Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
, "About $20,000 a year," he said.
"What were the profits of your
company last year?"
"I don't know, exactly," said Swift.
"What were your entire profits ap
proximately," persisted O'Hara.
"Well," said Swift, "we paid an
eight per cent dividend and four per
cent into the surplus last year."
"What capitalization did you pay
this eight per cent on?"
"Seventy-five million dollars."
"All paid in?" asked Senator Beall.
Swift 'smiled. "Every cent of it,"
. "If you established a minimum
wage would you make the consumer
of your meats pay the difference?"
"I don't know," said Swift, shrug
ging his shoulders. "I suppose it
would be added to the cost."
"We are going to pass a minimum
wage law in this state, Mr, Swift,"
said O'Hara. "Why don't you beat
the state to it? Why don't you pay
that $20,000 out of your own pockets
and make your girls happy?"
Swift shifted uncomfortably In his
chair for a moment.
"I'd like to do all I could for them,"
he said, at last.
"After we get a minimum wage for
women, we might get one for men,
you know, Mr. Swift, you can't tell,"
"What do you think about a
$7.50 a week minimum?" asked
"It would be a good thing for
the majority of the girls," said
Swift. ''It seems reasonable
enough. But I dont know what
effept it would have."
This ended Swift's testimony.
George F. Sulzberger was called, but
was not present. It was explained
that Edward Cudahy no longer had
any packing interests in this state
and the subpoena for him was with
drawn. M. P. Harding, a little piggish per
son and Superintendent for -Armour
& Co. with all the characteristics,
bounced up to the stand.
He said that 840. girls were em
ployed in the Armour plant and said
that 10 girls got the lowest wages
paitf $5 a week.
Later it was discovered that no girl
was paid $5 a week in the Armour
plant, but that the ones Harding re
ferred to were girls paid on an 8 1-3
cents an hour basis, and that all the
girl employes of Armour & Co. are
paid on the iniquitous casual labor
Harding then gave the following
311 girls at 10 cents an, hour
1 girl at 11 cents an hour
49 girls at 11 2-3 cehts an hour
77 girls at 12 1-2 cents an hour
Others up to 26 cents an hour.
"The average pay of the women
employes is $7.19 aweek," said Hard
ing. "There also are many piece
"What is the lowest salary you pay
any girl?" asked O'Hara.
"The lowest in the last ten weeks
has been ?4.80. She didnt put in full
"What is full time?" asked O'Hara.
"Sixty hours a week."
Harding went on to explain that
the girls started work at seven in the
morning, and had half an hour for
lunch. He began to tell of the beau
tiful lunch rooms they had in the
plant, where the girls all could get
"You give them the coffee?" inter
"Oh, no," said Harding. "We
charge them for it"
"Must your girls stand while work
ing?" "About 65 per cent can pit down if
they want to," he said.
"What do you think is the lpwest
amount a girl can live on?" asked
J don't know," said Harding.
"That's according to the girl's de
sires. Some girls are VERY extravagant,"
-.v.jn . in,i.ntfAsii'u..n 1 1 1. flu riiuMtir ttik