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total number of employees than do the representatives of the Greek, Italian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Polish, or Syrian race in the order named.
Establishment No. 3.—Twenty years ago when plant No. 3, in which women's “turned" shoes and slippers are manufactured was established in Massachusetts, it was the custom among shoe manufacturers to send the uppers and soles out into the houses of the farmers and cobblers to be stitched together by hand. With the invention and perfection of a sewing machine for this purpose this method was changed. The manufacturers found they could better control the work and that the output would be largely increased by having all labor done within the factory. Since the manufacturers owned the machines and the outside cobblers were without sufficient capital to install them, it became necessary for those who had previously been employed to move into the city, provided they wished to continue in the same trade. It was fifteen years ago, or just about the time shoe-stitching machinery was adopted, that the Irish obtained their first employment in this factory. Their entrance was coincident with the expansion of the factory work and the withdrawal from the shoemaking trade of the native American country people, which resulted from concentrating all labor necessary in manufacturing shoes in factories. Following closely upon the employment of the Irish were the French Canadians, who, with the exception of the native Americans, constitute at this time a larger proportion of all employees than do the representatives of any other
The representatives of the other races, who, in each instance, constitute only a small proportion of the total number employed, have obtained employment in this factory from time to time, but not in suflicient numbers to be considered a factor in the operation of same. As showing the present composition of the employees the following statement, which exhibits, by race of individual, the number of each race in specified occupation, is herewith submitted:
As representative of racial substitutions in connection with the industry in the Middle West, the history of immigration to boot and shoe manufacturing establishments in St. Louis may be presented. The manufacture of shoes in St. Louis began nearly forty years foremen who had had training and experience. New England at the time occupied the commanding position in this industry, and it was toward this section that St. Louis turned for well-trained men. The men secured were native whites, and these men, as foremen, together with local native whites and Germans and Irish, formed the working nucleus of what has become one of the most important industries in St. Louis to-day. As the industry expanded the more skilled of this force were employed by other companies or in other plants of the same company, in the same capacity as were those from New England. Only within the last ten years have the more recent immigrants to this country entered the industry in this particular section, of whom the first were Italians employed in 1900. This race was followed by the Bohemians and Poles in 1902, the Greek, Armenian, and a few Turks in 1904, and a small number of Swedes and Magyars in 1905. In the opinion of the officials of several companies, not over 16 per cent of the employees in this locality are of the more recent immigrant races. This proportion, when the large number of employees is considered, is a very small percentage. Moreover, a considerable proportion is of the second generation. From officials and employees long in the service of their respective companies it may be assumed that the races previously named are the only ones that have become a factor in operating the various plants. In St. Louis, as in other large cities where the various plants are so widely scattered, the racial make-up of each plant's force is governed almost entirely by its location. By way of illustration, one plant is located in the heart of an Irish and German community, another in a Polish, and still another in a section of St. Louis where the Bohemians are qạite strong: Wherever this preponderance of one race over another is found this race predominates over the others not so strongly represented in the various plants, the Americans being an exception. The more recent immigrants have entered, without exception, the unskilled occupations. Rare exceptions in the case of individuals have been noted. In this connection the Italian is more favorably commented on than the others. This is attributed to his knowledge of the needle and knife gained in his native country, where many of the race have worked as “cobblers.” There are certain occupations requiring a little instruction that these people enter, but such should be termed specialized rather than skilled.
GLASS MANUFACTURING. Racial displacements in the glass manufacturing industry are of peculiar interest because of the invention of machinery within recent years which has made possible the extensive employment of unskilled labor in factories engaged in the manufacture of plate and window glass and glass bottles. In the early development of the industry it was necessary to secure skilled glass workers from glass manufacturing centers in Europe. At the present time it is possible to recruit a large proportion of the operating forces from the untrained and inexperienced immigrant labor supply of southern and eastern Europe. “A brief account of the history of immigration within recent years to a number of representative glass manufacturing localities in different sections of the country will illustrate the racial displacements which have occurred in the industry.
Community A supports only two industrial establishments, one a plate-glass factory and the other a pottery works. The latter is of little importance and employs only a very small number of immigrants. The total population of the town is about 2,600, and its history of immigration is contained in the history of the racial changes which have taken place in the glass plant.
The plate-glass plant was started in 1886, as the property of an important glass company, with a nucleus of Belgian, English, and German workers who were brought from other plants of the company in the United States to serve as skilled workers. All of the work at that time was done by hand, and native Americans served as unskilled laborers and were apprenticed with the idea of taking the place of the foreign skilled workmen as the latter dropped out.
When this company first began operation in its factories in other sections of the United States, the English method of glass making was adopted. In 1885 a change was made to the Belgian method. In both instances skilled workers were imported from England first and afterwards from Belgium, and from sections of Germany where the Belgian methods were used. There were no skilled American workmen to be secured, as the plate-glass industry was new in America. The importation of foreign workmen was thus indispensable in establishing the plate-glass industry in this country. The skilled workmen among the Americans and recent immigrant races have learned their trade under Beligan tutoring.
