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such imperial regulation both within, and outside of, parliament. But while imperial legislation upon the subject is lacking, it has for several years been a practise in
one imperial administrative office, the canal office in Kiel, to impose a restriction in respect to printing work done for that office by requiring that firms doing such work must pay their employees the wages prescribed in the national trade agreement in that industry, such an agreement between the employers and the employees
their unions, having been established in 1896 and since renewed with increasing number of firms adhering to it so that in April, 1903, it was in force in 4,251, or an overwhelming majority of the printing establishments in the empire, the total number of which in 1899 was about 4,000.
In several of the individual German states are to be found administrative decrees of various departments of government which have established general regulations touching labor on public work done for those departments. In Prussia there are such regulations in decrees of the minister of public works of July 15, 1885, October 28, 1891, June 28 and August 19, 1897 and one in 1899. Nearly all of these regulations were adopted also in the ministries of the interior or of agriculture, public domains and forests by decrees of those departments of August 11, September 11 and November 21, 1885, and September 29, 1897, in addition to which there is one special regulation of 1899 in the ministry of the interior. In Bavaria, conditions of employment. on public work are regulated in the ministries of the royal house, foreign affairs, justice, internal affairs and finance by a joint decree of April 2, 1903, which repealed an earlier one of September 7, 1864. In Württemberg such regulations are found in a decree of the ministers of the interior and finance of April 19, 1888, and of the minister of external affairs (division of commerce) of August 31, 1892, and in a joint decree of the ministers of commerce, the interior, and finance of January 19, 1903. In the grand duchy of Baden are regulations in a decree of the ministries of justice, culture and education, the interior, and finance bearing date of June 7, 1890, and in the grand duchy of Hesse are such in a decree of June 16, 1893, applying to all four of the government ministries-state, interior, justice and finance. In Alsace-Lorraine there are regulations similar to those in Prussia.
A number of the specific requirements in these various regulations are alike in different states. The most important of all of them are identical provisions in Bavaria and Württemberg, both dating from the above-mentioned decrees of 1903, which prescribe that bids for public work shall not be accepted from
employers whose employees work more than the prevailing hours of labor or who pay their employees less than the prevailing rates of wages in the particular branch of the industry in question. Further requirement touching wages and hours appears in the Württemberg decree in that contracts for public work must contain a stipulation that the employer shall be bound by the terms specified by him as to wages and working time or, where trade agreements between organizations of employers and of workmen exist, by the terms of such agreements. In connection with this general requirement as to observance of existing trade agreements, may be noted rules followed by the Prussian ministry of commerce and the ministries of the interior in Hesse and Saxony (this is the only regulation touching terms of employment on public work in Saxony) under which, as in the case of the imperial canal office in Kiel above noted, printing work is given only to firms which observe the terms of the standing trade agreement in that industry.
The above requirements of current wages and hours or observance of trade agreement (union) schedules, except those concerning printing, apply to all government work done for the respective departments issuing the decrees containing them. A further regulation touching wages particularly, but applying only to building work, is found in Prussia, Bavaria, Württembery, Baden and Hesse in provisions insuring prompt payment of wages by giving the government authority in case a contractor fails to fulfil his obligations to his employees promptly to itself pay the workmen, charging the same to the account of the contractor, and for proper execution of this provision the government may require the contractor to furnish the necessary information. In Prussia and Bavaria it is further directed that where a contract for building work specifies that labor at day wages shall be employed the lists of workers so employed shall be regularly submitted to government inspection to insure their correctness.
Home work in the case of goods for the government is to some extent restricted in the Bavarian decree of 1903 by a provision which directs the rejection of bids for government work from employers whose goods, when such are usually made in factories or shops, are given out for home work. Another restriction as to the kind of labor appears also in the same Bavarian decree with respect to building work for the government in a requirement that native labor shall be employed in preference to foreign and so far as possible workers shall be employed who live in the locality where the work is being done.
In a special decree of the Prussian ministry of the interior of 1899 is a “strike clause " applying to government building contracts, which provides that the penalties for failure to complete work within the time limit specified in the contract may be suspended by the government when such failure was due to a strike of the contractor's employees.
The remaining regulations of the individual German states concerning employment on public work have to do with the health and safety of employees and all are regulations applying only to building work. All five of the states which have been noted as having any general regulations touching employment on public work (Prússia, Bavaria, Würtemburg, Baden and Hesse), require that contractors doing government work shall insure their employees against sickness, accident and old age in according with the existing compulsory insurance laws; or, in Prussia, against sickness either under the general insurance law or in a special fund to be established for the purpose under the control of the government, and in all five of the states contractors are required to observe the police, or special, rules for the prevention of accidents. In Prussia and Bavaria are further requirements that the contractor must supply the necessary bandages and medical supplies for first aid to injured employees. Finally in all five states are provisions that where, in the opinion of the appropriate government authorities, sufficient accommodations for lodging and sustenance of employees do not exist, the employer must make the necessary provision therefor, and in Prussia the employer must always maintain suitable water closets for the use of employees.
Local Governments.-None of the German states has laid down any rules as to terms of employment which cities or other local governments are required to follow with respect to public work under their jurisdiction, although the Bavarian decree of 1903 recommends to the local authorities that they follow the lines specified in that decree. But not a few municipal or other local governments have established some regulations concerning the conditions of employment on local public work and, while these local authorities have been free from state requirements in the matter, for the most part the local regulations are patterned after those which the state governments have adopted as above described, though in some cases the former are more radical than the latter.
