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By Alice Henry

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Sample text

Respectable and conservative citizens began to wonder if there might not be two sides to the story. They learned, for instance, of the unjust "bundle" system, under which the employer gives out a bundle of work to a girl, and when she returns the completed work, gives her a ticket which she can convert into cash on pay day. If the ticket, a tiny scrap of paper, should be lost, the girl had no claim on the firm for the work she had actually done. Again, some employers had insisted that they paid good wages, showing books revealing the astonishing fact that girls were receiving thirty dollars, thirty-five dollars, and even forty dollars per week.

This is true, both on account of the direct benefits accruing to them through joining mixed organizations, or being aided by men to form separate organizations of their own, and also through the vast assistance rendered by organized labor in obtaining protective legislation for the most utterly helpless and exploited toilers, for example, the child-labor laws which state after state has placed upon the statute book, sanitary regulations, and laws for the safeguarding of machinery dangerous to workers.

Outside the wage-earning groups there is the great bulk of married women, and a still considerable, though ever-lessening number of single women, who, although productive laborers, are yet, owing to the primitive and antiquated status of home industry, not acknowledged as such in the labor market. Not being remunerated in money, they are not considered as wage-earners. ") Yet another force to be reckoned with in estimating the difficulties which stand in the way of unionizing women is the widespread hostility to trade unionism, as expressed through newspaper and magazine articles, and through public speakers, both religious and secular.

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