Guide to ACTWU's Rieve-Pollock Foundation Records, 1935-1996

Collection Number: 5619/008

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ACTWU's Rieve-Pollock Foundation Records, 1935-1996
Collection Number:
5619/008
Creator:
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union. Rieve-Pollock Foundation
Textile Workers' Union of America. Rieve-Pollock Foundation
Quantity:
4.3 linear feet
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, reports, publications.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
This collection consists of correspondence, reports, minutes of directors' meetings, and files from the Rieve-Pollack Foundation. The bulk of the collection dates from the years 1935-1996. Some of the records, however are from as early as 1926 and as late as 1999, thus a few of the records are from the UNITE era.
Language:
Collection material in English


ACWA/ACTWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, the most significant union representing workers in the men's clothing industry, was founded in New York City in 1914 as a breakaway movement from the United Garment Workers. Radical and immigrant workers in the tailors’ and cutters’ locals were the core of the seceding group, which advocated industrial unionism and economic strikes in opposition to the UGW’s craft organization, which they saw as conservative and timid. Their diverging views had come to the fore during the historic 1910 dispute at the Chicago firm Hart, Schaffner, and Marx. The opposition called the strike against the UGW leadership’s advice, and reached a path-breaking agreement with management that established an arbitration system to settle disputes.
Members flocked to the new union. Around 50,000 strong at its founding, by 1920 the ACWA counted about 170,000 members. Initially composed mostly of immigrants of Jewish European descent with Socialist leanings, the ACWA quickly welcomed members of a great number of nationalities and diverse backgrounds. Like in other garment unions, most workers and many members were women, but the leadership was predominantly male, a situation that did not change for many decades. Early on the union adopted a centralized administrative structure combined with industrial unionism, with the joint boards’ by-laws having precedence over those of locals.
Espousing a philosophy perhaps brought over by its early immigrant socialist members, the Amalgamated went beyond bread and butter issues and adopted a distinctive form of social unionism that was largely absent in the American labor movement. Starting in the 1920s, it provided educational opportunities and recreational facilities for its members, as well as services such as an insurance plan, banks offering personal loans at low interest rates, low-cost housing cooperatives, medical clinics, and even union-owned restaurants.
Sidney Hillman was the first president of the new union and the most important officer in its history. He applied his experience as bargaining representative in Chicago to the whole industry. Under his leadership the union made significant strides in securing better wages and working conditions for its members, and at the same time it consolidated gains and provided stability to the industry through the widespread adoption of the arbitration system tested at Hart, Schaffner, and Marx. Hillman paid close attention to industry issues, such as production, pricing, and marketing. In order to help management meet the competition of non-union firms, the union conducted studies of efficiency, work methods, and factory costs. Letters to the official publication of the union, Advance, document the controversy that ensued within the union over what was perceived to be collaboration with management.
Hillman also understood the importance of labor’s involvement in national affairs and political action. In the 1920s the ACWA sent delegates to the Conference for Progressive Political Action and to the Farmer-labor party conventions. Although many members and officers were Socialists, the union stopped short of officially endorsing the party. Communist attempts at gaining influence within the union were firmly curbed. Hillman’s participation in national affairs and politics became prominent during the New Deal, when he became a close advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt on labor and economic issues. He also served on the board of the National Recovery Administration. Later, during World War II, he helped establish the Labor’s Non Partisan League. He was also named associate director of the Office of Production Management, which assisted in mobilizing the nation's resources for the war effort. Hillman’s prestige perhaps reflected the healthy condition of his union, which by the end of the conflict was strong and stable.
