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CHAPTER IV.

WORKING CONDITIONS.

Hours of work-Effect of the industrial depression of 1907 and 1908—Effect of

employment of immigrants upon establishment of new industries – Employers' opinions of recent immigrants.

HOURS OF WORK.

The average periods of work in the clothing industry in Baltimore are nine hours each day, and fifty-four each week. These hours are not worked in all of the concerns of the city, however, for in the shops of one of the largest establishments nine hours per day and fifty-four per week are the regular periods of work only in the cutting departments, where the work is all done on the piece system, while in the tailoring departments ten hours per day and sixty hours per week are worked under both time and piece systems. The largest proportion of the employees in the industry work by the piece, but none exceed ten hours per day, and the majority only work nine hours a day. Six days constitute a week's work.

EFFECT OF THE INDUSTRIAL DEPRESSION OF 1907 AND 1908.

The only effect of the industrial depression of 1907 and 1908 on the immigrants employed in the clothing industry of Baltimore was the shortening of the hours of work each day, which cut down their wages to a certain extent. Few, if any, were thrown out of work, and no exodus of the employees in the industry from the community resulted. During the depression, no one race was made to suffer more than another, for cutting departments and tailoring departments were affected alike; Germans in the highest occupations, down to the Italians in the lowest, had their periods of work each day shortened. Conditions in the industry are normal at the present time, and there is a demand for labor.

EFFECT OF EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS UPON ESTABLISHMENT OF

NEW INDUSTRIES. One effect that the employment of immigrants has had on the clothing industry in the city has been the establishment of shops for the making of women's wearing apparel. A large number of such establishments are now in operation in Baltimore, employing almost entirely women of the Russian Hebrew, Lithuanian, Polish, and Italian races. Immigrants may also be said to have developed the clothing industry in the city to its present importance and size, as they have furnished the labor and in most instances the capital. The most important clothing houses are nearly all owned, at the present time, by Hebrews.

EMPLOYERS' OPINIONS OF RECENT IMMIGRANTS.

The general manager of one large company stated that he much preferred the Russian Hebrews among the recent immigrants; next the Poles and Lithuanians, and the Italians last. He thought that the Russian Hebrews were the most efficient, adaptable, and industrious; the Poles the most progressive, while none of the races of recent immigration were tractable. The president of another company, one of the largest in the city, claimed that he gave preference to the Germans in all departments. Of the more recent races of immigration he claimed that the Russian Hebrews and Poles were the most progressive, efficient, adaptable, and industrious, while the Italians and Lithuanians were the least desirable. The superintendent of still another large company stated that he gave preference in employment to no one race, but thought that the Russian Hebrews were the most desirable of the more recent immigrants. The above statements may be accepted as representative of the opinions of the employers of Baltimore, as they were made by men connected with the largest establishments in the city. From these statements it is noticed that of all the races employed, the Germans are preferred, and that of the more recent immigrants the Russian Hebrews seem to be given the preference.

CHAPTER V.

SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS.

Literacy-Conjugal condition-Visits abroad-Age classification of employees [Text

Tables 131 to 136 and General Tables 78 to 82).

LITERACY.

As regards the general literacy of the clothing manufacturing employees the following table shows, by sex and general nativity and race of individual, the percentage of employees who read and percentage who read and write:

TABLE 131.Per cent of employees who read and per cent who read and write, by sex and

general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [This table includes only races with 80 or more persons reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.)

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Of the total number of employees, 94.8 per cent can read and 93.6 per cent can read and write. The native whites born of native father report the maximum proportion literate. The native-born of foreign father report 99.2 per cent able to read and write. Of the foreign-born 92.7 per cent can read and 90.8 per cent can read and write. The proportions shown for the employees of each specified race who read and write range from 86 per cent of the Lithuanians to 95.5 per cent of the North Italians.

Both the native-born of foreign father and the foreign-born show a greater proportion of males literate than females: the greatest difference in the sexes being among the South Italians and Lithuanians.

CONJUGAL CONDITION, The conjugal condition of the operatives is set forth in the following table, which shows, by sex and general nativity and race of individual, the percentage of employees 20 years of age or over in each conjugal condition: TABLE 132.—Per cent of employees 20 years of age or over in each conjugal condition, by

sex and general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [This table includes only races with 80 or more persons reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.)

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The greater proportion of the total number of employees 20 years of age or over are married. Nevertheless, while the greater proportion of the foreign-born are married and the greater proportion of the native-born of foreign father are married or widowed, the greater proportion of native-born whites of native father are single. There is, moreover, a marked difference between the proportions shown for the males and females, only 23.3 per cent of the latter being married, as compared with 65.7 per cent of the males. The most striking difference is among the Russian Hebrews, the males having 72.5 per cent married and the females only 13.8 per cent.

The table next presented divides the data of the one immediately preceding and shows the percentage of employees in each conjugal condition according to sex, age groups, and general nativity and race of individual: Table 133.—Per cent of employees in each conjugal condition, by sex, age groups, and

general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [This table includes only races with 200 or more persons reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.)

MALE.

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Not computed, owing to small number involved. In the group of employees 20 to 29 years of age the greater proportion are single. The proportion drops to 13 per cent in the succeeding group, and finally in the group of employees 45 years of age or over only 5.6 per cent are single.

In every age group there is a predominating proportion of females who are single.

Relative to the conjugal condition of the married operatives of foreign birth the most significant question has to do with the location of their wives, and in the table following the percentage of foreignborn husbands who report wife in the United States and the percentage who report wife abroad is shown according to race of husband.

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