The delegates in
attendance at the IAM's 34th Grand Lodge Convention held in Chicago,
Illinois, mandated the establishment of a Women's Department. That
department was created March 1, 1997, and is directed by veteran IAM
staffer, Cheryl J. Eastburn.
said her initial priorities would be to establish ties with other groups
and organizations focusing on women's issues. Those issues include
"better jobs and better pay, for openers," she said. In the
U.S., females make up more than 46 percent of the civilian workforce, but
earn only 76 percent of the pay earned by their male counterparts-despite
some progress in recent years. . . . . . .
MORE VISIT THE
IAM'S WOMEN'S DEPARTMENT
CLUW - Coalition of Labor Union Women
CLUW was founded to help empower
women through the labor movement.
The Coalition of Labor Union Women
launched its revamped website last week. At www.cluw.org
, visitors will find a site "that all working women--especially union
women--can turn to on a regular basis for news and information about
working women and to take action on legislative issues of particular
concern to them," said CLUW President Gloria Johnson. CLUW also is
building an e-activist network for working women. For more information,
visit the website or e-mail Renee Barnes at email@example.com.
IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT FROM
A HISTORY OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
IN U.S. WOMEN'S LABOR HISTORY
Provided by Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner
A COMMENTARY from R. Thomas Buffenbarger,
NOTABLE WOMEN IN LABOR
If you want to find out more about these women go to
type in Labor Movement, then use the drop down menu in "Where can
I learn about the labor activist." Also check out the
Illinois Labor History Society and Spartacus
AGNES BURNS WIECK: In 1908, at age sixteen, Agnes
obtained a teaching certificate; a year later began her teaching career.
While she taught school, she was involved in the local labor movement,
organizing miners' wives.
In 1914, when she was twenty-two, Agnes left teaching and began to write
about the lives of the working people. The massacre at Ludlow, Colorado,
that year served as a catalyst for her idealism. Years later, in 1932, at
a convention of the Women's Auxiliary of the Progressive Miners'
Association, Agnes referred to that event: "I was a good teacher. I
didn't know any better. I taught my pupils the pledge of allegiance to the
flag of the United States. . . .And then one morning I read in the paper
of the battle of Ludlow where women and children were shot by soldiers and
burned to death. Liberty and justice for all! Think of it. I vowed I would
never again teach the children to say the pledge of allegiance to the
Agnes became an organizer when the United Mine Workers Journal offered a
"School for Women Organizers."
The PMA (Progressive Miners of America) Women's Auxiliary was organized
and held its first meeting in Springfield, Illinois. Agnes Wieck was the
first president. Agnes did not actively seek the office of president.
According to her son, she was in poor health, but she sensed the spirit of
the women. " A spirit she had longed for. If she could help she had
to help. . . ."
In 1985 Agnes Burnes Wieck was inducted in the Illinois Labor History
Society's "hall of honor."
Worked in a glove factory in Chicago, Illinois. She became an active trade
unionist and in 1898 emerged as one of the leaders during a ten day strike
at her factory. In 1902 she helped form the International Glove Workers
Over the next few years Nestor campaigned for women's suffrage, a minimum
wage and maternity health legislation. She was also a strong opponent of
Nestor held several senior posts in the International Glove Workers Union,
including vice president, secretary-treasurer, general president, and
director of research and education.
A labor organizer -- and from all accounts, she was an exceptional one.
But she paid with her life. William Z. Foster, leader of the great steel
strike of 1919, believed that Sellins was among the best of the unions'
organizers. "[She] had an exceptional belief in the workers and she
went out and organized them. . . .She took the initiative and in the midst
of terror went out to her work."
Sellins was just like a thorn in the side of the coal operators in the
Allegheny Valley. She could have set her own price, and the operators
would have paid it to have her move out of the valley. But Sellins refused
to betray the miners or to desert them. She was a marked woman. The
operators openly threatened to "get her."
In 1989, 70 years after her death, Sellins's grave was designated a
Pennsylvania state historic landmark, and a historic marker was erected
that reads: "An organizer for the United Mine Workers, Fannie Sellins
was brutally gunned down in Brackenridge on the eve of a nationwide steel
strike, on August 26, 1919. Her devotion to the workers' cause made her an
important symbolic figure. Both she and Joseph Starzeleski, a minor who
also was killed that same day, lie buried here in Union Cemetery where a
monument to the pair was erected."
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