ILGWU. Research Department reports

Collection Number: 5780/078

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Research Department reports, 1938-1985
Collection Number:
5780/078
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Quantity:
0.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
This collection contains reports from the Research Department, including its annual "Conditions in the Women's Clothing Industry."
Language:
Collection material in English


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States, the ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, political influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century. Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs, health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. In 1995, the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).

RESEARCH DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Formed in 1937, the Research Department of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) supported the administrative operations of the Union and coordinated the ILGWU's investigative operations. It provided union leaders with information on wages, working conditions, economic conditions, and other matters in the women's garment industry; analyzed information for the union; and monitored developments in the industry.
In addition to providing research for union leadership, Research Department staff prepared materials for Congressional testimony, presented cases on behalf of local unions to the War Labor Board, and worked to administer the Fair Labor Standards Act. At times, the director of the Research Department represented the ILGWU in national forums.
The Department also maintained an extensive library, collecting and housing documents from Union administrative staff that were deemed substantive and of lasting value to the Union, whether produced internally or externally. The information gathered by the Department was of particular value during labor disputes and contract negotiations.
Lazare Teper was the founding director of the ILGWU's Research Department, working in that position from 1937 to 1980. Born in Russia sometime between 1906 and 1908, Teper later studied at the University of Paris and earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He died in New York City in 1985.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Research Department records reflect the department's varied functions, documenting its role in gathering and analyzing information for international and local union leadership, representing the union before government and labor organizations, and gathering materials of research, and oftentimes historical, value. Some segments of the records focus on one aspect of the department's work, and others include documentation across the department's functions.
Research Department director Lazare Teper's papers, for example, include files relating to the Wage Stabilization Board (5780/105). The department also maintained records focused on the National Coat and Suit Industry Board (statements of receipts and disbursements, label division reports, meetings minutes, bulletins to members, and other reports and resolutions), as well as some related legal files (5780/123). Also among the documents collected by the Research Department are the New York Coat and Suit Industry Reports between 1934 and 1960. (5780/168)
Parts of the Research Department records consist primarily of collected documents from ILGWU affiliates. In this way, they resemble and, in some instances, complement the parts of the Archives Department Records (5780/121, 5780/121 PUBS), records generated by local unions (Series III), and the general collection of ILGWU publications (5780 PUBS). Research Department records of this kind contain records of predecessor unions to the ILGWU and ILGWU local union records (5780/045), or the annual report, "Conditions in the Women's Clothing Industry" (5780/078).
Other parts of the Research Department records document all of the department's functions. These records include financial and administrative reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence (5780/056, 5780/209), collected printed material (5780/168), and ILGWU statements on issues related to the garment industry (5780/209).
The Research Department reports primarily consists of reports from the Research Department, including its annual "Conditions in the Women's Clothing Industry."
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Research Dept.

Subjects:
Women's clothing industry--United States.
Labor unions--Clothing workers-- United States.
Clothing workers--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
ILGWU. Research Department reports #5780/078. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/045: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/056: ILGWU. Research Department collected documents
5780/105: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/123: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/168: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/209: ILGWU. Research Department records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1938-1943
Box 1 Folder 2 1945-1948
Box 1 Folder 3 1951-1985
Box 1 Folder 4 1940
Box 1 Folder 5 1941
May 2, 1941
Box 1 Folder 6 1943
Box 1 Folder 7 1949
July 22, 1949
Box 1 Folder 8 1985