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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

People were getting increasingly nervous about two proposed progressive laws in the state, the first being the eight-hour workday law.

The eight-hour law already was in effect for female employees and was being proposed for men, as well.

Miss Edith Colby, the city’s former assistant labor agent, said that the law had proved a hardship on women.

“Often the women are glad to finish a job by working an hour or two overtime and not have to come back the next day,” said Miss Colby. “They cannot do this now because of the law, and I have heard a number denounce the measure because of this.”

She also said many female employers, particularly in restaurant work, were “in dread of arrest because of help that insists on staying around the place after the lapse of the eight hours.”

Another proposed law, known as the “first aid for workmen” law, was being blasted by employers because it was “as dangerous as the projected eight-hour law.”

The law, said one alarmed employer representative, might make “employers liable for the cost of medical attention to employees.”

A group of Seattle’s large employers was planning “an aggressive campaign against the measure.”

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