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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 20, 1913, Image 8

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-05-20/ed-1/seq-8/

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Manufacturers Use the Argument
That They Used Against the
Ten-Hour Law.
Manufacturers told the Illinois sen
ate labor sub-committee yesterday
why the eight-hour law for women
would not be practicable from their
It was the same reason advanced
when the ten-hour law was proposed,
and used in its mossgrown statebe
fore the investigating vice commis
sion by the State street merchants
fighting a minimum wage.
"It will put us out of business," the
manufacturers declared. "It will
force us to hire men and discharge
the women."
Women representatives of labor
Wen? frankly amused. "The same
old story" had been shown shot full
of holes after the enactment of the
teq-hour law.
W. C. Hughes, manufacturing con
fectioners of Illinois, stated. "There's
no occasion for an eight-hour law.
We found it hard to adjust to the ten
hour law. A cut of 25 per cent of
hours doesn't mean an increase of 25
per cent of efficiency. It means we
will be behind time on our orders."'
George C. Eberling, milliner, was
sure it would drive small town millin
ers and other small producers to send
work home with their help, where
there would be no jurisdiction over
the number of working hours, and
sweatshop conditions would prevail.
J. W. Hastie, printer, declared that
it would cause "the ingenuity of man
to dispense "with women altogether,"
as extra work was the salvation of
the printing industry at certain sea
sons." The threat to discharge women in
favor -of men was made by the mail
order houses in Chicago on the mat
ter of a minimum wage, as "men can
eworke& as-manyJiours as wesee
fit, while we are handicapped with a
ten-hour Jaw for women." "
Miss Elizabeth Maloney made a
stinging retort to the individual ar
gument of the manufacturers. She
produced agreements to show that
Eastern textile workers had just
adopted a fifty-four-hour week, and
said that eight hours was all a girl
could stand to work.She also pointed
out that the merchants who were
complaining admitted that their
clerks did little or nothing in the
There was a constant insinuation
that the State street merchants,
whose employes claim they are vio
lating the ten-hour law every day in
the week, were behind this movement
to have an eight-hour law passe.d.
Exemption from hour limitations
was demanded by A. B. McCall of
Gibson City, representing the fruit
canning industry. He admitted he
ignored the ten-hour law and paid
fines in order to can the fruit before
it spoiled.
Miss Agnes Nestor, who made the
chief defense for the workers, said
she believed all employers would ap
prove of a law with no limit on hours,
and declared that even though the
doors are locked and the curtains
drawn there is working going on.
The gist of the employers' testi
money was to the effect that they
would not pay ten hours' wages for
eight hours' work.
The committee adjourned subject
to call.
'Tis sweet to hear the watch dog bark
As one goes home" all lighted up,
But still, for safety, Jtis best
To be acquainted with the pup,- '
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. . iK.-fcji;

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