Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/1061

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1035
STRIKES AND LOCK-OUTS

of the strikes for the whole period was 25.4 days, and of the lock-outs 84.6 days.

More strikes were occasioned by demands for increase of wages than for any other one cause, 32.24% of all strikes being for this cause, but this in combination with other causes attributable in whole or in part to demands for increase of wages brings the demands up to 40.72%.

The next most fruitful cause of strikes is disagreement concerning the recognition of the union and union rules. For this 18.84% of strikes were declared, and both alone and combined with other causes produced 32.35%. Objection to reduction of wages caused 11.90% while demands for reduction of hours alone and combined with other causes produced 9.78% of strikes.

Of the total number of establishments involved in strikes 57.91% were involved for causes either in whole or in part due to demands for increase of wages. The most important cause of lock-outs during the twenty-five years was disputes concerning the recognition of the union and union rules and employees' organizations, which alone and combined with various causes, produced nearly one-half of all lock-outs and more than one-half of all establishments involved in lock-outs. The United States government's account of losses from strikes is for the period from January 1881 to the 31st of December 1900, the five years from 1901 to 1905 inclusive not being included in that account. It is difficult to ascertain exactly the losses of employees and employers resulting from strikes and lock-outs. Differences may counterbalance each other, so that the results given below for the period named may be considered as fairly accurate.

 Year.  Strikes. Lock-outs.


 To date when Strikers were 
re-employed or employed
elsewhere.
Loss of
 Employers. 
 To date when Employees locked 
out were re-employed or
employed elsewhere.
Loss of
 Employers. 


 Wage-loss of 
Employees.
Assistance to
Employees by
Labour
 Organizations. 
 Wage-loss of 
Employees.
Assistance to
Employees by
Labour
 Organizations. 







$ $ $ $ $ $
1881 3,372,578  287,999  1,919,483  18,519  3,150  6,960 
1882 9,864,228  734,339  4,269,094  466,345  47,668  112,382 
1883 6,274,480  461,233  4,696,027  1,069,212  102,253  297,097 
1884 7,666,717  407,871  3,393,073  1,421,410  314,027  640,847 
1885 10,663,248  465,827  4,388,893  901,173  89,488  455,477 
1886 14,992,453  1,122,130  12,357,808  4,281,058  549,452  1,949,498 
1887 16,560,534  1,121,554  6,698,495  4,233,700  155,846  2,819,736 
1888 6,377,749  1,752,668  6,509,017  1,100,057  85,931  1,217,199 
1889 10,409,686  592,017  2,936,752  1,379,722  115,389  307,125 
1890 13,875,338  910,285  5,135,404  957,966  77,210  486,258 
1891 14,801,505  1,132,557  6,176,688  883,709  50,195  616,888 
1892 10,772,622  833,874  5,145,691  2,856,013  537,684  1,695,080 
1893 9,938,048  563,183  3,406,195  6,659,401  364,268  1,034,420 
1894 37,145,532  931,052  18,982,129  2,022,769  160,244  982,584 
1895 13,044,830  559,165  5,072,282  791,703  67,701  584,155 
1896 11,098,207  462,165  5,304,235  690,945  61,355  357,535 
1897 17,468,904  721,164  4,868,687  583,606  47,326  298,044 
1898 10,037,284  585,228  4,596,462  880,461  47,098  239,403 
1899 15,157,965  1,096,030  7,443,407  1,485,174  126,957  379,365 
1900 18,341,570  1,434,452  9,431,299  16,136,802  448,219  5,447,930 







 Total   257,863,478   16,174,793   122,731,121   48,819,745   3,451,461   19,927,983 

The total loss to employees and employers alike in the establishments in which strikes and lock-outs occurred, for the period of twenty years, was thus $468,968,581. The number of establishments involved in strikes during this period was 117,509, making an average wage loss of $2194 to employees in each establishment in which strikes occurred. The number of persons thrown out of employment by reason of strikes was 6,105,694, making an average loss of $42 to each person involved. The number of establishments involved in lock-outs was 9933, making an average loss of $4915 to employees in each establishment in which lock-outs occurred, while the number of employees thrown out was 504,307, making an average loss of $97 to each person involved. Combining the figures for strikes and lock-outs, it is seen that the number of establishments involved was 127,442, while 6,610,001 persons were thrown out of employment. These figures show an average wage-loss of $2406 to the employees in each establishment, and an average loss of $46 to each person involved. The assistance given to strikers by labour organizations during the period was $16,174,793; to those involved in lock-outs, $3,451,461, or a total of $19,626,254. This sum represents but 6.40% of the total wage-loss incurred in strikes and lock-outs, and is probably too low. Much assistance was also furnished by outside sympathizers, the amount of which cannot be readily ascertained. The total loss to the establishments or firms involved in strikes and lock-outs during this period was $142,659,104.

The states of Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, being the leading manufacturing states, necessarily experienced the largest number of strikes. Out of 117,509 establishments having strikes during the period named, 87,878, or 74.78% of the whole, were in these five states; and out of 9933 establishments having lock-outs, 8424, or 84.81% were in these states. In 1900 these states contained 45.02% of all the manufacturing establishments in the United States, and employed 55.15% of the entire capital invested in mechanical industries.

A significant feature of the report for the twenty-five year period relates to efforts to settle strikes, during the years 1901 to 1905 inclusive, a feature which had not been embodied before. The results are shown in the following table:—

Strikes. Lock-outs.


 Year.   Number.  Number
settled by
 joint agreement. 
Number
settled by
 arbitration. 
 Number.  Number
settled by
 joint agreement. 
Number
settled by
 arbitration. 







1901 2,924  149  49  88  10 
1902 3,162  204  58  78  11 
1903 3,494  246  66  154  18 
1904 2,307  130  23  112  17 
1905 2,077  74  27  109  10 







 Total  13,964  803  223  541  66  11 
The figures given relate to all strikes, of whatever magnitude,

occurring in the United States from 1881 to the 31st of December Historic Strikes. 1900 inclusive. Among them have occurred what may be called historic strikes, the first of which was in 1877, though of course many very severe strikes had taken place prior to that year. The great railway strikes of 1877 began on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Martinsburg, West Virginia, the immediate cause of the first strike being a 10% reduction of wages of all employees. This, however, was but one of many grievances. There was irregular employment. Men with families were permitted to work only three or four days per week, the remainder of the time being forced to spend away from home at their own expense, leaving them but little money for domestic use. Wages, payable monthly, were often retained several months. The tonnage of trains was increased, and the men were paid only for the number of miles run, irrespective of the time consumed. So there were many alleged causes for the great strikes of 1877. Riot, destruction of property and loss of life occurred at Martinsburg, Baltimore and various places in Pennsylvania. The state

militia at Martinsburg and Pittsburg sympathized with the strikers,