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“No laborers shall be employed on or about the works hereby contracted for who are not citizens or residents of Canada, but the minister may in writing waive the provisions of this clause, either in general or to a limited extent, should he deem it expedient so to do.
“ The minimum rate of wages to be paid by the contractor for the labor of any foreman or workman, or the minimum rate of hire for any team, in or about the said works, shall not be less than the rate of wages generally accepted as current for competent workmen in the same or similar trades or classes of labor, or for the hire of teams, respectively, in the district where the work is being carried on,—to be determined in case of dispute by the minister or other officer authorized by him.
“The number of working hours for foreman or workmen in the day or week shall be in accordance with the custom for the same or similar classes of work or service in the district where the work is being carried on,--to be determined in case of dispute by the minister or other officer authorized by him."
Besides these conditions the following clauses were inserted in the contracts for the Intercolonial Railway:
In case any sum due for the labor of any foreman, workman or laborer, or for any team employed upon or in respect of the said works, or any of them, remains unpaid, the engineer may notify the contractor to pay such sum, and if two days elapse and the same be not paid, His Majesty may pay such sum, and the contractor covenants with His Majesty to repay, at once, any and every sum so paid, and if the contractor does not repay the same within two days, His Majesty may deduct the amount or amounts so paid by him from any sum that may then or thereafter be or become due by His Majesty to the contractor.
No laborer shall be employed in or for the work hereby contracted for, who is a citizen of any country which imposes restrictions upon the employment of Canadian labor.
Under the authority of that section of the “ Fair Wages” resolution which says: “It is hereby declared that the work to
“ which the foregoing policy shall apply includes not only work undertaken by the government itself, but also all works aided by grant of Dominion public funds;" the government caused a fair wage schedule to be incorporated in all subsidized works. In “The Railway Act, 1903” the spirit of the “Fair Wages resolution was formally incorporated in the law as follows:
“In every case in which the parliament of Canada votes financial aid by way of subsidy or guarantee towards the cost of railway construction, all mechanics, laborers or other persons who perform labor in such construction shall be paid such wages as are generally accepted as current for competent workmen in the district in which the work is being performed; and if there is no current rate in the district, then a fair and reasonable rate; and in the event of a dispute arising as to what is the current or fair and reasonable rate, it shall be determined by the minister, whose decision shall be final." 3 Edward VII, c. 58, 8 205.
The Department of Marine and Fisheries inserted in their contracts for marine machinery and supplies a clause as follows:
“The wages to be paid in the execution of this contract shall be those generally accepted as current in each trade for competent workmen in the district where the work is carried on. If this condition is violated, the said party of the second part (the minister of Marine and Fisheries] may cancel the contract and refuse to accept any work done thereunder.”
The Post-Office Department was the first to adopt regulations tending toward the suppression of the sweating system. The regulations are especially worthy of notice since it was in the government clothing contracts that the evil effects of the subcontracting system were first observed. The following are the conditions inserted in all contracts of the department.
With a view to suppressing the “sweating"system and securing payment to the workingmen and working women of fair wages, and the performance of the work under proper sanitary conditions, the contract for...
shall be subject to the following regulations, and strict compliance with the true spirit and intent of the various provisions herein contained will be required:Clause 1.-All...
included in the said contract shall be made up in the contractor's own factory, and no portion of the work of making up such....
shall be done at the houses of the work people. The contract shall not, nor shall any portion thereof, he transferred without the written permission of the Postmaster General, and sub-letting of the contract or of any of the work to be performed under the contract, other than that which may be customary in the trades concerned,' is hereby prohibited. Any infringement of the provisions of this clause or any of them, if proved to the satisfaction of the Governor in Council, shall render the contractor liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars for each offence, which may be deducted from any moneys payable to...... under the contract, and if the amount earned by the contractor under the contract and still in the hands of the government he insufficient to meet the amount of such fines, then the government may apply the sum in their hands towards payment of the amount of such fines, and may recover the deficiency from the contractor in any action, suit or proceeding by way of information in any court of competent jurisdiction as a debt by the contractor to the Crown as a liquidated amount, and any Order in Council fixing the amount of such deficiency shall be conclusive proof of the amount of such deficiency in any such action, suit or proceeding. Clause 2.-If the contractor violate the condition herein mentioned against sub-letting......
... shall not be entitled to receive any payment under the contract for work done by the sub-contractor, and the Postmaster General may refuse to accept any work performed by a sub-contractor in violation of the prohibition herein contained against sub-letting.
