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SEARS, J. H. Business and manufacturing corporations (domestic and
Kartelle und Arbeiter. Eine Studie, besonders an der
Pp. xv, 262. 5 m.)
(Berlin: Siemenroth. 1911.
WATTS, J. L. Corporation laws of Tennessee, including counties and municipalities, also federal corporation income tax law. (Nashville, Tenn.: Marshall & Bruce Co. 1910. Pp. 710. $4.) WOLDT, R. Der industrielle Grossbetrieb. (Stuttgart: J. H. W.)
Labor and Labor Organizations
Report on Collective Agreements between Employers and Workpeople in the United Kingdom. (London: Board of Trade, Labour Department, Cd. 5366. 1910. Pp. xxviii, 502. 2s. 2d.)
In 1906 the German Labor Department issued a report on collective agreements in Germany and this example has now happily been followed by the English Labour Department. The English report is comprehensive and covers every collective agreement known to the Department of a general trade or district character in force in 1910 in the United Kingdom. The term "collective agreement," as used in the Report, includes "those arrangements under which the conditions of employment are governed by the terms of a bargain made between employers or associations of employers and a group of workpeople or an organization of which these workpeople are members." Awards by arbitrators are included in such collective bargains.
The Report is a most impressive exhibit of the extent of such arrangements. Altogether account is taken of 1696 agreements. The total number of workpeople directly affected, after allowance is made for workpeople affected by more than one agreement, is estimated to be 2,400,000, or about one fourth of the whole number employed in the United Kingdom. The trades in which such agreements are most general are mining, railway, textile, metal and building. The three most important agreements, the coal mining, cotton spinning, and railway agreements, affect in the aggregate nearly a million workers. Thirty-four agreements affect numbers varying from 10,000 to 200,000, while the remaining 1659 each affect less than 10,000 and a large part of these affect very small numbers of workpeople.
The Report is divided into three parts, first, an analysis of the chief provisions of the agreements, second, examples of agreements by trades, and third, lists of agreements. The analysis of the agreements is by no means satisfactory. Only a few of the most common provisions are dealt with and these are described in a superficial manner. For example, the forms of overtime rates are noted but no information is given as to what trades have adopted each of the forms or what trades make no provision for overtime rates. It is not to be expected in a government report that the reasons for adopting one form of overtime rate rather than another shall be stated, but it is certainly not too much to expect that the extent of the application of each of the forms shall be indicated. This part of the Report abounds in such phrases as "in most cases," "generally."
The second part of the Report is exceedingly well done. Not all of the 1696 agreements are printed, but typical ones have been selected in each trade. A brief historical sketch precedes each agreement and explanatory remarks are added which make clear the intent of the agreement even to readers not acquainted with the trade.
Four lists of agreements make up the final part. The first of these consists of agreements containing piece price lists, the second, of agreements which provide for sliding scales, the third, of other collective agreements, and the fourth, of railway awards and settlements. The first three lists give the trade, the locality covered, and the date when the agreement came into operation. The number of workpeople affected is given for each agreement in the second and third lists. The fourth list gives simply the name of the company and the date of the award.
Since this is the first report of the kind issued by the English Department very few statements as to tendencies are made. The value of such reports is much enhanced by their possible use for comparative purposes. It is to be hoped, therefore, that, as with the report on Conciliation and Arbitration Boards, other reports on collective agreements will be issued at intervals. Even, however, if it has no successors, the document will be of the greatest service to all students of trade unionism and it is to be regretted that no similar study for the United States is available. GEORGE E. BARNETT.
Johns Hopkins University.
Unemployment and Trade Unions. By CYRIL JACKSON. With a preface by VISCOUNT MILNER. (New York: Longmans, Green and Company. 1910. Pp. xi, 91.)
The problem of unemploymer.t has been discussed in England for many years, but until recently the discussion has been desultory and remote from practical politics. Three important publications appearing in 1909 contributed greatly to clarify the subject. Mr. Beveridge's Unemployment was an elaborate and convincing presentation of the importance of the problem; Mr. Schloss's Insurance against Ur employment was a careful study of the experiments which have seen made by state and municipal authorities in unemployment insurance schemes, while the Report of the Poor Law Commission afforded ample proof that the establishment of relief works, the only method of dealing with unemployment hitherto used in England, had been an almost unqualified failure. In the same year, the Labour Exchanges Act was passed and the government committed itself to some form of state unemployment insurance.
