Early 20th century, paint on silk, metal wound fringe and trim
Donation of the UNITE Ontario Council
This banner represents International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) Local 92, the second oldest ILGWU local in Toronto, chartered in 1911, one year before the infamous Eaton’s strike of 1912. Archival photos show strikers carrying a banner very similar to this one.
In 1912, sixty-five male sewing machine operators who were members of the ILGWU were fired by T. Eaton Company for refusing to do work that was traditionally done by female workers. One thousand fellow workers went on strike in solidarity. The majority of the strikers were Jewish, and roughly one third of the strikers were women. The ILGWU sent two female organizers from head office to organize female strikers.
The Eaton’s Strike of 1912 is a rare example of male solidarity in support of women workers. One of the slogans from the strike was “Mir vellen nisht aroycenemen dem bissle fun broyt fun di mayler fun undzere shvester”, which translates as “We will not take the morsel of bread from the mouths of our sisters”.