« EelmineJätka »
Decree containing public administrative regulations for the organisation and
working of the Central Housing Council. Toth January, 1907 :
Order nade under the Notice of Accidents Act, 1906, requiring the reporting of
certain classes of dangerous occurrences in factories and wishops, whether
personal injury is caused or not. 22nd December, 1906 .
Employment of Women Act. 9th August, 1907
between the Grand-Duchy and Belgium. ist January, 1907 .
Act relating to the manufacture of phosphorus matches." 3rd August, 1907
Bulletin Vol. II., No. 1.
International Labour Office
1. International Labour Legislation The only provision of the BRITISH Factory and Workshop Act (G.B. I., p. 30) which wa not in accordance with the Berne Convention on the Night Work of Women (E.B. I., p. 272) was contained in $57, which exempts from the regulations of the Act with respect to the period of employment of women flax scutch mills, conducted on the system of not employing either young persons or children and worked intermittently and for periods not exceeding altogether six months in any year. In pursuance of this Section, the night work of women was possible under circumstances not contemplated in the exceptions allowed by the Berne Convention. The Section has now been repealed by an Act dated 9th August, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 38). Besides this provision of the Factory and Workshop Act, there was also a section of the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1887 which was contrary to the Berne Convention, namely 87, relating to the employment of women and children above ground, Sub-section 5 of which ran as follows:
“There shall be allowed an interval of not less than eight hours between the termination of employment on Friday and the commencement of employment on the following Saturday, and in other cases, of not less than twelve hours between the termination of employment on one day and the commencement of the next employment.”
Since, however, Article 2 of the Berne Convention fixes the night's rest at a minimum of 11 consecutive hours, the first part of this Sub-section (i.e. the part which allows the night's rest between Friday and Saturday to be reduced to eight hours) had to be repealed. This was done by the beforementioned Act of 9th August.
An Act to ratify and enforce the Berne Convention respecting the night work of women in industrial occupations (E.B. I., p. 272) was enacted in LUXEMBURG on the 3rd August, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 99). The Act empowers the Government to give the Convention the force of law in Luxemburg by publication in the “ Memorial.”; it contains also provisions relating to the enforcement of the Convention in Luxemburg as regards exceptions and penalties for contraventions. The simplicity of the measure is due to circumstances. Formerly the employment of women in Luxemburg was regulated by two Acts : firstly, by the Act relating to the employment of children and women in workshops, factories, etc., dated 6th November, 1876, and secondly, by the Act relating to the working of mines, open mining operations, and quarries, dated 30th April, 1890. $2 of the Act of 6th December, 1876, reads : “ Children who have not completed their 16th year of age shall not
NOTE.-The German, French, and English editions of the Bulletin are referred to throughout by the letters G.B., F.B., and E.B., respectively. Roman figures following these letters refer to the volume of the edition in question.
be employed in night work. The period from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. shall be reckoned as night.' $2 of the Act of the 30th April 1890, reads :
“ Neither girls nor adult women shall be employed in mines, open mining operations or quarries.” Thus hitherto women might not be employed at night, or indeed at all, in mines, open mining operations and quarries, and girls under 16 might not be employed at night at all. Otherwise the night work of women was not prohibited. But the Berne Convention prescribes for all women in industrial occupations a minimum night's rest of ii consecutive hours, which must include the period from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thus the Act of 1890 is in conformity with the requirements of the Convention as far as mines, etc., are concerned, but the Act of 1876 fails to satisfy the Convention in two respects : (1) the Convention extends the prohibition of night work, which the Act imposes only for girls under 16, to all women in industrial occupations ; (2) the Convention increases the minimum night's rest, which need only amount to 8 hours (i.e. 9 to 5) under the Act, to ir hours. According to the Berne Convention, as pointed out above, the period from 10 to 5 a.m. must be included in the 11 hours' rest ; but since the Act of 1876 requires the night's rest to begin at 9 o'clock, it follows that in future the period from 9 p.m. (instead of 10 p.m.) to 5 a.m. will be included in the prescribed night's rest.
