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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 11, 1913, Image 4',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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er,,'i said O'Hara. -'Could such a
condition exist at Montgomery Ward
: "Not if -it ;were found- out',"- said
'"'How f much," asked- O'Hara,
''would-it cost Montgomery Ward &
'Co to raise all $5, $6 and $7' girls
" "Possibly $75,000 a year," said
' "Do-your profits exceed that?"
"Yes, very- much." -
''What' were -your profits for the
last- fiscal year?"
-"$2;370,000," said Thorne.
"Doesn't $2,370,000 make a cur
ious 'contrast" to that- $75,000 needed
to raise'your-girls to $8 a week.?"
asked QJHara. .'"
" "It's riothing'to us if it does;" said
"Well it is to the girls," said
O'Hara asked.Thorhe if a $12 min
imum wage law would hurt Mont
gomery Ward's business. Thorne
said it .would not, but that it would
hurt other businesses.
"If It Tvere passed," he said, "it
would put thousands of girls out of
business. We would "fire half of our
girls and put men in their places.
Men can do more work than, girls."
"Do you mean," asked O'Hara,
"that you" would fire half your girl
employes if the $12 minimum law' is
' "Half the working women in the
state would be fired," said Thorne.
''The ' employers 1 wouldn't show
them any consideration?"
Senator Juul asked Thorne if he
did not think an employer should see
that his employes were clothed, fed
and housed, just as' the master saw
his apprentice was "clothed, fed and
housed in the olden days
J"N6,"""'said Thorne; "'Progress has
eliminated that idea We've done
dway with that, along with thousands
of .other foblish'ideas."
ly at the employer, "freedom 'has
harmed, not helped, servants?" -
"I wouldn't say that," said Thorne.
"You pay your girls $5. It costs
them $8 to live. We've'gorie bafek $3."'
"Oh no,"- said Thorne: ''We've
gone ahead: We teach the girls -who
wprk for us at $5' a week so they
make themselves fit to -earn a bigger
"But girls -tell us they have gone
wrong because of small -wages," said
"I don't believe it," said Thorne. V
"We believe them on oath just as
much as we believe youy retorted'
Then Thorne made out the follow
ing table to show how easy it is for
a girl to live on $8.00 a week
Room, $3.00; Breakfastr(coffee and
rolls) j 40 cents; Lunches 90 cents;
Dinner, $1.40; Carfare, 60 cents;
Sundries, $1.70. . v. . - ,
John T. Pirie saiathat Carson,
Pirie, Scott & Co. employed 2,004
girls; that the lowest wage paid is $4
and that 46 girls get this amount.
.P4rie said there, might be . some
connection between vice and low.
wages, and said he would f eel re
sponsible if any girl employe of his
went wrong. He declined to tdlll the
profits of the firm for the "last 'fiscal
year.. ' , '
Thorne said he thought any miniT
mum wage law passed should, be' a
national and not a state-law. Juul
told him tbat the federal government
had beenljoing to build . Illinois, a
waterway for 20 years, and still was
talking about doing it.
"Did you make a report .to a credit,
firm saying that 1912. was theJmos
profitable year Carson, Pirie, Scott &
Co. ever had known?" asked O'Hara,"
"I think not," said Pirie:
"Was it?" asked O'Hara;
Pirie did not answer . ;
""Did you ever ,sathat 1912 was
the most profitable year Carso'n,, Pi
rie; Scott ever had known?" asked
Q'Hanu N " ,