The German Imperial Statistical Bureau in 1903 collected from 57 of the larger German cities information as to the regulations in those cities touching conditions of labor on public work and the results of this investigation are to be published in the form of a special report. A brief preliminary summary of the results, so far as concerns regulation of wages,* published in the Reichs-Arbeitsblatt (the monthly journal of the division of labor statistics in the bureau of statistics) for April, 1903 (vol. I, Nr. 1), affords the following facts concerning the principal German municipalities. At the time of the preliminary report 55 of the 57 cities had replied to the Bureau's inquiries and of these 46 reported some general regulations established with reference to terms of employment on public contract work. In 19 of the 46 there were no requirements touching the rates of wages to be paid, and in 14 others there was only the requirement that lists of workers at daily wages should be subject to scrutiny by the city authorities. But in 13 of the 46 cities (Barmen, Cologne, Crefeld, Danzig, Fürth, Hannover, Königsberg i. Pr., Lübeck, Magdeburg, Offenbach, Strassburg, Stuttgart and Ulm) there were regulations concerning the rates of wages to be paid. Three of these 13 cities (Cologne, Stuttgart and Ulm) specified that contractors must pay the prevailing rates of wages in the locality, seven (Barmen, Crefeld, Danzig, Hannover, Königsberg i. Pr., Lübeck and Offenbach) that the employers must pay rates established by a formal wage contract, one (Magdeburg) that they must pay wages established by a special conference or by formal contract, while two (Fürth and Strassburg) provided that the minimum wages payable shall be fixed by the mayor or by a municipal wage commission. In Barmen it is provided that, in the absence of any special agreement to the contrary, wage rates for Sunday and overtime work shall be 50 per cent more than those for regular week-day work. In Offenbach there is a provision that in case a wage scale has not been agreed upon by the time the work in question is commenced the mayor of the city may fix the rates.
It will be seen that the provision for fixing of wage rates by the city itself in Fürth and Strassburg is more radical than any of the regulations of the German states above described. It would appear that this provision no longer exists in the city of Fürth since a summary of the city's rules for public contract work as established February 28, 1904, given in Sociale Praxis, contains no mention of it, although these rules of 1904 require
*A similar preliminary report as to "strike clauses" in the public work regulations of the principal German cities, published as this report is in press (Reichs-Arbeitsblatt, August, 1906, p. 729) shows that two of the 57 cities reporting (Bielefeld and Mülhausen i. S.) probibit the lengthening of the time specified for the completion of a contract on account of strikes or wage disputes. On the other hand four cities (Schöneberg, Altona, Gera and Stettin) take the opposite position and provide that in case of strike or general lockout the contract term shall be lengthened in amount equal to the duration of the stoppage of work. In the existing regulations of six cities (München, Frankfort a. M., Chemnitz, Charlottenburg, Augsburg, Strassburg i. S.) and in the proposed regulations of one other (Dresden) there is specific provision that the question of additional allowance of time on account of strikes or lockouts shall be settled by the municipal authorities for each case as it arises. In the remaining 45 out of the 57 cities nothing in the way of a "strike clause" was found.
that the prevailing rates of wages and hours of work in the industry and so far as such contracts exist, those fixed by existing trade agreements of employers and employed, shall be paid. It does not appear, however, that there has been any change or abandonment of the provision for the fixing of minimum wages by the city of Strassburg, and as that provision represents the most advanced type of regulation of the conditions of employment on public contract work in Germany the following details concerning it are of interest,* it being first noted in passing that one of the lesser German cities, Markirch, a neighbor to Strassburg in Alsace-Lorraine, followed the latter's example and adopted a similar provision within a few months after its adoption by Strassburg on February 3, 1902. The Strassburg regulation requires that every contractor for city work must pay (1) every employee a wage amounting to at least 272 marks (60 cents) a day, (2) to unskilled laborers a rate of at least 27 pfennigs (7 cents) an hour, and (3) to skilled workers hourly rates to be fixed by a city wage commission. This . wage commission is composed of the mayor of the city as president and six members chosen for terms of one year from the city council, three to be employers and three employees. For the case of workers actually unable to earn the rates prescribed by the regulation or the commission it is provided that the mayor of the city, upon request of both employer and employed, may in individual cases permit exception to the prescribed rates. It is required that the prescribed rates must be publicly posted in the work places (exceptions allowed to regular rates must also be kept public) and the city authorities are to have at all times the right to scrutinize pay rolls and control the payment of wages, and any obstruction offered to these requirements as to publicity or government control is punishable by a fine of 10 marks for each case.
It is of interest to know that the Strassburg plan of direct government regulation of wage rates on public work was adopted as the result of the discovery by the city authorities in 1901-2 that, owing to the large amount of unemployment then prevailing. contractors doing public work had frequently forced wages for capable workmen down below the minimum necessary to support a normal workingman's family. The plan of city regulation was adopted as a remedy for this condition of things and with the distinct purpose of assuring to employees on city work at least a “living wage" as its central principle.
ITALY. A general act of May 28, 1895, prescribes regulations concerning contracts for public work by the state. In that act two
*Cf. Sociale Praxis XI: 534