Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca Photo

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca

Born: Aug 10, 1894

Death: Aug 16, 1946

Birthplace: Latvia

Nationality: United States

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca

Date of Birth : Aug 10, 1894
Date of Death : Aug 16, 1946
Birth Place : Latvia

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca was an American labor activist who particularly represented women workers in the garment industry. She was an early organizer for Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America after its split from the more conservative United Garment Workers of America in 1914. She became a board member in 1916 and in 1917 became its first full-time female organizer. Jacobs strove to embed a feminist perspective into trade unionism and was dedicated to helping improve conditions for working-class women. She encouraged a cooperative relationship between the two genders. She was born in Zemel, Latvia, to Harry Jacobs, a tailor, and Bernice Edith Levinson. She emigrated to the United States in 1900, and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Bellanca's first job was as a hand buttonhole sewer for men's coats, at the age of thirteen. She earned three dollars a week for a ten hour day. In 1909, at the age of fifteen, she organized the Baltimore buttonhole makers into Local 170 of the United Garment Workers of America. During the Great Depression, Bellanca was a vocal activist on behalf of unemployed garment workers. She was also active politically on the municipal, state, and federal level.

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