Rose Schneiderman sought to improve the lives of working class women through the vote, education, and legislative protection such as the eight-hour day and minimum wage laws. A Polish immigrant who grew up impoverished in New York’s Lower East Side, Schneiderman was well acquainted with the life of an industrial worker. She quickly learned about trade unions and organized her shop into the first female local of the Jewish Socialist United Cloth and Cap Makers’ Union. Schneiderman actively worked for the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL), an organization dedicated to unionizing working women and lobbying for protective legislation. She had a long career in the WTUL as well as in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), holding a variety of leadership positions in both.
Schneiderman saw the vote as a tool to get protective legislation passed for working women. As a member of NAWSA, she organized the Ohio referendum and the campaign in New York State. Schneiderman continued her devotion to working women’s rights throughout her esteemed career including holding positions on the labor advisory board under Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration and as secretary of the New York State Department of Labor.