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AVERAGE ANNUAL EXPENDITURES OF 100 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT

BRITAIN FOR SPECIFIED BENEFITS, 1898 TO 1907, BY TRADES.

(Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905–1907.)

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Not all the unions pay all forms of benefit indicated, the one form that is paid by all when occasion arises being dispute benefits. Of the 100 societies considered, 85, representing 94 per cent of their total membership, paid such benefits in 1904; 82, representing 83 per cent of the membership, paid some form of unemployed benefit; 77 paid sick or accident benefits or made grants to hospitals; 39, having 50 per cent of the membership, paid superannuation benefits; and 87, representing 87 per cent of the membership, paid funeral benefits.

Unemployed benefits are usually distinguished from dispute benefits, though not in every instance. In all cases such benefits serve at least indirectly to maintain wages by giving the unemployed support, thus keeping them out of the labor market as possible underbidders, and this support has been used at times to aid in bringing employers to terms, not by formal strikes, but by withdrawing one man after another and supporting them until the employer was ready to yield. Of similar use are the traveling and emigration benefits, by the aid of which local conditions of a surplus labor supply are relieved and workmen transported to places where they can find employment. By this form of activity the unions perform in some degree the functions of employment agencies. Superannuation benefits are less of a charge on the union than would at first appear, by reason of the fact that they are paid only on the actual discontinuance of work, which a workman is able to indulge in because of the benefit instead of continuing at his trade at a reduced rate, thus disorganizing the wage rate. This aspect of superannuation is not in evidence, however, when the benefits are paid in cases of entire disability. They then fall into the same class as sick and accident benefits, strictly comparable with the cooperative insurance features of friendly societies. The tables already given set forth in summary form sufficient data to afford a basis for estimating the importance of these various forms of benefits, both by reason of their total magnitude and by reason of their wide distribution, especially among the more skilled groups of workmen.

The table given on the preceding page shows the relative importance of each class of benefits during the ten years 1898 to 1907 in the different groups of trade unions. The absolute amounts of such payments for each class and the movement during the same period are shown by the tables given below. Taking first the dispute benefit, the next table shows for each group and for 100 principal unions the actual expenditure for this object. In some cases the line was not clearly drawn between dispute benefits and unemployed benefits. The amounts have been separated by estimate, however, and distributed under the two heads.

DISPUTE BENEFITS PAID BY 100 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN, BY

INDUSTRIES, 1898 TO 1907.
[Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905–1907.)

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1898. 1899. 1900. 1901 1902 1903 1904. 1905. 1906. 1907

$90, 512 $244,065 $923, 092 $83, 607 $33,019 | $52, 120 $16,541 $145, 606 $1,588, 562 281, 323

89, 203 64, 559 28,805 337, 662

15, 495 56, 787

12, 833

14,599
133, 293

77,061
58, 457
32, 878

583,878 412, 947 328, 294

54, 086 122, 602

14,113 42, 762

59,810 747,086

20, 045 172, 381 625, 550

23, 169 80, 662

16, 274

55, 877 53, 673

1,021, 970 211,328

16, 570

14,040 294, 686 84, 186

24, 133 69, 416

77, 251 1,064, 260

81, 353 28,887 118,796 226, 351

10, 312 92, 765 69, 338

56, 685 836, 853 279, 722

11, 957 18, 279 357,878 199, 930

26,931 40, 416 62, 009

604, 833 34,211

32, 333 35, 379 301, 061

9, 490 260, 781

48, 913 40, 684 26, 420

1,025, 654 32, 090

11, 427 9,894 163, 446 227, 719

55, 488 87, 120

739, 966 23, 510 37, 175 18, 760 59, 191

649,011

The per capita expenditure above indicated amounted to 2s. Id. (50 cents) in 1899, rising to 3s. 7d. (87 cents) in 1902, and falling to 1s. 10d. (45 cents) in 1907. The highest rate was 5s. 11 d. ($1.45) in 1898, owing chiefly to a great dispute in the engineering trade which occurred during 1897–8.

Unemployed benefits, as the term is used in the report from which the table following is taken, include travel and emigration benefits as well as support for unemployed members. The table covers the same field as that given above.

UNEMPLOYED BENEFITS PAID BY 100 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT

BRITAIN, BY INDUSTRIES, 1898 TO 1907.
(Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905-1907.)

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$3,772 $186,522 $124,913 $70, 486 $1, 136, 878 2,745 14, 682 137,771 53, 619 898, 181 2, 433 17,578 172, 323 77, 236 1,271, 592 2, 740 16, 935 177, 476 108, 260 1,582, 897 4,832 16, 473

182, 470 169, 096 2,090, 279 9, 645

17, 471 188, 285 165, 748 2,512, 370 15, 495 21, 413 199, 025 223, 640 3, 187, 523 19, 914 23,043 213, 819 192, 115 2, 545, 014 20, 464 21, 403201, 410 178,644 30,936

2,063, 542 24, 328 190, 436 174, 955 2, 266, 169

The above table shows a wide range of Auctuations in the matter of unemployed benefits, with a steady growth in the total from 1899 to 1904, after which time it fell off for two years. The sum of this bene fit more closely reflects industrial conditions than any other, the industrial depression of the years 1902 to 1905 effecting marked increases in the sums paid. The group of societies included under the head “Metal, engineering, and shipbuilding” trades is responsible for the largest amount chargeable to any single group.

