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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 12, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 9

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-01-12/ed-1/seq-9/

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ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Telephone Stock. I have the fol
lowing letter from an employe of the
Chicago Telephone Co. asking for my
opinion:
Editor Day Book I write this on
request of a number of telephone
girls who will scan The Day Book
for your opinion. The Telephone Co.
have a new deal on. The proposition
is to have the operators become
stockholders, the employes to pur
chase shares at $110 per share,
$2.50 per month to be withheld from
employe's pay; interest at 4 per cent
to be charged on unpaid balance;
stock will be fully paid for by No
vember, 1918.
Should any employe wish to with
draw from his agreement, I under
stand it is optional with the trustees
to pay back what has been paid in.
Sometime ago the company had a
so-called benefit fund plan in opera
tion. Dues held back from the girls'
pay. All at once the scheme failed
and some of the girls got a few
dimes returned. This stock business
may turn out the same way, for if
nothing happens the stock will be
fully paid for by November, 1918.
Hello.
I know nothing of this proposition
except what appears in the letter. I
assume, however, that when a re
sponsible concern like the Chicago
Telephone Co. makes a stock propo
sition to its employes it means to play
fair. There should be an agreement
providing that if any employe who
buys stock on the instalment plan
resigns, is discharged or wants to
cancel the stock deal, the company
will on demand pay back with inter
est all money paid in on the stock
purchase and cancel the contract.
All dividends on the stock purchased
should go to the purchaser from date
of purchase. Then if the dividends
amount to more than the interest on
the unpaid balance the purchaser can
help pay for the stock with tiie ex
cess of dividends.over interest. Many
corporations that sell stock to em
ployes adopt this plan and enable em
ployes to pay for their stock in that
way. If these provisions are in the
contract between the company and
the employes, and the price of $110
per share is a fair price, the deal, with
4 per cent on unpaid balances, is a
fair one. It is not fair if the com
pany reserves the right to pay or
not pay back what has been paid in
if the employe for one reason or an
other wishes to withdraw from the
contract.
When corporations sell stock to
employes the object is to get em
ployes interested in the profits of the
business and take a keener interest
than ordinarily would be expected
where the only compensation for
work was wages. It is considered
a good investment by wise business
men. Another purpose is to prevent
employes from joining unions, com
plaining, demanding increased wages
or -going on strike. It is considered
insurance for peace by some con
cerns. To be fair the company
snould make any deal like that volun
tary on the part of employes, because
there are some who can't afford to
invest $2.50 per week of their wages
in stock, however much they might
like to have the stock.
I could answer the question better
if I knew what the terms of the con
tract are. If it is a fair contract
probably some official of the Chicago
Telephone Co. will give me the nec
essary information. Editor Day
Book.
o o
Women's theory that no one ever
should take "No" for an, 'answer is
getting a severe tryout. President
Wilson has said "No" to them six
times.
Scientists try to tell us that the
coldest inhabited spot on the globe
is Werchojensk, Siberia, but they
never were at a white nouse recep
tions
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