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Report of the Senate Wage Commission for Women and Children in the State of Missouri

Report of the Senate Wage Commission for Women and Children in the State of Missouri

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Excerpt from Report of the Senate Wage Commission for Women and Children in the State of Missouri: To the Senate of the 48th General Assembly of Missouri

(The Senate Wage Commission was chosen on a resolution introduced in the Senate by Michael Kinney for the purpose of determining the wages paid working women in Missouri, with a view to determining the advisability of securing a minimum wage. The committee as appointed consisted of Michael Kinney, chairman, of St. Louis; Lieut. Gov. W. R. Painter, of Carrollton; Francis M. Wilson of Platte City; W. W. Green of Kansas City; Thomas B. Whitledge of St. Mary's, and George D. Gates of Southwest City. Senator Wilson resigned and Thomas J. Lysaught of St. Joseph was chosen to take his place. The commission held sessions in St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Springfield, and Joplin. Four hundred witnesses were examined.)

To the Senate of the Forty-Eighth General Assembly:

The Senate Wage Commission begs leave to submit to your honorable body the following report.

An investigation was made into the wages paid, conditions under which girls work, number of years they attended school, length of time they have been employed and whether they were earning enough for self-support in factories, department stores, laundries and all other industries where women are employed.

Evidence was submitted willingly by all girl employees and by the employers in all lines of work investigated.

The commission is indebted to George B. Mangold, director of the School of Economy of Washington University, who with Miss Anne M. Evans, former special agent of the Federal Labor Bureau, under authority from the commission, made an auxiliary investigation into the wages, cost of living and conditions of labor of women in the manufacturing industries of St. Louis. Miss Mary E. Bulkley also rendered the commission valuable service. Probably 60,000 women and girls, not including servants, are employed in the cities of the state. Of this number probably 10,000 are earning their own living.

Thousands of these girls and women are not earning enough to properly feed and clothe them. Many showed evidences of tuberculosis and other diseases, due undoubtedly to conditions under which they are forced to work.

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