During the post World War II period the union faced a number of significant challenges. Membership continued to grow (peaking at 395,000 in 1968), but the union’s political influence and visibility in national affairs declined. In their never ending pursuit of lower production costs, many firms relocated to the South, forcing the union to engage in large organizing efforts. Simultaneously, signs began to appear of changes that would lead to the almost complete demise of the domestic apparel industry and, ultimately, to the erosion of union membership. Foreign imports of cheap clothing goods steadily grew in the 1950s and 1960s, and mushroomed in the following two decades, plunging employment in the apparel sector into a steady decline. Union efforts to stem the tide included Buy American campaigns and extensive lobbying in Congress, but they were to no avail. In 1976, the ACWA merged with the Textile Workers of America to become the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. Despite successful and much publicized nationwide actions such as the Farah boycott and the J.P. Stevens corporate campaign, the woes threatening the union’s existence continued unabated. The fate of the domestic industry was sealed in the late 1970s and the 1980s by the flight of firms chasing tax breaks and cheap labor abroad. By 1995, when ACTWU voted to merge with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, their combined membership was 350,000. The new Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE!) seemed poised to infuse new life in a troubled union.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union --Archives
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America --Archives
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Rieve-Pollock Foundation--Archives
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union --Archives
Textile Workers' Union of America --Archives
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees --Archives
UNITE HERE (Organization) --Archives

Subjects:
Textile industry--New York (State)--New York
Textile workers--Labor unions--New York (State)--New York
Clothing trade--New York (State)--New York
Clothing workers--Labor unions--New York (State)--New York

Form and Genre Terms:
Records
Correspondence


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:
ACTWU's Rieve-Pollock Foundation Records, #5619/008. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related collections:
5619: Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America
And all other 5619 collections.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1
9/7/89 Rieve-Pollock
1989
September 7, 1989.
Box 1 Folder 2
Rieve-Pollock
1977-1995
Box 1 Folder 3
Rieve-Pollock
1993-1996
Box 1 Folder 4
Larry Rogin
1991
Box 1 Folder 5
Rieve-Pollock Finances
1993-1994
Box 1 Folder 6
Moses Finley
1986-1992
Box 1 Folder 7
UNITE Monica Russo
1996
Box 1 Folder 8
ACTOR N. Miami Beach
1983
Box 1 Folder 9
The Honor of Labor Exhibit-Scalamandre Silk Mill Report
1985
Box 1 Folder 10
Local 1733 Sol Stetin Administrator
1993
Box 1 Folder 11
Ed Katz
1981-1989
Box 1 Folder 12
Textile History
1937-1991
Box 1 Folder 13
Rieve-Pollock Foundation
1935-1996
Box 1 Folder 14
Uprising of 1934 [1934 Strike]
1934
Box 1 Folder 15
Southern Labor Management Dinner- 2/6/82
1982
February 6, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 16
Knitwear Workers 36th Conference
1982
Box 1 Folder 17
1979 Program from Waldorf Astoria
1979
Box 1 Folder 18
Rieve-Pollock 10th Anniversary
Box 1 Folder 19
Pictures
1980-1989
Box 1 Folder 20
Sol Stetin Remarks. 50th Anniversary TWUA
1989
September 7, 1989.
Box 1 Folder 21
Midwest Conference 6/5/82
1982
June 5, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 22
Sol Stetin- Miscellaneous Honors
1982-1993
Box 1 Folder 23
Miscellaneous Papers
1949-1992
Box 1 Folder 24
Uprising of 1934 [1934 Strike]
1934
Box 1 Folder 25
Sol Stetin. Citizen of Patterson
1948-1949
Box 1 Folder 26
Sol Stetin. Speeches, Addresses
1982-1989
Box 1 Folder 27
Rieve-Pollock. Miscellaneous Correspondence
1976-1994
Box 1 Folder 28
Joseph L. Hueter
1987
Box 1 Folder 29
Retiree Programs
1976
Box 1 Folder 30
Press Stories
1956-1993
Box 1 Folder 31
ACTWU/UNITE Biographies
Box 1 Folder 32
Union Scholarships
1995
Box 1 Folder 33
Botto House Labor Museum
1992
Box 1 Folder 34
Rieve-Pollock Newsletter
1999
Box 1 Folder 35
Rieve-Pollock Corporate Records
Box 1 Folder 36
Book #1 Final Report, Cumulative Index, Barkin, Benet, Boggs
Box 1 Folder 37
Book #2 Cook, Fiester, Gordon, Hueter
Box 1 Folder 38
Book #3 Perkel, Rogin, Rogin & Fiester, Schaufenbil, Tibbets
Box 1 Folder 39
Book #4 Stetin, Swaity, Todd, Williams, Watson
Box 2 Folder 1
Deep South L-M Dinner
1982
Friday, February 6, 1982. Atlanta Georgia
Box 2 Folder 2
New England Region Luncheon
1982
Saturday, April 17, 1982-Boston
Box 2 Folder 3
Greater Toronto Joint Board-Annual Dinner and Meeting
1982
March 27, 1982.
