Labor

Wage and Worth

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Hundred dollar bill photo

Equal pay for equal work—an all-too familiar demand. Last week the Forward published its annual survey of salaries in Jewish organizations, and yesterday the New York Times published a piece by Jessica Bennett calling on women to ramp up their negotiating skills.

Where's the Beef?

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Today I googled the Wendy’s commercial of the early 1980s were an older woman uses the catchphrase “where’s the beef?!”. This may—or may not—surprise you. What probably will surprise you was the fact that this search was not inspired by my Memorial Day plans of grilling, but because of my job here at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

While exploring our archives I came across a truly remarkable activist, Clara Lemlich Shavelson.  Born in 1886, Shavelson was a key player in the labor movement. She was also a suffragist, communist, community organizer, and peace activist. Read on to find out where the beef comes into play!

Tragedy in Bangladesh

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The Triangle Factory on Fire

Although the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire took place in 1911, sweatshops and unsafe conditions are not a thing of the past. 

Why history is not just about the past

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Triangle Shirtwaist Funeral March Photo

A fire blazes through a garment factory. The building has too few exits and not enough fire escapes. Fire equipment cannot reach the fire. More than 100 people—many of them young women—die. Bodies, burnt beyond recognition, line the floor of a government building, awaiting identification.

If you’re thinking, “I know that story—it happened at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Company in 1911,” think again. Though the details fit the Triangle tragedy, the scene I’ve just described is the deadly fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this past Saturday night.

Building a new social safety net: Sara Horowitz and the Freelancers Union

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Freelancers Union Logo

In 1909, Jewish women revolutionized the American labor movement. Before the huge garment industry strike known as the “Uprising of the 20,000,” union leaders saw women workers as irrelevant to the labor movement because they did not fit into the model of the traditional male union member. But these garment workers, many of them young Jewish women, proved that women could, in fact, organize effectively and challenge working conditions, and in doing so, they expanded the definition of worker and union member.

What’s in a name? Finding Solidarity in a Young Jew’s Herstory

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Erica Concors head shot
Erica Concors speaking at Justice for Janitors
Moishe Kavod Justice for Janitors Group

Yesterday, as Yom Kippur approached, social justice organizers and progressive Jews gathered in downtown Boston to not only "remember" often underseen and undervalued laborers but also to stand

What's With All The Teacher Hate?

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Chicago Teacher's Strike

Sarah Seltzer, contributing writer to the The Sisterhood, shares her thoughts on education, class, gender, unions, and workers' rights.

Bread & Roses, Raisins & Almonds, Labor & Sustenance

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Leah Wolff-Pellingra's handwritten sustenance poem from I4E

This week teachers from around the nation are participating in JWA’S Institute for Educators.

Meet Steampunk Emma Goldman

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Steampunk Emma Goldman
Steampunk LGBT equality rally flyer

One of my favorite aspects about being Jewish is mixing tradition with the present.

Don't miss these upcoming Triangle fire commemorations

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As you know if you read this blog, this month marks the centennial of the Triangle Factory fire, a watershed in the American labor movement.

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