On this International Working Women’s Day, March 8, it’s instructive to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bread & Roses strike, which provides valuable lessons for our struggles today.
The March 12 date marks the end of the two-month strike of 25,000 textile workers in Lawrence, Mass., which was the center of the New England textile industry. It’s estimated that one company annually produced woolen and cotton goods worth $45 million — an amazing sum 100 years ago!
But the companies did not share that wealth with the workers, who averaged less than $9 a week. Living and working conditions were so bad that a Lawrence physician reported that “thirty-six out of every 100 of all men and women who work in the mill die before or by the time they are twenty-five years of age” due to malnutrition, occupational diseases and speed-up.
Known as the Bread & Roses strike — because at least half the strikers were young women between 14 and 18 who carried signs reading “We want bread and roses too” – this work stoppage offers a shining example of how the unity, organization and determined spirit of the workers stopped corporate greed and the police state that imprisoned strikers on its behalf. It also shows how a strike can become an incipient revolution.
tagged as: iwd. strike. anniversary. women. class struggle. lawrence. massachusetts. labor. proletariat. textiles. wages. equality. youth. kids. girls.
reblogged from fuckyeahmarxismleninism
originally posted by fuckyeahmarxismleninism