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Social affairs – number of employees and activities:

At the beginning of the 17th century the following activities were described in the salt mines:

The Bergmeister was sworn in by the Salzamtmann in Gmunden before he took up his duties. He was the manager responsible for the mining operation and had the duty of “always bringing up a young skilful ironworker alongside him, diligently and faithfully instructing the same Berg Schien, Wag und Maß, actually learning and teaching, thereby you. Maj. would like to use the same for a future Bergmeister”.


The mountain worker was also sworn and had to see to the order in the mountain and compliance with the prescribed services so that the workers received the wages they were entitled to.


Three Eisenhäuer were selected by the Bergmeister as spectators or jurors ; They were not paid as such and had to approve the brine together with the miner and worker, give their opinion on the type and nature of the rock when measuring the dimensions and participate in the accounting of the item (mining piecework).


The Eisenhauer received a weekly wage as an advance on the fixed quarterly output on the rock.


At the Ischler Salzberg, 9 iron cutters were divided into three blows (working groups) and worked on the rock throughout the shift. Each battalion had to advance 27 poles (ie 3 poles per man and quarter = 3.58 m ) in a quarter in order to receive the full payment.

The workers had to change 1 ½ - 2 yokes (excavation room) per shift. They were also used for the maintenance and production of conveyor hoists, for repairing the reels in the scoop pits and for the production of beams for ironwork.

The Karrner or promoters promoted the accumulating heaps of heifers and rusters from the pit.

The creators had to reel up the buckets filled with brine from the workers.

The farmhands or boys were busy with various unskilled work in mining, the weather forching (operating fans for artificial ventilation) and delivering the mining irons to and from the mining smithy.

The mountain blacksmith had to keep the hewer's tools (tools) in order, steel them, weld them and sharpen them.

The charcoal burner burned the forge charcoal from the charcoal wood assigned to him.

The cart makers or wood-diggers were responsible for the manufacture and repair of the scoops and cleaning buckets as well as the preparation of the yoke and base wood and its delivery to the scaffolding sites in the pit. They were also obliged to provide the necessary tools, such as hoes and dexel (axe with a transverse blade).


The number of miners for Ischl specified in 1656 in the 3rd Reformation Dragonfly had to be increased towards the end of the 17th century and even more so in the 18th century, because the accelerated alignment of the deeper horizons and the increase in the number of workers meant an increase in the number of miners, miners and and cleaner personnel required.


The miners and their related trades enjoyed princely exemption (princely protection) on the way to and from the Salt Mine except in matters of maleficent (serious crimes). Under threat of loss of property and imprisonment, they were not allowed to enter into alliances with one another, nor to form alliances against superiors such as magistrates, administrators, miners or workers, and they were not allowed to mistreat, scold or ridicule their employees. Salt theft and unreported removal from salt waste was forbidden, as was carrying weapons. Any other handling (employment) was forbidden to the Eisenhäuern.


However, the level of 140 men in 1720 does not correspond to the actual work output, since many miners only worked half shifts.


Workers at the Ischler Salzberg:


The following list of employment in the Ischler Pfannhaus shows the predominance of woodwork, which claimed 70% of the entire workforce, while hardly a quarter of this was necessary for the actual salt production. The strong increase in the workforce towards the end of the 17th century is related to the overpopulation in the Kammergut, which resulted in an increased influx of people to work in all the administration offices and companies.

Worker Ischler Pfannhaus:

The Erbeisenhäuer rights ceased to exist around 1760 without being formally revoked. The hewers now split into two groups, the squires who worked on the stone and in the things and the squires who were no longer suitable for this and worked in the look-up and other things.


In 1763, the commission of inquiry had replaced the six-hour shift that had been customary until then with an eight-hour shift followed by a 16-hour rest period. The workers started at 4 a.m. on Monday and finished the last shift at noon on Saturday. Since they could not go home between two shifts due to the great distance between their homes, they did not have time to do housekeeping at the weekend. They therefore asked for the old shift system to be reintroduced, which the Oberamt granted them in 1770. After this, the weekly shift was over on Friday without any reduction in working hours. Day workers' shifts in the summer began at 5 am and ended at 6 pm, with two one-hour rest breaks at 8 am and noon. In the future, 382 six-hour shifts had to be worked for the 286 ½ eight-hour shifts that were previously used annually. The relatively small number of shifts can be explained by the many mountain holidays. In 1781, however, Emperor Josef canceled 26 such mountain holidays.


Even with the considerably increased staff in 1769, the accelerated tunneling of the new underpass tunnel and the increased activity in mining in the following years at the Ischler Salzberg could not be sufficient.

Worker Ischler Salzberg:

In 1805 the workforce at the Ischler Salzberg already numbered 230 men.

