© 2002 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and
Archives, Cornell University Library
collector. Arbitration Files,
Montgomery, Royal Ewert,
Forms of Material:
Arbitration case files.
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,
Cornell University Library
Rochester (NY) Clothiers Exchange and
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Rochester Joint Board, cases 1-2208 :
Collection material in English
The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was organized in December
1914, after the militant New York City locals of the United Garment Workers of
America had been denied representation at that body's October convention.
Although the purposes of the Union were expressed by its Constitution in terms
of class struggle and worker solidarity, ACW leaders instituted a program of
union-management cooperation based upon the experiences of the International
Ladies' Garment Workers Union with the Protocols of 1910-1913, and the UGW
locals in New York and Chicago with the establishment of permanent arbitration
machinery during the same period.
A prototype of subsequent agreements in the men's clothing industry
may be found in Chicago Hart, Schaffner & Marx agreements of 1911-1913,
since they involved the Union and a single manufacturer, rather than the Union
and the associated manufacturers of a particular geographical area, as was the
case in the ladies' garment industry. These agreements, however, differed from
the majority of Amalgamated Clothing Workers' agreements in following the
Protocol's model of grievance machinery: "Clerks" for the workers and the
employers attempted to settle disputes on the shop level. In cases of
disagreement, the matter went to a "Board of Trade" (Board of Grievances)
composed of equal numbers of representing both sides, but with an impartial
chairman. Supreme authority was held by a Board of Arbitration, composed of a
representative each of the Union and the manufacturer, and a third person not
connected with the industry chosen by the other two.
So complex a system was suitable for the Chicago market, where a few
large manufacturers dominated the production of ready-to-wear clothing, or a
market in which a strong association of manufacturers might be established.
Such an association did exist in Rochester, New York, a conservative city where
large firms offering year round employment were organized into the Rochester
Amicable relations between a powerful union and a powerful association
were virtually assured, if the Amalgamated Clothing Workers could break down
the resistance of employers to the unionization of their workers. At the same
time, the absence of intense competition among manufacturers, in the Rochester
market limited the area of friction between employees and employers, and
permitted a more simple arbitration system to be instituted.
Organizing efforts were relatively unsuccessful from 1915 until the
summer of 1918. Although a number of contracts were signed with individual
firms, recognition of the ACW was not considered by the Clothing Exchange until
a strike at the Rosenberg Brothers factory in July, 1918, threatened the entire
market with a general work stoppage. Arbitration by Louis E. Kirsten and
William Z. Ripley, each of whom was to serve as Administrator of Labor
Standards for the Department of War, resulted in a partial concession to the
Union's demands for shorter hours and higher wages.
On January 23, 1919, the Exchange announced that its member firms
would institute the forty- four hour week on the first of May. Agitation by the
union for an immediate reduction of hours resulted in the signing of the first
agreement between the Exchange and the Amalgamated, 13 February 1919. This
agreement granted the Union the right to organize, although neither the closed
nor the preferential-union shop was to be instituted In addition, machinery for
arbitration of grievances was established: five Labor Managers were to be
chosen to meet with Union representatives, one each by the four largest firms
in the Exchange, and one by the fifteen smaller firms.
An agreement of August, 1920, created a Labor Adjustment Board,
composed of the five Labor Managers representatives of the Joint Board of the
ACW, and an impartial chairman. The Board was empowered to review discharges,
to consider demands for wage increases, and to control sanitary conditions in
the shops. The substance of this agreement have insisted on maintaining the
"open" shop, virtually complete organization of workers in the industry, and
the establishment of a Labor Exchange in 1925, has given the Union the same
control it would exercise in a preferential union shop market.
William M. Lieserson was born In Extonia in 1883. He studied economics
at the University of Wisconsin and at Columbia, and from 1910 until 1911 served
as an expert on unemployment for the New York State Commission on Employers'
Liability and Unemployment He was director of research investigation for the
United States Commission on Industrial Relations in 1914-1915, and the chief of
the Division of Labor Administration of the Department of Labor in 1918-1919.
He served the Rochester men's clothing industry as Impartial Chairman of the
Labor Adjustment Board and the New York Men's clothing industry as Chairman of
the Petroleum Labor Policy Board at the time of his appointment to the National
Mediation Board under the Railroad Labor Act in 1934. During much of this time,
he was on leave from Antioch College, where he was a Professor of Sociology.
(N.Y. Times, 22 July 1934, p.l.)
Allen Tibbals Burns was born in Haverford, Mass. in 1876. He attended
the University of Chicago, where he was later Dean of the Chicago School of
Civics and Philanthropy. From 1926 until 1943 he was Executive Director of the
Community Chests and Councils of America. He died on 9 March 1953.
Robert Lee Hale was born in Albany, New York on the ninth of March,
1884. He received the A.B. A.M. and LL.B. degrees from Harvard University, and
the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia Univ. where from 1915 until
1949 he was instructor and then Professor of Political Science. He is the
author of Valuation and Hate Making: Conflicting Theories of the Wisconsin
Railroad Commission:_ Freedom through Law: and numerous articles which have
appeared in scholarly journals. (1952 Directory of the American Political
Norman J. Ware was born in Tilsonburg, Ontario, Canada, on the fourth
of July 1886. He attended McMaster University in Toronto and the University of
Chicago and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1924. He
taught economics and sociology at the University of Louisville, the New School
for Social Research (1926-1928) and Wesleyan University in Middletown,
Connecticut (from 1928 until his death).
He served as Impartial Chairman in the Rochester men's clothing
industry, Senior Economist in the Bureau of Research and Statistics of the
Federal Social Security Board (1936-1937), and Chairman of the Connecticut
State Board of Mediation and Arbitration. In 1943 he was appointed Chairman of
the National War Labor Board for region I. From 1945 until his death on 27
December 1949 he was employed by various firms as an industrial relations
consultant . He is the author of the Industrial Worker, 1840-1960; The Labor
Movement in the United States. 1860-1895; Labor in Modern Industrial Society
Labor in Canadien-American; A History of Labor Interaction: and numerous
articles published in scholarly journals. (Who Was Who, Vol. II.)