« AnteriorContinuar »
entirely ignored the development of trade unionism and labor legislation in the states of the Pacific Coast. Consequently it is indeed gratifying to have this hitherto untouched field opened up for us by this monograph. The author covers the legislation and court decisions relating to the customary topics of the mechanics' lien, employers' liability, child and woman labor, Sunday laws, employment agencies, the injunction, the boycott, the union label, convict labor, and the length of the working day. Four chapters, one fifth of the volume, are devoted to a discussion of state and federal legislation regulating Chinese immigration. An introductory chapter presents a brief and sketchy history of the San Francisco labor movement from the earliest days down to date.
Several conditions existing to an unusual degree in California, give to this record, as presented by Miss Eaves, a peculiar interest. First, there is a most favorable environment, "a population of great intelligence and power of initiative, and an unusual freedom from the restraints of older communities" (p. xi) which together with the fact that "employer and employee started with a more equal division of power than has ever" characterized any of the "other great industrial centers of this country" (p. 439) have made possible the thoroughly democratic character of Californian society with its strong adherence to the right of freedom of contract. These things have been consistently mirrored in the decisions of the local and state courts and, in the absence of any vital interest on the part of the people as a whole, in the passage of remedial measures. "Even the laws protecting minors have received scanty support" (p. 441). Second, the conflict of races, Caucasian as opposed to Oriental, has given rise to problems unknown in other sections of the United States and has brought with it some very perplexing situations with their resultant unique and interesting solutions.
For the most part the work of the author has been admirably done. She has written in full sympathy with her subject, has gathered together a mass of valuable data, and has presented it in a logical and well-ordered manner. However she has permitted a number of errors to creep into the manuscript which a more careful study of sources would have enabled her to detect. For example, on page nine the author states that the house carpenters of Sacramento seem to have been the first workers in California to strike for higher wages, their strike taking place in
November and December, 1849. In fact they had been preceded by the carpenters of San Francisco who struck for higher wages on November 10, 1849. She also errs in giving Senator John M. Days the honor of having been the first president of the earliest federation of trade unions, formed in San Francisco in 1863. Mr. Days was not active in trade union circles until some ten years later. Throughout her discussion of the Kearney agitation against the Chinese she gives credit to the National Labor Union Party for certain things which were done by the Workingmen's Party of the United States (pp. 25-29). She also declares that Denis Kearney formed a branch of the latter organization in San Francisco in 1877 (p. 25), but the facts are that at no time during his life did he have any connection with that party. On page 52 she states that the first employers' association. was formed in San Francisco in 1891, yet a similar organization existed as early as 1864. On page 201 she states that the eight hour bill of 1867 was permitted to die on the files, although the records of the legislature show that it was defeated in the State Senate by a vote of 18 to 19. These and similar errors, together with frequent statements which are surprisingly general and comprehensive in places where more detailed and exact accounts are desired and would be expected, lead one to question the accuracy of many of her declarations.
Criticism must also be directed against the manner in which at times she furnishes but a portion of the data and leaves the reader to surmise the remainder. This is to be noted for example on page 77 where as out of a clear sky she mentions the Union Labor Party without having previously given any information regarding what it was, how it originated, or what the causes were that led to its accession to power in the municipal politics of San Francisco; and on page 45 she mentions the Spreckels boycott and the Union Iron Works strike and leaves the reader to guess what they were all about; and on pages 109, 143, and 144 where she omits the dates of the passage of certain antiChinese measures; and also on page 42 where she does not state whether the International of which she is writing is the Black or the Red International. Numerous other instances of omission, which at times are confusing to the reader, could be cited if space permitted.
A final word must be added, commenting upon the surprising fact that although Miss Eaves has devoted practically one fifth
of her volume to a discussion of various anti-Chinese measures, she has neglected to consider any of the legislation directed against the immigration of the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Hindoos.
IRA B. CROSS.
The Knights of St. Crispin, 1867-1874. A Study in the Industrial Causes of Trade Unionism. By DON D. LESCOoHier. Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin; Economics and Political Science Series, Vol. VII, No. 1. (Madison, Wis. 1910. Pp. 64.)
The history of the Knights of St. Crispin has heretofore been known only in the scantiest outline. Until the appearance of Mr. Lescohier's monograph, a brief sketch contributed by the late Mr. Frank K. Foster to McNeill's "Labor Movement" contained practically all the available information concerning this interesting union. Mr. Lescohier has apparently exhausted the sources of information. His account is based primarily on the published proceedings of the union, and on the American Workman and the Workingmen's Advocate, for several years the official organs of the Knights.
