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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 29, 1911, Image 9

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1911-12-29/ed-1/seq-9/

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WHEN MARY HOBBS APPEALED TO WISCONSIN, THE
STATE MOVED PROMPTLY TO STOP OVERWORK
By W. G. Shepherd. j
Staff Special. . . '
Madison, Wis., Dec. 29. Mrs.
John Hobbs, whose family I in
troduced to you yesterday, be
came worried over the wan tired
look of her daughter Mary, who
worked in a fashionable candy
store.
I told you yesterday that the
'Hobbses were a make-believe
family, but all these experience
stories of Wisconsin' progress
sive state laws are the real ex
periences of real people.
, ','How many hours have you
been working lately, Mary, asked
Mrs. Hobbs -one evening. ,
"Fourteen Hours a dayx" said
the girl. "If I oflfy didn't have
to work on Sundays, too; I'd get
a chance to rest. It's a lot of
work for $6 a week."
"Why don't you tell the indus
trial commission about.it?" asked
Mary's father. "That's .against
the law, the way they're treating
you."
The next day at noon, Mary
went across the streetto.the state
capitol and was shown to the of
fice of Charles R. Crownhart, of
the-industrial commission. She
. told him of the hardships of long
hours and little pay.
That same evening' a letter
went out fronii.the office, of the
commission" to the fashionable
candy makerl It ran something
like this:
'Complaint has been made that
yoii "are breakinghe law, which
provides that women shall nqtv
vork more than 10 hours a day,
pr 55 hours a w.eek. Will you
please sec that this law is ob
served in, your store? Please re
member, also,, that the law pro
vides that ' you are to post' a
schedule of working hour's in
your store so' that" the' girls may
know wfyemto stop work, each
day.1' -----
The next "day up went the
schedule in the candy store.
This schedule said that Mary's
workday was,' to end iat 5:30,
after 10 hours service, and at
5 :30 that night Mary put on her
hat and walked out of the store,
without asking-the permission of
the fashionable candy maker.
The other girls, did the sam,e
thing. The fashionable . candy
inaker couldn't very well go back
on his public schedule.
He was only doing the same
thing that all the ' restaurant
keepers and store keepers -and
factory managers, who employ
girls, had been forced to do by the
new Wisconsin progressive law
which passed six months ago.
And, by the way, during thef
Christmas rush in Wisconsin this
year, the newspapers didn't have
to plead with the; public to shop
early in order to -save the girl
clerks. ' None of the girl clerks
worked more than 10 hours; the
law didn't permit them4to.
Some of the biggest stores in
the state, including several in
Milwaukee, closed at 6 o'clock
every night during the shopping
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