Thursday, 6 May 2010

Some British Wage Rates of the 1920s

Some examples of the wages in various industries in the 1920s.

Aircraft Industry: Skilled workers in 1925 received £3 2s 8d per week (1s 4d per hour for a 47-hour week), leading hands got an extra 1d per hour and charge hands an extra 2d per hour. Semi-skilled workers received £2 14s 10d per week (1s 2d per hour). Labourers received £2 7s per week (1s per hour). Women received £1 13s 3½d per week (8½d per hour).

Boiler Scalers: Boiler scalers (i.e. men who cleaned the boilers of steamships) in Glasgow in 1927 were paid 1s 4½d per hour for a 44-hour week, plus 1d per hour for oil-burning vessels. Overtime was paid at time and a half, Sundays, New Year’s Day and Fair Saturday at double time, other holidays at time and a half.

British Aluminium Co Ltd: Weekly wages in 1921 ranged from £2 19s to £3 5s 6d for men (average about £3) and £1 5s 9d to £2 for boys for a 48-hour week.

British Celanese Ltd: Process workers earned 1s ½d per hour in 1928, increasing by 1d after three months and another 1d after six months. Experienced workers could earn an extra 1d. Skilled workers and chargehands earned 1s 3½d to 1s 4½d per hour, with chargehands over skilled workers earning an extra 1d on top. Workers working a two-shift system earned an extra 1d per hour and those working a three-shift system an extra 2d. [Note: British Celanese was a chemical company.]

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