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age, but the number for whom such lower rates are permitted must not, except by special permission, exceed 10 per cent of the total employees. A change in the fixed minimum rates for overtime (when such is permitted by the authorities) is made from 10, 20 and 30 per cent advances over regular rates for the first, second and third hours respectively and a 50 per cent advance for time after the third hour, as in 1894, to a rate ten per cent higher for the first and second hours, 25 per cent higher for the third and fourth hours and 50 per cent higher for time after the fourth hour, with a special rate in the case of workers by the week, of 1-50 of their regular weekly pay for each hour of overtime. Work on Sundays or holidays in 1894 was to be paid a rate 50 per cent above the regular rates, while under the 1904 schedule workers by the day are to receive for such work double the regular rates and workers by the week a rate equal to 1-35 of their regular weekly pay.
The regulations of several of the cities or communes besides Amsterdam, which have been found in the course of this investigation, vary considerably as to the number of requirements they contain, some covering simply the two fundamental matters of maximum hours and minimum wages, while others are as extensive as those for Amsterdam outlined above, In none of them, however, have been found any features other than those which have already been enumerated as existing in Amsterdam or in the regulations of the Department of Waterways, Commerce and Industry of the central government, of such importance as to demand special mention here except, perhaps, a provision of the regulations in Zutphen, a commune of less than 20,000 inhabitants. This aimed to protect employees on government work from the injury of sudden unemployment by requiring that in case of sudden interruption of work due to negligence on the part of the contractor the latter shall pay the employees rendered idle by the interruption wages for five and one-half hours per day. during the interruption of work, such payment to cease, however, after the interruption has lasted a week.
An interesting feature in Dutch practice in connection with the regulation of terms of employment on public contract work is the service which has been rendered by the “ chambers of labor” in the determination of the conditions to be prescribed. The chambers of labor are local bodies composed of equal numbers of members elected by employers and employees respectively, whose functions combine those of bureaus of labor statistics and of joint committees for negotiations between employers and employees. They were established by a law of May 2, 1897, and in January, 1904, there were 90 chambers in existence in 38 of the principal cities and communes. These chambers are naturally in close touch with local industrial conditions and the reports of their work indicate that it is a common, though not universal, practice both of the local and of the central governments, in determining minimum wage rates, maximum hours, etc., to be inserted in contracts for public work, to seek advice or information from the chambers either on the occasion of the establishment of such conditions for the first time or for purposes of revision of conditions already established.
SCANDINAVIA. The Austrian report of 1900 mentions Norway only of the Scandinavian countries as having established labor protective regulations for public contract work and it does not appear that there has been any legislation upon the subject since 1900 in either Norway or Sweden. The Norwegian regulations quoted by the Austrian Bureau, so far as concerns the central government comprise, besides a specific requirement of the accident insurance law of 1894 making such insurance compulsory for any work to which the law applies when done for the central or local governments, certain requirements with respect to contract work in the construction of roads or railways which were established in accordance with a government order of 1880 directing that all government work of whatever sort should, as a rule, be contracted out. Under this order several of the government departments formulated the conditions to be required in connection with government work, but none of these contained regulations in the interest of work people except those for road and railway construction work. The latter require (1) that in case of the sickness of employees the employer shall support and provide medical care for them for, at the most, four weeks, if the illness lasts more than three days and can be treated at home, there being no obligation upon the employer if the employee is treated in hospital; and (2) that wages shall be paid in cash at least once a month and if the employer fails to do this the government authority letting the contract, upon complaint of the employees and proof of the circumstances, may pay the wages due and charge the same on the contractor's account.
The same requirements as above are quoted as having been adopted by the capital city, Christiana, for its harbor works with the modification that wages shall be paid weekly instead of monthly and the obligation to care for sick employees holds whether treatment be at home or in hospital. The Christiana conditions further specify that employees must be preferably Norwegian and that not over 30 per cent may be foreigners except by special permission.
In 1892 the Norwegian minister of public works appointed a special commission to consider the question of revising the existing regulations concerning government contract work. The recommendations of this commission touching the matter of protection of employees, although, as already indicated, apparently never adopted and although in nowise radical, are worth noting. They proposed the requirement of care of sick employees and monthly payment of wages, as in previous practice for road and railway work, and in addition that wages should be paid at, or near to, the work places, that the employer should take all need ful precautions to safeguard his employees against bodily harm and that coutractors found repeatedly guilty of failure to fulfil their obligations to employees should be refused further contracts.
