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Since 1903 the company has been pensioning its employees who have been disabled through age or ill health. Persons on reaching 70 years of age who have been 25 years in its employ may be pensioned in the discretion of the company; also persons 65 years of age, after 30 years of service; and of 60 years, after 40 years of continuous service. The monthly pension rate is 1 per cent for each year of employment of the wage paid at the time of enrollment in the pension system. No pension may exceed $1,000 a year, however. There are 18 pensioners on the list, receiving an average pension of $40 a month. The maximum pension is $86 and the minimum is $13.50.
PRINTING AND PUBLISHING.
FORBES LITHOGRAPH CO.
The Forbes Lithograph Co., near Boston, has its welfare work in charge of a welfare manager. She made it her first duty to see that working conditions were good, that the shops had good ventilation, thorough cleaning, proper toilet equipment, individual lockers, suitable chairs, etc. She stands between employer and employee, interviews all the women and janitors seeking employment, and before an employee is discharged makes a personal investigation of
She visits absent employees, and if the employee is ill and can not afford a physician the company sends one. One of the members of the corporation has endowed a bed in the Massachusetts General Hospital, to which their accident cases are sent. When the bed is not in use for accident cases it may be occupied by the families of employees. In the plant there is an emergency room for temporarily incapacitated employees.
In a small shed adjoining the factory the company operates a restaurant and rest room for the employees at noon. Hot dinners are sent from here into the workrooms. No attempt is made to make a profit, but the restaurant is supposed to pay for itself.
The company has started a loan and savings bank for the employees, which has already about 100 depositors. The savings feature was taken up at the instance of employees who hoped, by making weekly deductions from their wages and placing them with the company, to be able to save enough to make a deposit in a regular savings bank. The employee agrees to have the company take from his pay envelope each week 25, 50, 75 cents, a dollar, or multiples thereof, as he sees fit. No change in the weekly amount is allowed without one month's notice, except when a department is running on short time. The company pays 5 per cent interest, compounded semiannually. When the deposit amounts to $50 an account is opened in a savings bank in the name of the depositor and the company's responsibility ceases. Out of the savings plan the loan feature grew, so that the savings would be left undisturbed. The company agrees to lend to its savings depositors on application a sum not over $5 more than the sum in trust with the company at the rate of 1 per cent per month. It was hoped the high rate of interest would discourage borrowing, but at the same time the company realized that emergencies arose when borrowing was necessary. The difference between the 1 per cent per month on loans and 5 per cent per annum on deposits the company holds and at the end of the year, if there is a surplus, divides pro rata among the depositors. The deposits may be withdrawn on 60 days' notice. The company recommends its employees to take advantage of the Massachusetts savings bank insurance and pension system. Fortyodd have adopted the recommendation.
The employees have organized the Forbes Mutual Relief and Benefit Association, to which about two-thirds of the 600 employees belong. Sick and disability benefits of $5 a week for a period not exceeding 12 months are paid, and at the death of a member his family receives $75, to which the company adds another $75. The dues are about 10 cents a week. Each year the association gives several entertainments—a minstrel show, for example—the proceeds of which go into its treasury.
NEW YORK EVENING POST.
The New York Evening Post is perhaps unique among newspapers in the provisions made for the comfort of employees. On the eleventh floor of its large building there are a kitchen and a lunch room, with a separate lunch room for the women employees—the proof readerswhere lunch can be obtained at reasonable rates. The lavatories, individual lockers, and a rest room bespeak special consideration for women employees. There are shower baths for the stereotyping and press-room employees. On the eleventh and twelfth stories the balconies, from which a fine view of New York is obtained, are used as smoking balconies by the employees. The ventilation of the building deserves special mention. In both the basement and the penthouse on the roof there are huge exhaust fans to suck out foul air from the building at the same time that fresh air is being pumped in. In the main composing room, where the air is apt to be impure from crowding and from oil, gas, and metal fumes from the linotypes, a separate duct through which bad air is drawn out has been placed above each linotype machine.
The employees in the composing room and its dependencies have organized the Evening Post Benefit Association, to which the Post contributes half of the benefit. The dues are 10 cents a week, and in case of need members may be assessed. It has not been necessary to resort to assessments, as the funds in the treasury have been ample to meet the needs. Sick benefits of $6 a week are paid for a period not exceeding 13 weeks in 12 months, and no person having drawn this benefit for 13 consecutive weeks is eligible for another benefit until a year has elapsed. In case of death the family of the deceased receives $150. All the officers are elected by the membership. There are about 90 members, or as many as are eligible for membership. The married men of the association have combined in a special group within the association to pay a benefit on the death of a member's wife. This club entails no charge on the unmarried members of the association.
CURTIS PUBLISHING CO.
The welfare work at the Curtis Publishing Co., in Philadelphia, the home of the Saturday Evening Post and the Ladies' Home Journal, is in charge of a salaried welfare manager and a staff of three assistants. As is usually the case, the manager's work is largely with the women employees, of whom there are about 1,000. It is considered very necessary that there should be some one to whom the women feel free to apply in matters affecting their work. One of her duties is to see that the women employees secure positions to which they are best adapted. In this way advancement is more probable. With this end in view, each week she makes it a point to see the heads of departments to find out the standing of employees. Every employee staying one year with the company gets an increase in salary, and after a year's employment the women employees in the various shop departments get one week's holiday with full pay. The office force, following the usual custom, has two weeks' holiday with pay.
