“In November 1909, immigrant women in their teens and 20s in New York City began an 11-week strike, or as many labor historians recall it, ‘the uprising of the 20,000.’ In her book Women and Socialism, historian Sharon Smith explains that although the strike took more than two months during a brutal winter, the women won recognition for most local factories in Local 25 of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. Up until this point, their union had been male-dominated.
‘This strike, fought by thousands of young women who worked long hours in New York City’s garment factories, is one of the most important struggles in the history of the U.S. working class,’ Smith tells Teen Vogue. ‘Most of the strikers were teenagers and immigrants, with young Jewish socialists playing a key role in leading the strike forward. At the time, union official leadership was almost entirely made up of men, but these women workers took charge of their own strike.’”
(Thanks, as always, to Comrade Teen Vogue.)
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