"I guess it was 37 and a half cents an hour for women, 52 cents for men"
September 13, 2019 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Union Maids: Women Activists Share their Experiences (1976, 52 min) "This is the story of three women who were part of the rank and file labor movement during the tumultuous 1930s. Their lives were like many other young working women. But all three rose to the demands of their time and became militant organizers for their class."

Features Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, Sylvia Woods
Directed by Jim Klein, Julia Reichert, Miles Mogulescu
(Kate Hyndman, at 14:51 in the film)
So they called a meeting at which the new superintendent announced that, due to the economic situation, there would be a layoff of possibly 50% of the employees and no mercy is to be shown to anyone.
“Does anybody have anything to say?”
And I say to myself, “My gosh, Katie, you’ve got some responsibilities, after all, you’re a radical. You can’t let this thing go by and just keep your mouth shut and be a coward.”
So I lift my hand, I said, “I protest.”
And everybody was just shocked.
posted by spamandkimchi (3 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you!

Now I’ve got this song in my head, by the way...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is great, and now is a great moment to be reminded about women, socialism and organizing this way.

I just wish the organized labour movement had gone farther in gender equality since this film was made. I'm currently one of very few women holding a senior union position in my sector, and it is very much a boy zone. We are starting to call it out, though, and things are going to get very interesting in the next few years.
posted by rpfields at 8:24 AM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

As we go marching, marching, we're standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:42 AM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

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