[Footnote 33: Its severity may be indicated by an account of the work a machine ironer in Illinois regularly performed before the passage of the Illinois Ten-Hour Law, when conditions in that State were as they now are in the hotel and hospital laundries of New York. Miss Radway used to iron five hundred shirt bosoms a day. Holding the loose part of the shirt up above her head to prevent the muslin from being caught in the iron, she pressed the bosom in a machine manipulated by three heavy treads—by bearing all of her weight on her right foot stamping down on a pedal to the right; then by bearing all her weight on her left foot, stamping down a pedal to the left; then by pressing down both pedals with a jump. To iron five hundred shirt bosoms required three thousand treads a day.]
[Footnote 34: State Labor Law, paragraph 81.—Protection of Employees Operating Machinery: “... If a machine or any part thereof is in a dangerous condition or is not properly guarded, the use thereof may be prohibited by the Commissioner of Labor, and a notice to that effect shall be attached thereto. Such notice shall not be removed until the machine is made safe and the required safeguards are provided, and in the meantime such unsafe or dangerous machinery shall not be used.”]
[Footnote 35: Here is a letter from the Secretary of the Women’s Trade-Union League, stating the results of organization in the West in the laundry trade: “The laundry workers in San Francisco eight years ago were competing with the Chinese laundries. The girls working in the laundries there received about $10 a month, with the privilege of ’living in.’ Three days in the week they began work at 6 A.M. and worked until 2 A.M. the next morning. The other three days they worked from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M. Since organization, they have established the nine-hour day and the minimum wage of $7. They have extended their organization almost the entire length of the Pacific Coast.”]
[Footnote 36: Perhaps a better survey of the standard of wages for all departments of laundry work in which women are employed can be given by the table below. By the word “standard” I mean the usual wage of a worker of average skill who has been at work in a laundry for a period of at least one year.
Hand starching (shirts) $12 Hand ironing 10 Hand starching (collars) 9 Hand washing 8 Machine ironing 7 Feeders 6 Folders 6 Catchers 5 Machine starching (shirts) 5 Collar ironing 5 Machine starching (collars) 4.50 Shakers 4.50]
[Footnote 37: One of the suggestions the inquirers had made, in regard to danger of injury, was the recommendation of the passage of the State Compensation Act, drafted by the joint conference of the Central Labor Bodies of the city of New York. This act became a law in September, 1910, but has since then (July 22, 1911) been declared unconstitutional.]