Wage ceiling in Florida citrus groves, season of 1943-44


Material Information

Wage ceiling in Florida citrus groves, season of 1943-44
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Folsom, Josiah C ( Josiah Chase ), 1888-1970
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics ( Washington, D.C.? )

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aleph - 028422078
oclc - 717751027
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Full Text

. :.7 : .

July 1950

Ipi.,jm. Y~p 6- 4 I F,4SJ aI ....

*%W14. W.fl II Made e.SBs.ai.. o". icial @onttoi of
es,.. iI as i. other iz.eatries These programa .
|B(P~ilaI1 tag. ratea 'for' specifte operations ia -various
...i..... issued oonce sp^ecf programs have related
ll~llj^t1i^/Goaat, Q Cone eu'nlng the operation of: the wage
J||| lvf.l e g in Florida no previous report has been

^^^ thg operationeat the wage, ceil ings set foir citrus
S 1943- only, though such rates
i.=a.s .:...

lts 1asee# on dat:a gathered by. the trit.er and two other
t|iE Statetqt of, Agrioulturp iho visited Florida in
tap wa~iiis obtlaijed fro*m citrus growvera, packers, fruit pickers1
otioialea.bot&. by .pteriew. and4 by studyr of accounts andg
S, .A -i. Floid ho p" "a reor ha been"

:rf .-.'t :..::- *..-. '.. ^ ^. *. 1 ... ... :. '. ,. '* ^ ,"* .. ;.. .*
M ~ j ts' *4 -a~q to,.*g- Il..

.. ..94 .k ;,+r+' I,- = o, .4.r ,
!htv "C.P of14-. a uc ae
Vwt.o-,:. D. .< of .: ,.ui ure ..:,. .. :..a i

ga tae :and ,paok 'q have varied relai onshi4ps, Few individual,
i. k thelr tfrulvt or tInarklet., A packer may be an
S$q~qntb~j ati e A acqrporatjon. A. packer may
.p .i n
>%)d*.. *, pa o tit,,put buy !, .all he packs;
efVM ;pt te ,n. tie. frvt hei pecks. A. packer usually
.. .. .... ...C....
e".!ke. -and' the fruit to hias.
Bpftwst *ply pick and haul fruit to a
M nTh *qf4raotprs are commonly called "bird-
l p nW beaus th'ir pL cices are sharply comn-
41,... ifi06 T'o. o. e p,"bird-dogs" can
fl'^..i ,u./piflka .w p*...ox....oxthan qan packlnghousee.
ll^is e.I pot 'nbjoqt 4o 'the eapie ontrols -as. were

*|::, g, "a, e W".. .:* as.. a f.i y egrpwom"'n pi A -boy
L"s :* gets pedit for the work of bqth. There are areas
UhlA, : ka... m ity -..pickers.
^ t.. ..Iv.t...e.. ^a.e.. w.se., Wpe.ar!y all pickers ..I the
@ t. dirop ".in labor- supply.. .SOT.,.
a :0a1 eei thetUnited
the stabi oan of fartges. in
SArthur J.0 Agticultural wage stabilization F
i Agriculture i'onaograp HO.. 1. 140 pp.

." Va.'flNpm t.,thpn of the Of oe of Labor.

IQE-4 .
H: "m'"'
B. W0 ... -A 4

, i,



Ttu%-ater of', labor* -in
,reftbo it. One pgwker I
to 'kap up or ews -,av e, r i P- 40 86 9'A Ok'
si*i6 irpk, rm,9, 4, 616ial, 77- t&-" 'vo- 41A4
shoveh jq, Ainotlol er, 04*
t9e '6f '15.44
one z ei workjd- with, the'. rOw am

i tw 1, dai-4 work! ing OOVO, f6l t
tb.m, 6, or wecl-il iter.
,*B of 01Y' 4 or 3. horz, Some Packet-s are' ifi*unod
hour, da dmbtl
Y OSS they Imclude, tit

liqk&s.., Vdrkiti -do*s' Witt
ini iret
shortening 'by yveAher
en groves, and" packIrwelp

Picker a 'are, pa etanftrd
pldking'compels potoa of hourirratos t6l a*iuieo,
Time r4tes--are
pjofitabI6`to growere',qnly vhan4416*,

