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Interesting Factoid: The First Electrical Workers to Unionize were - TelephoneOperators

Posted: Dec 7th, 2017 - 12:54 pm

Back in the day, being a telephone operator was a good living for women.  So many women from all walks of life became telephone operators.

Eventually, they unionized.  In fact, they were the FIRST electrical workers to unionize.

"The emergence of the electrical manufacturing industries during and after the 1880s coincided with a surge of union activity in the United States. Unfortunately, the benefits of union membership were rarely offered to the lowest-paid workers. At the time minority groups such as women, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans, were usually low-wage workers, and thus were not protected by unions. As a result, some of these groups formed their own organizations. For women in the electrical industry this meant either creating their own unions or organizing women’s branches of existing men’s unions.

The earliest women workers in the electrical industry to unionize were telephone operators. Leaders such as Julia O’Connor, who worked in Boston beginning in the late 1890s, helped organize unions that tried to improve working conditions for operators. Because the telephone system grew so large, tens of thousands of women operators were employed to run it. As a result of their large numbers, the operator’s union became one of the most important of the women’s unions."

http://ethw.org/Women,_Unions,_and_the_Electrical_Industries

 

They had a strong union and STILL became obsolete.

Anyone who believes that the march of technology can be stopped is not right in the head.



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