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Strike!The Radical Insurrections of Ellen Dawson$
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David Lee McMullen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034867

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034867.001.0001

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From Worker to Activist

From Worker to Activist

(p.96) 11 From Worker to Activist

David Lee McMullen

University Press of Florida

The Passaic strike altered Ellen Dawson's life. No longer was she an anonymous weaver in a New Jersey textile mill; Dawson was being transformed into a champion for the rights of women and immigrant workers. Her newly acquired position as an officer of the Passaic local of the United Textile Workers, a union under the umbrella of the American Federation of Labor, gave her credibility as a labor leader, national recognition, and entrance into an international world of political protest. In 1927, for example, she worked in the campaign to save Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant workers convicted of the 1920 murders of a paymaster and a security guard outside a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts.

Keywords:   labor activist, Ellen Dawson, United Textile Workers, immigrant workers, women rights, political protest

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