British Wages Boards: A Study in Industrial Democracy

British Wages Boards: A Study in Industrial Democracy

British Wages Boards: A Study in Industrial Democracy

British Wages Boards: A Study in Industrial Democracy

Excerpt

Nearly half a century has elapsed since New Zealand -- a young agricultural country -- inaugurated minimum wage legislation, and thirty years since Great Britain, then the stronghold of laissez faire doctrine and the foremost industrial nation of the world, took its first legislative step in the same direction. With the bringing into operation of the Fair Labor Standards Act on October 24, 1938, the United States takes its place among the large and growing number of nations whose governments have adopted legislation of this general type. In view of the complexity of the administrative task involved in this new phase of government activity, it is fortunate that we are privileged to draw upon so vast a body of experience as has been accumulated by other governments that have gone before us in this field.

It seldom proves feasible to import full-fledged the machinery or methods of operation which have been devised in another country to meet its peculiar needs. At the same time, it seems reasonable to suppose that out of the broad experience of other countries in dealing with minimum wage legislation as both to industry and to agriculture, certain principles, methods, and expedients have been developed, and even some illuminating mistakes made, which should afford guidance to those concerned with the administration of a similar undertaking at any time or in any place. We deem it opportune, therefore, to present at this time a detailed study of the British experience.

Miss Sells had an unusual opportunity to study at first hand the operation of the British Trade Boards system . . .

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