Wednesday, 4 May 2016

National Union of Women Workers

George Kent Ltd Munitions Workers, 1916 [Z1306/75/17/21]

Thursday 4th May 1916: The Bedfordshire branch of the National Union of Women Workers has now been formally established. The rules drafted by the Executive Committee were agreed at a meeting held yesterday evening at Mrs. H.T. Eve’s home, “Rushmoor”, Shakespeare Road. The branch is to meet at least four times a year, although it was decided that for a trial period meetings would take place on the first Monday of every month. Membership of the branch now stands at 55; when a total of 80 is reached the branch will become entitled to a representative on the Executive of the Central Council.

Mrs. Eve gave a report on the recent conference of the National Council of Women Workers. This dealt with the new employments which women have undertaken because of the war.  These included: women on the land; women in railway employment, and as omnibus and tram conductors and taxi-cab drivers; women clerks and those in secretarial work; munitions work; and women as mechanical workers. One of the greatest difficulties so far has been the prejudice of farmers against employing women in agriculture. Girls and women who wished to take up men’s work should be warned that they should hold out for good conditions and a living wage; to do otherwise would be to exploit their own sex.

Source: Bedfordshire Times, 5th May 1916

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