Editors: Kathryn Kish Sklar
and Thomas Dublin
Published by Alexander Street Press and the
Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, SUNY Binghamton
In This Issue
The document projects in this issue explore two transformative strikes among immigrant garment workers in major American cities across seven decades. In "How Did Cross-Class Allliances Shape the 1910 Chicago Garment Workers' Strike?" Karen Pastorello explores a justly famous strike in that city's men's clothing industry in 1910, which won arbitration rights for workers at the city's leading garment firm of Hart, Schaffner & Marx. She shows how Jane Addams and other residents of Hull House provided key support for the Jewish and Italian immigrants who predominated in the struggle.
Such cross-class alliances were strikingly absent in the 1982 garment workers' strike in New York's Chinatown in 1982 as studied by the historian Xiaolan Bao. Her document project, "How Did Chinese Women Garment Workers in New York City Forge a Successful Class-Based Coalition during the 1982 Contract Dispute?" examines a strike that pitted Chinese and Chinese-American garment workers against their Chinese contractors. In this struggle, the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union and Chinatown community organizations provided the collective strength that kept the strike going and contributed to its ultimate success. During the tense days leading up to the strike, solidarity grew out of working-class needs to overcome employers' efforts to explain the industry's woes in ethnic identity terms.
The issue includes two book reviews and our first website review in a review section that will now be a regular quarterly feature of Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000.
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