OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 23, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 7

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-03-23/ed-1/seq-7/

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Five employers and a professor of
economics sat in the clubroom of the
Karper building yesterday discussing
the advisability of the adoption of a
uniform wage before they are forced
to do so by the compulsion of legis
lation. They assembled in response to a
modest advertisement in the Tribune,
unaided by.any news feature, placed
there by Norbert Hackett, an adver
tising man, which advertisement
"Manufacturers and others inter
ested in the minimum wage question
are invited to attend an informal dis
cussion of a self-supporting plan
founded on business principles and
backed by business men to obtain for
every worker under 21 years of age a
living wage.
"This plan is not intended to be
radical, but will enable those manu
facturers who do pay a living wage,
and those in favor of it, to success
fully compete with other manu
facturers and competitors who are
not so inclined."
Hackett says his plan was not in
spired' by any sentiment, but is a cold
business proposition. As he is not an
employer but an advertising man, his
interest must be that of advertising,
but the scheme is sufficiently novel to
merit attention.
Hackett declares that a larger per
centage of men than any one knows
already pay their employes what is
conceded to be a living wage. He
claims that these men suffer through
competition with employers who will
not recognize the right of workers to
a living wage in return for their serv
ices. Hackett's plan includes only what
he terms "unskilled" labor, labor
which is unorganized, as organized
labor is now securing more than the
minimum of $8, which is apparently
the minimum Hackett believes would
be uniformly adopted by the associa
tion he proposes to organize.
He believes that public sentiment
is with the employer who does pay a
living minimum wage, and that this
sentiment can be used in such a man
ner as to compel all employers .of
minors and workers under 21 years
of age to pay the same minimum.
Hackett's plan is to form an or
ganization of the employers who have
adopted this minimum wage and then
have the organization adopt a label
or insignia which shall tell the public,
on the goods of their manufacture,
that they do pay unskilled labor a liv
ing wage.
It is also part of his plan that half
a million dollars shall be spent in
advertising goods manufactured by
these employers and he believes that
public sentiment will cause peopleto
buy goods bearing this label or in
signia, and by this indirect boycott
employers who refuse to pay a living
wage will be forced into the associa
tion. In response to a question of wheth
er this would not necessarily increase
the cost of production, Hackett said :
"I do not believe it will. The one or
two dollars extra that an employer
pays may mean the difference be
tween a starved worker and a well
fed worker, and every man knows
that the well-fed worker will do con
siderably more work than the half
fe'd one, so that production should in
crease with wages."
Hackett is not adverse to admitting
that he believes this plan is merely
anticipating a condition that is in
evitable. He believes that a recog
nition of this, and not sentiment, has
caused such men as Ford and the
Deering Harvester people to inaugu
rate the living wage scale.
He believes that by this' method
employers will get the cream of un
skilled labor and the employers who
will not pay a living wage will get the
"leavings" the physically handicap-

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