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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Spokane labor council goes after employers who violated womens’ pay laws

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 13, 2019

 (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
(Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane’s Central Labor Council said that the minimum wage law for women was “flagrantly violated” in the city.

So the council was contemplating a new tactic: Publicizing a list of all of the companies on the “unfair” list.

“The most common method of evading the law is to pay the girls the $13.20 per week, but make them work seven days a week for it,” said Edith S. Downing, an organizer of women workers. “This is wrong. The girls are entitled to $13.20 for a six-day or 48-hour week, and if they are forced to work a seventh day they should be paid for it at the of 27-and-a-half cents per hour.”

From the flu beat: Two more Spokane residents died of the flu, but the statistics continued to show the epidemic waning.

The ban on public dances would continue indefinitely, said the city health officer.

From the court beat: Mrs. B.B. Inman sought $20,000 in damages from the Home Telephone & Telegraph Co., because a phone she was using in her neighbor’s house “exploded.”

She suffered unspecified injuries.

The state Supreme Court, however, ruled that she was not entitled to damages because she was not a subscriber of the phone company and was “using the phone free of charge, therefore at her own risk.”

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