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Women's Role in the labor movement - Research Paper Example

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A trade union, or a labor union, is defined as a coalition of workers who voluntarily come together to achieve common goals and objectives (Dumont and Hacourt). Often, the ultimate goal of these organizations is to secure higher pay for workers, better working conditions and promotion…
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Womens Role in the labor movement
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Download file to see previous pages The process of collective bargaining is deployed whereby the leaders negotiate either directly with the concerned entity or through an arbitrator to come to common terms of agreement. The history of trade unions dates back to the Industrial Revolution when mass industrialization and exploitation of workers and poor living conditions gave birth to the concept of worker rights (Dumont and Hacourt). The role of women in trade unions has presumed great significance today as the notion of gender equality and anti discrimination lawsuits become rampant. Women have assumed increasingly greater importance in trade union activities particularly in the United States, U.K, Netherlands and Canada (Curtin and Jennifer). The paper discusses the role of women in labor unions both in the United States and in Europe. The Case of U.S.A The history of women’s role in labor unions in the United States dates back to 1765 when “Daughters of Liberty”, a first of its kind society for professional women, was established (Tax). Thereafter, in 1824, women’s rights in the workplace assumed their significance when , in Rhode Island, 102 women workers called a strike, to support their brothers ( who were weavers) in an attempt to protest against the decline in wages and the introduction of long working hours (Anne). In 1825, however, this concept was taken to heights when the first union comprising of women only was formed under the banner of “The United Tailoresses of New York” (Tax). In 1831, approximately 1600 women of this union called on a strike, demanding a just and fair wage rate (Tax). IN 1845, Sarah Bagley formed “The Female Labor Reform Association” in protest of the 12-13 hour long work day and gave a call to reduce it to 10 hours along with improvement in sanitation and safety facilities at cotton mills in Massachusetts (Tax). The acceptance of women in labor unions was gaining ground which was marked by the first of its kind inclusion of women and African Americans at a national level, in the leading trade union of that time- Cigar. From here onwards begun the journey of women in labor unions at a nationwide level. In 1869, women shoemakers established a national labor union by the name of “Daughters of St Crispin” at Massachusetts (Tax). This gave birth to the concept of Equal Opportunity in America, when in 1872, the Congress, for the first time, passed a bill whereby women working at the federal level were given the same pay for the same nature of work as their male counterparts (Tax). The notion of protests by women workers for their rights continued and, in 1881, Black women in the laundry sector hosted the biggest ever strike in history till then. In the same year, over 1800 women workers won the bill whereby women doctors were made mandatory for women patients at mental health clinics (Tax). In 1889, however, the concept of women’s rights at workplace was extended beyond that reflected by strikes and protests (Tax). Jane Adams established a “full house” for social welfare of women in order to enhance their personal development and increase the recognition of their efforts in the society. It was in this year that the concept of social entrepreneurship in the context of women truly took shape and set the stage for others to follow suit. The concept of social welfare then extended to other spheres of life in 1898 when Charlotte Perkins Gillman, through power of the ink, conveyed the importance of women to be economically and financially independent (Martens and Mitter). As years passed different modes of expressing women’s rights in the workplace came into shape. For instance, in 1899, National Consumers League was established to steer and empower women consumers to use their power to achieve ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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