Susan Green Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(3 May 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 18, 3 May 1943, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Much of the chopped beef being sold these days contains seventy-five per cent of fat and twenty-five per cent of meat – whereas the proportions should be the reverse.

Do you suppose that the salvage fat the housewife is urged to turn over to the, butcher finds it way back to her table in the chopped beef she buys – and at a price?


It’s a wonderful thing to be a banker. It gives a body all sorts of privileges, as we all know – even the privilege of being considered a food expert.

For, lo and behold, Chester C. Davis, appointed by President Roosevelt to become food production and distribution administrator and elbow Wickard put of the way, is former president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. And ...

Jesse W. Tapp, appointed by Chester C. Davis as his associate administrator, is vice-president of the Bank of America.



Eighty-one per cent of all the packaged flour produced in this country comes from the mills of sixteen large flour corporations. These giant corporations consequently control the market – and, we are informed; by the Department of Justice, they have abolished sordid competitive prices in favor of monopoly prices ... at all the market will bear!

How the itch for profits brings the capitalists of the nation together – indeed a touching example of national unity!


Less than one-third of the women employed in manufacturing industries average $35 a week. These are mainly the better-paid women in the metal-working industries. The largest number of women workers are still to be found in the textile and apparel industries, where their wages are about $20 a week in textile, and about $22 in apparel. The thousands of women working in laundries, dry cleaning, beauty shops, hotels, restaurants and other “service industries earn much less. In the twenty-six states where the minimum wage law is supposed to apply to women, plenty of firms disobey the law with impunity.

The above summary well describes at least one aspect of the “American way of life” that no under-paid women worker considers worth preserving. Union organization and militant action are wanted to effect a quick improvement for the millions of underpaid women workers.


Almost three months ago women war workers of the UAW-CIO met in Detroit to discuss the specific problems facing them as women workers.

They passed some excellent resolutions. Among them were those calling for the up-grading plan in plants for women workers, for the enforcement and extension of equal-pay-for-equal-work, for hiring more Negro women in the plants – to cite only a few of the urgent demands contained in resolutions. It is time to check. What has been done in the three months since the meeting set itself these tasks? Is there enough progress to date? Or is the situation more or less in status quo?

Merely passing resolutions – no matter how fine they are – is not, as the saying goes, “cooking with gas.” In the field of union accomplishments, “cooking with gas.” implies a readiness to back up good resolutions with militant action.


The wastage of human life by war cannot be measured, by the casualty lists alone. There is also plenty of human sacrifice on the home front, as evidence by the mounting number of industrial accidents. And most tragic of all is the wastage of child life.

Hundreds of thousands of children under 14 and 15 are in industry and agriculture, either full or part time. Millions under 16 and 17 are now wage workers, but at shamefully low wages. Child labor laws have become mere scraps of paper. Boys and girls are working during the day or at night, on hazardous jobs, at machines they do not understand, sapped by fatigue and. trapped into accidents and death. Even younger children are going to work. Teachers report increased absences from school and tell how illegally employed school children fall asleep in class because of exhaustion.

The bosses, who are getting greater profits on the much lower wages of children, are now pressing to put the cloak of legality on their evil practices. All sorts of bills are before state legislatures to legalize the vilest exploitation of child labor. One bill calls for permission to put children on graveyard shifts. One would excuse children of twelve from school for “any occupation directly or indirectly engaged in or connected with the war effort.”

While the bosses are permitted to decimate the children on the altar of profit, millions of able-bodied adult workers cannot find jobs – BECAUSE OF RACE DISCRIMINATION. The largest group discriminated against are the Negroes. There are also plenty of Jews in the same boat, as well as other nationalities at present in disfavor.

Susan Green Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers’ Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 22 May 2015