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HOURS OF LABOR OF MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN EMPLOYED
IN FACTORIES IN AUSTRIA. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the regulations for the protection of workmen in factories, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Austrian Department of Commerce made a study of all the factory establishments in that country in the year 1906. The movement for a reduction in the hours of labor of factory employees had largely engaged the activities of the Austrian Labor Bureau, and especial attention was directed toward finding out in what industries and establishments the hours of labor had already been reduced below the maximum allowed by law. The information on which the study was based was collected by the factory inspection force of the Empire, and only those establishments were included which were subject to the factory inspection laws. For this reason a number of factories, especially iron and steel plants, which were subsidiary parts of mining establishments and therefore subject to the mininginspection department, were not included.
The definition of the term factory was of course based on the specifications of the factory laws. According to the ministerial decree of July 18, 1883, a factory is an industrial undertaking in which the production or working up of commodities takes place in workrooms in which more than 20 workmen are employed. Other characteristics are: The use of machines in the processes; a division of labor as distinguished from the artisan method of conducting production; the head of the establishment or proprietor is responsible for the conduct of the undertaking; the higher rates of taxation imposed; the business is conducted by firms, partnerships, corporations, etc. LEGAL REGULATIONS CONCERNING HOURS OF LABOR IN FACTORIES.
The law of March 8, 1885, provides that between the beginning and closing of the working day suitable periods or intermissions for rest must be given, amounting to not less than one and one-half hours per day. Unless special conditions in the establishments prevail, one hour of this time must be given for the midday meal, but if the time before or after the midday rest period amounts to five hours or less, then only the one hour for the midday period is required. In the case of night work, the same regulation applies, with the changes required by the difference in time. The minister of commerce, acting in agreement with the minister of the interior, may, on application of the chambers of commerce and industry, permit of a suitable reduction in the time of the rest periods where such is shown to be called for by the character of the technical operations.
1 Die Arbeitszeit in den Fabriksbetrieben Österreichs. Dargestellt vom K. K. Arbeitsstatistischen Amte im Handelsministerium. Wien, 1907.
In the following branches of industry a reduction in the duration of the rest period may be permitted, or rest periods may be arranged to fall at times permitted by the nature of the work carried on: Blast furnaces, coking plants, charcoal burning plants, puddling works, rolling mills, steel mills, foundries; enamel ironware works; copper, brass, metal, alloy working, etc.; blacksmithing, wheelwrighting; limekilns, cement plants, brickkilns, clay and porcelain factories; glass furnaces; and textiles, including dyeing, bleaching, printing, finishing, fulling, spinning, and mechanical weaving; paper and paper products; flour and similar mills; sugar factories and sugar refineries; sirup factories; bakeries and confectioneries; beer brewing, malting, distilleries; compressed yeast factories; artificial ice factories; chemical factories, including the manufacture of sulphuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, soda, saltpeter, potash, starch, and essential oils; also for zinc color factories, illuminating gas, newspaper printing plants, engine and boiler tenders, linoleum factories, macaroni, etc., factories. In the industrial operations mentioned in the preceding list, although definitely specified periods of rest during the course of operations may be transposed or distributed, it must, however, be understood that during the period of the shift the workmen must be granted adequate time for meals and for rest.
The factory inspection laws define a young person as one who is under 16 years of age. Young persons may not be employed for regular industrial operations between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.; however, the minister of commerce in agreement with the minister of the interior is authorized to change the limits of night work just specified, having due regard to the climatic conditions and other important circumstances, but such changes shall apply to specified categories of industries only. Under this authority the hours of labor for young persons have been fixed as follows: In scythe making male young persons working at the forge may be employed later at night or earlier in the morning on condition that they are changed from day to night shifts; in silk-spinning mills young persons during June and July may be employed earlier in the morning and later at night than the limits already specified, provided that proper rest periods are granted them; in bakeries ( Weissbäckereien) male young persons may be employed as apprentices in such bread bakeries as make only one baking during 24 hours, but such employment between 8. p. m. and 5. a. m. may not continue longer than 4 hours without a rest period.
