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considerable attention to detail and involve the examination of numerous orders from all the departments. We are therefore not in a position at this time to give many specific instances of conflicting orders, but the existence of such conflicting orders is a matter of common knowledge. Indeed, your very communication by the very pamphlet containing the questions, seems to recognize as a fact such existence of conflicting orders.
With thanks to your Commission for the courtesy accorded to the United Real Estate Owners' Association and appreciating this opportunity extended to us to express our viewsBy Commissioner JACKSON:
Q. You are in favor of establishing a separate labor department in the State of New York A. Yes, sir, that is the way I have outlined it to you.
Q. Are you in favor of the labor laws as they apply now throughout the State of New York to the City of New York? A. When the law is drawn up and it should be seen that certain laws are necessary we would be willing to favor such a law.
Q. You would then leave it entirely within the legislative body of the State of New York to draft laws for the City of New York in place of the present labor law? A. We believe the State should not interfere with the functions of the city any more than the State should take up the administration of the police department or any other department. We feel that is entirely for the benefit of its citizens and should be under the control of its citizens.
By Commissioner GOMPERS :
Q. Isn't it a fact that the industries of the City of New York are competitive to the same industries of the rest of the State? A. You might ask that same question in regard to any city department.
Q. Isn't it a fact that the industries in the State of New York are competitive with the same industries in the balance of the State? A. They are in the same way that the different concerns are competing with each other.
Q. I do not know whether you are willing to answer my question direct or not; I ask you again isn't it a fact that the industries of the City of New York are in competition with the
same industries outside of the City of New York within the State? A. Unquestionably that is so.
Q. The question then would be that the City of New York under your proposition might enact by the Board of Aldermen certain provisions of labor laws and the laws affecting the remainder of the State would be or could be quite different? A. What would that be -- supposing that were the case. I think we have a perfect right to expect that the Board of Aldermen are going to deal absolutely honest in this matter.
Q. Of course the Board of Aldermen of New York has always acted honestly? A. I don't mean to say that, but they represent the citizens of the City of New York and have their interests more at heart than up-State. The up-State legislator who comes from a county up-State does not know conditions in New York and isn't in sympathy with New York.
Q. The purpose of my question is not only to bring this out, but to indicate ihat the same competition does not exist with the police department of the City of New York and the police of any other city of the State? A. It might. We might say we will make very liberal criminal laws to attract all the criminals here because they spend money, but we know it would be a very foolish thing to do because we do not want that class of people, and the same thing holds good as regards factory laws. We would not want to attract only those factories no other state would want because it would be a detriment to the city, but I believe if the labor law were enacted by the Board of Aldermen it would be better as they have the sympathy of the people.
Q. You say your association is gathering data as to conflicting orders ? A. Yes, sir, we have taken that matter up.
Q. When that has been completed or is fairly towards completion, will you favor the Commission with that data ? A. I certainly will of we have data which we think is proper, we will be glad to send it to you. There have been questions asked here whether there are factories, concrete cases of factories that have moved out of the city of New York on account of the factory laws. That is rather a peculiar question to put. It is like asking man if he is very sick and the family physician says you have a fatal disease and the meml;ers of the family do not believe it until he
is dead, but I have taken the matter up with the Merchants' Association and I asked them if they could get any data along this line, and they have sent out letters to the different trades and they have given me factories that have moved out of the city of New York into other States. Now whether the main, actuating motive was on account of the factory laws or not we have not been able to ascertain, but from a letter they sent out they have received fifteen or twenty answers where people have moved out of the city and State of New York, most of them into New Jersey, which shows they want to be near the city of New York, have the benefits of being near the center of trade, but not to assume any of the unnecessary burdens. I do not know how accurate this may have been. Investigation may show they wanted cheaper quarters for their manufacturing plants and other reasons.
Mr. ELKUS: I would be very glad to take that list. We have asked for those figures.
Mr. WEIL: I should prefer, if you would permit me to submit . this list at a later date. After it has been fully confirmed I will be very glad to submit the list to you.
