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We Are No Dirty Shirkers: Women Unionising, Marching, Protesting... and Singing

by Mary Quaile Club - £5.95  Mary Quaile Club (2022)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780993224737 | ISBN 10: 0993224733

We Are No Dirty Shirkers is the fourth publication by the Mary Quaile Club. The common theme to the articles is women challenging power and authority.
 
Mary Quaile, Manchester Irish Trade Unionist, was one of the most well-known trade union women of the 1920s, working as the Women’s Officer for TGWU from 1922 to 1933. In this new publication we publish an article on the visit of a TUC delegation of women trade unionists to the Soviet Union for four months in 1925 which Mary led. We also include the text of a play about Mary commissioned by the MQC in 2016 entitled “Dare To Be Free”.
 
The strike of 600 young women and men at the Rego and Polikoff factories in London in 1928 is marked by a selection of songs that the strikers wrote and performed to raise money to keep the strike going.
 
Other articles highlight American black abolitionist Sarah Parker Redmond who toured Britain speaking against slavery in the 1860s, and Miss Nellie Kay, a tailoress who organised Jewish and Irish tailoresses into a trade union in Manchester in the early 1900s.
 
The campaign for the vote is remembered in an article about suffragette Kitty Marion and her involvement in a meeting in Wrexham, North Wales where, with two other women, she was seriously assaulted by the crowd after heckling Lloyd George.
 
Women on the March records marches by women including the Equal Rights march in 1926, women unemployed marchers in 1936 and a militant nurses march in 1968.
 
Present day activism is represented by feminist group Make More Noise in their article “We shouldn’t have to be men and behave as men in order to be taken seriously in the world.” And finally in an interview, National Education Union activist Trish Fay, talks about her political awakening as she campaigns for equality and respect for teaching assistants in schools.

(Price & availability last checked: November 2022)

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