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Newspaper Page Text
TWO PLEAS THAT MEANT
A woman, hatless and carrying
a little baby in her arms, appeared
before the Board of Review to ask
that her taxes be reduced yester
day. While she sobbed of her pov
erty to the board three other little
phildreh peeked around the door,
big-eyed, wondering 'why their
mother cried before all these
The woman was Mrs. Hulda
Olson, 7016 Prairie avenue, and
her home had been assessed at
"What does your husband do?"
asked Fred W. Upham, member
of the board.
"He is a motorman,"'said Mrs.
Olson, "and we can't afford to pay
all these taxes. It took us so long
to get our little home, so much de
nial, and saving, and hard work."
"Why did you bring your chil
dren with you?" -demanded Up
ham, scenting a chance to wax
sarcastic over "sympathygames."
Mrs. Olson began to sob.
"I didn't know it wasn't allow
ed' she said, "and it is so rarely
they get an outing. I thought
they would enjoy the ride down
Mrs. Olson's taxes were re
While Mrs. Olson was explain
ing how hard it is for the wife of a
motorman to make both ends
meet, W. D. Mahon, international
president of 'the motormen and
conductors' union, was trying to
get an increase in wages for the
24,000 motormen and conductors
JUST ORDINARY LIVING. '
Mahon took a novel way of pre
senting the 'case of the unions
when he appeared before the trac
He first showed how entirely
out of proportion were the earn
ings of the street failway com
paniesjon the capital they had in
vested. Then he produced an itemized
list, showing the approximate
cost of living for one year for a
family of five.
It wag a very modest list. It
only included $7 for amusements
for the entire year. It included
nothing for school books, litera
ture, ice, savings for sickness of
any member of the family, fruits,
tobacco or insurance.
And it totaled exactly$l,091.66.
Mahon then showed that there
were $13,748 employed by the two
traction companies of Chicago,
and that they received $8,537,541
in wages during the last yean
If you work that out you will
find that the average wage of an
employe of a Chicago traction
company is $621, or $470.66 less
than the lowest estimate of what
it costs to keep a family of five for
The officials of the Chicago
City Railways Co. and President
Roach agreed ' to meet a union
committee to talk over thewage
situation. They gave no indica
tion of what they intended doing.
"We are not asking 'much,"
said President Mahon. "We do
not wish to hold up the compa
nies. iJut we do want a nvine