Today in Labor History – November 30th

McDowell portrait

Mary Eliza McDowell

“Fighting Mary” Eliza McDowell was born on this date. In 1902, McDowell helped organize the first women’s local union of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters, which was made up mostly of the low-paid women working in packinghouse canning and labeling operations– 1854

Mother Jones died, age 100, Silver Spring, Maryland. Jones was an organizer or “walking delegate” for the United Mine Workers (UMW), famous for her bravado. When she and 3,000 women were released by a militia after being held all night in McAdoo, Pennsylvania, they marched straight to the hotel housing the soldiers and ate their breakfast. Even well into her 90s, she still roamed through the hills of West Virginia, encouraging miners to organize – 1930

More than 12,000 members of the Insurance Agents Union strike in 35 states and Washington D.C. against the Prudential Insurance Co. – 1951


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