Parisian waiters threaten to strike over beards . . . and pay

Beards or no beards?

The Blackburn Standard Saturday September 19 1891

Beards or no beards?

Why should waiters not have beards? That is what the Paris cafe waiters are asking and as the interdict against that facial ornament is deemed by them unreasonable and they now threaten to strike unless they are allowed to please themselves about their whiskers.

Their chief complaint is not that the daily shave is inconvenient but that the cut of their whiskers betrays their calling.

Wherever they go and in whatever company they may be, people will persist in associating them with tips and in treating them with less consideration than is shown to the respectable bourgeois.

Then these waiters have another grievance and a very real one it is too. Landlords in the gay city do not, it seems, pay the waiters but require the waiters to pay them for their situations, on the ground that the chance of obtaining tips is a market value.

That a vigorous protest should be offered against this sort of thing is not surprising and doubtless waiters all the world over will watch with sympathetic interest the progress of this little interesting struggle between the beardless waiters of Paris and their well-paid employers. 

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