Box 2 Folder 4
Quin State Dinner in Honor of Sol Stetin
1982
Saturday, May 22, 1982. Philadelphia
Box 2 Folder 5
Southwest Ontario Joint Board
1982
Saturday, April 24,1982-Ontario
Box 2 Folder 6
“Why Sol Stetin Stepped Down” Nation
1977
December 10, 1977.
Box 2 Folder 7
Smithsonian Institute Speech
November 16, 199?
Box 2 Folder 8
Rieve-Pollock Foundation. General
1981-1993
Box 2 Folder 9
Sol Stetin-Bergen Record. J.P. Stevens
1979
August 9, 1979.
Box 2 Folder 10
Post Merger Material
1937-1995
Box 2 Folder 11
Sol Stetin. Biography
1968-1986
Box 2 Folder 12
Mike Stetson
1979-1981
Box 2 Folder 13
Sol Stetin Banquet
1979
October 13, 1979. Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box 2 Folder 14
Sol Stetin
1979
October 16, 1979. Banquet, Letters of Congratulation
Box 2 Folder 15
Sol Stetin. Personal Correspondence
1978
Box 2 Folder 16
William Patterson College of New Jersey
1979
July 16, 1979.
Box 2 Folder 17
Great Falls Development Corporation. General
1976-1978
Box 2 Folder 18
TWUA Publications
1946-1947
Box 2 Folder 19
Chronology of Textile Workers Union of America
1934-1976
Box 2 Folder 20
Rubenstein Data
1945-1977
Box 2 Folder 21
Jack Rubenstein
1935-1977
Box 2 Folder 22
NO Label
1926-1972
Box 2 Folder 23
Rubenstein Data
1946-1976
Box 2 Folder 24
Rubenstein Files from Dyers Federation [folder 1 of 3]
1935-1989
Box 2 Folder 25
Rubenstein Files from Dyers Federation [folder 2 of 3]
1934-1938
Box 2 Folder 26
Rubenstein Files from Dyers Federation [folder 3 of 3]
1935-1989
Box 2
Official Seal of the Rieve-Pollock Foundation
Box 2
1934 Textile Strike, An Introduction to a Proposed Film Producer Vera Rony
Video
Box 2
Rieve-Pollock Foundation-10th Anniversary Conference
1986
October 26, 1986. Video
Box 2
TWUA Organizing Campaign in South (Late 40’s or Early 50’s) and TWUA Convention
Video
Box 2
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Conference-Gaithersburg, MD Tape 1
1989
November 18, 1989. Video
Box 2
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Conference-Gaithersburg, MD Tape 2
1989
November 18, 1989. Video
Box 3 Folder 1
Directors Meeting
1978
March 20, 1978.
Box 3 Folder 2
Directors Meeting
1979
February 8, 1972.
Box 3 Folder 3
Directors Meeting
1980
January 29, 1980.
Box 3 Folder 4
Directors Meeting
1980
June 3, 1980.
Box 3 Folder 5
Directors Meeting
1980
November 6, 1980.
Box 3 Folder 6
Directors Meeting
1981
April 1, 1981.
Box 3 Folder 7
Directors Meeting
1981
August 14, 1981.
Box 3 Folder 8
Directors Meeting
1982
April 13, 1982.
Box 3 Folder 9
Directors Meeting
1982
June 24, 1982.
Box 3 Folder 10
Directors Meeting
1983
June 28, 1983.
Box 3 Folder 11
Directors Meeting
1984
July 25, 1984.
Box 3 Folder 12
Directors Meeting
1985
June 7, 1985.
Box 3 Folder 13
Directors Meeting
1985
December 18, 1985.
Box 3 Folder 14
Directors Meeting
1986
July 17, 1986.
Box 3 Folder 15
Directors Meeting
1987
March 24, 1987.
Box 3 Folder 16
Directors Meeting
1988
March 29, 1988.
Box 3 Folder 17
Directors Meeting
1989
May 19, 1989.
Box 3 Folder 18
Directors Meeting
1989
June 20, 1989.
Box 3 Folder 19
Directors Meeting
1990
January 9, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 20
Directors Meeting
1990
May 21, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 21
Directors Meeting
1990
July 23, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 22
Directors Meeting
1990
August 22, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 23
Directors Meeting
1991
May 20, 1991.
