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Newspaper Page Text
CURRAN COMMITTEE TO CALL FOR COMPLETE
m INVESTIGATION OF UNITED CHARITIES
THE DAY BOOK
N. D. Cochran,
Editor and Publisher.
VOL.2, NO. 197
Chicago, Monday, May 19, 1913
DO THE DEPARTMENT STORES OF CHICAGO
FIGHT THEIR CLERKS WITH A BLACKLIST?
The Illinois Senate Welfare Committee Should Investi
gate the Discharge of. Clerks for Joining the
Union Also the Inner Workings of the Or
ganization of State Street Stores,
- BYN. D. COCHRAN
The Illinois senate welfare committee, under the leadership of Lieut.
Gov. 0Hara, has done much good. The most effective work done so far was
the exposure of low wages in Chicago department stores by admissions of
the owners and managers themselves on the witness stand.
For that helped not only in Chicago, but in every city in the country.
Not so much in immediate results, but in the publicity that made the people
acquainted with the slave-driving tactics of our "merchant princes," and
how they piled up 'millions by paying women and girls less than a living
wage to do the work.
You see, the newspapers in other cities were not afraid to publish con
ditions in Chicago department stores, although they might have been afraid,
and probably would have been, to give the same publicity if their own ad
vertisers were being investigated.
I think there is no doubt that the successful strike of the girls in Buf
falo department stores was a direct result of the Chicago exposure. And
those girls are organized now and able to fight their own battles. They
have already won an important victory.
Besides, the exposure here of the relation between low wages and vice
and crime made many employers think; and some of them who had some,
conscience Igft have voluntarily raised wages.
But there is still important work for the O'Hara committee right here
in Chicago, and in further investigating the methods of the, slave-driving
I have no illusions about a minimum wage for women. I know what
hard fighting will be necessary to overcome the determined opposition of
the organized employers of Illinois to any legislation that aims to raise
wages above the bread line. For I have been through some of the fights
for antf-cnUd labor legislation, for employers liability and workmen's com-