Making Both Ends Meet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Making Both Ends Meet.
    Don’t call any one “scab” or use abusive language of any kind. 
    Plead, persuade, appeal, but do not threaten. 
    If a policeman arrest you and you are sure that you have committed
       no offense, take down his number and give it to your Union
       officers.]

[Footnote 16:  In the factories where the Russian and Italian girls worked side by side, their feeling for each other seems generally to have been friendly.  After the beginning of the strike an attempt was made to antagonize them against each other by religious and nationalistic appeals.  It met with little success.  Italian headquarters for Italian workers wishing organizations were soon established.  Little by little the Italian garment workers are entering the Union.]

[Footnote 17:  Extract from the court stenographer’s minutes of the proceedings in the Per trial.]

[Footnote 18:  Therese Malkiel, December 22.]

CHAPTER III

THE INCOME AND OUTLAY OF SOME NEW YORK FACTORY WORKERS

[Unskilled and Seasonal Factory Work]

I

Besides the accounts of the waist makers, the National Consumers’ League received in its inquiry specific chronicles from skilled and from unskilled factory workers, both hand workers and machine operatives—­among others, packers of drugs, biscuits, and olives, cigarette rollers, box makers, umbrella makers, hat makers, glove makers, fur sewers, hand embroiderers, white goods workers, skirt makers, workers on men’s coats, and workers on children’s dresses.

As will be seen, the situation occupied and described by any individual girl may in a year or five years be no longer hers, but that of some other worker.  So that the synthesis of these chronicles is presented, not as a composite photograph of the industrial experiences in any one trade, but rather as an accurate kinetoscope view of the yearly life of chance passing factory workers.

For the purposes of record these annals may be loosely divided into those of unskilled and seasonal factory workers, and those whose narratives expressed the effects of monotony and fatigue, from speeding at their tasks.  This division must remain loose to convey a truthful impression.  For the same self-supporting girl has often been a skilled and an unskilled worker, by hand, at a machine, and in several industries.

Discouragement at the lack of opportunity to advance was expressed by almost all the narrators of their histories who were engaged in unskilled factory work.  Among them, Emily Clement, an American girl, was one of the first workers who gave the League an account of her experience.

Emily was tending an envelope machine, at a wage of $6 a week.  She was about twenty years old; and before her employment at the envelope machine she had worked, at the age of fourteen, for a year in a carpet mill; then for two years in a tobacco factory; and then for two years had kept house for a sister and an aunt living in an East Side tenement.

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Making Both Ends Meet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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