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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 16, 1911, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1911-12-16/ed-1/seq-6/

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THE- UNORGANIZED WORKER AT
HIS EMPLOYER
THE MERCY OF
Enemies of organized labor
base their dislike on the charge
that labor organized abuses its
power.
'- That may be true, occasionally,
and whenever it is true, is7 a mis
Take on the part of organized la
bor for which it must pay a high
price at some future time.
- It 'must be born in mind, how
ever, that in this world the fellow
who never made a mistake is al
ways the fellow who never did
.anything or even had the nerve to
try.
If mistakes lead to learning
what to do and what not to do,
then even mistakes are profita
ble.
An employer who is so thbr-
"'oughly-selfish, that he cai't see
anyone but himself, is a human
mistake that 'must be corrected
'by some method.
Labor organized because the
workers when appealing for jus
tice and fair play as individuals
were treated with scant courtesy.
Few are the branches of human
dustry but what have felt the
-iivigorating influence of the
rades union movement. Among
these few is the banking industry.
Rudolph W. Kallas, teller of
' Continental arid Commercial
Bank of Chicago, with a wife and'
two children, started in as a mes
senger and in 10 earS' service
never got beyond $15 per veek;
and then was given a small raise.
Recently he was arrested
charged with taking- S500 of the
bank's money. Here is the ex-
planation of his crime ;
"To tell the truth, I don't evert
know that I ever did get the $500
that I am charged with having
taken. I was responsible for sig
natures affixed on 20,000 checks
that came through wiy depart
ment daily. It was an exacting
position.
"Suddenly I thought it would
be fine to pay my grocery, meat
and rent bills with checks. That
was a year ago. I deposited $50
in the bank each pay day and then
drew checks against it. I never
kept track of the checks. They
say I overdrew $500. Iffloes not
seem possible that it can be true,
but the baby was born just about
then. It s expensive to have ba
bies that's the only explanation
I can make."
This is not an isolated case, by,
any means. Practically all the
banks pay poor wages to the cler
ical force. V
Banks make fortunes for their
stockholders and pay big salaries
to their officials, all on the peo
ple's money. But the men who do
the detail work are not as well
paid as many laborers.
Kalla.s advances reasons why
bank employes should organize.
He says : '
"But my plight is no worse
than thousands of other bank
clerks, working for starvation
wages. A bank clerk must make
a neat appearance. This costs
money. He must live in a good
neighborhood or he does not
come up to the standard exacted

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