[Illustration: Diagram 12.—Number of men in each 100 in printing and five other industries earning each class of weekly wage. Black indicates less than $18, hatching, $18 to $25, and outline $25 and over]
No other manufacturing industry employs so large a proportion of American born workers. In recent years many of the skilled industrial trades have been recruited to a very large extent from foreign labor, but in printing the American worker has so far held his own remarkably well. This is due in part to the relatively high wages and desirable working conditions and to the necessity in all branches of printing for a working knowledge of English.
Practically all of the trades are thoroughly organized. The unions are united in a body called the Council of the Allied Printing Trades. Although only about half of the shops in the city employ union labor exclusively, the union regulations as to wages and hours of labor are observed in both open and closed shops.
Printing workers are among the best paid industrial wage earners in the city. A comparison of the weekly earnings in the various manufacturing industries is shown in Diagram 12. This comparison is based upon the 1914 report of the Ohio Industrial Commission.
The comparison of the earnings of women in various industries, shown in Diagram 13, is less favorable to printing. On the basis of the proportion of women that earn $12 and over per week this industry takes third place. It should be noted, however, that nearly all the women employed are engaged in semi-skilled work in binderies,—a lower grade of work than that done by most women workers in clothing factories, where wages are higher. Compared with other occupations that require about the same amount of experience and training, in textile, tobacco, and confectionery manufacturing establishments, the wages of women employed in the printing industry are relatively high.
Wage earners in printing establishments lose less time through irregularity of employment than do those in most other factory industries. The kind of work done by women is more seasonal than that done by men, although less so than in other manufacturing industries which employ large numbers of women.
[Illustration: Diagram 13.—Number of women in each 100 in printing and six other industries earning each class of weekly wage. Black indicates less than $8, hatching $8 to $12, and outline $12 and over]
COMPOSING ROOM WORKERS
Nearly all the workers in this department of the industry are hand or machine compositors. Until about 30 years ago, before practical type-setting machines were invented, all type was set by hand. Today the hand compositor, except in very small shops, works only on jobs requiring special type and special arrangement, such as advertisements, title covers of books, letter heads, and so on.