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History of immigration-Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born
employees and members of their households--Racial classification of employees at the present time_Reasons for employment of immigrants—Method of securing immigrants—[Text Tables 197 to 199 and General Tables 113 and 114].
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION.
Slaughtering and meat packing was not begun in Kansas City, Kans., until five years after the establishment of the industry in Chicago. The operating forces were at first made up of Americans, both whites and negroes, Irish, English, Germans, and Swedes, the larger part of the first four races having come from Chicago. These races continued to immigrate to Kansas City, and until the year 1890 were exclusively employed. After that year, the Croatians, Poles, and Slovaks began to seek work in the Kansas City packing houses, coming at first from Chicago and other cities, and later directly from Europe. The immigration of the early immigrants had practically stopped by 1890. During the past twenty years very few races of older immigration have entered the industry in Kansas City, and large proportions of those formerly employed there haveengaged in otheroccupations and industries. The Germans and Swedes, as a rule, have become farmers or farm laborers. The Irish have engaged in diversified occupations. During the past ten years the southern and eastern Europeans have had the ascendency in the industry, Bulgarians, Italians, and Greeks having been added to the races already employed. The Italians and Greeks, however, do not remain in the industry permanently but seek work only in slack periods of demand for seasonal or casual labor. Since 1908 a considerable number of Japanese and Mexicans also have found employment.
The racial displacements which have occurred may be well exhibited by the substitutions which have taken place in representative companies. In the case of one company, established thirty-nine years ago and at that time employing Americans, Germans, Irish, and Swedes exclusively, 20 per cent of the present operating force of 4,200 men are negroes, and of the remaining 80 per cent one-half are foreign-born, with races of recent immigration largely in predominance. Another establishment, started at the same time, originally had in its operating force Irish, German, English, and Swiss immigrants only. At the present time 40 per cent of its 1,200 employees are representatives of southern and eastern European races, with the Croatians in the majority; 20 to 25 per cent are negroes, and the remainder mainly native whites. Only 5 or 6 Irish immigrants are to be found in the plant at present. Another establishment began operations sixteen years ago, and its employees consisted of persons native-born of native father, second generation Irish, Swedes, and Germans. By the year 1893 almost all of the original employees had left the plant to engage in other work, and the company was forced to rely mainly on negro labor, and later upon races of recent arrival in this country. These later immigrants were chiefly Poles and Croatians, with varying numbers of Bohemians, Mexicans, Slovaks, Russians, Greeks, and Italians. The composition of the adult male employees during August, 1908, and June, 1909, may be stated as follows, on the basis of statistics compiled by the company:
Under “White” are placed, somewhat arbitrarily, all whites who speak the English language, regardless of nativity; "Foreign means only those foreign-born who do not speak English. “White" would, therefore, include many immigrants; of the total white and foreign in 1908, about 40 per cent would be foreign-born. In 1909 the proportion would be somewhat larger.
The statement next submitted not only shows racial changes which have occurred, but also illustrates the large number of races employed. It exhibits the composition in January, 1907, and May, 1909, by country of birth, of the operating force of another company, which employs on an average about 1,200 persons:
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN
EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLDS.
The series of tabulations next submitted, while primarily showing the period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees of the slaughtering and meat-packing establishments, affords an interesting insight into the racial movements to the community. While most of the immigrants in the past ten years have come to Kansas City directly from Europe, it must be borne in mind, however, that the period of residence of the foreign-born in this country and in the city do not necessarily coincide. The first table presented shows by race the per cent of foreign-born male employees in the United States each specified number of years:
Table 197.—Per cent of foreign-born male employees in the United States each specified
number of years, by race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [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 40 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)
In the above table a bare majority of the 3,277 males have been less than five years in the United States, fair proportions being here five to nine and twenty years or over. The majority of each of the old immigrant races have been here twenty years or over, but the largest proportion of each of the other races report less than ten years in the United States. A study of the males five years or over in the United States shows that, although very small proportions of the recent immigrant races have been here twenty years or over, the majority of the South Italians and Slovenians, and a large proportion of each of the other races, with the exception of the Greeks and Russians, have been here from five to twenty years. None of the Servians, however, less than 1 per cent of the Greeks, and less than 10 per cent of the Russians and Polish have been here ten years
The following table shows 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 198.- Per cent of foreign-born persons in the United States each specified number
of years, by race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOC SEHOLDS.) [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 total for the preceding table shows that slightly more than ninetenths of the foreign-born persons furnishing information have been in the United States less than twenty years, and that the greatest proportion, or about two-fifths, of the whole have been in this country less than five years. The largest proportions with a residence less than five years are shown by the Croatians and Poles, while the Germans show the highest percentage of persons with a residence between ten and twenty years and over twenty years.
RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AT THE PRESENT TIME.
The table immediately following, which sets forth the number and per cent of employees according to general nativity and race of individual, for whom information was secured, is considered to be representative of the racial composition of the operating force of the industry at the present time.
TABLE 199.-- Male employees for whom information was secured, by general nativity and
Of the 7,023 males employed in the slaughtering and meat-packing industry, 47.1 per cent are foreign-born; 26 per cent are native-born, white, of native father; 16.1 per cent are native-born negroes, and 10.7 per cent are native-born of foreign father.
Of the foreign-born races, the Croatian and German, with 14.9 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, are the only ones showing as high as 5 per cent of the total number.
REASONS FOR EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS. Immigrants have been employed in the slaughtering and meatpacking houses solely because the native labor supply was insufficient. It was stated that it would have been absolutely impossible for the companies to continue operations at any time if they had had to depend upon the native labor supply. Very few immigrants have been secured or used as strike-breakers, but negroes have been usually employed for this purpose.
There is, it is claimed, no discrimination as to employment offered. The companies state that native labor, as well as Germans, Swedes, Irish, Scotch, English, and other northern Europeans, would be much