Of some interest in connection with the government rule in favor of the contract system which was established in 1880, as above noted, is the fact that in 1894 the Norwegian parliament, the Storthing, passed a resolution favoring the contracting out of government work only when special circumstances demand it on the ground that the interests of society call for the execution of public work directly by the government.
SPAIN. While the fixing of the terms of employment on contract work for the government in Spain is left entirely to private agreement between employer and employees, a royal decree of June 20, 1902,* provides for the settlement of any disputes over the fulfillment of the terms agreed upon. The decree provides that every government contract shall stipulate, (1) that the working agreement between contractor and employees shall specify exactly the duration of the agreement, the mode of its termination or suspension, the hours of work and rates of wages; and (2) that all differences concerning the fulfilment of the agreement shall be submitted to the local “council for social reform which shall intervene as arbitrator under the presidency of the government authority, with such appeal from the council's decision as is allowable under the law of civil procedure. The “councils for social reform” referred to were established in connection with the law of March 13, 1900, concerning the employment of women and children.† They are charged with the duties of factory inspection, collection of labor statistics, formation of joint tribunals of employers and employees and hearing of complaints from either class. There are
*Cf. Annuaire de la Législation du Travail, 1902, p. 125, or the British Labour Gazette, 1902. p. 193.
Cf. Bulletin of the New York Department of Labor, Vol. II, (1900) p. 140.
local and provincial councils. The local councils, to which under the decree of 1902 disputes concerning existing terms of employment on government work are to be submitted, are composed of equal numbers of employers and workpeople, together with a representative of the ecclesiastical authority and a representative of the civil authority, the last named being president of the council.
The decree of 1902 applies to all contract work done for either the royal, provincial or municipal governments. If provincial or municipal authorities infringe any of the provisions of the decree they are to be held responsible therefor as administrators, without affecting their responsibility in any other direction.
SWITZERLAND. Notwithstanding the fact that for several years there have been considerable agitation, and repeated effort, for legislation upon the subject, thus far government regulation of public contract work in the interests of labor in Switzerland has been undertaken by only three of the cantonal governments, such regulation being found in a Geneva law of November 2, 1897, a Basel-Stadt ordinance of December 31, 1904, and a Zurich ordinance issued April 20, 1905. All of which are still in force.
The Geneva law of 1897* established the principle of the prevailing rate of wages for public contract work by providing that in all contracts for work for the cantonal government a clause should be inserted requiring the contractor to pay the wages established by agreement between employers' associations and labor organizations where such agreements exist. Where there are no such agreements the wages paid shall be the prevailing rates of the locality at the time of the letting of the contract.
The Basel-Stadt ordinance of 1904,† above referred to, represents a step in the direction of protecting employees on government work from diseases of occupation by prohibiting for a period of three years beginning with January 1, 1905, the use of white lead in all painting work done for the government.
More elaborate are the regulations just established in Zurich. I These provide in the first place, that bids shall not be considered when made by employers who pay wages or accord conditions of work less favorable to the employees than those prevailing in the industry. As the “usual” or prevailing wages, shall be taken primarily those stipulated in agreements between organizations of employers and employees. The government
*Cf. Der Arbeiterschutz, etc., p. 113.
Cf. Annuaire de la Législation du Travail, 1904, p. 51). ICE Annuaire de la Législation du Travail,"1905, p. 547,"or Bulletin ce l'Office International du Travail, 1905, p. 64.
authority which is to let a contract is given power to require of bidders information concerning the wages paid by them, the working time of their employees and what extra compensation is allowed for overtime work, and in case a contract is awarded to a bidder the wages and hours so reported by him shall be binding for the work to be done by him. Unless other rates are provided for by agreements between employers and employed the law stipulates that rates for overtime work shall be at least 25 per cent, and rates for night or Sunday work, 50 per cent higher than the regular rates per hour. In the second place, sub-contracting is prohibited except upon special permission from the authorities letting the contract and if such permission be granted the terms of the sub-contract must be submitted to the government authorities and the original contractor is to be held responsible for the fulfilment of the obligations of the original contract and may be required to furnish security therefor. Third, the contractor must at his own expense, insure bis employees against accident and diseases of their occupations. Fourth, wages must be paid weekly and may not be paid in public houses. In the case of building work, except with the special consent of the proper authorities, neither the employer nor his superintendents may sell food or drink to the employees, or be indirectly interested in any such sale. Fifth, with regard to the physical comfort of employees it is required that suitable water closets shall be provided and that for work to be done in the open air suitable shelter, for which heat can be supplied in winter and where the employees may eat their meals, shall be provided.