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The following table shows the number for each year from 1903 to 1908, together with the number of establishments and of employees affected, by classes of disputes:
The average number of persons affected by each strike in 1908 was 75, by each lockout 70, and by each dispute of a mixed or an indefinite character 586. Ninety per cent of all disputes affected from 1 to 5 establishments. The average was somewhat greater than for the preceding years, the number being 4.7 as against 2.5 in 1906 and 1907, 4.5 in 1905, and 3 in 1903 and 1904. The average in 1908 was, however, considerably affected by a single large strike.
The following table shows the disputes for each year, 1903 to 1908, classified according to results:
RESULTS OF LABOR DISPUTES, BY YEARS, 1903 TO 1908.
In favor of em- In favor of em-
Tuntr-one per cent of the strikes, involving 22 per cent of the Sirkers, resulted favorably to the employers; 27 per cent, involving 2:01 6 per cent of the strikers, resulted in favor of the employees,
je 38 per cent of the strikes, in which 71 per cent of the employees were affected, were settled by compromise, leaving 4 per cent, afecting 1 per cent of the employees, in which the results were unknown.
In the following table are shown by groups of industries the number and results of disputes and the number of establishments involved and employees affected:
LABOR DISPUTES, BY INDUSTRIES AND RESULTS, 1908.
Disputes in the building trades were the most numerous and of greatest magnitude of those occurring during 1908, the average number of establishments involved in each dispute being 13.7, and the averuge number of employees involved 298.3. The number of employees affected in this group during the year almost equaled the total for the period 1903 to 1907, the total for the 5 years being 19,644 as against 18,498 in 1908. In 19 strikes the employees succeeded, and in 14 they failed. In 28 disputes settlement was effected in each case by a compromise. The next largest number of strikers and of establishments involved was found in the clothing industry, and here, too, the number of strikes in which the employees were successful was somewhat greater than the number of those in which they failed, though more than one-half the total number of disputes were settled by compromise.
The duration of labor disputes, grouped according to results, is shown in the next table:
From this table it appears that while the number of disputes lasting 7 days and under was 28.5 per cent of the total number, these disputes affected but 11.2 per cent of the total number of employees involved, indicating that those strikes of short duration were considerably below the average in importance. The largest group of employees affected (more than one-half the total) is found in the period, 91 to 180 days, in which 23 disputes fall, showing an average of 946.6 persons to each dispute. Of these important and severely contested disputes, 4 were settled in favor of the employees and 3 failed entirely from the standpoint of the workmen. A table carrying the analysis somewhat further shows that in the 16 disputes that were compromised, the employer gained the advantage in 3 cases, in which 3,549 employees were involved; that the employees were favored in 1 instance, involving 89 work people, and that in 12 disputes, affecting 15,519 employees, equal concessions were made.
The majority of disputes, 61.5 per cent, lasted not longer than 30 days, and affected only 23.4 per cent of the workmen.
The next table shows the results of disputes by the principal causes or objects.
RESULTS OF LABOR DISPUTES, BY CAUSES OR OBJECTS, 1908.
Questions relating to wages gave rise to 65.9 per cent of all disputes in 1908, as compared with 62 per cent during the five years previous. The next most frequent cause is found in questions relating to unions and the collective agreement, the number of disputes arising from these causes being 38, or 12.6 per cent of the total. In the matter of wage questions, neither employers nor employees seem to have gained a decided advantage in so far as is shown by the results here given. In questions affecting organized action, the balance was decidedly in favor of the employees, they being favored in 17 instances and the employers in 13. In the matter of hours of labor, the reinstatement or discharge of workmen, and questions of shop rules, the employers were generally successful.
The following table shows the number of disputes occurring each year from 1903 to 1908, by the number of employees affected, also the total working-days lost each year:
LABOR DISPUTES, BY YEARS AND NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AFFECTED, 1903 TO 1908.
The number of employees affected did not exceed 25 in practically one-half the disputes occurring in 1908, the same being true for the 6-year period, 1903 to 1908. The number of working-days lost in the last year is in excess of the number lost in any other year than 1905, in which year nearly one-half the employees affected (15,349 out of a total of 32,906) were in disputes lasting more than 180 days.
The question as to the organization of employers was answered in 235 of the 302 disputes in 1908, it appearing that they were organized or partly organized in 125 cases and unorganized in 110 cases reported. In 39 cases where employers were organized the dispute was settled in their favor, as against 25 in the employees' favor and 59 cases compromised. Where the employers were not organized, they gained in 33 disputes, lost in 28, and in 44 a compromise was affected.
In 16 instances it was reported that the employers broke a collective agreement, and that employees broke such an agreement in 21 cases. Arbitration was resorted to in 6 cases, and in 29 the dispute was settled by the intervention of official mediators.