The Curtis Building, the company's new quarters, is the last word in sanitary and artistic construction. Every device for the comfort of employees has been adopted and on a scale of magnificence fairly overwhelming. In the basement at the entrance there are spacious cloak rooms and lockers, an umbrella checking system, and an arrangement for drying damp clothing, all under the supervision of a matron. Handsomely appointed elevators transport the women employees to the well-ventilated and light workrooms. The toilet rooms are provided with soap and towels and are in keeping with the rest of the building. The lunch room and cafeteria for the women employees, where hot food is served at low rates, or where employees may eat the lunches they bring with them, is rarely beautiful. The walls were frescoed by Maxfield Parrish. The rest room, done in soft, lazy tones, with lounging chairs, plants, and fresh cut flowers, more nearly resembles a hotel de luxe lobby than a place for working girls, except that it is in better taste. Periodicals and a library of 1,500 volumes are kept here in charge of a regular librarian. About
1,000 books are circulated each week. A paper, Ourselves, is published every month for the employees. The recreation room at the top of the building, with the roof promenade, is another monument to architectural skill and beauty. The completely appointed hospital has a nurse constantly in attendance. In addition a physician comes every day to overlook sanitary conditions and to examine new employees.
The younger office boys are organized into a Curtis Junior Club, under the care of a salaried worker who promotes their club interests. A summer camp about 15 miles from Philadelphia is maintained by the company, where the boys may spend their vacation and week ends. Life in tents and open air, with boating, swimming, and other sports to beguile the time offsets the confinement of office. In the summer of 1912, 257 boys spent week ends at Camp Tekenink and 41 boys spent all their vacation there. Three dollars a week is charged for board and 30 cents for the week end.
A savings fund society has been organized, to which employees contribute 25 cents a week for each share they may hold. They may take out as many as 20 shares, that is, save $5 a week. Members of the society may obtain loans for not less than one month at the rate of 6 per cent and to an amount equal to nine-tenths of what they have paid into the fund. The society pays over 6 per cent interest and has paid as high as 11 per cent. A vacation fund to which employees can contribute each week from 1 to 52 cents gives them the opportunity to save for their summer holidays. Over 300 are saving in this way.
The Curtis Mutual Benefit Society provides disability benefits and a sum at death to defray funeral expenses. Any employee is eligible to membership, but it is not compulsory. About one-third of the employees belong, the number being equally divided between men and women employees. There are four classes of membership, dependent upon the health and salary of the applicant. No employee is admitted to more than one class. Class A is open to all employees in robust health, irrespective of earnings; class B, only to employees in robust health earning $7 a week or more; class C is open to all employees not in robust health; and class D to employees not in robust health earning $7 a week or more. The dues of classes A and C are 5 cents a week, and of classes B and D 10 cents. The sums received from the unrobust are kept apart as a special fund to be used for them, and no money may be taken from the general fund of the society for their use. When the society's general fund reaches $1,500 no collections are made from healthy contributors until it is reduced to $600. The disability benefits are $2.50 and $5 a week for a period not exceeding 13 weeks in a year for 5 and 10 cent dues, respectively, and the death benefits $50 and $100. Members may be assessed when
the treasury demands it. The society is administered by officers elected by the members. The welfare manager is ex officio a member of the board. The company assists by donations and when a paid visitor is necessary in investigating cases of illness bears all the expenses.
BLOOMINGDALE BROS. EMPLOYEES' MUTUAL AID SOCIETY.
The Bloomingdale Bros. Employees' Mutual Aid Society, of New York, is perhaps something unique among department stores. This association was organized in 1881 to do away with the annoying subscription lists customary when misfortune befell a fellow worker. Later the association had various bequests left it by members of the Bloomingdale family, so that now the society is enabled to extend larger bounty than the ordinary employees' mutual aid society dependent only on the dues of members. It is obligatory upon all employees of the company to become members of the society and to sign an application for membership at the time of employinent. The membership is divided into grades and classes. The first grade consists of those whose weekly pay is $3 and less, with monthly dues of 10 cents. The second grade consists of those whose pay is from $3.01 to $4.50, with monthly dues of 30 cents, and the third of those whose weekly pay is over $4.50, with monthly dues of 50 cents. The classes cover members prior to February, 1900, who are no longer in the employ of the company, but who may still receive benefits by the payment of 50 cents monthly dues. The sick benefits amount to full wages up to $6 a week, the maximum benefit in any case, for a period not exceeding 12 weeks in 12 months. Members of the classes receive $6 a week benefit. Benefits are not paid at full rate until after the first week's illness, and at half rate for an illness of one week. No benefits are paid in cases of illness lasting less than one week. In case of death the beneficiaries of the deceased receive $30, $40, and $50, according to the grade. The heirs of a class member at his death receive $50. The society employs a regular physician, who comes daily to Bloomingdale Bros. for free consultation. The physician must attend sick members if they live in Manhattan. If they live outside, the member must send a weekly certificate from the attending physician, sworn to by a notary, in order to secure the benefit. The president of the association has power to grant a sum not over $25 in cases of distress.
The bequests are administered by a self-perpetuating board of trustees, who may, however, delegate the management of the funds to the board of officers of the society. By this means, and by the fact that the president of the society is ex officio a member of this board,