Samuel Gompers Papers From Josephine Casey

                                                                                            International Ladies Garment Workers Union

                                                                                            New York, April 30, 1914.

Dear Sir and Brother:

         When organizers are appointed, I should like to call to your attention one who has been of the greatest value during the big shirt waist strike last year. Mrs. Scully reached more Gentile American women than any other person in our movement and I know of the work of other women organizers. It seems a great pity that one so valuable should not be serving the cause. It is difficult to interest American girls as you know. Last year one of the men organizers informed me that it was impossible to touch a certain shop as "it would cost the International Union about Fifty Thousand Dollars" to do it. Just thirty minutes later, Mrs. Scully telephoned me that she had succeeded in getting down half the shop and wanted me to address them. The next morning the rest of the shop came down and Mrs. Scully called on the Firm and got an agreement.

       The whole trouble with the officials of our locals is lack of experience and refusing to label things correctly. They give Mrs. Scully credit for what she does in strike time, but will not give her the opportunity to assist them in time of peace. In other words few care to be military officials, but every pin head thinks he can be a successful civil official.

       In going around the country, I cannot help seeing how badly a woman organizer is needed. Take for instance, the strike of Electrical Workers in Toledo.  Brother Moley was excellent but he needed a woman to help him take care of those 500 girl strikers. I helped him when I could, but after all I had my own work to do and could not give all the time I would have liked.

       Our suggestion about organizers is this. Don't appoint gentle creatures. A woman organizer has to have certain unpleasant qualities to be a success. Just [as] a dude could not organize strong men so the nice soft voiced little thing can't make good as a woman organizer. The trade union woods are full of "lady" organizers who have their place it is true in interpreting the cause to the public, but we have enough lecturers, what we need is organizers.

        With sincere regards, I remain,

                                                       Fraternally yours, (Signed) Josephine Casey

                                                       General Organizer Intl. Ladies G.W. Union

TLtpSr, reel 181, vol. 193, p. 922, SG Letterbooks, DLC. Typed notation "Copy." Enclosed in SG to Hugh Frayne, May 5, 1914, p. 921, ibid.

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