Woman of the Week, Miss Jessie Earle, Evening Telegram, 1948, March 6, p.10
It is perhaps surprising that, in this age, when unions are looked upon by employers and employees alike as a means to better understanding, women have not displayed a greater appreciation for the strength that lies in union.
The Ladies’ Cold Storage Workers’ Union, under the presidency of Miss Jessie Earle, is the only union composed entirely of feminine workers.
A few short weeks ago, this union was formed, with the help of the Longshoremen’s Protective Union, of which it is to be a branch. Seventy members are enrolled at present, all of them employees of Job Bros. Ltd., but the indications are that before the organization is well launched the numbers will rise to 250.
The first meeting of the proposed union was held on January 10th, when officers were elected, and empowered to draw up a draft for a constitution. The executive is, of course, composed entirely of women, and delegates will be chosen from the female members.
“We have the support of the two cold storage plants in the city,” said Miss Earle, enthusiastic first president, “and we hope eventually to interest the women in cold storage plants around Conception Bay. We believe our union can help the girls along, and make better working conditions for them. We’re all very enthusiastic over it. It’s a new experience for me, being president,” she continued, in her pleasant, soft-spoken voice, “but I’m awfully keen, because I know it can do so much for us.”
“The executive officers of the Longshoremen’s Union have done a lot to help us, and we know they will continue to do so. We have especially to thank President Leo Earle for his help in enabling us to form our own union, and also with delegate Jack Squires.”
The Constitution of the proposed union will be based in the main on that of the Longshoremen’s Union, and its objects will no doubt also follow their pattern. Union is organized strength. It advances its members by improvements in such renumeration “as the state of the trade shall warrant,” it improves the position of the worker, aims at better legislation, better working hours, compensation for injuries received, and encourages habits of thrift, economy and industry.
Twenty-one year old Jesse Earle worked formerly with Harvey and Co., and is now employed by Job Bros. cold storage plant. She operates a machine, a new, modern American type, which deals with the packets of fish after they have been packed and frozen. In her spare time she likes to sing, and, indeed, used to sing as Junior Hostess at the Merchant Seaman’s Club when the war was on. She now sings with Billy Walsh’s Orchestra. This orchestra, it will be remembered, put on a show for the patients of the Orthopaedic Hospital.
Miss Earle is the daughter of Clifford Earle.