Mr. Jackson's book is a welcome addition to the literature of unemployment. It is distinctly worth while to have the whole subject dealt with in compact and readable form. In less than a hundred pages, and small pages at that, the author has surveyed the problem of unemployment, the remedies which have been tried, and the remedies now under consideration. Of course, no one of these aspects is fully treated and the reader who desires detailed information concerning any one of them must turn to one of the earlier works.
The chief interest of Mr. Jackson's book, however, is that it puts to the forefront the question as to how far it is practicable to utilize the trade unions as agencies of the state in administering the proposed remedial measures. Mr. Jackson argues that the labor exchanges will be ineffectual unless they can secure the full coöperation of the unions, and shows that the only schemes of unemployment insurance which have proved successful have been those administered by the unions. Something, to be sure, may be done by the raising of the school age, and the introduction of specialized education. Moreover, the government in letting its contracts may help to distribute employment more evenly over the fat and lean years. But any effective attack on the problem of unemployment, in Mr. Jackson's opinion, must include governmental measures which can only be administered by the unions.
This idea is the keynote of the book and is emphasized in the conclusion as well as in a preface contributed by Viscount Milner. Put in concrete form, this proposal means that the government labor exchanges shall furnish house room for the union exchanges and meeting places for the unions, and that the government shall give financial aid to those unions which pay out-of-work benefits.
There are, of course, grave difficulties in the adoption of such a plan. Both Mr. Jackson and Viscount Milner appreciate that such difficulties exist, but believe that the chief obstacle to such an alliance between the government and the unions is the political activity of the unions. If the unions are willing to accept the Osborne decision and to confine themselves to their trade functions, the government may safely use them as agencies for administration. It is certain, however, that such an alliance would mean an enormous increase in the power of the unions. The non-unionist, if he is to share in the full benefits of the labor exchanges and of the subventions made for unemployment insurance, would be forced to join the union. Mr. Jackson does propose that non-unionists might be allowed, if they desire, to become beneficiary members of the unions without joining for trade purposes. Even if this concession could be secured, which from the experience of Norway and Denmark seems improbable, the unions would be much strengthened. This, after all, is the large issue, and should not be obscured by details: Has the time arrived when the union shall become a part of the recognized machinery of government for dealing with industrial problems? If so, the government must deliberately aim at the extension of unionism. But will it not be necessary in that event for the government to regulate other activities of the unions? The issue presented by these proposals is much more fundamental than the question as to the proper remedies for unemployment and is in effect the question as to what should be the relation of the state and the trade unions. GEORGE E. BARNETT.
Johns Hopkins University.
The Economic Position of Women. Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science in the City of New York. H. R. MUSSEY, editor. Vol. I., No. 1. (New York: Columbia University. 1910. Pp. 193.)
This is an interesting collection of papers, each of which treats
some aspect of the problem created by women's present industrial relations. The survey is narrower than the title might imply, but the papers cover a wide field, and their significance is by no means limited to the occupations and classes specifically discussed. The collection falls naturally into three parts: the first contains the editor's introduction, which is also a valuable summary and interpretation of the whole, and a sketch, by Miss Sumner, of the historical development of women's work in the United States; the second contains eight papers, stating the peculiar problems of women wage-earners; and the third, papers that discuss proposed means of solution. A selected bibliography of books in English on women in industry, compiled by Miss Woerishofer, is appended to the whole.
The papers which discuss women's industrial problems are of two sorts. Several present the difficulties that women encounter as women. Mrs. Simkovitch defines the problem of social adjustment created by their transition from home to factory; Miss Balch, the problem arising from the divorce between women's education and the kind of efficiency now required in either home or factory; Miss Kingsbury, the difficulties connected with women's indefinite and generally low standard of living. Mr. John Martin's discussion of the economics of equal pay for men and women in the New York schools shows the inevitable result on women's incomes of such standards, and of their undue concentration in certain occupations. Mrs. Kelley discusses the special problem of married women's employment. Other papers describe the concrete conditions in certain trades, as bindery work, millinery and salesmanship, where changing methods, seasonal fluctuations, and illdefined standards of efficiency make earnings uncertain and inadequate.
The remedies discussed are organization of the labor market, education and legislation. Two papers discuss legislative protection for women workers; Mr. Ernst Freund reviews its constitutional aspect, pointing out the constitutional barriers to such legislation, and also the possibility of successfully invoking the police power to this end, and this review is supplemented by Miss Goldmark's paper on the Illinois ten-hour decision. Rendered after Mr. Freund's paper had been written, this decision lends added force to his conclusion that the introduction of medical and sociological evidence, as in the Oregon and Illinois cases, may lead to a decided extension of the state's police power in the interest of