Zrov6s arli thati, holffxocaliti6 621P1. P- 12f,
ta'. dh med W14*ed, th-W.V ratoes'fqr`#a
)a 'b4dO"
Akboft onji', 4,eWi- *f the averap..1
"SA. e-S of -.,OAt. Kokint seedjlng wan

picking of Oranges. egim&- early in'QCU04W4
Its beighti, The. ziesi)owlait6 Utqtgay,-anai,
rapifruit 1h
lat16 June, sea m, ttnO +Wbe,
.gold g Pranges continued in s6me t
-0-val lnto7444,
was -OfVthe, tree$* Tangerine, Pliclam t'fis. abovv..
on 'tfie- -MmVkA..-, XO4,,,i4 4-
ixvjemaet$ ending Yartly."V

SUM, TO pro
Vdat tiolled or
atly f UneKnefs can, plaiO$,
ei ow orargwahd no
iir eb Gift er7 f rAt: wir, W.: -it, I prool""& 1,bb
.Or On n.

lavad#*t -9,7 1. SUI*w I
fruit, 80-9D pounds'

A/ EDVIOYere of. offtat allr
war to provide hmaing mhieh.hdd-to *e0t, qtar*irft s4i"Awl

3t",,4 'l

l'i, 19"ry; 'esti

V evexrAh9ug it
0 *kW;* ltle the 'ditrus -C
U ng,_ 'at41:
"tooitw:: Pi eking b ddvd ore roft Zi- 0.- 9. zenwtz er
40194W-a-, to 12 to 15 cents per box er Id gh er a't the b 6,girniing

'for.': libpr lt.OM', 6tht crop ;Ieqause: Gf
i Pm i In th"e"'grov'r*l.. Wr- mokipgh4useO.... becaUse...,moO
ai;W` fh6W of, th h ..*rK40ro. d6h O.Y mbite.

2#*es Were cm-Peti", Wth the citrs indu torl labO
_S'Ltaking mM4 fts Peoduaor6j. subject tib
a I
ed tbr-edue :thei ft 4 to-reduc 1#or
and, to,)g sure- Qi Uv'Iabor: q,,,..h8rveSt,, an'd,.Pa.ek,
qr t:j6" j-
194,3AW'Soa Sony, V6 i t,5,u'lsv growerp 'ler.e.
m4o or

4ikwd b &vmWe., %kndl,-, pacibra to,, c66tr4l'l '&o"ratee Ior oit4tqm
dt"L 19 "bad- :Wv*ed
lbtrbJ:,,,Aat of 1942,ar ive, 40rderg, pf ihe,.' dw
)d., 4euUr A .'
sploultuml wager4tof*.
&.tor 010-L Flpiwida
thAi, *4u*st the,,noxl.da,-Citiftm "mmissipn, 9 Axtib CIA
$O& Ad bzgti ca 4 0' Aweri, ai vh ethe
Lii A.
TILICaMd ftg" utabililid.:-ror. the Seaison's Uarvest Wt

4as..c6pbulted by the -growers'and', pqk-ers* R, recommer4od,
'a Wage, b6al-dl*va;',th, authii::x-W 'd healrIngs and
g rote* rpr bameitR:

omtOttee aW, the norida Citrus C

-zata on I d its *Orklw:

ada a I., W woo


I Cofth %

P&40 -a%4A,4tF0S

. .
grow&o and p46kw
,apparently not fm the *0roo" uokr*o,iw
no+, they iWe apt sufficimtly- qrpa

of growers an($ Tbt OtOrod, O0+%,-,-,*#x
004rast t thffi 'few pioker Presont werv at
tteir heed,'fbr-the
Int6 etfedt.' Atie e*. iup,
Allie;d ftrkri:br, Ambrbmaj-1004: '14
its. rpriaezftati -,a f at r 'heOizAg "d dj#4
piokorol actiial. oarailp, =d Coits, of livil*
k. j "i

t "UV
Rm tho Wor Food Administratpr otl
DA e oard t- ead
4eii ted t Florida US Viag "D
ioriginally set mused hardsbipaland
deslrable. The 1)6614 was al-w), enipwered,+
violation ceiling, ralbo# aA.vais

TabIAD OiapvinC&"I ciujo Pi Q"


