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of national necessity.. Although there was diversity of opinion as to what should be done, it was generally agreed that it was only the National Government which could declare with authority whether or not the emergency was serious enough to require modification of standards which had commended themselves to the people of several States as necessary to protect the health of women at work.

The plan finally proposed was that the Federal Government should regulate and control night work for women in all plants working on war contracts for the Federal Government, through a provision in the contracts which would prohibit night work unless a special war emergency permit were granted. This plan provided that if it were demonstrated by the War Department or the Navy that it was necessary in a specified instance, in order to maintain adequate production, to employ women between the hours of 10 p, m. and 6 a. m., the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy, under conditions of employment approved by the Secretary of Labor, would send to the State agency charged with enforcement of labor laws a declaration that a national emergency existed in this particular instance and would call upon it to grant to a particular specified plant for a specified limited period a temporary war certificate. It was the opinion of legal advisers in the War Department and the Navy that in those States in which night work was prohibited by law these certificates would be valid under the war powers of the Federal Government. In those States having no laws against night work, the power of the Federal Government through its contracts was clear.

In connection with the administration of the proposed plan it was provided that thorough investigation should be made in each instance to determine the necessity for night work, and that each establishment to which a certificate might be granted should be under supervision, under conditions satisfactory to the Department of Labor. As showing the necessity for thorough investigation in advance it was pointed out that night work of women could often be avoided by the employment of men over the draft age and those not qualified for military service, by the transfer of men from nonessential industries, by the extension of plants, by the introduction of an industry into new areas, by a careful distribution of contracts with due regard to the local labor supply, or by the more effective use of the labor force of the plant through improved employment management. Certificates would not be granted unless it was clear that these methods had not sufficed to increase production to the point demanded for the prosecution of the war.

The plan in general was referred to the Secretary of Labor for action by the Council of National Defense. While this action was pending a conference of representatives of State departments of labor, called by the Department, was held in Washington. Following

a thorough discussion of the subject of night work, a resolution was adopted substantially as follows:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that we are opposed to the weakening of labor laws or labor standards, and if any temporary modification or suspension of such laws is necessary it should be made only on declaration of the Federal authority of competent jurisdiction.

A few days later a conference of women representing national and international trade-unions adopted a resolution to the effect that the standards and conditions regulating the employment of women at night should not be lowered.

The whole problem and the consideration given to it are recounted here because it had significance in revealing how complex is the relation between production and any phase of the conditions of employment, and how necessary it is to insist that conditions affecting the health of the workers shall not be lowered in the supposed interest of production. In the long run efficiency of management can make industry both productive and healthful for the workers. Experience points to the fact that production is made satisfactory through the delicate adjustment of many factors, in which high standards of labor are fundamental. The whole experience in dealing with the problem of night work revealed also the strength of public opinion against the employment of women at night. No state repealed a law against night work during the war.

State labor laws during the war.—While the subject of night work for women absorbed so much attention, especially in the last few months of the war, this was but one phase of the whole question of the enforcement of State labor laws in plants working on war contracts for the Federal Government and the necessity for cooperation between Federal and State agencies concerned in conditions of labor.

In several instances the jurisdiction of State officials was challenged in munitions plants, on the ground that the State did not have authority over Federal property. A decision of the Judge Advocate General of the Army on this subject caused some confusion in seeming to uphold this view, at least for certain types of contracts. To clear up the confusion the Department arranged to have inserted in all contracts a clause requiring full compliance with the labor laws of the State in which the goods are manufactured. Thus the observance of State labor legislation became a contract obligation of the manufacturer to the Federal Government, regardless of the jurisdiction of the State authorities in his plant.

Because of the great importance of State labor laws as measures of protection for women, the Woman in Industry Service gave a great deal of attention to this subject. Its director, acting as chairman of a special committee of the War Labor Policies Board, assisted in formulating a plan of administration to render this clause of the contracts enforceable. Federal machinery for this purpose did not exist; and even if it had been available, the advantages of inspection and enforcement by State agencies seemed clear. It was more economical to use an administrative agency already equipped through past experience; it avoided duplication and left unimpaired the authority of the State officials when the war should end and when the jurisdiction of the Federal Government would again become relatively insignificant.

Wages and industrial relations.--The introduction of women into new occupations gave the question of their wages a new significance, If their employment in work hitherto done by men were made the occasion for reducing the rates previously paid for the same work, the men employed would naturally oppose the extension of woman's employment as a menace to the wage standards attained by the men and the morale of industry would be affected by the resulting discontent. It was a realization of this danger which led to the first official indorsement by the Federal Government of the principle of "equal pay for equal work.” The Chief of Ordnance included it in his recommendations to arsenal commanders and manufacturers and the Quartermaster General concurred when he issued the same recommendations simultaneously. Later the principle was made even more imperative through its inclusion in the statement of principles to govern industrial relations which was formulated by the National War Labor Conference Board.

