I. Introduction and General Summary,

1. Scope and Method of the Report,

2. Summary of Principal Data,

II. General Review of the Labor Movement in Massachusetts in 1915,





1. Principal Industrial Disputes,


2. Labor Legislation in 1915,



Convention of the Massachusetts State Branch, American Federation of Labor,


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IV. Unemployment in the Organized Industries,

1. Summary of Quarterly Reports Received from Labor Organizations in Massa






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MAY 13 1917









The data presented in this report, covering the calendar year 1915, have reference principally to the number and membership of labor organizations in existence in the Commonwealth at the close of the year and the unemployment of organized workmen, data for previous years being presented for comparative purposes. Considerable other information was obtained from labor organizations during the year, but, owing to its volume and distinctive character, it has been published in separate bulletins as follows: A directory2 of labor organizations in Massachusetts, including also a list of all national and international organizations represented by one or more locals in the United States; a report showing the union scales of wages and hours of labor in effect in the principal organized trades in Massachusetts in 1915; and four quarterly reports on the subject of unemployment in Massachusetts, the principal data contained therein being summarized in Section IV of the present report. In addition to the bulletins containing information based primarily on union returns,

1 Earlier reports have been issued as follows:



Part II of the Thirty-ninth Annual Report on the Statistics of Labor. Part III of the Fortieth Annual Report on the Statistics of Labor. 1910 -Labor Bulletin No. 87.



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2 See Labor Bulletin No. 106, entitled "Fourteenth Annual Directory of Labor Organizations in Massachusetts, 1915."

• See Labor Bulletin No. 114, entitled "Union Scale of Wages and Hours of Labor in Massachusetts, 1915," and a report, in a sense supplementary to this report, but based primarily on information obtained from steam and electric railway companies in the form of "rules" or schedules embodying the rates of pay paid to their employees, which was issued as Labor Bulletin No. 115, entitled "Rates of Wages and Hours of Labor in Steam and Electric Railway Service."

These reports were issued, respectively, as the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-second Quarterly Reports on Unemployment in Massachusetts.

[Pt. VI. 5]


the Bureau has issued a compilation of the labor laws 1 passed during the legislative session of 1915.

The data presented in these several reports, in so far as they related to organized labor, were secured in answer to inquiries contained in schedules which were received by mail from union officials who were believed to be well qualified to furnish the requisite information. In those instances where the union officials failed to return the schedules properly filled out, agents of this Bureau obtained the information from such officials directly, or from some other reliable source. There were only a few instances where the international officials failed to supply the information requested, and in nearly all such cases, it was possible to obtain the facts from the official journal of the organization or from some organizer or other representative residing in Massachusetts.

The returns here published were furnished as of the date December 31, 1915, with the exception of the quarterly statistics of unemployment, which were as of the respective dates March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. In a very few instances, owing to the failure or inability of certain organizations to state their membership as of the date, December 31, 1915, the membership as reported at the end of the next earlier quarter of the year was taken as the approximate membership at the close of the year.


The data showing the number and membership of organizations in existence on December 31, 1915, as classified by municipalities, industries, and occupations, may be taken as an authoritative and approximately complete showing as to the aggregate membership of all the local organizations in the Commonwealth at the close of the year. With reference to the statistics of unemployment it may be stated that, while information was not received from some unions, including those to which the inquiries were not applicable, - for all practical purposes the tabulations may be considered sufficiently complete to answer the purpose for which they have been secured, namely, that of showing the general conditions in those occupations, industries, and municipalities which are, to any considerable extent, organized. Realizing that the returns having reference only to organized labor could not properly be assumed to be fully representative of unemployment conditions affecting the entire wageearning population, the Bureau has endeavored to cover more comprehensively the industrial field by securing a large number of reports from secretaries of boards of trade and of employers' associations, editors of

1 See Labor Bulletin No. 110, entitled "Labor Legislation in Massachusetts, 1915." This Bulletin was issued as a supplement to Labor Bulletin No. 104, entitled "Handbook of Labor Laws," which contained the labor legislation in effect at the close of the legislative session in 1914.

trade journals, and from other persons conversant with industrial and trade conditions in this State. Abstracts and brief summaries of these trade reports were published in connection with the data furnished by the trade unions.

Details relating to individual local unions are not published by this Bureau for the reason that such information is considered confidential and that it has served its chief purpose when presented so as to show general conditions throughout the Commonwealth without disclosing facts which might be used to the detriment of any organization. In our statistical tables we have not, in any case, presented facts which referred to less than five unions in any class. By express permission, however, we are accustomed to publish under the name of the organization to which it applies the information appearing in our Annual Directory of Labor Organizations.


In the following paragraphs the principal statistical data collected from local labor organizations in Massachusetts during the year have been briefly summarized.

Number and Membership of Local Trade Unions. At the close of 1915, the total number of local organizations in the Commonwealth was 1,425, showing a net increase of 33 organizations during the year, 118 new unions having been formed, while 85 disbanded, or were amalgamated with existing locals. The aggregate trade union membership at the close of 1915 was 243,535, showing an increase of 9,269, or 4.0 per cent, as compared with the aggregate (234,266) at the close of 1914. The aggregate for 1915 included 214,282 males and 29,253 females, as compared with 205,347 males and 28,919 females at the close of 1914, showing for males an increase of 4.4 per cent and for females an increase of 1.2 per


Unemployment. The percentages unemployed for all causes of the aggregate number of trade union members for whom reports were received, for the close of the quarters ending on the dates March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, were, respectively, 16.6, 10.6, 7.0 and 8.6. The corresponding percentages unemployed for lack of work were, respectively, 12.8, 7.6, 3.6 and 4.0. The percentages unemployed in 1914 for all causes were 12.9, 9.9, 11.0 and 18.3, and for lack of work, 9.2, 6.9, 8.5 and 14.9, for the respective quarters. For the first two quarters of 1915, the percentages unemployed, both for all causes and for lack of work, maintained the high level of the previous year; for the last two quarters, however, they were appreciably lower.

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