In addition to the sums acknowledged last week, i have received up to july 4th: Miss Mussell,. ; a metropolitan. P., 1; James Tims, 10s.; Mrs. Sarah Gostling, 10s.; per Mrs. The following paragraph has appeared in the. East London Observer : "bryant and may's girls. are they sweated? "An interesting action is likely to occupy the attention of the law courts shortly.
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Men speak of "the furies of the revolution" with horror and laothing; but who dare judge harshly if such seed as summary Bryant and may are a-sowing yield similar harvest, and if the maddened poor are pitiless to these who have been pitiless to them? One point has so far been gained. The factory Inspector has visited Messrs. Bryant and may's factory, and the system of fines is put an end. In this case, as at woolwich,. Bradlaugh's Truck Act is proving an invaluable weapon against the petty oppressors of the poor, and the wisdom of the provision which throws the duty of enforcing it on the factory Inspector is being proved. Of course, the girls chosen as the victims of Messrs. Bryant and may's wrath must be safe saved from the doom to which he consigned them. Some decent people will be found to sympathise, and to provide until they are again in work the 18s. A week which covers the wages of the three dismissed girls.
For her week's wages, promising a second. 6d., and a third. These wages are to pay for food and rent for the week. It is hard to understand what kind of non-human beings they can be who can put into a woman-child's hand. As the price of her week's labor, and then bid her go supermarket forth workless into the cruel streets. How can a man do this thing, and go home to his comfortable house, and perhaps to wife and child? What if his daughter hereafter should receive similar treatment at the hands of a man like himself? Or what if these trampled ones at last should revolt against their tyrants, and in some wild hour of popular fury pay back such mercy as they have received?
P., gave me 1, a member of the merchant tailors Company 10s., another sympathiser 10s., and I had other promises of support, in defending any victims of Bryant and may, and carrying on the war. A big meeting to protest against the White Slavery will be called. Bryant and may fight. No sign of the "legal attention" announced in such hot haste. Theodore Bryant last week has yet reached me, but Messrs. Bryant and may have not been idle. They apparently shirk the straightforward course of prosecuting me for libel, knowing full well that estate my statements are true and can be proved up to the hilt, and they fear the publicity that such a suit would give to their shameful treatment of the helpless. Determined, however, to revenge themselves for the exposure of their iniquities, they have fallen on the girls themselves, selecting as victims three. In order to make the punishment of these as heavy as possible, they did not dismiss them at once, but kept them on for a week making their work very slack, and finally discharged one of the me with.
Oh if we had but a people's Dante, to make a special circle in the Inferno for those who live on this misery, and suck wealth out of the starvation of helpless girls. Failing a poet to hold up their conduct to the execration of posterity, enshrined in deathless verse, let us strive to touch their consciences,. Their pockets, and let us at least avoid being "partakers of their sins by abstaining from using their commodities. Bryant and may, from: Issue. I was called out of a meeting against the sweating system on Wednesday night, by a workman friend of mine, who came to me from Bow with the news that Bryant and may's factory was in a state of commotion, and the girls were being. Cowards that they are! Why not at once sue me for libel and disprove my statements in open court if they can, instead of threatening to throw these children out into the streets? But they hope thus to terrorise the girls from giving evidence, and so prevent their treatment of them from leaking out. They will not succeed in their despicable policy, for work will be found for the girls they "sack and dismissal thus robbed of its terrors.
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we don't want no holidays said one of the girls pathetically, for - needless to say - the poorer employees of such a firm lose their wages when a holiday is "given".) so furious were the girls at this cruel plundering, that many went. Later they surrounded the statue - "we paid for it" they cried savagely - shouting and yelling, and a gruesome story is told that some cut their arms and let their blood trickle on the marble paid for, in very truth, by their blood. There seems to be a curious feeling that the nominal wages are. Higher than the money paid, but that. A week is still kept back to pay for the statue and for a fountain erected by the same. This, however, appears to me to be only of the nature of a pious opinion. Such is a bald account of one form of white slavery as it exists in London.