The Berne Convention applies to industrial undertakings in which more than 10 men or women are employed (Article 1), but not to undertakings in which only the members of the family are employed. The definition of the term “industrial undertaking " is to be determined by each contracting State. But in every case mines and quarries and the manufacture of articles or the transformation of materials are to be included ; the laws of each individual county being left to define the line of division separating industry from agriculture and commerce. The reasoned report issued by the Luxemburg authorities on the 5th May, 1907, expresses the opinion that the meaning of “industrial undertaking is sufficiently indicated in the Berne Convention, and that no further interpretation is necessary, since all industrial occupations in Luxemburg in which women are employed are “industries in which articles are manufactured or materials transformed.” Similarly, the report expresses the opinion that no special definition of the distinction between industry, on the one hand, and agriculture and commerce on the other, is necessary, since no difficulties have arisen in the absence of any such definition in connection with accident and sick insurance. Consequently the text of Article I of the Convention itself is sufficient for Luxemburg, and no special legislation has been prepared in pursuance of the article in question.
Article 2, paragraph 2, of the Berne Convention allows a period of transition of three years for States in which the night work of adult women is at present unregulated. During this period the night rest may be only 10, instead of 11 hours. It is questionable whether Luxemburg is entitled to make use of this provision, since the night work of women is in any case prohibited in mines. The report answers this query in the affirmative, but at the same time relinquishes the right— since the night work of women is by
means usual and the Convention does not into force until Ist January, 1910 (Article 8)."
As regards exceptions to the prohibition of night work allowed by the Berne Convention (Articles 3 and 4), it was stated, when the negotiations were proceeding, that it should rest with the national legislation of each country to determine the conditions under which resort might be had to the exemptions allowed in the articles in question. $2 of the Luxemburg Act of the 3rd August, 1907, deals with this question by attaching to the exceptions contemplated,
this condition : that the Inspector of Industry shall be notified in advance, and that, at the same time, a statement of the number of women employed, the period of their employment, and the nature of the processes carried on, shall be presented.
As regards the enforcement of the Berne Convention, Article 5 requires the contracting States to adopt administrative measures-i.e. according to statements made during the negotiations, the maintenance and development, or, if necessary, the creation of an inspectorate capable of enforcing labour laws, and, in particular, the provisions of the Berne Convention. The necessary inspectorate has been in existence in Luxemburg since the Act of 22nd May, 1902, came into force. $1, paragraph 3, of the Act especially imposed upon the Inspector of Labour“ the duty of supervising the observance of the Acts and regulations relating to the employment of women and children.”
Relying on data supplied by the Factory Department, the report of the “Section Centrale de la Chambre des Députés on the Bill, places the number of women in industrial occupations in Luxemburg at not more than 1,250. These are distributed as follows :7 Undertakings in the Textile Industry, with
280-300 women 8 Undertakings in the Glove Industry, with
140-150 2 Undertakings in the Ceramic Industry, with
130-150 8 Tobacco Factories, with 9 Miscellaneous undertakings (champagne, mineral waters, paper, marmalade, etc.), with
140-150 Clothing Trades, with
180-200 34 Undertakings, plus clothing trades, with altogether . 1150-1250
According to the opinion expressed by the State Council on the Bill, in the first five of these industries the period of employment never extends beyond 7.30 p.m. : only in the clothing trades this hour is overstepped at times of seasonal pressure, and Article 4 of the Convention provides for a reduction of the uninterrupted night's rest from 11 to 10 hours on 60 days in the year in season trades.
Thus the ratification and enforcement of the Convention presents no difficulties in Luxemburg and introduces no essential innovation into economic conditions. The “Avis du Conseil d'Etat" quoted above also emphasizes the fact that the terms of the Convention only fix a minimum, and by no means limit the power of Luxemburg Legislature to enact more far-reaching measures : “ France and Germany have provisions regulating the employment of women and children which might serve us as useful and edifying models.”
