Rose Schneiderman is a very meaningful and important person for American history and particularly for the development of labor in the United States. Rose Schneiderman was a well-known labor activist; she also spoke for the protection of women’s rights. She was responsible for some of the significant social reforms during the first several decades of the 1900s.
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Rose Schneiderman was born in 1882 in a Jewish family with strong religious beliefs. Her birth name was Rachel Schneiderman, and she had three younger siblings. The native village of Rose Schneiderman was called Sawin and was situated near the city of Chelm in the part of eastern Poland that was at that time included into the Russian Empire. Rose Schneiderman started her education in Sawin and then went to a school in Chelm.
When she was eight years old, her family immigrated to the United States of America, where they settled down in the Lower East Side of New York City. Two years after the relocation, the father of the family died, and this seriously affected the financial state of the family. Regardless of how hard Rose Schneiderman’s mother tried to provide for her family alone, poverty put her four children to an orphanage for a certain period of time. Rose Schneiderman finished her education after the 6th grade and started to works in a store as a cashier and then at a cap factory as a lining stitcher.
Schneiderman’s interest in political first started to show in 1902 when her family moved to Montreal. As she came back to New York, she started to attempt to develop a union at her factory to create a trade union of cap makers. In 1905 a large strike of cap makers hit New York, which provided popularity and recognition to Rose Schneiderman as a union leader and an activist. In 1908 she became a valuable member of Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL), and in 1909 she organized a strike of female waist makers and other garment workers due to the dangerous working conditions and frequent accidents at the workplace leading to deaths and injuries of hundreds of female laborers all around the United States.
In 1919 she joined the First International Congress of Working women as one of the most important representatives. In 1926 Schneiderman became the president of Women’s Trade Union League in the United States, she was also a close friend of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Later, between 1937 and 1944, she took over the role of the State of New York labor secretary. Rose Schneiderman actively participated in the social reforms concerning equal pay for women and the social security and rights of the domestic laborers.
Moreover, Rose Schneiderman was one of the most active feminists of her time and joined the American Women Suffrage Association as a valuable member. It is important to note that in 1917, Rose Schneiderman was one of the women who helped to pass the law about the referendum in the State of New York. This referendum provided women with the right to vote. Schneiderman spoke in front of large audiences many times, teaching them about unionism, women’s rights.
In 1949 Rose Schneiderman slowed down her public activities and focused on writing her book, which was memoirs under a titled All for One. Schneiderman lived a long and productive life and died in New York City at the age of ninety in 1972. She made an unforgettable contribution to the social policies of the United States.