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NIAGARA FALLS POWER CO.
The Niagara Falls Power Co. and its allied companies, including the Canadian Niagara Power Co., have an employees' beneficial association. The companies agreed to contribute each month a sum equal to the dues of the employees. The initiation dues are $2 and each member contributes 50 cents a month for the first 18 months that he belongs to the association, and after that period 25 cents a month unless the funds in the treasury fall too low to allow it. When the funds are below $1,000 all the members must pay 50 cents a month. When the treasury contains $2,000, old members contribute only 23 cents a month. The dues are deducted from the wages of members by the company. Members are paid sick or disability benefits for a period not exceeding 26 weeks in one year, at the following rates:
For the first entire week, $7.
For the following 12 weeks, $1 a day, provided there is more than $500 in the treasury, otherwise $5 a week.
For the next 13 weeks, $3.50 a week.
No benefits are paid for illness lasting less than one week. In case of the death of a member, his family receives $100. All the officers are elected by the members. A sick committee of four members visits members who are ill and investigates all claims for relief.
The company appropriates some of the receipts from the admission fees charged visitors to the power houses to the employees' association. Other appropriations from this same source are made to endow a bed in the Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital for the use of disabled and sick employees and to other local hospitals.
At one time the company laid off on its lands a model industrial village called Echota. The houses had lawns in front of them and were lighted with electricity and were rented to employees at very low rates, lower than elsewhere. The company would also sell homes to employees who desired it. Of late the policy has been to sell the houses for homes.
At the beginning of 1911 the company's pension system became operative. Every employee on attaining the age of 65, who has been 10 years in its employ, may be pensioned. Employees on reaching 50 years of age, who have been continuously in the service for 15 years and have become unfitted for any position, may be pensioned. The annual pension allowance is 11 per cent for each year of service of the highest amount of salary received by the beneficiary within the past 10 years. In no case, however, is the pension to be less than $20 a month, or greater than $100. If the company sees fit the pension rate may be reduced. Leave of absence, suspension for discipline, or temporary suspension due to reduction of force does not
affect continuity of service. The acceptance of a pension does not debar the recipient from engaging in business. Persons suing the company for damages because of personal injury within three years of the date of retirement are not entitled to a pension. The pension system is administered by the executive committee of the directors.
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.
The Union Pacific Railroad Co. pensions employees on all the railway lines it operates. All officers and employees on reaching 70 years of age are retired and those who have been in the service 20 years receive a pension. Certain classes of employees, such as locomotive engineers and firemen, conductors, flagmen, brakemen, train bag. gagemen, yardmasters, switchmen, those engaged in the actual running of the trains, may be retired earlier, at 15 years, and after 20 years' service pensioned. Oflicers and male employees who become permanently disabled after 25 years of service may be retired and pensioned, and women employees after 20 years of service. Officers and employees between 61 and 70 years of age who have become incapacitated may be retired and pensioned. Disabled and incapacitated persons under 70 years of age are, of course, subject to a physical examination. Continuous employment is the basis in reckoning the length of service. Leave of absence, suspension, dismissal, followed by reinstatement within the year, or temporary stoppage of employment because of reduction of the force, does not affect the continuity of service. The pension rate is 1 per cent of the average monthly earnings of the last 10 years before retirement for each year of service. Thus, 40 years of service is remunerated with 40 per cent of the last ten years' average earnings. A pension fund of $100,000 is set aside, with yearly additions of $50,000 if necessary. Should this sum not prove sufficient the rate of pension is to be proportionately reduced.
At the close of 1909 there were 531 persons on the pension roll. With the adoption of the pension plan an age limit for new employees was set. No new person inexperienced in railway work over 35 years of age is employed except where the work requires professional qualifications. Pensioners may engage in other work not prejudicial to the interests of the company. A board of pensions, consisting of certain executive officers of the railway, administers the pension fund subject to the approval of the president. From its decision there is no appeal.
A system of railway clubs is in operation for the employees. These are located at convenient points for lay-overs. They have recreation rooms, libraries, billiard rooms, and baths, and bedrooms renting at a nominal figure. At some of the clubs restaurants are attached. A hospital fund is administered by the company out of which medical aid is supplied to employees, who are required to become members and to contribute 50 cents a month. In addition to caring for the sick the fund pays a death benefit of $50.
