floors crowding on to the landings. I have never been to
a factory where they had such a fire drill as might obviate
the possibility of overcrowding on these escapes. The
women flatly, and I think, rightly, decline to attempt the
descent, on the plea that they do not wish to incur the
danger of it until it is absolutely necessary. I have some-
times been told by the managers of the factories that they
themselves would never reach the bottom safely if they
attempted to go down. Such escapes are to be found on
quite 50 per cent of the cotton mills in Lancashire, and as
they were put up on the authority of the sanitary authority
it is difficult to get rid of them, but one cannot help thinking
that there may be very serious loss of life if the circum-
stances of a fire should be such that the workers were obliged
to resort to these outside escapes.
6. Lead Poisoning.
Miss Tracey. I spent many days in visiting the cases
which had been certified, and in visiting other cases of
illness which were not directly certified, as due to lead. I
visited these workers at their homes and found them in
different stages of illness and convalescence. Their pluck
will always remain fixed in my mind ; although many of
them were unable to put into words the sufferings they
had gone through, yet not one of them but was eagerly
wishing to be well enough to go back to work. When, as
is so common now, women are accused of malingering, I
often wish that complainants would accompany me on my
investigation of cases of accident or poisoning at the workers'
homes, for I know that, like me, these people would return
in a humbled frame of mind, recognising courage and
endurance under circumstances which would break many
of us. Without these home visits it would have been
impossible to gauge the extent and severity of the outbreak
7. Hours of Work and Overtime.
Miss Tracey. Often we receive complaint of the burden
of the long twelve hours' day, and the strain it is to start
work at 6 A.M. A well-known man in a Lancashire town
was telling me only the other day about how he would wake
in the morning to the clatter of the girls' and women's clogs
as they went past his house at half-past five in the dark
on their way to the mills. He had exceptional opportunity
of judging of the effect of the long day's work, and he told
me how bonny children known to him lost their colour and
their youthful energy in the hard drudgery of this daily
toil. How the girls would fall asleep at their work, and
how they grew worn and old before their time. We see it
for ourselves, and the women tell us about it. Sometimes
one feels that one dare not contemplate too closely the life
of our working women, it is such a grave reproach. I went
to a woman's house to investigate what appeared a simple,
almost commonplace, accident. She was a middle-aged,
single woman, living alone. Six weeks before my visit she
had fainted at her work, and in falling (she was a hand gas
ironer) she had pulled the iron on her hand, that and the
metal tube had severely burnt both arm and hand. She
was quite incapacitated. She told me she left home at
5.15, walked 2| miles to the factory, stood the whole day
at her work, and at 6, sometimes later, started to walk
home again, and then had to prepare her meal, mend and
do her housework. This case is only typical of thousands
of women workers. She got her 75. 6d. insurance money,
and that was all. She made no effort to enlist my sympathy,
but just stated the facts quite simply. Her case is not so
bad as many, for in addition to their own needs, a married
woman or a widow with children has also to see to the needs
of the family, meals, washing and mending, and the hundred
and one other duties that are required to keep a home going.
In Scotland Miss Vines says that the largest proportion
of complaints relates to excessive hours of employment,
while on investigation they are found sometimes to be
within the legal limits, and " there is no doubt that the
working of the full permissible period of employment does
sometimes entail an intolerable strain on the workers."
Miss Meiklejohn. There has again been in West London
a marked decrease in the overtime reported this year. The
opinion seems to be that systematic overtime in the season
does not really help forward the work, and that the extension
should be used, as was intended, in an emergency only.
There is a tendency to shorten the ordinary working hours,
as well as to work as little overtime as possible.
8. Employment of Women before and after Childbirth.
There can be little doubt that provision of maternity
benefit under the Insurance Act has materially lightened
the burden of compliance with the limit of women for four
weeks after childbirth before they may return to industrial
employment. Complaints of breach of s. 61 have dropped
to eight in 1913, and complaints (outside the scope of the
section) of employment just before confinement have
dropped to one. Even in Dundee, where this evil of heavy
employment of child-bearing women has been probably the
worst in the kingdom, an improvement of the situation
Miss Vines. I visited a group of twelve jute-mill work-
ing mothers within a month after their confinement and
found that only one of them had returned to work, nine of
the mothers were married and experiencing the good effects
of the Insurance Act benefit. The unmarried women were,
of course, getting less benefit, and were not so well off ; one
of them worked as a jute spinner in a jute mill till 6 P.M.
on the night her baby was born.
