210. A Factory Worker
Many years ago, some women made a meager
by working in a cigarette factory. It was
job to put 20 cigarettes in each pack,
hand. Their manager was a mean old man.
carried a bamboo rod in his hand. His
, who accompanied him everywhere, was even meaner.
19, was sick. But she knew that if
didn’t go to work, she would lose her
. At the factory that day, she stuffed pack
pack of cigarettes. Sweating and dizzy, she left
cigarette out of one pack. The manager noticed
error immediately. He yelled at her and then
her sharply across her back with the rod.
the bodyguard kicked her in the stomach. Maura
up and staggered out of the factory. She
at home the next day.
The day after
died, her coworkers refused to enter the factory.
stood outside. The manager told them to get
work. He raised his arm as if to
them, but they stood firm. He told them
was going to get the police. They still
’t move. The bodyguard went inside and called the
The police chief came. The women told the
chief what had happened to Maura. He arrested
manager and the bodyguard. He called the owner
the factory. A new manager arrived later that
. He told the workers that they would all
the equivalent of a nickel per day raise.
went back to work.
Before the chief handcuffed
manager and put him in the police car,
manager quietly offered the chief a great deal
money to let him "escape." He told the
he would leave the country and never return.