OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 16, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 7

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-03-16/ed-1/seq-7/

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you get $833, which would seem to be
the average wage paid to the railroad
employe. I do not know if this is so,
but these are the figures given out by
the railroads and published in the
New York Sun. I thought the aver
age wages of these so-called aristo
crats of labor would be somewhere
up in the neighborhood of a thou
sand or fifteen hundred dollars, but
it seems not. The average is lower
than the standard of living set by the
best experts for the typical family of
three or four human beings. What
if the employes get 45 cents out of
every dollar of receipts? Could the
railroads get the dollar if they did not
buy the labor first? And could the la
bor be bought cheaper?
"Side by side with the carefully
cultivated impressions given out by
the roads for the purpose of leading
public opinion to the conclusion that
the roads will go to wratik and per
'flitfon if the eight-hour day and ex
tra pay for extra work is' granted, the
truth is gradually becoming appar
ent to the blindest that the roads are
very, very prosperous. Take what
the Bureau of Railway Economics,
the railroads' own statistical office
in Washington, says about it. I quote
liberally because this point is highly
important Remember that this quo
tation is from the railroads' person
ally maintained bureau; the figures
and the language are the railroads'
own language:
"Net operating income of the rail
ways of the United States for No
vember increased $207 per mile, or
84.9 per cent, as compared with No
vember, 1914. This comparison, how
ever, Is between the highest and the
lowest November in six years. A
comparison of November, 1915, with
the average November of the preced
ing five years shows an increase of
45.8 per cent
"Total operating revenues amount-
"Four hundred thousand railroad
men are going to strike unless the
few hundred men who control the
transportation interests of tha
United States, the employers of the
400,000, shall consent to reduce
hours of labor and pay extra wages
for extra work. Read any daily
newspaper and you will find the clev
erly prepared publicity put out by the
expensive railroad press agents
Elisha Lee, Frank Fayant and others.
The railroads are talking exactly as
all employers have always talked
when the question of hours comes
This is the way Wm. Leavitt
Stoddard starts an article on "The
Truth About Railroad Wages," -in
Pearson's magazine for April Stod
dard is the Washington correspon
dent of the Boston Transcript and
writes like a man who is after facts
and wants to cut out the bunk.
On the basis of figures supplied by
tLv railroad companies, Stoddard
shows that the average wage of rail
road workers in this country is $833
a year. Every time the railroads
hand out statements showing loco
motive engineers are paid $200 and
$300 a month, this average of $833 a
year is pulled down among all the
other classes of workers.
Newspapers fed by railroad press
bureaus point to the fact that the
total railroad payroll of the United
States "now approaches $1,500,000,
000 a year for the great army of
nearly 1,800,00 men who man the
roads. Out of every dollar received
by the railroads for carrying freight
and passengers, the employes get 45
cents." Stoddard comments:
"These are enormous sums. But
transportation Is an enormous busi
ness, and if you divide the total num
ber of dollars paid out in wages by,
the total number of men who get
these dollars; in other words, if you
divide $1,500,000,000 by 1,800,000 ed to 298,274,614, an, increase ove?
- MaM,

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