In 1918, 55 women barbers in Seattle organized to form a union. The International Journeymen Barbers’ Union and the American Federation of Labor rejected earlier requests for a charter, refusing on the basis of gender. The Seattle Central Labor Council, with the support of the council’s Woman Organizer Blanche Johnson and members of the Seattle Union Card and Label League, granted the women barbers a charter directly. The Union Label League urged union members and their families to patronize union businesses, so female barbers had an additional incentive to unionize and gain a union shop card.
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