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209

HI their own interest and that of some of the prison officers.
Wh.le license and gross depravity were rampant at the eastern

w h \ St *?l ^ 5 C Ce " tral and western Penitentiaries there
was the hard-boded type of utter restraint, with shackles,
lungeons solitary," and mental torture, resulting in equally
marked depravity and deterioration of the prisoners. No in-
lustnal, recreational, educational, or spiritual program was
under way in these institutions.

In the past four years the remarkable renascence which
characterized all the state institutions and social programs
of Pennsylvania during the administration of Governor
Pinchot has no more striking results to report than those of
the prisons. Now the buildings are clean, though still anti-
quated and overcrowded. Thanks to the help of outside
experts and the energy and courage of members of the staff,
notably Colonel John C. Groome and Warden Stanley P.
Ashe, Pennsylvania has today a group of prisons and re-
formatories whose administration is second to none in the
United States. More than 92 per cent of the inmates are
employed either in welfare industries, handicrafts or in the
domestic work of the institution, with compensation. The
Department committed itself at the outset to the policy of
conducting prison industries on a self-supporting basis, for
training in the trades, and in such a manner as to minimize
competition with the free manufacturer and organized labor.
The operation of the industries has not cost the taxpayers a
penny; during the past four years, on the contrary, ap-
proximately $200,000 of net earnings went back into them
for capital outlay.

The credo of the Department which put through this far-
seeing reorganization, and similar pieces of work for the
other state institutions hospitals, almshouses, children's
homes and for state policies in the various social fields, was
summarized by Dr. Potter: to develop and strengthen local
responsibility for local social welfare; to improve standards
by an educational process, not by police methods of com-
pulsion ; to keep the Department of Welfare out of politics
and put state charities on a sound social basis; to give a
business-like administration of the Department; to take of-
ficial action only on the basis of assembled facts and to add,
insofar as was possible, to the sum of these facts by social re-
search; to ascertain existing legal powers, administer with
discretion, and ascertain the points at which the laws re-
lating to social welfare needed strengthening.

"Perhaps the biggest hit we made with the public," Dr.
Potter commented, "was our habit of sending a reply to
letters of inquiry within twenty-four hours."



NO SECTION of the reports of the Subcommission on
Causes of the New York Crime Commission (reviewed in the
preceding pages) aroused more interest and controversy than
that dealing with a Brooklyn area where chances for legitimate
fun were few and youthful delinquencies were many. The pic-
ture illustrating that article is taken from a report of the
Boys' Club in Worcester, Mass., organized to meet just such
needs as those which have been largely overlooked in Red
Hook. The Worcester Club has 5,000 members, not hand-
picked but the run of the city, forming a considerable propor-
tion of all boys in Worcester likely to get into trouble. Yet
while the names of more than 900 boys appeared on the police
blotters for the year ending June I, 1926, only 34 Boys
members were among them. Swimming, wrestling, bask
all preceded by careful physical examinat.on to find and correct
physical defects, give healthful outlet for the boyish enerpes.



INDUSTR Y



The Workers Recapture Their Tools



By ROBERT W. BRUERE



THEY called it a Conference on the Elimination
of Waste in Industry, these workers of the Central
Labor Union and the Labor College of Phila-
delphia, who on April 9 and 10, reversing the
traditional procedure, played hosts to a group of
distinguished economists and management engineers. They
had taken their cue, as The Survey has already reported
(January 15, page 524), from the resolution of the Atlantic
City convention of the American Federation of Labor op-
posing all wage reduction, but supplementing this stock
declaration by urging upon management the elimination of
waste in production in order that prices might be lowered
while wages were increased and proffering labor's co-
operation.

