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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 27, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 7',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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I would like to see your knock these 1 and powerful corporation as the Chi-clothes-spoiling
switches of a large i cago surface lines. C. C. J.
JANE WHITAKER TEUJSWHY SHE THINKS IT
FAIR TO CRITICIZE KNAB
BY JANE WHITAKER
Miss Whitaker: Because The Day Book has always stood for fairness
I am writing to ask if you think you are fair in your attitude toward Mr.
Knab in this waitress war. He says he is paying union wages and giving
union hours and wants only the constitutional granted right of freedom in
hiring whom he pleases. I am a worker myself, but I am not a radical and
can see where capital is sometimes right and workers are sometimes wrong.
Will you discuss this fairly?" .
There are two mistaken judgments, the judgment we form in ignorance
of facts and the judgment we form in passion. I have tried always to avoid
both; have tried to possess a knowledge of the facts and to remain unswayed
And in answering you I am going to do so under these circumstances.
This is not Knab's fight to begin with. It is the fight of the Restaurant
Keepers' Association, composed of wealthy restaurant keepers an associa
tion whose by-laws forbid any member signing a union contract.
As the Restaurant Keepers' Association did in the Henrici strike, pay a
good proportion of the expenses of fighting the union waitresses, so they
are doing in the Knab strike, thus Knab is eliminated as an individual and
is merely a pawn of the Restaurant Keepers' Association.
Knab did not pay union wages before he signed up with the union, ac
cording to Elizabeth Maloney, of the waitresses' union, who is best informed
on the subject. Knab himself does
not claim that this is so. He paid
these wages, and granted these hours
when he signed with the union.
If workers, individually, could force
Knab to keep up this wage and these
hours, unionism would be unneces
sary. Experience, however, has
shown that workers as individuals
are helpless in the hands of employ
ers. Standardization of workers
comes only with unionism. The in
dividual worker must either submit
to any condition imposed by an em
ployer or hunt another job. When
the employer has a union contract,
he must abide by union wages and
And if Knab intends to continue to
pay union wages why should he ob
ject to signing a union contract?
His own reason sounds top foolish to
consider. Do you think any business
man is going to spend thousands of
dollars for the sake of maintaining a
principle which he wishes b deny to
his employes, the right to do as he
pleases? If so, why does he retain
his membership in the Restaurant
Keepers' Association, which doesn't
leave him free to do as he pleases,
but tells him he must not sign a
If Knab really means, without
union contract, to do as well by his
employes as he would under that con
tract, how do you explain the fact
that he placed the girls who are act
ing as strikebreakers out on the
street to insult their sister workers
and bring about arrests of themselves
and the striking pickets?
An arrest for the sake of humanity
may be borne nobly. One is sustain
ed in being a martyr when one real
izes that it will benefit not only one
self but countless other workers, but
there is nothing to sustain those silly
little girls who, in order to keep their
jobs, fought their sister workers" and '
submitted to the indignity o arrest
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