Author: Rose Schneiderman

Rose Schneiderman-Nat. Photo Company Collection, 1909-1920

Rose Schneiderman (1882–1972) was an important labor leader, feminist, and socialist. A Polish immigrant, she was elected in 1904 as the first woman member of a major national union, in this case the International Ladies Garment Makers Union. Schneiderman also championed women’s suffrage, and cultivated a friendship with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, which resulted in a presidential appointment to the National Labor Advisory Board.  She is remembered for her saying that “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too” and for fighting for workers’ rights and benefits. 

Triangle Memorial Speech

Rose Schneiderman

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City erupted in flames when a pile of fabric caught fire. When locked factory doors made escape impossible, 146 women perished in the fire. At a memorial meeting held in the Metropolitan Opera House on April 2, Rose Schneiderman (1882–1972), the founder of the Jewish Socialist United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers’ Union and a key leader in the strikes by New York’s women workers, memorably expressed the anger many felt at the plight of the American worker.