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whom the duty of gazetting the Determination devolves. In consequence of this omission, the Minister of Labor, whose duty it logically is to gazette the Determinations of the Board, may refuse to assume the obligation, and he has done so. In December, 1911, he refused to publish the amended Determination of the Hairdressers Board, and when application was made to Mr. Justice Cressen for a mandamus, the Judge refused the application. The Determination shall go into effect after a date set by the Board (not within thirty days of such Determination) and shall remain in force until suspended by the Governor in Council, or amended or revoked by the Board itself or by the Court of Industrial Appeals. The Governor in Council may at any time, and for a period not to exceed six months, suspend the operation of a Determination. In that event the Board must reconsider its Determination. If it amends it, this new order takes precedence of the old; if it refuses to amend, it notifies the Minister of its determination, and the suspension of the operation of the previous Determination is, by an order in Council, revoked.
Two methods of appeal are provided. If any person wishes to dispute the validity of any Determination of any Special Board, he can "apply to the Supreme Court, upon affidavit, for a rule calling upon the Chief Inspector to show cause why such Determination should not be quashed either wholly or in part for the illegality thereof; and the said Court may make the said rule absolute or discharge it with or without costs as the court shall seem meet.' In the second place, an appeal may be taken to the Court of Industrial Appeals, created by the Act and composed of any one of the Judges of the Supreme Court. If a majority of the representatives of either the employers or the employees on the Board are dissatisfied, or if an employer or group of employers who employ at least twenty-five per cent of the employees affected, are not satisfied with a Determination, they may appeal to this Court, which has full power to amend or revoke the Determination of the Board, and its decision is final and without appeal. The Minister may at any time, and without appeal, refer any Determination by a Board to the Court.
The Special Boards may summon witnesses, examine records, books or payrolls and hold special investigations. The Chairman has the power of administering the oath to all witnesses. The Determinations of the Special Boards are enforced by the Minister and the Factory Inspection Board.
Trade Boards Act, 1909.
The English minimum wage law, the Trade Boards Act of October 20, 1909, was modeled on the Victorian legislation. Its aim is to give relief to the less intelligent and unorganized class
1 Andrews, Irene Osgood, "Minimum Wage Legislation," p. 202. 2 The Trade Boards Act.
of laborers, as can be inferred, even without reading the Act, from the fact that its two leading sponsors were the National Anti-Sweating League, organized in 1906, and the labor party.
The Act originally applied to four trades, ready-made tailoring, cardboard box making, the making of hammered, dollied, or tommied chain, and certain processes in lace making; but the Board of Trade may by Provisional Order apply it to any specified trade if they are satisfied that the rate of wages paid are exceptionally low, as compared with other employments. All such Provisional Orders must be confirmed by Parliament.
The Board of Trade is empowered to appoint for each of such trades a Trade Board composed of an equal number of members representing the employers and employees respectively (known as "representative members"), and of a number (less than one-half the total number of "representative members")_of "appointed members." Women are eligible as well as men. The Board of Trade appoints a member as chairman, and a secretary. The Trade Board may establish district trade committees consisting partly of members of the Trade Board and partly of persons representing the employers or employees of the trades. Where such a trade committee has been established, it is its duty to make reports and recommendations to the Trade Board, and no minimum rate of wages can be established by the Trade Board before the committee has had an opportunity to report, and that report has been considered.
Each Trade Board shall fix for its trade minimum rates of wages for time work (minimum time-rates), and may also fix general minimum rates of wages for piecework (general minimum piece-rates), and these rates may apply universally to the trade, or only to any special process in the work of the trade, or to any special class of workers in the trade, or to any special area. On the application of any employer the Board must fix a special minimum piece rate for any particular class of work on which he is engaged.
