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Newspaper Page Text
that excursion who didn't want to go.
The Day Book presents the testi mony of relatives of some of the vic tims who claim that foremen under whom they worked, and on whrm they depended for theirjobs, made them feel that the company wanted all employes to go, and that those who refused to go were in danger of losing their jobs. It may be that officers of the com pany didn't know of this. It may be that foremen were not instructed to 'impress it upon employes that they might lose their jobs if they didn't go on the excursion. It may be that the company didn't know that employes had to pay for their own excursion tickets, and buy uniforms, canes, etc, o use in a parade in Michigan City advertising the Bell concern and its subsidiary, the Western Electric Co. But relatives of some of the victims make the charge that employes felt that they had to go, or had better go, whether they wanted to go or not And this angle of the horror is worth investigating. On Saturday a young man came to the office of The Day Book. He didn't want to give his name, because he has a good job and doesn't want to lose it But he told the substance of the story that follows, and suggested that The Day Book investigate, be cause he felt that this angle of the story would not be touched by the other newspapers. Out of this visit grew the following story: Western Electric Co. employes were often forced to start on the ex cursion to Michigan City for fear of losing their jobs. This, the most startling infornia tition developed since the notoriously topheavy Eastland carried its hun dreds to strangulation in the filth of the Chicago river, is the result of an independent investigation. "Who is to blame?" Chicago asks. The men who stood beside the biers today and heard mothers, fathers, children, tell how their loved ones were forced by foremen's threats to go upon the trip point an accusing finger in the direction of the general offices of the Western Electric Co. The picnic was part of the Western Electric's-advertising campaign. The bigger the crowd the more publicity for the company. The Western Electric's yearly pic nics have gained fame throughout the country for their bigness. The trust newspapers have gone beside themselves to say nice things about it The impression was abroad that the company furnished the trip free. The trip was not free. The em ployes were charged 75 cents each for the tickets AND FOREMEN SOLD THE TICKETS. Neither have the picnics in other years been much fun for those who went In Michigan City they have, always had to take part in a gigantic parade. Every man, woman, boy and girl was supposed to march. Most all had to buy caps, canes or uniforms. If they didn't march things became mighty unpleasant for them. The parade was part of the adver tising scheme. In the parades were floats to demonstrate the efficiency of Bell-used telephones, Hawthorne motors and other products. Last year girls were asked to parade wearing overalls. This year's parade was to go out of the park and through Michigan City. Men and women would spend the energy of a day's work, being in line for perhaps hours. But it would be a big thing, and a great thing for the company. It would be the finest sort of advertising for the Western Electric. It would cost the employes $10,000 to pay for their boat tickets and buy regalia. ik Turn from the picture of the pa rade that was to be and .go stand by the bier "of Helen Greszowiak. The father, Anthony Greszowiak, has just finished the story of his daughter telling him she did not want to go, but must because she had been told she would lose her job if she did not She was so jjrettat