women employed in the machine plants was considerably higher than in shops producing cigars by hand methods. All workers at the cigar-making machines, in both long-filler and short-filler cigar production by straight machine methods, were women.

Less than half of the establishments studied had union agreements covering a majority of their workers. Somewhat more than half of the workers covered by this study were employed in these union plants. All establishments studied in New England were unionized. At the other extreme, only 1 of 7 plants (18 percent of the workers) in the Southwest had an agreement. The most important regions-Middle Atlantic and Southeast-had collective bargaining ir 32 and 51 percent of their establishments (28 and 69 percent of the workers), respectively. The oldest union, and still the leading one insofar as number of agreements are concerned, is the Cigar Makers International Union of America (AFL). This union has practically all the agreements in New England, York (Pa.), Tampa (Fla.), and Los Angeles (Calif.). The Food, Tobacco, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union of America (CIO) has numerous agreements in New York City and a smaller number in Philadelphia and the Great Lakes region. A few other agreements are scattered among other unions.

Wage Structure


Plant workers in cigar factories throughout the country averaged 73 cents an hour on a straight-time basis in January 1946. Men had average hourly earnings of 85 cents and women 69 cents (table 1). About 11 percent of all workers had hourly earnings of less than 50 cents, while more than 13 percent averaged $1.00 or more. Among the men workers, over 5 percent earned below 50 cents, but almost 29 percent were included in the $1.00-or-more group. For women the proportions were about 13 and 8 percent, respectively.

The two regions having the greatest concentration of the industryMiddle Atlantic and Southeast-had over-all plant averages of 73 and 75 cents, respectively. Men in the former region earned 82 cents compared with 87 cents in the latter; for women the corresponding figures were 71 and 69 cents. The over-all plant average in the Pacific region ($1.02 and highest in the country) was almost double that of the Southwest (52 cents).

The significance of regional over-all differences is obscured because of the variations in occupational structure accompanying dissimilar manufacturing methods. Thus, only a fifth of all men plant workers in the Middle Atlantic region were engaged in "hand" occupations (bunchmaking, rolling, or whole cigar making), while in the Southeast over 55 percent were similarly employed. In contrast to the

over-all averages, those for individual occupations (table 2) show that the Middle Atlantic led the Southeast in 11 of 13 men's jobs with one other being equal, and in 8 of 10 jobs for women. For those occupations affording a Middle Atlantic-Southeast comparison, men workers in the former region averaged an estimated 10 percent more pay on the basis of uniform occupational structures. Among the women, the Middle Atlantic advantage amounted to about 3 percent.

TABLE 1.-Percentage distribution of all plant workers in cigar-manufacturing estab lishments by straight-time average hourly earnings and region,2 January 1946


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

Excludes premium pay for overtime and night work.

The regions used in this study are as follows: New England-Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; Middle Atlantic-New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania; Border States-Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia; Southeast-Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tenneessee; Great Lakes-Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin; Southwest-Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas; and Pacific-California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Less than one-half of 1 percent.

Although men's over-all earnings exceeded women's by a substantial margin, on an occupational basis this condition existed in only one of the three processing jobs (hand bunchmaking) for which comparisons could be made. Women had slight advantages among the hand cigar makers and hand rollers. In the Middle Atlantic region, men had higher averages in all three of the comparable processing occupations, and in the Southeast in one of the two jobs for which comparisons could be made. In the three nonprocessing occupations-foremen,

janitors, and stock clerks―men's earnings exceeded women's in both regions and in the country as a whole.


Tampa led all other cities in cigar-manufacturing employment; Philadelphia ranked second. Men in the former city earned 90 cents an hour compared with 81 cents in the latter. Tampa women's earnings, averaging 82 cents, exceeded those of Philadelphia women by 11 cents. These rather unusual differences reflected the contrasts in occupational structure in the two cities. Cigar making in Tampa is still done by hand primarily or by a combination of hand and machine methods. Conversely, in Philadelphia, cigars are machine-made to a very large extent. Thus, the men's average in Tampa is, for all practical purposes, the combined average for hand bunchmakers ($1.00) and hand rollers (82 cents)-jobs which had practically no representation among men in Philadelphia. Similarly, the over-all average for women in Tampa was influenced to a great extent by the earnings of hand rollers (88 cents) who constituted almost half of the women in the labor force; in Philadelphia, this occupation accounted for less than 4 percent. In contrast, Philadelphia had 10 times as many long-filler machine wrapper layers as Tampa. This is a comparatively less skilled occupation. Although these occupational differences had a considerable effect on the over-all earnings of Tampa women, they were not solely responsible for the differential over women in Philadelphia, since the averages in 5 of the 7 comparable jobs were higher in the former city.

