Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
YOUNG GIRL EXPLAINS WHAT WAITRESSES
ARE FORCED TO PUT UP WITH
BY JANE WHITAKER
"After I paid my room rent and my laundry I had between $2 and $2.50
a week on which to-iiye. Some days I spent ten cents for food. Other days
when I got tips I was lible to get meals. But my . meals depended on the
tips I got."
This was the answer of a girl waitress on the picket line in front of
Henrici's when I asked her about the conditions under which waitresses
work and live.
She is just a little girl and very pretty. She has been arrested many
times as she has walked up and down the street fighting for a living wage
for herself and for other working girls.
"I was making $6 then and working ten hours, for it is always the
places that pay low wages where they work you long hours, and if you ob
ject to overtime they fire you," she continued.
"My room cost me $2.50 a week, and it wasn't much of a room at that.
I was not allowed any laundry privileges, and, as is the case in the restau
rants that pay you money like that, I had to provide my own aprons, so my
laundry cost me between $1 and $1.50 a week.
"When we are not paid enough to live on we must depend on tips, and
one of the reasons I am fighting so hard for $8 a week is that I won't have
to depend on tips, ana it a customer
does not care to tip I know I have
given good service anyway.
"This way, when you got to have
tips, you have to take so many in
sults. I wish some writer would tell
the public that waitresses are good
girls, as good as the sisters or wives
of the men who insult us.
"We may not haveas much educa
tion as the girls who work at other
things, but we are just as good and
we do demand the same respect.
"I lost a position not long ago be
cause I resented a man's insults.
"He had been a regular customer
and had always tipped me, and I sup
posed it was because of the good ser
vice I gave him, but one day he said,
with a sneer:
" 'You girls are all alike. You're
out for the money.'
" 'That is not so,' I told him. 'It is
not necessary that you tip me. You
will get as good service if you do
"He laughed and threwa tip on the
" 'I cannot take your tips any
more,' I told him. 'It would be an
insult now that I know your opinion
"He reported me and I was dis
charged. "The extra dollar a week that the
girls on strike from Henrici's are ask
ing doesn't seem much, when you
think it is only a dollar, but it is just
a living wage, and it gives a girl a
feeling of self-respect that she is
paid as her wage the money on which
she lives and can resent any insults.
The girls who want tips will always
receive them, but there are not many
girls who want to take a tip from a
man who insults them when he gives
This is' just one of the girls who are
making martyrs of themselves by
picketing Henrici's in front of plain
clothes men and "harness cops," who
arrest them for walking up and down
the street, striking in order that
waitresses may have decent working
I- am not afraid to say that .this
girl is of as fine a caliber as the wives
or daughters or sisters. of the men
she states insulted her, and as she
is a working girl, dependent on no