Bread & Roses Strike: The Reason and the Results

Presented by Karen Newman, ATU member

The IWW-organized “Bread & Roses” textile strike of 32,000 women and children in Lawrence, Mass. It lasted 10 weeks and ended in victory. The first millworkers to walk out were Polish women who, upon collecting their pay, exclaimed that they had been cheated and promptly abandoned their looms (January 11, 1912).

This powerpoint presentation will example the conditions and historical facts that lead to the strike, life during the strike, and the victories after the strike. Included are shots of the wealthy as a comparison to the lives of the workers & music clips from many of the artists who attend the Great Labor Arts Exchange. It is focused on young immigrant girls because of the Triangle Fire and Bread & Roses Strike anniversaries. It emphasized similarities in today’s economy with a very few controlling most of the country’s wealth.

Painting by Ralph Fasanella