Originally a one-act youth musical produced in 2013, The American Labor Studies Center promoted, produced and premiered the 2-act story of the 1864 Strike of the Collar Laundry Union, led by young Irish immigrant Kate Mullany at Russell Sage in Troy, May 2014. Don’t Iron While the Strike is Hot! dramatizes the workplace woes and social climate that inspired Kate Mullany to organize the first bona-fide female labor union in the country in Troy, NY. From the bottom rung of the social ladder, Kate used her passion and personal power to persuade 300 women to risk everything for a brighter future, and forced the company to negotiate more equitable employment. A true David & Goliath story, the Collar Laundry Union’s 5-day strike achieved a 25 % wage increase, safety and quality-of-life improvements for the female workers.
The script is available for production as a one-act youth musical (suitable for High school students) and as a two-act adult production. Casts 36 roles, mostly female.