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Newspaper Page Text
QUINLAN PROVES GOOD WITNESS
FOR THE CAR MEN
What is a living wage?
An answer to this question, satis
factory to the street car men and the
Chicago Surface Lines, would bring a
pleasing end to the arbitration pro
ceedings now on.
The men are putting the question
of wages ahead of all else. It is
wages that furnishes the flat, buys
the bread and keeps the kids in
school. ' Better working conditions
are also wanted but "Give us a liv
ing wage" is the plea of the men to
the arbitration board.
William Quinlan, as head of the
car men's union, was the star wit
ness for the men at today's proceed
ings. In his plea for a better wage
he outlined changes in conditions
which car men must face today.
Work is harder now than ever be
fore. "In former years a motorman was
asked to drive his car at a rate not
exceeding five miles an hour." Quin
lan declared. "Things have changed
"We are forced to average twelve
miles an hour while outside the loop
and the strain is nervewracking.
"The increasing number of chil
dren in the streets present another
problem the motorman of today must
face. Increased speed and a greater
chance of accident makes our work
Wages came in for discussion dur
ing the morning. Quinlan told of the
case of receiving clerks who, al
though some of them have worked
for 20 years, are not getting more
than $90 a month. Carpenters in
the shops of the car companies get
only 19 to 33 cents an hour, while the
union scale is 70 cents.
At yesterday's hearing Quinlan
punctured the contention of the com
pany that five years of service are ne
cessary to make a man efficient
enough to earn the maximum pay.
"The TlfiW mpn linpvripripnporl dn
the hardest, most dangerous runs," 1
said Quinlan. "There is nothing to
be learned after six months of serv
ice. The companies know this, too,
for they will fire a man after that
time if he is not thoroughly efficient.
There was a time when the maxi
mum pay was attained at the end of
a month's service."
Wm. D. AJahon, car men's interna
tional president, has said that $100 a
month is the minimum living wage
for a family of five. Geo. W. Miller,
attorney for the surface lines, has
told the arbitration board that a fair
minimum wage cannot be determin
ed. Regardless of what Miller says,
the findings of the arbitration board
are going to be based principally
upon what they think is a living
At the outset of the arbitration
meeting the men surprised the arbi
tration board by not asking for a spe
cific increase. This throws upon the
board the burden of finding what is
a fair wage to give.
Miller admits the men are entitled
4.0 a fair wage, but drew a distinction
between a fair and a living wage. He
would not comply with the board's
request to explain the difference. His
words are taken to mean that the
company's stand may he that "fair"
wage may be less than a "living"
How it can possibly be done is not
known, but the company is going to
put up a poverty wail. Att'y Miller
made this quite clear when he object
ed to Sheean's plan to remove ques
tion of the company's financial abil
ity as a factor in evidence.
Miller is preparing to picture the
surface lines as a persecuted benev
olent corporation. He will insist that
the company is a thing so good in in
tent that its only wish is to serve the
public. He started on this line of
stuff yesterday with wonderful dra
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