Besides unimportant direct effects, the adhesion of Luxemburg to the Berne Convention will prevent industries in neighbouring countries in which the night work of women is prohibited, from migrating to Luxemburg, and so introducing an evil at present unknown in the Grand-Duchy.
Since there is no match industry in existence in Luxemburg, the adhesion of the Grand-Duchy to the Berne Convention prohibiting the use of white (yellow) phosphorus in the manufacture of matches (E.B. I., P. 275) might be held to be of slight importance. Nevertheless, the Grand-Ducal Government considered that it was important to join in the Convention in order to prevent the extension of so injurious an occupation. “ Pour que notre territoire ne leur serve pas de réfuge,” says the“ avis” of the State Council of the 7th June 1907, it is advisable to join in the Phosphorus Convention. The Convention does not, however, apply only to the manufacture of white phosphorus matches ; it requires also the importation and sale of such matches to be prohibited
(Article 1). Luxemburg has a direct concern in this provision, for “malgré le bon marché des allumettes suédoises celles-ci n'on pas encore pu supplanter complètement leurs concurrentes fabriqueés au prix des ravages terribles" (despatch of the President of the Government to the Council of State, 5th May, 1907). On these grounds an Act dated 3rd August, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 99) empowers the Government to ratify and promulgate the Berne Convention.
The Convention on the night work of women itself contains nearly all the necessary provisions, so that it was sufficient for the Luxemburg Legislature to give the Convention the force of law (E.B. II., p. 99). But the Phosphorus Convention binds the signatory States to issue regulations in pursuance of the prohibition. Consequently, besides the ratifying Act of the 3rd August, 1907, mentioned above, another Act relating to phosphorus matches (E.B. II., p. 99) has been passed. This Act follows closely the model of the German Imperial Act relating to phosphorus matches of the roth May, 1903 (G.B. II. p, 125). This form of regulation was favoured by the existing Customs agreement between the two States, and by the fact that the Berne Convention follows the text of the German Act more closely than that of any other existing national legislation prohibiting the use of phosphorus. [Finland, Act of 13th Nov., 1872 ; Denmark, Act of 14th Feb., 1874 ; Switzerland, Acts of 23rd Dec., 1879 and 2nd Nov., 1898; France, Decree of 19th July, 1895 : Netherlands, Act of 28th May, 1901 (G.B. I., p. 56); German Empire, Act of 10th May, 1903 (G.B. II., p. 125) ). Accordingly, the Act prohibits the manufacture, holding for sale, commercial use, and importation of white (yellow) phosphorus matches, under penalty of a fine not exceeding 2,000 francs for deliberate contraventions, and 150 francs for contraventions due to negligence, and of the confiscation of the forbidden articles. On the other hand, the provisions of the Act relating to the date of its commencement, could not follow the German Act. The latter brings the prohibition of manufacture and importation into force on the ist January, 1907, and the prohibition of sale and commercial use on the ist January, 1908. Since there are no match factories in Luxemburg, in the opinion of the State Council, only two points need be taken into consideration :-First, consideration should be given to any existing stores of phorphorus matches. Matches were formerly imported by about a dozen dealers in truck-loads from Germany; one of these imported from eight to ten railway truck-loads in a year. Since, however, these stores were always imported in proportion to the demand, a period of six months was considered sufficient for their exhaustion, Secondly, consideration should be given to the habits of the people, who prefer phosphorus matches; the same period was considered sufficient for this purpose. Consequently, the proħibition came into force on the 3rd January, 1908, although the Convention allows the signatory States until the ist January, 1912, for the purpose.
2. National Labour Legislation
I. Labour Legislation of General Application. 1. Factory and Workshop Regulation. In VICTORIA an Act to consolidate the law relating to the supervision and regulation of factories, workrooms and shops, and for other purposes " was passed on the 6th October, 1905 (E.B. II., p. 38), followed by an amending Act, dated 12th December, 1905 (E.B. II., p. 38). In order to understand these Acts, it is necessary to