Women were active in the organized labor movement in Muncie from the very early years. The first women's labor union, the Women's International Union Label League, was founded in 1899. However, since few women found employment in the factories, very few joined the large unions in the automotive and glass works factories.
During World War II, women found more opportunities in Muncie's factories. They began to join labor unions and assume leadership positions. Women like Ruby Devers, a member of the Local 321 Muncie Reclamation from 1965 through 1989, held multiple union offices. She served as recording secretary, committeewoman, a member of the bargaining committee , and vice chairman. However, their numbers remained small because many women worked in positions not represented by the unions.
Women and the wives of union members were active participants at union meetings and in organized activities for the unions. They formed their own auxilary groups to organize social activities for union members and their families.