9. Truck Act.
Principal. The illustrations sent me of the mass of work
done in 1913 under the modern part of the law relating to
truck are too numerous to be reproduced here. Typical
instances must be selected from different industrial centres
for the main points of (a) disciplinary fines, (b) deductions
or payments for damage, short weight, etc., (c) deductions
or payments for power, materials or anything supplied in
relation to labour of the worker ; abuses of the " bonus "
system may be connected with (a) or (b). The main
features of these illustrations are the poverty of the workers,
the rigidity and poverty of mind that controls workers by
such methods, and the need for fresh and living ideas to
sweep away all these defective, obsolete ways of control.
Miss Tracey. I had a long struggle with the occupier
of a large laundry in Lancashire over fines for coming late.
The work started at 6, and it was said that only three
minutes (supposed to be five), were allowed as grace. The
weekly wages were phenomenally small, but no work was
demanded on Saturdays unless under exceptional circum-
stances. If a girl came to the laundry after the gate was
closed (three minutes after 6 A.M.), she was shut out till
after breakfast, a fine was inflicted for late attendance, and
if this happened more than once, one-sixth of the total wage
was deducted for Saturday, although no work was required.
I found these fines to amount to as much as is. 8d. out of
a wage of 43. 6d., and other sums in proportion. This
iniquitous custom had been followed for twenty years, and
I was assured that it was a case of " adjustment of wages "
and did not come under the Truck Act. However, my
view eventually prevailed ; certain sums were repaid and
the whole system done away with, without bringing the
case into Court. In other respects, the laundry was a good
one, and no work on Saturday is an arrangement that is of
great benefit to young and old workers alike. The plan
now adopted is that a girl consistently unpunctual during
the week will be required to come in on Saturday morning
to do a few hours' work this plan has worked so well that
no one, when I last visited, had been in the laundry on
Saturday at all.
Miss Slocock. (i) Two girls, aged respectively eighteen
and nineteen, employed as cutters, were fined 2 : 145. and
us. 2d. for cutting some handkerchiefs badly and damaging
the cloth. The deductions were made at the rate- of is.
per week, and at the time of my visit, each worker had
already had los. 6d. deducted from her wages. Proceedings
were considered, but the employer, directly his attention
was drawn to the matter, refunded 55. 6d. to one worker
and agreed not to make any further deduction from the
other, so that one girl paid 53. for damage amounting to
us. 2d. and the other IDS. 6d. for damage amounting to
2 : 145. These amounts, us. 2d. and 2 : 143. represented
exactly the whole loss to the firm caused by the damaged
work, and the employer thought that he was acting legally
so long as the deductions did not exceed that amount. The
fact that the Truck Act specifically draws attention to this
limitation is constantly brought to my notice, and used
as an excuse for putting the whole cost of any damage on
the workers. The average gross weekly wage earned by
these workers for the eleven weeks during which deductions
were being made was 8s. id. and los. iojd. respectively.
