Rocking the Boat: Union Women's Voices, 1915-1975

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Rutgers University Press, 1996 - Political Science - 317 pages

Rocking the Boat is a celebration of strong, committed women who helped to build the American labor movement. Through the stories of eleven women from a wide range of backgrounds, we experience the turmoil, hardships, and accomplishments of thousands of other union women activists through the period spanning the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the McCarthy era, the civil rights movement, and the women's movement. These women tell powerful stories that highlight and detail women's many roles as workers, trade unionists, and family members. They all faced difficulties in their personal lives, overcame challenges in their unions, and individually and collectively helped improve women's everyday working lives.

Maida Springer-Kemp came from New York City's Harlem, Local 22 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, to represent the AFL-CIO in Africa. In Chicago, Alice Peurala fought for her job in the steel mill and her place in the steel workers' union. Jessie De La Cruz organized farm workers in California. Esther Peterson, organizer, educator, and lobbyist, became an advisor to four U.S. presidents. In chapters based on oral history interviews, these women and others provide new perspectives and practical advice for today's working women. They share an idealistic and practical commitment to the labor movement. As Dorothy Haener of the United Auto Workers and a founding member of the National Organization of Women said, "You have to take a look at how to rock the boat. You don't want to spill yourself out if you can avoid it, but sometimes you have to rock the boat." From these women we, too, learn how to rock the boat.

 

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Rocking the boat: union women's voices, 1915-1975

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These two collections of oral histories document women's activities in the labor movements of the 20th century. Both books omit the questions posed and construct a seamless narrative of the women's ... Read full review

Rocking the boat: union women's voices, 1915-1975

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These two collections of oral histories document women's activities in the labor movements of the 20th century. Both books omit the questions posed and construct a seamless narrative of the women's ... Read full review

Contents

10 Equal Is Equal Brothers
10
34 First a Troublemaker Then
34
58 You Cant Giddyup by Saying Whoa
58
84 We Did Change Some Attitudes
84
110 Forty Years Im SecretaryTreasurer
110
135 The Challenge Is Still There
135
159 Sometimes You Have to Rock the Boat
159
184 The Vote Does Make a Difference
184
208 Just Sign a Contract and You
208
257 People in the Plant Looked on
257
Union Update
279
Notes Bibliography
301
Index
307
Copyright

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