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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Friday November 20, 1903
Boston, Massachusetts - Women's National Trade Union League Officially Established

Over the past week trade union women, and settlement house workers, along with wealthy reformers and officials from the nearby Convention of the American Federation of Labor, have been conferring on the subject of working women and the American trade union movement. As a result of these meetings, a new organization has been officially established: the Women's National Trade Union League. Mary Morton Kehew, a wealthy Bostonian social former, was selected as the the organizations first President. Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, labor organizer, will serve as Secretary,  and Jane Addams, who needs no introduction, will serve as Vice-President. The Executive Board will consist of Mary McDowell, settlement resident, Lillian Wald, union organizer, Leonora O'Reilly, settlement worker and union organizer, Mary Freitas,  textile worker, and Ellen Lindstrom, Chicago unionist, as well as others.

The purpose of the new organization is stated: aid women workers in their effort to organize; to assist already organized women workers to secure better conditions; to start clubs and lunch rooms for women working in big factories; to give and arrange entertainments for them; to notify secretaries of labor organizations whenever an organization was to be formed so as to avoid conflicts in regard to jurisdiction.
Jane Addams, 1900
Jane Addams, 1900
During the conference Jane Addams made this stirring speech:
I think the materialism we talk so much about in America amounts to just this: We take the boots and shoes and the dresses which industry and invention have made cheap and deck ourselves out in them but we don't have any sympathy or communal feeling with the people at whose sacrifice they are many of them, made...In this movement we must pool our interests. There are eleven thousand trade union women in Chicago already organized. In going into this movement we are going to stand with them, to share their blunders with them as well as their successes. No moral movement has been without its perplexities. To enlist in a cause which has none is to enlist in a dead cause-one with a tombstone.

[emphasis added]


Women and the American Labor Movement
From Colonial Times to the Eve of World War I

-by Philip S Foner
NY, 1979

All For One
-by Rose Schneiderman
 with Lucy Goldthwaite
NY, 1967

See also: American National Biography

Thursday November 20, 1913
Southern Coalfield, Colorado - Company Gunthugs Recruited into National Guard

We are receiving disturbing reports that vacancies in the Colorado National Guard are being filled by mine guards, many of them imported gunthugs. Further, these gunthugs are being specifically targeted for recruitment per the orders of General Chase, according to some sources. There are also reports that mine guards at some of the C. F. & I. mines have been ordered by their bosses to join up with militia in order to keep their jobs. These new recruits receive two pay checks, one from Rockefeller's Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, and one from the Colorado National Guard.

Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
 in the American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008


Wednesday November 20, 2013
More on Jane Addams, Hull House, and the WTUL:

...In 1888, while on a European tour, [Jane]Addams and Ellen Starr, visited the university settlement, Toynbee Hall in the East End of London...Britain's first university settlement. The idea was to create a place where students from Oxford University and Cambridge University could work among, and improve the lives of the poor during their summer holidays...

When Addams and Ellen Starr returned to Chicago in 1889, they decided to start a similar project in Chicago...

In 1903 several women associated with Hull House, including Addams, Mary Kenney, Mary McDowell, Florence Kelley and Sophonisba Breckinridge, were involved in establishing the Women's Trade Union League. Union meetings were often held at Hull House and members of the settlement helped support workers during industrial disputes. This resulted in some wealthy people withdrawing their support for Hull House. One businessman wrote that Hull House had "been so thoroughly unionized that it has lost its usefulness and has become a detriment and harm to the community as a whole."...

Spartacus Educational

I Am a Union Woman-Leenya Rideout

I am a union woman
Just as brave as I can be
I do not like the bosses
And the bosses don't like me.

          -Aunt Molly Jackson

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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