© 2015 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
ILGWU Auditing Department Publications, 1935-1994
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
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
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 organizations.
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
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 5780/121 PUBS.
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'