© 2012 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University
ILGWU. Auditing Department publications,
International Ladies' Garment Workers'
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence,
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,
Cornell University Library
This collection contains publications of the Auditing Department,
including statements of receipts and disbursements (1935-1960), census reports (1952-1984), and
financial reports of general funds (1961-1994).
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).
Beginning in 1935, the ILGWU published annual financial reports that accounted for the
International office's receipts and disbursements, as well as those of affiliate local unions,
joint boards, district councils and departments. These reports detailed the disbursements from
the local unions, joint boards, and district councils and departments to the international
office (dues stamps and assessments), administrative expenses (salaries for office staff, office
rent, printing, stationary, postage, telephone and telegraph, janitor, cleaning, light, dues to
other organizations, miscellaneous expenses), organization expenses (salaries for managers,
business agents, adjusters, organizing expenses, elections, strike relief, legal fees, loss of
time, collection of dues, education, hall rent, advertisements, etc.), and donations and relief
(such as the Anti-Nazi drive, labor causes, charitable, community, or cultural organizations).
Local unions also paid towards the operation of the joint boards of which they were member
Reporting was again altered in 1958. Before then, whether in the convention report or an
annual report, the union's financial information was presented in tables that listed local
unions by number, followed by joint boards, district council and departments, and finally, the
international office. After 1958, these presented the same information by area (e.g., Northeast
Department Area, Southwest Area, etc.), and concluded with a listing of joint boards, district
councils and department and their affiliated locals.
The Census Reports in this collection provide general information about the membership,
presenting the annual statistical schedule of dues stamps purchased from the international
office and a comparison of dues-paying members with actual membership census.
Prior to 1935, the ILGWU published information about its membership and finances along with
reports presented at the international conventions. These reports provided membership numbers,
broken down by male or female and also by number of members working by week or by piece. They
also detailed the amounts local unions paid out and collected. In addition, some of these
reports included brief summaries of strikes (e.g., won, lost, pending, number involved, cost,
and gains), injunctions, and general conditions in the trade. Such additional financial and
membership information may be found in financial and statistical reports in 5780/193 PUBS and
Taken together, the reports in this collection provide a statistical overview of the
membership and finances of the ILGWU. Researchers interested in the more detailed information on
these aspects of the union, or on the membership and finances of specific local unions, joint
boards, and district councils and departments, should consult finding aids to those affiliates'