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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.

In the city there are about 1,200 people employed in composing room occupations, or about 30 per cent of the total number of workers in the industry.  This number includes some 50 women employed as proof-readers and copy-holders.  Nine-tenths of the composing room workers are members of the International Typographical Union, although the number of shops that employ union men exclusively, called closed shops, approximates only one-half of the total number in the city.  The remainder, while employing union labor, observing union hours, and paying union wages, reserve the right to hire non-union workmen.

Composing room workers are the best paid in the industry.  A comparison of average wages in newspaper and job establishments is shown in Table 27.

TABLE 27.—­AVERAGE DAILY EARNINGS OF JOB AND NEWSPAPER COMPOSING-ROOM WORKERS, 1915

-------------------------+---------------+------------+
| | Newspaper | Workers in trade | Job offices | offices | -------------------------+---------------+------------+ Foremen | $5.19 | $6.65 | Linotype machinists | 4.66 | 4.84 | Proof-readers | 4.63 | 3.98 | Monotype operators | 4.57 | .. | Linotypers | 4.28 | 4.65 | Monotype casters | 3.96 | 4.30 | Stonemen | 3.94 | 4.89 | Hand-compositors | 3.48 | 4.58 | Copy-holders | 2.30 | 2.93 | Apprentices | 1.64 | 1.30 | -------------------------+---------------+------------+ >

Compositors suffer most from the diseases that are common to indoor workers.  The stooping position in which much of the work is done, together with insufficient ventilation and the presence of gases from the molten metal used in monotype and linotype machines, favors the development of lung diseases.  The number of deaths from consumption among compositors is more than double that in most outdoor occupations.

The apprenticeship system has held its own in the compositor’s trade better than in most industrial occupations.  In the establishments visited by the Survey Staff there were approximately 15 apprentices to each 100 hand and machine compositors.  As a rule there is no real system or method of instruction.  The points principally insisted upon by the union, which strongly favors the apprenticeship system, are that the number of apprentices employed shall not exceed that stipulated in the agreement between the employers and the union, and that each apprentice shall be required to serve the full term of five years.

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