Clause 3.-The wages to be paid in the execution of this contract shall be those generally accepted as current in each trade for competent workingmen and working women in the district where the work is carried out. If this condition is violated, the Postmaster General may cancel said contract, and refuse to accept any work thereunder.
Clause 4.-All workingmen and working women employed upon the work comprehended in and to be executed pursuant to the said contract shall be residents of Canada.
Clause 5.-The contractor shall not be entitled to payment of any money which would otherwise be payable under the terms of the contract in respect of work and labor performed in the execution thereof, unless and until.
.shall have filed in the office of the Postmaster General in support of
claim for payment a statement showing the names, rates of wages, amounts paid, and amounts (if any) due and unpaid for wages for work and labor done by any foremen, workingmen or working women employed upon the said work, and such statement shall be attested by the statutory declaration of the said contractor or of such other person or persons as the minister may indicate or require, and the contractor shall from time to time furnish to the Postmaster General such further detailed information and evidence as the Postmaster General may deem necessary, in order to satisfy him that the conditions herein contained to secure the peyment of fair wages have been complied with and that the workingmen and working women so employed as aforesaid upon the portion of the work in respect of which payment is demanded have been paid in full.
Clause 6.-In the event of default being made in payment of any money owing in respect of wages of any foreman, workingmen or working women employed on the said work, and if a claim therefor is filed in the office of the Postmaster General and proof thereof satisfactory to the Postmaster General is furnished, the said Postmaster General may pay such claim out of any moneys at any time payable by His Majesty under said contract, and the amounts so paid shall be deemed payments to the contractor.
Clause 7.- No portion of the work shall be done by piecework.
Clause 8.--The number of working hours in the day or week shall be determined by the custom of the trade in the district where the work is performed for each of the different classes of labor employed upon the work.
Clause 9.-The workingmen and working women employed in the performance of the said contract shall not be required to work for longer hours than those fixed by the custom of the trades in the district where the work is carried on, except for the protection of life and property, or in case of other emergencies.
The Department of Militia and Defence has large clothing contracts under its jurisdiction. To prevent "sweating" by contractors, the following clauses are embodied in all contracts for supplies :
With a view to suppressing the sweating system and securing payment to the workmen of fair wages, and the performance of the work under proper sanitary conditions, this contract shall be subject to the following regulations, and strict compliance with the true spirit and intent of the various provisions herein contained is required.
Sec. 1.--All articles included in the contract shall be made up in the contractor's own factory, and no portion of the work of making un such articles shall be done at the houses of the workpeople. The contract shall not, nor shall any portion thereof be transferred without the written permission of the Minister of Militia ani Defence and sub-letting of the contract or of any of the work to be performed under the contract, other than that which may be customary in the trades concerned, is hereby nrohibited. Any infringement of the provisions of this clause, or any of them, if proved to the satisfaction of the Governorin Council, shall render the contractor liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars for each offence which may be deducted from any moneys payable to him un ler the contraet.cand if the amount earned by the contractor under this contract and still in the hanıls of the government be insufficient to meet the amount of such fines, then the government may apply the sum in their hands towards payment of the amount of such fines, and may recover the deficiency from the contractor in any action, suit or proceeding hy way of information in any court of competent jurisdiction as a debt due by the contractor to the Crown as a liquidated amount, and any Order in Council fixing the amount of such deficiency shall be conclusive proof of the amount of such deficiency in any such action, guit or proceeding.
Sec. 2.-If the contractor violates the condition herein mentioned against sub-letting, he shall not be entitled to receive any payment under the contract for work done by the subcontractor, and the Minister of Militia and Defence may refuse to accept any work performed by a sub-contractor in violation of the prohibition herein contained against sub-letting.
Sec. 3. --The wages to be paid in the execution of the contract shall be those generally accepted as current in each trade for competent workmen in the district where the work is carried on. If this condition is violated, the Minister of Militia and Defence may cancel the contract and refuse to accept any work done thereunder, and the contractor will thereafter not be allowed to undertake any work for the Department of Militia and Defence. Sec. 4.---The factory, and the work there being performed under the contract, shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by persons thereto authorized in writing by the Minister of Militia and Defence.
