because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Agnes Nestor

Once Agnes Nestor had led a successful 10-day strike against the management of the glove factory where she worked in Chicago, Illinois, in 1898 at the age of eighteen, she decided that she no longer needed the help of the union men who had taught her how to do it. So she started a women's union local in 1902 and followed that up almost immediately with helping to found the International Glove Workers Union where she remained in one leadership position or another for 46 years. And -- as if that wasn't enough -- she also served as the President of the Chicago Women's Trade Union League from 1913 until she died in 1948.

Besides organizing garment industry unions, Nestor campaigned ferociously for a minimum wage, an 8-hour work day and maternity health legislation while fighting child labor tooth and nail -- all at a time when women didn't even have the right to vote. In-your-face women don't ask permission.

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