Box 3 Folder 24
Directors Meeting
1991
August 26, 1991.
Box 3 Folder 25
Directors Meeting
1991
November 26, 1991.
Box 3 Folder 26
Directors Meeting. Cancelled
1993
April 23, 1993.
Box 3 Folder 27
Directors Meeting
1996
February 15, 1996.
Box 3 Folder 28
Directors Meeting
1997
January 29, 1997.
Box 3 Folder 29
1934 General Strike Conference-Philadelphia, PA
1984
November 10, 1984.
Box 3 Folder 30
10th Anniversary Celebration-Washington, DC
1986
October 25-26, 1986.
Box 3 Folder 31
Conference-Gaithersburg, MD
1988
November 19, 1988.
Box 3 Folder 32
Conference-NY, NY 9/30/90
Box 3 Folder 33
Conference-Gaithersburg, MD
1993
November 13-14, 1993.
Box 3 Folder 34
American Woolen Mills (Vermont Project)
1990-1993
Box 3 Folder 35
Cooleemee Historical Society Project (Harold Foster Papers)
1989-1992
Box 3 Folder 36
Darlington Project
1980
Box 3 Folder 37
NYS Labor History Association-Labor Landmarks Map/Poster Project
1995
Box 3 Folder 38
Operation Dixie History Project
1984-1989
Box 3 Folder 39
1928 New Bedford-Fall River Strike Project
1989-1995
Box 3 Folder 40
Scalamandre Silks Photo Project
1982-1989
Box 3 Folder 41
JP Stevens History Project (James Hodges)
1986-1992
Box 3 Folder 42
Textile Song Project (Joe Glazer)-Textile Voices, Songs from the Mill
1984-1995
Box 3 Folder 43
George Waldrep Research Project
1993-1996
Box 3 Folder 44
New England Textile Industry-William Hartford
1991-1996
Box 3 Folder 45
Sol Barkin Book Purchase
1993-1994
Box 3 Folder 46
Hoyman Book Donation
1986-1991
Box 3 Folder 47
Rieve-Pollock Foundation
1976-1977
Box 3 Folder 48
Rieve-Pollock Foundation
1978
Box 3 Folder 49
Rieve-Pollock Foundation
1979
Box 3 Folder 50
Barbara Kopple’s American Dream Film
1991-1992
Box 3 Folder 51
Honea Path Memorial Fund
1994-1995
Box 3 Folder 52
Michelle Brattain PhD Dissertation
1994
Box 3 Folder 53
“Southern Exposure” Article on JP Stevens
1993-1994
Box 3 Folder 54
TWUA Presidents Room-99 University Place
1981
Box 3 Folder 55
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Programs
1976-1982
Box 3 Folder 56
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Slide Show-“Our Lives, Our Rights”
1978-1979
Box 3 Folder 57
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Organizational Records-Procedures
1976-1983
Box 3 Folder 58
Bob Bussel Grant Request
1995
Box 3 Folder 59
N.E.H Grant Proposal for TWUA History
1982
Box 3 Folder 60
TWUA History Grant Applications
1982
Box 4 Folder 1
TWUA History (Daniel)
1946-1999
Box 4 Folder 2
Botto House American Labor Museum
1982-1996
Box 4 Folder 3
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Retiree Newsletter
1996-1997
Box 4 Folder 4
1934 Textile Strike Project-Vera Rony-1977-1987
Box 4 Folder 5
“Uprising of ‘34” 1934 Strike Film (Vera Rony) [folder 1 of 2]
1982-1996
Box 4 Folder 6
1934 Strike Film (Vera Rony)
1990-1995
Box 4 Folder 7
Rieve-Pollock Foundation–William Du Chessi Scholarship Fund
1979-1989
Box 4 Folder 8
Rieve-Pollock Foundation-William Du Chessi Scholarship Fund
1990-1997
Box 4 Folder 9
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Finances
1977-1984
Box 4 Folder 10
Rieve-Pollock Foundation Finances
1977-1997
Box 4 Folder 11
Reports to Government Agencies Tax Forms 990 EZ & Exemption Form
1978-1995
Box 5 Folder 1
Oversize-Original Charters