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Newspaper Page Text
hind me. "Who eats all the
The hackless, knee-cramping
henches had done lhelr work. In
terest, cunosity,"'hope, all were
merged in xtttephysical and ner
vous fatigue. I understood now
why these wornen try to "keep up"
on Jamaica ginger 99 per cent
alcohol and the psychology of
Mrs. Kate Donnelly, who work
ed 120 hours a week "capping"
the girl -who drifts' to harm ceased
to be a mystery. I began to "un
derstand the bent and brolcen
lives one sees everywhereamong
the women of the canneries.
"I ain't makin' no excuses,"
said Rosa Caruso, speaking to a
gitl who sat near us. "But she
ain't got no folks, atf three sixty
a week is just three sjxty a week
you can take it from mel"
- And a little later another irl I
knew, solely tempted, said hope
lessly: "Three forty-one a week
what's the use?"
The scene shifts to a great can
nery preparing room. An arro
gant forewoman patrolled the
ranks, assigning tasks by a meth
od insuring maximum output for
minimum wage. Her accusing
finger indicated me.
"Maria Tasso, you take this
new ginl," she commanded, de
liberately pairing -greenhorn and
"'hogger-inw (too speedy work-
Maria's manner was grim.
"Gome' she ordered. "Kick
away that stool. We stand. You
trim what I pare. This is piece
work, y' Understand." ,
Then whirring shafting set a
paee imposing silence, antl the
drive was on.
Piece work in the canneries
soon veeds out all but the speed
jest, routs the ailing. We were
"an always inadequate number at
tempting to prepare a highly per
Jn speed lay our only hope for
a living tfage. Among us one in
a hundred earned $10 a week,
seVen in ten less than six dollars.
The average weekly wage was
"Pay?" sighed Veronica Pale
when questioned. "Me, I make
$4. That is the most a week.
My husband, Constantine, he
make $5 for the most a week."
And. yet the canners who buy
beans by the ton for twenty odd
dollars and pay but two qents a
pound for lahor in.preparing, sell
the finished product at such profit