Nebraska. Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistic.

Biennial report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics of Nebraska online

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Property oJP'n.
Princeton UnifewMftj









Governor John H. Morehead, Commissioner
Charles W. Pool, Deputy Commissioner
Susan Barker, Stenographer



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Governor John H. Morehead, Commissioner
Charles W. Pool, Deputy Commissioner
Susan Barker, Stenographer


he Claflin Printing Co., <^^^^^ > University Place, Nebr.

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To Honorable John H. Morehead,

Governor of Nebraska.
Dear Sir — Complying with the provisions of the statutes for the
State of Nebraska, I herewith present for your consideration the Four-
teenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics^
ccvering the biennium in part, from February 1, 1913, to December 1, 1914.


Deputy Commissioner of Labor.
Lincoln, Nebraska, December 1, 1914.




u^ 628883

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The Bureau of Labor and Industrial . Statistics was inau^rated in
the year 1887, and has been a source of great benefit to the State of Ne-
braska, even though the different sessions of the Legislature have made
but slight provision in the way of appropriation for the carrying out of
the many provisions of the Act creating the office.

The statutes prescribe a multiplicity of duties to be performed by
the Deputy Commissioner of Labor, namely:

To collect, collate and publish annually one bulletin upon the manu-
facturing statistics of the state.

To gather and publish information upon industrial accidents and oc-
cupational diseases of the wage earners of the state.

To collect, collate and publish bulletins giving statistical information
upon all surplus shipments and products raised or manufactured within
the state.

To collect and publish information concerning the state's resources
and opportunities.

To inspect all buildings within the state, over three stories in
height, as the means of determining whether or not they are properly
equipped with fire escapes.

To inspect all theaters and moving picture houses within the state
to ascertain if each is properly provided with exits in case of fires, and
that booths are constructed in accordance with law.

The inspection of all factories, mills, workshops, mercantile or me-
chanical establishments, or other concerns, where men and women are
employed, for the purpose of improving the sanitary conditions of their
surroundings and the hours which they are required to labor, and to see
that proper safe-guards are placed around all machinery for the protec-
tion of the lives of those who are required to operate the machines.

To maintain a free employment bureau, and to render such assistance
as is possible to those seeking employment, and those desiring the ser-
vices of disengaged persons.

To investigate and inquire into the cause of strikes, lock-outs and all
other matters pertaining to the welfare of the laborer.

To see that all persons, firms or corporations employing females
keep posted in their places of businesis placards stating the exact facts
as to the hours that their employees are required to work.

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To co-operate with the truant officers of the different towns and
cities to see that the child labor law is not violated.

The legislature appropriated for the last biennium $6,000.00, ex-
clusive of the salary for the Deputy Commissioner and one stenographer.

For Maintenance of Department

The appropriation of 1913 for the Bureau of Labor and Industrial
Statistics, including salary of the Deputy Commissioner and stenographer,
aggregated $10,680.00, divided as follows:

Deputy Commissioner of Labor, per year $1500; for biennium $3000

Stenographer and Librarian, per year $840; for biennium. $1680

Total salaries, per year $2,340; for biennium $4680

For traveling expenses, printing, postage, office supplies, telephone,
telegraph, rents, advertising, displays, factory inspectors and spe-
cial deputy inspectors, and all incidental expenses, per year $3000;
for biennium $6000

This amount was appropriated by the Legislature in lieu of the
recommendation of my predecessor in office who asked for a total appro-
priation of $42,680.00.

The Department has accomplished a ^eat deal during the past two
years with the limited appropriation at its command, yet I do not feel
that it would be the proper thing for me, at this time, to ask that more
money be appropriated, but rather I would suggest that some of the
duties devolving upon the Deputy Commissioner of Labor be handled
through other channels or, as has been done in the past two years, by
co-operation with some of the other departments.

I have received much assistance from personal friends who were
pleased to render their services without compensation, and in this manner
I have been enabled to greatly add to the usefulness of the Department
without th expenditure of money.

Some criticism has been aimed at the Department from sources that
should have been pleased to give assistance and advice. Each and every
complaint filed with the Department has received careful attention when-
ever those filing the complaint signed their own names and furnished the
name or names of those against whom the complaints were lodged.

In many instances I have found that complaints were made because
of an ill-feeling on the part of the complainant toward the party against
whom the infractions of the law were charged.