(2) Two workers employed as shirt machinists were told
they would both be fined 53. for spoiling two shirts each by
mixing the cloth. The difference in the cloth was so slight
that I could hardly distinguish it in daylight, and the
workers had machined the shirts by artificial light. The
contract under which these deductions were made provided
that the cost price of the material damaged should not be
exceeded ; the firm admitted that the cost price of the
material was not more than is. 6d. each shirt, and a fine of
2s. 6d. from each worker (is. 3d. for each shirt) was ulti-
Miss Escreet. Many instances of deductions for damage
have touched the borderland where non-payment of wages
for work done badly approximates to a deduction of pay-
ment in respect of bad work. Action in such cases is very
difficult when sums like 55. 5d. and 33. are deducted from
wages of los. 7d. and 133. 4d. in a weaving shed and metal
factory respectively, there is no question that the workers
look rightly for the protection of the Truck Acts, which
were surely framed to control this very kind of arbitrary
handling of hardly earned wage. Enquiry into these cases
invariably brings to light other considerations than the
mere fact of damaged work. Some managers find it
difficult to realise that bad work is bound to be a feature
attendant on pressure for great output, especially if the
workers are inexperienced and ill-taught, or if the piece-
work rates are so low that the workers cannot afford to
use care, and are obliged to trust to luck and a lenient
10. Lenience of Magistrates to Employer.
Principal. We have to occasionally reckon with Benches
who consider a few shillings' penalty, or even id. penalty,
sufficient punishment for excessive overtime employment
of girls, or with others who are reluctant to convict, or
punish with more than cost of proceedings, law-breaking
employers who are shown to have been thoroughly in-
structed in the law they have neglected to obey. It is in
my belief an open question whether the tender treatment
of the Probation of Offenders Act was ever designed to
apply to the case of fully responsible adults officially
supplied by abstracts with the knowledge and under-
standing of an industrial code which is intended to protect
the weakest workers.
(4 Leaflet issued from a Trade Union Office)
& DISTRICT WEAVERS, WINDERS,
WARPERS & REELERS' ASSOCIATION.
(Branch of the Amalgamated Weavers' Association)
OFFICES: TEXTILE HALL, .
WINDERS AND THE BARBER KNOTTER.
A Few Facts for Non-Union Winders.
Have you ever considered what it costs you through not
joining your Trade Union ?
Study the following facts :
Many winders have five per cent, deducted each week from
their wages for using the " Barber " Knotter.
Five per cent, on 155. per week is pd.
pd. per week is i 175. 6d. for every 50 weeks you work.
If you work with one of these knotters for three years your
employer has been paid more than the original cost ; but they
continue to stop the five per cent, and the knotter still belongs
to the employer. If you work at a mill ten years and pay five
per cent, all the time you cannot take the knotter with you
when you leave.
Think about it. You pay for it three or four times over,
but it doesn't belong to you. Oh, no !
We ask you to pay sd. to your Trade Union so that we
can stop your employer from keeping pd. out of your
If you would rather pay gd. to your employers than 5d. to
your Trade Union you have LESS SENSE than we thought
"But," you say, "we can earn more money with a knotter."
Quite true, but you are paid on "production," so if you get
* The barber knotter is a small appliance worn on the hand to assist the
work of winding.
more money it is only because you turn more work off, and in
turning more work off your
Employers get a Greater Production
out they make YOU pay for it.
The knotter enables you to piece up at a quicker rate ; this
saves time. It enables you to make smaller knots, thus making
better work. The two combined makes
Quantity and Quality.
The employers get both and make you pay for it.
We say to you that it is no part of your duty to pay for
improved machinery. If it is beneficial to the employers to
improve any part of any machine they'll do it without consult-
ing you, but we hold that if by doing this they get a greater
and better production then they ought to ADVANCE your
wages and not deduct five per cent, from them.
Think ! Think ! Think !
View the matter over in your own minds.
Reason the matter from your own point of view.
If you are satisfied with the present system, well, DON'T
If you're not, What are you going to do to stop it ?
Have you a remedy ? If so, what is it ?
If you haven't, WE HAVE !
Organisation is the only solution !
Trade Unionism will solve the problem for you, but
You'll have to pay and not pout !
Pay 5d. and keep the 9d. ! Fight and don't Funk.
DON'T HESITATE AGITATE !
If you have eyes SEE ! If you have ears HEAR !
JOIN THE UNION!
Bring your grievances to the Officials !
But join Delay is Dangerous Join at once !
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VII.
RESOLUTIONS SUBMITTED BY THE NATIONAL FEDERATION
OF WOMEN WORKERS TO THE TRADE UNION CONGRESS,
" (a) That all women who register for war service should
immediately join the appropriate trade union in the trade
for which they are volunteering service, and that member-
ship of such organisation should be the condition of their
employment for war service, and that those trade unions
which exclude women be urged to admit women as members.
