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ANALYSIS OF TABLES.
The Third Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, entitled Strikes and Lockouts, furnished tables covering the details of all strikes and lockouts which occurred in the United States during the six years beginning January 1, 1851, and ending December 31, 1886, together with the necessary summaries relating to the same. Eight years later the investigation of this subject was again taken up, the results being published as the Tenth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor. This report consisted of tables and summaries practically similar in form and scope to those shown in the Third Annual Report, and covered the seven and one-half years beginning January 1, 1987, and ending June 30, 1894. The greater portion of the two reports referred to consisted of the tables showing the facts for each separate strike and lockout. For many reasons it was thought necessary and desirable at the time that the details as to each separate disturbance be given. This course having been followed in the two previous reports at the expense of much time and space, it is deemed best to omit this detail in the present report and confine the tables to those which summarize the results, at the same time incorporating in these tables the facts given in the two preceding reports. The present inrestigation covers strikes and lockouts in the United States from July 1, 1894, to December 31, 1900. The results, for this period, together with those brought down from the Third and Tenth Annual Reports, thus cover the period of twenty years beginning January 1, 1881, and ending December 31, 1900.
The definitions of a strike and of a lockout as given in the Third and Tenth Annual Reports are as follows: A strike occurs when the employees of an establishment refuse to work unless the management complies with some demand; a lockout occurs when the management refuses to allow the employees to work unless they will work under some condition indicated by the management. It appears, therefore, that these two classes of industrial disturbances are practically alike, the main distinction being that in a strike the employees take the
initiative, while in a lockout the employer first makes some demand and enforces it by refusing to allow his employees to work unless it is complied with. This distinction has been kept in mind and has been the guide in separating these various disturbances into the two classes in the tabulations appearing in this report. Some difficulty has been experienced in classifying certain of these disturbances, especially those which occurred in the earlier years included in this report, owing to the inadequate information obtainable as to their causes and because of the very slight difference between a strike and a lockout as mentioned above. Great pains, however, have been taken in the classification, and it is believed to be entirely trustworthy.
The general tables and summaries which are included in this present report, and which cover the twenty-year period ending December 31, 1900, are numbered from I to XXII, inclusive. These tables constitute Chapter II of this report, and their titles are as follows:
TABLE I.-Strikes for States, by years.
In this connection it should be stated that disturbances of less than one day's duration—a comparatively small number—have been excluded from consideration in these tables. They consist mainly of cases of misunderstanding, in which there was but a few hours' cessation of work and no financial loss or assistance involved. For this reason full information concerning them could rarely be secured, and they have not been considered sufficiently important to be included in the tables.
The methods under which the present investigation was conducted were similar to those made use of and set forth in the previous reports on strikes and lockouts. A thorough examination was made of the , files of the leading papers in various parts of the country, of trade and commercial periodicals, and of State labor reports for the years involved in the investigation, with reference to all notices of strikes occurring during that period; all data were clipped, copied, and classified, and all duplications eliminated. Furnished with these data, which in most cases located the strikes and lockouts, and in many cases supplied even the names of the firms involved, the agents of the Department were assigned districts for canvassing. In addition to the information furnished them by these preliminary data, they were instructed to make every possible effort, by personal inquiry and consultation with labor organizations, manufacturers, associations, etc., to secure further information as to strikes and lockouts which had occurred in the districts assigned them during the period under investigation, to the end that none might escape their notice. All facts that form the basis of these tables were collected at the place where the sirikes and lockouts occurred, both sides to the controversy being consulted, and all discrepancies reconciled with the greatest possible fairness. It is believed that the effort to get at the truth in each case has been successful, and that the facts as shown are substantially correct.
In the Third Annual Report the establishment was made the unit in the tabular presentation, and not the strike or lockout. In the Tenth Annual Report it was deemed best to make the strike or the lockout the unit in all cases, and this plan has been followed in compiling the data covered by the present investigation, which, as before stated, embraces the period from July 1, 1894, to December 31, 1900. In order to secure perfect harmony and uniformity as regards this unit in combining the results of the three investigations in the present report, the various summaries, etc., of the Third Annual Report have been reduced to the same basic unit—the strike or the lockout. The difficulty to be overcome in a presentation by strikes or lockouts instead of by establishments was to give the date of beginning and of ending of general strikes when the employees in the various establishments neither struck nor returned to work on the same day. In such cases the earliest date on which the disturbance began in any of the establishments involved was considered the date of beginning, and the latest date on which the disturbance ceased in any establishment the date of ending of the strike or lockout. The duration used in such cases was, of course, the average duration. In the case of general strikes and lockouts involving several States, it has been impossible sometimes to make such division of the facts as would allow of their tabulation in proper proportion under each of the States involved. In such cases the entire data relating to the strike has been tabulated