In not one instance has complaint been made about the Department
by any persons who had taken the pains to advise themselves as to the
different duties required of the Deputy Commissioner of Labor; nor
had they called on the official in charge or offered a single suggestion
as to any improvements that might be made with a view of bettering
the condition of the laboring people.

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It is a physical impossibility for the Department to perform all of
the duties provided in the statutes, and it has been the custom in the
past to look after that which appeared to be of the greater importance.

I would suggest that the Legislature amend the law and delegate
authority to the Commissioner of Labor to collect fees under certain con-
tingencies. The Department has spent many days in preparing informa-
tion along special lines for which no charge could be made under the
law as it now stands. These fees should be fixed by the statutes, and
all fees should be turned into the State Treasury.

Fire Escapes

During my incumbency of the office of Deputy Commissioner of
Labor I have had much to do with inspecting fire escapes and suggesting
changes that might lessen the life hazard of those who were, by force of
circumstances, required to occupy buildings more than two stories high.
I have, in most instances, met with no resistance whatever in having
the orders of the Department carried to a successful termination.

In this connection I feel that my duty to the boys and girls of Ne-
braska will not have been performed unless I earnestly urge the enact-
ment of a law compelling the officers of school districts, wherein ai-e lo-
cated school buildings more than one story high, to provide adequate
means of escape in case of fire for the little folks. In my judgment all
buildings, two stories high, occupied as schools rooms, should be provided
with some means of easy exit from the buildings in case of fire.

The Law Pertaining to Employment of Females.

The Legislature of 1913, very wisely, in my judgment, passed an Act
naming nine hours instead of ten hours as the limit that a female might
be required to labor in. certain lines of industry, namely:

Manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishments, laundry,
hotel, restaurant, office or by any public service corporation, the hours
being so arranged that females should not begin work earlier than 6:00
o'clock a. m., or labor later than 10:00 o'clock p. m., except those who are
employed by public service corporations, and they are permitted to work
between the hours of 10:00 p. m. and 6:00 a. m., but in no event shall such
employment be for more than eight consecutive hours.

The change in this law which became effective July 17, 1913, has
been the cause of great annoyance to the Department, the public and
those laboring under its restrictions. As a rule the Department has met
little resistance in its endeavors to enforce the provisions of this Act,
but in many instances it has proven a hardship to those whom it was
passed to benefit.

Many females have been displaced by males because of the fact that

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they were not permitted to work until 12:00 o'clock at night, notwith-
standing the fact that they desired to do so. Many complained that the
law granting special privileges to liie public service corporations in. their
(employment of females was unfair.

The Department was forced to prosecute two public service corpora-
tions in order to establish the authority given it by the law.

The first prosecution resulted in conviction and fine, and before the
hour set for trial of the second case the corporation plead guilty and paid
a fine, thereby admitting error on its part and acknowledging that the
ruling of this department was sustained by the statutes of Nebraska.

In another instance the Department was forced to bring action
against the manager of a cafe for requiring his female help to labor more
than the number of hours provided by the statutes, and resulted in the
payment of fine and costs by the defendant.

Child Lab^HT Law

Nebraska has a child labor law which appears to meet with universal
commendation from all sections of the country and in conjunction with
the truant officers of the different sections of the state, the Department
has contributed, in no small degree, to its enforcements and very few
com/plaints have been registered that were founded on a substantial basis.

The percentage of children employed in the different industries in
the state is very small and with proper supervision, the annoyance
caused thereby, should be entirely eliminated in the near future.

Theaters and Moving Picture Shows

The law makes it the duty of the Deputy Commissioner of Labor to
investigate all complaints arising through oversight or carelessness on
the part of owners, managers or lessees of theaters and moving picture
shows. The greater number of complaints filed with the Department
were caused by a lack of exits properly placed and improper lining in the
operating booths.

When these matters have been called to the attention of the person
in charge, steps have been taken immediately to correct the error, and in
no instance has the Department been forced to institute proceedings to
force a compliance with its orders.

Inasmuch as quite heavy expense is frequently incurred in making
inspections of buildings or rooms coming under this law, it appears to
me that it would be the part of wisdom for the Legislature to amend
the law requiring each and every play-house to pay a reasonable sum
of money for a certificate from the Bureau of Labor showing that they
had complied fully with the law and were permitted to cater to the wants
of the public. This would be a source of revenue to the state, and at the

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same time give reputable play-houses better standing in the community.
This tax should be placed more heavily upon persons who travel through
the country and exhibit at different towns. Not one dollar of revenue is re-
ceived by the Department of Labor other than through the appropriations
made by the Legislature for its maintenance, and I think it only good
business judgment to require slight compensation for the necessary ex-
penses incurred in inspecting the institutions which come under this law.

