Labor Activist

Susan B. Anthony's paper The Revolution, first published in 1868, advocated an eight- hour day and equal pay for equal work. It promoted a policy of purchasing American- made goods and encouraging immigration to rebuild the South and settle the entire country. Publishing The Revolution in New York brought her in contact with women in the printing trades.

In 1868 Anthony encouraged working women from the printing and sewing trades in New York, who were excluded from men's trade unions, to form Workingwomen's Associations. As a delegate to the National Labor Congress in 1868 Anthony persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work, although the men at the conference deleted the reference to the vote.

In 1870 Anthony formed and was elected president of the Workingwomen's Central Association. The Association drew up reports on working conditions and provided educational opportunities for working women. Anthony encouraged a cooperative workshop founded by the Sewing Machine Operators Union and boosted the newly-formed women typesetters' union in The Revolution. Anthony tried to establish trade schools for women printers. When printers in New York went on strike she urged employers to hire women instead, believing this would show how they could do the job as well as men, and therefore deserved equal pay. At the 1869 National Labor Union Congress the men's Typographical Union accused her of strike- breaking and running a non-union shop at The Revolution, and called her an enemy of labor.

In the 1890s, while president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Anthony emphasized the importance of gaining the support of organized labor. She encouraged Florence Kelley and Jane Addams in their work in Chicago, and Gail Laughlin in her goal to seek protection for working women through trade unions.