It soon became evident, however, that the idea expressed in the usual phrase, “equal pay for equal work,” was not comprehensive or fundamental enough to secure substantial justice for working women or to prevent the lowering of standards through the extension of their employment. The principle was inadequate, first, because it was not held to apply to those occupations in which the introduction of women required some change in process so that the work was not considered equal because it was not identical; second, the principle was insufficient because it failed to remedy fundamental defects in the usual basis for determining women's wages.

A thorough application of the principle of equal pay for equal work would seem to have required that wages should have been based on output and that they should have been set only after careful study of the actual effect of the new arrangement of work on the output of the group as a whole, rather than an arbitrary reduction to levels customarily regarded as the standard for women. by no means impossible to find instances where these new methods of doing the job had resulted in an increase in output when women did the work, and in these instances the injustice of a reduction in earnings was more clearly emphasized.

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In formulating standards for the employment of women the service, therefore, made the following recommendation:

Women doing the same work as men shall receive the same wages, with such proportionate increases as the men are receiving in the same industry. Slight changes made in the process or in the arrangement of work should not be regarded as justifying a lower wage for a woman than for a man unless statistics of production show that the output for the job in question is less when women are employed than when men are employed. If a difference in output is demonstrated, the difference in the wage rate should be based upon the difference in production for the job as a whole and not determined arbitrarily.

Wages should be established on the basis of occupation and not on the basis of sex. The minimum wage rate should cover the cost of living for dependents and not merely for the individual.

The war proved the capacity of women for many more tasks than those previously open to them. The Woman in Industry Service held that the experience of the war was forcing a fresh examination of the basis for determining women's wages. If the principle of equal pay for equal work be accepted, it is impossible in logic or in justice not to push its application further and to accept the more fundamental conclusion that the wage value of a job is as great when a woman does it as when a man does it, and that the wage should be determined for the occupation and not for the sex of the worker. The Woman in Industry Service, therefore, formulated the following statement of the basis for determining wages:

Wages should be established on the basis of occupation and not on the basis of sex. The minimum wage rate should cover the cost of living for dependents and not merely for the individual.

That the experience of the war in England was forcing thoughtful observers to a similar searching for a fairer relation between men's and women's wages is shown in the report of the War Cabinet on Women in Industry, published in the spring of 1919. The main report follows traditional lines, but the minority report declares that the essential principle which should govern all systems of remuneration *

is that of the clearly defined occupational or standard rates

There is no more reason for such occupational or standard rates being made to differ according to the workers' sex than according to their race, creed, height, or weight.”

In the United States the formulation of these principles with reference to women's wages and the official indorsement of the policy of equal pay for equal work, limited and vague as it is, undoubtedly had a wholesome influence on public opinion, but unfortunately the authority and the machinery to enforce these principles was lacking.

From time to time the War Department and the Navy called on the Department for advice on wage problems for women producing war materials. State minimum wage commissions also sought advice


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1 Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, p. 254. London, 1919.

from the service and wage disputes affecting women were from time to time brought to its attention. The assistant director of the service was assigned to give special attention to the subject of wages and industrial relations. It proved to be a field fruitful in thought but exceedingly limited in the possibility of effective action, especially, as the majority of the women in the war industries were unorganized and hence without means of making their needs articulate. Undoubtedly, in the future, as the whole question of the wage basis in industry will demand searching inquiry, the relation between women's Wages and men's wages must be thoroughly analyzed.

Training. Closely related to wages is the necessity for giving women the same opportunity for technical and vocational training that men receive. The Woman in Industry Service was not charged with any special responsibility for a program of training for women workers. This subject is the permanent responsibility of the Federal Board for Vocational Education. For the temporary war needs of both men and women, the Training Service was organized in the Department of Labor. From time to time, however, the advice of the Woman in Industry Service was sought by employers, and conferences on this subject were held by representatives of the service with officers of the International Association of Machinists. The director of the service served as a member of the committee on the relation of military and industrial man power appointed by the War Labor Policies Board during the period when the committee was giving special attention to coordinating in a single program the efforts of the various Federal agencies directly interested in training workers.

Relations with employers and workers.—To assist in furthering the development of wiser policies in industry itself in dealing with women workers by furnishing training for employment managers, the director of the service served as a member of the employment management committee of the War Industries Board. The service also responded to requests from employers for advice by sending information or by making plant inspections. The tentative draft of the standards to be recommended by the service were submitted for comment to the executive officer of the National Industrial Conference Board and to an informal conference of representatives of employers and workers in the metal trades.

Reference has already been made to the conference of women representing national trade-unions which was called in Washington by the Woman in Industry Service to formulate a platform in the interest of women workers. This conference voted to become a permanent advisory council of working women. Through this council the service has been able to keep continuously in touch with the needs of the women employed in the largest industries and to have their advice in its plans and policies.

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