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great judgment and discretion. I think Professor Hammond auswered that question in the best possible way.
Q. You agree with his views ? A. I agree with that part of his views in which he said he believed in the establishing of a
Q. Would you be in favor of a wage board with power to fix the wage in different trades where women and minors were employed — of course after investigation — this board having upon it representatives of both employers and employees and outsiders? A. I agree with Professor Hammond. I do not see the necessity of outsiders. I think there should be a board of employers and employees with a chairman. We have a very complicated situation in New York. The situation is vastly different from what it is in Oregon, and the thing would have to be handled with a great deal of judgment. I am not prepared to say that it would do unalloyed good. It might work hardship.
Q. In what way would it be good, and in what way would it work hardship? A. Well, from the standpoint of the employees I believe that a great many of them would lose their positions. Of course, it would depend somewhat on where the minimum was fixed. When we advanced our minimum we have not had this minimum of six dollars all the time — twenty years ago we paid probably as low as four dollars, but it has been a gradual advance, and when we advanced the minimum to six dollars, it did not mean that we took five dollar people and gave them six dollars unless they were capable of earning six dollars. By COMMISSIONER DREIER:
Q. What are your tests? A. We have tests, we have opportunities of finding out just how they are fitted for filling any particular position.
Q. I would like to ask you in connection with your business what the opportunity for advancement is; you say a girl can become a filing clerk, and then can become an order writer; how far up the scale can she go? A. She can become a correspondent and earn as much as eighteen dollars a week. After that if she has a liking for merchandise and can become a buyer or assistant buyer, or selector of merchandise she could go as high as forty or fifty dollars a week.
Q. How many of your employees have gone as high as eighteen dollars ? A. I can't answer that exactly. I don't know how many correspondents we have, but there are other positions, other than correspondents that would pay that salary. By Mr. ELKUS:
Q. Mr. Rosenbaum, among one of the papers you were kind enough to hand me, Miss B., I note the following: She says position applied for, anything. Salary desired six dollars
week. Age last birthday, seventeen. Attended public school 159. Night school, Harlem, two years. Are you married, no. in
your family, seven. How many are entirely dependent on you for support? Seven. How many besides you are earning wages?
Do you live with your family, or relatives, or board? Family. Did that girl receive employment — did she pass the examination ? A. No, sir. You will notice here she was totally unable to spell.
Q. What percentage did she get for spelling? A. Thirty we allow for spelling, and she got nineteen and a half. She gave the capital of Pennsylvania as Philadelphia. She was very poor in arithmetic. She did not get a position.
Q. She had never worked before? A. Apparently not.
Q. Did you ever inquire how she was going to support this family of seven on six dollars a week? A. No; we didn't employ her.
Q. You would not employ a girl that was in that position ? A. No.
Q. We would be very glad to hear anything further that you have to tell us, Mr. Rosenbaum, anything about your system, what you do, what you think would be of benefit to the Commission? A. We find our employees are ambitious in a sense. They are anxious to earn more money, but we find very few that care to make the sacrifice in order to improve themselves. They will not study, as a rule, and we have to make their attendance at our school compulsory in a very large sense.
Q. You cannot give us any idea of how many new girls you dismiss during the year out of your three thousand to take on new employees every year, do you not? A. Yes.
will give you.
Q. You don't know how many women have remained with you a long time? A. We endeavor to dismiss only the inefficient ones. After an employee has been with us three or four months we can get an idea of her ability, probably a better idea than these tests
If they are efficient, we endeavor to keep them permanently. If they are not efficient, we let them go.
Q. You don't know what proportion? A. Not a very large percentage, although I should say it may be as high as fifteen per cent.
Q. Whom you keep? A. Oh, no; discharge; we keep eightyfive per cent.
Q. When you advertise for girls to begin, do you advertise for high school graduates ? A. Frequently. It would depend somewhat on the position. Sometimes we may need girls to fold circulars. We would not necessarily want a high school girl for that, although we never take a girl into the place with the idea she is going to remain in that position. A girl coming in to fold circulars would have to take that educational test, because if she is only ambitious to fold circulars we don't want her.
