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most of them are buttonhole-machine operators and nearly all of them work at home or in their own shops. A few are employed in the factories as ironers. A few Swedes, Germans, and Norwegians are employed in the industry, but the numbers are comparatively small and there has been no concerted immigration on the part of these races. Up to the present time (1909) there has been practically no race substitution in this industry. Very few, if any, of the old employees have been displaced by the Armenians and the Poles, and the employment of workers of these races is due entirely to the expansion of the industry in recent years.
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLDS.
The character of recent and past immigration to the industry may also be seen in the following series of tables, which show the period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees and members of their households. Length of residence in this country and period of employment in the industry are not necessarily identical, but they closely approximate each other. The first table submitted, which immediately follows, sets forth, by race of individual, the per cent of foreign-born persons in the households studied who had been in the United States each specified number of years.
TABLE 11.—Per cent of foreign-born persons in the United States each specified number of years, by race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 20 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]
The above table shows that of the total number of persons reporting 23.8 per cent have been in the United States under five years, 36.8 per cent have a residence of under ten years, while 51.1 per cent have been in this country under twenty years. Armenians report a very much higher percentage with a residence of under five years than the other races given, the Danes showing no persons with a residence of under five years, while the proportion of Irish and Germans is very small. Armenians continue to show a much higher percentage of persons with a residence of under ten years than the other races, Germans showing a very small proportion. Armenians
also show the highest percentage of persons with a residence of under twenty years, Irish and Germans in the order named showing the smallest per cent.
RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AT THE PRESENT TIME.
The racial composition of the operating forces of the industry at the present time is exhibited by the following table, which shows, by sex, the number and percentage of employees of each race for whom information was secured:
TABLE 12.-Employees for whom information was secured, by sex and general nativity and race.
The foregoing table includes information for a total of 1,508 persons. Of that number 13.4 per cent are foreign-born and 36.5 per cent are native-born of foreign father. Of the total number of males the foreign-born represent only 10 per cent and the nativeborn of foreign father represent 30 per cent. For each of these
general nativity groups the proportion is larger among the females; the native-born of foreign father representing 37.2 per cent and the foreign-born 13.8 per cent. No male negroes native-born of native father are included in the total number of employees and the proportion of females of that race is less than 1 per cent. The native whites born of native father, on the other hand, represent 60 per cent of all males and 48.9 per cent of the total number of females. The second-generation Irish, or native-born of foreign father, show a larger proportion than does any other one race, both of males and of females. The males represent 13.1 per cent of that sex and the females 23.5 per cent of the females. Of the foreign-born races the Armenian, German, and Russian are the only races that show a proportion of more than 1 per cent of the total number of males. The Irish report a larger proportion of females than does any other foreign-born race. This is 4.2 per cent. The French Canadians, Russians, Danes, and Germans follow in the order named. No other race shows a proportion of more than 1 per cent.
REASONS FOR EMPLOYING IMMIGRANTS.
The Poles are employed in laundries because more vacancies occur in that department, on account of the fact that Americans leave it as they work up in the scale of occupations. The Poles are considered good ironers, and have proven very satisfactory. They are contented with their work, and hence are employed by a few firms. The Armenians are employed as buttonhole makers, because they do good work and on contract finish it cheaper than Americans. Further, the Armenians nearly all own machines, and even if the scale of pay is the same as at the factory, the company saves the capital which otherwise would be tied up in the machines, and saves wear and tear, rent of space, interest, etc.
METHOD OF SECURING IMMIGRANT LABOR.
The Poles have resided in Troy for a number of years, the male members of the families being employed in other work. In order to secure a supplementary income the women and girls have applied at the laundries and have been employed from time to time as vacancies occurred. The Armenians, it seems, have merely drifted in; there has been no concerted immigration to Troy on the part of their race, and they have gradually worked into their present position in the collar and cuff industry.
PROGRESS OF IMMIGRANTS.
Very little progress has been made by the Poles and Armenians. The Poles so far have not progressed beyond the laundries, except in one instance, where 40 Polish girls are employed on buttonhole machines by an Armenian. In this case, however, the Poles are employed because they can be secured cheaper than the Armenians. The Armenians have never sought any employment other than making buttonholes and all of them remain in this department.
There is no discrimination either for or against the employment of immigrants. The firms who do not employ them say they do not do so simply because they can secure plenty of experienced, highly skilled native labor, and hence do not take on unskilled immigrants, and go to the trouble and expense of training them. They assert that the deciding factor is that of skill. The collar and cuff factories run ten hours a day, and six days a week; some grant a Saturday half holiday, and some do not. About one-third of the work is done by contract outside the factories and these workers regulate their own hours. There are no trade unions in this industry and no movement of any note has ever taken place toward organizing.