Only 26 per cent of the apple sorters, or about one-fourth,
are included in the groups of 40 hours or less, leaving three-fourths
who worked periods which correspond to their employment on five,
six, or seven days. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the differ­
ence in the median earnings of all workers and of those working a
full-time week to be only $2.45.
Earnings records were available for about one-half as many apple
packers as sorters. The work in apple warehouses requires more
sorters, sometimes a third more, and as men are seldom employed
as sorters, although frequently as packers, the ratio of one packer to
two sorters in the numbers represented in women’s wages follows
the organization of women’s work in the warehouses. (Table VIII-C
in the appendix.)
The packers were a steady lot of workers while the season lasted.
Only one-sixth of them worked less than five days, and over twothirds worked the full-time week of six or seven days. Since pack­
ing is a piecework job, paid at the rate of 5, 5}4, and 6 cents a box,
the speed and endurance of each packer set the limit to her earnings.
The highest earnings, not only in packing apples, but in any group
of workers included in the survey, were the $69 received by a 6-day
worker for packing apples.
The median week’s earnings for all the apple packers, regardless
of time worked, were $31.05, and for full-time workers—those
working on six and seven days—$35.85. Though the median for
all packers falls within the $31-to-$32 group, at least one-fourth
of them actually earned $39 or more. Practically one-half of the
full-time workers earned $36 and over. At the other extreme are
four women for whom work on six days was reported to have
paid less than $20. These women may not have worked the full
10-hour day, although there was no record to prove this, or they




WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

155

may have been learners or slow workers. However, according to
unpublished data, in any instance, earnings as low as $12 or as high
as $69 a week were not common occurrences in the life of the packer,
and they are quoted as extremes in the warehouse industry.
Earnings for sorting and packing pears.

The rate for sorting pears was usually 30 cents an hour. This
would make the normal pay for a 10-hour day $3, or $18 for a 6-day
week. The wage table for pear sorters is arranged in hour groups
corresponding to the hours in the normal 1 to 6 day working week.
(Table VIII-B in the appendix.)
Of the 62 pear sorters, 42 worked what might be considered a
full-time week on six or seven days, that is, over 50 hours. This
leaves only about one-third who worked 50 hours or less during the
week. The median of weekly earnings for all pear sorters was
$18,05, while for those working over 50 hours the median was $18.35.
As already stated, packing pears and apples in the fruit warehouses
is a piecework job, paid at a rate of 5 to 6 cents a box. As the ware­
house pay rolls did not always show a record of the hours worked by
the packers, the wage tables for packers have been uniformly made
up on the basis of the day as a unit of time.
Of the 53 women who packed pears, over three-fourths worked
on five and six days, and almost three-fifths worked six days or a
full week. There were no 7-day workers in pear packing during
the week for which the pay roll was taken—a week selected by the
management as representative of the industry. The median earn­
ings for all pear packers, regardless of the number of days on which
they worked, were $25.85, and the median for those working on six
days was $31.30. The women packing pears earned better wages
than did sorters, the median for all pear packers being $7.80
more than that for all pear sorters, and for full-time packers $12.95
more than for full-time sorters. (Table VIII-D in the appendix.)
Among the pear sorters, more than one-half (53.2 per cent) are
in the group earning $18 and under $19, but the packers are much
more evenly distributed throughout the wage groupings.
Comparison of earnings for work on apples and pears.

It is interesting to compare the earnings of women for the two
kinds of fruit, according to occupation. In the first place, sorting
the fruit being a job paid for by the hour, the difference in the earn­
ings of those sorting apples and pears is explained by the difference
in the hourly rates of the current pay roll. As already stated, the
rate for sorting apples ranged from 30 cents to 45 cents an hour, but
30 cents was the only rate paid for sorting pears. This difference




156

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

in rates is shown in the following summary for the 352 apple sorters
and 62 pear sorters for whom an hourly rate was reported:
Number of women receiving
each specified rate who
sorted—

Hourly rata

Apples

138
108
100

62

1 352

62

30 cents..

_________________ _____
_______ ________
cents _____
__ __________________________
_
40 cents _ _
__ ______
_____ __
45 cents____________
_____
____ _______
________

35

Total___ ____ _________

Pears

6

- __ _________________ .

1 For 6 women two rates of pay were reported.

The range in earnings for packing pears is from $3 to $43, whereas
the range for the same occupation in apples is from $4 to $70. The
numbers are spread quite evenly over the range in each case, but they
bank more heavily in the lower groups for pears; 24.5 per cent of
pear packers, in contrast to 16.9 per cent of the apple packers, are
below $20. Nearly one-seventh (about 15 per cent) of the apple
packers received more than $45 for the week reported, whereas no
packer of pears earned as much as $45 a week.
A summary table giving the number of women sorters and packers
and their median earnings is here presented:
Table 35.—Median

earnings of women sorters and packers in apple and
warehouses, by time worked

Women employed (on apples)
Time worked

pear

Women employed (on pears)

Per cent Median
Per cent Median
Number distribu­ earnings Number distribu­ earnings
tion
tion
SORTERS

Total................................—............
10 hours__________________________ Over 10 and under 20 hours.. ...............
30 hours ____________ _______ _____
Over 30 and under 40 hours........................
40 hours------ -------- ---------- --------Over 40 and under 50 hours................... --50 hours------- ------------------------ -...........
Over 50 and under 60 hours.......................
Over 60 and under 70 hours........................

358

100.0

14
10
22
8
8

3.9
2.8
6.1
2. 2

12

9
10

27

28
99
64
45
2

2.2

3.4
2.5
2.8

7.5
7.8
27.7
17.9
12.6
0.6

$18. 45
(1)
(')

5.20

(i)
(i)
«

<})
(>>

15.65
15.80
20. 50
18. 85
26.05
6)

62

100.0

3
3

4.8
4.8

m

1
5
1

1.6
8.1
1.6

0
9,1

5
9
25
8

8.1
14.5
40.3
12.9

(*)
18.50
0

53

100.0

$26. 85

2
4
4
1
13
29

3.8
7.5
7.5
L9
24. 5
54.7

2

3.2

$18.05

0

0

0
0

PACKERS

Total.......................-..........................

183

100.0

4 days--------------------------------------------

4
9
6
12
27
115
10

2.2
4.9
3.3
6.6
14.8
62.8
5. 6

6 days................................ ..........
...
7 days.......................................... ................

i Not computed, owing to small number involved.



$31.05
0
0

0

(1)

26.75
34.70
0)

0
0
0
0
0

31.30

WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

157

This shows apple and pear sorters in hour groups corresponding
to the hours in the normal l-to-7-day working week, together with
the pear and apple packers according to day groups in the period.
Of the 656 women employed in the fruit warehouses for whom
wage records were obtained, 406, or over three-fifths, worked on six
and seven days of the week. This figure includes the women re­
ported as working over 50 and not over 70 hours. The proportion
of full-time workers—those working over 50 hours or on six days or
more—is found to be highest in apple packing, where 68.3 per cent of
those reported show a week of six and seven days. Next in order
come the 67.7 per cent of pear sorters ranking as full-time workers,
followed by 58.7 per cent of the apple sorters and 54.7 per cent of the
pear packers. None of the women who packed pears worked more
than six days of the week for which the pay roll was taken, and in
both occupations as in both fruits the greatest number of women
are concentrated in the 6-day working period. The regularity of
hours worked in the warehouses is in striking contrast to the irregular
hours of the workers in the canneries; in the former the work was
standardized on a 10-hour basis, this being possible because the
product is not so perishable as most of the crops used by canners.
That packing paid much better than sorting and that work on
apples was much more lucrative than that on pears is shown by a
comparison of the medians given in the accompanying table. The
median week’s earnings for apple packing were $31.05, whereas the
median for pear packing was $25.85. Apple sorting had a median of
$18.45 and pear sorting a median of $18.05. This inequality is
attributed to a difference in the operation; the shape of the pear is
such that it must be placed exactly in the center of the wrapping paper,
and all pears must be packed uniformly in the box with stem ends
pointing the same way. Again and again packers would state that
they preferred packing apples, not only because they were easier
to handle but because they meant better pay. As packing pears and
apples in the fruit warehouses is a piecework job, naturally greater
speed can be made by the girls when packing round apples than
when wrapping and packing the irregular-shaped pears.
Unpublished material reveals that six fruit warehouses where
both pears and apples were packed furnished a pay roll for a repre­
sentative week for pear packers as well as one for apple packers.
The names of 37 women who packed fruit appeared on both these
pay rolls, and the average daily earnings for packing apples were
$5.85, and for packing pears, $5.26, showing a discrepancy of 59
cents between the two. A comparison of the earnings of all the
women packers on these two pay rolls-—86 women employed on
pears and 52 on apples, the 37 women described being included in
each—shows a daily average for pear packing of $5 and a daily average



158

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

for apples of J55.70.1 Every comparison that could be made from
pay-roll data beam out the statements of the girls that they could
not make so much packing pears as packing apples.
Time worked and earnings during the season.

Records were obtained of season’s earnings for 152 of the steadiest
workers in 15 apple and pear warehouses. The range in the operating
periods of the plants in which these women were employed was less
that that in either the fruit and vegetable canneries or the fish
canneries, a fact brought out by the following summary:
Operating period

8
9
11
12
13
14
16
17

weeks______
weeks______
weeks______
weeks______
weeks______
weeks______
weeks______
weeks______

Number
of women
...

21

---

35

....
....
...

12
20
20

...

6

...

22

...

16

Total-

152

The operating periods ranged from a minimum of 8 weeks to a
maximum of 17 weeks, not far from three-fifths (57.9 per cent) of
the women having been in plants whose time of operating did not
exceed 12 weeks.
Data obtained on the actual number of days on which these 152
women worked may be summarized as follows:
Days worked

Under 20_______
20 and under 30 _
30 and under 40.
40 and under SO­
SO and under 60­
60 and under 70.
70 and under 80.
80 and under 90.
90 and under 100

Number
of women

-

3
20

- _.
...
...
...

25
48
27
14
6
7
2

Total 152

None of the women worked as many as 100 days, whereas over
three-fifths (63.2 per cent) were employed for less than 50 days and
slightly more than four-fifths for less than 60 days, larger proportions
with such short-time employment than was found in either the fruit
and vegetable or the fish canneries. There is a decided concentration
of the warehouse workers in the 40-and-under-50-day group, almost
one-third of the total number.
The more detailed figures reveal considerable difference between
the operating period of the plants and the actual period of employ­
1 Except, for this comparison of pear and apple earnings, only one pay roll from each of these six firms—
that for apple packing—has been used in the tables in this section.




WORKERS IN APPLE AND PEAR WAREHOUSES

159

ment of the women. For example, one-fourth of the women were
in plants with an operating period of 16 or 17 weeks, or from 96 to
102 possible working days, whereas only 2 of the 152 women were
employed on as many as 90 days. More than one-half of the women
worked in plants which operated for 12 weeks or more—that is, 72
or more working days—and 9.9 per cent of the women worked 70 days
or over.
Despite the fact that the season was shorter than that in the
canneries, the earnings of the women compare very favorably with
the earnings in the canneries. The median for the 87 sorters in the
warehouses ($156.80) surpasses the median for the women in the fish
canneries ($137.95), and the median for the 65 warehouse packers
($235) exceeds the median for the women employed in the fruit and
vegetable canneries ($225.60). Moreover, the median earnings of the
women wdio worked on 50 days or more were $197.80 for sorters and
$315 for packers, both of these exceeding the median of the women
reported with 50 days or more of employment in the fish canneries.







PART XII
LABOR TURNOVER IN CANNERIES AND WAREHOUSES

There was nothing haphazard in the bookkeeping in the fruit
warehouses or the canneries. In fact, the books were so uniformly
well kept that at the end of the season it was possible to check over
the records and know how many days each employee had been at
work; whether she had been employed 1 day .or 50. It seemed
advisable to get attendance records for some of the representative
plants, since one of the problems in the canning industry is the coming
and going of employees. The high labor turnover is a constant
worry of the canner. For the most part the plants visited were in
small towns or cities where there was a supply of women eager to
work a little, as in many cases they had no opportunity to earn a
penny except during the canning season. A few canneries were so
located that they could not depend entirely upon the immediate
neighborhood. These provided substantial quarters for a few
families, and sold bus tickets at a reduced rate, or even transported
the workers in a conveyance, hoping thus to be sure of steadier
workers. But in spite of these measures the cannery labor force
was not stable, and the turnover was high.
Closely allied with the question of labor turnover in the canneries
is that of the seasonal nature of the products handled and the uncer­
tainty of crop deliveries, i*esulting in uncertainty for the workers as
to dependable employment. This situation varies, to be sure, with
the different classes of establishments discussed in this report. Fish
canneries and apple warehouses represent the two extremes, the former
the most uncertain, with dull or hectic days and nights, the latter the
most certain, with a fairly standard labor force. What the day’s
work in a fish cannery will be can never be foreseen until the boats
come in, whereas in an apple warehouse when the work is once started
it can be so organized as to proceed almost without interruption 10
hours a day for about two months, because the harvest has been
closely estimated and the product is not so perishable as many others.
Between these two extremes of fish canneries and apple warehouses
are conditions in the fruit and vegetable canneries. In these
establishments, by means of canning a succession of crops, begin­
ning with spinach or early berries and cherries and continuing with
string beans, pears, and apples, which are the most important canned
products, the season is prolonged over many months. There is an




161

1.62

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

overlapping of harvest periods with some crops; for example, one
cannery had work on beans and berries at the same time, another
was finishing berries and beginning pears, and still another had beans
to can after pears had come into the market. This of course tends
to equalize the labor force, hut the peak season in cherries or pears
requires many more women than does the peak season in apples, so
that there is not work for all the women throughout the six months’
season.
On the whole, it is not surprising that there is no such thing as a
standard labor force in the canneries. In one week a heavy crop is
harvested, and the next week it is almost gone, so that the plant,
instead of operating three canning lines, may operate but two, and
one-third of the women may find themselves laid off until the peak
of the harvest in the next crop. Even within the same week there
may be full-time work on some days and no work on other days.
The fluctuation in the actual numbers of women employed from week
to week is, therefore, due in part to the conditions in the industry,
and women interviewed who needed regular employment stated that
cannery work was most unsatisfactory on this account, the instability
of the labor force reflecting the seasonal variations in cannery organi­
zation. On the other hand, the canners complained of their con­
stantly changing labor force, a greater anxiety in other years than in
1923, for at the time of the survey the supply was adequate though
individuals were still shifting. Fortunately for the industry, house­
wives who can not work all the year but are eager to work for some
weeks or months form the great bulk of the women employed in the
preparation of the crops for canning. The canners depend upon this
group of women not employed in normal industries, and would have
difficulty in running their canneries without them. But as the women
have never acquired in their homes the business habit of regularity,
the employers can not expect it of them in industry, especially in
work having such irregularities as canning. The natural result is that
for several days the women work steadily, perhaps even keeping at the
job a few weeks, and then they are gone, discouraged, it may be, by
the thinness of the pay envelope after a slack week, satisfied perhaps
with what earnings they have made, or compelled by more urgent
needs at home to leave a wage-earning job. Other women go to a
cannery with the intention of earning enough to buy some household
equipment that they see no other way of getting—perhaps an electric
washer or a vacuum cleaner—and after a few weeks they too have left,
having earned enough for their present desires. School girls work
for part of the vacation so as to have money for the purchase of their
winter clothes; then they leave and other workers must fill their




LABOR TURNOVER IN CANNERIES AND WAREHOUSES

163

places. For the most part the work is unskilled, of a kind familiar to
the women all their lives. If it were skilled work and the pay were
proportionately higher they might be contented to remain throughout
the season.
Both the canner who wants dependable employees and the employee
who wants regular work have their troubles, which are illustrated in
the tables presented in this section.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CANNERIES

Despite the fact that work can be fairly well stabilized in the fruit
and vegetable canneries, the accompanying table, giving the number
of days worked by the women in three canneries and an evaporator,
shows considerable variation from one plant to another.
Table 36.—Days

worked during the season, women in three fruit and vegetable
canneries (plants 1, 2, and S) and one evaporator

Number and per cent of women working on each specified number of days in—

Number of days ©n
which work was
done

Plant 1 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 269
days)

Plant 2 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 139
days)

Plant 3 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 130
days)

Plant 4: Fruit evap­
orator
(longest
time worked by
any woman, 37
days)

Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent
Total................
1 or 2_.........................
3 and under 7............
7 and under 13
13 and under 19
19 and under 25........
25 and under 31. _
_
31 and under 37....... .
37 and under 43.........
43 and under 49
49 and under 55.........
55 and under 61.........
61 and under 67.........
67 and under 73.........
73 and under 79
.
79 and under 85.........
85 and under 91.........
91 and under 97.........
97 and under 103.......
103 and under 109___
109 and under 115___
115 and under 121___
121 and under 127___
127 and under 133___
133 and under 139___
339 and under 146_
_
145 and under 151___
151 and under 157___
187 and under 193___
193 and under 199___
199 and under 205___
218 and under 224.
224 and under 230...
230 and under 236___
236 and under 242. _..
266 and under 272___




387

100.0

191

100.0

272

100.0

170

32
55
63
56
49
30
21
14
12
15
3
2
2
i
2
3
3
2
3
1
2
1
1
1
2
I
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1

8.3
14.2
16.3
14.5
12.7
7.8
5.4
3.6
3.1
3.9
.8
.5
.5
.3
.5
.8
.8
.5
.8
.3
.5
.3
.3
.3
.5
.3
.3
.3
.3
.3
.3
.3
.3
.5
.3

1
3
11
12
12
11
18
20
13
12
10
14
6
1
2
5
1
4
4
6
4
11
4
5
1

0.5
1.6
5.8
6.3
6.3
5.8
9.4
10.5
6.8
6.3
5.2
7.3
3. 1
.5
1.0
2.6
.5
2. 1
2. 1
3.1
2. 1
5.8
2. 1
2.6
.5

46
46
44
37
16
17
13
12
4
9
4
7
2
4
1
3
1

16.9
16.9
16.2
13.6
5.9
6.3
4.8
4.4
1. 5
3.3
1.5
2.6
.7
3.5
.4
1.1
.4

33
44

3
2

1. 1
.7

1

.4

18
15
10
9
5

100.0

164

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

The most striking fact shown by this arrangement of attendance,
records is that 79, or almost one-tenth of all the cannery women
reported tried work on only one or two days and then quit their jobs.
The situation in plant 3, where about one-sixth of the women worked
only a day or two, approximately one-third worked not over 6 days
or the equivalent of a week, one-half worked not over 12 days, and
more than five-eighths worked not over 18 days, though the plant
was in operation more than five months, is amazing. This plant,
like plant 2, was convenient to a resident labor supply of women who
had almost no other convenient place to work. The two plants were
operating the same number of canning lines, were canning the same
kinds of crops, and were so near each other that they were subject
to the same soil and crop conditions. The women in the two plants
were of the same type—chiefly housewives and high-school girls.
The only explanation for the differences in steadiness of employ­
ment is that plant 2 had organized its sources of supply of raw prod­
uct so that it was coming in steadily to the cannery, which meant
that the girls had regular work, while in plant 3 the supply was un­
certain from day to day, frequently the days being so short that the
girls were dissatisfied with then’ earnings, became discouraged, and
gave up entirely, and new girls had to be found for the work. In
plant 2, however, although it had not so high a percentage of short­
time workers as plant 3, 14 per cent of the girls did not work over
throe weeks, and here the superintendent felt the fault was with
the women. The majority were not regularly wage earners, they
knew nothing of factory discipline, and although it was very in­
formal, they had not the freedom enjoyed for years in their own
homes, many of them being middle-aged housewives. Finding condi­
tions very different, they soon became discouraged and left after a
brief trial of the work.
In plant 1 more than one-fifth of all the 387 women hired during
the year worked only from 1 to 7 days; about three-eighths worked
not over 12 days, and one-half (53.2 per cent) had gone after working
18 days or less. Only 40 women worked as much as 55 days in this
plant, while in plant 2, with its much smaller number of women,
there were 78 who worked at least 55 days. The difference in the
operating period of plant 1 which was not closed during the entire year,
accounts for the 10 women who worked more than 150 days. As a
matter of fact, however, only 17.2 per cent of the women in the
three plants worked as much as 55 days, or about 9 weeks, the con
dition in this respect being best in plant 2, where 40.8 per cent of the
women, compared with about 10 per cent in plants 1 and 3, had this
record.




LABOR TURNOVER IX CANNERIES AND WAREHOUSES

165

An evaporator, plant 4, is included with the canneries. The only
crop prepared for market by this firm in 1923 was apples, and here
work was very regular through the season of the apple harvest; but
the work of the women—unskilled—was the same as the work in fruit
canneries, and the rate of pay was similar. However, the record of
attendance at work among the women in the evaporator is worse than
the record in fruit canneries, for in the former more than three-fourths
of the 170 women employed during the season of about seven weeks
had quit their jobs by or before the end of their eighteenth day of
service, a period of time equivalent to three weeks, and in this case
there was no uncertainty in the crop, for apples were plentiful and
not perishable, and the work was a steady 10-hour-day routine.
There seems no adequate explanation unless this unskilled work has
unconsciously grown to he regarded by the casual laborer as a sub­
stitute for intermittent daywork.
FISH CANNERIES

Probably there is less of a standard labor supply for fish canning
than for other types of canneries. Although the high wages paid
in fish canneries do attract some women away from more reg­
ular and dependable occupations, the season for work in fish canneries
is too much of a gamble for women who feel the compulsion of yearround work and can find steady employment elsewhere. The possi­
bility of working in these canneries is limited to three or four weeks for
most women, this being due to tremendous variations in the demand
for labor. Although there is in general the possibility of some work
in July, August, and September, the peak of the season occurs during
the latter part of August and the first week in September, coincident
with the great run of pink or humpback salmon.
The situation in the fish-canning industry is well illustrated by the
conditions in 1923. For the first six weeks of the season, during July
and until the middle of August, the fishing was dull and a small force
only was needed; then for about three weeks the canneries ran to full
capacity, after which fishing became gradually poorer. In other
words, before the great run of humpback salmon the fish canneries
operated only one canning line, but during the peak of the season
several plants were operating three lines, occasionally more, and as
the catch of fish increased the number of girls was doubled, even
trebled. For a week, during the run of humpbacks in September,
the fishing season was closed, as usual, and everyone was laid off
except perhaps some warehouse employees,' and when fishing opened
again the peak of the run was over, the number of canning lines was
gradually reduced to one, and the force needed to can the fish also
was decreased.




166

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

On the other hand, the fish canners, like the fruit and vegetable
canners, were exasperated by the great numbers of women, em­
ployed in good faith for urgent work, who left after working a day
or two. Of the 568 women engaged by six fish canneries during the
season of 1923, 83, or 14.6 per cent, left after their first or second day
of work. As the women employed in the fish canneries live in the
neighborhood and know the conditions of work, it does not seem
possible that they try it out “just to see what it is like,” as women in
fruit canneries have admitted doing. After a long day, however,
some may find it harder or more disagreeable than they had antici­
pated and may have to give it up.
That the length of the season varied greatly from fish cannery to
fish cannery is obvious from the following table:
Table 37.—Days

worked during the season, women in fish canneries

Number and per cent of women working on each specified number of days in—

Number of days on which
work was done

Plant 5
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman,
93 days)

Plant 6
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman,
88 days)

Plant 7
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman.
78 days)

Plant 8
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman,
91 days)

Plant 9
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman,
44 days)

Plant 10
(longest
time
worked
by any
woman,
28 days)

Num­ Per Num­ Per Num­ Per Num­ Per Num­ Per Num­ Per
ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent
Total..........................
lor2 ..................................
3 and under 7......................
7 and under 13....................
13 and under 19
19 and under 25...................
25 and under 31....... ..........
31 and under 37......... .........
37 and under 43...................
43 and under 49
49 and under 55........ .........
07 and under 73 ...................
73 and under 79.... ..............
79 and under 85___ _____

110 100.0
12
15
14
7
10
8
5
7
3
4
0
4
5
2
1
1

10.9
13.6
12.7
6.4
9.1
7.3
4.5
6.4
2.7
5.5
3.6
5.6
3.6
4.6
1.8
.9
.9

190 100.0
38
47
21
14
15
11
10
8
6
5
8
2
1

20.0
24.7
11.1
7.4
7.9
5.8
5.3
4.2
3.2
2.6
4.2
1.1
.5

2
2

1.1
1.1

108 100.0
15
16
14
15
10
8
8
6
2
8
3
1

13.9
14.8
13.0
13.9
9.3
7.4
7.4
5.6
1.9
7.4
2.8
.9

2

1.9

62 100.0
9
16
12
2

14.5
25.8
19.3
3.2

2
2
1
2

3.2
3.2
1.6
3.2

1
1
5
4
4
1

17 100.0

81

100.0

7
20
21
14
11
8

8.6
24.7
25.9
17.3
13. 6
9.9

1.6
1.6
8.1
6.5
6.5
1.6

2
1

11.8
5.9

3
4
2

17.6
23. 5
11.8

4
1

23. 5
5.9

Plant 10, which had the shortest season of all the fish canneries,
employed women for only about four weeks, including the time of the
heavy rim of humpback salmon. Plant 9 had a shorter season than
most canneries of this type and stopped operating before the end of
the open season for fishing. Plants 5, 6, 7, and 8 opened before the
big run of humpback salmon that came the latter part of August,
operating a few days now and then through July. Due to these un­
usual seasonal conditions in salmon canning, employment for more




LABOR TURNOVER IN CANNERIES AND WAREHOUSES

167

than 24 days extended beyond the peak season, when in many can­
neries the number of employees was necessarily reduced. Accord­
ingly it is not surprising to find a decreasing number of women work­
ing more than 24 days. In the first four typical plants the peak
employment was from 3 to 13 days; in plant 5 more than one-fourth
(26.4 per cent) of all the women were included in this employment
period, in plant 6 over one-third (35.8 per cent), in plant 7 over onefourth (27.8 per cent), and in plant 8 not quite one-half (45.2 per
cent). That a few women worked for 80 days and longer was prob­
ably because warehouse work continued after the canning was done.
FRUIT WAREHOUSES

In marked contrast with the large percentage of women working
only a few days in the canneries is the following record in some of
the fruit warehouses:
Table 38.—Days

worked during the season, women in fruit warehouses

Number and per cent of women working each specified num­
ber of days in—
Number of days on which work was done

Plant 11 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 80
days)

Plant 12 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 48
days)

Plant 13 (longest
time worked by
any woman, 48
days)

Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent
116

73 and under 79_____ _______________

100.0

34

100.0

11

100.0

10
10
20
11
5
10
16
3
12
3
2
4
5
3
2

8.6
8.6
17.2
9.5
4.3
8.6
13.8
2.6
10.3
2.6
1.7
3.4
4.3
2.6
1.7

2

5.9

7
2
2
1
3
3
14

20.6
6.9
6.9
2.9
8.8
8.8
41.2

1
1
1
1

9.1
9.1
9.1
9.1

1
2
3

9.1
9.1
18.2
27.3

Plant 11 had a longer season than the other two because it packed
pears with a small force of girls for a few weeks in the late summer,
and therefore the numbers of women are spread over a longer period
than in plants 12 and 13, which packed steadily about eight weeks
through the apple harvest. In plant 12 one-fourth of the women
left after working 12 days or less, but, on the other hand, one-half
of them worked through into the last two weeks of the season. The
57206°—26t-----12




168

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

numbers of women employed in plant 13 were so small that the distri­
bution of numbers is interesting only because it indicates the tend­
ency to remain to the end of the season.
COMPARISON OF INDUSTRIES AS TO LABOR TURNOVER

The accompanying summary of the three tables presented in this
section shows the proportion of women in each plant who worked
less than one-fourth of the greatest number of days worked by any
one woman, the proportion who worked one-half or more, and the
proportion who worked three-fourths or more of this period. It is
not possible to analyze these figures to show how much of this record
of undertime employment was due to the innate conditions of the
industry and how much was due to the prevalent shifting among
employees.
Table 39.—Time

worked during the season, women in canneries and warehouses

Fruit and vegetable
canneries anti fruit
evaporator

Fish canneries

Fruit warehouses

Item

Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant
1
4
6
7
8
2
3
6
9
10
11
12
13
Number of women
employed during
season _ _ ______ 387
Greatest number of
days worked by
any woman during
season_ _______ 269
_
Women working less
than one-fourth of
this time:
Number...
352
Per cent..... ........ 91.0
Women working onehalf or more-of this
time:
Number.
14
Per cent______ 3.6
Women working
three-fourths or
more of this time:
Number .
7
Per cent
1.8

191

272

170

110

190

108

62

17

81

116

34

11

139

130

37

93

88

78

91

44

28

80

48

48

60
31.4

211
77.6

101
59.4

57 131
51.8 68.9

61
56.5

39
62.9

3
17.6

27
33.3

53
45. 7

9
26.5

3
27.3

53
27.7

20
7.4

39
22.9

31
28.2

26
13.7

19
17.6

18
8
29.0 47.1

32
39.5

33
28.4

21
61.8

7
63.3

33
17.3

6
2.2

18
10.6

12
10.9

5

2.6

3
2.8

14
22.6

17
21.0

14
12.1

17
50.0

5
45.5

5
29.4

Fluctuations in the labor force are further emphasized in the
following arrangement, Table 40, showing the numbers of women
whose names appeared on the 1923 pay rolls of three fruit and vege­
table canneries, one fruit evaporator, two fish canneries, and three
apple and pear warehouses.




LABOR, TURNOVER IN CANNERIES AND WAREHOUSES
Table 40.—Number

Date of pay roll

Plant 1: Fruit and' vegetable cannery (operating 52 weeks and employing a total of 387
women):
Jan. 5....................
12....................
19
26............. ........
Feb. 2......................
9....
16
23
Mar. 1............... ......
8
15.....................
22_____
29........ ............
Apr. 5........ ...........
12
19
26......................
May 3_
_
... ...
10
17......................
24.....................
31
June 7....................
14
21______ ____
28............. ........
July 6........ .............
12
19______
26....................
Aug. 2---------------9
16
23
30__________
Sept. 6___________
13.....................
20

27
4
11____ ____ _
18
25
Nov. 1______ ___
8
15
22__________
Oct.

Dee.

29

6...

_____ _______

13...................
20
27.....................

of women’s names appearing on
canneries and warehouses

Num­
ber of
names

30
16
16
14
15
21
24
23
27
23
22
36
*41
34
4
4
4
4
13
14
13
14
5
10
11
4
140
255
230
191
16
23
113
160
141
136
132
106
68
20
29
26
29

29
28

28
27
26
25
24
19
7

Date of pay roll

Plant 2: Fruit and vege­
table cannery (operat­
ing 24 weeks and em­
ploying a total of 191
women):
June 30.....................
July 15
31__..................
Aug. 15
31___ ___ _
Sept. 15........... .........
30
Oct. 15..... ......... ......
31
Nov. 15.....................
30
Plant 3: Fruit and vege­
table cannery (operat­
ing 24 weeks and em­
ploying a total of 272
women):
May 31
June 15
30....................
July 15
31..... ......... .
Aug. 15.....................
31........ ............
Sept. 15__________
30
Oct. 15....... ..............
31
Nov. 15
Plant 4: Fruit evapora­
tor (operating 7 weeks
and employing a total
of 170 women):
Nov. 11....................
18.....................
25
Dec. 2______ ____
9______ ____
16.......... .........
23.....................
Plant 8:1 Fish cannery
(operating 10 weeks
and employing a total
of 17 women):
July 15......................
22
31
Aug. 10_______
17.....................
24
31.....................
Sept. 7......................

Num­
ber of
names

140
151
150
145
137
81
76
57
58
48
41

20
62
105
94
104
37
93
89
81
79
86
6

65
66
63
60
78
90
49

169

pay-roll records of 1928

Date of pay roll

Plant 9;i Fish cannery
(operating 5 weeks and
employing a total of 81
women):
Aug. 11.....................
18.....................
25........ .......... .
Sept. 1
8_._..............................

Plant 11: Fruit ware­
house (operating 14
weeks and employing
a total of 116 women):
Aug. 20.....................
27
Sept. 3..... .............. .
10
17
24. ____ _____
Oct. 1____.......... .
8
15. ............... .
22................... .
29
Nov. 5.....................
12
19
Plant 12: Fruit ware­
house (operating 10
weeks and employing a
total of 34 women):
Sept. 28_____ _____
Oct. 5
12
19. .................. .
26__________
Nov. 2____ ______
9
16
23
30
Plant 13: Fruit ware­
house (operating 9
weeks and employing
;
a total of 11 women):
Sept. 30
Oct. 15.....................
31.................... .
Nov. 15....... ............

7
7■
9
14 :
14
13
12
7

—

Num­
ber of
names

30
49
63
53

12

26
33
44
47
41
45
40
60
61
58
57
59
56

20
22

25
24
25
22
22

23

22

19

10

9
8

7

i Includes all pay-roll dates, regardless of number of days actually in operation.

