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facture or sale of adulterated foods, by means of the establishment of a Dairy Commission, which has been productive of much good, in causing to disappear from the markets of Connecticut the impure and unhealthful imitations of butter, adulterated molasses, vinegar and other food products, and, in addition to this, the State, through its department of Factory Inspector, has had watchful care over the thousands of mechanics and laborers within its borders, and seen to it that all due diligence is used by employers and managers, that the lives, limbs and health of its citizens shall not be endangered by the use of unfit or dangerous machinery, and compelling a proper observance of the laws of health in the matter of sanitation and ventilation.
Thus it would seem, that the State should extend its beneficence still further and by enactment of law enable the people, who by force of association and circumstances, are most liable to use as food the unfit, health-destroying and death-dealing products of the underground cellar bake shops, which now disgrace some localities of the cities of the State. The proposed act which will be found printed on Page 268 of this report, and which is to be introduced at the incoming session of the General Assembly, is the result of the best efforts and thought of those interested in the formulation of a law which shall meet the requirements of existing conditions. Similar laws are now in force in many of the States and have gone far in destroying the traffic in unclean and unhealthful food products.
ALIEN LABORERS. The law concerning alien laborers, enacted by the General Assembly of 1895, has hardly accomplished the object for which it was intended, but has in degree only, effected its purpose. It may be said with truth, that the evils of the padrone system as they existed previous to the enactment of the Statute empowering the commissioner of the bureau of labor statistics to appoint special agents, whose duty was to be to inform foreign laborers ignorant of the English language, as to their right of contract under the law of the State, have in a measure been remedied, yet complaints are still made of advantages taken of Italian and other alien laborers by unscrupulous employers, who, while escaping legal punishment by means of technicalities, are deserving of condemnation, and the law should be so amended as to render a conviction under it more easy of accomplishment. To withhold
wages from ignorant employes by overcharges for supplies furnished is an offense against moral if not human law, and should not be permitted.
PROTECTION OF MOTORMEN. Laws for the protection of motormen from the inclemency of the weather in certain seasons of the year are greatly needed in Connecticut. The States of Minnesota and Michigan have taken the initiative in the direction of legislation in the interests of employes of street railways, which example might well be followed in this State, that citizens compelled to expose themselves to the dangers incident to their employment, should have proper protection from climatic influences during the Winter season. The enforced use of vestibuled cars by street railroad corporations during the colder months of the year would go far toward the saving of health and prevention of serious diseases, and the attention of legislators should be brought to this most important subject.
STATISTICS OF MANUFACTURES. The statistics of manufactures as compiled in this report, while giving the returns from a lesser number of establishments than were reported in the eleventh Annual Report of the Bureau, yet the information secured, covers a much larger field of inquiry and has the merit of containing results concerning matters which heretofore had not been made the subject of investigation. The very complete and satisfactory statements made by so large a number of manufacturers, with reference to wages paid, is sufficient evidence that the work of the Bureau is such as to inspire public confidence in the value of its investigations and researches. Moreover, the number of establishments, the statements of which are contained in the tabulated result, by no means represent the full number making reports, many having been eliminated from the calculation, on account of the lack of information in some particular, many neglecting to state amount paid in wages, others ignoring the inquiry as to number employed. It may be said, however, that refusals to comply with the request of the Bureau were the exception rather than the rule, and almost entirely confined to the smaller establishments of which information was sought. The managers in most cases vouchsafing the information that they were unable to make the desired statement. The fact that the Bureau successfully conceals the identity of all establishments reporting to it, ought, in a measure, influence those who are delinquent in this respect to furnish future data for general compilation.
MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION. The State Board of Mediation and Arbitration have made no official report. Information secured by the Bureau, however, developes the fact, that they were called to act in an official capacity in but one instance during the year, that being in the matter of a labor difficulty existing between employer and employed at Bridgeport, which difficulty remains in an unsettled condition at the date of the close of this report. The efforts made by the Board to effect a settlement of the trouble by arbitration being unavailing.
The large amount of labor attending the collection of statistical material for this report, necessitated the gratuitous and valuable assistance of many members of Boards of Assessors, Judges of Probate, Town Clerks and others, who rendered invaluable aid to the agents in their work. The Bureau, therefore, tenders them most sincere thanks for the very courteous treatment it has received at their hands.
MACHINERY AND LABOR. Many writers on the subject of economics contend that the use of labor saving machinery tends to displace and degrade labor ; that the use of advanced and perfected mechanical devices increases the amount produced and is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in gains to labor. Arthur T. Hadley, Professor of Political Economy in Yale University, writing on this subject in his recent publication "Economics,” says:
“There are three evils which the opponents of private capital charge against machinery, as now managed and operated :
“1. That it displaces a large amount of human labor, thus taking income away from employes and giving it to employers.
“2. That when it does not actually drive human labor out of use, it employs it in circumstances unfavorable to efficiency, health and morals.
“3. That, under the best conditions, it deprives the workman of independence, making a specialized machine, instead of a broad-minded man.
“The first charge, in its wider shape, is obviously belied by the facts. Machinery has not displaced labor. On the contrary, there has been a conspicuous increase of employment in those lines where improvements in machinery have been greatest. The number of persons engaged in manufacturing and transportation to-day bears a far larger proportion to those engaged in agriculture than was the case two or three generations ago. The urban population makes more use of machinery than the rural population, and it is a conspicuous fact that our cities have grown faster than the country as a whole. Whatever else machinery may have done, it certainly has not kept labor out of mechanical industries.
“Nowhere have modern methods been more strikingly exemplified then in transportation industries. By the use of the railroad, a single man is enabled to do work which formerly would have been hardly within the capacity of a thousand men. On this very account the introduction of railroads was regarded with distrust by large classes of the community. It was thought that teamsters, hostlers, and innkeepers would be thrown out of employment, and that there would be no work left for them to do. But it has turned out that the development of the railroad has given additional work to the very classes which it was expected to antagonize. While the efficiency of human labor in transportation has increased a thousand fold, the volume of goods and passengers transported has increased much more than this. The services of collection and delivery of freight at stations now employ as many men and horses as were engaged in the whole movement of freight a century ago. The entertainment of modern travelers affords occupation to a larger number of innkeepers than were supported by the few passengers who ventured to take long journeys in ancient times. The cheapening of transportation attendant upon the use of improved appliances, has called forth a development of travel and of freight shipment more than proportionate to the increased efficiency of service. The aggregate demand for labor in these lines has become greater instead of less.
“Nor is this experience with railroad travel an isolated or accidental one. It is characteristic of the effects of modern mechanical processes, wherever they have been applied on a large scale. The work of machinery is generally of such a kind that it can be made profitable only by extensive public use. If a community can buy but ten pairs of shoes in a year, it will be more economical to have shoes made by hand, no matter what machinery may be invented. In order to obtain the advantage of the best modern processes of manufacture we must make a hundred thousand pairs a year. The cconomy of the introduction of a machine consists, not in making the old product at less expense and with less labor, but in making a much larger product with the same labor. What is called labor saving machinery is in fact not labor saving, but product making. It can only become profitable by meeting the wants of the community as a whole, and not those of a few rich men." .