After 1895, however, most of the American employees, except those who had become skilled workmen or who held responsible positions of an executive nature, were drawn away from the glass industry into the steel plants in and about Pittsburg by reason of the higher wages, and it was necessary for the company to look elsewhere for ordinary labor, as well as for material out of which to develop future skilled labor. As early as 1888 a few Poles, Russians, and Slovaks were secured, but not in sufficient numbers to meet the demands for unskilled labor until after 1890. They gradually took the place of American workers after that date, and at the present time not more than 20 per cent of the entire force of the plant is composed of Americans.
With the change to machine methods in making plate glass in the Community A plant and the gradual exodus of the original skilled hand workers and of unskilled Americans to other industries, the demand for labor was met by a supply of Slovaks, Poles, and Russians. In 1900 the superintendent of the plant realized the change which was taking place and that his plant faced a competition with the tin and steel mills, as well as other plate-glass plants, in the labor market. The supply of skilled labor was being reduced, and the material out of which future skilled workers could be drawn was being lowered by the racial change from American to cheap foreign labor.
In 1902 the total number of employees in the manufacturing department of the local plant numbered about 560, consisting of 16 foremen, 290 skilled workmen (52 per cent), at an average rate of pay of 20 cents per hour, and 254 unskilled workmen, at an average pay of 13 cents per hour. An experiment had been tried to raise the workers in the construction department from 12 cents per hour to 15 cents; but in 1902, out of 300 laborers in this department, there were less than 25 Americans even at this increased rate of pay, the rest of them being unskilled Slovaks, Poles, and Russians.
The plant was confronted therefore with (1) a lessening number of skilled glass workers; (2) an increasing number of unskilled Slovak, Polish, and Russian immigrants, who the company did not believe it could advance into skilled occupations; and (3) an unsuccessful competition for American labor with the various branches of the steel industry.
It soon became possible to substitute machinery for some of the skilled occupations, such as laying, grinding, and polishing, which the racial changes practically demanded. The Belgians and other skilled glass workers were retained in those positions requiring skill in hand work, while Americans and workmen of other races who possessed enough intelligence were put in charge of the machines. Each machine displaced several skilled hand workers, but the increase in the output required an increase of about the same number of unskilled workers in the casting rooms.
Within recent years not only have Poles and Slovaks come to Community A, but also a number of Macedonians, together with a few Ital
а ians. Several racial movements may thus be distinguished in the history of the plate-glass plant, which can be grouped as follows:
First, the use of skilled glass workers imported by the company from England to plants in other parts of the United States and then brought to the new plant in Community A.
Second, the change from the English methods of glass making to the Belgian method and the importation of Belgians and Germans to the various older plants of the company from where they were taken to serve as skilled workers in the new plant. At this time, a system of apprenticeship was also inaugurated in the hope that native Americans would learn glass making.
Third, the drawing away of native unskilled workmen into the steel mills and of skilled Belgians and English into new independent glass plants.
Fourth, the coming of Slovaks, Poles, Russians, and Macedonians into the unskilled occupations.
Fifth, the advancement of a few natives, nearly all of the secondgeneration Belgians, Germans, and English glass makers, and of a small number of Slovaks and Poles into the skilled occupations.
The following statement presents the number of persons employed by the plate-glass plant in 1909, by race and number of years employed:
TABLE 8.-Employees of Community A plate-glass plant in 1909, by race and number of
In 1909 Community B supported an estimated population of 1,200 individuals, of whom about 60 per cent were immigrants. An important window-glass factory, employing under normal business conditions about 700 wage-earners, constitutes the industrial importance of the town. If it were not for the glass plant the place would be of no importance either from a business or an industrial standpoint.
The racial history of the glass plant is the history of immigration to Community A. In 1892 the factory was erected and placed in operation with a working force of about 600, of which about 50 per cent were native Americans, 40 per cent Belgians, 5 per cent English, and 5 per cent Germans. The Belgians, English, and Germans were employed in the skilled occupations, while the Americans filled the unskilled positions.
The composition of the employees remained practically unchanged until 1900, when the unskilled native workmen began to enter the tin mills located in an adjoining town. Their places were filled by unskilled Italian glass workers. The skilled Belgian workers began a like emigration from the community about the same time, going, in the majority of cases, to the glass communities farther westward. A number of unskilled American laborers were gradually promoted to the places left vacant by the Belgians, until the year 1903, when machinery was introduced throughout the establishment.
In 1903 machinery was introduced in all departments of the plant except in the flattening and cutting rooms. The introduction of machinery was opposed by the labor unions, and in 1904 a strike was called, with the result that all of the employees of the plant, with the exception of the flatteners and cutters, were placed upon a nonunion basis. The Bohemians and skilled native workmen left the factory on the failure of the strike, and native machine runners, many of whom had been employed as skilled laborers, were put in their places. In the places left vacant by the advancement of the unskilled native workmen were employed unskilled Italians, Poles, Slovaks, Macedonians, and representatives of a few other European races of recent immigration. At the present time about 40 per cent of the employees are Americans, 25 per cent Italians, 10 per cent Poles, 10 per cent Slovaks, 10 per cent Macedonians, 3 per cent Germans, and 2 per cent Belgians. The changes in the races employed at the glass plant affected the population of the town, which is now composed chiefly of Americans, Slovaks, Italians, and Poles. The only signs of the former Belgian population are a few business establishments which retired Belgian glass workers have established.
Community C forms a link in the chain of glass communities along the Allegheny River and comprises one township. The population is composed almost entirely of the employees of an important plate