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CHAPTER VI.

INDUSTRIAL EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION.

Effect of the employment of immigrants upon former employees-Effect of the employment of immigrants upon the establishment of new industries.

EFFECT OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS UPON FORMER
EMPLOYEES.

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 landowners. 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 It is recognized that the Irish and Germans have been superseded in the field of common labor by the Slav and Italian races.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.

skilled occupations, the Slovaks, Italians, and Poles became the only races available for rough work. Though eliminated from one class of labor, the Irish and Germans have apparently been benefited by this displacement. As a result they have entered business, or the trades, or become skilled laborers. As the Slovaks, Poles, and Italians have monopolized the unskilled branches of labor, so in the evolutionary process the Irish and Germans and Scandinavians have largely gained exclusive control of the skilled branches. It is evident, therefore, that they have reached a higher economic level.

EFFECT OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRANTS UPON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW INDUSTRIES.

The advantageous location of Bayonne as a shipping point has probably done more to build up the city industrially than the existence of a supply of immigrant laborers. Little can be said in a general way of this city bearing upon the necessity of employing the more recent immigrants, in building up its industries, for as a rule they occupy only the lowest positions, that of common laborers, and it has perhaps been correctly stated that no American, German, or Irish laborers with any merit whatever could be found to do certain work that is absolutely necessary in conducting the business of certain industries located here. Moreover, until two years ago there has been no material number of laborers in Bayonne in excess of existing demands. There is usually a floating class of workmen available, but there has never been a considerable body of idle men. The immigrant population seems only to have increased as the town grew in an industrial way. The consensus of opinion is that the labor supply there has hardly been a factor in attracting new enterprises. A possible exception exists in a silk mill and one or two small shirt factories which probably located in Bayonne because of the availability of female labor. On the other hand, it is stated that a typewriter company had to move its plant from Bayonne because skilled mechanical laborers could not be obtained in sufficient numbers. Officials of a tubular boiler company removed to Bayonne in 1901 assert that immigrant laborers were the only workmen available at that time, and the company consequently employed them. It is apparent from a general survey of the situation that the influx of immigrants has followed rather than preceded the establishment of new industries.

The industrial effects of the employment of immigrants in Whiting, so far as any exist, have already been mentioned. As the refinery is the only industry in the city, the employment of immigrants has not been a factor in the establishment of new industries, and only incidentally have they aided in the development of the refinery. The establishment was located in the community primarily for the excellent railroad facilities which it offered, and because of the proximity of the city of Chicago, and not through labor considerations.

CHAPTER VII.

HOUSING AND LIVING CONDITIONS.

Rent in its relation to standard of living-Boarders and lodgers-Size of apartments occupied-Size of households studied-Congestion [Text Tables 47 to 59 and General Tables 24 to 35].

RENT IN ITS RELATION TO STANDARD OF LIVING.

The monthly rent payments of the households the heads of which are employed in the oil-refining industry are of interest chiefly in their bearing upon the standard of living of the employees, owing to the practice of crowding persons in the apartments in order to reduce the per capita rent outlay. This condition is set forth in the following series of tables, the first of which exhibits, according to general nativity and race of head of household, the average rent paid each month per apartment, per room, and per sleeping room.

TABLE 47.-Average rent per month, by general nativity and race of head of household. (STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

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The above table shows that of 415 households studied the average rent per month per apartment is $8.60, the average rent per room is $2.31, and the average rent per person is $1.62. The households the heads of which are native-born whites of native father pay an average monthly rental per apartment, per room, and per person which is considerably higher than that paid by households the heads

of which are foreign-born. Of the households the heads of which are of foreign birth, the Irish show an average monthly rental per apartment of $11.28, the households whose heads are Lithuanians paying an average monthly rental of $9.86, and those whose heads are South Italians paying $8.93. The households whose heads are Poles, Slovaks, and Ruthenians show an average monthly rental per apartment of $7.66, $6.89, and $5.96, respectively. The households the heads of which are South Italians pay an average monthly rental per room of $2.48, followed in the order named by the houeholds the heads of which are Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak, and Ruthenian, the last named paying only $2.08. The households the heads of which are Irish also show the highest average rent per month per person, which is $2.19. The households whose heads are Lithuanians, South Italians, Poles, Slovaks, and Ruthenians following in the order named, the Ruthenians paying a monthly rental per person of $1.11. The range in monthly rent payments per apartment is exhibited in the following table, which shows, by general nativity and race of head of household, the percentage of households paying each specified rent per month per apartment:

TABLE 48.-Per cent of households paying each specified rent per month per apartment, by general nativity and race of head of household.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[This table includes only races with 20 or more households reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.]

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Of the total number of households, 67.5 per cent pay less than $10 per month per apartment; 41.4 per cent pay less than $7.50. There is considerable variation in the rent per apartment commonly paid by the specified races of foreign-born. For example, 88.5 per cent of the Ruthenians and the greater proportions of the Polish and Slovaks pay under $7.50. On the other hand, only 18 per cent of the Irish pay under $10; 74 per cent paying under $12.50.

The next table submitted shows, by general nativity and race of head of household, the percentage of households paying each specified rent per month per room.

TABLE 49.-Per cent of households paying each specified rent per month per room, by general nativity and race of head of household.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[This table includes only races with 20 or more households reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.]

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Of 415 households paying rent and reporting the amount, 21.4 per cent pay under $2 rent per month per room, 84.8 per cent pay under $3, and 99.8 per cent pay under $4 rent per month per room. The households the heads of which are of foreign birth show a slightly higher percentage paying under each specified amount of rent per month per room than is shown in the totals for all households studied. The households the heads of which are foreign-born show a considerably higher percentage paying under $3 and under $4 rent per month per room than the households the heads of which are native-born. The households the heads of which are Slovaks and Ruthenians show over 36 per cent, those whose heads are Poles over 29 per cent, and those whose heads are Irish, South Italians, and Lithuanians considerably less than 10 per cent paying under $2 rent per month per room. The households whose heads are Lithuanians show over 90 per cent, and those whose heads are Ruthenians, Irish, Slovaks, and Polish show over 80 per cent, while the households whose heads are South Italians show over 70 per cent paying under $3 rent per room per month. The households the heads of which are of each specified foreign-born race shown in the table exhibit 100 per cent paying under $4 rent per room per month.

The table following shows the percentage of households paying each specified rent per month per person according to general nativity and race of head of household.

48296°--VOL 16-11-52

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