In 1805 the administrative offices of Hallstatt, Ischl and Ebensee employed a total of 3,422 men. In addition, there were 1,000 workers in Aussee, that of the bulk runners' trade office for barrel production  and personnel required for shipping, the occupation of the loading places and barns and the Küfler standing in the finishing service. A total of around 5,000 workers may have been employed in the salt industry.

In 1851 the ministry set the peak of stable laborers at 3,739 men.

Between 1805 and 1810, the number of employees at the Verwesamt Ischl was 968 workers.

Ischl dilapidated:  Number of personnel mid 1805 to 1810

In his book "Travelling through Upper Austria", Volume I from 1809, Joseph August Schultes describes the following activities on the Ischler Salzberg:

Overview of the mountain personnel at the Ischler Berge 1804:

In 1822 the miners in Hallstatt and Ischl had the following work regulations:

The cleaners, miners (conveyors), Lettenschlager, Wegleger and workboys began work on Monday at 6 a.m. and worked eight six-hour shifts a week with a six-hour rest period. The carpenters worked five six-hour shifts with a twelve-hour break in 3 freestyle sessions on site and started work on Mondays at 6 a.m., 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. They spent the sixth six-hour shift "after work", i.e. not at Gedingort during the rest period, and had Thursday afternoons or evenings off. The squires also only worked six six-hour shifts a week, two a day each, but they were only assigned to two men and could therefore complete their weekly work in three days. The book writers, blacksmiths, stuff custodians, chest judges, Geimel and Rüster were on the mountain from Monday morning to Thursday evening and worked twice a day for six hours, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. The watermen rotated six-hour shifts, worked 14 shifts a week, and then were off duty the following week. Like the other day workers, the woodworkers and unskilled laborers stayed at the Salzberg from Monday to Thursday, but were only paid five days' wages for the four working days and the paid return trip.


The new shift order introduced in 1841 according to the intentions of the court chamber in connection with a status and wage regulation was intended to eliminate organizational disadvantages and put the companies on a more rational basis.

  The servants on the salt mountains were now divided into:                                                                      

1. The championship without manual activities,                                                                                                                         

2. Hut people with manual activities,                                                                                                                         

3. Miners 1st, 2nd and 3rd class with a weekly wage increased by 30% compared to the previous one,

4. Manipulation Pupils (Mountain Boys).


The number of systematic master craftsman and worker posts was limited to 178 in Ischl, 213 in Aussee and 301 in Hallstatt.


Working hours should be extended to the whole week, starting Monday at noon and ending on Saturday at noon. The pit work was to take eight six-hour shifts throughout. This shift order, which kept the miners back at the salt mines all week long, was not popular with the miners.


In 1851, the Hallstatt miners finally obtained permission to work the 48-hour week in five days by shortening the previous rest periods, so that they could leave the salt mine on Friday and use the whole of Saturday to do housework.   


In 1821, only boys who were at least twelve years old and had school certificates were allowed to be accepted as miner boys or manipulation pupils, mostly the sons of supervisors. The number of boys in Ischl was eight and twelve in Hallstatt. They initially served without pay and, after a probationary period, received a small wage including farm grain if they performed satisfactorily.


As in all companies, the number of employees at the Ischler Salzberg had increased significantly.           

In 1823 it was 246, in 1824 even 263 men, including 206 miners, 30-45 woodcutters and 10-11 pupils.


The austerity measures of the following years only slowly made themselves felt, 1832 employed 206, 1834 195 and 1837 183 men. There were now 185 systematic posts, and the administration had to cover any additional demand by hiring temporary interim workers. In the years 1847 to 1849 the Ischler Salzberg employed a total of 200 men.                                             

From the 185 systematized positions on:

Class I       37 on housemen and foremen                                                                                                                                   

class II      41 on Lettenschlager, stretch workers, blacksmiths and elmsters                                                                                            

Class III     41 on conveyors and layoffs                                                                                                                                         

Class IV     37 on chester                                                                                                                                                                      

Class V      29 on Tschanderer and Werkbuben


In his report on "The Ischler Bergfest" in the 1970 Leobner Grünen Hefte, Franz Grieshofer gives an overview of the workforce at the Ischler Salzberg from 1650 to 1969

Ischler Salzberg: Number of employees 1650 - 1969

In her work on "The Liquidation of the Saline Hall" from 1970, Maria Mittendorfer gives an overview of the number of employees at the Austrian salt works in 1964.

Sources used:

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian salt works from the beginning of the 16th to the middle of the 18th century", Vienna 1932

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian Salt Works from 1750 to the time after the French Wars", Vienna 1934

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian Salt Works from 1818 to the end of the Salt Office in 1850", Vienna 1936

Joseph August Schulte's "Travels through Upper Austria", Volume I, Tübingen 1809, reprint Linz 2008

Franz Grieshofer "The Ischler Bergfest", Leobner Grüne Hefte, Vienna 1970

Maria Mittendorfer "The liquidation of the Saline Hall", contributions to alpine economic and social research, episode 92, Innsbruck 1970

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