todayinlaborhistory:

Today in labor history, February 23, 1864: 19-year-old Irish immigrant Kate Mullany leads members of the Collar Laundry Union – the first all-female union in the United States – in a successful strike in Troy, New York, for increased wages and improved working conditions. Women working in commercial laundries spent 12 to 14 hours a day ironing and washing detachable collars with harsh chemicals and boiling water and were paid about $3-$4/week.

todayinlaborhistory:

Today in labor history, February 23, 1864: 19-year-old Irish immigrant Kate Mullany leads members of the Collar Laundry Union – the first all-female union in the United States – in a successful strike in Troy, New York, for increased wages and improved working conditions. Women working in commercial laundries spent 12 to 14 hours a day ironing and washing detachable collars with harsh chemicals and boiling water and were paid about $3-$4/week.


Western Airlines stewardesses picket company ticket counter at L.A. Airport to protest recent firing of a stewardess who was four pounds overweight. From left they are Lorraine Storto (back to camera), Glenrae Jenks, Helen Barrios, Carol Zemke and Lila Lynn.
1974

Weight limits for American flight attendants ended in 1990.

Western Airlines stewardesses picket company ticket counter at L.A. Airport to protest recent firing of a stewardess who was four pounds overweight. From left they are Lorraine Storto (back to camera), Glenrae Jenks, Helen Barrios, Carol Zemke and Lila Lynn.

1974

Weight limits for American flight attendants ended in 1990.

"By the eleventh minute of the fire—the sixth minute of the nightmare on the ninth floor—only two escape routes remained, and they, too, would be gone in thirty or sixty or ninety seconds more. To survive at this point required decisiveness, a sudden burst of action, and good luck, which was a vanishing commodity."

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Factory fire in which 146 women died.

wnyc:

Former New York State Senator Serf Maltese talks about how grandmother and her two daughters — ages 14 and 18 — were among the 146 who died in the fast-moving blaze that engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911.

"People survived thanks to a short head start, or a seat assignment near an exit, or by following the right mad rush in one direction or another—or by ignoring the wrong mad rush. They survived by acting a bit more quickly, or boldly, or brutally. But the truth is most people working on the ninth floor that day did not survive at all."

There are over 100 million migrant workers in China today.  Many of these workers are young women who have left their rural homes to work in factories.  The hours are long and the pay is low, so young women job hop often, hoping to find better conditions elsewhere.
To show how this mass movement is transforming China, Leslie T. Chang focuses on two girls, Min and Chunming, who work in Dongguan.  Beyond the challenges of factory life, they also struggle to maintain friendships and romantic relationships.  Living in such a transitory world, the loss of a mobile phone can mean the loss of an entire social network.
About a fourth of the book describe’s the author’s own Chinese American family history, but the modern segments held my interest more as I am always interested in the lives of women during periods of social change.  This book fills in the gaps left by news stories on the industrialization of China by exploring the lives of the young women who keep factories going.

There are over 100 million migrant workers in China today.  Many of these workers are young women who have left their rural homes to work in factories.  The hours are long and the pay is low, so young women job hop often, hoping to find better conditions elsewhere.

To show how this mass movement is transforming China, Leslie T. Chang focuses on two girls, Min and Chunming, who work in Dongguan.  Beyond the challenges of factory life, they also struggle to maintain friendships and romantic relationships.  Living in such a transitory world, the loss of a mobile phone can mean the loss of an entire social network.

About a fourth of the book describe’s the author’s own Chinese American family history, but the modern segments held my interest more as I am always interested in the lives of women during periods of social change.  This book fills in the gaps left by news stories on the industrialization of China by exploring the lives of the young women who keep factories going.

fuckyeahlatinamericanhistory:

United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama today. Said the president, ”Dolores was very gracious when I told her I had stolen her slogan, Si, se puede. Yes, we can. Knowing her, I’m pleased that she let me off easy— because Dolores does not play.”

fuckyeahlatinamericanhistory:

United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama today. Said the president, ”Dolores was very gracious when I told her I had stolen her slogan, Si, se puede. Yes, we can. Knowing her, I’m pleased that she let me off easy— because Dolores does not play.”

