bakers_shieldA seven-week strike by 1,000 Jewish bakers in New York ended on this date in 1909. According to Morris U. Schappes, our magazine’s long-time editor, the bakers were “the most downtrodden of Jewish workers,” working “18 hours a day, six days a week for wages of $8 to $11.” By the strike’s end, they had won a 10-hour day, recognition of their union and its union label, and wages of $12 to $16.

“Their victory led to a huge parade with this enormous loaf of bread carried on the backs of a number of Jewish bakers. It was proof that workers could demand more rights and, indeed, in the following years others did so.” —Maria Balinska, The Bagel, The Surprising History of a Modest Bread