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Newspaper Page Text
"If you had a sister or a daughter
would you want her to work for less
than $8 a week?" said O'Hara.
"I. once supported my mother and
two brothers on $5 a week," said
Harding, skillfully evading the ques
tion, "When was that?" asked O'Hara.
- "Twenty-five years ago," - said
"Of course, it hasn't occurred to
you that the cost of living has in-
urease u smuts uieu, uur mat oiuuagu
is not where you were doing this,"
said O'Hara. ,
Harding did not answer.
"Do you think your firm could pay
a minimum wage of $7.50 without its
business being hurt?" asked O'Hara.
"I don't know," said Harding. "The
competition against Kansas City al
ready is great as it is. I'm afraid
a state mhinniTn wage law would se
riously interfere with business."
The members of the commission,
who know, as everyone does, that
Armour & Co. has an immense plant
at Kansas City scratched their heads
at this, doubtless wondering if Ar
mour & Co. were competing against
"Don't you think," said O'Hara,
"that you are treating the girl that
comes to you to sell her labor, very
badly I mean by this hour plan.
Why do you buy her labor at retail?
Why don't you buy it -wholesale? And
at such times as work is slacker than
usual, why Apes not your great firm
shoulder the loss instead of laying
off the little girls to whom a dollar
means so much?"
"Oh, it's due to economic condi
tions," Tsaid Harding.
"You have had several strikes out
at the yards. VJhen was the'' last
The nen from the packinghouses
sat up suddenly in their chairs and a
look of vast indignation spread over
their faces.' This was a sensitive
spot. Harding's eyes nearly popped
out of his head.
,"Why in 19Q4," he gasped, at last J
"And before that strike yoir had
American labor out at the yards?"
Harding, looking very much an
O'Hara And,since then you have
had foreign men and women?
Harding, uncomfortably No er
that is not entirely. You see we
had some foreign labor beforethe -strike,
but it it seems to have in
O'Hara, looking directly into
Harding's eyes Is there any reason
for that, Mr. Harding?
Harding, squirming Why er
no, no special reason.
O'Hara Is it because the same
pay that the Americans got is not
Harding admired the ceiling but did
O'Hara Why do you not pay for
eigners the same as you paid Ameri
cans? Do you think it is fair to get
them over to this country and then
pay them such wages? And do you
think it- is fair to American labor to
be forced to face such competition?
Harding, very uncomfortably We
we don't make any distinction.
O'Hara No, but you make your
employes work sixty hours alweek at
that sort of grinding labor for $6
Harding again falls to admiringthe
ceiling and the beautiful frescoe
O'Hara What were the profits of
Armour & Company last year?
Harding I dont know. ,
O'Hara Why do yoU employ girls
at the sort of work you have there?
Harding Because men are clum
sy. They can't handle butterine or
O'Hara Who fixes the wages of
Harding Oh, the general stand
ard. That are paid about the same
at all the plants.
O'Hara Have the packers any
agreement as to what wages they