In industrial establishments conducted as factories the hours of labor, not including the rest periods, shall not exceed 11 in any 24. However, the minister of commerce in agreement with the minister of the interior, after a hearing of the chambers of commerce and of industry, may draw up a list of those industries which on account of special circumstances can show reasons for increasing the daily hours of labor, and may grant an increase of 1 hour per day; this list must be revised every 3 years. In addition, the minister of commerce in agreement with the minister of the interior is authorized to make special regulations for those branches of industry which operate continuously in regard to special- hours of labor necessary for changing the shifts.
If unforeseen natural events or accidents have interrupted the regular operation of the establishment or if there is a special demand for labor, then the industrial (factory) officials of the lowest rank may permit a temporary increase of the hours of labor of individual establishments; such increases shall not be for longer than three weeks and if a longer period is desired, such grant shall be made by the political officials of highest rank. An increase in the hours of labor may in case of necessity and for not longer than three days in one month take place by reporting this fact to the industrial (factory) officials of the various provinces, etc.
The above provisions as to the hours of labor do not apply to work which is not a part of the regular factory work and which is necessary to be done before or after the regular work, such for instance as firing the boilers, arranging for the lighting, and cleaning, provided that such work is not done by young persons. All overtime work is to be paid for separately.
Establishments operating continuously may have a 12-hour shift, including the rest periods for special classes of workmen, subject to the decree of the ministry as above provided. This applies especially to the list of industries already enumerated.
In order to permit the weekly change from day to night work, any establishments operating continuously may be granted a working shift of 18 hours for one day in the week provided that it is not possible to arrange for two 6-hour or three 8-hour special shifts at the close of the week. But in order to change the shifts, the 24-hour shift for one day in the week is not permissible.
Women and young persons may not be employed in night work in industrial establishments conducted as factories. However, the minister of commerce in agreement with the minister of the interior, after a hearing of the chambers of commerce and of industry, may issue decrees that special categories of industrial operations may employ young persons 14 to 16 years of age and females for night work provided that an interruption of the operations, because of the special conditions prevailing in the industry, is not permissible or night work is absolutely necessary in order to make the weekly changes in the shifts. However, the total number of hours per day for such persons may not exceed the legal maximum in any 24 hours. The minister of commerce in accordance with this authority has permitted the employment at night of young persons 14 years of age and over and females in the following industries: Iron furnaces, glass furnaces, paper and rag pulp factories, sugar factories and sugar refineries, preserve factories, enamel stamped-ware factories; females 16 years of age and over may be employed at night in the cleaning and finishing of bed feathers, in machine lace factories, and in fez factories. In some of the factories just specified, the employment of women and children may occur only in special occupations. NUMBER OF FACTORIES AND OF MEN, WOMEN, AND YOUNG PERSONS
EMPLOYED. The number of establishments classified by the method of operation, and the number of employees classified by age and sex, are shown in the following table: NUMBER OF FACTORIES AND NUMBER OF MEN, WOMEN, AND YOUNG PERSONS
EMPLOYED IN EACH CLASS OF FACTORIES, BY INDUSTRY GROUPS, 1906.
NUMBER OF FACTORIES AND NUMBER OF MEN, WOMEN, AND YOUNG PERSONS EMPLOYED IN EACH CLASS OF FACTORIES, BY INDUSTRY GROUPS, 1906–Concl'd.
14,020 3,080 2, 428 1,870
480 1,477 463
1 Including males under 16 years of age.
2 Including females under 16 years of age. At the time of the 1906 investigation there were in Austria 12,594 factories, in which 1,037,601 persons were employed, of whom 728,920 were males and 308,681 were females. The latest industrial census of Austria was taken on June 3, 1902, and as the two enumerations were made at approximately the same season of the year, a comparison of the two sets of returns is of interest. In those groups of industries in which factory establishments occur (i. e., in all classes of productive industry, except hotels and restaurants, the building trades, and the industrial establishments engaged in itinerant trades), there were 494,607 establishments employing 2,274,759