JULIUS HENRY COHEN, Esq., addressed the Commission : By Mr. ELKUS:
Q. Mr. Cohen, will you state your profession and connection with different associations interested in the matter under discussion? A. I am a lawyer, and am counsel for the Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers' Association, and Dress and Waist Manufacturers' Associations.
Q. Have you made any investigation of cases which affect members of your associations which are conflicting or duplicating inspection cases? A. No, sir.
Q. Have you considered the questions which have been discussed before the Commission to-day? A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you are very much of a student of these questions, Mr. Cohen, aren't you? A. I do not know whether I am or not.
Q. You were one of the advisory committee of the factory investigating commission? A. I have done some work on it.
Q. You assisted the committee in drafting its legislation? A. To a very slight degree.
Q. And considering the subjects before them? A. Yes, sir.
Q. Will you be kind enough to give us your views on the questions under consideration? A. I ought to state that my views are based not only upon my general familiarity with the subject, but upon contact with members of the employers' associations. May I state in that connection, Mr. Elkus, that the two associations that I represent have worked in complete harmony with the Fire Department. I handed you before the session a copy of a letter which I received to-day in which the corporation counsel of the city in charge of Fire Department matters expresses his appreciation of our co-operation and of the way in which orders of the Fire Department are executed by members of the association.
Q. I understand in only two cases were prosecutions required ? A. And those were against owners of the buildings and not against members of our association. Indeed, we have established very cordial relations with the Fire Department with a view of cooperating in the enforcement of the law, so that I do not think we can be grouped with the kind of manufacturers Mr. Veiller referred to as those who did not want to obey the law. Indeed, as you know, the manufacturers under their own regulations in our own industries are obliged to maintain standards in some respects more rigorous than the law requires, but there has been very considerable feeling even among the members of our associations that they are being harrassed and annoyed more than is necessary. I heard a labor leader say yesterday, Mr. Chairman, that an imaginary grievance was worse than a real grievance because you could adjust a real grievance, but an imaginary grievance you could not adjust. Undoubtedly there is considerable feeling on the part of those in sympathy with the law that they are being very much harassed by orders that are in the nature of duplication, and in the nature of conflict. I am asking the managers of the associations that I am counsel for to prepare a list of specific cases of complaints submitted to them by members, and that I hope to send to you, Mr. Elkus, later on, but I know of one instance that has been called to my attention that is fairly illustrative of the cause of their complaint. A certain manufacturer was ordered by the Fire Department to put in a drop ladder of the usual kind. At very considerable expense he did that.
the Labor Department compelled him to change the ladder and instead of a drop ladder put in a balanced ladder and make an exit. The cost was very serious to him, and from his business man's point of view, his attitude was, “I would have been willing to have done this in the first place if I had known that I was obliged to do it. Why should the city or the State impose upon me this duplication of expense"? And the point I want to emphasize, Mr. Chairman, is that this duplication of effort, this conflict of orders, this constant supervision and inspection, most of which is necessary, creates at this particular time a feeling of resentment on the part of manufacturers in the city, even on the part of those in sympathy with the law. Now it may be as Mr. Veiller says, that all of this is due to the fact that we have just begun to clean house, after having let the house be dirty for half a century, but it is true that if there is such a sentiment it will indoubtedly result in the removal of those enterprises from the State that can possibly get away. I think I am fairly safe in saying that there is a considerable movement on the part of manufacturers to go out of the State of New York because of the hardships that they are enduring. One employer told me the other day that by the time he gets through meeting all the inspectors that come to see him during the day it is about six o'clock before he gets to his correspondence or to attending to customers. Of course, that is an exaggeration, but it is fairly indicative of the feeling on the part of the manufacturers. Now it seems to me that with reference to the factory end of it I see no reason why an efficient fire prevention bureau in the city of New York, why every phase of safety, of the matter of safety in the factory should not be a charge of that fire prevention bureau. I cannot see why a different kind of inspectorial service is necessary in order to enforce labor laws that are intended for the safety of the people and in order to enforce fire prevention laws that are equally intended for the safety of the people.
By Commissioner JACKSON:
Q. Will you kindly say who should have charge of the inspection of factories in the city of New York with reference to safety in regard to the machinery? A. I haven't given that branch of it