Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Will Maupin's weekly. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1911-1912 | View Entire Issue (April 7, 1911)
Movement Against Child Labor
BEGUN BY TRADE UNIONS.
Need of Protection For the Nation's
Boys and Girls Is at Last Recognized.
Many States Have Passed Remedial
The persistency and patience of the
organized workers In behalf of the
children of the nation are being re
warded. After years of heroic effort
and weary periods of misrepresenta
tion and misinterpretation by the grad
grinds of Industry the goal of ultimate
success gradually but surely is being
The child, our nation's most priceless
possession, Is at last being recognized
by society as its most valuable asset.
Some other influential portions of so
ciety have at last, after our repeated
warnings, continual struggles and
gratifying successes, been convinced
that we are right In asking protection
for the child. They are taking a leaf
from our book of endeavor and aspira
tion and lire now rendering us valua
ble aid In behalf of bettor child labor
laws. This Is as It should be, and as
it should have been years ago. If it
had been so our newly discovered aux
iliaries could more consistently claim
credit they are now appropriating
without stint. This is another evi
dence of the truism, "Nothing suc
ceeds like success."
The period has now arrived when
the average member of a legislature is
proud If he can make a good record on
"child "labor legislation," and while
this inclination prevails It will be well
to press home In every state legislature
the most complete and efficient meas
ures in the Interest of the children.
The Ohio law Is without doubt the
most enlightened and humane. It pro
vides fourteen years as the age limit
(or employment of children in facto
ries, fifteen years in mines (during
school term) and sixteen years in dan
gerous or unhealthful employments.
That state has also enacted a law
making eight hours a maximum day's
work for children. Including girls up
to the eighteenth year.
The most essential feature now re
quired In some states is more capable
factory inspectors to enforce the child
labor laws of the state.' These can be
obtained If a firm demand Is made for
We succeeded in having the child
labor law of the District of Columbia
strengthened during the last session
of congress. Formerly inspectors were
appointed at the option of the District
commissioners. We protested that the
duty should be made mandatory in
stead of optional. The District of Co
lumbia appropriation bill now contains
a provision requiring the detail of two
privates of the metropolitan police for
the enforcement of the provisions of
the act to regulate the employment of
Several efforts have been made by
persons Interested In exploiting the
labor of children to have what they
are pleased to call "broad and liberal
Interpretations of the law," but the
courts have decided otherwise. The
last case under Judge De Lacy was
decided Oct 6. 1910, in which he held
that the spirit as well as the letter of
the law should be strictly observed,
saying: "Violators of the child labor
law deserve the severest censure. The
boys nnd girls taken from school and
play are deprived of their birthright
gphggft TyhQ- espied . tbem ghouia to
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punished severely." It is not so long
ago that when labor's representatives
made similar statements they were
denounced as "blatant agitators,"
"dreamers," etc., but through their
righteous endeavors we have lived to
enjoy hearing judges, ministers, states
men and even politicians applauded
for such lofty sentiments.
Forty-four states now have child la
bor legislation of some form. In twenty-eight
states the working age limit
Is fourteen years; in ten, twelve years;
in three, sixteen years; in two, fifteen
years, and in one state (Georgia) ten
years. Five states now have a forty
eight hour week for children; five, a
fifty-four tour week; two, a fifty-five
hour week; two, a fifty -six hour week;
two, a fifty -eight hour week; twenty
four, a sixty hour week; two, a sixty
six hour week.
The law should provide that the max
imum working hours for minors should
not exceed eight hours per day. Uni
form state legislation iu this regard
should be immediately urged. Samuel
Gompers in American Federatlonist.
Eight Hour Day For Women.
The senate of Washington state has
passed a bill providing for an eight
hour day for women. The bill applies
to all female workers in hotels, res
taurants, mercantile and mechanical
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