Plant 1 of the group of canneries operated throughout the year,
but during nine months of the year the number of women was cut
down to a force averaging less than 20. For the other three months,
that is, July, August, and September, the number averaged 132, and
at one time—July 12—almost doubled that figure. In the first half
of August there was a tremendous falling off, due probably to harvest
conditions and the failure of the management to have a dovetailing
crop which would have stabilized the employment. During the
year, 387 women passed in and out of this plant. Plants 2 and 3



170

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

did not operate at all until May or June and were closed again by
December. However, the proportion of women employed in the
late days of fall was greater in plants 2 and 3 than in plant 1. At
the end of October plant 3 was still employing 81.9 per cent and
plant 2 was employing 38.4 per cent of the maximum number, whereas
plant 1 had only 11.4 per cent as many women employed as at the
peak. Plant 2 still had more than 27 per cent of its maximum num­
ber when it closed (the end of November), 191 women having come
and gone during the 24 weeks since the end of June. The chief break
in this plant was in early September, when it arranged its equipment
for apple canning and settled down to only one crop. Plant 3,
besides beginning and ending with few employees, had one slack
period, the first two weeks in August. Except for this drop the
numbers were from 80 to 100, with little variation, yet in the 24
weeks of operation 272 women were employed.
The conditions in an apple evaporator make it possible to plan
for a somewhat standardized force during the short season. The
crop is more certain, and peeling is done by machinery, so that the
force of women who feed the peelers and trim the apples is quite
constant. The numbers in plant 4, therefore, did not vary much
from week to week; for four weeks of the seven weeks of operation
the range was from 60 to 66 only, yet it was necessary to hire 170
women to maintain this fairly steady force.
In regard to the fish canneries, plant 9, in operation only five weeks,
reached its peak of employment at the end of August and closed a
week later with almost the entire force at work to the last. Plant
8, employing only a small number of women, was in operation for
10 weeks, but for one-half of the time the women at work constituted
only one-half of the maximum number.
In the fruit-warehouse group, plants 12 and 13 show a fairly even
condition of employment in apple sorting and packing. Plant 11
handled two crops—pears during the first few weeks and apples after
September. The foreman in this warehouse attributed much of the
apparent changing of employees to the fact that he had had so many
different girls for pear packing, which is less popular with the workers
than apple packing, because it pays less. “They come and go,
then,” he said, “and the best apple packers don’t wear themselves
out on pears before the apples come in.” During apple packing he
had little trouble except with sorters, but even with this latter group
he had less trouble than with the workers on pears.




PART XIII
OCCUPATIONAL

HISTORIES

OF

THE WOMEN WORKERS

To complete the factors that determine the characteristics of the
group of women employed in the canning and fruit industries, it is
necessary to become familiar with their occupational histories—the
type and duration of the work in which they had previously been
employed. It is essential to know whether the greatest number of
this group were habitual followers of the seasonal occupations in the
canning and fruit industries or whether they were followers of occu­
pations that were steadier and more regular in their nature. It is
important to understand whether those who had selected regular
occupations, that is, occupations that are not, by nature, seasonal,
had worked regularly throughout their periods of work history or
whether they had worked for short periods of time only and had
become irregular workers on regular jobs. A consideration of these
facts is necessary in order to determine whether these women belonged
to the group of women who must earn their own living or to the
group who are adding to a family income and helping to share family
responsibilities or earning extra money, the necessity for which may
be gravely important. The fact that a group of workers have re­
sponsibilities which prevent them from working more than a few
weeks or months during an entire year is insufficient reason for
ignoring or even minimizing the importance of their contributions.
Seasonal-occupation followers and irregular workers have too long
been considered a group whose earnings are not believed to be used
for serious purposes. Seasonal workers are essential to seasonal
industries. It is of vast importance to a fruit cannery to be able to
mobilize its army of cutters and packers upon very short notice at
the time the fruit is ripe and before it is overripe. Getting the
workers together means saving the crop.
REGULAR, IRREGULAR, AND SEASONAL OCCUPATIONS

According to Table 41, nearly one-half (48 per cent) of the workers
engaged in seasonal work in the canning and fruit industries covered
by the survey had previously been engaged in regular occupations.
A little more than 42 per cent had done nothing but seasonal work
all their lives; about 6 per cent had been working in occupations
which are irregular in nature, and the remaining few had worked
both regularly and irregularly. Although, as stated, nearly one-lialf
171



172

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

of this whole number (48 per cent) were regular workers, stopping
from time to time to take up seasonal occupations, an examination
of the work histories of this group shows a comparatively small
amount of time spent in actual employment. Those who had an
over-all work period 1 of less than 6 months averaged but 2 months
in regular work and 1 month in seasonal work. The groups having
over-all periods of from 6 months to 1 year averaged 4.7 months in
regular work and 2.3 months in seasonal work. The women in the
next over-all employment group—1 to 2 years—showed a higher
average of regular work (6.4 months) but a lower average of seasonal
work (1.8 months). .After this period, as would be expected, there
is a steady increase in the average number of months of regular
work and average of seasonal work with the increase in the length
of time of employment. The women working from 5 to 10 years
worked on regular jobs only a little over 3 years. The largest group
of regular workers, those whose work histories show an over-all period
of from 10 to 20 years, averaged less than 6 years in actual time
in regular work. Even those working 40 years and over had less
than 19 years of regular work to their credit. The average total
time in regular work for all these groups together is only a very
little over 5 years. And so it becomes evident that, although nearly
one-half of the workers who selected seasonal occupations in the
canning and fruit industries were workers coming from steady and
regular occupations, they were not workers who had been employed
steadily and regularly throughout their life period of work history.
Of the 2,172 women included in Table 41, 42 per cent are those
seasonal workers who had done nothing but seasonal work. The
total amount of time they had to their credit as wage earners also
is low. The average length of time spent in seasonal work slightly
increases as the period of industrial work history increases. This
shows the tendency of the w'orker to return year after year to these
seasonal occupations. This tendency was true of the regular and
irregular workers as well as of the seasonal group. The greatest
amount of time spent in seasonal work by any group in the table—
a little more than 3 years—was spent by the group of women who
had done seasonal work only and whose work period was between
20 and 30 years. So it becomes evident that the total amount of
time spent by these workers in seasonal employment is very small.
The time spent in irregular work—that is, work in which employ­
ment usually lasts but a few days at a time—extends over a greater
period, but the total time worked would doubtless be little.
In spite of the fact that these 2,172 women whose employment is
shown in Table 41 can not be classed as a group of steady workers,
1 The over-all wort period is here taken as the time from the first job until the date of the survey.




OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY

173

though they returned year after year to their seasonal occupations,
the importance and the necessity of their work should not be mini­
mized. It is unfair to say that they were merely earning unnecessary
“pin money.” Home duties were largely responsible for women
becoming irregular or seasonal workers. Family illness, unemploy­
ment of the wage earner, unsafe investments, money for educational
purposes—all are important reasons why women select irregular
employment. The privilege and ability to work increase self-respect,
and it would doubtless be impossible to determine the actual values
at critical times obtained by adding to family incomes by such
methods. Moreover, as before stated, the labor of these women for
a few weeks or months is essential to the industry.




174

Table 41.—Character of other employment, as regular or irregular, by over-all period of employment—all industries

Over-all poriod of employ­
ment (period of occupa­
tional history)
Regu­
Num­ Per lar oc­
ber cent cupa­
tions

Irregu­
lar oc­
cupa­
tions

Total.............
2,172 100.0 59.2 105.5
Under 6 months_
_
344 15.8
2.0 3.5
7
6 months and under 1 year 260 .3 4.7 9.2
6.3
1 and under 3 years.. _
2 and under 2 years...
198 12.0 12.6 17.5
9.1
3 and under 5 years...
312 14.4 21.5 27.9
5 and under 10 years..
375 17.3 36.1 43.2
334 15.4 66.1 97.3
10 and under 20 years.
20 and under 30 years.
197 9.1 96.6 157.9
30 and under 40 years.
99 4.6 132.5 256.8
40 years and over.......
46 2.1 216.6 356.6




Regular occupations

Both regular and irregular occupa­
tions

Irregular occupations

Seasonal work only

Aver­ Aver­
Aver­ Aver­
Aver­ Aver­ Aver­
Aver­
age
age
age
age
age
age
age
age
Sea­
number number number
number
num­
sonal Num­ Per ber of number Num­ Per number number Num­
of
of
of
of
Per
of
of
Per
of
occu­ ber cent months months ber cent months months ber cent months months months Num­ cent months
ber
pa­
of
of
of ir­
of
of
of ir­
of
of
tions
regular seasonal
regular seasonal
regular regular seasonal
seasonal
work work
work work
work work work
work

6.0
1.1
2.3

3.1
5.0

6.0
8.2
8.5
8.5
7.9

11.0

1,042

48.0

24
7
75
76
145
209
242
157
74
33

7.0

100.0
28.8
38.4
46.5
55.7
72.5
79.7
74.7
71.7

60.4

5.1

2.0
4.7

1.0
2.3

22.2
37.1

1.8
3.1
4.0
4.8
5.7
6.3
8.4

6.4
12.9
68.9

102.0
139.0
226.8

10.8

126

5.8

101.1

7.0

2

.6

3.5

.3

5
15
23
28

1.9
7.6
7.4
7.5

8.6
18.7
30.8
44.6
107.5
183.2
308.4
327.1

1.3
3.3

22 6.6
13 6.6
10 17.4
10.1
8

6.6
8.1
9.6

5.8
5.5
12.3

85

3.9

1
4 2.0
10 3.2
13 3.5

25
15
13
4

7.5
7.6
13.1
8.7

112.2

1.0

12.0
13.0
21.3
40.4
88.3
136.0
217.1
415.5

6.8
11.3
20.0
39.2

40.6
95.0
132.0

%

6.3
.3
7.0
4.7
5.1

6.0
10.3

4.4
7.1

919

42.3

318
.4

44.2

92.4

1.1

68.8
52.0
42.9
33.3
13.5

3.7
6.5

179
103
134
125
45

12 6.1
2 2.0
1 2.2

6.7

8.2
14. 1
24.4
38.6
23.1
24.0

W O M E N IN FB U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Seasonal workers who had been employed at—
Women re­ Average number of
months of em­
porting
ployment at—

OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY

175

The proportion of workers who had never been engaged in either
regular or irregular occupations, but who had always been followers
of seasonal occupations during their entire period of work histories
varied little in the different fruit and canning industries. The
variation is approximately 10 per cent, as is seen in the following
summary:

Industry

Berry fields _____ ___________ _
Prune orchards and driers _ _
________
Apple and pear orchards .
Apple and pear warehouses__ ____
__ __
Fruit and vegetable canneries .
______
Fish and clam canneries
_
_

Number of
women
reporting

507
117
139
357
900
152

Per cent of
workers who
had been
engaged in
seasonal occu­
pations only

39.
41
3 o'
46.
46.

5
3
7
5
4
7

The more detailed figures reveal that these seasonal workers
averaged in total time during their entire work periods from 3.3
months to 8.4 months in these different industries. The group of
women found in the prune orchards and driers show the smallest
average, while those in the warehouses show the greatest.
According to Table 42, nearly three-fourths (72.9 per cent) of the
1,042 women who had been engaged in regular occupations reported
but one kind of work, 20 per cent reported two kinds of work, 5 per
cent three, and only 1.4 per cent over three kinds. The largest group
of the 760 women who had been employed in but one occupation
were those whose period of work history had been between 10 and
20 years. This large group of women having had throughout their
work history but one occupation is marked evidence that the group
of regular workers was not for the most part composed of women
who had tried various kinds of work, but of those who had started
and stopped the same occupation many times or who had long
intervals of unemployment. Also, by far the largest majority of the
women engaged in irregular occupations were those who had had
but one kind of work.




176

Table 42.—Number of occupations in other employment, by over-all period of employment—all industries

Num­
Regular occupations
ber
of
ployment (entire oc- wornAll occupa- 1 occupacupational history)
tions
tion
3
2

Regular and irregular
occupations

Irregular occupations

Seasonal work only

All occupa- 1 occupaAll occupa- 1 or more All occupa- 1 occupa2
tions
tion
tions
occupations
tion
tions
2 to 5 5 to 8
than
occu3
occu- occupations
pa- papa- pa- occutions tions pa- Num- Per Num- Per and Num- Per Num- Per Num- Per Num- Per tions tions
Num- Per Num- Per
tions ber cent ber cent over ber cent ber cent ber cent ber cent
ber cent ber cent

8
occupations
and
over

158

89

3
8
64
73
10

1
3
3
39
29
11
2
1

Total................... 2,172 1,042 100.0

760 100.0

212

3.0

1




2.3

23

75

7.2

71

20 1
40 years and over

24

260

6 months and under 1

344

149

3.2

21

46

33

.9
9.3
84
14. 7
19. 6
20. 8
2.8

55

15

126 100.0
2

4
12
28
39
62
39

5
17
18
7

9

2

4
4
3
3
1

1.6

5 4.0
15 11.9
23 18.3
28 22.2
22 17.5
13 10.3
10 7.9
8 6.3

108 100.0
2

85 100.0

85 100.0

5 4.6
13 12.0
20 18. 5
23 21.3
19 17.6
10 9.3
9 8.3
7 6.5

2
3
5
3
3
1
1

1
4
10
13
■25
15
13
4

1.2
4.7
11.8
15.3
29.4
17.6
15.3
4.7

1
4
10
13
25
15
13
4

1.2
4.7
11.8
15.3
29.4
17.6
15.3
4.7

919 100.0

248 100.0

424

318

18

1.9

34.6

244 98.4

74

179
103
134
125
45
12
2
1

19.5
11.2
14.8
13.6
4.9
1.3
.2
.1

4

1.6

171
92
67
13
6
1

W O M EN IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Number of women who had been employed at—

OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY

177

ACTUAL TIME OF SEASONAL WORK DURING A 12-MONTH PERIOD

To be able to determine the actual time of employment in seasonal
occupations that vary to some extent from year to year, it is necessary
to study intensively a given period. Table 43 and Table 44 show the
average time and the actual time worked during a 12-month period.
Table 43.—Average number of weeks in seasonal work during a 12-month period,

by industry
Women reporting

Industry

Total............. ...........................
One branch of industry only—
Berry fields_______ _____ _____
Prune orchards.......... ............ ........
Apple and pear orchards. _____.......
Apple and pear warehouses...........
Fruit and vegetable canneries........
Fish and clam canneries________
One or more branches in addition to—
Berry fields.....................................
Prune orchards...............................
Apple and pear orchards________
Apple and pear warehouses_____
Fruit and vegetable canneries.......
Fish and clam canneries________




Average
number
of weeks
in season­
Number Per cent al work
2,841

100.0

7.4

533
124
111
302
994
262

18.8
4.4
3.9
10.6
35. 0
9.2

3.8
1.7
5.1
7.7
9.2
6.7

65
46
67
107
172
58

2.3
1.6
2.4
3.8
6. 1
2.0

9.7
8.3
8.9
11. 1
8.8
9.6

178

Table 44.—Number of weeks worked, during a 12-month period, by industry

porting
Industry

Less than 1
week

Num­ Per Num­ Per
ber
cent ber
cent
Total..................................................... 2,841
One branch of industry only—
Apple and pear warehouses................. .
Fruit and vegetable canneries.................
Fish and clam canneries.......................
One or more branches in addition to—
Apple and pear orchards.................... .
Apple and pear warehouses....................
Fruit and vegetable canneries................
Fish and clam canneries....................... .




