Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.


No industrial workers in the city are paid better wages than those employed in the building trades.  More than one-half of the skilled workers are in trades that pay an hourly wage of 50 cents or over.  The hourly rate in each occupation is shown in Table 25.


70 Cents
    Bricklayers 70.00
    Hoisting engineers on boom derricks, etc. 70.00
    Stone masons 70.00
    Structural iron workers 70.00

From 60 to 70 Cents
    Marble setters 68.75
    Inside wiremen 68.75
    Plasterers 68.75
    Slate and tile roofers 67.50
    Parquet floor layers (carpenters) 62.50
    Lathers, first class 62.50
    Plumbers 62.50
    Steam-fitters 62.50
    Stone-cutters 62.50
    Hoisting engineers, brick hoists 60.00
    Elevator constructors 60.00

From 50 to 60 Cents
    Tile layers 59.38
    Lathers, second class 56.25
    Carpenters 55.00
    Cement workers, finishers 55.00
    Sheet metal workers 50.00
    Painters 50.00
    Paperhangers 50.00

From 40 to 50 Cents
    Asbestos workers 47.50
    Composition roofers 42.50

Under 40 Cents
    Cabinet-makers and bench hands 37.50
    Machine woodworkers 37.50
    Electrical fixture hangers 37.50
    Hod-carriers 35.00

Union organization is a more powerful factor in determining wages in these trades than technical knowledge and skill.  A high degree of skill in a given trade brings little advantage in the matter of wages.  By establishing a minimum scale below which no journeyman shall work, the union secures practically a flat rate of pay for most of the men in the trade.  When there is much building work and good men are scarce, contractors sometimes pay higher wages to highly skilled workmen in order to secure their services.  As a rule, however, their reward comes in the form of steadier employment.  The less skilled man is the first to be laid off when business is slack, while the first-class workman, for the reason that he is so hard to replace, is the last to be discharged.

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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