On the coast they became shipbuilders and corsairs, sirgueras, workers in canning factories, sardine companies, fishmongers, taverns And far from the sea, inland, in baserritarras, greengrocers, espadrilles, merchants, cooks, cigar makers, midwives and nurses and even at the end of the century, qualified teachers and writers emerged.
Within this work environment, the authors point out that one of the things that most surprised them during the investigation is “the brutality of certain jobs” that women were developing at that time.
And they explain themselves: “The Biscayan sirgueras dragged the barges with ropes to the port, a job more suitable for pack animals such as oxen. These women attracted the attention of English and French travelers, who saw them performing this hard task.”
These jobs, in addition to having “an overexploitation difficult to imagine, taking into account that they carried out work days of about eleven hours that had to be combined with housework and raising children,” were frowned upon by men.
And it is that they felt that “it threatened their traditional preferential right to jobs”, a fear that they solved by establishing a wage inequality, “making female employment a subsidiary and complementary job.” This was also followed, they add, “sexual abuse and assault in factories.”
THE FIRST 8-M IN EUSKAL HERRIA One of the milestones that stands out in the volume is the celebration of the first 8-M in Euskal Herria, back in 1889.
It was in Bilbao, a city where the situation of the cigar makers was extreme, with hours of eleven hours and periods of inactivity due to lack supply, which affected them directly since they were pieceworkers. For this reason, when they learned that a repayment plan was planned.
The first female strike took place, more than 20 years before the date of March 8 became International Women’s Day: “The cigarette makers mutinied and they cornered the director.
Who threw himself out of the second-floor window he only dislocated his ankle recall the Iziz Elarre sisters to emphasize how” not even the public force dared to evict them, but the scandal was such that it was closed factory”.