Union Maids Not Wanted: Organizing Domestic Workers 1870-1940

Hardcover | May 1, 1988

byDonna L. Van Raaphorst

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Union Maids Not Wanted offers a comprehensive investigation of why the most populous group of the female workforce, domestic workers, was unable to establish long-lasting, powerful unions as have other groups of laborers. The author chronicles the number of colorful yet failed attempts at organization throughout the period of 1870-1940, analyzing the factors which worked together to prevent successful unionization. She systematically examines the psychology and nature of domestic work, union rejection of domestic laborers, employers' opposition to organization, and the frequent disagreements among the domestics themselves. Finally, she demonstrates how these factors affected the orientation of domestic workers to the organized labor movement as a whole and as a force within their own ranks.

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Union Maids Not Wanted offers a comprehensive investigation of why the most populous group of the female workforce, domestic workers, was unable to establish long-lasting, powerful unions as have other groups of laborers. The author chronicles the number of colorful yet failed attempts at organization throughout the period of 1870-1940...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:317 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1988Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027592288X

ISBN - 13:9780275922887

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?Housework and domestic service have become popular topics within the scholarly community. Not only did domestic service rank as the largest employer of women until well into the 20th century, it embodied a number of characteristics that we associate with women's work. Van Raaphorst, in this revision of her doctoral dissertation, adds to this growing literature by illuminating the efforts to organize domestics in the years from the Civil War to WW II. The book does much more than this, however. It surveys the period from early colonijzation to the 1930s and divides the history of domestic service into four distinct chronological eras. Using the methodology set forward by David Brody in his Steelworkers in America: The Nonunion Era (1960), the author examines the psychology of housework and assesses the occupation from the perspectives of the employer and employee. Finally, she sketches the seemingly innumerable but inevitably fleeting attemtps to better the lot of the domestic either through organization or unionization. . . for institutions with strong women's studies programs, this book merits purchase.?-Choice