ACTWU International Affairs Department Art Gundershiem Publications

Collection Number: 5619/032 PUBS

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ACTWU International Affairs Department Art Gundershiem Publications, 1971-1980
Collection Number:
5619/032 PUBS
Creator:
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (ACTWU);
Gundershiem, Art
Quantity:
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Publications.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
ACTWU International Affairs Department with miscellaneous Art Gundershiem Publications
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:
Gundersheim, Arthur
Atlee, John S.
Bailey, Martin N.
Balassa, Bela
Blau, Lucie R.
Briscoe, Alden F.
Brown, Muriel Buck Humphrey
Clarkson, C. C.
Feldstein, Martin
Finley, Murray H.
Ginsburg, Helen
Hamermesh, Daniel S.
Hamilton, Edward K.
Hawkins, Augustus F.
Kemper, Peter
Kesselman, Jonathan R.
Kreps, Juanita M. (Juanita Morris), 1921-2010
Marshall, Ray
Moss, Philip
O'Day, Paul T.
Schlozman, Key Lehman
Sharpton, Michael
Sheinkman, Jacob
Sommers, Albert T.
Thurow, Lester C.
Tobin, James
Verba, Sidney
Wipf, Larry J.
Textile Workers Union of America
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. International Affairs Department
American Footwear Industries Association
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
National Knitted Outerwear Association
National Committee for Full Employment (U.S.)
U.S. Department of Commerce
UNITE HERE (Organization)
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees

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:
Publications


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 International Affairs Department Art Gundershiem Publications #5619/032 PUBS. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5619: ACWA Records
5619 AV: ACTWU Audio- Visual Materials
5619 C-S MB: ACTWU President Jack Sheinkman Additional Books, Memorabilia, and Files
5619 F: ACTWU Motion Picture Films
5619 G: ACTWU Graphics
5619 MB: ACTWU Memorabilia Collection
5619 mf: ACWA Records Parts 1-3 on Microfilm
5619 OH: ACWA Oral History Project Records
5619 P: ACTWU Photographs
5619 PUBS: ACTWU Publications
5619/001: ACTWU Collective Bargaining Agreements
5619/002: ACWA Education Department Records
5619/003: ACWA Sidney Hillman Scrapbooks
5619/004: ACTWU President Jacob Sheinkman Files
5619/004 fiche: ACTWU President Jacob Sheinkman Speeches on Microfiche
5619/005: ACWA Bessie Hillman Papers
5619/006: ACTWU Executive Vice-President's Office Files
5619/007: ACTWU Organizing Department Files
5619/008: ACWA Rieve-Pollock Foundation Files
5619/009: ACTWU Operations Department Sidney Hillman Awards Files
5619/010: ACWA Jacob Potofsky files
5619/011: ACTWU Southern Regional Joint Board Files
5619/012: ACTWU Company Files
5619/013: ACTWU Research Department Correspondence Chronological Files
5619/014: ACWA Local 169 Files