Manufacturing Industries of Nebraska

In our efforts to place before the public the fact that Nebraska is a
manufacturing, as well as a leading agricultural state, the Department
has made great effort to get a report from each concern engaged in that
line of endeavor. We have received reports from one thousand seven
hundred fifty-six (1756) institutions operating in the state during 1918.
These concerns employed fifty thousand seven hundred pighty-four (50,-
784) laborers during the year, for which they paid in wages $20,025,850.00.
Capital invested aggregated $75,065,848.00, while the cost of material
amounted to $147,363,757.00 and the manufactured product was valued at
$175,204,779.00. While this shows an increase of five hundred ninety-
four manufacturing institutions over the preceding year, it is not claimed
that these are new concerns, but shows a more ready compliance with the
demands of the Department made upon those who were engaged in this

The Department is under obligation to the Secretary of the Manufac-
turer's Association of Nebraska for assistance in securing a part of this
increase, and I believe the report for 1914 should add considerably to the
number herein given.

In many instances it has required from three to four appeals before
a report covering the questions asked would be properly answered by the
manufacturer, notwithstanding the fact that the law places a severe pen-
alty upon any who may decline to comply with the request for such in-

Factory Inspection

The inspection of factories or manufacturing plants during the past
two years has received very careful consideration from the Department,
and many changes have been made with a view to lessening the hazard
of life to the employees.

The number of accidents reported to this Department as having oc-
curred in factories and other institutions, (which are by law required to
report to this Department) in the past twenty-five months, amount to a
grand total of 501. Of those accidents reported, but seven proved fatal,
and the number of days lost by those who were injured in accidents total
up 5,146 days. The eDpartment has had the hearty co-operation of man-

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agers and owners of factories in its endeavor to place safety guards
around dangerous pieces of machinery, and it would appear to the casual
observer that the hazard to life has been very materially lessened by the
work performed through the inspections made by the Bureau of Labor.

It is by law made the duty of the inspector to investigate and pass
upon the sanitary conditions under which the men and women employed
in factories are required to labor, and it is a great satisfaction to be
able to state that in every instance where it was possible to make the
conditions more sanitary, changes have readily been made at the sugges-
tion of the Department.

Workingmen's Compensation Law

The Department is unable to discuss the workkings of this law from
the fact that it did not become operative until the first of December, 1914,
having been adopted by the people at the November 3rd election.

I believe tfiis measure, with some slight amendments to be sug-
gested at the coming session of Legislature, will prove of great value,
not only to the laboring men but to the employers of labor.

The Minimum Wage Commission

The Legislature of 1913 very wisely, I think, passed a measure pro-
viding for a Minimum Wage Commission, but owing to an oversight on the
part of those having the measure in charge, no appropriation was made
by which the law could be invoked should it become necessary, and it is
certainly hoped the coming session will make adequate provision for the
future in that respect. Had this law been operative, it would undoubt-
edly have been used on one or two occasions during the past year.

The Board of Mediation and Investigation

A measure providing for the reorganization of a board of mediation
and investigation was passed by the Legislative session of 1913, and an
appropriation of $2,000.00 made for use should the board have occasion
to make such investigations as are contemplated in the Act. Fortunately
no occasion has arisen for any investigation along the lines covered by
the statutes, hence no meeting of the board has been held since its ap-
pointment by the Grovemor, as provided by law.

Free Employment Bureau

This feature of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics is
not taken advantage of by the general public to as great an extent as
it should be. During the past two years I have been instrumental in
placing several hundred persons in positions, some of them permanent
but the greater number only temporary, and I feel that if it were more

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generally understood throughout the state that this Department was
maintained with a view to not only providing employment for those out
of work, but also supplying the needs of those seeking assistance on the
farm and in the worktop, the usefulness of the Department would be
more fully appreciated. No charge being made by the Department for
services rendered in this connection, it occurs to me that greater publicity
should be given the public as to the service they might secure by appli-
cation here.

