1. May Day March, 1909
These women, marching on May 1, 1909 in New York, wear signs reading “Abolish Child Slavery” in English and Yiddish. Jewish workers in the US began forming unions [pdf] in the 1880s, and the Jewish labor movement experienced a turning point in the 1930s as Jewish workers turned away from Communism and began to respond to growing anti-Semitism worldwide.
2. New York Shirtwaist Strike, 1910
Women working in shirtwaist factories went on strike from late 1909 until early 1910. Management eventually met their demands for better wages and working conditions, but the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 showed that workplace safety standards still had a ways to go.
8. “Rosie the Riveter” Poster, 1943
Rosie the Riveter has become a symbol of women’s rights in the workplace — but that’s not what this famous poster was originally supposed to convey (and in fact, the name “Rosie the Riveter” wasn’t associated with the image until later). Sociologists Gwen Sharp and Lisa Wade write [pdf], “Ironically, the iconic image that we now imagine as an early example of girl-power marketing served not to empower women to leave the domestic sphere and join the paid workforce, but to contain labor unrest and discourage the growth of the labor movement.” It was actually meant to encourage Westinghouse employees to work hard and be loyal to the company.
12. Kenya Health Workers’ Strike, 2012
Nurses in Nairobi, Kenya, march for better pay.
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