union action and of arbitration in relation to the management of business. The terms of settlement, which were of an elaborate character, are still in operation.
8. Two prolonged disputes at Lord Penrhyn's slate quarries in North Wales in 1896 and 1900 attracted public notice from the obstinacy with which the contests were conducted on both sides. About 2500 work-people were affected, and the questions at issue were the recognition of the men's combination and the remedy of a number of alleged grievances, including the abolition of the contract system. After 48 weeks' stoppage, during which the board of trade vainly tried to mediate, the first dispute was ended by a compromise; but in 1900 another struggle began which was persisted in by many of the men until November 1903, but withoutsuccess.
Below is given a brief account of the most recent strike statistics in the principal countries other than the United Kingdom, except those of the United States, which are dealt with in a separate section.
France.—Detailed statistics of strikes and lock-outs in France have been published annually since 1890 by the French office du travail. The following are the figures for 1900-1906:—
|Year.|| Number of
| Mean of
The principal groups of industries affected by disputes were in 1900 and 1901 the transport, involving 47,125 and 36,636 work-people respectively; in 1902 the mining and quarrying, involving 119,181 work-people; in 1903 the textile manufacturing industry, involving 76,376 work-people; in 1904 the textile manufacturing industry, involving 76,293 work-people; the transport, involving 69,293 work-people, and the agricultural, forestry and fishing group, involving 52,333 work-people; in 1905 the building and metal trade groups of industries, involving about 32,000 work-people in each; and in 1906 the building, metal and mining quarrying groups of industries, involving about 90,000 work-people in each.
|Number of strikes||117||73||70||81||133||220||227|
|Number of work-people directly affected by strikes||43,814||10,477||7,649||12,375||75,672||26,858||46,908|
In the French statistics of causes of disputes a dispute due to several causes is entered as many times as there are causes, not merely under its principal cause, as in the United Kingdom statistics. It would be possible to summarize the relative prevalence of different groups of causes of trade disputes by the numbers involved, but it is sufficient to say that the results during the period 1900 to 1906 were as follows: 12% in favour of the work-people, 25% in favour of the employers, and 63% compromised. A general strike of railway employees all over France in 1910 threatened to spread to other industries and caused an acute political crisis, but the energetic measures taken by M. Briand's government, especially the issue of mobilization orders to all the reservists on the affected lines, brought about its collapse in little more than a week.
Germany.—Before 1899 there were no official statistics of strikes and lock-outs throughout the German Empire, but certain figures were collected and published by the committee of the “Gewerkschaften,” or Social Democratic trade unions, in their Correspondenzblatt. These figures, however, were admittedly incomplete. From 1899, however, statistics have been published by the German imperial statistical office for strikes and lock-outs other than in agriculture.
The figures from 1901 are summarized below:—
|Year.||Number of Disputes
terminating in the year.
| Number of Work-people |
directly and indirectly
In 1905, 232,425 work-people employed in the mining and smelting group were involved in disputes, and in 1906 and 1907 102,888 and 90,890 work-people employed in the building group of trades were so involved.
In the German statistics disputes are counted more than once if due to more than one separate cause. Of the total number of disputes tabulated in this way during the period 1901-1907, 56% were on questions of wages, 15% on questions of hours, 10% on questions of the employment of particular classes of persons and the balance on questions of working rules and other causes.
During the same period 20% of the disputes were settled in favour of the work-people, 45% in favour of the employers, and 35% were compromised.
Belgium.—The following figures are based on reports published by the Belgian labour department.
The table given below shows the number of strikes and the number of work-people directly affected by strikes in each of the years 1901 to 1907.
The mining industry and the transport trades accounted for 20,813 and 15,063 of the work-people affected in 1901, and the mining industry and the textile industry accounted for 59,168 and 7975 of the work-people in 1905. In 1906 the mining industry accounted for 12,189 of the work-people affected, and in 1907 the transport trades accounted for 10,660, the mining industry for 9626 and the textile industry for 7961 of the work-people affected. The causes of the strikes during the period were mainly questions of wages, nearly 80% of the work-people being involved on this account, and the results were mainly in favour of the employers, viz. 71%. Of the total number of work-people affected by strikes in the period 1901-1905 68% returned to work on employers' terms without negotiation. From 1906 particulars are given of lock-outs and of the number of work-people indirectly affected by strikes.
In 1906 five lock-outs were recorded, all in the textile industry, affecting 23,621 work-people, and in 1907 four lock-outs were recorded affecting 16,274 work-people (one of these lock-outs affecting 16,000 work-people employed in the transport trade).
The number of work-people indirectly affected by strikes was 11,468 in 1906 and 19,248 in 1907.
Sweden.—The Swedish labour department has published statistics of strikes since 1903. There were in 1903 142 disputes directly affecting 22,568 work-people, in 1904 215 disputes directly affecting 11,485 work-people, in 1905 175 disputes directly affecting 32,368 work-people, in 1906 277 disputes directly affecting 18,612 work-people, and in 1907 298 disputes directly affecting 21,722 work-people. Of the 1107 disputes recorded in the five years 691 were caused by questions of wages. Of the 1107 disputes 362 ended in favour of the work-people, 272 in favour of the employers, and 395 in a compromise. In 1909 there was a great national strike involving almost every industry, and lasting some six months.
Denmark.—The statistics of disputes in Denmark are published by the Danish statistical bureau. During the period 1900 to 1906 the number of disputes varied from 57 in 1901