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY CO.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. has equipped a large number of reading rooms and clubhouses, about 18 in all, along its lines. These are usually located at the points where employees have their long lay-overs. Some of these buildings are very commodious and handsome. In some there are sleeping rooms and in a few cases restaurants. The rooms are rented to employees at 25 cents a night. The newer buildings are equipped with pool and billiard tables, an auditorium, shower and tub baths, etc., all the requirements of a complete clubhouse. The reading rooms are in charge of a superintendent of reading rooms whose entire time is devoted to this work. The company's motive in instituting this work is to surround the employees with educating influences; to develop them and increase efficiency. As the motto of the reading room runs: “Give a man a bath, a book, and an entertainment that appeals to his mind and hopes by music and knowledge, and you have enlarged, extended, and adorned his life; and as he becomes more faithful to himself he is more valuable to the company."
A monthly magazine is published for the 60,000 employees and distributed gratis among them. The company has three apprenticeship schools, one each at Newton, Topeka, and Los Angeles, with a scholarship at Armour Institute in Chicago.
The company began pensioning employees in 1907. All employees trho have been in the service for 15 years on reaching 65 years of age may be pensioned, or employees who become permanently incaparitated in the service of the company. No employee, however, shall receive a pension who shall make or enforce a claim against the railway for damages because of injury or accident within three years prior to the date when he is to be retired. With the pension system came an age limit for persons taken into the service. No person who has been taken into the company's employ at 50 years of age or older shall be eligible to a pension. No pension less than $20 or more than $75 a month is allowed. For each year of service there is allowed a pension of 14 per cent of the highest average monthly pay of the employee during any consecutive 10 years of employment up to $50 and three-fourths of 1 per cent of any excess of such average monthly pay over $50. In 1910 there were over 200 employees on the pension roll. The pension fund is administered by a board of pensions appointed by the president and acting during his pleasure. It is distinctly understood that the company does not confer any contractual right to a pension, but reserves the right to discharge any employee when it sees fit.
INTERBOROUGH RAPID TRANSIT CO.
The Interborough Rapid Transit Co., of New York City, maintains as their greatest welfare work a voluntary relief department for their 10,000 employees, and guarantees the fulfillment of all the obligations. It takes charge of the department, pays all its expenses, and is responsible for the safe keeping of the funds. Sick, accident, und death benefits are paid to such of the employees as contribute, it being optional with them whether they shall join. As a matter of fact, about 5,700 men, or 57 per cent of the employees, belong. Any employee not over 45 years of age, upon passing a satisfactory physical examination, may belong. There are three classes of membership, dependent on the monthly earnings of employees, the first class for employees at any rate of pay, the second for those receiving $35 or more a month, and the third for those receiving $75 or more. The first class pays 75 cents dues a month and receives after the first week sick or accident benefits of 50 cents a day, the second pays $1.50 per month and receives $1 a day, and the third pays $3 per month and receives $2 a day. The benefits extend until the disabled member has recovered. For the first 52 weeks they are at the full rate, and after that at half rate. A member after drawing sick benefit for 52 weeks, who is declared to be able to return to work by the medical examiner, must work at least 13 weeks before again draw. ing benefits at the full rate. Should he become disabled before 13 weeks have elapsed, he receives benefit at half rate. In the event of death, the beneficiary of the deceased receives $250 for members of the first class, $500 for members of the second class, and $1,000 for the third. Members are allowed to take out additional death benefits double the original benefit by payment of a small monthly sum dependent on the age at which it is taken. Contributions or dues are deducted from wages and are paid in advance. The acceptance of benefit for injury or death operates as a release of all claims for damages against the company.
The table following gives light on the various rates.
CONTRIBUTIONS AND BENEFITS OF EACH CLASS OF MEMBERS OF THE RELIEF
The administration of the department is in charge of a superintendant and an advisory committee of seven. This committee provides for representation of the members in that three members are elected by the Eastern and Western divisions of the Manhattan Railway lines and the Subway division. Each division chooses one member. In 1910 there were 5,687 members, and during the year over $68.000 had been disbursed for sick, accident, and death benefits, while over $78,000 had been received from contributions. The contributions of members very adequately cover all disbursements.
At the terminals the company has constructed for the men buildings equipped with reading and smoking rooms and recreation and pool rooms. There are exceptional toilet facilities and shower baths. Lunch rooms also are operated, and food is furnished employees at considerably less cost than they can obtain it elsewhere.
WELLS, FARGO & Co.
The Wells, Fargo & Co. has instituted a pension system for its employees throughout the country. All employees and officers on reaching 70 may be retired, and if they have been 25 years in the service pensioned; officers and employees over 60 years of age who have been 25 years in the service and have become incapacitated may be retired and pensioned. The pension allowance is 1 per cent for each Tear of service of the average monthly earnings during the last 10 years preceding retirement; thus in any event a minimum of 25 per cent of wages. The company has made a rule that no person over 35 years of age who is inexperienced in the business shall be employed.