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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 29, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 7

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-07-29/ed-1/seq-7/

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MAYOR JOHNSON OF GARY TELLS DAY BOOK
STEEL MILL WORKERS "SOLDIER"
When the U. S. Steel cqrporation let
out word this week that $81,000,000
is split for stockholders as earnings
of their capital three mouths, a Day
Book reporter went to Gary, In I.
It's a 1.2by sister city of Chicagj,
33 miles away, where 50,000 people
live and 20,000 men make steel for
American mdustry and European
war.
Mayor R&swell 0. Johnson in cool
cream pants and white shoes re
ceived the Day Book reporter in his
office at the City Hall and was willing
to talk. He was asked whether
things are coming as juicy and fine
for the working people of Gary as
for the steel corporation stockhold
ers. "Things were never better," said
the mayor. "Everybody is working.
In fact, we can't get enough labor.
Wages have been raised 10 per cent."
"Have you heard the report that
rents will be raised by the Gary Land
Co. 20 per cent?"
"I have heard that announced. At
that the steel company is more gen
erous than other landlords who have
raised rents 25 per cent. Of course,
with more people working and with
everybody making more money, it's
natural."
"How do you feel about the 12
hour day, 7-day week, mayor? Do
you ever feel it's a discredit to
Gary?"
"Well, to tell the truth, there isn't
a place in the U. S. where there is
more soldiering than in the steel
plants at Gary. Go through the
plants and you see men sitting about
doing nothing. Machinery does ev
erything. More men have an easy
time here than any other plants in
the country.
"Would you personally like to see
the 8-hour day introduced?"
"I'd be glad to see it come when
it's convenient for the company to
introduce it."
"The Day Book is informed that
the steel trust has such a hold on
this town that it shuts out all other
sorts of shops and factories from
coming in anything to that?"
"Nothing like that."
"We are told the Gary Commercial
club policy is to absolutely refuse to
pay any bonus or make any induce
ments to outside 'factories to come
here."
"Why, of course, we don't offer
any bonuses. We offer transporta
tion and other advantages, but we
insist that outsiders coming in shall
pay for their sites."
"Isn't that an exceptional policy
for a young American manufactur
ing city?"
"Yes, it's exceptional. Why in the
town I came from, Decatur, Ind., we
paid $500,000 in bonuses to factories
to locate in the city. It's not good
business. I wouldn't give 50 cents
to any plant in the U. S. to come
here and locate. If they want the
advantages there are htere, let them
come and pay for them. Gary is be
ing criticized as being dominated by
the steel company. Why shouldn't
the steel company have something to
say? It pays 70 per cent of the
taxes."
BIG CAR STRIKE THREATENS TO
TIE UP N. Y.
New York, July 29. Labor leaders
in conference today determined to
call strikes on every street car line of
Third av. surface system.
Seventeen hundred motormen and
conductors will be involved, exclu
sive of 1,200 of the Union Railroad
Co., already out on strike.
Union officials expressed their con
fidence in their ability to tie up
Third av. system, involving New York
.n what is expected to be one of the
costliest strikes in its history.
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