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than a score of industries for the express purpose of abolishing sweating methods thro' the establishment of an official minimum wage, which must be paid by all employers in those industries.*

*A review of the work of the Wages Boards of Victoria, 1897-1901, may be found in the Quarterly Journal of Economics," August, 1903.




Regulation for the common government of the dual monarchy of the conditions of employment on public contract work occurs only in connection with the army and navy department. The military authorities require of contractors for building work that they shall carefully protect their workmen from bodily injury and fulfil the statutory requirements as to sickness and accident insurance. The naval authorities require for building contracts that the bodily safety of employees shall be carefully guarded, that wages shall be paid fortnightly, that the employer shall care for sick or injured workmen and shall observe all rules established by the health authorities in case of epidemic diseases.

Austria. No general regulation of the conditions of employment on public work with a view to the protection of labor exists in the Austrian Empire. For one special line of work, however, the Austrian parliament has legislated with that end in view. When in 1892 provision was made for extensive improvement and construction of canals and railways in the city of Vienna, agitation was started by workingmen's organizations for the enactment of special regulations concerning employment on the proposed work, including the fixing of minimum wages and maximum hours and the extension of the provisions for the protection of labor in the factory laws to such work. The final result of this movement was the passage of a law of August 27, 1892, which provided for the appointment of a government inspector to inspect the proposed. work as it was carried on, such inspector to be subject to all the provisions of the existing factory laws and his duties to be similar to those prescribed for factory inspectors, it being specially required that the inspector should report annually exact information as to wages, working time, housing and sanitary conditions of employees on the proposed public works. Carrying out the intent of this law the special commission in charge of the construction of the works formulated "labor regulations," which all contractors must observe as part of the regular conditions of the contracts and which, under their own terms, should constitute a part of the contract of employment between employer and his employees and should be publicly posted at the work-places. These "regulations," were similar to those of the existing factory laws, so far as applicable to the work

of canal or railway construction in question, including rules as to employment and dismissal of workers, restrictions upon the employment of women and minors, protection of the health and safety of employees, regulation of working time, discipline, payment of wages, sickness and accident insurance, first aid for minor injuries or illness, etc.

This plan of application of the factory acts to public contract work was duly carried out in the execution of canal and railway work in Vienna and results thereunder were evidently favorable, for in a law of June 11, 1901, making general provision for canal construction in Austria, precisely the same policy is followed and provision for special government inspectors and application of the factory regulations to such work is made in terms nearly identical with those of the law of 1892.

The special report on the protection of labor on public contract work, published in 1900 by the Austrian Bureau of Labor Statistics, sets forth at length a number of requirements which several of the individual state departments have established for the particular class of public works with which each has to do. Without attempting to enumerate these in full here, mention may be made of those followed in the ministries of the interior and of railways, these being the most important and including practically all of those in any of the departments. In the ministry of the interior there are (1) for work in the construction of buildings no regulations established by departmental decree but a regular practise of requiring the contractor to adopt precautions to insure the safety of his workmen and to pay in the contributions for the sickness insurance of his workmen under the insurance law; (2) in connection with street and marine construction work there are requirements established by department orders for the adoption of proper rules to protect employees against bodily injury, for insurance against accident and sickness in accordance with the insurance laws, for care of sick or injured workmen by the employer, for fortnightly payment of wages, and for provision, in case of need, of sleeping and boarding accommodations at low cost to the employees. Less as a protection for employees than as a general health regulation the minister of the interior, as the highest health authority of the empire, has also frequently directed careful attention by the local authorities to sanitary conditions where large numbers of workpeople are brought together on construction work. More far reaching protective measures in the interest of employees are found in the requirements of the ministry of railways which apply to all railway construction work and which are in many respects similar to the requirements of the factory acts. These include fortnightly payment of wages

in cash, prohibition of compulsion upon workmen to buy goods in certain places, or the giving of credit to workers for necessaries of life or spirituous liquors as a charge upon their wages, payment of workmen by the government authorities upon the contractor's account in case of the latter's remissness in this direction, provision by the employer when necessary, of proper sleeping and boarding accommodations at moderate cost for employees, observance of rules for the prevention of accidents, care of sick or injured and burial of deceased employees at the employer's expense, insurance of employees against accident and sickness by the employer in accordance with the insurance laws, and the requirement of the formulation and publication of special rules conforming to the regulations in the factory acts touching the employment of women and minors, working time, payment of wages, care of employees in cases of illness or accident, powers and duties of superintendents, penalties for infringement of the rules, and manner of terminating employment. In addition to the above it is provided by the ministry of railways with reference to strikes that the contractor shall be freed from the terms of his contract on account of strikes only when he can show that the strike began or continued through no fault of his.

The Austrian report of 1900 sets forth the requirements of contractors in the interests of their employees found in the different Austrian provinces and cities or towns. Only one of those of the provinces does not appear among those above noted for the imperial government, namely one in Bohemia in connection with railway construction work requiring that the employees shall be as a rule citizens of Austria, and preferably citizens of Bohemia, a requirement of the same sort being found also in Galicia. The other provincial requirements enumerated include regulations for railroad construction work in Bohemia and Galicia precisely like those above described as in force in the imperial ministry of railways, requirement of employees' sickness or accident insurance in accordance with the insurance laws in Moravia and Vorarlberg and likewise in these two provinces, as also in Carniola, the requirement of precautions against bodily injuries to employees, and a provision in Silesia for payment of work people by the government, to be charged to the account of the contractor, in case the latter is found remiss in his obligations to the employees. Concerning the Austrian cities or other local communities, the report notes in general the frequent absence of any regulations for the protection of labor in the letting of public work contracts and that where restrictions do occur in contracts as let from time to time, usually without the existence of any formal regulations governing the practise, they

are limited for the most part to requirements that the contractor shall carry out the insurance laws and obey the existing police building and industrial regulations. An exception to this appears in Vienna where in connection with river and canal construction work the city authorities have added to the "labor regulations" established by the imperial commission having general supervision of such work under the law of 1892 as above described, prohibition of compulsion upon workers to buy goods in certain places, or the giving of credit to workers for spirituous liquors as a charge against their wages, requirement that the contractor must observe all the government rules for insuring the safety of the workers, and a provision which precludes any concession of time in case of strikes by declaring that shortage in the supply of labor or rise in wages shall not excuse any failure to fulfil the contract terms. A unique provision in Vienna is noted in connection with the construction of the city gas works in that the employer was bound, upon request of municipal building authorities, to erect a shed, or other proper place, in which wages should be paid. The city of Salzburg is quoted as requiring on all important construction work that not more than 50 per cent. of the employees should be Italians.

Hungary. The general conditions for contracts for state building, street and marine construction work in Hungary are specified in a regulation of the ministry of commerce of 1887. With respect to the protection of labor on such work, it is therein. required of contractors that they shall provide for the personal safety of their employees and for order in the workplaces and for the care and medical treatment of sick or injured employees at the contractor's own expense; that in case of epidemic sickness the requirements of the health authorities shall be promptly observed; and that if needed, in the opinion of the government authorities, the contractor shall provide dwelling or boarding accommodations for employees. A later regulation of the minister of commerce, bearing date of December 19, 1897, directs that all contracts for public work of any kind shall contain a clause making the contractor responsible to his employees for the payment of wages and requiring the posting at the workplaces of the wage-rates agreed upon and of the time of wage payments and that the state superintending authorities shall be informed thereof and of any changes therein.


Up to the present time there has been no general regulation of conditions of employment on public work by the imperial government in Germany, although there have been movements for

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