|Known for||Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame for organizing the 1st female union in the USA. Mullany, led a successful 6-day strike in 1864 to increase wages and improve working conditions for the Collar Laundry Union.|
|Part of a series on|
Kate Mullany (1845-1906) was an early female labor leader who started the all-women Collar Laundry Union in Troy, New York in February 1864. It was one of the first women's unions that lasted longer than the resolution of a specific issue.
Kate Mullany was an Irish immigrant born in 1845, and she moved to the United States of America at a very young age. With her co-workers Esther Keegan and Sarah McQuillan, she organized approximately 300 women into the first sustained female union in the country, the Collar Laundry Union, in 1864. Mullany went on to be its president and was elected second vice-president of the National Labor Union.
At the age of 19, when her father died, Mullany had to work 12-14 hours a day for $3 a week.When Mullany was 24 years old, she led a successful six-day strike in 1864 with over 300 other women to increase wages and improve working conditions. The strike led to a 25-percent increase in wages.
In 1869 she married John Fogarty and her obituary was listed under her married name (as a respectable Irish Catholic woman would insist be proper).Around that time, Mullany also failed at trying to create new laundry and collar-making cooperatives. She died in 1906 and was buried in the Fogarty family plot in St. Peter's Cemetery, Troy, New York.