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From the Archives: the ‘Bread and Roses’ strike

Globe file photo/Boston Globe

In honor of Labor Day, which celebrates American workers and their achievements, we look back at a historic strike in Massachusetts. In fighting for their rights over the decades, employee unions have launched strikes to bring attention to the hardships they face.

This photo was taken in January 1912. The Lawrence textile strike began on Jan. 11 after new federal rules mandated lower work hours for women and children under 18. The mills lowered their pay
correspondingly. This led to a walkout, and by the end of the 10-week strike, 23,000 workers had left their jobs. The strike became known as the "Bread and Roses" strike, as workers made signs that read,
"We Want Bread, But Roses Too."


Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite