Rose Schneiderman Quotes

1882 - 1972

Rose Schneiderman, an immigrant to America from Russian Poland, was a labor activist who served as President of the Women's Trade Union League. Her speech after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire helped mobilize the public to establish better industrial protections for workers.

Selected Rose Schneiderman Quotations

• What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist -- the right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and the sun and music and art.

You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too. Help, you women of privilege, give her the ballot to fight with. (1912, Cleveland)

• We want to tell our Senators that the working women of our State demand the vote as an economic necessity. We need it because we are workers and because the workers are the ones that have to carry civilization on their backs. (1912, New York)

• To me, the labor movement was never just a way of getting higher wages.

• It is the spirit of trade unionism that is most important, the service of fellowship, the feeling that the hurt of one is the concern of all and that the work of the individual benefits all.

• Maud (Swartz) and I are still at it in the world of labor where struggle goes on unendingly and often we have to fight to regain what we lost. Progress is slow especially where women are concerned.

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