makers compelled the outsiders to join them as soon as they came to town. New York shoemakers imposed a heavy fine for failure to do so. Pittsburg shoemakers exercised jurisdiction over men not members of the union, who they demanded should attend the meeting at which charges were preferred against them and defend themselves. Employers had to pay fines imposed against scabs.
- 36. Outside of strike funds did the early unions have benefit features?
- Yes. Almost from their first appearance they had sick and death benefit features. The printers allowed benefits "to sickly and distressed members, their widows and children . . . .provided, that such sum shall not exceed $3.00 per week." The shoemakers allowed "$3.00 per week", although it was "not an article of the constitution."
- 37. What effect did these benefit features have on the unions?
- Commons' history says of the Philadelphia Typographical Society that "it willingly risked its status as a trade-regulating body in order to secure its benefit funds. Likewise, the New York printers, in their eagerness to make their benefit funds secure, in 1818, agreed to surrender their trade union functions completely, when the legislature declined to grant an act of incorporation on any other terms".
- 38. Did the employers organize at this time at all?
- Yes. The Philadelphia Society of Master Cordwainers was organized in 1789. The master shoemakers of Pittsburg were organized in 1814. The master printers were organized in New York, Philadelphia and other towns. The bosses are never behind-hand with organization.
- 39. What was the average length of a working day in those times?
- The working time extended from sunrise to sunset for all workers, with stoppage of work for the morning and mid-day meals. This applied during the entire year, so that the length of the workday varied with the season. The workday was longer in the summer time than in the winter.