Alice Lord sparks Seattle waitresses to organize on March 23, 1900.

  • By Mildred Andrews
  • Posted 3/13/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3725
On March 23, 1900, Alice Lord (1877-1940), a 23-year-old waitress, sparks the organization of Seattle Waitresses Union, Local 240 (now Dining Employees Local No. 2). They have 65 founding members and become one of the first women's unions to be chartered by the American Federation of Labor.

On February 16, 1901, the Seattle Union Record reminded readers that “When the Waitresses’ Union was organized in this city, there were small-minded people who looked upon it as something of a joke. …[The waitresses] have shown that women can maintain a union as successfully as men” (Union Record).

Perhaps more successfully. The union doubled its membership in a year, and in the same year the members tripled their wages.


Sources: HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Lord, Alice (1877-1940)," (by Mildred Andrews), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed November 3, 2002). Seattle Union Record February 16, 1901, p. 4.

Related Topics:   Firsts | Labor | Women's History

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