So stated, the program, in spite of President Green's
ringing characterization of it as the "enunciation of a new
era," seemed a simple and rather naive extension of the
stereotyped idea underlying ordinary collective bargaining
over wages. Labor was promising to be good, to cut out
ca'canny and waste, to increase the profits of the employer
and share economies with the consumer, always however,
with a main eye to increasing labor's share in the industrial
income. Even so, this shifting of emphasis from the method
of warfare to the method of "constructive" cooperation was
a notable psychological achievement. But as developed by
the spokesmen of the organized workers at Philadelphia, the
program carried deeper and far subtler implications. What
the workers are driving at, what they must drive at if they
are to maintain their due functional status in industry, is
not only an increased industrial income, but also the co-
ordinate control with management of the new tools of large-
scale machine production.

Critics of labor, and of organized labor particularly,
never tire of berating the unions' restrictions upon output
and their resistance to the introduction of new machinery
and improved methods of production. They forget that the
time was when employers defended brutally long hours and
starvation wages on the ground that these were the con-
ditions of holy living, since long hours left little time for
mischief and low wages kept indulgence in worldly pleasures
beyond the workers' purse. What was there for the workers
to do but to fight for the right to live decently? And they
forget that workers, being human, want something more
than food and sleep out of life. They want the joy of
conscious creation.

Every craft union was primarily organized to conserve
the skill of its craft, through which in the days of the guilds
the master workmen, from cobblers like Hans Sachs to the
silversmiths who had their shrines in cathedrals, held honor
in their communities. Machinery as first introduced smashed
the great guilds and made naught of craft pride. What
mysteries of his trade the individual skilled workman



snatched out of the wreckage, the first scientific managers
took from him by job analyses and time studies, vainly trying
to console him with bonuses and other purely financial in-
centives. He was denied a voice in management, and so
denied direct access to the characteristic tools of modern
production planning, routing, cost accounting, the tech-
niques by which the infinitesimally divided operations of a
mass production factory are integrated into a single in-
clusive operation.

That is the fundamental cause of labor unrest. Union-
management cooperation centers upon techniques, improved
methods tactfully called the elimination of waste. En-
lightened managers are seeing that sharing in the creative
processes of industry is indepensable not only to maximum
production but also to the self-respect and intellectual
vitality of labor. The best papers presented at the Phila-
delphia conference were read by local labor leaders who
were masters of the new techniques and were eagerly putting
their technical skill at the service of industries in the per-
fection of which they took pride.

THE opening address by Gustave Geiges, president of
Local No. 706 of the Full Fashioned Hosiery Workers,
was a revelation of the quality of the new leadership. The
speaker had gone to work as a knitter when he was not
quite fourteen and for nineteen years had worked at his
trade. For ten years he had served as business representative
of the Knitters' Union. During these years he had been
"constantly engaged in the study of the technical problems
of our industry." Why did he consider the elimination of
waste the most important problem facing the industry and
why did it so deeply concern the organized workers?

The full fashioned hosiery workers are paid on a piece
price basis. What they are able to earn depends upon the
quality of the raw material, the condition of their machines,
the efficiency of management, their own alertness and skill.
If the raw material is poor, threads will break, production
will be delayed, sales will be curtailed, "because the success-
ful merchandising of silk stockings depends upon the repu-
tation for quality which the manufacturer or merchant is
able to establish." The full fashioned machine is highly
complicated and unless its fifty thousand parts are in perfect
order both production and quality will suffer. The adjust-
ment of all these parts is so delicate that a sudden change
in temperature may cause the machine to produce poor
work. Inefficient management entails losses to the workers
which they cannot afford. Simple carelessness or inatten-
tion or lack of training on the part of the workers are the
"third most common cause of bad work." The union pro-
tects its members against unequal treatment but "it does
not oppress the employers by trying to protect the individual
against the consequences of his own inability or improper



2IO



(lay IS, 1927



THE SURVEY



ronduct. No more glaring example of waste could be cited
:han that of keeping incompetents at jobs they are not fitted
for." The union, he urged, must win increased benefits for
ts members by "making the services our members render
to the industry so invaluable that the industry will be
sound to recognize the need for encouraging this improved
service."

