WA Secretary of State Blogs

An eight hour workday for women

Kheel Center-Flickr Account CC 2.0

Kheel Center-Flickr Account CC 2.0

On March 2, 1911 the Washington state congress passed House Bill 12/Senate Bill 74 which limits women’s work day to an eight hour day.  While the cause had been championed for years, in 1910 Washington women gained the vote bringing new power (and votes) to the cause.  Several influential employers in the state came to Olympia to speak of the dire results this bill would have on their businesses, suggesting that manufacturers would move their businesses elsewhere.  Despite these objections the bill passed making Washington one of the first state’s in the nation to grant women an eight hour workday. Clippings from Washington newspapers, from the Chronicling America site, tell just a part of the story.  If you want to read more about it historylink.org tells a more complete story.  If you’d like to read it straight from the horse’s mouth, the bill’s passing was reported around the state of Washington.  Links to the primary documents are found below.

8 Hour Work Day for the WomenThe Seattle Star, February 15, 1911
Preparing for the eight-hour workday for womenThe San Juan Islander, March 31st, 1911
Merchant is PeevedThe Labor Journal, May 19, 1911





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