1 and under
2 weeks

2 and under
5 weeks

Num­ Per Num­ Per
ber
ber
cent
cent

5 and under
10 weeks

10 and under 15 and under 20 and under 25 weeks and
15 weeks
25 weeks
20 weeks
over

Num­ Per Num­ Per Num­ Per
cent
ber
cent ber
cent
ber

100.0

288

10.1

317

11.2

678

23.9

807

28.4

375

13.2

179

533
124
111
302
994
262

18. 8
4.4
3.9
10.6
35.0
9.2

57
65
7
30
82
43

10. 7
52.4
6. 3
9.9
8.2
16.4

97
23
13
19
114
31

18.2
18.5
11.7
6.3
11.5
11.8

229
32
42
64
148
54

43.0
25.8
37.8
21.2
14.9
20.6

118
2
40
100
293
65

22.1
1.6
36.0
33.1
29.5
24.8

25
2
4
50
165
40

4. 7
1.6
3.6
16.6
16.6
15.3

2
26
69
17

65
46
67
107
172
58

2.3
1.6
2.4
3.8
6.1
2.0

1
1
1
1

1.5
.9
.6
1.7

1
2
3
2
10
2

1. 5
4.3
4.5
1.9
5.8
3.4

21
8
17
41
7

23.1
45. 7
11.9
15.9
23.8
12.1

22
11
34
32
61
29

33. 8
23.9
50.7
29.9
35.5
50.0

11
4
11
23
30
10

16.9
8.7
16.4
21.5
17.4
17.2

12
2
7
18
16
3

4

Num­ Per Num­ Per
ber
cent ber
cent
102

3.6

95

3.3

1.8
8.6
6.9
6.5

7
62
8

2.3
6.2
3.1

3
6
61
4

2.7
2.0
6.1
1.5

18.5
4.3
10.4
16.8
9.3
5.2

2
1
2
10
9
1

3.1
2.2
3.0
9.3
5.2
1.7

2
5
1
4
4
5

3.1
10.9
1.5
3.7
2.3
8.6

6.3
1.3

b

W O M EN IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U ST R IE S

Number and per cent of women in each specified industry who had worked during a 12-month period—

OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY

179

Only 17 per cent of the regular workers appear in Table 43; that
is, only 17 per cent of the entire group of women who had been
doing regular work and 3 per cent of those who had been doing irregu­
lar work carried over their regular and irregular work into the last
12-month period, the period selected for intensive study.
Almost 82 per cent of the entire group of women in all industries
did not change seasonal industries during the whole 12-month
period. This shows a tendency of the women workers to remain
with the industry until the season is over, or until they are com­
pelled to stop doing seasonal work entirely. Factors which influ­
ence labor turnover and shifting of jobs have been discussed in
another section of this report. Among women who had worked in
but one seasonal industry, workers in the fruit and vegetable can­
neries show the greatest average length of time of seasonal employ­
ment during the 12-month period. This maximum average time
was a little over 9 weeks. According to Table 44, a little over 10
per cent of the women worked less than one week in seasonal work
and over 3 per cent worked between 25 weeks and one year. The
largest group of women in any one of the time classifications, 28.4
per cent, worked between 5 and 10 weeks. Table 43 shows that
the average employment of all workers in seasonal work was a little
more than 7 weeks. This does not mean, however, that each one
of these days was a full day’s work or that each one of these
weeks was a complete wage-earning week. Rarely in most of these
seasonal industries was there full-time employment.
BEGINNING AND PRESENT AGE OF WORKERS

The present age of workers engaged in these seasonal industries
is discussed at more length in another section. Table 45 shows that
the largest number of workers in any of the age groups were the 535
women between the ages of 20 and 30, these constituting somewhat
less than one-fourth of the total number reporting on age. It is sig­
nificant to consider the total time of employment of all the women
included in this report as a class, in recognition of the fact that they
were not, generally speaking, normal wage earners, at work to earn
a living, but it is especially interesting to analyze the group whose
ages were between 40 and 50 years. Nearly 27 per cent of these
women showed less than six months in total time worked, and over
50 per cent had been employed less than three years. Of the women
between the ages of 50 and 60, nearly one-fourth had worked less
than one year. Moreover, 44.8 per cent of the entire group of women
had worked less than one year. Almost regardless of age, then,
these workers that made up the pay rolls of the canning and fruit
industries showed a very small period of actual employment. How­
ever, this class of women belongs to the wage-earning group and is
essential to a seasonal industry which, in order to market its perish­
able goods, must mobilize its army of workers quickly.



180

Table 45.—Number of years worked in all employment, by age at time of survey

Age at time of survey

Num­
ber of
women
report­
ing

Under 6
months
Num­ Per
ber
cent

6 months and 1 and under
3 years
under 1 year

3 and under
5 years

5 and under
10 years

10 and under 20 and under 30 and under 40 years and
40 years
20 years
30 shears
over

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Num­ Per
ber cent

Num­ Per
cent
ber

Num­ Per
ber
cent

60 years and over.............................




2,235

210

so

711

37
23

*

31.8

291

13.0

467

20.9

241

10.8

280

12.5

152

6.8

54

2.4

28

1.3

11

0.5

69.8

Total..------------ --------------

54
55
78

16. 7
20.4

34
70

10. 5
26. 0

14
7

7 2
6.7
7.9

78
59
39
13

17.4
16.3
18.6
14.6

8
14
90
67
36
18
8

2. 5
5.2
16. 8
15. 0
10.0
8.6

2
4
83
84
58
37
12

.6
1.5
15. 5
18.8
16.1
17.6
13.5

16
51
53
23
9

3.0
11.4
14.7
11.0
10.1

3
22
21
8

.7
6.1
10.0
9.0

9
15
4

2.5
7.1
4. 5

6
5

2.9
5. 6

17.6
25.8

9.0

A

t

W O M EN IN F R U I T - G R O W I N G AND C A N N IN G IN D U ST R IE S

Number and per cent of women of each specified age who had worked—

OCCUPATIONAL* HISTORY

181

Although the over-all industrial history period, or the interval
from the time of starting work to the time of the interview, was long
in the lives of a large proportion of these workers, the actual time of
employment was very short. Table 46 shows that there were 106
women, or 3.8 per cent, who started to work before the age of 12 years;
593, or 21.3 per cent, who began work between the ages of 12 and 16;
628 women, or 22.6 per cent, who began between the ages of 16 and 18;
or a total of 1,327 women, 47.8 per cent of the entire group, starting
employment before the age of 18 years. Of the 106 who began work
before the age of 12 years, 40, or about 38 per cent, were under 18 years
of age at the time the study was made, and 12 of these 40 had begun
before the age of 10. There were nearly 12 per cent of the total
number reporting who did not work before the age of 40. Curiously
enough, it is not the women who were 40 years of age or over at the
time of the interview who began work under 18 years, but the greater
number in this classification were those who gave their present age
as under 25 years.
Table 46.—Age at time of survey, by age at beginning work

Age at beginning work

Total___________
Per cent distribution____
Under 10 years .................
10 and under 12 years___
12 and under 14 years___
14 and under 16 years.......
16 and under 18 years____
18 and under 20 years....... .
20 and under 25 years____
25 and under 30 years____
30 and under 40 years____
40 and under 50 years____
50 and under 60 years____
60 years and over....... .......

Number of women beginning work as specified whose age at time
of survey was—
Num­
ber of
women
report­ 16 and 18 and 20 and 25 and 30 and 40 and
ing [Under under under under under under under
18 years 20 years 25 years 30 years 40 years 50 years 60 years over
2,775

398
14.3

344
12.4

377
13.6

38

12
28
52
122
184

5
9
36
74
141
79

4
8
30
55
109
99
72

100.0
68
201

392
628
377
281
131
339
206
85
29

277
554
10.0 ' 20.0
4
5
14
35
54
55
71
39

3
10
30
52
58
75
79
59
188

461
16.6

250
9.0

5
4
20
31
48
46
34
25

5
3
12
17

140

17
16
6

114
4.1
1
7
6
8
6
9
2

61

BEGINNING OCCUPATIONS

In Table 47 are included 545 of the 607 berry pickers, or those who
reported the age at which they had started to work and the first
occupation in which they had been engaged. Almost one-half of
the women (48 per cent) reported that their first job had been seasonal
work in canneries or on ranches. Another group, almost one-fourth
(24 per cent), had engaged in domestic service at the beginning of
their wage-earning career.
/




182

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Table 47, which also correlates age at beginning work with the
first occupation performed by the women, shows that about 44 per
cent who started to work before they were 18 years old began with
seasonal work, and nearly a third began with domestic service.
Of the 25 women who had begun work before the age of 12, 14 reported
seasonal work and 9 domestic service as their first occupation.
About 12 per cent of the women had begun to work for wages
at 40 years of age or older, the great bulk of this group, or over
three-fourths, having started on seasonal work.
Table 47.—Age at beginning work and industry in which first employed—women

in the berry fields
Number of women whose first employment was as specified who began
Numwork at—
ber
ot
50
30
40
18
20
25
10
12
14
16
First employment wom­
60
en
and and and and and and and and and and
re­ Under under under under under under under under under under under years
and
port­ 10
25
30
40
50
60
18
20
16
14
ing years 12
years years years years years years years years years years over
Total..........
Seasonal agricultural
work......................
Domestic service___
Restaurant or hotel

Miscellaneous...........

545

12

13

46

91

85

71

59

24

80

45

14

6

262
135

9
2

5
7

20
15

38
31

38
24

14
16

17
16

12
6

58
12

36
3

10
2

5
1

7
5
9
1

1

1
2
2

2

4

3

32
23
23
16
14
40

■*

1

3
2
2

1

3

7
2
1
5
2
5

4
8
2
1
2
6

6
4
8
4
8
11

1
1

1
4

1
3

1
1

CHIEF OCCUPATIONS

It is difficult to select the chief occupations of workers whose total
period of employment had been as brief as that of most of the women
who were engaged in seasonal work at the time of the interview. In
Table 48 and Table 49, however, the term “chief occupation” has
been applied to the job in which the worker had spent the longest
period of time. Seasonal work heads the list of the types of work
characterized as the chief occupation, since over one-half of the women
had spent more time in this type of work than in any other. Domes­
tic service is second on the list, and restaurant and hotel service third.
None of the other varied occupations listed as the main job included
as many as 100 women. Ninety of the women reported mercantile
work, 90 school teaching, and 88 manufacturing jobs as their chief
occupation. Regardless of the regularity and stability of the women
at these so-called chief occupations, the data already presented on
occupational histories of these women show that despite the selection




183

OCCUPATIONAL HISTOBY

of regular occupations the total time of actual employment in such
work was extremely short.
Table 48.—Chief occupation of the women interviewed, and number for whom such
work was regular or irregular
All women report­
ing

Regular workers

Irregular workers

Occupation or industry
Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent
Total............................... ............. .
Domestic service__________ _________
Restaurant and hotel work __________
Mercantile work....... ................................_
School teaching---------------- ------ -------Manufacturing
Day work.......................................... .........
Clerical work (office)------ ------------------Sewing and millinery.................................
Nursing (trained or practical)._ _____
_
Laundry work___ __________________
Telephone operating---------------- -------Own establishment
Outdoor work other than specified
Nursing children------------ -----------------Camp work.......... ......................................
Other....................................... ...................

2,720

100.0

1,072

100.0

232

100.0

1,416
368
157
90
90
88
75
74
73
62
44
37
26
21
19
19
61

52.1
13.5
5.8
3.3
3.3
3.2
2.8
2.7
2.7
2.3
1.6
1.4
1.0
.8
.7
.7
2.2

285
143
77
89
84
51
68
51
35
37
36
25
20
8
12
51

26.6
13.3
7.2
8.3
7.8
4.8
6.3
4.8
3.3
3.5
3.4
2.3
1.9
.7
1.1
4.8

83
14
13
1
4
24
6
22
27
7
1
1
1
11
i
10

35. S
6.0
5.6
.4
1.7
10.3
2.6
9.5
11.6
3.0
.4
.4
.4
4.7
3.6
4.3

REASONS FOR LEAVING CHIEF OCCUPATIONS

In all, 2,220 women reported on their reasons for leaving their
chief occupations. The largest group of these women, over threefifths, had left because the job was a temporary one. The next
largest group, about 16 per cent, had left to be married, and almost
5 per cent had given up their main job to do outdoor seasonal work.
A few women, less than 100 in each case, had left for various other
reasons, such as “moved to another location,” “for better pay,”
“more desirable work,” “change,” “illness,” “home duties,” “vaca­
tion,” “to do more regular work,” and “educational opportunities.”
57206°—26t-----13




184

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES
Table 49.—Women’s reasons for leaving chief occupation—all industries
Number of women whose reason for leaving chief occupation was—

Chief occupation

Num­
ber
of
wom­
en re­
port­
ing

Work
tem­
po­
rary

Total___________ 2,220 1,431
Per cent distribution.................... 100. 0 64.5

To do To do
out­
door more
sea­ regu­
lar
sonal work
work

For
Edu­
better
Moved
ca­
pay,
tion
Mar­ to an­ Ill­ Home Vaca­ al opmore
other
desir­ riage loca­ ness duties tion
porable
tion
tuwork,
nities
change

Other
per­
sonal
rea­
sons

110

12

64

360

73

44

35

22

ll

58

4.9

0.5

2.9

16.2

3.3

2.0

1.6

1.0

0.5

2.6

41

6

15

Seasonal fruit and can-

1,416 1,416
Domestic service. .......... '242
4
Bestaurant and hotel
97
Mercantile work............
54
2
64
58
4
32
1
51
1
44
Nursing (trained or prac33
1
30
24
5
Outdoor work other
11
Nursing children
It
10
38
2




124

17

3

4

5

4

19

9
4
2
4
7
1
3

22
39
19
4
22
15

11
8
4
9
1
7
2

3
7
3
6
1

4
3
5
2

2
1
5
1
1

1
1
2
1

4
1
4
12

3

2
4
2
2

6
17
14
1

2
2
4
1

2
3
1
8

2
1
2
4

4
4
2
12

1

8
4

1

17
8
6

2

9

1

2

1
3

12

4
1

3
2
1

4
1

1
2

6
3

2
2
1

1
1

1
1

2

1

PART XIV
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES
TYPES OF DISEASE

During interviews with the women employed in the canneries,
as well as with some of the physicians in the sections where the
cannery employees lived, repeated reference was made to “fruit
poison” and “fish poison” of various sorts. A burning rash and
the loss of fingernails were described as of quite common occurrence.
Without any known abrasion of the skin tissues, a low-grade infection
of the outer skin sets in, resulting frequently in the loss of the finger­
nail. Fruit-acid poisoning usually yields to antiseptic treatment,
so that most of the pain is over in 7 to 10 days.
The workers expect this poisoning and speak of it as if it were a
necessary evil, accepting it naturally as one of the hazards of the
industry. Repeatedly employers said that they did not know how
many cases there were. “The girls don’t complain, but when they
do we, of course, have our doctor.” This difficulty is so prevalent
in the cannery districts that the workers know the remedies pre­
scribed and treat themselves and each other. If the worker is
unusually susceptible to one fruit acid or another, she frequently
stops working for that part of the season. As one woman explained,
“I quit during the run of pears.” Another woman learned from
experience that the rash caused by loganberries or raspberries was
too irritating for her to try to work on them again. A third woman
was affected only the first year she worked, and at that time her
arms and chest were so bad that she lost two weeks from her job.
It never occurred to her to say anything about it at the cannery,
and she did not know about the workmen’s compensation law.
Finger stalls and rubber gloves for the prevention of infections have
never been worn successfully. They are a hindrance in the work,
and, as more than one woman explained, they are expensive, since
in a very short time the fingers of the gloves are pricked or cut, and
then they are useless. The fuzz on peach skins frequently causes
a most annoying irritation. The girls who pick or pack this fruit
sometimes wear masks, but oftener put a heavy coat of talcum on all
exposed skin surfaces and wear canvas gloves. It is easier to control
this irritation than that arising from the acid in fruit j uices.




185

186

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GBOW1NG AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

There are also eases of eczema-like poisoning among fish workers,
but this milder form is more prevalent among fruit workers. A had
case of clam poisoning was reported by one woman who had been a
cleaner in the clam industry. Before engaging in this occupation
she had taken the precaution of having her hands in good condition
and had even had them examined by a physician. By the second
day of employment, however, blisters had begun to appear between
her fingers. The infection spread to the hands and arms, until they
ached so badly that the woman was unable to sleep. It was only
after considerable difficulty that she was cured of the trouble.
Infection among employees in fish canneries often develops sud­
denly into virulent blood poisoning from a most innocent prick of a
fish bone. A case of this sort was described in detail by both the
physician and the patient. Early in the morning a slimer scratched
her hand slightly on a bone; the abrasion was treated, and, assured
that it would be all right, she continued working. By noon her
hand ached badly, and she could hardly get her canvas glove on,
but she “didn’t want to be a piker, especially when they had such
a terrible lot of fish on the floor,” and she worked until about 8 p. m.
Before morning she was in the hospital and she was in a critical
condition for several days.
RECORD OF STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

The canners themselves had no data on the frequency of poison­
ing, and physicians knew only of cases here and there. The State
Department of Labor and Industries, however, had some authentic
information, probably not comprehensive, for it is safe to assume that
many minor cases are never called to the attention of firm or physician
and therefore are not reported. However, the information covers
enough cases to show the trend of disabilities in the industry, and
the figures are probably the only authentic data available on this
class of injuries in the country.
Fruit warehouses, fish canneries, and the canning, preserving, and
pickling of fruit and vegetables are included in the industry classifica­
tions for which the industrial insurance law of the State of Wash­
ington determines the rates for industrial insurance and medical aid.
The law requires all physicians practicing in the State to file with
the industrial insurance commission reports of cases treated by them
which come within the jurisdiction of this law. Using these reports
as a basis, the director of the Washington Department of Labor and
Industries most generously furnished the Women’s Bureau data upon
168 injuries received in 1923 by employees in the fish, fruit, and vege­
table canning industries. Such data included the causes, nature,
and extent of injuries for which claims were filed from these indus­
tries. In addition to the reports for 1923, special attention was



187

INDUSTKIAL ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES

called to a few of the cases filed in 1922 which had been particularly
obstinate. One of these was a poisoning case which had developed
while the patient was slicing apples and had lasted over a period of
six months; another similar infection caused by peeling apples had
continued 12 months.
Disability due to specific causes.