The same theme was developed by William H. McHugh,
vice-president of the Printing Pressmen and Assistants'
Union. Why should unions associate themselves with em-
ployers in the elimination of waste? he asked. Because "we
want a union shop to be the most efficient." He cited
the case of a company that manufactures manifold
jooks, the most poorly organized branch of the industry
>ecause it employs little skilled
labor. Fourteen years ago it was
unionized.

The general manager himself stated
to our union convention that under the
forty-four-hour week and with wages
higher than any competitor, they could
outbid any other company. This com-
pany is the largest of its kind _in
America. Not wages alone, but pride
of craftsmanship, mastery of the newer
techniques. We have just established
the highest wage scale in America
($6.50 a day) in the newspaper press-
rooms of New York City. The pub-
lishers said they were glad to agree to
it because of the increased efficiency
resulting from cooperation between the
union and the employer.

The union operates the largest
apprentice school in the world, with
$400,000 invested in printing ma-
chinery. The school not only trains
apprentices but also gives journeymen
an opportunity to keep abreast of
their industry. The engineering de-
partment of the school examines 640 daily newspapers.

If a defect continues from day to day, two identical letters
are sent, one to the foreman of the pressroom, the other to
the manager of the paper. We describe the defect and make
suggestions as to how to remedy it. If necessary




211

In similar vein, the engineers and economists addressed
these trade unionists, although they themselves afterward
agreed that they had not given equally adequate expression
to the quality of the scientific spirit which is transforming
industrial relations. The newspapers that commented upon
the conference featured the "new attitude of labor."

The new attitude of the scientific managers was equally
impressive. In advocating joint committees for job-analysis,
for example, a member of the Taylor Society referred to
such committees in open shop establishments functioning as
subsidiaries of company unions. "I wish to be fair to com-
pany unions," he said.

I think they have some merit in the experience of par-
liamentary and conference procedure they are giving to
the workers. But as a means of giving
the worker an actual voice in deter-
mining' the conditions under which he
will work, and a sense of initiative in
improvements, they are inadequate. . . .
The joint-job-analysis committee in any
industrial establishment needs the re-
enforcing strength of the workers'
regular trade union.

This changed attitude upon the
part of management is making it pos-
sible for the unions effectively to
change theirs. As President Green of
the American Federation of Labor
pointed out, while there was a time
when working people were princi-
pally preoccupied with bettering
wages and shortening hours, it was
management also that limited joint
discussions to these questions. "If the
workers suggested changes or im-
provements in methods or processes
as an argument in favor of higher
wages, such suggestions were resented
as intrusions upon the prerogatives
' If this spirit of accommodation and
the part of both organized labor and



New York World

know, Bill, sometimes I wonder myself hoio
any work ever gets finished."



of management.

cooperation on

management prevails and becomes dominant in American

life, this conference on the elimination of waste will



_ ..... ._ :essary, we send an j ust ;f y ; ts editorial characterization by the Evening Public

engineer to that city to help remedy it. This is a service from { Philadelphia as the beginning of a new in-

' - - - 1 'utelv free. It is to ^cug,vi



the union to the employer, and it is absolutely

our interest to make that paper the best printed paper in the city.



dustrial epoch.



From Factory to Campus



WHEN Susan went from the collar factory to the
Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers
in Industry, she took with her a quick mind, boundless
energy and a driving ambition to find out "why everything
is just like it is and why I am here." Those Summer School
students who hungered for "a regular education" were
urged and helped to go on to high school or college instead
of' returning to their jobs. Susan went to the university,
which was willing to make a place for her in spite of her
scanty preparation, ready to make the best of the handicaps
of limited funds and irregular education. But when Susan's
letters began to come back to them, those who had made
college possible for Susan were surprised and a little shocked



to find that poverty and academic conditions were the least
difficult of the hurdles the girl faced.

Susan herself, possessed of a clear, flexible mind, was
able to view herself and her situation with amazing detach-
ment And Susan saw, and made her mentors see, that the
intelligent factory girl who, inspired by workers' education
classes goes after "a regular education" by the orthodo:
college route is hurt and baffled and, on occasion, defeated
by the gulf between herself and her associates in background.
tradition, and social standards. Difference in manners, not
difference in spending-money and academic training, .
stumbling block to a workable adjustment and the more
sensitive and clear-sighted the girl, the larger !t looms.



