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Regularity of employment-The immigrant and organized labor-Employment available-Employment of immigrants because of peculiar training or skill-Local prejudice [Text Tables 122 to 124 and General Table 107].
REGULARITY OF EMPLOYMENT.
The regularity of work offered in the community, as well as the relative industriousness of the several races employed, is set forth in the tables next presented. The table first submitted shows, by general nativity and race of individual, the months worked during the past year by males, in the households studied, who were 16 years of age or over and who were employed away from home.
TABLE 122.-Months worked during the past year by males 16 years of age or over employed away from home, by general nativity and race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
[This table includes only races with 20 or more males reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.]
Of the males 16 years of age or over employed away from home 34.6 per cent worked twelve months, 64.6 per cent nine months or over, 93.9 per cent six months or over, and 98.4 per cent three months or over. The proportion of individuals who worked twelve months and nine months or over during the year, respectively, is largest for the native-born of native father, second largest for the native-born of foreign father, and smallest for the foreign-born, while the proportion of individuals who worked six months or over is larger for the foreign-born than for the native-born of foreign father and larger for the latter than for the native-born of native father. Of the foreign-born the South Italians have the largest and the Poles the smallest proportion of individuals who worked twelve months, and the French Canadians and Swedes the largest and the Poles the smallest proportion of individuals who worked nine months or over. The table following shows, by general nativity and race of individual, the months worked during the past year by females, in the households studied, who were 16 years of age or over, and who were employed away from home.
TABLE 123.-Months worked during the past year by females 16 years of age or over employed away from home, by general nativity and race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
[This table includes only races with 20 or more females reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.]
The above table shows that 42.7 per cent of females worked twelve months during the past year; 70.9 per cent worked nine months or over; 90.3 per cent worked six months or over; while 96.1 per cent worked two months or over. Foreign-born show a somewhat higher per cent than native-born of foreign father who worked the full year, while the latter show a higher per cent than foreign-born who worked for each of the following specified periods. No Germans worked less than six months during the past year.
THE IMMIGRANT AND ORGANIZED LABOR.
The extent to which the wage-earners of Community B are members of labor organizations is exhibited by the table below, which shows, by general nativity and race of individual, the affiliation with trade unions of males, in the households studied, who were 21 years of age or over, and who were working for wages.
TABLE 124.—Affiliation with trade unions of males 21 years of age or over working for wages, by general nativity and race of individual.
Of the 540 persons in this locality for whom information was obtained, 24.8 per cent are affiliated with trade unions, the foreignborn reporting 23.2 as compared with 29.1 per cent of the native-born of foreign father, and 30 per cent of the native whites born of native father. Among the foreign-born the French Canadians, Germans, and Swedes each show a proportion affiliated with trade unions in excess of that shown for the total foreign-born, while the Poles and South Italians each show a proportion below, the proportion of South Italians, however, amounting to less than 2 per cent. Of the nativeborn of foreign father, the Germans, with 38.9 per cent affiliated with trade unions, show a considerably larger proportion than do the Irish and a much larger proportion than do the French Canadians, the last named reporting 18.5 per cent.
The attitude of the various races toward trade unions in this community is favorable. Some of the workmen who come from other countries carry traveling cards which readily admit them to membership in the union of their trade. When the immigrant of any race learns the aims of the American labor union and thoroughly understands them, and this process is usually slow, he is willing to become a member of the union of his craft. His object in joining the union is generally selfish, and he has no great desire to further the cause of unionism. He sees that it is best to rely upon collective bargaining with the employer, to have regular hours of work, and to stand with his fellows on questions of wages, rate per piece or hour, and the number of apprentices to be employed, and other questions, because it is to his advantage to do so, but in attendance on meetings or in any special work the immigrant is not as active as the native. The race which is most favorable to trade unionism, in Community B, is the German, as most of the German workmen have trades. The race least interested in the cause of the unions is the Polish. The races coming from the north of Europe are principally made up of men who have a trade, while those immigrants of southern European countries and from eastern Europe are generally unskilled laborers, and as the unskilled trades are not recognized by the labor unions these people are not admitted into the ranks of unionism.
