OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 23, 1913, NOON EDITION, Image 8

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-12-23/ed-1/seq-8/

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owner built about his property a S0
foot board fence topped with 12-foot
iron spikes, covering the ground in
side with barbed wires and sharpened
spikes. - .
One of the Clement-Bayard army
dirigibles came to grief on the spikes,
and in a suit which followed Co
querel was ordered to remove the ob
stacles and pay for the damage done
thereby. The Court of Appeals to
day upheld the decision.
o o
The Western Union and the Postal
Telegraph Companies may be Called
upon to face more foes, which, while
they may not be as effective as the
United States government, will cause
these two big trusts considerable
For, with the encouragement of
Mrs. Fred Packard, president of the
State Humane Society, the messen
ger boys in the service of these two
companies may organize and strike
to do away with the present condi
tions of slavery.
"Everybody is working for better
conditions for working women," said
Mrs. Packard, "but none, seems to
take any interest in these poor boys.
They have been organized into a sort
of club for five years tfbw and. they're
ting for just a little support and
they will then show the telegraph
magnates they will no longer tolerate
such conditions. There are 2,300
messenger boys in Chicago and they
must be taken into consideration.
"When we organized five years ago
the superintendents of theostal and
Western Union companies came to
me and tried to forbid us from doing
so. I told them that they didn't own
the boys' bodies and souls and could
not prevent them from organizing, if
the boys felt like it."
The boys are between 14 and 16
years old and are supposed to work
ten hours a day. Bub many of the
boys complain of being forced to
work -twelve and tmrteen nours ,a
day. For this they are paid a cent
and a half, and sometimes two and
a half cents a message, often for very
hard and long trips. Many times,
they complain, by a system of jug
gling, they are cheated out of it, or
lose it through the imposition of a
fine. In this way the more sturdy
boys are able to earn a dollar a day,
but the majority of the boys earn only
$3.50 and $4 a week.
And out of this meager sum they
have to buy shoes that are worn out
rapidly in the course of their work.
Another thing that the boys pro
test against Is the charge for clean
ing and pressing the uniforms. The
boys used to buy their own uniforms
from the companies, but it was found
that more money could be squeezed
out of the boys by giving them the
uniforms and then charging them for
a service, that in a great many in
stances is not performed at all.
The most ridiculous thing, if it
were not such a serious matter to the
underpaid boys, is the charge for this.
The Western Union takes 87 cents
every two weeks out of their pay for
this and the Postal takes $1 every
They say this is for the benefit of
the service, as the boys must look
neat and clean. The mothers have
no chance to do this work and retain
the money.
Messenger boys are fined from 1
to 5 cents for being a few minutes
late, although they get paid by the
One boy, employed by the Western
Union, recently worked three weeks
and received no pay. His mother
called at the office and was told that
he was entitled to no pay because
his fines amounted to what would
have been due him.
o o
With $20 in his pocket, a San
Diegoan wentlo jail rather than pay
a 50-ceat restaurant bill. Once in a
while the true American spirit
flashes forth in all its pristine gloi,
or something equally as good.

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