The following is a summary of the records furnished by the Wash­
ington State Department of Labor and Industries:
Table 50.—Number of cases of injury and number of days lost in fruit warehouses
and fish canneries, and in ca nning, preserving, and pickling of fruits and vege­
tables, by nature of injury (Records of State Department of Labor and Industries
for 1923)
Number of cases

Number of days lost
Average Maxi­
mum
per
per
case
case

Nature of injury
Total

Male Female Total

Mini­
mum
•per
case

168

Puncture, scratch, cut, laceration, with in-

74

94

3,403

20.3

8
9
16
8
1

3
6
7
3

5
3
9
5
1

141
208
246
147
15

17.6
23.1
15.4
18.4
15.0

59
55
75
60
.15

3
6
4
5
15

49
3
42
2
18
1
4
3
2
2

21

28
3
33

847
53
914
21
381
9
116
155
124
26

17.3
17.7
21.8
10.5
21.2
9.0
29.0
51.7
62.0
13.0

71
36
78
14
67
9
66
80
71
20

5
7
3
7
8
9
10
33
53
6

9
2
14
1
3
3
2

4
1
2

In the foregoing tabulation of the nature of the injury and the
consequent time lost, one of the most striking facts shown is the
frequency of poison and infection cases compared with other kinds of
injuries.
The classifications in Table 50 as to the nature of the injury may
be summarized in three groups, as follows:
Days lost

Number of cases
Nature of injury

Total
Male

Female Number Per cent

Number Per cent

Total-------

---------- ------------

Bruise, burn, cut.______ _ ------Bruise, burn, cut, blister with infec­
tion, and fruit or fish poison or
other infection
__________
Strain, sprain, dislocation, fracture,
hernia, miscellaneous..




•

100. 0

16S 100. 0

74

94 3, 403

33

19. 6

16

17

595

17. 5

105

62. 5

35

70 1, 997

58. 7

30

17. 9

23

811

23. 8

7

188

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

This shows clearly that the men sustained most of the injuries in
the third group, including sprains, fractures, and amputations; that
the women suffered most from the injuries in the second group,
comprising infections and poisons; and that of all cases reported, for
both men and women, over three-fifths (62.5 per cent) are in the
second group.
.
Time lost on account of injuries.

Of the total time lost due to these injuries, amounting to 3,403
days, almost three-fifths (58.7 per cent) was due to infections that
developed from cuts, burns, and blisters, or from the prevalent fish
or fruit poison. The aggregate time lost by these 105 seasonal
workers in 1923 through poison or infection amounted to almost
five and one-half years.
From Table 50 it is evident that the average number of days lost
by each of the 168 cases reported was 20.3, practically three weeks.
Some of the workers actually lost not over 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 days, but
cases suffering from the same general causes lost as high as 55 and
75 days.
.
Causes of injuries.

The following is a list of causes to which the 168 injuries were
attributed:
Causes of injury
Number of cases
Equipment used in preparation of the product:
Hand tools—
Fruit or vegetable 23
Fish
4
Product not reported
5
Power driven—
Fruit or vegetable
8
Fish
2
Product not reported
2
Other machinery
1
Other tools
X
Toxic or irritating substances:
Fruit or vegetable infection______________________
38
Fish infection
6
Handling objects:
8
Fish bones______
Other sharp objects 14
Heavy objects________ _______________________________ xi
Other objects__________________________________________
2
Fall of persons:
Slipping-------------------------------------------------------------------14
Other__________________________________________
Fall of objects:
Striking against objects; struck by object______________
Q
Hot substances 10
Miscellaneous
6

Total—...................... ............ ......................... >_.... ............ ..



168

4

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES

189

About one-fourtli (27.4 per cent) of the injuries were due to the
tools or machines used in peeling, cutting, or otherwise preparing the
product for the canning process. Approximately one-fourth (26.2
per cent) were attributed to the handling of the raw product and were
reported as “working in berries, fruit infection in hands,” “fish
posioning, both arms,” “both arms infected from handling apples,”
“peeling pears, skin infection of fingers,” “handling salmon, hands
infected,” and “handling fruit, fingers became infected around nails.”
The eight instances reported of injuries definitely attributed to fish
bones have been classed separately under “ handling objects ” and were
not included in the general group, “toxic or irritating substances.”
That there should have been 14 injuries due to slipping, 10 to hot
substances, and 14 to handling other sharp objects besides fish bones
is not surprising in an industry in which wet, slippery floors are so
common, in which the cooking process demands so much heat, and
in which the use of tin and glass is so necessary.
Of interest at this point is the following quotation:
Slippery floors are responsible for a fair share of accidents varying from hard
bruises to fractures of the wrist, arm, and leg. The slippery floor is one of the
conditions which should be abolished. At one time it was thought to be un­
avoidable, owing to the water used in preparation, to overflow from syruping
and filling machines, etc. A brining, syruping, or filling machine which has no
provision to receive and retain the overflow or the contents of a battered or over­
turned can, is no longer a necessity .and does not fill one of the requirements of
proper sanitation. There are decidedly better and cleaner methods of distributing
the products to the tables and removing the filled cans, than by the truck and
tray system, so there is little need of water., juice, and pieees of fruits and vege­
tables upon the floor. The best preventative of accidents from slipping is a dry
floor, and this is attainable with care and proper equipment. Open gutters
should not be permitted; instead flush irons or wood gratings should be pro­
vided. Wherever overflow is unavoidable, as in front of boiling kettles, blanchers,
etc., slat gratings should be provided. It is not possible to avoid all water,
overflow, or bits of fruits and vegetables on the floor, but there can be a great
reduction in the amount in most plants.1

Extent of injuries.

Practically all of the 105 cases of skin infection and poison were
confined to the fingers, hands, wrists, and arms, although in one
case it affected the face and neck, and in another the infection spread
throughout the entire system. In about one-sixth of the cases the
arms and wrists were affected, while in approximately one-half the
cases the infection did not spread beyond the fingers and thumbs.
Almost two-thirds of the bruises, burns, and cuts that did not develop
an infection also were located on the fingers, hands, and arms. The
three amputation cases due to accidents were of fingers. The usuali
i Bitting, A. W. Some safety measures in canning factories. National Canners’ Association. Research
Laboratory. Bulletin 1, June 1914. p. 13.




190

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures were largely due to accidents
and affected the trunk, arms, and legs of the injured.
PREVALENCE OF FRUIT AND FISH INFECTIONS

No effort was made to trace the number of these cases that proved
compensable nor the amount of compensation paid, as this is not
a compensation study. A discussion of these valuable and authentic
reports has been introduced here because they show a condition more
prevalent in the fish, fruit, and vegetable canning industry than is
generally recognized by the public, although fortunately the State
of Washington pays compensation for skin infections that arise from
handling these toxic or irritating substances.
That the skin affections from which some of the employees suffer
in the Washington canneries from handling fish and peeling or cutting
raw fruit and vegetables are not peculiar to this locality is evidenced
by reference to authorities on occupational disease, especially of
the skin. In such discussions there is no definite description of the
skin diseases as found among workers in the fish or fruit canneries of
the United States, but there are descriptions of diseases in similar
trades. These are quoted in the following paragraphs because of
the close resemblance to the more aggravated cases for which claims
for compensation were made in Washington.
In an important volume dealing with industrial health there is the
following reference to a condition found among French confectioners
which is not unlike that found among the cannery workers in Wash­
ington, although the results of the inflammation are more severe
among the former than among the latter:
Poncet, Albertin, Chaussende, and other French writers have described a
form of inflammation of the nails occurring in confectioners. This has been
observed chiefly in the workmen employed in the great factories of southern
France in making sugared fruits. The eruption has been attributed by many
to the chemical acids contained in the juice of the fruits, into which the hands
are dipped; others consider that it is due to the saccharine solutions and that it
is analogous in its causation to the usual “sugar-bakers’ eczema.” There can
be no doubt that the cold and hot water into which the fingers are constantly
dipped acts as a contributing factor, at least, in the etiology. The affection
begins in the form of erosions and fissures about the nail fold, followed by in­
flammation, ulceration and granulations, together with a sero-purulent secretion.
The nail is often loosened from its nail bed and is destroyed. The course is
very chronic, lasting for years, with subacute intervals. The characteristics
are: Its affecting a number of the nails simultaneously, the discoloration of the
nails, the granulations about the nail fold, and the flattening of the nail phalanx.
Poncet considers that the onychia is sufficiently characteristic to warrant its
serving in legal medicine, as a means of identification. The middle and ring
fingers are those first affected. After the fall of the nail the extremities of the
fingers take on a characteristic form, a spatulate shape, which is lasting. Strauss
has reported three cases of this affection, together with a good description.2 1
1 Kober, G. M., and Hayburst, E. R. Industrial health. Philadelphia, P. Blakiston’s Son & Co.,
1924. p. Bll-912.




INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES

191

Dr. R. Prosser White in a recent study of occupational affections
of the skin states that—
The structural delicacy of the edges of the skin beneath and around the nails,
the webs and sides of the fingers, the backs of the hands and bends of the elbows,
singles out these parts to the first and most severely attacked, if irritated. Such
a distribution is strongly suggestive of traumatism.3

In this same volume Doctor White describes the eruption found
among the workers in the fruit-preserving industry in France,
referred to in the preceding quotation from Kober and Hayhurst.
He also gives the following quotation from Kober and Hanson:
In the United States it is stated that persons employed in manufacturing oil
of orange peel suffer greatly from erythematous, papular, and vesicular eruptions
of the skin, especially of the hands.4

Of interest in this connection is a statement of Doctor White’s
quoting Oppenheimer:
This trouble is closely akin to dermatoses venetata. A like trouble, though
not so severe, is seen in asparagus peelers in preserving factories.5

During the limited time of the survey it was not possible to make
a first-hand and comprehensive study of the occupational diseases
characteristic of the industries covered—a subject which is a study
in itself—but even the fragmentary information given in this section
will help to give a general idea of some of the hazards to which
women workers in canneries are exposed.
3 White, R. Prosser. Occupational affections of the skin: their prevention and treatment, with an
account of the trade processes and agents which give rise to them. Ed. 2, London, H. K. Lewis & Co.
(Ltd.), 1920. p. 36.
4 Kober, G. M., and Hanson, W. C. Diseases of occupation and vocational hygiene. Philadelphia,
P. Blakiston’s Son & Co., *916. p. 368, « White, R. Prosser, Op. eit., p. 173.







4

APPENDIX A.—GENERAL TABLES
Table I.

Hours worked within one pay-roll period by women in fruit and vegetable canneries and fruit evaporators, by number a•} days on
which work was done
'
A. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE WEEK

Number of women whose time worked in the current pay-roll period was—

Total____

1 day- -.............................
2 days______ ________
3 days__ ____

4 days...... ............
5 days__________
6 days____
7 days______ ___

10 and
under
15
hours

1,228

10

59

50

85
91

9

48

1

11

28

101
136
203
522
90

21
1

15 and 20 and 25 and 30 and 35 and 40 and 45 and 50 and
under under under under under under under under
25
30
35
40
45
50
56
20
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
70

53

41
29

17
26

59

72

35
17
7

10

10

21
38
3

178

38
30

22

152

47
28

90

3
56

101

201

Over 56 60 and 65 and 70 and 75 and
and un­ under under under under
56
hours der 60
65
70
75
80
hours hours hours hours hours

8

99

107

13

22

4

54

44
42

B. EVAPORATORS PAYING BY THE WEEK

Total-.....................

119

1 day. ----------------------2 days
3 days...... ............ .
4 days_______ ________
6 days
6 days...........................

19
13
64

6

13

3

3

5

12
1

3

3

1

2
2

1

6
G
■

4

3

4

3
l

'

5

5

•

14

8
6

5

2

54

193




8
8
7

2
2

13

APPENDIX A.— GENERAL TABLES

Num­
Days on which work was ber of
women Under 5 and
done
under
re­
5
ported hours
10
hours

Number of women whose time worked in the current pay-roll period was—
Num­
ber of
150
Days on which work was done women Under 10 and 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and 80 and 90 and 100 and 110 and 120 and 130 and 140 and hours
under under under under under under under under under under under under under under
re­
10
150
and
130
140
120
100
110
90
80
70
50
60
40
30
20
ported hours
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours over
• _
4
7
12
20
41
36
43
36
19
27
12
50
36
64
66
58
531
Total......................................
6
49
43
19
3
34
12
17
1
15
1
34
16
16
21
1
54
4 days........... ...............................
1
10
10
6
4
1
32
5 days..............................................
7
9
4
5
3
28
6 days.............................................
1
2
3
5
6
1
18
7 days................ —-....... -..............
3
5
4
10
7
3
8
40
8 days..............................................
8
2
4
1
3
2
4
2
26
9 dajrs____________ __________
9
5
8
4
1
3
4
1
35
10 days.................. ................. ........
3
12
2
12
3
2
1
1
36
2
7
4
3
12
1
1
30
2
1
4
4
14
24
12
1
62
7
3
5
13
8
15
51
1
1
3
I




*

*

W O M E N IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

C. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE HALF-MONTH

194

Table I-—Hours worked within one pay-roll period by women in fruit and vegetable canneries and fruit evaporators, oy number of days on
which work was done—Continued
.

APPENDIX A.—GENERAL, TABLES
Table

II.

195

Earnings of women in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators
by time worked
' '

A. ESTABLISHMENTS HAVING WEEKLY PAY-ROLL PERIODS--TIME WORKED REPORTED
IN HOURS

Women
reported
Earnings

Number of women earning each Classified amount

who worked—

10 and 20 and
Under under under 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and 50
under under under under under hours
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
hours hours hours
and
hours hours hours hours hours over
1,364 100.0
94
136
117
172
338
326
174
507
8.6
100 0
12.6
6.9 10.0
12.8
24.8
23.9
0.5
37.2
*15 .30
(l)
11.95 $3. 65 $6.90 $9.80 $12.45 $14. 75 $17. 80
$16. 35
To
10
.7
46
3.4
38
75
5.5
35
47
3.4
9
47
3.4
1
1
38
2.8
2
42
3.1
1
37
2.7
2
1
43
3.2
4
4
67
4.9
10
3
63
4. 6
6
10
137
10.0
112
9
102
7.5
73
17
106
7.8
41
62
106
7.8
24
79
58
4.3
16
39
99
7.3
10
86
36
2. 6
2
31
37
2.7
4
31
24
1.8
4
19
22
1. 6
8
14
13
1.0
2
11
18
1.3
5
13
8
.6
3
5
8
.6
2
6
15
1.1
14
10
1
.7
3
6
6
.4
1
5
8
.6
8
5
.4
4
23
1.7
21
7
.5
7
1
.1

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Total___ _____
Per cent distriMedian earnings.
Under $1_______
*1 and under $2...........
$2 and under $3____
$3 and under $4___
$4 and under $5.......... .
$5 and under $6
$6 and under $7
$7 and under $8___
$8 and under $9_____
$9 and under $10 .
$10 and under $11___
$11 and under $12.......
$12 and under $13...
$13 and under $14..
$14 and under $15.. .
$15 and under $16__
$16 and under $17.........
$17 and under $18.........
$18 and under $19_
_
$19 and under $20..
$20 and under $21 .
$21 and under $22..
$22 and under $23..
$23 and under $24___
$24 and under $25..
$25 and under $26_
_
$28 and under $27...
$27 and under $28...
$28 and under $29__.
$29 and under $30_
_
$30 and under $35..
$35 and under $40_
_
$40 and under $45_
_

1

Not computed, owing to small number involved.
B. ESTABLISHMENTS HAVING WEEKLY PAY-ROLL PERIODS-TIME WORKED REPORTED

Earnings

Women
reported
Num

Total_______
Per cent distribution
Median earnings.
$2 and under $3.
$3 and under $4.
$4 and under $5.
$5 and under $6.
$6 and under $7.
$7 and under $8.
$8 and under $9_.
$9 and under $10_.
$10 and under $11.
$11 and under $12.
$12 and under $13.
$13 and under $14.
$14 and under $15.
$15 and under $16.
$16 and under $17.
$17 and under $18.
$18 and under $19.
$19 and under $20.