Before fixing minimum rates for any trade, the Board is required to give three months' notice of the proposed rates, and to consider any objection raised during that period. It is also required to give notice of the rates finally determined upon at the expiration of the three months, when said rates go into operation to limited extent, pending an obligatory order from the Board of Trade, which may be issued six months later and which make the said rates obligatory in all cases. In the meantime, the rates fixed apply to all cases of employment within the trades, where a written contract providing for a lower rate does not already exist, and to all firms engaged on public contracts.
Special permits, exempting the employment of aged or infirm persons from the provisions of the Act making the minimum time-rate obligatory, may be issued by the Trade Board at its discretion.
An employer who pays less than the rate fixed by the Trade Board and made obligatory by an order of the Board of Trades,
is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds ($100), and for each day on which the offense is continued after conviction, five pounds ($25). The employee who has not received the legal minimum can also recover the balance due him. The Board of Trade is empowered to appoint such officers as they think necessary for the purpose of investigating complaints and enforcing the payment of the minimum rates fixed by the Trade Boards. Such officers have the right to enter any factory or workshop, or other work places, at any reasonable time, and to inspect books, etc.
Finally, the appointed members and secretaries of the Trade Boards are professional or paid officers; the representative members receive compensation only for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
Coal Mines (Minimum Wage) Act, 1912
The Coal Mines Act of March 29, 1912, is a temporary measure for dealing with conditions in the coal mines. It is provided in the Act that it shall remain in force for three years only, unless Parliament otherwise provides. This act marks a new departure in English minimum wage legislation. The Trade Boards Act of 1909 aims to relieve the more helpless, the sweated workers; this act embraces all the coal miners that elect to comply with the general district rules, and aims to alleviate the conditions that, during the winter of 1911 and 1912, has brought on so many strikes among the miners.1
Under authority of this act the Board of Trade have scheduled or created twenty-two districts. In each of these is to be established a joint district board, comprised of representatives of the employers and employees, with an independent chairman appointed by them. This Board must be recognized by the Board of Trade before it can act under authority of this Act. In case the parties interested fail to appoint representatives to this district board, the Board of Trade may appoint a person to act in the place thereof; or, in case either the employers or the workmen fail to appoint representatives when the other party is willing to do so, the Board of Trade may appoint members to represent the defaulting party. This board has power to make "district rules," which lay down the conditions "with respect to the exclusion from the right to wages at the minimum rate of aged workmen and infirm workmen (including workmen partially disabled by illness or accident), and shall lay down conditions with respect to the regularity and efficiency of the work to be performed by the workmen, and with respect to the time for which a workman is to be paid in the event of any interruption of work due to an emergency, and shall provide that a workman shall forfeit the right to wages at the minimum rate if he does not comply with conditions as to regularity and efficiency of work, except in cases where the failure to comply with the conditions is due to some
1 Andrews, Irene Osgood, "Minimum Wage Legislation," p. 78.
cause over which he has no control." "The Board also fix general minimum rates of wages. These general district rules and rates may apply to the whole district, or the board may fix special rules and rates for a certain group or class of mines within the district if they deem it advisable. The board may vary the rules and rates at any time.
THE VICTORIAN AND THE BRITISH LEGISLATION2
The striking difference between the Victorian and the British legislation is a difference in completeness or inclusiveness. The Victorian Special Boards Act is a scientific unit, and even attempts to deal with contingencies incident to the administration thereof. On the other hand, it is hard to see how one can read the British acts and escape the feeling that Parliament felt at the time that the last word on minimum wage legislation had not been said and that, therefore, it were best to include in the acts the fundamental principle only and leave it to the administrative officers to fill in the details as the needs should arise. The British acts are indefinite as to the constitution of the boards; they make no provision for the fixing of maximum hours, for special overtime rates, and for special rates for apprentices and improvers; they provide for no orderly method of gazetting the determinations of the boards, no orderly legal process of appeal from these determinations; and the boards and district committees are not empowered to conduct investigations according to ordinary judicial procedure, but, it appears, must depend upon specially appointed administrative officers for information, the procuring of which requires legal compulsion. All these matters are specifically provided for by the Special Boards Act of Victoria. Time alone can determine the superiority of either system.
