Collar Laundry Union cofounder, Kate Mullany, is 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

Labor’s International Hall of Fame is proud to announce the 2016 date and location for the induction of Kate Mullany (1845-1906), an Irish immigrant who founded the first women workers union in the country, the Collar Laundry Union. 

The event will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at the site of the Kate Mullany House in Troy, New York.

Mullany will join a list of more than 100 individuals and groups who have been inducted into Labor’s International Hall of Fame during the organization’s 42-year history.

“We are extremely pleased to reach back into our country’s history to highlight the background of a leader in the garment industry,” said the Executive Board members of the Hall of Fame in a statement announcing the induction. “Although Kate Mullany’s written background is somewhat limited, the documentation is clear that she stood out as a leader during a time when women were exploited in an industry that forced women to work in unsafe sweatshop conditions.”

According to a website highlighting the union Mullany organized, members of the Collar Laundry Union went on strike in early 1864 to demand an end to the unsafe conditions and poor pay standard, winning a 25 percent increase in wages.

Later in 1868, Mullany was appointed as a national organizer and assistant secretary for the National Labor Union based in New York City, becoming the first woman to receive such an appointment from the NLU.

Mullany’s former home, listed as a National Historic Site by the National Park Service, is located on 350 8th Street in Troy, and will be the site for Labor’s International Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Ceremony 

Labor’s International Hall of Fame is proud to highlight the life and contributions that Kate Mullany made to advance the rights of women workers.

For further information on Labor’s International Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Ceremony, please contact Shawn D. Ellis at (313) 320-6964. 

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