Q. Mr. Rosenbaum, do you find your employees give you better service if they receive a wage which enables them to live decently? A. Yes, sir.
Q. In other words it is a paying proposition from the employer's standpoint to pay living wages? A. It is with us. We find
Q. As I understand, your business is very profitable? A. We find it to be a good business. The matter of education. I saw a very good example of it some time ago, and it touches upon what Mr. Brandeis said about the Filene store, department store, one of the best in the country. I went in there a short time ago and a young man waited on me. He was the best glore salesman I met anywhere. He knew gloves from the beginning to end. I went in to buy a pair of gloves at a dollar and a quarter and he sold me a two dollar pair of gloves. He rendered a triple service, a service to the firm because he made the larger sale, to me because he sold a better article, and he rendered a service to himself.
Mr. BLOOMINGDALE: Was he a ten dollar man or a six dollar man getting ten dollars?
Mr. ROSENBAUM : He was more than that. He was probably an eighteen dollar man.
Q. When Senator Wagner is here he always asks this question : Does an increase in wages mean an increase in efficiency? A. That doesn't always follow. When we raised our minimum to six dollars we did not find it possible to keep all these people. We had to drop some. We kept those capable of being developed.
Q. What becomes of those who are dropped ? A. We don't know
Q. You never follow up the girls whom you refuse to give employment to? A. No, sir. It is impossible to do that. You cannot make an employee efficient by raising the wages from six do)lars to ten dollars unless the fundamentals are there.
By Commissioner DREIER :
Q. You think the public school could perform its functions much better? A. There should be some point of contact between the public schools and the business activity.
By Ir. ELKUS:
Q. I understand that the public schools are asking employers if they will permit graduates of public schools to go into their establishments to be there taught the business with the co-operation of the Department of Education. I understand that is going on with the view of finding out what can be done? A. They are doing something of that sort. I think I mentioned the Board of Education had two teachers in our schools.
Q. Now, isn't it a fact, Mr. Rosenbaum, that the employees of yours should not have to be taught these things which you are teaching them in your schools ? A. They certainly should not have to be taught these elementary things. We expect to teach them our own work. The school is largely for the purpose of teaching them our own work. This other work is incidental, and it is forced on is because the applicant herself has not increased her opportunity.
Q. Why couldn't they teach filing in the public schools? That is one of the things you teach them to do? A. Yes; but speaking of filing in cabinets there are comparatively few who can afford to employ filers only. If they could come to us and write a good business letter, that would be the greatest thing.
Q. You mean if they could read and write English ? A. Yes, sir.
Q. And if they knew arithmetic and geography? A. Yes, sir.
Q. Generally, what they used to call the three R's? A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many of those girls have you at the present time in the school? A. Five hundred and seventy.
Q. How many are new employees? A. Probably one hundred and fifty or two hundred have entered our employ in the past two months.
Q. iud the others are studying to be advanced from one grade to another? A. Yes, sir.
By Commissioner DREIER:
Q. Ilow often do these employees get the schooling? A. Every day. Some employees get an hour a day and some two hours a day. They work only eight hours.
Q. That is included in the eight hour time? A. That is included in the eight hour time. It is all done in our time and at our expense.
By Mr. ELKUS:
Q. I am asked to ask you why it is necessary for you to employ two or three hundred employees in one month; where do the others go; is it because you have increased your business? A. Yes, our business is a growing business. We have recently added some new buildings, but, Mr. Elkus, it is always necessary at the end of the season to drop out some people. You can put them through all the tests and all the schools you want to and some will prove inefficient.
Q. In other words, in every business there are some who are discharged during the course of the year? A. Yes, sir.
Q. For one reason or another that seems proper to the employer? A. Yes, sir. The school does this for us, also frequently a girl may be working in the cashier's office. She may have no taste for that kind of work, and from the standpoint of the head of that