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The Settlement of Wage Disputes   By: (1893-1972)

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The MacMillan Company New York · Boston · Chicago · Dallas Atlanta · San Francisco

MacMillan & Co., Limited London · Bombay · Calcutta Melbourne

The MacMillan Co. Of Canada, Ltd. Toronto




Associate Professor in Economics University of Kansas

New York The MacMillan Company 1921 All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

Copyright, 1921, by The MacMillan Company.

Set up and printed. Published October, 1921. Press of J. J. Little & Ives Company New York, U. S. A.


37 Mellen St.


"The Settlement of Wage Disputes" falls naturally into two almost equal parts: the first an account of the present industrial situation in the United States, and of the factors which govern American wage levels at the present time; the second an attempt to formulate principles which might serve as the basis of a policy of wage settlement for the country. The proposals made in the second part are based on the theoretical analysis of the first part.

Certain chapters in the first part (III and IV) may prove difficult for the ordinary reader. They are intended to be merely an analysis of a particular set of facts and tendencies those which affect the present wage situation in the United States, or may affect it in the near future. Such an analysis of a particular set of facts is all that economic theory can successfully accomplish.

This book was first projected in the summer of 1914. The Dress and Waist Industry of New York City had set up a Board of Protocol Standards to settle wage disputes. The late Robert C. Valentine was then engaged in finding a basis of wage settlement for the industry that would be of more than passing value and as his assistant, I first became convinced that there could be no permanent peace under the wages system, once different interests became organized, unless a clear body of fundamentals principles applicable to all industries are supported and enforced.

In the course of the work I have incurred many obligations both in the United States and Great Britain. I can only acknowledge a very few here. To my teachers, Prof. F. W. Taussig and W. Z. Ripley, I owe much, both for their instruction, direct help and example. In Great Britain, Mr. John A. Hobson, Mr. Henry Clay and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb aided me greatly to understand British experience. My debt to the work of Judge Jethro W. Brown of the South Australia Industrial Court is heavy as the book shows. Above all I have to thank my friend Dr. Walter B. Kahn for his share in the work.

H. F.

University of Kansas.



Chapter I Introductory 1

§ 1. In any attempt to formulate principles for use in the settlement of wage disputes, past experience furnishes much guidance. What this experience consists of.

§ 2. Such principles as have been used in the settlement of wage disputes have usually resulted from compromise; reason and economic analysis have usually been secondary factors. However, industrial peace cannot be secured by a recurrent use of expedients.

§ 3. The attitude most favorable to industrial peace.

Chapter II Some Pertinent Aspects of the Present Industrial Situation 8

§ 1. The chief aims of any policy of wage settlement for industrial peace defined the chief tests to be passed. A knowledge of present industrial facts essential to the formulation of sound policy.

§ 2. The present economic position of the wage earners.

§ 3. Their relations to the other groups in industry. The acceptance of the practice of collective bargaining essential to any policy of wage settlement in the United States to day. Trade unionism must prove itself fit for this responsibility, however... Continue reading book >>

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