DESCRIPTION: Rose Schneiderman describes the shop girls' involvement in strikes in an article in The Independent newspaper, 1905. TEXT: Women have proved in the late strike that they can be faithful to an organization and to each other. The men give us the credit of winning the strike. Certainly our organization constantly grows stronger, and the Woman's Trade Union League makes progress. The girls and women by their meetings and discussions come to understand and sympathize with each other, and more and more easily they act together. It is the only way in which they can hope to hold what they now have or better present conditions. Certainly there is no hope from the mercy of the bosses. Each boss does the best he can for himself with no thought of the other bosses, and that compels each to gouge and squeeze his hands to the last penny in order to make a profit. So we must stand together to resist, for we will get what we can take, just that and no more. Rose Schneiderman, “A Cap Maker's Story: Rose Schneiderman” The Independent, LVIII (Apr. 27, 1905), 935-38. Found in Nancy F. Cott, et al, eds. Root of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women, second edition (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996), 426-32.
Suggested Discussion Questions:
For discussion questions and related lesson plan, see http://jwa.org/teach/livingthelegacy/labor/identity-independence-and-becoming-american-jews
Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)