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Newspaper Page Text
" ."Of course NOT! They are
worked up like all the rest, card
ed and sold.4 They are the kind
you and the shirt makers' buy for
about 5 cents a dozen.
After the blanks are cut they
go through the processes of
grinding, drilling," polishing and
carding. The grinder got noth
ing for grinding "bad" buttons,
the machine girl got nothing for
drilling the holes hxthem, the pol
isher got nothing for polishing
them, the sorter got nothing for
Yet and one of these girls
would have been fired on the spot
for refusing to handle them. On
ly the woman or child under 14
working at home, who sewed
them on a card for 4 cents a
gross, got paid for hjfndling
Oh, yes; ttiei manufacturer gets
paid for every dozen of them he
sells, you may be sure!
The girls averaged $6 a week.
Some got only $3 aside from tu
berculosis and things like that,
through working in the shell dust
which cuts the lungs like knives.
They become, in time, weak
.lunged mothers of weak-lunged
Charles P. Hanley. a leading
Muscatine lawyer, has earned
- it:! .
COST OF LOST FINGERS UP. TO PARENTS
Many machines in the Muscatine button factories lack safety
devices. Every once in a while a machine lops off a finger or a
thumb. One girl, not long ago, lost part pf a finger. The hos-
pital sent the bill to the manufacturer, but he promptly for-
warded it to the girl's parents.
fierce enmity of the manufacture
ers by championing the button
"Not only have they lost thiav
25 per cent of their labor by the
'bad button system and dishonest
weighing," says Hanley, "but
they must wait' a week for their
wages of lose 5 per cent for their
If a man wanted his money at
the end of the week and most
of them are so poor that they
need it right away that had to
pay the boss 50 cents out of every
$10, or wait another week. In
some factories the employes were
not only invited to 'cash in' and
give the boss his rake-off, but
were compelled to."
These men and women in the
button factories are not "cheap
foreign labor." They are native
b'orn, either in Muscatine or the
farming community adjacent.
The button manufacturers are
united in a close association
which locked out the workers last
spring when the latter attempt
ed to form a union. Then came
mediation, 'return to work, brok
en promises, and " the present
There has been violence in this
strike. I'll tell about that tomor-.
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