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Industrial commission of Wisconsin report on pea canneries, season of 1913 : hours of labor of female employes [employees]
([1913])

Arrangements of shifts,   pp. 13-14 PDF (476.3 KB)


Page 13


          INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN           13
  It will be seen from table No. 1, that these women had
from 2:30 or 4 a. m., the quitting time one day to 7:45 or8 :30
a. m., the beginning time next day-leaving from 6 hours to
3 hours and 55 minutes for eating, dressing, walking to and
from work, and last and least-sleep. Out of the 43½/2 hours
between beginning time on July 1st to quitting time on July
2nd operators actually worked 37 hours. This, however, was
an exceptional case this season, but proves the absolute need
of forcible regulation in order that it may not be a common sit-
uation, as it has been in previous years. The United States re-
port cites a number of instances of past happenings when
hours were not regulated. Girls sometimes worked 40 hours
%at a stretch. One plant once began at 7 a. m. on Saturday,
worked right through Sunday until 1:30 a. m. Monday, 42
hours on duty.
Arrangements of shifts.
  The main argument against restriction of hours was a plea
by the canners that they either could not secure more help
than they were employing, or if they could secure enough for
additional shifts the women would refuse to work as it would
mean short, irregular hours for the supplementary shift. The
experience this year has in many cases disproved both of these
contentions. Twenty-two plants had more than one shift of
"line" workers; thirty-one plants had more than one shift of
pickers. A number of plants had "emergency shifts," and re-
ported their use as follows: "When hours were too long we
got substitutes;" "When a woman had worked ten hours we
sent her home and had another take her place;" "We worked
the men long hours and tried to get women enough to keep
up;" "Used extra shift when necessary to prevent women
from working overtime;" "Change of female help at night
during rush;" "Used two shifts sometimes when necessary
to comply with the law." Other special arrangements were
as follows: "Had plenty of help and let some off early, chang-
ing each day;" "Women worked from 8 to 6 one day, and
next day started at noon and worked in the evening;" "We
paid the same wages for short night shift as for longer days
shift;" "Paid ten cents an hour for pickers in day shift and
twenty cents at night, using young girls during day when


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