Number of women earning each classified
amount who worked on
2

days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days

100.0
100.0

$10. 05

$11.65

$14.25

II.—Earnings of women in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by time worked—Continued

196

Table

C. ESTABLISHMENTS HAVING HALF-MONTHLY PAY-ROLL PERIODS—TIME WORKED REPORTED IN HOURS

Earnings

Number

Total.................................
Per cent distribution_______
Median earnings___________

610

Under $1.____ ________ ...
$1 and under $2—............... ........
$2 and under $3_____ _______
$3 and under $4—.................. .
$4 and under $5..................... ......
$5 and under $6_____
$6 and under $7............ ...........
$7 and under $8____________
$8 and under $9__......................
$9 and under $10...........................
$10 and under $11......._...................
$11 and under $12_________
$12 and under $13_________
$13 and under $14................
$34 and under $15____ ____ ___
$15 and under $16........................ .
$16 and Under $17_____ ____ _
$17 and under $18_______
$18 and under $19_______
$19 and under $20...........
$20 and under $21___
$21 and under $22_.............
$22 and under $23_____
$23 and under $24_____
$24 and under $25__ _
$25 and under $26_____
$26 and under $27___
$27 and under $28____
$28 and under $29_______
$29 and under $30.............
$30 and under $31....................

24
25
25
28
23
31
19
24
16
20
29
14
17
16
27
14
11
7
22
17
13
8
15
14
13
9
15
9
9
11
7

Per
cent




100.0
100.0
$13.65

»

3.9
4.1
4.1
4.6
3.8
5. i
3.1
3.9
2.6
3.3
4.8
2.3
2.8
2.6
4.3
2.3
1.8
i.i
3.6
2.8
2.1
1.3
2.5
2.3
2.1
1.5
2.5
1.5
1.5
1.8
i.i

V

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—
10 and 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and 80 and 90 and 100 and
Under under under under under under under under under under under under
10 hours 20
30
40
50
70
60
80
90
100
120
110
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
59
9.7
$1. 25
24
23
12

65
10.7
$3. 85

68
11.1
$6.15

43
63
7.0
10 3
$9. 90 $12.40

48
7 9
$14.80

27
44
$18. 55

23

47

$19.30

$23.05

46

under
130
hours

under
140
hoiirs
12

42

36

20

$24. 50 $27.25

$33.00

$34.65

.

2
11
23
15
13
1

2
5
6
13
17
16
6
2
1

2
4
1
4
8
14
22
6
1
1

1
2

2
2
1
5
16
9
5
2
1
1
2

2
2
10
6
1

1

2

1
1

1
2

1

1
2

4

3
5
2

3

1

2
1
1

g
4

4

2
2

8

4
1

»

over
211
C1)"”

——

1
3
2
2
4
5
11
9
2
2
1
1

140

1
4

*

1

1

W O M E N IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U ST R IE S

Women reported

*
$31 and under $32_______
$32 and under $33___
$34 and under $35___
$35 and under $36..........
$36 and under $37__
$37 and under $38._ .
536 and under $39..
$39 and under $40..
$40 and under $45__
$45 and over____

«
6
10
10
9
2
9
3
5
3
12
9

1.0
1.6
1.6
1.5
.3
1.5
.5
.8
.5
2.0
1.5




%

1

2

1

1
1

1

1
3
2
1
1
1

1
5
4
4
1
3
2
1
2
1

1
1
1
3
3
1
. 5

1
1
1
3
1
1
2
2

3
8

APPENDIX A.— GENERAL TABLES

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.
s Pour women have hours between 140 and 150, four between 150 and 160, two between 100 and 170, and one over 170.

w

198

Table II.—Earnings of women in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by time worked—Continued
D. ESTABLISHMENTS HAVING HALF-MONTHLY PAY-EOLL PERIODS—TIME WORKED REPORTED IN DAYS

Earnings

Num­
ber
791

Total,............ .
Per cent distribution.
Median earnings-----

100.0
100.0

$1L 25
3.3
6.4
3.9
5.6
4.2
4.6
4.0
4.8
3.2
4.3
4.3
5.8
4.8
3.9

Under $1_________
$1 and under $2-----$2 and under $3.........
$3 and under $4-----$4 and under $5____
$5 and under $6-----$6 and under $7____
$7 and under $8____
$8 and under $9____
$9 and under 10-----$10 and under $11---$11 and under $12_
_
$12 and under $13---$13 qnd under $14---$14 and under $15---$15 and under $16---$16 and under $17---$17 and under $18---$18 and under $19---$19 and under $20_
_
$20 and under $21---$21 and under $22---$22 and under $23---$23 and under $24_
_
$24 and under $25---$25 and under $26__
$26 and under $27__
$27 and under $28 —
$28 and under $29---$29 and under $30—
$30 and under $35---$35 and under $40---$40 and under $45.. $45 and over............

2.8

3.3
4.0
4.2
3.0

1 day
60
76
$1.20

2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days 8 days 9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days
59
7.5
$2.55

70
8. 8
$4.20

69
8. 7
$6.70

54
6.8
$8.00

68
8.6
$10. 60

90
11.4
$12.90

15
6

8
8
7
10

4
4
6
6
8
10
11

2
2
5
3

6
6

9
9
3
10
5
4
2

*

<

2.5
1.5 I
2.1 !
2.3
2.1
.8
.8

1.1
1.1
.4 |
1.3
.6
.5
.3

81
10.2
$16.95

45
5.7
$17.90

55
43
7.0
5.4
$17.90
$15.50

52
6.6
$1.8. 50

38
4.8
$21. 50

■ 7
0.9
0)1

9
1

14

1

3
4

3
2
2
3

2
1
1
2
2
3

2.1

20 ;
12
17
18
17

i Not computed, owing to small number involved.




Per
cent

i

1

1

2
2
1
6
6
5
4
8
7
7
2
2
4
1
5
5
2
2
3
2
4

1

1

12
6
10
12
9
1
3
3
3
• 2
2
3
1
2
1

1
4
5
1
3

3
2
5
5
5

2
1
6
3
3
5
2
1

3
3
1
1
1
4
1
3
3
1

1
o
1
1
1
2

1■

1
1

1
2
3
6
1
4
3
3
4
2
3
3
1
3
3
3

2
1
2
2
3
7
6
6
5
1
4
1
1
5

2
2
1
2
2

1
1
1
1
1
1

1
2
6
4
4
1
1
3
4
2
1
2
1
1
1
3
1

_

1
1
1

i
i

l
l

W O M EN IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

Women reported

w

*

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on piecework in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by number of days on which

work was done

57206*—2Gt

A. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE WEEK

Pieceworkers

Timeworkers

Earnings

Women re­
ported

476
Median earnings______ ...

100.0
100.0
$12 25

8
34
10
20
12
9
15
20
J3
40
34
32
18
64
21
17
2
7
5

.8
1.7
7.1
2.1
4.2
2.5
1.9
1. 3
3.2
42
2. 7
16. 2
8. 4
7.1
6. 7
3. 8
13. 4
4.4
3. 6
.8
.4
1. 5
1.1

1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days

24
43
9.0
5.0
$2. 30 $4.00
4
8
30
1

6 days Num­ Per
and
ber cent
over

30
287
29
257
56
60.3
6.3
11.8 54.0
6.1
$9.60 $12.20 $14.35 $17.15 $14.85

4
5
6
1

4
$26 and under $27 _______
1
.2
i Not computed, owine to small number involved.




37
7.8
$5. 65

15
4
6
2
9

2
2
4
3
6
2
8
1
1

2
11
5
8
10
12
5
2

_____
1

1

3
6
61
30
20
24
14
56
14
14
2
1

1
2
2
S

4

1

1

2
2
1
1
it

Women re­
ported

1
3
6
61
30
21
26
16
64
21
16
4
2
7
5
2
i

Number of women earning each classified amount who
worked on—

1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days

100.0
100.0
$11 30

72
9.1
$2.15

84
10.6
$3.75

0.8
4.5
4. 9
5.4
4.4
3.5
4.3
3.7
3.3
6.4
6.4
7.7
6.9
7.4
5.8
3.0
2.9
2.0
1.6
1.8
1.6
.5
1.1
.9
.8
1.5
1.0

5
28
23
12
2
1
1

1
8
15
24
21
5
4
1

793

6
36
39
43
35
28
34
29
26
51
51
61
55
59
46
24
23
16
13
14
13
4
9
7
6
12
8

1
3
1

73
109
167
284
9.2 13.7 21.1 35.8
$6.70 $10.10 $12.10 $14.10
1
7
8
13
11
9
5
3
4
3
2
1
1
2
2
1

4
6
14
9
5
15
14
9
8
2
3
5
2
1
3
1
3
1
1
1

2
3
5
8
26
15
23
13
9
14
6
8
5
1
5
5
2
4
2
2
2
4

1
1
5
8
7
17
22
31
47
27
11
11
8
8
8
5
2
4
5
4
9
3

6 days
and
over

288
4
0.6
36.3
<>) _ $14. 15

1
1
2

1
1
5
8
7
17
23
31
47
28
11
13
8
8
8
5
2
4
5
4
9
3

APPENDIX A.---- GENERAL

Num­ Per
ber
cent

Number of women earning each classified amount who
worked on—

>
W
P
M
1/3

CO
CO

work was done—Continued

200

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on piecework in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by number of days on which

A. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE WEEK—Continued

Earnings

Women re­
ported
Num­ Per
ber
cent

$27 and under $28. ............
$28 and under $29. ........ .
$29 and under $30....... ..
$31 and under $32 _ ___
$32 and under $33___
*34 and under *35 _
$35 and under $36.......
*36 and under *37. _ .
$37 and under $38 _
$39 and under $40___




1

.2

Pieceworkers

Number of women earning each classified amount who
worked on—

1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days

1

Women re­
ported

6 days Num­ Per
and
ber
cent,
over
1

4
7
4
6
6
5
5
3
1
2
1
1

.5
.9
.5
.8
.8
.6
■i
:!j

Number of women earning each classified amount who
worked on—

1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days

1
1

1
1
1

3
7
3
4
5
5
5
3
1
* 2
1
1

6 days
and
over
3
7
3
4
5
5
5
3
1
2
1
1

W O M EN IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Timeworkers

*

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on pieceivork in fruit and vegetable canneries and. evaporators, by number of days on which
work was done—Continued
B. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH

Timeworkers
Women
reported

' Earnings

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

128

Per
cent

&J. 40

$5 and under $6.......

2
2
1
5

1

$7 and under $8-_

$12 and under $13__
$13 and under $14
$14 and under $15_
_
.
$15 and under $16...
_______
$16 and under $17..........
$17 and under $18
$18 and under $19__
$19 and under $20_._
$20 and under S21... ......................
$21 and under $22._.
$22 and under $23_ _
$23 and under $24_____
$24 and under $25___
$25 and under $26____
$20 and under $27............................




1
1
8
4
3
3
6
1
1
1
3
2
4
1
5

1
1
2
6

2 days

5
3.9
(*>

8
6.3
(>>

0.8 .......1
3. 9
4
1. 6
i. 6
.8
3.9
3. 9
1.6
.8
.8
6.3
3.1
2.3
2.3
4.7
.8
.8
.8
2.3
1,6
3.1
.8
3.9
.8
.8
1.6 .......... .1
4.7

1
2
2
1
2

3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days

2
1.6
«

9
7.0
(>)

8
6.3
(>>

1
1

1
3
2
1

1
2
1
1
____ 1

7
5.5
<■)

3
2.3
0)

15
11.7
$14.90

3

1
1

1
4

21
16.4
$32. 75

12
9.4
(>)

33
25.8
$38. 75

1

1

2

1

1
2
3

1
1
1

1

13 days
and
over

1
1

2

9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days

7 days 8 days

2
1
1

11
8.6
(>)

5
3.9
0)

12
9.4
c)

10
7.8
0)

1
1
2

1

1

TABLES-

$9 and under $10
$10 and under $11___

5
2

1 day

A.----- GENERAL.

ioao
100. 0

Median earnings - -....... ............. .

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

A PPEN D IX

Num­
ber

•

1

1
1

2
2

1
j

i

1

1

...
...............L:............
• 1
l

1

0

3

©

V
'

B. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH—Continued

Women
reported
Num­
ber
1
2
7
2
3
3
2
4
2
2
1
4
g
8
2

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

Per
cent

1 day

.8
1.6
5.5
1. 6
2.3
2.3
1.6
3.1
1.6
1.6
.8
3.1
6.3
6.3
1.6

2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days 8 days 9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days

2

3
1
1
1

1

1

1
1
1
2
1
1
i
l

i

i

1 Not computed, owing to the small number involved.




*

1
1
i
l
l
l
i

13 days
and
over

1

1

1
1
2

1
1
2

1

6
1
2

i

2

2
1
6

2
7
7
2

W O M E N IN E li U IX -G it 0 W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U ST R IE S

Timeworkers

Earnings

202

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on 'piecework in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators by number of days on which
work was done—Continued

<

*

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on piecework in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by number of days on which

work was done—Continued
B. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH—Continued
Pieceworkers
Women
reported

Earnings

1 day

100.0
100.0
$10.40

102
9.7
$1.10

Under $1...............- —
$1 and under $2.........
$2 and under $3___-_$3 and under $4____
$4 and under $5___-_$5 and under $6------$6 and under $7____
$7 and under $8____
$8 and under $9------$9 and under $10----$10 and under $11---$11 and under $12---$12 and under $13---$13 and under $14---$14 and under $15___
$15 and under $16---$16 and under $17---$17 and under $18---$18 and under $19___
$19 and under $20---$20 and under $21---$21 and under $22---$22 and under $23---$23 and under $24---$24 and under $25___
$25 and under $26___
$26 and under $27----




1,052

2 days 3 days 4 days
80
7.6
$2.60

96
9.1
$4.20

103
9.8
$6.15

5 days 6 days 7 days 8 days 9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days

13 days
and .
over

29
2.8
$32.50

90
8.6
$26. 20

85
65
8. 1
6.2
$7. 70 $10. 40

98
9.3
$12. 35

90
8.6
$16. 30

54
5.1
$17.15

57
5.4
$15. 30

70
6.7
$18. 50

1
3
3
3

1
1
1
4
3

1
3
4

62
5.9
$18.85

61
5.8
$24.15

1

17
*

*

38
54
36
43
42
50
44
34
30
30
35
34
22
27
13
20
20
7
11

5.3
3.6
5.1
3.4
4.1
4.0
4.8
4.2
3.2
2.9
2.9
3.3
3.2
3. 0
2.1
2.6
1.2
2.0
1.9
1. 9
0.7
1.0

2
15

4
3

9
10
8

1
*

3
2
3

12
13
9
2
2
1
2
2
3

1

8
14
11
10
9
1
3
3
3
2
2
3
1
2
1

6
5
8
7
8
1
2
4
1
5
5
2
2
3

2
4
4
1
6
3
3
5
2
1
2
1
1

1

5
7
1
5
4
4
2
4
1
3
3
1

2
3
7
2
5
3
5
4
4
6
6
1
5
4
4

2
1
2
5
3
6
6
7
5
4
5
3
1
4
2

1
1
2
7
4
5

1
2

1

1

1
1
2
7
5
7
2
2

3
4
4
2
4

1
1
1
1
1

4
5
5
3
5

A PPEN D IX A. ---- G EN ERA L TABLES

Per
cent

Num­
ber
Total..-.........Per cent distribution-.
Median earnings.......

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

to

o
OS

work was done—Continued

204

Table III.—Earnings of women on timework and on piecework in fruit and vegetable canneries and evaporators, by number of days on which
B. ESTABLISHMENTS PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH—Continued

Earnings

Women
reported
Num­
ber

$27 and under $28...................
$28 and under $29______
$29 and under $30____ . .
$30 and under $31_____
$31 and under $32______
$32 and under $33___
$33 and under $34.. .
$34 and under $35.
$35 and under $36.. .
$36 and under $37. _ .
$38 and under $39.. ..
$39 and under $40. _
$40 and under $45..
$45 and under $5Q______




14
13
4
9
3
6
1
4
1
5
1
2
6
1

«

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

Per
cent
1.3
1.2
.4
.9
.3
.6
.1
.4
.1
.5
.1
,2
.6
.1

l day

2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days 8 days 9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days

1

2
4

J
........ '

1

1

1

1
1
1

1

9
2
1
2

1

13 days
and
over
6

9

1

2

_____ ______

%

4

9

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Pieceworkers

Table IV.—Hours

worked within one pay-roll period in fish canneries, by number of days on which work teas done

A. CANNERIES PAVING BY THE WEEK

Days on which work was done

Number of women whose time worked in the current pay-roll period was—
Num­
ber of
women
5 and 10 and 15 and 20 and 25 and 30 and 35 aud 40 and 45 and 50 and 55 and 60 and 65 aud 70 and
re­ Under 5 under under under under under under under under under under under under under under
ported hours 10 hours 15 hours 20 hours 25 hours 30 hours 35 hours 40 hours 45 hours 50 hours •55 hours 60 hours 65 hours 70 hours 75 hours

4 rfflvs
5 (Jays

7

11

8

7

11

2
3
3

B.