THE AMERICAN LEGISLATION
History. Minimum wage legislation in the United States dates from June 4, 1912, when the Massachusetts law was approved. Since then, ten additional states have enacted minimum wage laws, approved in the following order: Oregon, February 17, 1913 (filed in office of Secretary of State); Utah, March 18, 1913; Washington, March 24, 1913; Nebraska, April 21, 1913; Minnesota, April 26, 1913; Colorado, May 14, 1913; California, May 26, 1913; Wisconsin, July 31, 1914; Kansas, March 6, 1915; Arkansas, March 20, 1915.
Prior to the Massachusetts law, a resolution providing for a
1 The Act, Article 2.
2 As the fixing of a legal rate of wages under the New Zealand Conciliation and Arbitration Act is only incident to the settlement of disputes so as to prevent strikes, and as the latter is the real purpose of the law, further reference is not made to it here.
3 Arkansas: C. 291, Laws 1915; California: C. 324. Laws 1913; Colorado: C. 110, Laws 1913: Kansas: C. 275, Laws 1915; Massachusetts: C. 706, Laws 1912; Am'd C's. 330, 675, Laws, 1913; Minnesota: C. 547, Laws 1912; Nebraska: C. 211, Laws 1913; Oregon: C. 62, Laws 1913; Utah: C. 63, Laws 1913; Washington: C. 174, Laws 1913; Wisconsin: C. 712, Laws 1913.
minimum wage in certain trades was introduced in the Nebraska legislature in February, 1909,1 but nothing came of it. After the passage of the British Trade Board Act, however, a real agitation for similar act was commenced in several States of the Union, and, as has been pointed out, Massachusetts led the way in 1912.
Titles. Four States, California, Oregon, Washington, and Kansas, have named the administrative board provided in each to carry into effect the provisions of the act, the "Industrial Welfare Commission," because these bodies in these States are given broader powers than the mere fixing of minimum rates of wages. Minnesota, Massachusetts and Nebraska use the title, "Minimum Wage Commission," and these commissions have power to fix wages rates only; and Colorado, granting the same power, uses "State Wage Board." Arkansas uses "Commission" only. Wisconsin and Utah use existing bodies: Wisconsin the Industrial Commission, and Utah the Commissioner of Immigration, Labor and Statistics.
Personnel: Appointment, Tenure, Compensation. In all cases but one, the appointments are made by the Governor, Wisconsin and Utah alone requiring the consent of the Senate. One of the women commissioners in Arkansas is appointed by the Commissioner of Labor and Statistics. In Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah the appointments are made for two years; in California, Washington, and Kansas for four years; in Massachusetts and Oregon, for three years, and in Wisconsin, for six. The commissions are composed of from three to five members; three in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Kansas; four in Nebraska; and five in California and Washington. One of the members must be a woman in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska; in Arkansas two of the commissioners are women. In Minnesota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, and Washington, the Commissioner of Labor is a member, and in Utah he is the sole member. In Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon the employers and employees must be represented. In Nebraska the Governor serves on the Commission, and also a professor in political science at the State University. In all other cases the members are ordinary citizens. In no case are annual salaries given, but all expenses are paid by the State, and in California and Massachusetts $10 a day are further allowed for actual service. Secretaries may be employed and their salaries fixed by the Commission, except in Colorado and Minnesota, where the law fixes the annual salaries at $1,200 and $1,800, respectively.
Industries and Employees Affected. In all states, except Colorado and Arkansas, all industries employing women and minors are covered by the respective acts. In Colorado only manufacturing and mercantile industries, laundries, hotels, restaurants, and telephone and telegraph offices are included. Arkansas specifically exempts certain industries, those excluded being estab
1 Andrews, Irene Osgood, "Minimum Wage Legislation," p. 8.