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the industrial insurance plan, at the accidental death of this individual only hospital bills and funeral expenses are paid. During the year 1910, $218,703.13 had been paid out for benefits. The average membership for the year was 23,246, or about two-thirds of all the employees.
WESTINGHOUSE AIR BRAKE CO.
The Westinghouse Air Brake Co. at Wilmerding, Pa., recently appointed an inspector of sanitation and safety. As the name implies, his duties are primarily to see that the machinery is properly guarded to afford protection to life and limb and that working conditions are as sanitary as possible. He has put in several safety devices, always requiring that the device be mechanical and move easily and without trouble. A part of his sanitation work has been to have the shops sprayed twice a week with a germicide-some coaltar product such as creolin. Notices are posted throughout the works calling attention to the importance of disinfection. Great care is taken to secure good ventilation.
The toilet rooms are in charge of a special janitor, and soap and towels are supplied by the company. Shower baths are provided in the foundry. There is a combination dining and rest room for the women employees in the shop. The company employs a cook and coffee is furnished free. Several extra women are steadily employed, so that the women operatives can easily absent themselves when they are ill without causing inconvenience to the company and loss of employment to themselves.
In addition to his safety and sanitation duties, the inspector has charge of the educational department for foreigners and of the relief department. Evening classes in English are conducted for the foreigners and a small fee charged. The relief department is the pioneer among the Westinghouse industries. The Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co. has modeled its relief work so exactly after this that the account given below is sufficient. For the month of September, 1910, $1,621.32 was disbursed, and during its seven years' existence, up to 1910, $128,670.12 has been expended for relief. There is a small emergency hospital at the shop, with a medical staff. The company, besides, maintains several cots in the hospitals in the vicinity.
The pension system was begun in 1908. The company laid aside $100,000 as a pension fund, and whenever it is necessary a further annual appropriation, not exceeding $10,000, is made. If, however, that sum should prove insufficient, a new basis of pension rates is to be made. All employees on reaching 70 years of age are to be retired, and those who have been in the company's employ continually for 20 years are pensioned. Employees between 65 and 69 years of age who have been 20 years employed by the company and who are incapacitated may be retired and pensioned, and persons who have been injured and incapacitated may likewise in the discretion of the board of pensions be pensioned. Certain precautions are, of course, taken to define incapacity, continuous service, etc. In order to become eligible for a pension employees under 50 years must apply for membership to the relief department. If the application is refused, however, they do not lose their eligibility for a pension. The monthly pension rate is 1 per cent for each year of continuous service, based on the average monthly wage during the last 10 years of service. Thus an employee who has been 30 years in the employ of the company and who received an average wage of $80 a month for the past 10 years will get a pension of $24 per month. In no case is a pension allowance less than $20 a month or more than $75. The pension system is administered by a board of pensions of five, appointed by the board of directors, and the members hold office during the pleasure of the directors. The pension board has discretionary powers in awarding pensions to individuals who nearly fulfill the requirements.
There is a handsome Y. M. C. A. in Wilmerding with 1,700 members, seven or eight hundred of whom are employees of the Air Brake Co. The company built and equipped the building and turned it over to the Y. M. C. A, as the best agent to administer it. It still acts as the directing head, however, through a welfare committee of five officers of the company, appointed by the company. Moreover, the seven directors of the Y. M. C. A. are selected with their approval. The company contributes handsomely and makes up any deficit. The clubhouse is equipped with the usual accompaniments of such a building, a swimming tank, an auditorium (seating 600 persons), a gymnasium, and classrooms of all sorts.
Here the apprentices of the Air Brake Co. attend school three hours a day three days a week for about three-fourths of the year. There are 40 of these and they are apprenticed for four years, receiving a bonus of $150 at the end of their apprenticeship. They are under a special superintendent, who devotes his entire time to them.
The Y. W. C. A., organized later and much smaller in its scope, has a membership of 250. In its building are lounging and lunch rooms, where free coffee is served at noon by the company. At the request of the company, the Y. W. C. A. operates two free kindergartens, one for the neighborhood children and another on the opposite side of the town for the foreign children.
When the Westinghouse Air Brake Co. settled at Wilmerding, it had, of course, to build houses to provide homes for its employees. The result is that about 80 per cent of the houses are owned by the company. It has been the steady policy to encourage the employees to own their homes, and accordingly the houses are sold to them on the installment plan. The company houses, which are very pleasing and well kept, are said to be lower in rent than those owned by outsiders. To provide pretty surroundings, premiums are awarded by the company for the best-kept lawns in the borough of Wilmerding, not only for company houses but for all.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC & MANUFACTURING CO.
