« AnteriorContinuar »
History of immigration-Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees and members of their households-Racial classification of employees at the present time--Reasons for employing immigrants-Method of securing immigrant labor-Progress of immigrants-Discrimination-[Text Tables 8 to 12 and General Tables 4 and 5].
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION.
Data showing in detail the history of immigration to the shirt, collar, and cuff making industry is, unfortunately, unavailable. The returns of the United States Bureau of the Census show, however, the general racial composition of the working force at certain periods. From the census figures it is possible to determine the movement of immigration to the industry.
The following table classifies the employees of the collar and cuff manufacturing industry, according to country of birth, in 1880:
TABLE 8.-Number of collar and cuff workers in the United States, by country of birth, 1880.
The census of 1880 fails to give figures by States. In the country as a whole there were, at the date of the census, 11,823 persons employed in the manufacture of collars and cuffs. Of these, 9,098 were native-born. Among the foreign-born employees persons born in Ireland had by far the largest representation, with natives of Germany in second place. Persons of British, Canadian, and Scandinavian birth were present in smaller numbers, and 506 workers were reported under the caption "other countries." It is clear from the table that, in 1880, the proportion of southern and eastern European workers employed in the industry must have been small.
In the following table the employees of the industry in 1890 are classified according to general nativity and country of birth:
TABLE 9.-Number of collar and cuff workers in the United States and in New York State, by general nativity and country of birth, 1890. [Compiled from United States Census Report, Occupations, 1890.]
In the above table data are presented for the United States as a whole and for the State of New York as well. It will be noted that the classification is somewhat more complete than that of the preceding census, native-born white employees being classified according to parentage. There were, in 1890, 8,627 collar and cuff workers in the State of New York and 20,532 in the entire country. Of the employees reported, 2,498 of those in the State of New York and 6,679 of those in the United States were native whites of native parents; 4,469 of those in New York and 8,870 of those in the United States were native whites of foreign parents; and 1,643 of those in New York and 4,983 of those in the United States were foreign-born whites. There were 17 colored workers in New York out of a total of 575 in the United States.
Among the foreign-born employees those of Irish nativity had by far the largest representation both in New York and the United States. In New York natives of Great Britain occupied second place, and natives of Germany third place, but in the United States as a whole there were many more natives of Germany than of Great Britain. There were 494 persons born in countries not specified in New York and 2,341 in the entire United States.
The next table presented is compiled from the returns of the census of 1900.
TABLE 10.-Number of collar and cuff workers in the United States and in New York State, by general nativity and country of birth of parents, 1900. [Compiled from United States Census Report, Occupations, 1900.]
In the foregoing table, as in that which preceded it, data are presented for the State of New York and for the United States. The classification is somewhat different from that of the preceding table. Instead of classifying foreign-born employees by country of birth, as did the censuses of 1880 and 1890, the census of 1900 classifies all employees by country of birth of parents and by general nativity. There were, in 1900, 19,542 collar and cuff workers in New York and 39,432 in the United States. In New York 6,721 employees were native whites of native parents, 8,537 were native whites of foreign parents, and 4,370 were foreign-born whites, while in the United States as a whole 15,857 employees were native whites of native parents, 15,174 were native whites of foreign parents, and 8,007 were foreign-born whites. There were 14 colored employees in New York, as compared with 394 in the country as a whole. As in the two preceding censuses, the native-born employees, both in New York and in the United States, greatly outnumber the foreign-born employees.
In New York, among employees having one or both parents born abroad those of Irish, German, Russian, and British parentage, in the order mentioned, had the largest and those of Scandinavian, Italian, and Italian parentage the smallest representation, while in the United States as a whole employees of Irish, German, Russian, British, and Canadian parentage, in the order mentioned, had the largest and those of Italian and Scandinavian parentage the smallest representation. There were 178 employees in New York whose parents were born in unspecified countries and 800 in the United States. From the above series of tables it is difficult to determine exactly at what period natives of southern and eastern Europe began to find employment in the shirt, collar, and cuff manufacturing industry. In 1900, while a very large proportion of foreign-born employees were of the races of old immigration, a number of workers of Russian and Italian race were reported.
The only recent immigrants employed in the collar and cuff industry in Troy, N. Y., are a few Poles in the laundries of two or three firms, and approximately 2,500 Armenians on buttonhole machines. However, relatively few of the Armenians are in the factories, since nearly all own their machines and take the work from the manufacturer on contract. Where the buttonhole machines are owned by the company and are operated in the factory, the operatives are Americans or Irish, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Scotch, and English, who are native-born of foreign father. The working force in all the collar and cuff factories in Troy is composed almost entirely of Americans or the above mentioned races of the second generation. It is doubtful if the total number of recently arrived immigrants employed in the collar and cuff factories of Troy will exceed 1,000 individuals. Though the Poles have been residents of Troy for a number of years and have been employed in the iron. and steel mills in the vicinity, it is only during the past three or four years that they have entered the collar and cuff industry. Here they are nearly all employed in the laundries that some of the firms maintain in connection with their factories. The Armenians have been employed since 1889, though the great majority have entered the collar and cuff industry since 1899. As already noted,
most of them are buttonhole-machine operators and nearly all of them work at home or in their own shops. A few are employed in the factories as ironers. A few Swedes, Germans, and Norwegians are employed in the industry, but the numbers are comparatively small and there has been no concerted immigration on the part of these races. Up to the present time (1909) there has been practically no race substitution in this industry. Very few, if any, of the old employees have been displaced by the Armenians and the Poles, and the employment of workers of these races is due entirely to the expansion of the industry in recent years.
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLDS.
The character of recent and past immigration to the industry may also be seen in the following series of tables, which show the period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees and members of their households. Length of residence in this country and period of employment in the industry are not necessarily identical, but they closely approximate each other. The first table submitted, which immediately follows, sets forth, by race of individual, the per cent of foreign-born persons in the households studied who had been in the United States each specified number of years.
TABLE 11.-Per cent of foreign-born persons in the United States each specified number of years, by race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 20 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]
The above table shows that of the total number of persons reporting 23.8 per cent have been in the United States under five years, 36.8 per cent have a residence of under ten years, while 51.1 per cent have been in this country under twenty years. Armenians report a very much higher percentage with a residence of under five years than the other races given, the Danes showing no persons with a residence of under five years, while the proportion of Irish and Germans is very small. Armenians continue to show a much higher percentage of persons with a residence of under ten years than the other races, Germans showing a very small proportion. Armenians
also show the highest percentage of persons with a residence of under twenty years, Irish and Germans in the order named showing the smallest per cent.
RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AT THE PRESENT TIME.
The racial composition of the operating forces of the industry at the present time is exhibited by the following table, which shows, by sex, the number and percentage of employees of each race for whom information was secured:
TABLE 12.-Employees for whom information was secured, by sex and general nativity and race.
The foregoing table includes information for a total of 1,508 persons. Of that number 13.4 per cent are foreign-born and 36.5 per cent are native-born of foreign father. Of the total number of males the foreign-born represent only 10 per cent and the nativeborn of foreign father represent 30 per cent. For each of these