Monday, June 24, 2013

Agnes Nestor

Born this day in 1880: Agnes Nestor (1880–1948), labor leader and social reformer.

Nestor was known especially for her role in unionizing women workers. She founded the International Glove Workers Union of America and served as its president from 1913 to 1916 and its vice president from 1916 to 1939. She led strikes resulting in higher wages and better working conditions and the organization of the Chicago Women’s Trade Union League, which she led from 1913 to 1948. She played a leading role in the passage of an Illinois law limiting women’s working hours to 10 hours per day. She developed worker education programs and helped write the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, which provided the first federal aid for vocational education. She is also remembered for her work in child-labor, minimum wage, maternity health, and woman suffrage legislation.

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