kk oJE
-Seedlir* ataj&#

OM C 7'
IS -4 '4
4 t


:. :, ". ,.... .,,:. .. ..,I. ,:, ,5 --

4#iM & ^SuItA b in ceiling wage rates'it had.been intended to
gq tteep^ ;SBt the,'urgency for immediate. a4jstments after the setting
l'1Cnaaeiteling wage rates was such that twv men were appointed by the
Ag loultura2 Wagt-Statistics Board for the purpose. They divided the
pl between, thamst.es, and! investigated requests for wage raises. They
'6etMidationa to the Chaitman of the Wage Boar. who usually accepted them
L 4edithe applicants as promptly as possible. "iE quicker decisions were
Seededd, the invlttgators risked making thenr = the spot, and notified
ai accordingly. He. never overruled them. nlaestigation by the two men
ild'in more nearly moUfbrm adjustments than probably would have been made by
-hut the situation had. its difficulties. Both investigators had regular
Ots a id duties. hem they made investigations, each worked partly on his
4Or q/.time,. and partly outside of and in addition to his regular working
SThis created hardidtp for the employers and especially for the investi-
i 'whe'en.the work was beavy. There were some complaints that adjustments were
p3fWt'tly investigate. .The two investigators were unable. to give all the
'Wbon needed to areas of South Florida and along the Gulf Coast where the
,*w.agS light andr competition for labor was keen. Indications are that in that
hapaekinghouses sometimes paid more than ceiling rates without the knowledge
Ife Board, although not more than rates granted elsewhere in making adjustments.
:, two men were not fully adequate for the task of investigating requests
gle adjustments. Some persons stated that the Federal Government should have
tWunds with which to. employ full-time investigators to handle adjustment
ui ore pr.mt, and to. follow up the occasional reports of violations of
LB--.!g wage rptes set..
i:.i'i ,. > : ^ -'
k.j.., dss. its shortepmings, this administrative set-up was fairly suc-
L OGrowers and packers stated emphatically that without it they would have
l 'Jhs~a of dollars in. moving their citrus, would heve had a much greater
irqer of labor, and might have not been able to harvest all the crop because
rLabor troubles. A part of the credit for this success is due to the Chairman
t')tiBoard, whommany believed to be largely responsible for. obtaining the co-
S.Of,~ the citrus industry.., A part is due to the growers and packers who,
"A."fi|t:^e: colied with- the intent of the wage stabilization orders.
:I= :. ." I "4
Cit!rms pickers usually, reported that. they were satisfied with the- administra-
Pbf'tithe cein3.g wage rates. They knew that the rates were officially set and
1Ft7 wl appeared to consider them reasonable, although those who had asked for
;i.ertee were not 'fully satisfied. *ut-.ok-Prs interviewed sometimes showed
nilwgh information had reached them to enable them to understand the origin,
us,.a.nd terms. of the Wage Board's orders.
*xi. >Naticity conperning adjustments .in wage rates was inadequate. Consequently,
tl^ Wee some misunderstandings of adjustments, which were always upward, to
'vdea to make fair earnings in spite of poor picking, and to enable
P .'txarvest 'their crop;.. Some growers felt themselves left in unfair
tove positions. Fortunately, any adverse results were local, of short
n. 'dof small effect.* Most pickers soon learned that it would do them
.,' :quit .heir jobs to seek others on which earnings would be greater.
fy -the turn-over of labor was reduced.
aU wage rates first set by the Board became at once the going rates
.In a few spots of scattered light picking, immediate adjustments
4 ..: .. -

mients for only a fre groves. : ..; ..'.-. -
The causes of requests for adjustments in wage ceilings ,eatrM
height of trees, canopied tree tops, length of ladders reqyred., i
and scattered picking. .. ':. .,. .
.. :-- *- *' ; i

War demands reduced the supply of experienced citrus labor ao
a shortage as early as the season of 1941-42. But there wUs Io sM
labor in that or the next season; not even in that of 194344`. And o
despite successively lower labor supplies and larger crops. None otf:
inghouseq visited during the field study reported losses of fruit, b..
were unable to hire pickers for the 80,000,000 box crop of .the. latter":
In August, th6 Florida Emergency Farm Labor Office published andai
that 10,000 workers would be needed from outside their'areas, 8nd. 4$30W
on production operations. They appear tn have thought in terms ofbt th
labor supply of the depression yeac:s; to have underestimated the savi
supplies; and to have overestimated the needs for outside labor. Th-q.1
sought a labor supply sufficient to discourage demands for wage incrS
Most Florida citrus pickers live in the citrus areas, but some..
workers are employed. Some come each year .from farms of the SouthekAStel
and begin leaving in February to return to work their owi farms; witA
all these are gone. "
.... '.*,,, fl
Governmental authorities moved in out-of-State labor during the t.
The Florida Extension Service moved 1,700 workers to thb' citrus ae*,f:....
understanding that they would work there for at. least 60days. Most 'ot
stayed; but some left, dissatisfied with working, living,"and earniui'c
Little effort was made to hold them because there were sufficient p1. 01
meet needs. "-,
In addition, to the domestic -workers, a small number of Bahamimfs tj ^1
Jamaicans were obtained for picking and cannery-house wotk. The 'o tl...
which they were obtained gave their employers .a measure of control Owi.0'
The presence of these and of out-of-State.workers tended, in the. oint4
employers, to offer job competition sufficient to make local labor-Awi
and efficient, :t 'V l
... ..... :* .. :..t t :;:^ *
The "work or fight" orders issued in limited areas reduced iWeief'r.:`
pub li I' -" : ", .. .. 'fr. =.".-'^.ff
public ..... .: |
"* .: ." .. "- *: :. .;= .:, i'
Generally speaking, there appears to have been more: nd,4y f,41. :1 i
of labor available for citrus work. in the 1943-4 season than :4lN-04...UW
due to the somewhat shorter labor supply, the large crop, snt-the.i S
*' '.^.* ..

-A L"I


ed tijiz,

4"40.n, 4.
tang&.i nee.,: 1+ 1'p weent.

vo t work6e
0 -1
4bOAA -),,'3W *drkeii suph, as,.joaders, and, tr=k
of, 'thle, easm' or 1943"' 2
i v A 00P
Ice,:, fan
10P41,41 4lia for 18,0DO. wor -.s,*
.,ad4# -grpy6,,,1a
1 ,I ,, Le ,
POO em
'er,4[bdL oonatj6ng dj
-.2 000 -d I*
rc e' *f close to i! 2. W641
k-", 14 M tio*es, itrmt, aff tho
a- o bj,aoted that Ithp PW.g6nqT, Form,
be oeeded X944-f,

pports,,the Opole, 04-04 V Ma4mm
'Worker even-when ptaking: I a atoAtfs
=dh,.1nvo1u4tax7, idl a ong the .

a x- F.,wk
irk, M
AAA*46 1 ra 'i4W loonfusi ed,
by', tui,n;-6vW -in

pd,r Pa044ghoU"S
'an froM j"o d-S.

ing sq." wa1%
'ware v
49 t

wor ahe", "ta -Of
Pao ftluse


.. .... 4 P L. .." ."
.. ......r. .*; .t ^;.,,,34^.- ..' : .: ^ .

M: :- t: Yt Y. : Y, '

". ; :' ,. ". :I, ": 1E ..: .. : ",- .' .. *: -- ***% '* .IA
, *...: ..** -. ,: ... .. .,: _. **-/ .. .. .. -. ;. .- V : -... .. *^ ...... .. .^ *

...1 ; '* I .; *" '-'^ *P ^ *" fl." i '" T *'liB "-P ^
... .. .. .* ..

". 'i. .' : '" -y

it *, A'
i. 7. A.."..... t ,

.i:" .. ".1" :" Awl. .,., .:
:* i;,.'?- P....P ,

....... ..ri 1 : : S.

e k-
&. r .. .. ..... ..

.. .... .. .... ~ *
:., -n~;u :" i a"' ;

hw a. ror Large packingrouses earne Wne mose money. "hose
SW-Aha tss.stead y work, and earned lees, And small houses packing
S Bi^:sBaanu made up 86 'percent of the packinghouses, but
W4 P! e the 't nt .in tke 194344 season. Records obtained in-
i. ,sl $aisaearnngs qf pickers were about $30 per week; in
"". or" ass ..
support the claim, of some persons that pickers' earnings
ta;, .and Qften are much more.
week to support a familyy of four, pickers seldom earned a
tt.rtr ez ;bsenteeism if they had any foresight for the future,
L : .. : :.. .
l:, :- PIp S1ORK PER. EEK

^:^|MA?4*4 ueua?. ,of ']1943-44, thes larger paokinghouses picked fruit
I'*eatbwr and marke conditions permitted. Usually they did
e A.,tondernoQha seldom on Sundays.

l qen^athere,,ww theoretically 209 working days .in 38 weeks of
-any,0of theseWere abtually full working days was not.ascer-
|-.clw average more than 6 or 7 hours picking per day, nor
Ayfl tan. fIpe .islast because of dew on trees, rain, shortage
j ,$.i..l nfrom.one grove to another dung the day. Whole days
^i$ W^ tbc s Ink .f picking w$en market conditions are un-

$*.$4teS w e17 day, week. after week. Those particularly
.i.e^ 4Iw L*Ij ^ tht'.pickers work only lon enough to earn

Hi^^falwy~ bar the Hlryau of Agricultural Economic s
HSli Celig wage rates. were practi-
wet. reported to average $l,02 per haur,
I^prIn*. Wost^ng tijc, veragsd 7.56 hours per "day, ,and
J : ^ Lquts J., *ad ifagood, Margaret Jarman. Wages and
:; )t Sp~eiand Crop Areas of Florida, Febra.-
o( ;i:.Wegps and Wage Rates in Agriculture,

Fruit ; f

Budded oranges
'Seedling oranges
I il

'5lRflYe 4^p^5ILZ)E ^.11
cklWah~ous e ogperet
1o 5 -' 40"
1- -:.. 9. 150
-" .. "* .""" V". '' :"'
,. '"'" ''.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 2- "V "J i !'

i ~ :lVt..^1.. ... ,. + ?l .''t ... -. *, .*, ", "..
l .,.* ::. ."cent of Ntotal caea .
Percent" r i

326 16.0
fi t '.'. 'k 59 .2" 12 .9*
..." ,. 1 0 0 0

t bh^.ts'ior^sfatng picking jierfoitmanoe in frit other
ft &?nig^ nddkin hg budded oraunges are generally accepted
*r:s;:.,C'. +,.*,$n.f the oth,- fruits so.. ..that thp earnings are
62P&6`IC^S4a3t- boxfes- of 'btddddl' oranges is taken ai' the -
ti pttt'e ,the tob.'.er h the same amount at th. 1943.44 cell-
*.. fr brigs, a : to pick a.out 26 boxes of.
.0:'- ,aefrt, d 22. of tngerines tablee 4, last column
pt' the tostlmoiy of pickers rather than those of

IIck' "bu*1ed oranges, because, they' say, they' cas *earn
t,".n'te t ow ,. and .the work- I easier. A et
A.. t"c'nftrn' thi' th"en bu"ded "ranges oly .'

...i.a day, t ualy o.f -different ki.ita
tile twztblrs 'of paokinghoise tar 20 teakS
eBoxes of. fruit: picired perp ma-*

.V .:.. A
t; b4 6).:,iSafl.ngui At 194d-4 c 's~l~e g ratesn~aT for tis ted':<

S~t~he~ ora .*es pik'ed rhad bee bed

rpwrted' tht 13 tis'pickr
4de" d *a,-zgoes 2, of60 eeddind oranges, 68 of
Mt!'$r!.ti.. 3t. day.: -T eS riguresMao 0 plaily2 nit .
.... Mgia^ s tEfit per da&; they did. ah t include the
*.+.eK ~ ,.:,: ..... ..
*I....L .: \,. i .r .,

.:.:, ... ... .
7.!..k"..". I:. e: m w r.t .es ."- ,'..,
..<0 : :, ;. : : q '. : E4 .: + i .
!': : ~~~~~~~~ic.!e 'm d r e :--
VIN- 'Ah "+ :t t..;: ., .. ., .. .
': r ." .:, ":. + .k':; i.+".. : "1" "4 :
.. .p .p : .
;:" ,,: ': ;" "' ej"
,"Sp t',r, day
:;!'/!':~~~~~~~~~~~~ R40 lid"T al~c~~me fr,,I.ie~" .

3 `1262 08918 7313

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"":r.:"v I. t '":".:.,w':': ..... w^ 1 : "pe ro an l8 ."M", "a B gg

:.-.: ..:...?:..: ..... .. *": h_ "nd'.:h e Th o ^ ...cker .^'."
.:f:. .i .. .....

.-' h'"".: .ig" r lle''r".':" were... .i;fe. ,.. ...... .^ ^^ ^ ^^ ^
59,....:. '' 9s."7.i..' U.. .io
V ..........
'1.:: at. r i teie

In:.if...: t ep, ,l..r..d.i.....e.i.s ...r i t i ic ;.
*&W S .. .ay .d h M x w... 0.' wt S

hi.msad hi hd,'' .tb.4.......u,.
ONW~~drih thick~d Iewbt"UUiwr

"h divflet rofll wierie- interrto thn4w
vpA.p:, :p ... on i e. .d e e* .s. : ...,.

hi.. t Vio th of w
&:qt:tties"I CreditZ eB d~e tf kys .4

ktOIZ An- a ar~ bt 30ptn S*
4Ze. Vmsafle houses, t. or i. Rep;*4

... i. -... S im

: he .d .
In6n -d ci r s ::':V f'l-9Q :, ::' :'"
cited.,. &dutw U.-jM'., .:,6.
U t -i e : .. ,b 'AU' "

&-":" : : -J "ere ek I. j ,, a
i .0ta:.~g M.E 1 '. .
+,::. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ N +A..lb ,po ~ J z
was.~, 60dtbe i.,.. ,..sp

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