212



THE SURVEY



May 15, 1927



These extracts from Susan's letters describe the girl's
reactions to the unfamiliar campus world during her brief
university career:

I must write and tell you what I am doing in the way of
preparing myself for my big adventure. When I reached
home after the school, I expected to find all my friends enthusi-
astic about my plans, and marveling at the big opportunity I
am having. But sad disappointment, such as you predicted to
all Bryn Mawr Summer School students, soon came over me.
I have never seen such a bunch of crepe-hangers in my life as
my friends are turning out to be.

One tells me that I am plump crazy to attempt such a thing
at my age as to go after a regular education. Another tells
me I will never live through it. A third asks me what I will
do with it when I get it. Some say, "Look at all the money
you could be making in all these years." Of course they all
have their minds made up that I am a little bit queer, yet so
far no one has been able to take the starch out of me or dis-
courage me in any way. All my life I have wanted two things:
an education and a wardrobe trunk. It looks as if now I was
going to get the education and maybe I can earn enough for
the trunk. . . .

There are so many things that I want to tell you about the
college that I don't know where to begin. I'm afraid I'll do
what my English teacher calls "digression" or something. Now,
you see here is where the trouble is. Everybody is awfully
nice to me. No, that is not the trouble that just shows the
trouble up. Now I like for people to be nice to me but and
now this is what the trouble is I never know what to do.
When I'm introduced I never know what to say, and I don't
know how to introduce people, and I'm sure I make mistakes
at the table. But how in the world am I going to know just
what to do? I certainly don't intend to sit and watch some-
body else at the table, but I'd like to know before I go to the
table. I saw a book one time on etiquette, but it just told
about things that don't concern me balls, banquets and wed-
dings. If I could just find a book that would tell me how to
get through a plain dinner of beans, meat and potatoes and
dessert, without being embarrassed, I wouldn't worry about
the balls. . . .

The girls all have evening dresses but me. There is to be
a reception on Tuesday night and they will wear them. I am
not going. There is a big dance here every few weeks. Of
course I came here to study, but so did everyone else, and they
think of those things a lot. . . .

I have read a lot since I came here. I have read Dante's
Inferno, Knut Hamsun's Hunger and Pain and the Life of
Knut Hamsun, and Yeat's Land of Heart's Desire; also articles
in The Atlantic Monthly and The Century. . . .

What do people do at dances when they don't dance? And
what do they do at receptions? I have never been to one, you
know. Of course I want an education more than anything else,
but maybe I'd be making a mistake not to go to anything but
classes. But I'd rather not, almost, because I can't study when
I'm trying to get over being embarrassed at some blunder
I've made. . . .

I have talked with the head of the history department. I
wanted to take a course which is something like Well's Outline
of History. He wanted to know just what kind of history I
wanted and I told him I wanted the kind of history that
started at the very beginning of everything and told all the
whys of everything. He wanted to know just what I meant,
and I said, "I want to study a course that will finally tell me
so I can understand it, why everything is just like it is now
and why I am here and why I am doing what I am and answer
all the whys I can possibly think of about everything." He
liked that. I kept talking with him and I think he is going
to let me take that course. . . .

Sometimes all these books and all the advice I get confuse
me. It seems to me that I'll never fit in as long as I try to
take the regular course. If I had gone to high school with the
others, then I might fit into the regular course and get a
degree. But I don't want to work for a degree. I want to
make myself into a person who can study and learn and get an
education without a thought of a degree. And I can do it if I
have the chance. . . .



There was a meeting of the athletic association this after-
noon, with a lot of yelling for the football team. Everybody
stood up and yelled but I didn't. I didn't see any sense to it,
After the meeting they asked me to write an article on athletics
for the magazine here, but I told them I didn't know enough
to do it. I told them I thought they ought not to spend so
much on the football team, when really the weaker students
need the exercise twice as much. . . .

