Phone company craft technician Ilene Winkler and flyer from a program she spoke at in 1980

Photograph by Gary Schoichet, 2007.

The flyer depicts a woman in a hard hat hoisting a stack of lumber with problems women in blue collar jobs faced listed on each piece of wood:

Sexual harassment       
industry wide racism
inadequate and unsanitary washhouses
unfair job assignments
no childcare facilities
discrimination against lesbians
non-democratic union representation
revolving door hiring policies

Workshops and public forums such as this one gave women a chance to meet others in quite different occupations who often still faced the same list of issues.

Ilene Winkler, who worked on switching equipment for the phone company and one of the speakers at the forum advertised on the flyer, recalls the diversity:

United Tradeswomen for telephone workers, for women who were not in construction, you always felt like you had shown up wearing ruffles, you know, because you weren't macho enough, like everybody else. They [women construction workers] needed to be. I didn't resent them for it. I think they were right. Their situation was so totally different, they needed it. It was the rest of us that felt kind of funny…It [the group] was great, even for me and I wasn't in that horrible kind of situation that they

Private collection, 1980.

© Copyright Labor Arts Inc.