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1
Edward K. Hamilton.
Box 1 Folder 1
Format: Publication
By Edward K. Hamilton. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 2
Format: Publication
Product Sector. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
Box 1 Folder 2
Format: Publication
By Product Sector. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 3 1979
Format: Publication
C. C. Clarkson. April 18th
Box 1 Folder 3
Format: Publication
By C. C. Clarkson. April 18, 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 4 1977
Format: Publication
Martin N. Bailey; James Tobin.
Box 1 Folder 4
Format: Publication
By Martin N. Bailey; James Tobin. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 5
Format: Publication
Jonathan R. Kesselman. Additional section 2. Scale and Financing of Expenditures
Box 1 Folder 5
Format: Publication
By Jonathan R. Kesselman. Additional section 2. Scale and Fincancing of Expenditures. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 6
Format: Publication
Martin Feldstein.
Box 1 Folder 6
Format: Publication
By Martin Feldstein. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 7 1977
Format: Publication
Peter Kemper; Philip Moss. March 18th. Contains 2 appendix
Box 1 Folder 7
Format: Publication
By Peter Kemper; Philip Moss. March 18, 1977. Contains 2 appendix. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 8
Format: Publication
Ray Marshall.
Box 1 Folder 8
Format: Publication
By Ray Marshall. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 9
Format: Publication
Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman.
Box 1 Folder 9
Format: Publication
By Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 10
Format: Publication
Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman. copy 2
Box 1 Folder 10
Format: Publication
By Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman. copy 2. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 11
Format: Publication
Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman. copy 3
Box 1 Folder 11
Format: Publication
By Murray H. Finley; Jacob Sheinkman. copy 3. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 12 1977
Format: Publication
Bela Balassa; Michael Sharpton.
Box 1 Folder 12
Format: Publication
By Bela Balassa; Michael Sharpton. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 13 1977
Format: Publication
The National Committee for Full Employment. Volume 2. Number 3. October. 3 copies.
Box 1 Folder 13
Format: Publication
By The National Committee for Full Employment. v.2:no.3. (1977:Oct.). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 13
Format: Publication
By The National Committee for Full Employment. v.2:no.3. (1977:Oct.). Copy 2. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 13
Format: Publication
By The National Committee for Full Employment. v.2:no.3. (1977:Oct.). Copy 3. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 14 1976
Format: Publication
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. United States Senate. (S. 50 Revised by Proposed Substitute Amendment. Text, Summary, Section-by-Section Analysis, and Background Material)
Box 1 Folder 14
Format: Publication
By Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. United States Senate. (S. 50 Revised by Proposed Substitute Amendment-- Text, Summary, Section-by-Section Analysis, and Background Material). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15 1978-1980
Format: Publication
American Footwear Industries Association. August 1978
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. December 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. February 1980. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. November 1980. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. August 1978. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. September 1978. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. November 1978. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. January 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. May 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. July 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. April 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 15
Format: Publication
By American Footwear Industries Association. October 1979. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 16 1978
Format: Publication
Muriel Humphrey and Augustus F. Hawkins. February 1978
Box 1 Folder 16
Format: Publication
By Muriel Humphrey; Augustus F. Hawkins. February 1978. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 17 1979
Format: Publication
Paul T. O'Day.
Box 1 Folder 17
Format: Publication
By Paul T. O'Day. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 18 1977-1978
Format: Publication
U.S. Department of Commerce. no.30 (1977), no.32-34 (1978)
Box 1 Folder 18
Format: Publication
By U.S. Department of Commerce. no.30 (1977:Oct./Nov.). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 18
Format: Publication
By U.S. Department of Commerce. no.32 (1978:Jan.). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 18
Format: Publication
By U.S. Department of Commerce. no.33 (1978:Feb.). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 18
Format: Publication
By U.S. Department of Commerce. no.34 (1978:Mar.). Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 19
Format: Publication
National Knitted Outerwear Association.
Box 1 Folder 19
Format: Publication
By National Knitted Outerwear Association. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 20 1977
Format: Publication
U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Background paper number 17.
Box 1 Folder 20
Format: Publication
By U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Background paper number 17. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 21
Format: Publication
Lester C. Thurow.
Box 1 Folder 21
Format: Publication
By Lester C. Thurow. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 22 1974
Format: Publication
Authorized by Trade Act of 1974. October.
Box 1 Folder 22
Format: Publication
Authorized by Trade Act of 1974. October. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 23 1975
Format: Publication
Dr. John S. Atlee. November.
Box 1 Folder 23
Format: Publication
By Dr. John S. Atlee. November. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 24 1977
Format: Publication
Daniel S. Hamermesh. May
Box 1 Folder 24
Format: Publication
By Daniel S. Hamermesh. May. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 25 1977
Format: Publication
July 27th, 1977. 2 copies.
Box 1 Folder 25
Format: Publication
July 27, 1977. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 25
Format: Publication
copy 2. July 27, 1977. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 26
Format: Publication
Larry J. Wipf. 2 copies.
Box 1 Folder 26
Format: Publication
By Larry J. Wipf. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 26
Format: Publication
By Larry J. Wipf. copy 2. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 27
Format: Publication
Box 1 Folder 27
Format: Publication
Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 28 1975
Format: Publication
Sidney Verba and Key Lehman Schlozman. August
Box 1 Folder 28
Format: Publication
By Sidney Verba; Key Lehman Schlozman. August. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 29 1975
Format: Publication
Helen Ginsburg.
Box 1 Folder 29
Format: Publication
By Helen Ginsburg. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 30 1976-1979
Format: Publication
Box 1 Folder 30
Format: Publication
By Congessional Budget Office. July 19. Background paper number 11. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 30
Format: Publication
By Congressional Budget Office. February. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 30
Format: Publication
By Ray Marshall; Juanita M. Kreps. November. A Two Year Report on the Commerce-Labor Adjustment Action Committee. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 31 1971
Format: Publication
Alden F. Briscoe. February.
Box 1 Folder 31
Format: Publication
By Alden F. Briscoe. February. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 32 1975
Format: Publication
Albert T. Sommers and Lucie R. Blau.
Box 1 Folder 32
Format: Publication
By Albert T. Sommers; Lucie R. Blau. Item is in English.
Box 1 Folder 33 1980
Format: Publication
Business America: The Journal of International Trade. February 11th. Volume 3. Number 3.
Box 1 Folder 33
Format: Publication
By Business America: The Journal of International Trade. v.3:no.3 (1980:Feb. 11). Item is in English.