Monday, October 28, 2019

The Role of Women and Minorities in the History of the Labor Movement Essay Example for Free

The Role of Women and Minorities in the History of the Labor Movement Essay Labor movements emerged as the working class and workers grouped into association in a bid to fight for their interests at the workplaces. Their interests which were mainly better treatment by the employers and the sate government called for creation of particular laws that concerned working relations. The specific collective associations that have existed within societies include trade and labor unions. In addition to the several elites and the political associations that actively participated in labor movements, women as well as the minority groups have made substantial contributions to the development of the labor movements. Most of the contributions were through trade unions and organizations. These include Women Trade Union League in the United States, The International Ladies Garment Workers Union, Womens Education, Industrial Union and Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. In addition, there are notable contributions of individual women such as Ann Morgan, Frances Perkins, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Clara Lemlich, Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Rose Schneiderman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. This dissertation will entail a research through literature provide information on the role of women and the minority in the history of labor movement in America. Further, it will come up with a discussion regarding the roles of women in the history of trade movements in America. The effluent Women support A group of well-off women such as Frances Perkins, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont and Ann Morgan supported the efforts of the working class women through intercession with officials and donating money as well as protesting with them; these women were commonly referred to as the â€Å"Mink Brigade†. Born in 1853, Alva Belmont was a wealthy socialite who funded the women’s suffrage movement. She gave huge amount of money to the United States and United Kingdom movement. Further, she formed the Political Equality League to campaign for politicians who supported the suffrage goals. Frances Coralie Perkins Frances Coralie Perkins, who lived between 1882 and 1965, was the United States Secretary of labor between 1933 and 1947. She was the leader of the New York Consumer League where she advocated vigorously for appropriate working conditions and hours. In addition, Perkin is credited with the progressive reforms where she increased factory examinations, reduced the working hours of women to forty eight hours and advocated for laws of the unemployment insurance for the and minimum wage.   Perkins is known for her lenience on Harry Bridges, who was a communist leader of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. She held the same interest with Smith in regard to social reform. Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Addams Eleanor Roosevelt made major contribution in labor movements. After her husband, Franklin Roosevelt illness, she began to work with the Women’s Trade Union League. Eleanor supported the league in raising funds for its agenda like forty eight hour work week, child labor elimination, and minimum wage. Laura Jane Addams, who was born in 6 September 1860, founded the United States Settlement House movement. She assisted in the mediation of the Garment Workers Strike of the nineteen ten. Rose Schneideman Rose Schneideman, born between 1882 and 1772, was a well-known socialist and labor movement leader during the first decade of the twentieth century. Schneiderman started working in 1895 as cashier before becoming a lining stitcher within a cap plant. In nineteen hundred and two, she moved to Montreal where she began her unionism and political radicalism. In nineteen hundred and three, she went back to New York where she organized women working in the same factory that she worked in.   She is renowned for her contribution in the cap makers’ work stoppage of nineteen hundred and five which involved the entire city. She became an active member of the New York branch of Women’s Trade Union League before she was elected its vice president in nineteen hundred and eight. Moreover, she was actively involved in the Uprising of the 20,000 which was initiated by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Later on, Rose Schneideman became the national president of the Women Trade Union League. Schneideman phrase, â€Å"Bread and Roses† was widely used in the nineteen twelve textile strike which involved mostly women workers in Massachusetts. Again, she strongly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment which was viewed as denying the working class women legislative protection that WTUL had championed. Clara Lemlich Clara Lemlich lived between 1886 and 19982. She led the Uprising of 2000 which involved the shirtwaist laborers and contributed to her being blacklisted form garment industry. Later she joined the Communist party and became a consumer activist. She had joined the garment industry after migrating to New York. When her employer demanded double production of the employees, Lemlich together with several co-workers, revolted against the low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, long working hours, and the demeaning treatment by the supervisors. She got actively engaged in International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union where she was voted to the executive committee. She led numerous work stoppages of shirtwaist makers and challenged male union leaders to organize women workers in the garment industry. Lemlich is well known for her speech at the mass gathering of Shirtwaist Company and Leiserson Company workers seeking to strike, that led to the start of the strike. Lemlich further, devoted herself to suffrage activities where she founded the Wage Earners League together with Leonora O’Reilly, Schneiderman as well as two other women. This league was a substitute of the middle class suffrage organization that sought to involve and represent the working class. The Wage Earners League admitted only working class women as members. However, it sought support from the non working class and associated itself with the National American Woman Suffrage Association which it had earlier discounted. Florence Kelley Florence Kelley was born in 1859. She founded the National Consumer League that called for consumers to purchase products that came from companies which met the leagues standards. The standards included working and minimum wage. Moreover, Kelley was an activist for women suffrage and helped assisted in the laws concerning working conditions and child labor. The Women Trade Union League The league was established in nineteen hundred and three for both the affluent and working class women to support the attempts of women in organizing labor unions as well as stop unfavorable