"An Unlikely Collection of Union Militants": Portuguese Immigrant Cleaning Women Become Political Subjects in Postwar Toronto

  • Susana Miranda York University
Keywords: Food & Service workers of Canada [union], Labour union participation, Portuguese American women, Strikes & lockouts, Women immigrants


This paper examines the ways in which Portuguese immigrant women office cleaners gained a public presence during a six-week strike in 1984, both on the picket lines and in Toronto's newspapers. Their ethnic, gender, and class identities were central in their transformation into public, political, and militant subjects.

Author Biography

Susana Miranda, York University
Susana Miranda, York University, conducts research on the experiences of Portuguese immigrant women in Toronto's cleaning industry, including building, hotel, and domestic cleaning, in the post-World War Two period.
Labouring Feminism Thematic Cluster