With chattel slaves. Bryant could not have made his huge fortune, for he could not have fed, clothed, and housed them for. A week each, and they would have had a definite money value which would have served as a protection. But who cares for the fate of these white wage slaves? Born in slums, driven to work while still children, undersized because underfed, oppressed because helpless, flung aside as soon as worked out, who cares if they die or go mommy on the streets, provided only that the Bryant and may shareholders get their 23 per cent. Theodore Bryant can erect statues and buy parks?
A very rapid "filler" has been known to earn once "as much." in a week, and. The making of boxes is not done in the factory; for these. A gross is paid to people who work in their own homes, and "find your own paste". Daywork is a little better paid than piecework, and is done chiefly by married women, who earn as much sometimes as 10s. A week, the piecework falling to the girls.
Four women day workers, spoken of with reverent awe, earn - 13s. A very bitter memory survives in the factory. Theodore Bryant, to show his admiration. Gladstone and the greatness of his own public spirit, bethought him to erect a statue to that eminent statesman. In order that his workgirls might have the privilege of contributing, he stopped. Each out of their wages, and further deprived them of half-a-day's work by closing the factory, "giving them a holiday".
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The wage covers the duty of submitting to an occasional blow from a foreman; one, who appears to be a gentleman of variable temper, "clouts" them "when he is mad". One department of the work consists in taking matches out of a frame and putting them into boxes; about three frames can be done in an hour, and. Is paid for each frame emptied; only one frame is given out at a time, and the girls have to run downstairs and upstairs each time to fetch the frame, thus reviews much increasing their fatigue. One of the delights of the frame work is the accidental firing of the matches: when this happens the worker loses the work, and if the frame is injured she is fined or "sacked". A week had been earned at this by one girl I talked. The "fillers" get. A gross for filling boxes; at "boxing. Wrapping papers round the boxes, they can earn from.
If a girl leaves four or five matches on her bench when she goes for a fresh "frame" she is fined., and in some departments a fine. Is inflicted for talking. If a girl is late she is shut out for "half joorney the day that is for the morning six hours, and. Is deducted out of her day's. One girl was fined. For letting the web twist round a machine in the endeavor to save her fingers from being cut, and was sharply told to take care of the machine, "never mind your fingers". Another, who carried out the instructions and lost a finger thereby, was left unsupported while she was helpless.
rent of one room; the child lives on only bread-and-butter and tea, alike for breakfast and dinner, but related with dancing eyes that once a month she went to a meal where "you get coffee, and bread and butter, and jam. The splendid salary. Is subject to deductions in the shape of fines; if the feet are dirty, or the ground under the bench is left untidy, a fine. Is inflicted; for putting "burnts" - matches that have caught fire during the work - on the bench. Has been forfeited, and one unhappy girl was once fined. 6d for some unknown crime.
To its shareholders; two years ago it paid a dividend of 25 per cent., and the original 5 shares were then"d for sale at. The roles highest dividend paid has been 38 per cent. Let us see how the money is made with which these monstrous dividends are paid. The figures"d were all taken down by myself, in the presence of three witnesses, from persons who had themselves been in the prison-house whose secrets they disclosed. The hour for commencing work.30 in summer and 8 in winter; work concludes at. Half-an-hour is allowed for breakfast and an hour for dinner. This long day of work is performed by young girls, who have to stand the whole of the time.
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White slavery in London, from: Issue. At a meeting of the fabian Society held on June 15th, the following resolution was moved. Champion, seconded by herbert Burrows, and carried nem. After a brief discussion: "That this meeting, being aware that the shareholders of Bryant and may are receiving a dividend of over 20 per cent., and at the same time are paying their workers only. Per literature gross for making match-boxes, pledges itself not to use or purchase any matches made by this firm.". In consequence of some statements made in course of the discussion, i resolved to personally investigate their accuracy, and accordingly betook myself to Bromley to interview some of Bryant and may's employees, and thus obtain information at first hand. The following is the outcome of my enquiries: Bryant and may, now a limited liability company, paid last year a dividend of 23 per cent.