conditions. The Women Trade Union League played a significant role in aid of the considerable workers stoppage during the initial twenty years of the twentieth century. Their contribution included the formation of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. Women Trade Union League drew on efforts of advocates in the settlement movement as well as in expanding unions that represented workers within industries that had a large number of women like textile and garment industries. Some of the activists of the settlement movement included Florence Kelley and Jane Addams. The league was led by both aristocratic philanthropists and experienced working women. In addition to aiding several strikes, the league supported the New York shirtwaist work stoppage of nineteen hundred and nine that involved more than twenty thousand people. The league provided headquarters for the organization of the strike, legal services and witnesses for picketers. In addition, it joined protesters in picket line and organized mass gatherings and matches to broadcast the shirtwaist workers grievances and the sweatshop situations they were advocating against. Although, the â€Å"Uprising of the 20, 000† produced some benefits to workers, it was not completely successful. Most of the Italian laborers participating in the strike gave up while most of the protesters did not have sufficient resources to engage in the strike. As well, although Lillian Wald was one of the pioneers in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, some African America activists encouraged black laborers to disengage from the strike. The Women Trade Union League also supported the work stoppages of New York cloakmakers and Chicago clothing workers in 1910 as well as the nineteen eleven’s Cleveland strike of garment workers. In addition, it aided the many other trade movements efforts in Massachusetts, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri. However, after nineteen twelve, the league eased its involvement in trade movements and only participated in incidences where the strike leadership was appealing. In addition, the Women League had a semi- official connection with the American Federation of Labor as well as collaborated with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America union. The league also founded a school in 1914 that taught women to be laborers leader as well as organizers. What is more, it contributed greatly in bringing garment workers of Italian origin into the union. The Women Trade Union League in legislative reform The league advocated for several change of legislation that affected workers. In particular, it embarked on working for the reforms on the minimum wage, the eight-hour day and the protective legislation. However, the league spared, in call for reforms, legislation that gave special protection to children and women.   The work of WTUL can also be described by the active advocacy for safety in work places both prior to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of nineteen eleven and after. The event of the fire that resulted to death of one forty five individuals exposed the sincerity of activists such as Rose Schneiderman. WTUL criticized the character of National Women Party which was rather more individualistic. In addition, the league opposed the Equal Rights Amendment that was crafted by the National Women Party in the argument that the legislation would discredit the gainful benefits that WTUL had achieved. In the nineteen twenties and after, the league concentrated more on labor legislation. The leaders largely supported the â€Å"New Deal† and created a close connection with the administration of President Roosevelt via Eleanor Roosevelt who was a WTUL member from nineteen twenty three. The league was disbanded in nineteen fifty. Womens Education and Industrial Union The union engaged female researchers like Louise Bosworth to investigate the working situations of Women. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union The International Ladies Garment Workers Union was among the leading labor unions in America. Its membership was primarily female and it played a pivotal role in the history of labor unions. In 1995, it merged with Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union resulting to the Union of Needletrades, Industry and Textile Employees (UNITE). Further, UNITE merged with Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) to form a union referred to as UNITE HERE. Analysis The women role in trade union was split into the working class and the non working class. The non working class who were involved in the labor movement included the effluent women who used their political influence and financial powers to get through with their agendas. The working class labor leaders and activists were suspicious and mostly differed with the effluent women in regard to the implementation of the labor movements agendas. The non working class was seen as not genuine in advocating for the interests of the laborers. However, some effluent women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Coralie Perkins and Alva Benmont played a pivotal role in the history of the labor movements. Mostly, women activists were affiliated with women’s labor movements. The mainstream labor movements were mail dominated and alienated women from decision making. However, women such as Rose Schneider were involved in leadership of labor movements with male membership although the primary membership was women workers. Conclusion Generally, roles of women in the history of labor movements are defined within mostly, the representation of women workers. These women affiliated to women labor unions which had primarily female membership. However, many women were concentrated in particular industries such as garment and textile industries. Therefore, most movements were male dominated and rarely gave chance for women participation. References: Annalise, O. (1995): Common Sense and a Little Fire, Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill Berg, G. (1989): Frances Perkins and the Flowering of Economic and Social Policies, Monthly Labor Review Foner, P. S. (1979): Women and the American Labor Movement, From Colonial Times to the Eve of World War I Frances, P. (1946): The Roosevelt I Knew, New York: Penguin Group Martin, G. W. (1976): Madam Secretary, Frances Perkins. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York Maurine, B. H., et al, (2007): The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia. Retrieved from Accessed on 2007 October 19 Naomi, P. (1999): Frances Perkins, Champion of the New Deal, Oxford University Press, New York Orleck, A. (1995): Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965. Peter, H. (2002): Cities of Tomorrow, Blackwell Publishing. Stasz, C. (2000): The Vanderbilt Women: Dynasty of Wealth, Glamour and Tragedy. iUniverse, New York Stuart, A.M. (2006): Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age. HarperCollins, New York

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