© 2012 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University
ILGWU. Legal Department photographs,
Siems, Frederick Rolle, 1915-
International Ladies' Garment Workers'
0.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence,
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,
Cornell University Library
This collection consists of photographs taken during the ILGWU strike
against the Kellwood Company between 1967 and 1972. Included are images of meetings and rallies,
as well as of the memorial service Eugene Hampton, an ILGWU member who was killed during the
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).
LEGAL DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY
From very early on in its existence, the ILGWU had need for legal counsel, and this was
handled in the union’s main offices in cooperation with hired attorneys. As the union grew and
especially after the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, the union found cause to establish
a Legal Department. The department provided general legal counsel to the union and its
affiliates, worked to develop collective bargaining agreement terms, and represented the ILGWU
in litigation and arbitration. After the formation of the Master Agreements Department in 1965,
the responsibilities for developing CBA terms shifted to the new department.
The Legal Department records do not comprehensively document the ILGWU legal activities,
instead focusing on specific cases or series of cases.
Two ILGWU cases are documented in the Legal Department records. The first case involved the
Kellwood Corporation, and the second involved the Donnelly Garment Company. The records relating
to the Kellwood case (5780/107, 5780/107 AV, 5780/107 P) include court documents, correspondence
and memoranda, surveys of strikers, organizing leaflets and newsletters (from both the union and
the company), Steve Honeyman's draft accounts of the strike, audio and transcripts of Honeyman's
interviews with ILGWU members and staff, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other printed
material. The Donnelly Garment Company's case against the ILGWU is documented primarily through
transcripts of the case, legal briefs, and related court documents.
Records on series of cases are the most general and extensive of the Legal Department records.
They include records on ILGWU cases in the U.S. courts (5780/081), records documenting cases
before the National War Labor Board (5780/085), and records relating to a wide variety contract
negotiations, arbitration proceedings, and courts cases (5780/063).
Researchers may find complementary material in the other parts of the ILGWU records, such as
the papers of the international leadership, especially the papers of ILGWU presidents (Series
IV); the records of local unions in instances where these affiliates were involved in litigation
or arbitration (Series III); and the collective bargaining agreements (Series VI). Related
collections at the Kheel Center include decisions of the Coat and Suit Industry's Impartial
Chairman (6036/015) and decisions of the Dress Industry's Impartial Chairman (6036/017).
This collection consists of photographs taken during the ILGWU strike against the Kellwood
Company between 1967 and 1972. Included are images of meetings and rallies, as well as of the
memorial service Eugene Hampton. Hampton was an ILGWU member who was killed during the
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Legal Dept.
Women's clothing industry--United States.
Labor unions--Clothing workers--United States.
Clothing workers--United States.
Industrial relations--United States.
Form and Genre Terms: