The Manchester and Salford Women’s TUC and the Manchester Sweated Industries Exhibition

lipstick socialist

By 1906 the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council  was  a well established trade union body   known for its organising  work,  both locally and across the country. They were kept busy supporting working class women to set up trade unions and campaign for better working conditions.

The MSWTUC had a broader role in lobbying the government to enact legislation to improve the lives of women workers.  Their work amongst some of the poorest women in the north west gave them a unique insight into some of the worst and most exploitative conditions that women and girls  worked in which was often in their own home. These were known as “ the sweated trades.”

The issue of “sweated labour” had been raised in 1904 by a Reverend J.E.Watts-Ditchfield,   the Vicar of St .James-the-Less Bethnal Green, who staged an exhibition at which items that had been produced by sweated labour…

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