I believe a law should be enacted requiring all labor agencies operat-
ing in the state to procure a license from the Commissioner of Labor be-
fore engaging in that line of business. It is true these agencies are at
present operating under ordinances adopted by the different cities in which
they are located, but so much complaint has reached this Department
concerning this method of doing business that I suggest a state super-
vision of all such agencies.

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Foowing is a complete statement of all monies paid out, and to
whom paid, by the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics covering
the period from April 12, 1913, to Nov. 30, 1914. The amount of $6,000.00
was appropriated by the legislature for the Department's use, from
April 1, 1913 to April 1, 1915, and as but four month remain until the
close of the biennium, it would seem that a neat surplus should revert
to the State. This does not include the salaries of the Deputy Com-
missioner of Labor or the Stenographer, which are provided for under
a different head.


Apr. 12 Sanitary Towel Laundry Co., Laundry D31696 $ 1.5()

May 1 Harry Porter, office sundries D31779 2.80

7 George 0. Hearn, postage D31950i 34.00

Apr. 9 Margaret Walther, extra work D32117 6.00

28 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses D32126 7.85

28 Lincoln Sign Works, sign on door D32131 l.OO

May 2 Underwood T. W. Co., machine D32165 72.03

Apr. 29 Lincoln Tel. & Teleg. Co., phone..... D32166 . 4.0O

30 Jessamine Johnson, inspector D32297 32.20

30 Tecumseh Chieftan, subscription D32298 1.0^

29 Office Equip. & Sup. Co., supplies D32299 2.7S

May 12 C, W. Pool, traveling expenses D32615 6.10

9 Waters Bamhart Ptg. Co., printing D32736 16.50

20 George 0. Hearn, postage D32813 20.00

17 John W. Smith, copies of report D32851 6.25

14 Journal Tribunal Co., printing D32852 2.0O

26 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses D32959 9.10

31 Jessamine Johnson, inspector D32979 67.50

26 Lincoln Tel. & Teleg. Co., phone, tolls D33210 5.25

June 6 Mrs. Bemis, inspector ^ D33650 30.00

11 George 0. Hearn, postage D34120 15.00

May 5 Jacob North & Co., letter heads D34203 9.50

June 20 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses D34481 9.75

20 Mrs. Bemis, inspector D34482 27.50

21 Journal Tribunal Co., printing D34483 5.00

26 George 0. Hearn, postage D34587 10.00

28 Mrs. Bemis, inspector D34844 15.00

30 Jessamine Johnson, inspector. ....D35112 62.50

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30 John Garvey, inspector „ . D35166 69.00

28 Waters Bamhart Prtg. Co., envelopes D35671 18.20

July 5 World Pub. Co., subscription D35882 6.00

7 Adams Express Co., express D35883 1.16

8 Journal Tribunal Co D35936 7.60

8 Claflin Printing Co., envelopes ^ -.D35937 3.26

7 Harry Porter, office sundries D35938 3.80

21 Dalton Add. Mach. Co., supplies. D36484 3.25

24 George O. Hearn, postage D36538 15.00

26 C. M. Wilson, extra work - ...D36538 48.00

26 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses..... D37695 11.55

Aug. 1 Jessamine H. Johnson, inspector - D37058 73.23

4 John Garvey, inspector D37695 81.00

8 Lincoln Tel. & Teleg. Co., phone, tolls.... D37993 15.05

14 Journal Tribunal Co., Cards D38107 8.00

15 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses...^ ;...D38179 12.9a

15 C. M. Wilson, extra work D38239 54.00

31 John Garvey, inspector D39576 80.00

26 Mrs. Jessamine Johnson, inspector D39670 47.50^

Sept. 3 Lincoln Tel. & Teleg. Co., phone, tolls D39582 13.66-

3 Harry Porter, office supplies ., D39678 5.20

4 State Journal Co., Approp. record. D39679 7.25^

16 C. W. Pool, traveling expenses D39848 9.72:

19 Western Union Teleg. Co., telegram...^ '. D40416 40

23 George O. Ream, postage D40562 lO.OO

23 Waters Bamhart Ptg. Co., labels .D40837 4.76

26 Sanitary Towel Co., towel service D41362 3.00

Oct. 1 Mrs. Jessamine Johnson, inspector D41361 50.00

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Online LibraryNebraska. Bureau of Labor and Industrial StatisticBiennial report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics of Nebraska → online text (page 1 of 11)