(via fylatinamericanhistory)

"The most prevailing incentive to labor was to secure the means of education for some male member of the family. To make a gentleman of a brother or a son, to give him a college education, was the dominant thought in the minds of a great many of the better class of mill­girls. I have known more than one to give every cent of her wages, month after month, to her brother, that he might get the education necessary to enter some profession. I have known a mother to work years in this way for her boy. I have known women to educate young men by their earnings, who were not sons or relatives. There are many men now living who were helped to an education by the wages of the early mill­girls."

Harriet Hanson Robinson, the wife of a newspaper editor and Lowell Mill Girl from the age of ten in 1834 to 1848.

(Source: fordham.edu)

Newsgirl, Park Row NYC, 1910.

Newsgirl, Park Row NYC, 1910.

"Kate Alterman chose the fiery race to the roof. She pulled her coat up around her face and moved towards the blaze. As she hurried, stumbling, across the room, she saw people catching fire around her. She looked down to find her pocketbook was burning in her hands. Passing the examining tables, Alterman grabbed a few unburned garments and tried to cover her head. The flames were closing around the doorway, and someone grabbed Alterman’s dress to hold her back. ‘I kicked her with my foot and I don’t know what became of her.’"

As I mentioned earlier, today is the 101st anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  I’m also recommending Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle.  
Until September 11, 2001, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the worst workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  Almost 150 women died in a matter of minutes while crowds outside watched.  Teenage girls threw themselves out of windows knowing they were too high up for the nets to catch them because they didn’t want to burn to death.  
It was a pivotal moment for the labor movement.   Dozens of safety regulations were adopted in New York City and other industrial hubs following the disaster.  
Several comments on my earlier post noted that the building now belongs to NYU, but NYU students also played a role in helping workers escape the fire.  NYU law students were able to help some of the lucky few who made it to the roof cross over into safety.
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is one of the non-fiction books I recommend to people who don’t generally like non-fiction.  After the stage is set describing the conditions of the factory and the situation of the factory workers, the book is pretty fast paced, describing how split second decisions led to life and death outcomes.  It isn’t as in depth a look at organized labor as it could be, but Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is compelling reading, particularly if you’re interested in the labor movement, the history of New York City, or Jewish and Italian immigration.

As I mentioned earlier, today is the 101st anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  I’m also recommending Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle.  

Until September 11, 2001, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the worst workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  Almost 150 women died in a matter of minutes while crowds outside watched.  Teenage girls threw themselves out of windows knowing they were too high up for the nets to catch them because they didn’t want to burn to death.  

It was a pivotal moment for the labor movement.   Dozens of safety regulations were adopted in New York City and other industrial hubs following the disaster.  

Several comments on my earlier post noted that the building now belongs to NYU, but NYU students also played a role in helping workers escape the fire.  NYU law students were able to help some of the lucky few who made it to the roof cross over into safety.

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is one of the non-fiction books I recommend to people who don’t generally like non-fiction.  After the stage is set describing the conditions of the factory and the situation of the factory workers, the book is pretty fast paced, describing how split second decisions led to life and death outcomes.  It isn’t as in depth a look at organized labor as it could be, but Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is compelling reading, particularly if you’re interested in the labor movement, the history of New York City, or Jewish and Italian immigration.

Demonstration of protest and mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, April 1911.
Today is the 101st anniversary of the fire.  

Demonstration of protest and mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, April 1911.

Today is the 101st anniversary of the fire.  

riversidearchives:

40 days to 1940 Census

no. 6

Labor unions gained strength among Mexican workers during the Great Depression. In 1933 and 1934, the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) was involved in a large strike among the needle trade workers of Los Angeles. They had focused on organizing, not only European immigrant women, but Mexican and Mexican-American women. They published bilingual materials to attract the women and gain support in the Mexican community. The Federal government’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) became involved in trying to bring the workers and factory owners together for mediation.

 

Decorating the tree at a Christmas Eve party given by Local 203 of the United Federal Workers of America, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in Washington, DC
1943

Decorating the tree at a Christmas Eve party given by Local 203 of the United Federal Workers of America, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in Washington, DC

1943

Lowel factory girls at the Women’s National Trade Union League Pageant
May 8, 1928

Lowel factory girls at the Women’s National Trade Union League Pageant

May 8, 1928