The colossal works of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., at East Pittsburgh, Pa., employing 14,000 persons of all nationalities, presents an instance of welfare work well adapted to the needs of employer and employee. The character of the work is so highly technical and the industry so decidedly in its childhood, still with an ever-widening field of activity opening out before it, that it is but natural to expect that the employer's efforts should be directed toward promoting the employee's knowledge of the trade and increasing his skill. Thus the Casino Technical Night School, supported by the company, enables its students to study the fundamental principles of engineering and shopwork. While it allows persons not employed by the Westinghouse industries to attend the evening classes, the school is principally for Westinghouse industries. The regular four-year course consists of mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, foundry, pattern and machine shop practice, mechanical drawing, mechanics, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, and electricity. The graduates who are employed by the Westinghouse Electric Co. are eligible for application to the two-year engineering apprentice course. In addition to the four-year course a preparatory department offers instruction in reading, writing, spelling, etc., and there is a department in English for foreigners. There are 395 men students enrolled in this school. For the women of the community a two-year course of instruction in household arts, cooking and sewing, stenography, typewriting, and music is offered. One hundred and fifty-four women are enrolled. A small tuition fee is charged, $10 for men and $3 to $5 for women. Students are expected to attend regularly and are dropped for irregular attendance. The school work is conducted in a commodious modern public school building, with well equipped laboratories, in Turtle Creek, a town near by. The faculty numbers forty odd. The company contributes about $3,000 a year to the school, and furnishes the equipment.
The apprenticeship plan of the company embraces two kinds of apprenticeships, a trade and an engineering apprenticeship. The former is open to nontechnical men, and the latter only to graduates from technical schools and colleges. A two-year course of four hours · a week is given the trade apprentices under a capable staff of instructors, with pay for the time spent in the classroom. Two hundred and twenty-odd students are enrolled here.
The Westinghouse Club at Wilkinsburg was started by the company for its young engineers and now has a membership of 750. The members pay a small membership fee of $4, and $1 more for the use of the well-equipped gymnasium. An excursion section takes the members to the numerous mills and factories of the locality and a technical section furnishes lectures on transformers, railway equipment, motors, etc. Besides the educational feature, there are glee and mandolin clubs, dances, and other forms of entertainment.
The Electric Journal is a monthly publication issued by the company, to which the technical employees contribute. It has the second largest circulation of any electrical magazine.
Care has been taken to make the working conditions good by proper lighting and ventilation. The women employees' dressing rooms in the shop are in charge of a matron. There is no dining room for them, but hot coffee is taken out to them in the shop at noon. The office women have a dining room with rest-room facilities, etc. Near the works there is a food club for office employees, where they can get their noon meal. At one time the Casino Club-operated by the company for men employees—had a dining room for the men employees, but it has been abandoned. There are pool tables and bowl. ing alleys for their amusement, for the use of which a small fee is charged.
The company organized a relief department for the employees about five years ago. Members contribute from 50 cents up to $1.75 a month, according to the wages received. Sick and accident benefits are paid for a period of 39 weeks, ranging from $5 a week up to $16.25, according to the monthly contribution, and at death $100 to $150 is paid to the beneficiaries and the same amount is paid by the company. As is usual, the acceptance of disability benefits operates as a release of all claims against the company, unless within 10 days notice is given to the superintendent of the intention to seek indemnity.
In the government of the relief department the Westinghouse company preponderates. It exercises general power, takes charge of all the funds belonging to the department, is responsible for their safekeeping, and guarantees the integrity of the society. It pays interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum on the monthly balances in its hand; pays all the operating expenses of the department, about $12,000, besides providing the necessary rooms for the work. If the department is unable to meet its expenses, the company advances the money. The first vice president of the company appoints the super
intendent of the relief departments, and all other appointments, physicians and medical examiners, etc., are subject to his approval. The employees are represented through an advisory committee of 14, seven of whom are elected by themselves, one from each of the subdivisions of the shops. The other seven are appointed by the first vice president, who is ex officio member and chairman of the committee. Eight members and the chairman constitute a quorum. In the event of a clash between the workmen and the company, the balance of power lies with the company. No officer, foreman, assistant foreman, inspector, or office employee of the company is eligible for election to represent the members. The committee has general supervision of the workings of the department. To give some idea of the scale of the relief department, three doctors and general assistants are employed in addition to the superintendent, and there is a well-equipped and commodious emergency hospital. There are 7,000 members of the relief department—all men. The statement of the month of September, 1910, shows that 254 men received a total of $3,006.94 benefits--for sickness, $1,656.75; accident, $1,050.19, and death, $300. Since 1907, $71,827.61 has been paid out in benefits, $38,869.55 for sickness, $24,533.06 for hurts, and $7,425 for deaths.
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO.
The General Electric Co. at Schenectady, N. Y., shows consideration for the welfare of its employees in a number of ways. The workrooms are spacious, light, well ventilated, and clean. Where grinding is done, there are exhaust fans to rid the air of dust. Similarly the air in the buffing shop is excellent. The lavatory facilities are good. There are shower baths in the foundries and blacksmith shops, where it is necessary for employees to change their clothing before leaving. Elsewhere throughout the works there are individual washbasins. In most of the shops there are individual steel lockers, which are grouped about the room. It is said that the employees prefer to have their lockers where they work—under their eyes, so to speak. It has been claimed that where all the lockers are placed side by side, the chances of vermin spreading are much greater.
There are two splendidly equipped restaurants for the employees, one for the office force, and the other for the men. The men's restaurant was built at a cost of about $40,000. Nine hundred men are fed here at a time, and practically at cost. There is a lunch counter also. The company operates a farm to supply the restaurant with fresh vegetables. The women do not go to the restaurant; but in the principal buildings where they are at work there are lunch counters for them. Their orders for food are sent to the main restaurant and filled in the general kitchen. Tea, coffee, and cocoa are sold them at 2 cents a cup. They can secure a good luncheon for 15 cents.