The tactics used by the women involved in the Tex-Son garment workers strike played a huge factor in how the strike was perceived by people. The woman strikers used their gender, and wholesome classy looks, along with fashion to their advantage to gain the upper hand in the strike and refashion themselves to change public perception of the strike and gain support.
The Tex-Son garment workers strike was the first strike led by a Mexican American
woman, and the first strike in which Mexican American and Anglo woman picketed together in Texas. The strike itself was long, it lasted for four years and in the beginning things got extremely violent on several different occasions.
It was known as the most unladylike strike that San Antonio Texas had ever seen. The strikers had swung their purses, clawed, scratched and even thrown eggs at the strikebreakers. According to witnesses and police The strikers would yell things like #“Hungry Rats!” and “Scabs” in Spanish. The strike had a violent and nasty theme, and the strikers were known to be very mean.
Not everyone agreed and supported the cause of the strike. There were workers that did not want to get involved, and there were people bullying the strikers for striking and trying all kind of methods to get the strikers to give up the strike. There were threats, and things said and done as part of the struggle to gain forces on both sides. The use of violent type tactics were being used on a regular basis and people were getting hurt.
For example, one woman got her head bashed open. Another person going against the strike was told that if they crossed the picket line their house would be burned down. Several threats and arrests were made in the beginning of the strike. As well as several individuals had their reasons for striking or not striking. At that time some non strikers had fears of deportation, and some just followed the lead of family and friends.
At the time that unsavory type behavior was not all that surprising to the general public. The people who were involved in the strike were considered low class people by most of society anyway. That unsavory and violent behavior only confirmed societies negative view of the strikers in the beginning of the strike.
The Mexican and Anglo people were treated badly in general, especially the women. That was part of why the strike was going on. The garment workers were striking against outsourcing and in addition they were tired of unfair wages and barely surviving. There was a clear inequality as to how wages were decided at that time. Some women would get paid by the hour, others piece work. It was a very unfair and unethical work environment. The strike was not gaining support with all the violence and so over time the strike evolved and became less violent.
The strike became less violent when the women started taking a more ladylike approach to things. This helped to come along when a beautiful...