OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 22, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 2

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-07-22/ed-1/seq-2/

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-nthe conditions. "Never mind about
; -what you put up with in the shop,"
' one of the men interrupted. "You
can put up with anything if you get
enough to live on."
Their cry was the reduction in
wages.
"Lady," said one, touching my arm
in her surge of indignation, "they pay
us 12 cents to finish a coat that takes
aa hour and ten minutes, and they
give us 15 cents for an overcoat with
a skeleton lining that takes two
hours. I can't make more than $5 a
week no matter how hard I work, and
' I'm experienced. I cry when they give
me the work sometimes because I
know I can work and work and I can't
make my living."
"You're a woman, but I'm a man
and I've got a family a wife and
three children and I can't make
more than $10 working 54 hours a
week," said another speaker. "There
is a man over there-who has six chil
dren and a wife and in the rush sea
son he gets $14 as a shaper working
frors 6 in the morning until 6 or 8 at
night"
"There's an old man who works
near me," a girl stated. "He's deaf
and dumb and he's been a finisher all
his life and worked in the shop five
years. I saw his envelope last week.
He got $1.75. He hasn't got a soul to
do anything for him but himself.
When I can spare it I give him a sand
wich at noon, but if I got only a piece
of dry bread he is thankful because
he wouldn't get any if we didn't bring
him what we can."
A girl of 17 with a face like a doll,
flaxen hair and big blue eyes, stared
wonderingly.
"She's so nervous she can't talk to
you," said another. "She makes $3
and $4 a week and she's all alone
here except her brother. Her brother
works and they live as cheap as they
can because they send money to the
old folks. We all got somebody we
got to do something for. I got my
parents to support and I make $6 a
veek at the most" J
"How do you live?" I asked, and
she shrugged her shoulders with that
gesture that is becoming a fatalistic
motion with the workers.
"We got to live," she answered.
"We go without. When we got work
we get along on almost nothing.
When the slack season comes we go
in debt If a girl has to take care of w
herself she gets the cheapest
clothes she can put on to cover her
and she does without enough to eat
lots of times and when she hasn't got
any work she goes in debt That girl
over there was sick three weeks. We
took up a collection in the shop to
help her out She didn't have a cent
for her doctor nor to live on when she
couldn't work."
"And yoti?" I asked another girL
"How much do you make and how do
you live?"
"Just the same," she answered. "I
make $4 and $5 a week, but I got a
father. I pay for what I can and he's
got to pay for the rest He's poor,
but what can he do? Somebody's
got to do it; they can't put me on the
street"
"These workers are all experi
enced," said one of the officers of the
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of
America. "We have the average wage
the men have been getting. It is
from $5 to $12 a week in their busy
season and less when work slacks up.
We did not even know conditions
were what they are and the union did
not approach them, but they got so
desperate they walked out themselves
and came to us this morning."
"Let's sit down and talk over what
we better do," suggested a man. "We
got to do something. We're desperate
or we wouldn't be ouU I know be
cause I got a family and I got to be
desperate to throw up my job alto
gether. Let's find out what we can
do."
Fifty-seven members of Nat'I
Pickle Packers' ass'n convening at
Palmer house. Claim pickles pre
serve teeth and sweeten tempers.
m

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