The Necessity of Organization describes Mary Kenney O'Sullivan's struggle to improve labor conditions through trade unionism. Appointed the first woman organizer for the American Federation of Labor in 1892, she went on to be a co-founder of the Women's Trade Union League, formed in 1903 as a cross-class alliance of women workers and their middle- and upper-class allies. The possibilities and limits of trade unionism for women, given the class and gender constraints of the period, are the focus of this book.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments, List of Figures, Introduction: “The Necessity of Organization”: Gender, Class, and Industrialization During the Progressive Era, Chapter 1: “I Must Be That Someone”: Mary Kenney and the Chicago Labor Community, Chapter 2: “A Noble Young Woman on Fire for Her Cause”: Mary Kenney O’Sullivan and the Boston Labor Community, Chapter 3: For Those “Willing to Assist”: The Formation of the National Women’s Trade Union League, Chapter 4: “The Fight for Subsistence”: The Early Years of the Boston Women’s Trade Union League, Chapter 5: “A General Smash-Up”: The Boston Women’s Trade Union League Comes of Age, Conclusion: “We Stand as One”: The Limitations of Cross-Class Alliances after 1912, Bibliography, Index
Kathleen B. Nutter