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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, November 30, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 11

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-11-30/ed-1/seq-11/

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charge announced the grim policy of
the place.
"In applying for employment at a
queen's workroom each women must
bring proof that her unemployment
is due to the war. No work can be
given to married women, or to wid
ows with grown children; their able
bodied husband and sons should sup
port them. This must be clearly un
derstood. "Of the 6,648 women who regis
tered during September ONLY 350
were given employment Out of 145
registered last week ONLY 5 could
be recommended for employment and
but one received work."
"And the others?" whispered the
Little Dressmaker. The answer is
piteous. Even in East London most
people grow prouder and more sensi
tive as they grow poorer, more prone
to suffer in silence than to parade
their poverty. A woman must be
destitute and desperate indeed who
hopes against hope to secure a living
wage at a queen's sweatshop. For
only young and strong women would
attempt the tasks assigned mostly
machine rate of payment
SIX CENTS AN HOUR FOR
FORTY HOURS A WEEK? WITH A
MAXIMUM WAGE OF TEN SHIL
LINGS. Two dollars and a half to
pay for a week's work of a woman
who must maintain herself and her
family of little ones $2,50 for the
heart-stricken mother who must
house, feed and clothe- her children
in the richest country on earth dur
ing the greatest war of all time.
For the one woman out of 145 ap
plicants who qbtains work in a
queen's sweat shop no allowance is
made for car fares, and should she
remain all day in the workroom she
is charged 6 cents for a midday plate
of soup, 3 to 4 cents for bread and
tea.
The sweaters of Whitechapel are
supposed to pay their slaves 7 cents
an hour; 6 cents is just half the trade
union minimum wage. An unskilled
laborer- must be paid 10 cents an.
hour, and aliens are not allowed to
land in England unless able to prove
that they will be paid $4.25 a week.
Public spirited women conducting
relief workrooms not under royal
patronage have respectfully repre
sented to Queen Mary that 6 cents
an hour, $2.50 a week, is a rate of
wage on which it is impossible to
subsist. Therefore they petition her
majesty to support a movement for,
a decent standard of payment for
work and relief, urging that if private
charity cannot meet the need the
public Exchequer may be drawn upon,
and that in all relief work subsidized
by public funds a minimum of 10
cents an hour, $5 a week shall be paid
the women employed.
The answer was conclusive. From
the queen's mouthpiece the working
women of London learn that women
always have been sweated in the la
bor world, always will be sweated,
and that now is not the time to de
mand changes. Moreover, such am-
Ibitious workrooms as pay more than
o cents an nour $z.ou a wees, win
receive no grants from the queen's
funds. Thus a year's labor agitation
and legislation has been undermined
in a day.
Her majesty's sweatshops have set
the new pace and the lower standard.
Starvation wages have received royal
recognition. In Manchester the new
doll industry established and sup
ported by the Prince of Wales fund
fixes cents an. hour as the maxi
mum wage. Still newer industries
which are planned "to wreck German
trade" will follow that lead.
The result on ALL employment for;
women has been calamitous. Seam
stresses working for army contract
ors on soldiers' shirts have been cut
to 4 cents an hour 25 hours of hard
work for a dollar because they ara
not confined to 40 hours a week.
It depends on the women left be
hind whether the new life for which
millions of men are fighting shall be '
worth the living. Hardships" less mer-
J ciful than Uhlan, bullejts or bayonets

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