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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tess Origins: Bread and roses (44) RE: Origins: Bread and roses 07 Mar 09

We shall not be sweated" refers to the notorious sweat shops that employed young women - many of them young girls. Conditions in sweat shops (which still exist today in different parts of the world )included excessively long hours and 6 or 7 day weeks; Unsanitary and dangerous working conditions with high accident rates; Low pay and often changes that effectively lowered hourly rates; Unscrupulous owners, and subcontractors who disregarded basic workers' rights and imposed unsafe working conditions on employees. The irony was that women were glad to get the work it was considered "steady". That women found ways to fight back, and the role of unions played in this is still underappreciated. And yes, the poem came before the 1912 Lawrence Strike but was inspired by women workers

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