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Black History Month: Celebrating Teamster Clara Day

February 9 2024
Associations, Labor Relations

Clara Day left an indelible mark on Teamster history, and did so while overcoming both racial and gender stereotypes, securing leadership roles in Chicago’s Local 743.

Born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1924, Clara Day, the middle child of George and Belle Taylor, grew up in a large family of 11 children. In 1947, newly married, Day moved to Chicago and worked as an information clerk at Montgomery Ward, where she witnessed injustices, including stark segregation of white and black employees.

Motivated for change, Day actively participated in a successful Teamster organizing campaign alongside co-worker Robbie Jubiter, bringing over 3,000 employees into the union. Joining Teamsters Local 743 in 1955, Day continued advocating for workers’ rights, eventually becoming part of the local staff.

Beyond her Teamster roles, Day played a significant part in civil rights and women’s rights. In 1974, she co-founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), championing issues like pay equity and fighting against sexual harassment.

Gloria Steinem, American journalist and social activist, was once asked how women could get involved in the movement. Steinem answered, “You can call Clara Day.”

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