Days on which work was done

Total......................................... ......,
1 day

8
5
4
5
1

55

17

2
7
4
3
7
3 j
2
4 i
39
1 .......6

35

16

3
4
3
19

2
4
7
3

23

13

14

16

14

25

2

3
3
3
14

4
6
1
2

1
9
4

15
1

1
8
5

1
24

2

100 and 110 and 120 and
under under under
120
130
110
hours hours hours

161
hours

CANNERIES PAYING BY THE HALE MONTH

Numbor of women whose time worked in the current pay-roll
Num­
ber of
10 and 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and 80 and 90 and
women Under under under under under under under under under under
10
re­
100
70
80
90
50
60
30
40
20
ported 1 lours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
120
2
3
1
10
18
6
23
11
14
6
2

7

7

5
2
3

6
4
2
......

2

2

___
.........
.........

9

1
1
i
6

7

16

23

3

4
10
2

4
4
3
12

1
1

period was—

13

12

2
5

9

6

7
2

1
4
i

185
hours

i

3

i.
2
2
2

1

1

5
4

1
1

205




23

A PPEN D IX A. — G EN ER A L TABLES

1 r^y

279
20
13
21
32
31
105
57

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

206

Table IV.—Hours worked within one pay-roll period in fish canneries, by number of days on which work was done—Continued
C. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE MONTH

Days on
of
10
which wom­
work was en Un­ and
der un­
done
re­
10
port­ hours der
20
ed
hours

20
and
un­
der
30
hours

Total

223

14

17

13

1 day____
2 days
3 days
4 days__
5 days......
fi days
7 days......
8 days......
9 days
10 days__
11 days__
12 days__
13 days__
14 days.. .
15 days__
16 days__
17 days__
18 days__
19 days__
20 days__
21 days__
22 days__
23 days__
24 days__
25 days__
26 days__
27 days__
28 days__
30 days__

16
12
10
10
7
10
5
11
8
7
6
6
9
6
10
7
7
10
9
9
11
9
7
2
3
2
3
2

10
3
1

6
8
2
1

1
7
4

9




1

30
and
un­
der
40
hours

40
and
un­
der
50
hours

8

17

5
2
1

5
6
4
2

50
and
un­
der
60
hours

60
and
un­
der
70
hours

70
and
un­
der
80
hours

6

7

5

1
4

1
1
2
1
1

1
3

1

1

80
90
and and
un­ un­
der der
90
100
hours hours
4

1
2
1

1

......

100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 230 240
and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and
un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­ un­
der der der der der der der der der der der der der der der
110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 230 240 250
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

12

13

15

2
2
1
1
2

3
1

1
3
1
1
2
3
2

2
2

8

8

8

11

8

15

14

3

......
1
3
1
1
2
1

1
1

3
1
1

2

1

1
1
2

1
1

1
1

3

4

2

1

.........
o

1
2
2
1
1

2
2
2
2
2

1
1
2

2

4
4

3

1

1
1
'

1

7

W O M EN IN EB U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Number of women whose time worked in the current pay-roll period was—

sber J
urn-,

t

Table V.—Earnings of women in fish canneries, by time worked
A. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE WEEK
Women reported
Earnings

20 and
40 and
10 and
30 and
Under
Number Per cent 10 hours under
under
under
under
20 hours 30 hours 40 hours 50 hours
279
$12 50
10
3
9
4
11
10
47
18
2
9
7
20
17
10
14
6
11
17
11
3
5
2
4

100.0
100.0
3.6
. 1.1
3.2
1.4
3.9
3.6
16.8
6.5
0.7
3.2
2.5
7.2
6.1
3.6
5.4
5.0
2.2
2.5
3.9
6.1
3.9
2.5
1.1
1.8
.7
1.4

18
$1.90
10
3
4
1

31
11. J
$5.70

72
25.8
$7.80

51
18.3
$12. 65

36
12. 9
$16.00

50 and
under
60 hours
30
10.8
$17.00

CO and
70 and
under
under
70 hours 75 hours
39
14.0
$21. 30

0)

50 hours
and over

2
0.7

71
25.4
$20. 65
}

5
3
11
7
5

...........
3
42
15
2
3
1
1
1
4

3
5
6
18
6
3
5
2
3

1
1
10
2
4
4
1
5
3
4
1

1
6
8
2
2
3
1
1
3
3

5
12
8
3
5
2
4

2

1
6
8
2
2
8
13
11
6
3
5
2
4

A PPEN D IX A.— GENEKAL TABLES

Total.................................................... ................. ..........
Median earnings-------------- ------------- ------------- ------------

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked-

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.




to

o
-a

208

Table V.—Earnings of women in fish canneries, by time worked—Continued
B. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE HALF MONTH

Earnings
Num­
ber

Per
cent

7
5.8
o)

1.7
1.7
2. 5
2.5
.8
1. 7
2. 5
3.3
.8
1.7
1.7
.8
5.8
4.2
.8
4.2
5.8
8.3
1.7
.8
1.7
2.5
1.7
2.5
.8
3.3
1.7
3.3
1.7
2. 5
1.7

2
2
3

2
2
3
3
1
2
3
4
1
2
. 2
1
5
1

$36 and under $37........................................




110 and 120 and 160
Under 10 and 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70 and 80 and 90 and 100 and under under hours
under under under under under under under under under under
10
and
90
100
110
120
130
70
80
20
30
40
50
60
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours over

100.0
100.0
$22 00

120
Median earnings______ ____ ________

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—

7
10
o
1
2
3
2
3
1
4
2
4
2
3
2

5
4.2
(0

3
1
i

6
5.0
0)

2
1.7
<>>

1
3
a

2

9
7.5
(0

1
1
6
1

7
5.8
(■)

2
1
1
1
1
1

16
13.3
$20. 25

23
19.2
$22. 70

3
2.5
o)

13
10.8

12
10.0
«

9
7.5
(>)

6
5.0
o)

0

i2
1.7

1

1
4
1
1

5
9
1

1

1

1

1

1

1
3
1
1

2

"T
1
1
1
l

1
1
2
1
1
1

1
1
1 ............1............
............I...........:

W O M EN IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Women re­
ported

«
$37 and under $38..
$39 and under $40. _
$40 and under $41 .
$41 and under $42..
$42 and under $43..
$43 and under $44..
$44 and under $45..
$45 and under $50..
$50 and under *55..
$60 and under $65-.
$90 and under $100.

4
1
2
4

3.3
.8
1.7
3.3

3
4
2
1
3
1

■> r»
3.3
1.7
.8
2.5
.8

1

1
1
9

1
1
?

1
1

3
1

1
1

3

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.
3 One woman worked between 160 and 170 hours and earned $48.30, and one worked between 180 and 190 hours and earned $92.50.
'PE2STD
IX A.--- GENERAL TABLES

209




210

Table V.—Earnings of women in fish canneries, by time worked—Continued
C. CANNERIES PAYING BY THE MONTH
Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—

Num­ Per
ber cent

90
100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 220
70
80
60
50
30
40
20
10
Un­ and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and
der under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under
10
100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 220 250
90
60
70
80
50
40
20
30
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

Earnings

Median earnings....... .
Under $1
$1 and under $2--------$3 sud under $4........

sou miUt-1 «J>H_ - - ----

ipy aou uiiuei $ivj--------

$11 sud Undur $12— —
tiiiQ umier
-------

$33 and under $34.........




223 100.0
100.0
$39. 55
3
4
3
5
8
4
6
5
2
2
]
4
5
5
3
1
5
3
3
3
2
1
4
2
2
1
1
2
3

17
6
8
17
13
14
6.3 7.6 5.8 3.6 7.6 2.7
/.') $16. 40 o)
0) $4.95 c)

1.3
1.8
1.3
2.2
3.6
1.8
2.7
2.2
.9
.9
.4
1.8
2.2
2.2
1.3
.4
2.2
1.3
1.3
1.3
.9
.4
1.8
.9
.9
.4
.4
.4
.9
1.3

3
3
3
5

7
3.1

4
12
1.8 5.4
<>)
(0

14
8
15
3.6 6.7 6.3
0 $70.25 0)

8
11
13
15
8
8
5.8 6.7 3.6 3.6 3.6 4.9
0
(0
(*)
(>) $39. 85 (0

1
8
3
5

1
1
5
2
2
1
1

1
2
4
1

3
4
2
4
2
3
1

3
1
1
2
1

1
1
3
1
1

«

5
2.2
o

*

1
1
1
1
1
1

1

1
2
1

2

\

3
1.3
0

7
3.1
0

10
4.5
0

WOMEN" IN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Women re*
ported

2
5
5
8
2
7
4

1
9
10
11
15
10
12
14
1
2
1
2

.9
2.2
2.2
.4
3.6
.9
3.1
l.S
.4

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




3

1
2

4

1
1
5
2

1
|

4.0
4.5
4.9
4.5

5.4
6.3
.4
3.1
.9
.4
.9

* Not computed, owing to small number involved.

#

2
2

1
]
1
3
1
1
4
1

2
1
3
2

4
4

2
2
4

3
2

1

1
1

6
1

4

1

6
1

1

3

7

4

1

1

1
2

1
1
5

1
2
2
1
1
2

A PPEN D IX A. — G EN EPA L TABLES

$34 and under $35.
$36 and under -1
$37 and under $38.
____
.$38 and under $39.
$39 and under $40.____
.........
$40 and under $41.
$41 and under $42$42 and under $43.
$44 and under $45.
$45 and under $50.
____
$50 and under $55.
$55 and under $60. _
$60 and under $65.
$65 and under $70.
__
$70 and under $75.
$75 and under 3
$80 and under $85.
$85 and under $90.
____
$90 and under $95.
10___
20___

212

Table VI.—Month's earnings of timeworkers in clam canneries, by time worked
A. TIME WORKED REPORTED IN HOURS

Month’s earnings

of women
20 and
50 and
60 and
70 and
80 and
90 and 100 and 116 and
30 and
40 and
reported Under
under
under
under
under
under
under
under
under
under
under
20 hours 30 hours 40 hours 50 hours 60 hours 70 hours 80 hours 90 hours 100 hours 101 hours 117 hours
46
$18. 75
1

2
1
3

2
3
2
1

8

7

1
1
3
1

2
1
1

1

2
1

2
2
3
2
1

11

4

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

1
1
1

1
1
1
3
3

1
i

1




1
1

i
2

2
2
1

1

1

1

2

1
1
............... f__........

1

2

1

1

2

1

1

$46 and under $47.____ _________ ____ __

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

1

2
1

1

1
4 ..........
3

3

'

I

1

1

2

WOMEN" TN FR U IT-G R O W IN G AND C A N N IN G IN D U STR IES

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—

V

Table VI.—Month’s earnings of timeworkrs in clam canneries, by time worked—Continued
B. TIME WOBKED REPORTED IN DAYS

Month’s earnings

112
$18. 65




1
2
6
1
1
4
4
6
3
3

4
2
2
7
2
2
4
3

2
4
3

2
3

1
6
3
6
1
2
1
2
3
2
1
2

1
1

4

5

8

11

3

17

3

9

3

3

1

i

..

1
3

2
1
-- 1
1

1
2
1
2
1
1
1

2
1
1
3

1

1
I
1

1
—

2

1

1

1

1

1
1
1

1

1
I
1

1
1
1

1

1
1

o
2

1
1

3
1

1

2
1
2

2

1

4
1
2

1

1

2

1
1

1

■ -

i
i

1

1

::::::::::::

1

1

,

1
1
1
2
1

1
2
1

1
1
:::::: —

1

213

Under $1________
$1 and under $2
$2 and under $3 _ _ _
$3 and under $4____
$4 and under $5
$5 and under $6.........
$6 and under $7__ _ . _.
$7 and under $8.
$8 and under $9_ ___
$9 and under $10-_ __
$10 and under $11
$11 and under $12___
S12 and under $13. ..
$13 and under $14
$14 and under $15___
*16 and under $17. _ __
$17 and under $18
$18 and under $19
$20 and under $21. ___
$21 and under $22-$23 and under $24
$25 and under $26. _. $27 and under $28__
$28 and under $29_ _
$29 and under $30
$30 and under $3l_
$36 and under $37___
$38 and under $39___
$39 and under $40..
$41 and under $42. ..
$45 and under $46
$46 and under $47
$49 and under $50. .
$51 and under $52
$55 and under $56___

2

A PPEN D IX A. ---- GENERAL TABLES

Total-Median earnings_
_

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—
Num­
ber of
wo­
men
m
3
1
2
4
5
7
8
6
9
11
13
10
12
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
24
22
re­
ported day days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days

214

Table VI.—Month’s earnings of timeworkers in clam canneries, by time worked—Continued
B. TIME WORKED REPORTED IN DATS—Continued

Month’s earnings

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked on—

wo­
18
19
21
22
24
14
15
17
20
13
16
11
12
7
8
10
4
5
9
1
2
3
6
men
re­ day days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days days
ported
1

$75 and under $76.......




I
1

1
1
1
1

1

*

1
1
1
1
1
1

1

WOMEN IN FBUIT-GHOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Num-

J

Table VII.—Season’s earnings of women in dam canneries, by time worked

57206°— 26 f

Season’s earnings

Total____________________ _______ _

101
$52.40

$45 and under $50______ ____ _____

_______

$55 and under $60 ___________
$60 and under $65 __________________________
$65 and under $70
$75 and under $80.
$80 and under $85. ______________ ____ _____
$85 and under $90_____________________ _____
$90 and under $95
$100 and under $105............. ......... ............ ..............J




1
1
4
10
8
5
7
8
10
10
6
10
6
5
1
3
1

3
2

17
100.0
$50. 75

3
17.6

3
17.6

1
5.9

2
11.8

4
23. 5

1
5.9

3

1
1
1

1

1
2
2

2
2

..

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

1

28
100. 0
$42. 00

1
3. 6

1
3
1
1
2
3
1
2
2
2

3
17.6

1
....... 2
1

3
1

9
32.1

7
25.0

2
2
2
1

1

2

2
4
5
1
3
2
3
3

3
10. 7

1
3
2

8
28. 6

2
2
1
1

APPENDIX A.----GENERAL TABLES

Women whose time worked was reported in hours
Women whose time worked was reported in days
Num­
ber for
Number earning each classified amount
whom
Number earning each classified amount who worked—
who worked on—
season’s
earn­ Num­
Num­
ings ber re­
ber re­
were re­ ported 80 and 90 and 100 and 110 and 120 and 130 and 140 and ported 5 and 15 and 20 and 25 and 30 and
under under under under under under under
under under under under under
ported
90
100
130
140
150
110
120
10
25
20
30
35
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
days
days
days
days
days

i

to
i—i

Cn

216

Table

VIII.—Earnings of sorters and packers in apple and pear warehouses, by time worked
A. APPLE SORTERS

Earnings

Total_____
Median earnings ____________

Num*
ber

Per
cent

Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—
Over
Over
Over
Over
Over
Over
60 and 70 hours Over
30 a nd
40 and
50 and
Under
10 and
20 and
50 hours
10 hours 10 hours under 20 hours under 30 hours under 40 hours under 50 hours under 60 hours under
70 hours
50 hours
60 hours
20 hours
30 hours
40 hours

358

100.0
100.0
$18. 45

14
3.9
w

1.7
.8
4.2
2.8
1.4
3.1
1.1
1.1
2.2
2.5
.6
3.1
2.2
1.4
7.5
2.5
0.7
11.5
0. 4
8.1
8.1
3. 9
3.4
3.1
1.7
3.6
.8
,3
2.0
1.7
.6

6
3
5

6
3
15
10
11
4
4
8
9
2
11
8
5
27
9
24
41
23
29
29
14
12
11
6
13
3
1
7
6
2

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.




10
2.8
o

22
6.1
$5.20

9
1

1
9
5
5
2

8
2.2
«

8
2.2
(■)

12 1
3.4
(0

9
2.5
(>)

10
27
28
99
2.8
7.5
7.8
27.7
p)
$15. 65 $15.80 $20. SO

64
17.9
$18. 85

45
12.6
$26.05

2
0.6
p)

210
58.7
$20. 90

::::::::
6
1
1

1
3
3
1

____
7
4
1

1
2
1
1
2
2

8
1
1

1
6
2
7
2
4
2
1

18
8
2

2

2
6
12
1
16
26
6
12
11
.

