LABOR Jane LaTour, Fighter for Women in Labor Unions, Dies at 76

NYTIMES, John Leland, April 7, 2023

No stranger to blue-collar work herself, she pushed for equality in male-dominated unions and as a writer chronicled the struggles of “sisters in the brotherhoods.”

Jane LaTour, a union activist and writer who chronicled the lives of women in traditionally male labor unions, documenting their battles with both their employers and their unions, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 76.

Her husband, Russell Smith, said her death, in hospice care at Calvary Hospital, was caused by lung cancer that had spread to other organs.

Working as unions were declining in strength, Ms. LaTour often criticized labor leaders, whom she accused of not representing the needs of their rank and file. She was the author of the 2008 book “Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City,” and her writing won several journalism awards.

She also taught, managed labor history archives, helped create maps of labor history sites in New York City and State, and ran a nonprofit program supporting democratic reforms within unions.

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