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The Factories Act of Switzerland, 1877.*

1-General Provisions.

1. The term factory, as used in this act, includes every industrial establishment in which a number of work people are employed, regularly and at the same time, in closed rooms, outside of their own dwellings. In case of doubt the Bundesrath [Federal administrative council], on receipt of a report from the cantonal government, shall finally decide whether any particular establishment is to be considered a factory.

2. In every factory the work rooms, machinery, and implements shall be so constructed and kept in repair as to insure as far as possible the health and lives of the work people. Particular care shall be given to the proper lighting of the work rooms during work hours; that the air, as far as possible, is free from dust, and that the ventilation is always regulated with due regard to the number of work people and lighting machines and the generation of impurities. Dangerous parts of machinery and belting shall be carefully inclosed. In general, all measures for the protection of health and security against injury, which experience, the present state of scientific advance as well as the surrounding conditions make possible, shall be adopted.

3. Any one who proposes to erect and operate a factory, or to

*Bundesgesetz betreffend der Arbeit in den Fabriken, March 23, 1877. The act as given above is a translation made for the Bureau from the original pamphlet edition (German).



alter one already established, shall give notice of such purpose, and of the nature of the industry it is intended to carry on therein, to the cantonal government, as well as submit the plans of the building and internal arrangements, in order to show that the establishment of the factory shall satisfy every legal requirement. The factory shall not be opened or the new industry begun without a special government permit, which, in case of operations involving special risk to the health and lives of the operatives or of the neighboring population, shall be qualified with proper reservations. If carrying on the operations cause nuisances, endangering the health and lives of the operatives or of the neighboring population, the authorities shall order their peremptory abatement, or if the case require, the suspension of the operations.

Disputes between the cantonal authorities and factory owners · shall be decided by the Bundesrath.

The Bundesrath shall promulgate general ordinances and special regulations for the uniform carrying out of the provisions of this section. The cantonal laws shall still remain in force in respect to the building police (Baupolisei), subject, however, to the legal regulations herein provided for.

4. The factory occupier shall immediately notify the proper local authorities of every considerable bodily injury or death occuring in his factory. The said authorities thereupon shall institute an official investigation into the cause and effects of the accident, and report thereon to the cantonal government.

5. [This section relates to the extent of the employers' liability to their employes (Haftpflicht). The provisions herein have been superseded by the more comprehensive acts of 1881 and 1387, substantially reproduced on pages 126-138 of the eleventh annual report of the Bureau (1888)].

6. Factory occupiers shall keep according to the form prescribed by the Bundesrath, a register of all workers employed in their establishments.

7. It shall be the duty of the factory occupier to establish shop rules regulating the whole system of working. the factory police, the conditions of obtaining and quitting the employ, and the payment of wages. If fines are provided for, they shall not exceed one-half of the daily wages of the person fined; when imposed, they

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shall be expended only for the benefit of the operatives, particularly for relief funds. Wage deductions (Lohnabzuege) for poor work or spoiled material are not included under the term fines as herein used.

The factory occupier further shall watch over the morals and public conduct of his male and female workers.

8. The shop rules, as well as amendments thereto, shall be submitted to the respective cantonal government for approval, which shall only be granted if they contain nothing contrary to law, and after opportunity has becn given to the workmen to be heard on the subject. The approved rules shall be binding, both on the factory occupier and the work people. The penalties provided for in Section 19, following attach in case of their infringement by the former.

If any inconveniences result from the enforcement of the shop rules, the cantonal government may require their amendment. The printed shop rules, with the approval of the cantonal government, shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the factory, and information thereof shall be given to each operative on his entering the employment.

9. If there is no written agreement to the contrary, the relations between factory occupier and operative may be freely dissolved by either party on a fourteen days' notice, expiring on pay-day or Saturday. When there are no especial difficulties in the way, any piecework which has been begun must at least be finished. But until the expiration of the above-mentioned notice, no factory occupier shall, on his own motion, discharge his workman, unless the latter has shown himself to be incompetent to perform work begun or is guilty of some grave infraction of the shop rules; and the operative is only justified in immediately leaving the employment if the factory occupier fails to perform his stipulated obligations or is guilty of or has permitted an illegal treatment of such operative, or one inconsistent with the contract.

Disputes over the respective notices to leave and all the other contract relations, shall be decided by the competent judge.

10. Factory occupiers shall pay their operatives at least once every two weeks in cash, lawful money, and at the factory. Monthly payments are permitted, however, if a special agreement is made to that effect between employer and employe. On pay-day not more

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than the last week's wages (der letzte Wochenlohn) shall be retained. Part payments on uncompleted piecework shall be made as mutually agreed upon by the parties interested. No wage dues, except under mutual agreement, shall be retained for special purposes.

11. Regular work shall not continue longer than eleven hours a day (on Saturdays, and days preceding holidays, ten hours), and shall be performed between 6 o'clock in the morning, (in the months of June, July and August, respectively, 5 o'clock in the morning), and 8 o'clock in the evening. The work hours shall be timed by the public clock, and notified to the local authorities.

For trades which are injurious to the health, as well as for those in which an eleven hour work day, by reason of existing arrangements or on account of the operations carried on, endangers the health and lives of the operatives, the Bundesrath shall reduce the number of hours as far as may be necessary, only, however, until it is shown that the existing dangers to health have been removed.

Permission to prolong the work hours in exceptional cases, or temporarily, in factories or industries, provided such permission be granted for no longer than two weeks, shall be obtained from the competent district authorities (Bezirksbehoerden), or, if none, from the local authorities (Ortsbehoerden); otherwise, from the cantonal government.

For dinner, at least one hour at midday shall be allowed. Workpeople who bring their dinners with them, or have them sent, shall be furnished gratis outside of the regular work rooms with suit. able apartments, heated in winter.

12. The provisions of Section it shall not apply to work which is merely auxiliary, preceding or following the fabrication proper, and is performed by male or unmarried female operatives over 18 years of age.

13. Night work, that is, work performed between 8 o'clock at night and 6 o'clock (or 5 o'clock, Section 11) in the morning, shall only be permitted in exceptional cases, and only with the consent of the workmen to be employed thereat. Except where it is required only once for making pressing and necessary repairs, permission to do night work must in every case be obtained from the authorities, and if the night work is to continue for longer than two weeks, only from the cantonal government.

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