I have been out in the woods today to look at the colors on
the trees. Honestly, I don't think I ever saw autumn before.
I had no idea all this was happening. You know I have always
just looked out the factory windows at a red brick wall and
I didn't realize what was going on. I stood in the woods and
thought of all the girls who worked with me in the factory
and I have never been so unhappy before. I cried and cried.
It isn't fair that some of us should be able to see this and
that other people should never have a chance to see beautiful
things.



AN EXPERIMENT in race relations, begun in a small way
two years ago, will be part of the Summer School for Workers
in Industry at the University of Wisconsin. Each Negro girl
enrolling for the six-weeks course in English, economics and
physical education for "girls who work with the tools of trade"
will be offered the choice of living in a Negro home known to
the University as a satisfactory boarding-place, or in a campus
house in which girls of both races live on an equal
footing. A centrally located house with accommodations for
twenty girls has been secured. It has two connecting living-
rooms, suitable for general meetings, and will provide a center
for the entire industrial group. A University Y.W.C.A.
secretary will act as chaperone. The white residents will be
those who, before coming to the school, signify their desire to
take a part in this inter-racial experiment.

A STUDY of working children in Missouri carried out by
the National Child Labor Committee and the Missouri
Women's Legislative Committee, shows greater hardships for
young workers who do "part-time work" outside school hours
than to children who leave school to take full-time jobs.
According to this study, which was confined to the smaller
cities and towns "since the larger cities usually have vocational
guidance departments, full time attendance officers, etc.," 58.2
per cent of the 165 full-time workers were 15 years of age, 6
per cent were 13 or less. Over 80 per cent of these full-time
workers were engaged in factory work, farm work, housework,
clerical, delivery or driving and hauling occupations. There
were 673 part-time workers, with an average age of 12.7. One-
fifth of these children worked 20 or more hours a week on
their jobs, 12.3 per cent worked 25 hours or more and nearly
8 per cent worked 30 hours or more. Nearly 9 per cent of the
children had a seven-day week, with an average work time of
22.9 hours. This occupied time makes no allowance for school
work or home chores. On school days, 232 worked before
school, 27 at noon, 493 after school, 67 after 7 P.M. Of those
who worked at night, 58.7 per cent worked more than the two
hours permitted under the Missouri law. Almost one-fourth
of the part-time children had at least one day in the week more
than 8 hours long. More than two-fifths worked 12 or more
hours on that day. Four children had a 1 7-hour work day at
the end of their week. Of this group 4.9 per cent were ac-
celerated in school, 58.8 per cent normal and 36.3 retarded.
The report points out two fundamental needs in the child labor
situation in Missouri: "One is a tightening up on the enforce-
ment machinery, particularly with respect to the granting of
work permits. . . . The other is that more adequate protection
be provided in the law."




The Elephant



and



The Owl



Portraits, groups, landscapes
and animals by F. H. Brosius




Said the elephant to the owl:

"Pray tell me what you think
About our shoes and stockings
Our food and clothes and drink/ 1






LESSON ONE: THE WELFARE OF ALL
OF US DEPENDS ON BUSINESS

Business is the way we make our living.

There are other names for business.

You can call it "Production of the

Necessities of Life." You can call it "the

Economic Basis of Civilization."

You can call it

an invention

of the devil. But you

have got to get a living

somehow.

AH your neighbors have

got to get a living.

So has Boston.
And Florida.
And Mr. Ford.

And all of us
mixed up to-
gether getting
our livings is what is called
business organization.

Now until we have the money for
tonight's dinner and have some-
thing for the landlady,
we don't go
to the movies.
Nor try to send
Johnny
to college.

Nor pay the doctor's bills.

But Johnny and the doctor's bill don't come
on a silver platter. And the movies don't come
on a silver platter either. You have got to get
them all out of business. And you
have got to get the



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 48 of 130)