New York City exceeded all of the other cities insofar as over-all earnings were concerned but employed fewer workers than Tampa or Philadelphia. Here again, hand methods of manufacturing affected the wage levels to a considerable degree.


Earnings tend to be affected by a number of factors so interrelated that it is impossible to isolate the effect of any single element completely. Thus, some of the differences in earnings apparently related to any one of the factors shown in the following paragraphs may have. been affected by others.

Unionization.-Union workers averaged about 14 percent more an hour than those in nonunion establishments in the country as a whole; they had the advantage in two-thirds of the jobs for which comparisons could be made. However, the significance of these apparently favorable differentials becomes obscure when the union-nonunion relationships are analyzed in the various regions. In the Southeast, the union workers generally had the advantage; there was no clear-cut margin in the Middle Atlantic. Absolute comparisons could not be made in the

New England, Pacific, and Southwest regions because all plants in New England were unionized as were 10 of 12 in the Pacific while, at the other extreme, only 1 of 7 in the Southwest had a union agreement. However, the influence of the higher-paid union workers in the New England and Pacific regions and the low-paid nonunion workers in the Southwest on the respective over-all national averages must be considered in these comparisons.

Size of establishment and community.-Although comparisons are made difficult by the variations in manufacturing methods and accompanying occupational structure, it was possible to trace a mild tendency for average earnings (among those establishments having more than 20 workers) to increase with the size of the plant. The relationship was reversed between the smallest plants (8 to 20 workers) and the next group (21 to 50), possibly because the very small plants often manufacture a more expensive product. Similar relationships prevailed in both the Middle Atlantic and Southeast regions.

For the industry as a whole, hourly earnings tended to rise directly with the size of the community in which the establishments were located. A differential of almost 7 percent in favor of workers in cities of over 100,000 population as against those in cities with between 25,000 and 100,000 resulted from direct advantages in 13 of 19 comparable jobs. The average difference between the medium-sized cities and the smallest (under 25,000) caused by favorable margins in 11 of 12 jobs affording comparison-was about 20 percent. The relation between the earnings in the large and medium cities in the Middle Atlantic region was almost the same as that described above, but a contrary tendency existed between the medium and small cities. Unfortunately, there was an insufficient number of plants in each of the three size groups in the Southeast to permit the inclusion of separate data for this region.

Type of filler.-Workers in long-filler plants generally averaged more pay per hour than those in plants making short-filler cigars.3 For the industry as a whole, the long-filler advantage existed in 17 of 20 comparable occupations. This over-all advantage amounted to more than 9 percent, after making allowances for differences in the occupational structure.

The situation was somewhat similar on an occupational basis in the two regions in which comparisons were made. In the Middle Atlantic

Cigars are of two main types, long filler and short filler. In the former, the filler or body of the cigar is composed of long pieces of tobacco leaf formed into an even "bunch"; the short filler is composed of shredded leaves or tobacco scraps. Generally, the long-filler cigar is considered of superior quality and is more expensive to the smoker.

For this study, all cigar plants were classified as manufacturers of long- or short-filler cigars according to the predominance of the type manufactured. Therefore, it must be understood that the various groups of workers did not necessarily work entirely on one type of cigar to the exclusion of the other, since in those plants making both types, all workers were classified only on the basis of the predominant product.

region 13 of 18 and in the Southeast 14 of 17 occupations had higher averages in the long-filler group. On the basis of average earnings, however, with the same occupational structure for both types of filler, there was no difference in the Middle Atlantic States. The Southeast long-filler workers had an over-all differential of over 13 percent.


Nationally, entrance and job rates for men and women had their primary concentration at the legal minimum of 40 cents; a secondary concentration was at the 50-cent level. Either one or the other of these rates had been established in about half of the plants for both men and women. Other entrance rates ranged from less than 40 cents (2 for men, 3 for women) to more than 75 but less than 80 cents (1 each for men and women). Job rates of less than 40 cents were also in existence (2 each for men and women). On the other hand, 3 plants had job rates of 90 cents or more for men and women.


TABLE 2.-Average straight-time hourly earnings for selected occupations in cigar establishments, by Region, January 1946

United States New England Middle Atlantic

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Border States



















1 30









7 119








$1.06 .81




1. 35








.82 .63








See footnotes at end of table.

These rates do not, in all probability, refer to the same occupations in all plants, and within any plant the two rates (entrance and job) frequently apply to different occupations. With these limitations the data are believed to reflect the minimum-wage standards at the time of the survey.

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