Rose Schneiderman

Rose Schneiderman Biography.com

Government Official, Activist(1882–1972)
Rose Schneiderman was a labor activist, union leader and social reformer. She held labor-related positions in Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration during the Great Depression.

Synopsis

Rose Schneiderman was born on April 6, 1882, in Saven, Poland, and later immigrated to the United States. In 1903, she helped organize a New York City local of the United Cloth and Cap Makers, and loudly denounced those who had contributed to the 1911 Triangle Waist Factory fire. Schneiderman served as president of the Women's Trade Union League from 1926 to 1950. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to the Labor Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration. She died in 1972.

Profile

Labor activist, social reformer. Born Rachel Rose Schneiderman on April 6, 1882, in Saven, Poland. Rose Schneiderman spent much of her life fighting to improve the lives of American workers. Emigrating to the United States in 1892, she went to work in her early teens sewing caps. In 1903 Schneiderman helped organize a New York City local of the United Cloth and Cap Makers and took the lead in getting women elected to the union. The next year she was elected to the union's executive board, the highest position yet held by a woman in any American labor organization.

In 1905 Rose Schneiderman joined the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL), the national organization that led the fight to improve conditions of working women. She remained among the WTUL's most active leaders for 45 years, serving as president from 1926 to 1950. She took a major role in several of the landmark events of the American labor struggle. In 1909 she called for the strike of women waistmakers, and that same year she took a role in organizing the garment workers, and denounced all those who had contributed to the disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in 1911.

In addition to these and many other actions with the WTUL, Rose Schneiderman worked for women's right to vote and helped organize the International Congress of Labor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her—the only woman—to the Labor Advisory Board of the National Recovery Act in 1933. Schneiderman was also secretary of the New York State Department of Labor from 1937 to 1943. She lectured widely before diverse audiences and served on various boards, ending her long life as one of the most respected spokespersons and activists for improving the conditions of working people. Schneiderman died in 1972.

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