6
1

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

37
22
5

2
6
12
39
22
27
29
12
12
11

i
6
1
1
1
6
6
7
1
6
2

2

13
3
1
7
6
2

WOMEN IN XBUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Women re­
ported

APPENDIX. A.--- GENERAL TABLES
Table

217

VIII.—Earnings of sorters and packers in apple and pear warehouses, by
time worked—Continued
B. PEAR SORTERS
Number of women earning each classified amount who worked—

Earnings

Over
Over
Over
Over
Over
10
30
40
50
60
Num­ Per
10 and 30
and
and
40
and
and Over
50
60
ber cent hours under hours under hours under hours under hours under 50
20
40
50
60
. 02 hours
hours
hours
hours
hours
hours

Total
Per cent distribution______ _____
Median earnings_
_

62 100.0

3

3

1

5

1

2

5

9

100.0
$18 05

4.8
«

4.8
«

1.6
(>i

8.1

1.6
0)

3.2
o

8.1
(i>

14.5

$3 and under $4.......
$5 and under $6.......
$9 and under $10___
$10 and under $11...
$11 and under $12...
$12 and under $13...
$13 and under $14...
$15 and under $16. _ _
$16 and under $17...
$17 and under $1$_..
$18 and under $19.. _

3 4.8
3 4.8
2 3.2
1
1.6
3 4.8
1
1.0
2 3.2
5 8.1
3 4.8
6 9. 7
33 53.2

3

3

1

P)

1
1
3

1

2

5

25

8

42

40.3 12.9
67.7
$18.50 Cl $18. 35

3
6

25

I

3
6
33

8

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.
C. APPLE PACKERS

Women re­
ported
Earnings
Total...
Median earnings..................
$4 and under $5.......................
$8 and under $9___________
$9 and under $10....................
$10 and under $11
$11 and under $12___ ______
$12 and under $13
$14 and under $15....................
$16 and under $17_________
$17 and under $18
$18 and under $19
$20 and
$21 and
$22 and
$23 and
$24 and

under $21...................
under $22..................
under $23....................
under $24.................
under $25

$26 and under $27...................
$27 and under $28....................
$28 and under $29.................. .
$29 and under $30
$31 and under $32.......... .,........
832 and under $33...................
$33 and under $3.4.............
$34 and under $35..._______
$35 and under $36....................
$3S a ad under $87
$37 and under $38....................
$39 and under $40..................

$.50 and under $55.............
$55 and under $60...................
$60 and under $65....................
$65 and under $70........ ...........

Number of women earning each classified amount who
worked on—

Num­ Per
ber
cent

and
1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days 6 days 7

183

100.0
100. 0
$31 05
3
2
1
2
2
1
2
4
3
2
4
2
3
3
2
7
3
6
8
4
6
9

6
6
8
6
5
7
4
4
7
5
4
15
11
6
2
4
4

1.6
1.1
.6
1.1
1.1
.6
1. 1
2. 2
1. 6
1. 1
2.2
1.1
I. 6
1.6
1. 1
3.8
1. 6
3.3
4. 4
2.2
3.3
4. 9
3.3
3. 3
4. 4
3.3
2. 7
3.8
2.2
2.2
3.8
2. 7
2.2
8. 2
6.0
3.3
1. 1
2.2
2.2

4
2.2
C)

9
4. 9
C)

3
1

1

1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.



6
3.3
(>)

12
27
115
6. 6
14. 8 62. 8
0) $26. 75 $34. 70

125
68.3
$35.85

10
5
pi 5
j

1

2

2

1
1
1
1

1

2
2
1
.......i
2
1

2
3
1

1

1
1
1
1
2
1
1
4
2
3
2
3
1
1
2
1

1

1

1
1
1

1
1
1

3
2
5
4
1
3
7
3
5
7
6
4
5
3
4
4
4
4
14
10
6
2
1
4

3
2
5
4
1
3
7
3
5
7
6
5
5
3
4
7
5
4
15
11
6
2
4
4

1
3
1
1
1
3

218

WOMEN IK FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

Table VIII.—Earnings

of sorters and 'packers in apple and pear warehouses, by
time worked

'

—Continued

D. PEAR PACKERS
Women re­
ported
Earnings

Number of women earning each classified amount
who worked on—

'
Num­
ber

Total......... .............................. Median earnings —---------------------

Per
cent

53

2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days

1 day

100.0
100.0
$25.85

2
3.8

1.9
1.9
3.8
1.9
1.9
5.7
1.9
3.8
1. 9
11.3
3.8
1.9
3.8
5.7
3.8
3. 8
11.3
9.4
5. 7
1.9
1.9
7.5
3.8

4
7.5
0)

1
1

1
1.9
w

4
7.5
o

13
24.5

29
54.7
$31. 30
-

1
]
2
1
1
3
1
2
1
6
2
1
2
Q
2
2
6
5
3
i
1
4
2

2
1
1

1
2
1
1

1
i
l
2
1
1

3
1
2
2
1
1
3
5
3
1
1
4
2

1
1
1
3

|
I
1

'
1 Not computed, owing to small number involved.

Table IX.—Season’s

earnings of selected women in fruit and vegetable canneries
and evaporators, in fish canneries, and in fruit warehouses

Earnings

Women in fruit
and vegetable
canneries and
evaporators

Women in fruit warehouses
canneries

Packers

Sorters

Per
cent

Per
cent

Num­
ber

Per
cent

Num­
ber

Per
cent

Num­
ber

231
Median earnings................. -.............. $225. 00

100.0

125
$137.95

100.0

87
$156. 80

100.0

65
$235.00

100.0

14
35
45
42
23
27
20
9
6
4

6.1
15. 2
19.5
18.2
10.0
11.7
8.7
3.9
2.6
1.7
2.6

5
37
27
28
20
7

4.0
29.6
21.6
22.4
16.0
5.6

14
25
33
13

16.1
28.7
37.9
14.9

1

.8

1
1

1.2
1.2

3
8
11
15
if)
4
4
2
1

4.6
12.3
16.9
23.1
24.6
6.2
6.2
3.1
1.5

1

1.6

Num­
ber

$650 and under $700---------------------




APPENDIX B — SCHEDULE FORMS
Schedule 1
[ This schedule was used in personal interviews with the women workers]

Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department

op

Labor

rural, survey

S. No------------------------------- State County
Worker Address~
Employer’s name
Worker’s permanent address________________________________________________

>
1. WBONF (spec.)___________________________
Yrs. in U. S----- 3. Lit., No. 4. Sp. Eng., No________
8 M W S D. 6. Age___ 7. Res. Mig. Day__________
Rooms alone; with others______________________________
Provision for privacy__________________________________
Home duties__________________________________________

worker:

1

2.
5.
8.
9.
10.

11. With relatives, friends, adrift__________________________
12. Contrib. all, part, none, dep___________________________
family: 13. (a) Total--------------------------------- ; (6) Under 6
(c) 6 to 15------------------------------------ ; (d) 16 and over
14.

Relationship

Occupation

Location

15. Field, shed, cannery__________
16. How engaged: Farmer, row boss, agent, other.
17. Contract No. 18. Reason for coming_______

present job:

19. Inducements offered
J

9

20. Who supplies (a) Trans.: N. Far. Fam. Other; (6) House: Far. Fam. Other;
(c) Credit: Far. Fam. Other; id) Oth. perquisites
21. (a) Usual daily hours; (b) Lunch________________________________ ;
(c) Sunday; (d) Split trick
22. Overtime: (a) Hours......................................; (b) Frequency
------------ ------------------ ------------------- ------- i W Pay----------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------- ; (d) Job...
oo

Occupation
(sched. year)




Crop

Duration

Method and
rate of
payment

Pay period

Strain, exposure,
or accident

219

220

WOMEN IN FRUIT-GROWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

24. Date of last pay day
25.

Day of week

Hours worked

Wages paid

Occupation

Crop

Informant___

Monday___
Tuesday__
Wednesdav
Thursday__
Friday_____
Saturday __

Date___ _
Agent,

26. Wood, brick, canvas, other______ ______________________
_
27. No. rooms------------------------------- 28. No. households
29. Equipment furnished: Beds, No; Tables, No; Chairs, No; Stove, No; Shelves,
No; Other conveniences
30. Light: Electric, gas, kerosene, candle, other _ _
31. Ventilation: (a) Means: GFP; (6) Use: GFP _
32. Screens, No. 33. Garbage collected, No
34. Toilet, None; (a) WC, privy; (6) Distance from house
(c) No. families using
35. Water: (a) Dr. w., Dg. w., Cist., Brk., Spg., Other; (6) Distance from
house________________________________________ _____
housing:

INDUSTRIAL HISTORY:
36.

Occupation




Industry

Duration

Age

Reason for leaving

I
k

J
Schedule 2
[Ttii3 schedule was used in interviews with the ranchers]

Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department

of

Labor

rancher’s interview

S. No---------------------------- State County*_________________________________________
Address------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Association

Name.

LABOR

.




221

L. M. N. F. R______________________________________________________________ ___________
7. How obtained___________________________________________________________ _ _
Scarce------------------------------------------------------------- ”...IIIIIIIIIIIIII.il"" Plentiful’."!"!-!
8. Agreement: Freq. of payment--------------------------------------------------------------- Fixed guarantee.
Housing---------------------------------------------- Fuel Transp
_
Food_____________ Other
9. Policy of supervision____________________________________________________ ._______________
10. Is work steady____________________________________________________________________ _____
11. Number of workers desirable for present outlook__________________________________________
12. Is number of workers large enough for present demand____________________________________
13. Is number same for successive crops per acre_____________________________________________
14. Rate of pay_______________________________________________________
15. Rate of pay___________________________________________________
16. Usual hours"
" Meals"
Meals.

APPENDIX B.----SCHEDULE POEMS

1. Shelter No
Mo. occup. each year.
L°c---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Age----------Conv------- ------- ---------------------------------------------------------------- Capacity__
Drain-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Fam. grps..
Mat..----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fam. rooms
2. Provision for condition:
3. Policy of management:
5. Crops:
Light, nat.
Repairs
Total acreageLight, artif__
Camp clean
Crop________
Acreage.
Ventilation_
_
Social life..
Screens______
Bath con vs________________ _____________________________
___
Toilet, field___
Laundry convs_____________ ______________________ _____. ____
Toilet, camp...
Garbage_______ ___________ ___________________ ....____ ________
4. Water: SourceDepth------------------------------- Conv. camp^________ Field

WOMEN IN ERUIT-GBOWING AND CANNING INDUSTRIES

222

Schedule 3
[Pay-roll information was copied onto this card, one card being used for each woman employee]

U. S. Department
Establishment

Employee's No.

of

Labor, Women’s Bureau
Department
Male

Name

Female

Age

Address
Conjugal condition
S

Occupation

of
{
pay
• ” '
Days
worked

Piece
Regular
hours

Country of birth
At home




Hour

Day

Week

H Month

M

Month

W

D

NR

Additions

$
$
.$
$
$
Earnings
Overtime Undertime
Deductions
hours
hours
Computed
this period
This period for regular
time
$
$
$
In this trade
This firm
Time at work
Began work
$0
Hours

Age.
Board

Pay-roll period
_ Days ending
_

223

APPENDIX B.—SCHEDULE POEMS
Schedule 4
[ This schedule was used to record earnings for each pay-roll period during the season]

U. S. Department

op

Labor, Women’s Bureau

Agent______________
Date_______________

Cannery: Name Address
Worker:
Name Address
Crop

Rates: Piece

Occupation

Date

From

To

Rate

Time

Date

1_____________
2_____________
3_____________
4____________
5_____________
6_____________
7_____________
S_____________
9_____________
10_____________
11_____________
12_____________
13_____________
14_____________
15_____________
16_____________
17____________
18_____________
19_____________
20_____________
21_________ __
22_____________
23_____________
24_____________
25_____________
26_____ _______

Wages

Hours or
days worked
during week

Date

Hours or
days worked
during week

27 _ .
28___ _
29___ .
30
31 _ __ . _
32__...........
33___
34_- - _ - .
35 - .
36-__ - 37___ ______
38__
39___ __ 40___ __ -_41__ - 42_-_ _ 43-_- 44-45___ - - 46___ 4748-- ... .
49-50 - 51
52 _

Total $---------------------- Weeks worked--------------Average weekly wage Average for 52 weeks




Wages

Weeks not worked

PUBLICATIONS OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU
BULLETINS
[These bulletins and reports will be sent free of charge upon request]
No. 1. Proposed Employment of Women During the War in the Industries of Niagara Falls, N. Y. 16 pp.
1918.
No. 2. Labor Laws for Women in Industries in Indiana. 29 pp. 1918.
No. 3. Standards for the Employment of Women in Industry. 7 pp. 1919.
No. 4. Wages of Candy Makers in Philadelphia in 1919. 46 pp. 1919.
No. 6. The Eight-Hour Day in Federal and State Legislation. 19 pp. 1919.
No. 6. The Employment of Women in Hazardous Industries in the United States. 8 pp. 1919.
No. 7. Night Work Laws in the United States. 4 pp. 1919.
No. 8. Women in the Government Service. 37 pp. 1920.
No. 9. Home Work in Bridgeport, Conn. 35 pp. 1920.
No. 10. Hours and Conditions of Work for Women in Industry in Virginia. 32 pp. 1920.
No. 11. Women Street Car Conductors and Ticket Agents. 90 pp. 1920.
No. 12. The New Position of Women in American Industry. 158 pp. 1920.
No. 13. Industrial Opportunities and Training for Women and Girls. 48 pp. 1920.
No. 14. A Physiological Basis for the Shorter Working Day for Women. 20 pp. 1921.
No. 15. Some Effects of Legislation Limiting Hours of Work for Women. 26 pp. 1921.
No. 16. See Bulletin 40.
No. 17. Women’s Wages in Kansas. 104 pp. 1921.
No. 18. Health Problems of Women in Industry. (Reprint of paper published in the Nation's Health,
May, 1921.) 11 pp. 1921.
No. 19. Iowa Women in Industry. 73 pp. 1922.
No. 20. Out of print.
No. 21. 'Women in Rhode Island Industries. 73 pp. 1922.
No. 22. Women in Georgia Industries. 89 pp. 1922.
No. 23. The Family Status of Breadwinning Women. 43 pp. 1922.
No. 24. Women in Maryland Industries. 96 pp. 1922.
No* 25. Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago and St. Louis. 72 pp. 1923.
No. 26. Women in Arkansas Industries. 86 pp. 1923.
No. 27. The Occupational Progress of Women. 37 pp. 1922.
No. 28. Women’s Contributions in the Field of Invention. 51 pp. 1923.
No. 29. Women in Kentucky Industries. 114 pp. 1923.
No. 30. The Share of Wage-Earning ’Women in Family Support. 170 pp. 1923.
No. 31. What Industry Means to Women Workers. 10 pp. 1923.
No. 32. Women in South Carolina Industries. 128 pp. 1923.
No. 33. Proceedings of the Women’s Industrial Conference. 190 pp. 1923.
No. 34. Women in Alabama Industries. 86 pp. 1924.
No. 35. Women in Missouri Industries. 127 pp. 1924.
No. 36. Radio Talks on Women in Industry. 34 pp. 1924.
No. 37. Women in New Jersey Industries. 99 pp. 1924.
No, 38. Married Women in Industry. 8 pp. 1924.
No. 39. Domestic Workers and Their Employment Relations. 87 pp. 1924.
No. 40. State Laws Affecting Working Women. 55 pp. 1924. (Revision of Bulletin 16.)
No. 41. The Family Status of Breadwinnipg Women in Four Selected Cities. 145 pp. 1925.
No. 42. List of References on Minimum Wage for Women in the United States and Canada. 42 pp. 1925.
No. 43. Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women in Industry. 67 pp. 1925.
No. 44. Women in Ohio Industries. 136 pp. 1924.
No. 45. Home Environment and Employment Opportunities of Women in Coal-Mine Workers’ Families.
61pp. 1925.
No. 46. Facts About Working Women—A Graphic Presentation Based on Census Statistics. 64 pp. 1925.
No. 47. Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of Washington. 223 pp. 1626.
No. 48. Women in Oklahoma Industries. (In press.)
No. 49. Women Workers in Family Support. 10 pp. 1925.
No. 50. Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of American Women. (In press).
No. 61. Women in Illinois Industries. (In press) .
First Annual Report of the Director. 1919. (Out of print.)
Second Annual Report of the Director. 1920. (Out of print.)
Third Annual Report of the Director. 1921.
Fourth Annual Report of the Director. 1922.
Fifth Annual Report of the Director. 1923.
Sixth Annual Report of the Director. 1924.
Seventh Annual Report of the Director, 1925.

224



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