MINIMUM WAGE PROVISIONS IN THE CODES
As indicated in the preceding chapter, approximately nine-tenths of the employees over whom the National Industrial Recovery Act assumed jurisdiction are under codes. The bulk of the remaining one-tenth are covered by the President's Re-employment Agreement, originally planned to serve as a stop-gap until. January 1, 1934, but later extended. Clearly the code structure of hours, wages, and working conditions is in a position to exert a powerful influence upon business operations, and indeed upon the whole economic pattern. The present chapter will examine that part of the code structure connected with minimum wage provisions and at the outset two points may well be made.
In the first place, the minimum wage of the codes is not a single, definite thing. It varies according to industries. At one extreme is the code for needle work in. Puerto Rico, which sets a minimum of 12.5 cents an hour; and at the other the wrecking and salvage code, which provides a minimum of 70 cents for New York City. It varies also according to geographic areas, according to the population of the city where a plant is located, according to sex, and occasionally according to wages paid in 1929. It varies according to class of work, unskilled production workers and clerical workers frequently being differentiated, and additional classes occasionally being given minima. Then, there are exceptions which constitute sub-minimal arrangements for certain occupations, for learners and apprentices, for the old and handi-