" (b) That where a woman is doing the same work as a
man she should receive the same rate of pay, and that the
principle of equal pay for equal work should be rigidly
MANCHESTER AND DISTRICT WOMEN'S WAR INTERESTS
The Committee was formed as a result of the Joint
action of the Women's Emergency Corps and the Man-
chester and District Federation of Women's Suffrage
Societies. Representatives were invited from the Women's
organisations . . . and the trade unions interested in
women in munition works. The Gasworkers and the
Workers' Union also asked for representation and were
The Committee carried through an investigation of
women in munition works, and discovered that I2S. to 153.
was the standard wage, which was lower than the standard,
or usual women's rates in the district, which were about i.
It was therefore proposed that the Committee work for
a minimum wage for women in munition works, and the
programme, of which a copy is enclosed, was drawn up.
This was presented to the Trade Union section of the
Lancashire No. i Armaments Output Committee and
received their hearty support.
The Amalgamated Society of Engineers recognised the
National Federation of Women Workers as the organisation
to take in women munition workers, and the local secre-
taries were instructed to co-operate with this body wherever
a branch exists. There being no branch in the Manchester
area the Amalgamated Society of Engineers recognised the
Women's War Interests Committee as the representative
women's organisation. Great help has been given to the
Committee by their officials.
The Committee does not itself undertake to organise
the women, but passed a resolution to the effect that it
would co-operate with any movement towards organisation
of the women which is undertaken as a result of joint
agreement with the interested trade unions.
The following proposals have been agreed upon by the
Committee for the employment of women in ammunition
works, to form the basis of representations to the Ministry
of Munitions :
Wages. That a guaranteed minimum of i per week of
48 hours should be paid to every adult woman worker
(over 18 years) employed on munitions. Piecework rates,
irrespective of class of labour employed, should remain
Hours. That a three-shift system of 8 hours is prefer-
able to continuous overtime for women. No woman should
be employed on night work for more than two weeks out
Conditions. That ample canteen provision be provided,
this to be obligatory where night work is in operation.
PEARSON, KARL. Woman as Witch, in the Chances of Death,
vol. ii. ; and Sex Relations in Germany, in the Ethic of
Freethought, p. 402.
MASON, OTIS. In the American Antiquarian, Jan. 1889, p. 6.
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RECLUS, E. Primitive Folk, pp. 57-8. Contemporary Science
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274, and iv. 495. Compare Bland, Brown, and Tawney,
English Economic History, p. 347, for approximation between
men's and women's wages.
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TEXTILES : WOOL AND LINEN.
SCHMOLLER. Strassburger Tucher- und Weberzunft, p. 354.
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Victoria County History. Yorkshire, ii. p. 43.
WRIGHT, T. Homes of Other Days, p. 434.
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WEAVING AND SPINNING AS A WOMAN'S TRADE.
ABRAM, A. Social England in the Fifteenth Century, pp. 133-4.
Ancient Book of the Weavers' Company. (Facsimile in the British
Fox AND TAYLOR. Weavers' Gild of Bristol, p. 38.
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teenth Centuries, p. 229.
LAMBERT. Two Thousand Years of Gild Life, pp. 206-10.
THOMSON, D. The Weaver's Craft, p. 22.
Records of the City of Norwich, ii. p. 378.
For Rates of Pay to Weavers, etc., see a volume of tracts in the
British Museum Library, numbered 1851, c. 101.
Howard Accounts. Published by the Roxburgh Club, vol. Ii.
MARKHAM, G. The English Housewife, pp. 174-5. (Ed. 1637.)
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DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISTIC INDUSTRY.
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BAINES, E. History of Cotton Manufacture, p. 91.
GREEN, MRS. ALICE. Town Life in the Fifteenth Century, ii. p. 100.
Ordinances of Worcester. Edited by Toulmin Smith. Early
English Text Society.
HAMILTON. History of Quarter Sessions, pp. 164, 273.
LEONARD. Early English Poor Relief.
ASHLEY, W. J. English Economic History, Part II., chapter on the
YOUNG, ARTHUR. Northern Tour, vol. i. p. 137. Second edition.
YOUNG, ARTHUR. Tour in East of England, ii. pp. 75, 81.
WARNER, TOWNSEND. In Traill's Social England, vol. v. p. 149.
MANTOUX. La Revolution industrielle, p. 36.
BONWICK. Romance of the Wool Trade, p. 435.
