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Jewish RadicalsA Documentary History$
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Tony Michels

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757437.001.0001

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The Birth of the Knee-Pants Makers’ Union (memoir; 1924)

The Birth of the Knee-Pants Makers’ Union (memoir; 1924)

(p.88) 8 The Birth of the Knee-Pants Makers’ Union (memoir; 1924)
Jewish Radicals

Bernard Vaynshteyn

NYU Press

This chapter is a memoir of the knee-pants makers' strike of 1890, which marked a period of nearly constant unrest among Jewish workers. Nine hundred knee-pants makers had gone on a general strike with the demand that bosses and contractors provide sewing machines for their work. Until then, every knee-pants maker had to bring their own katerinke (sewing machine), needles, thread, and so on to work. Four months later, in July 1890, a second general strike broke out among the knee-pants workers—this time for higher wages. A riot ensued. The strike was lost after that, and the knee-pants workers union collapsed—only to be resurrected later with the help of the United Hebrew Trades.

Keywords:   knee-pants workers union, knee-pants makers' strike, sewing machines, higher wages, United Hebrew Trades

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