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“ Dressing rooms in which employees may remove clothing worn in the shop and don that which they can with self-respect wear in the street or in the car. In these are often found:
“ Individual lockers of wood or iron or steel wire;
“ Baths, both shower and tub, where the nature of the work is such as to make them advisable;
“ Lunch rooms, in which the employees can eat the lunch brought from home, or
" Restaurants, where meals are furnished at cost by the firm;
“Rest rooms, where employees may go after lunch or in case of sudden illness;
“ Reading rooms and libraries, usually in connection with the rest rooms;
“ Mutual benefit associations, in which the payment of regular dues on the part of the members—a sum often increased by contributions from the firm-insures, in case of illness or death, a benefit to the men or to their families;
“ Entertainments and suppers given by the firm;
“Prizes for suggestions as to the business or for long and faithful service;
Outings and picnics and classes in various subjects pertaining to the business.”
That its efforts have been fruitful may be seen in many of the manufacturing plants of the city.
The industrial committee has also emphasized the employers' obligation to the community to beautify his place of business. One of the employers has declared that “no builder has the right to make hideous the city which showers so many benefits upon him."
H. BLACK & co.
This thought must have been dominant in the construction of the factory of H. Black & Co., manufacturers of women's clothes. The building is rather a rare instance of beautiful factory architecture. It is of brick, with a long low façade and a red tile roof. The necessary water tank is inclosed in a graceful tower. Growing flowers at the windows and a trim lawn give the setting. Within there is a handsome pottery frieze and an artistic drinking fountain.
The most interesting feature of the firm's welfare work is its democracy, the bulk of the betterment work for the 700 or 800 employees having been placed in the hands of a house committee of women. The committee numbers about 15 or 20, chiefly forewomen, who serve three months and then elect their successors. The committee originally looked after the sanitary conditions and cleanliness of the shop, but with time the work grew so that a nurse was installed under its supervision to attend to these duties. It was through the efforts of this house committee that the emergency room, a small hospital fitted with reclining chairs, and a cot, was established. The nurse has charge of the department and gives first aid to the injured. She makes a tour through the factory several times a day and sees that everything in the washrooms is in order. She urges employees to use separate towels, as doing away with the possibility of communicating disease. She has charge of the cuspidors and reports persons who spit on the floor.
The house committee recently arranged a lunch room on the top floor of the house for employees, where they can eat the lunches they bring and supplement them with hot beverages sold at cost. At one side of the large lunch room there are individual lockers.
A magazine for the employees, The Wooltex News, is published by the company. Employees are urged to contribute articles and in this way make the magazine their own. A small library has been started. There are several social organizations among the employees, a bowling club, a baseball team, a fortnightly or musical club. The latter gives concerts during the noon hour.
JOSEPH & FEISS Co.
The Joseph & Feiss Co., of Cleveland, desires to develop a right “spirit ” among its garment makers, and lays great stress on the word “spirit” rather than on welfare work. Indeed, welfare is not mentioned. The company is eager to foster good personal relations between employer and employee and proud of the results of its 60 years of experience both in the sanitary condition of the shop and in the personnel of its employees.
The shop is designed to be a model factory building, with plenty of space around it to admit light and air. The saw-tooth roof gives uniform light throughout the workroom, an essential in stitching dark garments. The ventilation is good. The lavatories are most sanitary and comfortable, with individual basins and hot and cold water. Each employee is given a locker for exclusive use, and to avoid eating luncheon at the place of work separate dining rooms for men and women are provided. Here coffee, tea, and milk are furnished them for a small sum, just enough to cover the expense.
There is a nurse's room for rest and emergency cases. A matron is in charge, who stands ready as friend and adviser to aid the women employees in every way possible; but she does not have the title of welfare secretary. She looks after the “spirit” of the institution and has the power to discharge any woman employee who runs counter to this spirit. One of her duties is in connection with the penny savings bank, or Clothcraft Penny Bank—to see that economy is developed among the women employees, and through her personal relation to exercise oversight over their earnings. The penny bank pays between 6 and 7 per cent interest on deposits. It also lends to employees in need of advances on their wages at a reasonable rate of interest, and in this way undertakes to prevent the extortion of money sharks.
There are various forms of club life. The men's club has the 'use of the factory consultation room, which is open to the members in the evening. There is a baseball team, and during the noon hour the men play ball on the ground back of the shop. There are various sewing clubs among the women, but no formal organization.
The men employees of the company in the down-town shop have organized a mutual benefit association with about three or four hundred members. They pay 50 cents a month and receive a sick benefit of $1 a day for a number of weeks. In case of death $300 is paid the legal heirs of the deceased. The company contributes an amount equal to that which the employees give.
The Sherwin-Williams Co., of Cleveland, Ohio, manufacturers of paint, is convinced that the welfare work it has instituted has amply repaid the company in more intelligent and conscientious work on the part of its employees. One of the direct results has been to make employees remain longer in the service of the company.
In a paint factory it is especially important to keep the air of the workrooms free from the dangerous lead dust. Accordingly, a ventilating system has been installed to do away with the dust as much as possible, and every effort is made to keep the shop clean. The men working about the white-lead vats are compelled to take a shower bath every day. Twice a week they are given a clean suit of working clothes. Shower baths and spacious lavatories have been installed to enable the employees to change their clothing. A dining room is provided for the men employees, where they can get a hot lunch at cost or else may eat the food they bring with them. The women employees may have their luncheon in the lunch room for the office force and have recreation where they can rest after lunch. Pure drinking water is furnished, and the buildings are supplied with Red Cross chests to give aid in case of accidents. The men have a club room with periodicals, etc., and in addition a branch station of the city public library is located in the company's building. Once a year an annual outing of all employees takes place. There is no system of profit sharing, but the employees are given the chance to purchase the stock of the company on easy terms.
Like many of the other Cleveland manufacturing plants, the employees have organized a mutual benefit association which has a membership of 1,000 in the various works of the company, or about 60 per cent of the total number of employees. The association pays a sick or disability benefit of 50 per cent of the wages provided the member's average weekly earnings are not in excess of $10. In that event, he receives a weekly benefit of $5. Benefits are not paid for less than 2 weeks or for more than 12 weeks within a year. At death, $25 is paid the heirs of the deceased. The regular dues are 1 cent on each dollar of the weekly wages, or at most 10 cents a week, and are collected by the paymaster of the company.
LOWE BROS. CO.
The Lowe Bros. Co., an establishment manufacturing paint, in Dayton, Ohio, has a unique feature in its welfare work. Several years ago Henry C. Lowe, the president of the company, died, and in his will provided that his stock—a majority of the stockshould be held in trust by his brother for 10 years, and during that time the dividends should be paid to the employees of the company. These were to be divided according to salary into three groups. The first group-group A-embraced all those receiving $2,500 a year and upward ; 25 per cent of the dividends were to be divided among these. Group B, including those receiving salaries from $1,000 to $2,500 a year. Fifty per cent of the dividends were divided among them. Lastly, group C took in all receiving less than $1,000 a year and got 25 per cent of the dividends. Each member of group A in 1910 received $200, group B, $100, and group C $12. In 10 years the sum to be divided will amount to about $80,000.
The High Standard Club of the women employees was organized in 1902, and includes all the women in the company's employ, about forty. Its object is to promote sociability among the members and to further their interests in literary and musical matters. It is a member of the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs and each year the company pays the expenses of the delegates to the annual meeting. Meetings are held every two weeks in the factory during the lunch time, when the company allows the members an extra hour. The program for the year includes lectures on travel, hygiene, books, reviews, great men, literature, and music. The annual dues are 60 cents,
The company furnishes and operates a lunch room for the women employees and gives them coffee free. Coffee is taken out to the men in the shops. There is a piano in the dining room purchased by the High Standard Club. One of the dressing rooms is provided with individual lockers, a couch for retiring, and other conveniences. Soap and towels are furnished the employees. The women's aprons and the men's overalls are laundered by the company. The elevators may be used by the employees on coming to work and on leaving. Lockers and comfortable washing troughs are provided for the men in the paint work and time allowed in which to put on or take off their overalls. The men who are at work over the white lead, which is dangerous, are kept only 30 days on that particular job and then are given work elsewhere for 90 days. To make the working conditions as sanitary as possible, respirators and electric fans are provided. Every year the company gives an annual picnic.
The employees have organized their own relief association with some aid from the company at the start. Only sick and accident benefits are paid. The membership is divided into two classes, consisting of those whose weekly pay is in excess of $6 and those whose pay is $6 or less. Weekly dues are 10 and 5 cents, and benefits of $6 and $3 a week are allowed for 12 weeks. There are about 50 members at present. The association recently reduced the dues one-half, as its flourishing condition warranted a reduction.
H. J. HEINZ CO.
Welfare work at the H. J. Heinz Co., in Allegheny, Pa., began over 30 years ago, when the management realized that the better care of the business included the better care of operatives. The fact that food products were handled made sanitary working conditions imperative, and no doubt this accounts for much of the welfare work. Thus the clean uniforms and white caps that do so much to promote tidiness and orderliness, and the manicurist who tends the nails of the women employees, can be explained by the importance of cleanliness in handling the product. Similarly a dining room for employees is something of a necessity in a place where foods are handled. It would hardly do to have employees eating their lunches about the workrooms where a captious public may enter and inspect. The walls of this dining room are covered with pictures, some of them copies of famous paintings, and here coffee costs the female operative 1 cent a day. A dressing room is requisite also, as outer garments hanging about in the shop would not produce an agreeable effect. There are wooden lockers here, shared by two or three girls, and couches for retiring and rest. Soap and towels are provided by the corporation. An attendant is at hand in this room to see that comforts are provided. Medical care from a woman physician is furnished free.
Beginning with an annual picnic in the early days, the company has continued this feature and now once a year it suspends operations