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Newspaper Page Text
HENRICIIS FALLS RIGHT IN LINE WITH THE
STALE OLD CRY CAPITAL ALVAYS PULLS
BY JANE WHITAKER
"We are fighting against this because our employes do not desire it
and we are protecting our employes."
That is one of the absurd declarations always made by capital when
ever it is fighting en mass to keep labor suppressed.
, Millionaire shopkeepers who appeared before the O'Hara Welfare Com
mission stated that a minimum wage would hurt the girl clerks who were
receiving more than $8, although their figures showed that these girls were
in the minority.
Millionaire laundrymen and owners of canning factories told the Illi
nois Legislature when the fight was on for a ten-hour law for women, that
they were fighting againstrits enactment to protect their employes who were
eager to work as many hours as the gracious employers would permit.
And now Collins, of Henrici's, brings forward in his fight against pay
ing a living wage and granting girls one day of rest in seven, what he claims
is a statement of the girls who continued in his employ and those who took
the places of girls discharged, to the effect that they are perfectly delighted
with a $7 wage supplemented by nickels and dimes tossed to them by the
public and that they wouldn't know what to do with a day of rest.
The capitalist imagines that the securing and making public of a state
ment like that wili convince thepubhc
that the girls, who are striking and
picketing on the outside of Henrici's
are merely agitators.
But no one who thinks can for a
moment take such a statement upon
its face value-, for it would, be ad
mitting a condition of slavery of the
working class too appalling to be
lieve. " It would be like admitting that
Lazarus was content to eat the
crumbs from" the rich man's' table
while, the rich man glutted his appe
tite with dainty viands and rare
"And that is not human, nature. This
statetnent is merely to be taken, not
as 'an evidence of the satisfaction of
working girls in their slavery, but the
fear that working girls have of the
nien-wfio-keep them in slavery.
Fear is the mainspring of the ma
jority of usl We minch on a crust,
not grateful that we have a crust, but
fearful that we may lose even the
Heroism is not universal but indi
vidual. If it were otherwise, "there
would be 'no monuments to heroes
nor public adulation of them. And it
i3 the heroism of the few individuals
that wins every fight that is won for
And if this fight for better working
conditions for waitresses is won at
Henrici's against the combined
wealth and' machinations of the capi
talists, it will be because the heroism
of the few has triumphed over the
fear- of the waitresses now employed
When a minimum wage for women
was defeated tiy Big Business in
the Illinois legislature, the Women's
Trade Union League undertook to or
ganize the clerks in an effort to win
a living wage for them.
That fight would have been won,
long ago before this if heroism had'
been universal. Instead, the girls who,
were brave enough to fight for the.
mass rather than to consider their
individual loss, paid the penalty of the
fear of the many and' were, by their,
own statements, blacklisted by the
shopkeepers on State street. Some of
these girls have never gained employ
ment in a store since.
Yet, the very girls who would not'
fight for the mass lest they lose what
they possessed as individuals, who