An illustrated account of immigrant Clara Lemlich's pivotal role in the influential 1909 women laborer's strike describes how she worked grueling hours to acquire an education and support her family before organizing a massive walkout to protest the unfair working conditions in New York's garment district.
Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 9/2/2020
Demand for inexpensive, mass-produced women’s clothing spurred the rise of early garment factories. The ILGWU was formed in 1900 by bringing together several smaller local unions to fight to end sweatshop production, higher wages, and improve working conditions in the cities where the garment factories were located. Building on the success of the 1909 New York City shirtwaist makers’ strike and the 1910 New York cloakmakers’ strike the union quickly grew to be one of the strongest labor organizations in the country. This guest badge for the 40th anniversary ILGWU convention includes a silver-colored medallion in the shape of a spool of thread.