Lancashire Worthies, i. p. 307.
WEBER, MARIANNE. Ehefrau und Mutter, Tubingen, 1907, p. 252.
CAMPBELL, W. Materials for History of the Reign of Henry VII.,
pp. 13, 15, 168, 170, etc.
Victoria County History, Derby, ii. p. 372.
TRAILL. Social England, vol. i. p. 658.
LAPSLEY, G. T. " Account Roll of a Fifteenth-Century Ironmaster,"
in the English Historical Review, vol. xiv., July 1899, p. 51.
Victoria County History. Derbyshire, pp. 328-9, 332, 343.
Some Account of Mines. British Museum, 444, a 49, p. 62.
GALLOWAY. Annals of Coal Mining, pp. 91, 232, 234, 354 passim.
Case of Sir H. Mackworth. British Museum, 522, m. 12 (2).
Case of the Mine Adventurers in the same volume, No. 26.
YOUNG, ARTHUR. Northern Tour, vol. ii. pp. 189, 254-5. Second
YOUNG, ARTHUR. Six Weeks' Tour, pp. 150, 109. 1768.
THE COTTON INDUSTRY.
BAINES, EDWARD. History of the Cotton Manufacture, 1836, pp, 97,
100, 115, n6., 446.
GUEST. History of the Cotton Manufacture.
RADCLIFFE, W. Origin of the New System of Manufacture, 1828,
p. 59, etc.
GASKELL, P. Manufacturing Population of England, 1833, pp. 42,
BEARD, C. A. The Industrial Revolution.
MANTOUX. La Revolution industrielle, pp. 208-11.
ELLISON, T. The Cotton Trade of Great Britain, 1886.
LAW, ALICE. Social and Economic History, in the Victoria County
History, Lancashire, vol. ii. p. 327.
CHAPMAN, S. J. The Lancashire Cotton Industry.
CUNNINGHAM, W. Growth of English Industry and Commerce,
Modern Times, p. 654. (Ed. 1907.)
3 02 AUTHORITIES
THE DECAY OF HANDSPINNING.
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THE HANDLOOM WEAVER'S WIFE.
GASKELL, P. Manufacturing Population, p. 40.
MANTOUX. La Revolution industrielle, pp. 442-3.
Report of Committee on Ribbon- Weavers, 1818, vol. ix. p. 124.
Report on Handloom Weavers, 1834, vol. x. Evidence of Brennan.
TUCKETT, J. D. History of the Labouring Population, pp. 208-9.
AIKIN, J. Country Round Manchester, pp. 167, 192.
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GASKELL, P. Manufacturing Population of England, chap. i.
TAYLOR, W. COOKE. Factories and the Factory System, 1844, pp.
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Assistant Poor Law Commissioners. Report on Employment of
Women and Children in Agriculture, p. 25. Parliamentary
Papers, 1843, xii.
GASKELL, MRS. Mary Barton.
THE WOMAN WAGE-EARNER.
Report on Artizans and Machinery. Parliamentary Papers, 1824,
vol. v. Evidence of Dunlop and Holdsworth, compare evidence
of M'Dougal and William Smith.
Report on Manufactures and Commerce. Parliamentary Papers,
1833, vol. vi. p. 323.
Report on Combinations of Workmen. Parliamentary Papers, 1838,
viii. q. 3527-3I-
Report on Handloom Weavers, 1840, vol. xxiii. p. 307.
GASKELL, P. Artizans and Machinery, pp. 143, 331.
GASKELL, P. Manufacturing Population of England, pp. 186-8.
Report on Employment of Children in Factories. Parliamentary
Papers, 1834, xix. p. 297.
SCHULTZE-GAVERNITZ. The Cotton Trade in England and on the
Continent. Translated by O. S. Hall. 1895.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN NON-TEXTILE TRADES.
Children's Employment Commission. 1843. Reports on Birming-
Children's Employment Commission. Parliamentary Papers. 1864,
vol. xxii. ; Third Report, p. x.
TIMMINS, S. Resources of Birmingham and the Hardware District.
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Orme, Miss Collet, Miss Abraham, and Miss Irwin. Parliament-
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British Association, 1902-1903. Reports to the Economic Section