Angry Farmer Challenges Wage Rates Paid on Government Projects

Angry Farmer Challenges Wage Rates Paid on Government Projects


I am angry! As a matter of fact I am boiling mad!

All this past year we farmers have listened up to “no profiteering this war”. We have had the price of many of our products set at cost or below, but we have cheerfully carried on feeling that we were being patriotic. We have paid higher costs for almost everything we purchased and paid our labor somewhat higher wages and did little complaining when ends scarcely met at the end of the month.

But a government project is started in our district. All available construction labor is commandeered to rush it to an early completion. But instead of paying those men their regular wages, they pay almost twice as much, six to eight dollars a day. They are taking men wherever they can get them at this rate, men who can only use a hammer, a saw or a shovel.

Now our farm labor that we have been carefully nursing along through a backward season so that we would have them for harvest, thumb their noses at us because they can make as much in a week for the government as they can for us in a month.- We can get the school children to help us farm!

We would even be glad to do this if the government had told us we must let them have our help for a while, but to bribe them with our own money at several times as much per day as they pay our soldiers- we do not like it in the least.

We have very distinct recollections of another government project near here a few years ago where somewhat lower wages were paid, but even then they were much higher than we farmers could afford. The workers bought cars, radios, and beer galore. Three weeks after the job was complete many of them were back on the relief.

If our wheat prices are set at 70 cents, Montreal, which only nets us 55 cents a bushel, why should the government pay labor at the corresponding rate of about two dollars a bushel?

Oxford Co.


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