Puerto Rican Labor Movement: Newspaper, Needle Worker Strike
This is an excerpt from article published in the newspaper, La Democracía. This article shows how the labor press was an important source of information for the working class. The use of the press created a sense of solidarity among the workers on the island and around the world. In this article, the needleworker women’s union and local employers failed to reach an agreement in salary negotiations. When no salary agreement was reached, employers set a fixed rate which the union felt was inadequate, so the women voted to strike. Women organized into unions to strengthen their power to demand better working conditions. Notice that other unions from around the island supported the needleworkers in Ponce by also striking.
This source is a part of the Women and the Puerto Rican Labor Movement teaching module.
THE WOMEN NEEDLE WORKERS OF PONCE AGREE TO GO ON STRIKE
They reject the salary minimum of $1.50 and fixed maximum of $3.50.
Ponce, February 4. The President of the Local Needle-workers Union, Ms. Clara Marta Concepción, in a meeting that took place last Thursday in the City Hall of Ponce, after it was made public that the Needle Industry has fixed salaries at a minimum of $1.50 and a maximum of $3.50, announced that the union along with others from the island had agreed to strike beginning on this coming Monday (today).
The goal of the strike is to protest the new salaries that it appears will be definitely approved this coming Wednesday.
“The women needleworkers in Ponce decide to go on strike.” La Democracía (Puerto Rico). February 27, 1934.