Any immigrant who has a trade may become a member of the local branch union of that trade. There are twenty-two local branches of the labor unions in Community B, and they number many immigrants on their rolls. Each union is desirous of securing as large an enrollment as possible, and an immigrant can secure membership as easily as one of native race, no discrimination being made against any immigrant race.
Like most of the cities in Connecticut, the locality studied is essentially a manufacturing community. The principal industry is the manufacture of plated silverware. Over one-third of the city's industrial output consists of plated silverware and britannia ware. In these industries men of the highest skill are employed, and the average wages paid are the highest paid in any skilled industrial employment in the United States.
Like the plated-silverware industry, the making of hardware offers employment to a large number of men. In this industry skill is
required on the part of the employees, as the work done is of a high grade. In the manufacture of cutlery, foundry and machine-shop products, gas and lamp fixtures, lamps and reflectors, firearms, cut glass, brass goods, automatic pianos and materials, house furnishing, and other minor manufactures employment is found by workmen who possess some amount of skill. With the exception of the laborers employed in these industries, the majority of the men employed have some trade. This fact accounts, in a measure, for the high wages paid. The various occupations in almost all industries in the community require men of experience and skill, and those who apply for work having no trade stand little chance of finding employment.
EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS BECAUSE OF PECULIAR TRAINING OR SKILL.
In the occupation of burnishing in the plated-silverware industry, the French Canadians show a peculiar aptitude for the work and are employed because of their skill. An official of an important silverware plant remarked that "The French Canadians were born with a burnishing brush in their hands." The majority of the race in Community B are burnishers by trade, and the skill of the fathers has been handed down to the sons through several generations. The Germans found in the same industry show a marked ability for designing and possess a high degree of skill. They have accomplished the majority of the inventions which have been made in the industry, and are regarded by the operators as indispensable.
In this community there seems to be little prejudice against the immigrants of any race. The different races endeavor, wherever possible, to help their own people. No sectional feeling or race hatred is found. This may be due to the fact that there is no one race strong enough to dominate either in business or politics and to the further fact that most of the industries are in the hands of natives or their descendants. In politics the same conditions obtain, no one race being powerful enough to override the others, and here again the natives are in control.
INDUSTRIAL EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION.
Immigrant employers-Effects of immigration upon local industries-Industries established to supply demands of immigrant consumers-Industries established or promoted by immigrants.
The instances found in Community B where immigrants have become employers are furnished by a North Italian building contractor, a small German iron foundry employing about 16 men, and a small braid mill operated by French Canadians. The industries of the community are old and well established and require a large amount of capital to operate them. These facts have barred immigrants from becoming employers. The Italain contractor and the managers of the German iron foundry employ men of their respective races in their activities. The braid mill operated by French Canadians employs only women and girls, and the preference is given to French Canadians. It is the practice of the immigrant employers to discriminate in favor of their own people, but the amount of work done by them is so small as to be negligible when compared with the importance of the industries conducted by the Americans.
EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION UPON LOCAL INDUSTRIES.
The several industries located in Community B are peculiar in that they demand a high type of worker. In most cases it is necessary that the person who applies for employment should possess a trade. In the plated silverware works, the cut-glass factories, the lamp, gas, and electric-fixture shops, the automatic piano and other industrial establishments, highly skilled workmen are required, and the immigrants who secure employment have thoroughly mastered their occupations and are most often capable of easily adapting themselves to American methods. For example, in the silverware industry a man who applies for work, applies for employment in a certain occupation, as buffer, polisher, and engraver. If he has not completed his apprenticeship, he is seldom given employment. The same conditions are found in the majority of the industries in the community, and the men who are unable to do skilled work experience difficulty in securing work and often go elsewhere for employment.
The English-speaking immigrants, the Germans, French Canadians, and Swedes have had the effect of advancing local industries. in the community, for among them are found the skilled workers.
The races from southern and eastern Europe, which began to come to the community in large numbers after 1885, such as the Italians, Poles, Lithuanians, and in a few cases, Greeks, have affected local industries but little as they have been employed only in the lower occupations. In some industries, however, as in the lamp and chan