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TABLE 45.— 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.)
This table gives reports from 889 males 16 years of age or over, of whom 62.7 per cent worked twelve months during last year, 79.6 per cent worked nine months or over, 97.3 per cent worked six months or over, and 99.4 per cent worked three months or over. Throughout all the time periods of this table the native-born of native father show a much greater proportion working than either the native-born of foreign father or the foreign-born. Of the foreignborn races the Lithuanians show over 95 per cent, the Irish over 80 per cent, the Poles over 70, the Slovaks and South Italians over 40 per cent each, and the Ruthenians and Croatians each show over 30 per cent who worked twelve months during last year. About 95 per cent of Lithuanians and Irish worked nine months or over, while less than 65 per cent of Ruthenians and Slovaks did so. All remaining races show figures ranging between 70 and 90 per cent. Both South Italians and Irish had over 99 per cent who worked six months or over, while each of the other races show over 95 per cent to have been occupied for a similar period. All races excepting Poles and Slovaks show 100 per cent who worked during three months or over last year.
THE IMMIGRANT AND ORGANIZED LABOR.
The smallness of the extent to which the employees of the refineries are members of labor organizations is exhibited by the table following, which shows, by general nativity and race of individual, affiliation with trade unions of males 21 years of age or over within the households studied who are working for wages.
TABLE 46.- Affiliation with trade unions of males 21 years of age or over who are working
for wages, by general nativity and race of individual.
From the above table it will be noted that of the 789 males for whom information was obtained only 1.5 per cent are affiliated with trade unions, the foreign-born reporting 1.2 per cent, as compared with 10 per cent of the native-born of foreign father. As regards the foreign-born, no Croatians, South Italians, Lithuanians, Poles, or Ruthenians, and only a very small proportion of the Slovaks and Irish—the last named reporting 4.8 per cent—are affiliated with trade unions. The representatives of the other foreign-born races are so few in number that no computation has been made. None of the native-born of native father are affiliated with trade unions, while of the native-born of foreign father the Irish, with 4 per cent so affiliated, is the only race reporting a sufficient number to admit of comparison
RELATIVE PROGRESS AND EFFICIENCY.
Opinions of employers as to the efficiency of immigrant employees--Progress of
OPINIONS OF EMPLOYERS AS TO THE EFFICIENCY OF IMMIGRANT
The relative efficiency of the races employed at Whiting, Ind., is given by the superintendent of the refinery as follows: (i) Native Americans and English-speaking races other than Irish; (2) Germans; (3) Irish; (4) Poles; (5) Slovaks; (6) Croatians; (7) all other races. This classification is made to include all departments of the refinery and all grades of work. It was agreed by all officials of the refinery that the races from the southern and eastern states of Europe, taken as a whole, are the hardest drinkers, and that this practice has handicapped them in point of advancement in the plant. English-speaking races are under a disadvantage in securing employment and in being promoted unless they are able to speak English, but their personal efficiency in the several occupations is but little affected, it is claimed, by their lack of knowledge of the language. In Bayonne the same races of immigrants are seldom employed in more than one establishment, and for this reason it was not possible to obtain comparative opinions of employers regarding the merits of certain races. The individual views of officials of some of the representative establishments are therefore presented separately.
The superintendent of a barrel factory operated in connection with a refinery and employing several hundred men considers the Magyars and Poles very satisfactory laborers; some having risen to positions of headers, coopers, and testers, earning $18 to $20 a week. American laborers are considered more efficient but are less tractable than the Magyars and Poles, and for this reason less desirable as unskilled and semiskilled laborers. The general manager of an oil refining company with approximately one hundred employees considers Slovaks, Ruthenians, Poles, and Lithuanians more intelligent than Italians and more desirable as semiskilled laborers, but for the rough, unskilled labor requiring little intelligence or responsibility Italians are preferred. English, Irish, and Germans will not accept employment in this refinery, where much of the work is of a very disagreeable nature. The manager of another refining company in close touch with his employees was very emphatic in his preference for Irish laborers over Slovaks and Poles. The latter races, he asserted, are untrustworthy and unreliable, do not apply themselves intelligently, and are apparently without ambition to increase their efficiency. Social and religious duties interfere with their work to some extent, and their
low standards of living render them physically unable to perform hard-labor work. This official was very severe in his criticism of the Slovaks and Poles and expressed the opinion that the Irish were far superior workmen in every respect.
PROGRESS OF IMMIGRANTS.
The officials of the refinery at Whiting say that nearly 75 per cent of the labor done in the plant is skilled, designating as a skilled occupation one which requires an apprenticeship of at least a month. Such work as can be done with picks, shovels, and rakes is generally regarded as unskilled. The races showing the most marked tendency to advance themselves out of the lowest grades of work and to enter the occupations classified as skilled are the Germans, Poles, Slovaks, and Irish, in the order named. There are a number of Germans, Irish, and Slovaks who have been made foremen in recognition of their ability in their respective departments, but among the other races employed from the southern and eastern states of Europe there has been no tendency to work up to the positions of foremen. One reason why the Germans, Poles, and Slovaks are making progress is that they are rapidly acquiring a speaking knowledge of English. Among the other non-English-speaking races in the plant but few persons will be found who speak English, and those who do not speak the language are very slow in mastering it. Under the laws of the State children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required to attend some school, and among the employees of the refinery no persons under the age of 16 are found. With the exception of the Irish and Germans none of the races from continental Europe show any marked interest in civic affairs. The Irish are most often the leaders in the political affairs of the community.
INDUSTRIAL EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION.
Effect of the employment of immigrants upon former employees Effect of the employ
ment of immigrants upon the establishment of new industries.
EFFECT OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS UPON FORMER
Interracial effects in Bayonne are very aptly illustrated by the radical changes that have taken place in the residential sections of the town. The coming of the factories and the immigrants have greatly affected the racial complexion of_the residential districts. While this is true to a great extent now, Bayonne was at one time almost wholly a suburban city, and that part of the city known as Bergen Point was formerly held in large estates by wealthy land
This is now an extensive factory district. The old residents have been largely forced back through Centerville, from which they have lately been driven by the Jews and the Italians, to the northwestern portion of the city, known as Pamerpo, or have moved away from the city entirely. In that section of the city occupied by the working classes, situated near the refineries, the Slovaks and Poles have almost entirely displaced the Irish and Germans who formerly occupied that section. The latter have been distributed over the city in consequence.
The extent to which the Irish, Germans, and Scandinavians have been displaced in the various industries has already been noted, but may be restated in a general way in the present connection. Thirty years ago the Irish were predominant in all branches of labor. Now they have been practically eliminated from the ranks of common labor and have either entered business and the trades or skilled employment. Their places have been taken by the Slovaks and Poles and Italians in the refineries, and by the Italians in the street work. While it was the Irish who built the railroads, the canals, and streets, and laid the sewers thirty to forty years ago, it is the Italians who are doing this kind of work now. It is recognized that the Irish and Germans have been superseded in the field of common labor by the Slav and Italian races. The various events that have led to this result have been traced, more or less, in detail. The aversion of the Irish and Germans to the lowest positions in the oil refineries, followed by the importation of Slavs and Poles for strike-breaking purposes, undoubtedly marked the beginning of this displacement, and employers, finding these races more tractable, less inclined to strike, and perhaps cheaper, continued them as unskilled laborers in place of the Irish and Germans. Finally, after the latter had entered the
a See Chapter II.