WORKING STIFFS AGAIN
An “Appeal” Story.
Three fellows who sign themselves as ‘working stiffs’ write to the Appeal in glowing terms of the courteous treatment extended to harfest hands in North Dakota. The work of the harvest hand is reciprocated with magniicent pay and whole-hearted appreciation, while life is made a miniature paradise for him. If you don’t believe this delightful lie, read what the tworking stiffs’ have to say:
Just a few lines to inform you how conditions are in North Dakota in the present harvest. Here Dickenson there is a one-armed, half-starved ‘bull’ who makes a business of rounding up honest transients and making them pay exorbitant prices for rooms in a hotel in which he is interested. undisputed fact that this fellow had to be eithervgiven a job on the police force or be sent to the poor farm. We have actually experienced this humiliating highway robbery at the hands of this wingless, half-starved pest.
“Such conditions prevail throughout the state at the present date. It is nothing out of the ordinary for a railroad shack to hold you up at the point of gun and take all your money and clothing.
“Sixteen hours is considered an average day in North Dakota and the average scale of wages run below that of other states during the harvest. A harvest bloke’ is considered less than the very cattle, for these are housed in comfortable barn, while a harvest bloke must find comfort in reposing under the blue sky with moonlight for a basket and dear old Mother Earth for a bed.”
The names of these boys-“working stiffs” and “harvest blokes”-are Joseph Hunter, Fred Carpenter and Joseph Newman. They belong to the innumerable army of transient toilers, who cannot get steady work in a par ticular place but must be ever in quest of a job. They are virtually outcasts from all society save that of their equally unifortunate fellow creatures, and they are treated like eurs and criminals by railroad men, police and nearly everyone they meet along their weary way. They are idle and hungry half the time, and when the get a job they are driven like slaves and exploited to a fare-you-well. We can think of nothing more grimly funny than the American Legion or National Security League surging these ‘working stiffs’ to be patriotic and fight for ‘their country.’