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Housewives unite in new trade union

Published: 28 June 1913

A new trade union, the National Homemakers Union, has been founded in Croydon, England. It will be composed entirely of housewives and its founders hope to extend its reach in the coming months.

The immediate aim of the union is to organise housewives so that they might be prepared to use the standard techniques of industrial warfare to advance their economic position.

There have been reports that there may, in the near future, be industrial action by housewives in support of demands for a minimum wage and an eight-hour day.

Here in Ireland, there has been some concern at these recent developments. An editorial in the Leitrim Observer has raised the prospect  that husbands will be threatened with ‘all the terrors of the Homemakers Union unless they agree to the Union rate of housekeeping money and to allow them such relief from housekeeping cares as they may think desirable.’ The newspaper continued: ‘It will be a nice thing for a man who comes home late at night (having of course been detained on important business!) and demands supper, to be told that the union does not permit overtime, and therefore, he must get his own meal ready!’

The article concludes by suggesting that this may be 'one trade union too many'.


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.