July 09, 2014

Nominate a brave young worker for Kate Mullany award

Source: NYSUT Communications via Kate Mullany House

In many workplaces today, it can take plenty of courage for a young woman to stand up for what's right - and fight for her co-workers as well.

Do you know someone who's shown that kind of courage?

If so, the time is now to nominate her to be the first recipient of the Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award.

The Berger-Marks Foundation is looking for a working woman who is 35 years old or younger (through the end of 2014), has stood up for workers' rights, and been a voice in the workplace in the face of overwhelming opposition.

The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award, which will be announced this fall.

And whether she wins the prize or not, your nominee will be honored by your high regard for her bravery!

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 28.

About the Berger-Marks Foundation

berger marks foundation 

The Berger-Marks Foundation, whose mission is to help organize women into unions, provides both financial support and camaraderie to people and organizations doing that work. Their website features useful resources for women organizers, including grant opportunities.

About Kate Mullany

The Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award is named for an inspiring young laundry worker who, more than 150 years ago, helped win one of the first women's unions in an industry that was harshly exploiting them.

In 1864, when she was only 19 years old, Kate Mullany organized the Collar Laundry Union within 14 separate laundries in the town of Troy, NY. The town generated 90% of the collars in the country, and the women worked 12 to 14 hour days using harsh chemicals and hot, dangerous machinery. With support from the men's union, Mullany led a successful strike for improved wages and working conditions. The Collar Laundry women worked to improve the standing of the working class in Troy for six years, lasting twice as long as other women's unions at the time. They offered benefits to their members and helped train women to lead and organize other unions.

The story of the strike was commemorated in the recent musical "Don't Iron While the Strike is Hot!"