The Willmar 8
Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, female employees at Willmar, Minnesota’s Citizen’s National Bank were still paid significantly less than men. When a group of eight female employees confronted the bank’s manager, they were told “we’re not all equal, you know.” In response, the eight employees filed a discrimination lawsuit and went on strike. The strike quickly gained national attention, but the bank didn’t bend. After money ran out, the strikers were forced to accept a tiny financial settlement and return to work, though none of them regained their old jobs. Though they had failed to secure higher wages for themselves, they had brought national attention to discrimination against women. In 1979, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Citizen’s National was guilty of unfair labor practices.