The table next given shows for the period under review the amount paid out per member as unemployed benefits by each of the five largest unions in this group. UNEMPLOYED BENEFITS PAID PER CAPITA BY EIGHT PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN IN METAL, ENGINEERING, AND SHIPBUILDING TRADES, 1898

(Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905–1907.)

TO 1907.

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Details as to the administration of unemployment benefits are presented below from the accounts of the London Society of Compositors, whose history covers more than a century, and whose records on this point are available from 1848. During this period up to the year 1903 unemployed benefits have demanded practically one-half the total receipts, quite exceeding that proportion for the four years 1900 to 1903.

An examination of the table following discloses the fact that it is not so much a matter of increase in the proportion of members receiving such benefits, or even in the actual numbers, but rather in the average amount of relief paid each claimant.

The table follows:

STATISTICS OF UNEMPLOYED BENEFITS PAID BY THE LONDON SOCIETY OF COM

POSITORS, 1882 TO 1903.
(Source: Fifty-sixth Annual Report of the London Society of Compositors, 1903.)

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1882. 1883. 1884. 1885. 1886. 1887. 1888. 1889. 1890. 1891. 1892. 1893. 1894. 1895. 1896. 1897. 1898, 1899. 1900. 1901. 1902. 1903.

5, 660 $42, 270 5,850 45, 196 6,175 48, 624 6, 435 51, 143 6,585 50.758 7,025 55, 057 7, 400 58, 318 7,955 62, 739 8,910 73, 017 9, 350 81, 172 9,798 88, 466 10, 151 95, 700 10,011 125, 619 10, 280 133, 281 10,558 147, 657 10, 780 131, 786 11,079 135, 811 11, 415 138, 504 11, 287 142, 529 11, 355 139, 420 11, 244 137, 605 11,270 0 142, 123

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a Computed.

b Not including amount refunded in connection with the levy.

Disability caused by sickness or accident is compensated for by the majority of the one hundred principal unions under consideration, the actual number making payments of this kind in 1907 being 77. Payments of this nature are made weekly for the most part, though payments of lump sums are sometimes made in cases of accident. Benefits of this class also include medical attendance and grants to hospitals. The amount of such benefits paid by 100 principal unions and by the constituent groups for the ten years 1898 to 1907 are shown in the following table: SICK AND ACCIDENT BENEFITS PAID BY 100 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT The increase in the amount of this benefit is constant during the period covered, but is to be accounted for in part by the increased rate allowed by two important unions and also by the adoption of this form of benefit by three others. There has also been an increase in some cases in the number of members subscribing to the voluntary sick fund. These facts do not account for the entire movement, however, and a study of the trade conditions during these years leads to the conclusion that unemployed and sick benefits are affected by the same causes, and suggest that the latter benefit is frequently required to meet the needs of workmen debilitated from lack of proper food, while under such circumstances recuperation from sickness or the effects of accident is necessarily delayed.

BRITAIN, BY INDUSTRIES, 1898 TO 1907.
(Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905–1907.)

Mining

Year.

Build-
Ing.

and quar

rying. building.

Metal, en-
gineering,

Textile.
and ship

Cloth-
ing.

Trans-
port.

Print

Ing, paper, etc.

Other trades.

Total, 100 principal unions.

1898 1899 1900) 1901. 1902. 1903. 1904. 1905. 1906. 1907

$368,14r $135, 863 $553, 676 $28, 790 $110, 431 $43, 249 $16,561 $37,895 $1,294, 606
398, 333 154, 906 592, 783 33, 579 | 107, 170 49, 867
444,263

18, 405 44,100
164, 273 631, 482

1,399, 143 29, 681 104, 576 58,072 18,517 47, 103 467,564 172, 381

1, 497, 967 661, 343 31, 457 115, 253 57, 595 17,816 60, 432 481, 891

1,583, 841 190, 460 706, 713 34, 173 100, 503 54,879 17,836 69, 659 499, 926 211, 848

1,656, 114 756, 439 28, 333 93, 417 86,823 18, 026 527,714

75,810 233, 251 797, 809 30, 430

1,770, 622

99, 364 89, 412 18, 590 544, 114

85, 067 268, 509

1,881, 637 817,368 36, 586 97,860 84,113 17, 456 89, 490 540, 605 290, 642 841, 145

1,955, 496 36,518 94, 405 90,892 18, 283 97,321 529, 149

2,011,811 318, 259 882, 593

44,003

89,952 | 108, 623 19, 184 113,375 2,100, 138

In the preceding table it is shown that the larger part of the sick and accident benefits paid by 100 principal unions is paid by the first three groups of trades.

of trades. Data are given for 9 unions, representative of the principal trade groups, showing the per capita expenditure for this benefit for the ten years 1898 to 1907. These 9 unions paid more than 70 per cent of the total outgo on this account.

PER CAPITA COST OF SICK AND ACCIDENT BENEFITS IN NINE REPRESENTATIVE

TRADE UNIONS, 1898 TO 1907.

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This table shows in general that this benefit is an increasing burden on the membership of trade unions, though the cost varied but little throughout the period in the case of the Amalgamated Engineers, and no clear increase is shown in the case of the Boot and Shoe Operatives. The abrupt increase in cost to the Tramway and Vehicle Workers in 1903 is to be accounted for in part at least by an increase in the amount of benefits paid by this union on this account at that time. The decrease in per capita cost in the same union for the last three years of the period is due to very considerable accessions of members.

A common rate of compensation is 10s. ($2.43) per week for periods ranging from 13 to 26 weeks, after which some unions pay a reduced rate, while others discontinue it altogether. One union (the Opera

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