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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 28, 1913, Image 14

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-04-28/ed-1/seq-14/

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SPEAKERS TELL, CLERKS' ASSOCIATION' THEY MUST ORGANIZE IN
" ORDER TO DEMAND FAIR PAY
At the mass meeting of the' Clerks'
Association held yesterday, Mr. V. 0:
Olander, secretary of "Lake Seamen's
Union, spoke very strongly on the
struggle the seamen have had to or
ganize and to win concessions be
cause of the fact that they were not
only controlled, by the master own
ers of vessels, but even more greatly
oppressed by the laws of the United
States. N,
"But as a result of our organiza
tion," he said, "we have cu the hours
from a minimum of twelve to what
will amount to a maximum of eight,
and we came out with $5 a month
more in wages.
"Many well-meaning people are
trying to find a solution for your
troubles;" he told the clerks. ' "A lot
of kind ladies in-New York, who are
not clerks, decided they would set
you an example by not giving any
Christmas presents, so that you
would not give any either. But you
have a right to cling to the custom of
giving Christmas remembrances and
should be in a position where it
would be possible.
"Some others, also not , clerks,
thought it would be a good idea to
stop the buying of Easter hats. That
might get you a ticket to some show,
but you should have your Easter hat,
too. And I am opposed to this "argu
ment of trying to adjust Jiving condi
tions to low wages. Yet when any
one else wants to do anything. for
you, that is the solution they offer,
and if you want a living wage you
will have to get it through organ
ization. "I find it difficult, to make any ref
erence to your employers. I have a
great dealof contempt and little use
for any 'man who lives oh the labor
of women, and less use for the man
who amasses a fortune on underpaid
labor of girls, but if you kleep on with
this organization the time, will come
when you will be able to force these
employers, 10 usieu uu juu.
Miss Mary Anderson, replying to
the charge that many girls could not
be present at the meeting because '
they were working in the stores on
Sunday, said:
"There will be no overtime or Sun
day work the day you demand pay-and-a-half
for overtime and double
pay"for Sunday, and that is.what you
can enforce through organization."
Mrs. Raymond Robins believed it
was absolutely-aiecessary to every
human being that they should have
.one day in the week in which to at
tend to their spiritual and mental
needs. Under the present system
girls either work in the store on Sun
days or spend the day washing their
Bhirtwaists and mending.
' Mrs. Robins believes that through
organization the clerks will be able,
to-demand, when it is necessary that!
they work Sundays, that another day,
in the week' tie given them in ex
change 1 '
. In speaking of the eight-hour law
proposed for women, Mrs. Robins
said: "I -want you to know that it
was Congressman Madden of Illinois,
your representative and mine, who
helped defeat the eight-hour law for
the women of Illinois. But wevhave..
no way of nrotestine aeainst Con
gressman Madden except by asking,
the mfen to vote for1 us against him." t
Sshe spoke of the lack of romance
in the life of the store girl.and of her,,
inability to gratify her desire for a
special education in any line that
makes life seem worth while.
"And the employees before the
commission said the reason the wage '
was low was because you lived at -
nome, sne continued. m otner ,
words, they said: 'We are taking the 4
fathers, brothers and husbands as.
silent partners in our business. They
furnish the capital which enables ua
to become merchant princes.' " -

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