The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) today marks the 100th year anniversary of the death of Mary McArthur. Mary McArthur (1880 – 1921) campaigned on behalf of ‘sweated’ workers who were forced to work in poor conditions for little pay. She advocated for a legal minimum wage and helped to organise a number of strikes involving female workers.
Best known for establishing the National Federation of Women Workers (NFWW) in 1906, Mary vastly increased the number of women workers getting involved in trade unionism. Today, all three of the UK’s Trade Union Congresses are led by women.
Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary, stated:
“As we mark the 100th year anniversary of Mary McArthur’s death, we must acknowledge the legacy that she left. Mary was a formidable and passionate woman, whose work on recruiting women to the trade union movement, and leading strikes, is highly commendable.
“It’s easy to take our rights for granted, but Mary McArthur organised women workers in a time where women did not even have the right to vote. Faced with low pay, and poor working conditions, Mary was a trailblazing organiser who encouraged women to fight hard and win.
“I’m proud to be the STUC’s first women General Secretary, and I’m proud of our movement for advancing our rights in the workplace and in our communities. We have women like Mary to thank for paving the way.”
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, on 07891026870.