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Newspaper Page Text
JOHNSON SAYS EVERYBODY CAN AID IN THE
FIGHT FOR BETTER PHONE SERVICE
women it will exhibit itself in the
i BY MORTON ! JOHNSON.
In 1907 Alderman Dever and B.
Stewart of the MefTs-City club tried
to have the following inserted in the
proposed franchise of the Chicago
"City health department shall set
standards, be present at all examina
tions and regulate the sanitary con
ditions of the- telephone operators.
"Maximum shall be 600 plug con
nections per hour 400 shall be the
highest efficiency line.
"Operators shall have the right to
The above met defeat at the hands
of aldermen, led by Milton T. Pore
man, a former partner of John W.
Beckwith, the 'present corporation
In Senate document 380 is given
the finding of IT. S. commission and
the Royal Commission of Canada
that investigated the strike of the Bell
operators hi Toronto.
The Kpyal commission stated: "No
other calling has suggested itself to
the commission in which the senses
of hearing, speech and sight appear
to be called into play simultaneously
tb the same extent or required to so
constantly on the alert."
Many of the leading Toronto physi
cians testified-all in a similar strain
before the Royal commission except
one in the- employ of the Bell, who
refused to testify.
Dr. John Noble, practicing 17 years
in Toronto, stated: "A telephone op
erator's work is more strenuous than
a school teacher's. I think it is as
strenuous as an examiner of papers
at an examination. I think it is as
strenuous as a shorthand court re
porter. I think that after five years'
continuous work in a telephone Office,
with the hours and under conditions
that are existing (Bell exchange in
Toronto), that she would be disquali
fied to become a wife and mother. If
we are to pile bo much work on young
future generations, and I believe that
is the reason of such a marked in
crease in insanity and such a marked
increase in nervous prostration all
over the country."
Dr. Charles R. Cook stated: "Ner
vous strain Is intense and would re
act on the physical health in a mark
ed way after three years' service, and
might pass on to the next generation
in a more striking way than even in
the present generation. I am bas-.
ing that statement on my every day
experience with just such case, hav
ing an experience on that kind of a
thing for several years."
Q You think it could be passed'on
the future generations?
A That is what I preach all the
Q That being the case, do you be
lieve that it is in the interests of the
state that it should be prevented, if
A It should be regulated and care
Q And the overstraining pre
vented? A Yes.
Q Then in your mind that is ths
duty of the state?
A I think so.
It is generally conceded that more
than 225 calls an hour is not desir
able from any point of view, and a
working day of six working hours,
spread over a period of from eight to
eight and three-quarter hours under
favorable conditions is quite long
enough for a woman to be engaged,
in this class of work.
Investigations in over seventy cit
ies in the United Stales were found
to have as a daily record a period
when the overloading was larger
"B" operators in the Chicago Tele
phone Co. have handled over 800
connections in one hour For each
. connection the operator receives the