Apart from the general interest which any careful and wellplanned study of a trade union commands, Mr. Lescohier's study has a particular interest on account of the intimate relation which it reveals between the history of the Knights and the introduction of labor-saving machinery. The author makes it abundantly clear that it was the introduction of machinery and of the factory system into the shoe-making industry which caused the rise and phenomenal growth of the Knights. Moreover, the dominant policy of the Knights, the restriction of the employment of new workmen, was directly connected with the flooding of the industry with unskilled workmen. This, of course, was due to the introduction of machinery.
Mr. Lescohier is least successful in those few parts of his work where he steps aside from a purely historical treatment to discuss general questions of trade-union policy. In comparing, for example, the successful policy of the Typographical Union, with reference to the introduction of the linotype, with the unsuccessful policy of restriction adopted by the Knights of St. Crispin, he bases his conclusions on the assumption that the Printers were
able to carry through their policy because the manufacturers of the linotype, impressed by the power of the union and fearful of its opposition, aided the union in enforcing its requirement that only printers should be employed as machine operators. The real reason for the success of the Printers lay primarily, not in the strength of their union, but in the purely technical fact that the linotype required for its most profitable operation the skill of the handicraftsman. The strength of the union contributed to the favorable outcome by securing for its members an opportunity to show the employer that as a machine operator the printer was more profitable than the unskilled workman. In the case of the shoe-workers the skill of the handworker does not appear to have been of much if of any service to the machine operators. GEORGE E. BARNETT.
Johns Hopkins University.
Child Labor Legislation in Europe. By C. W. A. VEDITZ. Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor, No. 89. (Washington. 1910. Pp. iv, 414.)
This report, together with the earlier one on women and child wage-earners in Great Britain by Dr. Victor Clark, are valuable supplementary volumes to the forthcoming reports of the Commissioner of Labor on the Condition of Women and Child Wageearners in the United States. Dr. Veditz in this Bulletin contributes several interesting chapters to the industrial history of Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Conditions in Belgium and Italy are also dealt with quite briefly. The scope of the report is much wider than its title suggests; it is not a summary of the present status of Child Labor Legislation, but gives in detail for each of the countries named an account of the industrial conditions which led to the earliest restrictive legislation in behalf of children, a history of the changes which have from time to time been made in the law, some discussion of court decisions relating to these laws, a detailed account of the extent and character of the employment of children at the present time, and, most important of all, a careful study of the methods of inspection and the extent to which the laws are really enforced. Apparently the author has made no first hand investigations in any of the countries discussed; his report, therefore, is a suggestive illustration of the valuable results which can be obtained by a study of European official reports and statistics.
Perhaps the most interesting as well as the most valuable parts of the report are the sections dealing with the organization and work of the agencies which have been entrusted in the different countries with the enforcement of the child labor laws. America, it appears, is not alone in finding it easier to pass restrictive measures than to enforce them after they have been passed. In Austria so inadequate is the present staff of inspectors that under present circumstances it would take more than 59 years for them to visit every industrial establishment. In France, official reports show that although nearly 550,000 establishments are subject to the labor laws, the present staff of inspectors cannot visit as many as 165,000 of these in a year; many are therefore, only visited every two or three years, and a very large number, nearly 175,000, have never been inspected at all. In Germany conditions vary from state to state; in six of the states only one third, and in three other states less than one fourth of the establishments subject to the law can be visited in any one year. Not only in Germany but in some of the other countries. the field work of the inspectors is decreased because of the enormous amount of clerical work required of them, and it may be that under the circumstances, too high a price is paid for the superiority of the official statistics issued by some of the European departments.
One interesting question which may well be raised after reading this report is whether the public school teachers in European countries have not taken a much more intelligent and aggressive interest in the child labor problem than has been the case in this country. Not only have the teachers there been extremely helpful in furnishing information and coöperating in the most active way when official investigations have been under way, but they have taken the initiative in an attempt to study the detrimental effects of child labor on the educational advancement of the children. In Austria, the National Association of School Teachers was largely responsible for a very interesting private investigation of the employment of children; and in Germany, the National Teachers' Association (82,000 members) made an investigation in 1907 supplementing the official inquiry ordered by the Imperial Chancellor. Moreover these associations have not only made valuable investigations, but they have been most influential in securing and enforcing legislation. In Germany the coöperation of the school teachers is in some respects considered