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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 31, 1913, Image 6

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-01-31/ed-1/seq-6/

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SOCIETY NOTES OUST GARMENT WORKERS' NEWS
It is weeks now since 150,000
men and women, many of the lat
ter mere children, walked out on
the streets in the great garment
workers' strike in New York.
Since then, these men and wo
men and children have been
walking the streets, hungry, ill
clad, penniless, some of them
without roofs over their heads.
And until the last few days, the
trust newspapers and the Asso
ciated Press have carefully sup
pressed and "played down" the
news of that strike, "played
down" being a newspaper term
for contorting the news by mini
mizing the situation.
But now the garment workers'
strike is getting big headlines,
and so, quite suddenly, is the
hearing before the congressional
committee on the eight-hour law
for women in the District of Co
lumbia. And you don't need to look any
further than the headlines in the
trust newspapers to find out why.
"Society leaders help girls"
reads one. And that was over a
story about the appearance of cer
tain society leaders before the
congressional committee on the
eight-hour law.
And in the story run beneath
that head, there is not a word
about the working girls who ap
peared before the committee, the
girls who told how they had been
forced to labor nine and ten
and eleven hours a day, the girls
who told how they had starved
and how tbey had been driven al
most insane from fatigue.
"Miss LaFollette a strike
picket" reads another, and that is
a story about Fola LaFollette,
and the New York garment
workers' strike.
And that story is all about
what Fola LaFollette, the daugh- w
ter of a real senator of the United -States,
did and saw, and heard.
And that story contains noth
ing about the hundreds of other
girls who became strike pickets,
penniless- girls, ill and starving,
who left their work for the good
of all humankind, and who are
suffering tortures because they
did so.
And it contains nothing about
the starvation -wages that were
paid these girls, future mothers of
the race, nor the horrible condi
tions under which they were forc
ed to work and live, conditions in
which no farmer would permit his
pigs to exist because it would not
pay to do so.
Perhaps the people care more
to read about what society lead
ers told the congressional com
mittee or Fola LaFollette saw
when she became a strike picket
than they do about the sufferings
of the oppressed.
Perhaps but we, don't believe
it.
Big buttons still continue to be
fashionable. A lady, missing two
buttons from her dress, asked her
little daughter if she had seen
them. "Yes, ma, the cook's got
them. She uses them as lids to
the saucepans."

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