Wage Earning and Education eBook

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

Many unions, among them those of the carpenters, bricklayers, and painters, make no provision as to the wages of apprentices.  Table 26 shows the wages in three of the building trades that have established a uniform scale for apprentices.  Sheet metal apprentices are paid a bonus of $1 extra for each week served.


-------+ | | | Sheet metal | Year | Inside wiremen | Plasterers | workers | -------------+----------------+----------------+------------
--+ First year | $5.50 | $5.50 to $6.25 | $5.00 | Second year | 13.20 | 8.25 to 11.02 | 5.50 to 6.00 | Third year | 17.60 | 13.75 to 16.00 | 6.50 to 7.00 | Fourth year | 22.00 | 19.25 | 8.00 to 9.00 | -------------+----------------+----------------+------------


The usual working day is eight hours.  Many of the trades work only a half day on Saturdays throughout the year; practically all have this half holiday during the four summer months.  For holiday or over-time work the men receive either pay and a half or double pay.


Due to the seasonal character of building work, it is next to impossible for a building contractor to keep a large force employed all the year.  One result of this situation is that the men change employers more than any other workers in industry.  Irregularity of employment is greater in building construction than in any other of the principal industries of the city.  A comparison between the different branches of building work as to regularity of employment is presented in Diagram 11.  The best showing is made by electrical contracting, in which the average number employed is 93 per cent of the maximum working force, and the poorest by plastering in which the average is only 66 per cent of the maximum.


Nearly all of the building trades are open air occupations, much even of the inside work being done before the buildings are closed in.  For the most part the materials used are not injurious to health if reasonable precautions are taken and ordinary habits of cleanliness observed.  In general, health conditions are better than those found in the factory industries.

[Illustration:  Diagram 11.—­Sections in outline represent percentage of men employed, and sections in black percentage of men unemployed in each of nine building industries at the time when each industry showed the largest percentage of unemployment]


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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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