Life and Labor (National Women’s Trade Union League). Vol. 5 No. 1. January, 1915.
Contents: Mother and Son by Nellie Walker, Convention Call, Some Facts Regarding Unorganized Working Women in the Sweated Industries, Organization of Office Workers by Alice S. Bean, Employees in the State Institutions of Illinois Organize by Mary Anderson, Free Speech “Knabbed” in Chicago; The Waitresses’ Struggle for Organization, A Forgotten Minimum Wage Bill by Edith Abbot, The Colorado Strike by William H. Holly, A Labor Library, The Dying Boss (Continued) by Lincoln Steffens, Catching Up with Suffrage by Mary Swain Wagner, Safety and Morals on the Great Lakes, Shall Mothers Teach? by Henrietta Rodman, The National Women’s Trade Union League Fifth Biennial, When We Have Time to Read, Illinois State Federation of Labor, Labor Notes.
Life and Labor was the monthly journal of the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL). The WTUL was founded by the American Federation of Labor, which it had a contentious relationship with, in 1903. Founded to encourage women to join the A.F. of L. and for the A.F. of L. to take organizing women seriously, along with labor and workplace issues, the WTUL was also instrumental in creating whatever alliance existed between the labor and suffrage movements. Begun near the peak of the WTUL’s influence in 1911, Life and Labor’s first editor was Alice Henry (1857-1943), an Australian-born feminist, journalist, and labor activists who emigrated to the United States in 1906 and became office secretary of the Women’s Trade Union League in Chicago. She later served as the WTUL’s field organizer and director of the education. Henry’s editorship was followed by Stella M. Franklin in 1915, Amy W. Fields in in 1916, and Margaret D. Robins until the closing of the journal in 1921. While never abandoning its early strike support and union organizing, the WTUL increasingly focused on regulation of workplaces and reform of labor law. The League’s close relationship with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America makes ‘Life and Labor’ the essential publication for students of that union, as well as for those interest in labor legislation, garment workers, suffrage, early 20th century immigrant workers, women workers, and many more topics covered and advocated by ‘Life and Labor.’
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