Sec. 5.--Before being entitled to payment of any money, which the contractor may from time to time claim to be due him under the contract, he shall file with the Minister of Militia and Defence, in support of such claim, a solemn statutory declaration of himself and of such others as the Minister of Militia and Defence may indicate, testifying to the rates of wages paid in execution of this contract, and to the manner in all other respects in which the provisions of the contract have been observed and the work performed, and generally setting forth such information as the Minister of Militia and Defence may require, and as will enable him to determine whether, and if so in what respects, any of the provisions of this contract may have been
violated. In the case the contractor's absence from the country his extreme illness, or death, but under no other circumstances may such statutory declaration by the contractor personally be dispensed with; but, nevertheless, such other statutory declarations as aforesaid as the Minister of Militia and Defence may call for, shall be so filed.
As an additional safeguard, the rates of wages and number of hours constituting a day's work for each class of workers, are published on a large majority of government contracts in The Labour Gazette.
In order to secure the proper execution of the “Fair Wages resolution a special officer known as the “Fair Wages ” officer was appointed March 12, 1900, and later a second officer with the same title was appointed. His duties are threefold. First, the preparation of schedules of rates of wages and other labor conditions for insertion in departmental contracts; secondly, investigation of complaints concerning the violation of contracts in reference to the “Fair Wages" clause; and, finally, answering inquiries regarding conditions of labor in various localities. The methods employed in the determination of rates of wages and conditions of labor are as follows:*
On receiving notice from any of the government departments that they are about to call for estimates for a public work in a certain district, the fair wage officer goes immediately to that section and makes an investigation of the current rates of wages in that district. On the basis of the investigation a table of rates of wages to be paid by the contractor is drawn up and included in the specifications. After the contract has been let, the schedule of rates of wages and the value of the contract is published in the Labour Gazette.
In general the operation of the “Fair Wages” clauses has met with no serious objection from the governmental departments and has resulted in great good to the laborers. The Minister of Labor in summing up the work of the Fair Wage branch says:
“The experience of the past three years has considerably perfected the working out of the Fair Wages policy of the government, as between the several departments, with the result that to the departments themselves the utility of the insertion of labor clauses and schedules in contracts has been demonstrated, and the fears at first anticipated of delays or possible friction arising in connection with the preparation of Fair Wages schedules has been shown to be unfounded. The number of departments requesting schedules and the number of schedules requested by each department has increased, but very little complaint has been made on the score of delay, whilst the department has yet to learn of any serious objection to the rates of wages which it has fixed for insertion in the several contracts. The Fair Wages officers have become better acquainted with industrial conditions in the
*Proceedings of the Association of Officials of Bureaus of Labor Statistics of America, 1901, pp. 174-180.
different parts of the Dominion, and schedules which formerly could be prepared only after a personal visit to the locality, of one of the Fair Wages officers, can now in many cases be prepared in the department from the information at hand.”
AUSTRALIA. In the colony of Victoria no general measure has been passed requiring the insertion of a minimum rate of wages clause in all government contracts. But the department of works, the municipal government at Melbourne, the Metropolitan office and many local authorities have incorporated such clauses in their contracts. These clauses, in most cases, stipulate a minimum wage-rate to be determined by existing trade agreements. In July, 1896, a further extension of the principle was made by the colony in requiring that all government contracts for clothing, furniture and bakery products should contain a clause establishing a minimum wage-rate and a maximum work-day. An investigation of the condition of labor on railways operater by the State revealed the fact that wages were considerably higher than on those roads controlled by private capital.
In New South Wales contractors on public works are required to pay a minimum rate of wages. Any violation of the contract is punishable by a fine of $250, either for contractor or sub-contractor. Contractors are also forbidden to employ workmen more than 48 hours per week and no workman may be employed who has not been in the colony at least six months.
In Queensland there is no direct provision for a minimum rate of wages but some clauses intended to improve the condition of workmen on government contracts have been adopted. Wages must be paid at least once a month and at the workplace. The contractor is forbidden to sell any alcoholic liquors to his employees. He is also liable for any violations of the contract by a sub-contractor.
In New Zealand an act was passed August 16, 1900, providing that all government and municipal contracts exceeding $100 should contain a clause binding the contractor to observe such length of working day and to pay such rates of wages and other remuneration for working days and for overtime respectively as are generally considered in the locality to be usual and fair. The maximum length of the work-day shall not exceed eight hours, exclusive of overtime.
It is generally known that Australasia has advanced the idea of the “living wage” to a point far beyond any other modern legislation. The compulsory arbitration acts of New Zealand and New South Wales necessarily result in government regulation of wages to a considerable extent, and the colony of Victoria has gone still further by creating Wages Boards in more