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Newspaper Page Text
WAS IT A SCHEME TO OFFSET THE FACTS
BROUGHT OUT BY WELFARE COMMISSION?
. BY JANE WHITAKER
In the Sunday edition of The Tribune, on the first news page, there
were two stories, separated by a few columns, and intended probably to
offset the nasty facta brought out by the Welfare Commission in its in
vestigation ofthe low wages paid to men.
The first story told of the positions that go begging in Chicago, and.
the second told why workers are not worth a minimum wage.
An employment agency is credited with the statement that there are
10,000 positions in Chicago, some of them in offices, that cannot be filled
because men don't want to work. In fact, it pictured the working class
doing a marathon, chased by employers offering good salaries through the
medium of employment agencies.
An employment agency, like a loan shark, is the last resort of the un
employed. There are many reasons fortius.
One of the largest of them charges you an initiation fee of $1 all of
them take something of your first week's wages, and the majority of them
take ALL of your first week's wages.
Again, you have no choice of the kind of position you will take. If
you are a girl, you may Instinctjvely distrust the man who wants to engage
you, but according to the contract
you have signed you must accept the
position if the man will accept you,
or pay the employment agency -what I they were free.
would have heen one week's salary.
This will, surprise some of the peo
ple who read the advertisements of
some of the employment agencies as
carried by the Tribune. One of the
biggest ads reads: "If you are not
satisfied "with your position, let us
place you where you will be satis
fied," and if you are foolish enough
to take the ad at its face value you
are very apt to get a position in a
veritable sweatshop, because the em
ployment agency is also the last re
sort of an employer when he- has a
position that he cannot fill by ordin
There is something vastly amusing
in this idea that because one is a
toiler one should have nothing to say
about the environment or the condi
tions under which one spends the
greater part ofthe waking hours.
I remember how very angry I was
when, after I had advised my sisters
to seek, work through an employ
ment agency, Ihey both were com
pelled to accept positions in a dis
tory offices, and then pay for posi
tions they would not have taken if
And yet, in spite of all of these
drawbacks, you can go into any one
of these agency offices and you wfll
find the place crowded with men,
women and girls, waiting their turns
to get into the shut in offices, only to
pass out again to the tune of "Noth
ing for you today."
So much for the story of the 0,
000 positions that no one wants,
though they pay good salaries..
Strange it should break just when
millionaire employers had testified
they paid starvation wages.
The other story was meant to
show you why -you are not worthy a
minimum wage. You need a college
Of course, this isnt new. It is al
most as old as the City Beautiful
idea that plans to make Michigan
boulevard an ideal auto-touring ave
nue while Madison, from Halsted to
Canal streets, is littered with wrecks
But the thing that is original in
this last advocation of college train-
agreeable part of the city, and in fac- ing is that Prof. Judson told us Justj