ILGWU Local 9 Managers' Correspondence

Collection Number: 5780/013

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


ILGWU Local 9 Managers' Correspondence, 1929-1951
Collection Number:
Isidore Sorkin;
Hyman, Louis;
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). Local 9;
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
2.3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
The collection consists of the correspondence of managers Isidore Sorkin and Louis Hyman of Local 9 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Includes correspondence with several departments of the Cloak Joint Board and the office of the President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Collection material in English


The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was once one of the largest labor unions in the United States founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States. It was one of the first U.S. Unions to have a membership consisting of mostly females, and it played a key role in the labor history of the 1920s and 1930s. The union is generally referred to as the "ILGWU" or the "ILG". The ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, and 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. The ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE. The two unions that formed UNITE in 1995 represented only 250,000 workers between them, down from the ILGWU's peak membership of 450,000 in 1969.


General managers of Local 9 included Isidore Sorkin and Louis Hyman. Isidore Sorkin was manager of Local 9 from 1925 to 1942.
Born in Russia, Louis Hyman (1884-1963) emigrated to England in 1903 before settling down in the United States in 1911. Within the ILGWU, Hyman served as business agent and executive board member of Local 9, director of the Union Health Center, and executive board member of the New York Joint Board. Hyman left the ILGWU for a time (roughly from 1925 to 1939) during which he served as president of the Needle Trades Workers Industrial Union. In 1942, he defeated Isidore Sorkin to become manager of Local 9.


Local 9 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Cloak and Suit Finishers Union, was chartered in 1903 and based in New York City.


The collection is mainly composed of correspondence to the Joint Board, the ILGWU, and other organizations. Early correspondence is often from manager Isidore Sorkin (1925-1942), while later correspondence is from manager Louis Hyman (1942-). As a member of the Joint Board of the Cloak, Suit, Skirt and Reefer Makers' Union, Local 9 corresponded with the Joint Board regarding meetings, often for the Local manager meetings, as well as committees, agreements, price settlements, claims and complaints against firms. Local 9 and its members were part of the Retirement Fund of the Coat and Suit Industry in the New York Metropolitan area and there are letters regarding benefits. Additionally, there is correspondence with George Price (Director) and Leo Price (Assistant Director) of the Union Health Center concerning patients who were members of Local 9 discussing examinations in the clinic and work permits in shops.
Files labeled "President's Office" refer to documents that mainly originated from the office of ILGWU president David Dubinsky. Much is general letters and memos that went out to all the local managers and Joint Board within the union. There is also much correspondence addressed to Local 9 manager Louis Hyman.
Organizations represented in the collection include ICOR, which refers to the Association for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union Inc., of which Local 9 manager Hyman was a National Executive member. And manufacturers' organizations and associations (which represented the garment firms) appearing include the Industrial Council of Cloak, Suit, and Skirt Manufacturers, Inc., and the Merchants Ladies Garment Association.
Finally, there is material of an administrative nature for Local 9 such as an accounting ledger detailing assets and investments, fees and various expenses.

Sorkin, Isidore
Hyman, Louis
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 9 (New York, N.Y.)

Women's clothing industry--United States.
Labor unions--Clothing workers--United States.
Clothing workers--United States.
Industrial relations--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:


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:
ILGWU Local 9 Managers' Correspondence #5780/013. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5780/017: ILGWU Local 9 Executive Board and Grievance Committee Minutes
5780/017 P: ILGWU Local 9 Executive Board and Grievance Committee Photographs


Box 1 Folder 1 1936-1939
Incl. form letters from American Youth Congress, 1937.
Box 1 Folder 2 1948-1949
Box 1 Folder 3 1936-1939
Corres. on campaigns in New York State, incl. Isidore Nagler for Borough President, Bronx County, 1937.
Box 1 Folder 4 1939-1949
Box 1 Folder 5 1937-1948
Box 1 Folder 6 1945-1949
Incl. correspondence., reports, proposals for negotiations; form letters.
Box 1 Folder 7 1942-1944
Box 1 Folder 8 1939-1941
Incl. collective agreement between Union & Brooklyn Cloak & Suit Truckers Assoc., 1939.
Box 1 Folder 9 1938
Box 1 Folder 10 1936-1937
Box 1 Folder 11 1944-1945
Box 1 Folder 12 1933-1934
Incl. correspondence. w. B. Cooper, Mgr. Local 9 on expulsion of members Bernstein & Greenberg from Jt. Bd., 1933.
Box 2 Folder 1 1937-1949
Corres. w. Anthony Cottone, Manager.
Box 2 Folder 2 1938-1946
Box 2 Folder 3
Box 2 Folder 4
Box 2 Folder 5 1936-1939
Complaints (reverse chronological order).
Box 2 Folder 6 1941-1946
Reports by H. Slutsky, Manager.
Box 2 Folder 7 1941-1946
March 1941-1949. Corres. w. Philip Herman, Manager; reports.
Box 2 Folder 8 1934-1941
1934-February 1941. Incl. correspondence. w. Joseph Boruchowitz, A.S. Miller, and I. Stenzor.
Box 3 Folder 1 1935-1948
Letters from Fannia M. Conn, correspondence. w. Mark Starr, leaflets & pamphlets.
Box 3 Folder 2 1936-1944
Tillie Kessler case, 1936; Ben Kenigsberg case, 1943; Mike Goldofsky vs. Morris Appelbaum, 1943-1944.
Box 3 Folder 3 1937-1939
Incl. letters of Friends of Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 1937.
Box 3 Folder 4 1939
Incl. complaint from Irving Potash, Manager, that cloak firms are purchasing fur garments from non-Union shops & Contractors, 1939.
Box 3 Folder 5 1937-1949
Box 3 Folder 6 1937-1949
Incl. ICOR, 1937.
Box 3 Folder 7 1936-1948
Incl. letters from Samuel Klein, Executive Director.
Box 3 Folder 8 1938-1949
Box 3 Folder 9 1937-1949
Box 3 Folder 10 1937-1948
Box 3 Folder 11 1945
Report, Memorandum for associations in opposition to wage adjustment.
Box 3 Folder 12 1936-1948
Arranged numerically by local.
Box 3 Folder 13 1937-1949
Box 3 Folder 14 1936-1939
Box 3 Folder 15 1937-1948
Box 4 Folder 1 1939-1949
Corres. w. D.D., form letters.
Box 4 Folder 2 1941-1942
Box 4 Folder 3 1939-1940
Box 4 Folder 4 1937-1938
Box 4 Folder 5 1933-1936
Box 4 Folder 6 1937-1949
Box 4 Folder 7 1944-1949
Corres. w. Herbert Zame, Manager, on benefits, financial reports.
Box 4 Folder 8 1937-1949
Box 4 Folder 9 1938
Box 4 Folder 10 1937-1948
Box 4 Folder 11 1934-1949
Box 4 Folder 12 1929-1949
Corres. w. George M. Price, Director.
Box 4 Folder 13 1937-1948
Incl. Workmen's Circle.
Box 5 Folder 1 1949-1951