ILGWU. Local 22. Charles S. Zimmerman photographs

Collection Number: 5780/014 P

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


ILGWU. Local 22. Charles S. Zimmerman photographs, 1930-1959
Collection Number:
5780/014 P
Zimmerman, Charles Local 22 International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
The collection includes images of important people in Local 22, along with images of sports and cultural events, parades, marches, strikes, meetings and educational programs.
Collection material in English


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).


Charles Sasha Zimmerman was born in Russia in 1897. He arrived in the United States in 1913 and soon found work in garment shops. His career with the ILGWU began in 1916 when he went to work in a waist shop and joined Local 25. By 1925, Zimmerman was a member of the Executive Board for Dressmakers' Local 22. Throughout the 1920s, Zimmerman was an active member of the Communist Party, an affiliation that cost him his leadership positions within the union in 1925. He was involved with the bitter Communist infighting, and though he initially belonged to the Communist Party, he soon saw that they subverted the strike of 1926 for its own purposes which nearly decimated the ILGWU. With other members now opposed to Communism, Zimmerman worked to rid the Communist influence from the union and help reorganize the dress industry with his reinstatement in 1931. Even after his reinstatement in the ILGWU, he maintained close ties with the anti-Stalinist Lovestonites of the Communist Party.
Zimmerman was elected manager of Local 22 in 1933, and the next year became a vice president of the ILGWU. He became general manager of the New York Dress Joint Board and the Dressmakers' Joint Council in 1958. Zimmerman was involved with civil rights, social welfare and international labor organizations throughout his career. He was a trustee of the National Urban League, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee's National Trade Union Council for Human Rights, and a member of New York City's first Human Rights Commission. Zimmerman helped found the Inter-American Federation of Textile and Garment Workers in 1966 and served as a U.S. representative to the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation. In 1969, Zimmerman was elected president of the Jewish Labor Committee and named to the Civil Rights and Social Security committees of the AFL-CIO. He resigned as a union vice president and general manager of the Dress Joint Council and New York Dress Joint Board in 1972. Zimmerman died in 1983.


Local 22 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Dressmakers' Union, was chartered in December 1920 and based in New York City. The dress industry formed its own Joint Board in 1921 composed of Local 22 Dressmakers, Local 25 Waistmakers, Local 58 Waist Buttonhole Makers, Local 60 Waist and Dress Pressers, Local 66 Bonnaz Embroidery Workers, Local 89 Italian Waist and Dressmakers, and the waist and dress branch of Cutters' Local 10. A general work stoppage in February 1923 in the dress industry won the union a 40 hour week and 10 percent wage increase, as well as a large gain of new members. During the summer of 1923, after years of discussion and deliberation, the two dress locals, Local 23 and 22 were consolidated. The dressmakers from Local 23 transferred to Local 22 and subsequently Local 22 joined the New York Cloakmakers' Joint Board. Soon, the Dress and Waist Joint Board became unnecessary and was dissolved. Local 25 Waistmakers were left without an affiliated organization and in October 1924 merged with the Dressmakers' Union, Local 22.
By the end of 1926, the Communists had gained control of the dress organization in New York City and the union barely existed. In February 4, 1930, 25,000 dressmakers walked out of the shops. The strike was called to reorganize dressmakers and finally abolish the Communist influence in the industry. On April 8, 1930 the General Executive Board decided to separate the dressmakers from the Cloakmakers' Joint Board. In 1931, Charles Zimmerman formed a committee to rebuild Local 22. He was elected to executive board of Local 22 in 1932, and elected manager-secretary in 1933. Another walkout in all dress shops, both union and non-union on August 16, 1933 brought the dress industry to a halt.
Zimmerman left Local 22 in 1958 to become manager of the Dress Joint Board. Israel Breslow succeeded him as manager of Local 22 from 1958 until his retirement in 1975. By 1975, the New York Dress Joint Board completed restructuring of affiliate locals, and Locals 60-60A, 159, and 38 were merged into existing Locals 22 and 89. Local 22 gained jurisdiction over all dressmakers in Manhattan. In the 1980s, more locals were dissolved and members transferred to Local 22, but by 1984, Local 22 saw restructuring as well. Changes in the garment industry necessitated the dissolution of the Joint Board and Local 22 into the new Local 89-22-1.


The collection includes images of important people and events in Local 22 including ILGWU President David Dubinsky, Local 22 Manager Charles Zimmerman, Max Danish, Fania Cohn, Rose Pesotta, and Maida Springer Kemp. The photographs document the activities of Local 22, from conventions, to meetings, signing of contracts, and elections.
The photographs also illustrate the local's very active Education Department (see also 5780/057P) showing art shows, members (especially women) in classes, and performances at Labor Stage. There are also images of sports such as basketball and baseball, and cultural events such as outings with members, and banquets. Local 22 was very active in parades and marched in May Day and Labor Day parades.
Images also document strikes, picket lines and members getting arrested. There is work with other organizations, and formal portraits of the executive board and staff. Zimmerman is prominent in many of the images, in shops, with groups, in formal board portraits, at meetings, and speaking.

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Antonini, Luigi, 1883-1968
Baroff, Abraham
Billings, Warren K., 1893-1972
Bluestein, Mendl
Cohn, Fannia M.(Fannia Mary), 1885-
Danish, Max D.
Dornbusch, Mendel
Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982
Eisenhower, Dwight D.(Dwight David), 1890-1969
Falikman, Moe
Feinberg, Israel
Hillman, Sidney, 1887-1946
Hochman, Julius, 1892-1970
Kemp, Maida Springer
Kreindler, Charles
Marrom, Harry
Mooney, Thomas J., 1882-1942
Pesotta, Rose, b. 1896
Potofsky, Jacob S.(Jacob Samuel), 1894-1979
Ransom, Edith
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
Schneider, Joe
Stevenson, Adlai E.(Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965
Zimmerman, Charles S., 1896-1983
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America
American Federation of Labor
American Jewish Congress
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)
Hebrew Butcher Workers' Union. Local 234 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 155 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. --Management
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.)--Management
Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (U.S.)
Jewish Labor Committee (U.S.)
Negro Labor Committee

Clothing workers--Labor unions--United States.
Labor unions and communism--United States.
Labor unions--Officials and employees.
Labor union locals.

Geographic Subjects:
New York (State)--Politics and government--20th century.
United States--Politics and government--20th century.

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 22. Charles S. Zimmerman photographs #5780/014 P. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5780/014: ILGWU. Local 22. Charles Zimmerman papers
5780/015: ILGWU. Local 22 records
5780/036: ILGWU. Local 22 minutes
5780/057: ILGWU. Local 22. Education Department records
5780/057 P: ILGWU. Local 22. Education Department photographs
5780/067: ILGWU. Local 22. Israel Breslow papers


Box 1 Folder 1
Includes Charles Zimmerman and Mayor Beam with others in swearing-in ceremony; C. Zimmerman, William Green and other with plaque honoring Green; Mendl Bluestein 51st birthday celebration; Jack Broder dinner, Zimmerman, Julius Hochman; Local 22 installation April 1937 including Zimmerman, Dubinsky, Fania Cohn, and others; Edith Ransom and C. Zimmerman receiving awards, Julius Hochman looking on, July 1936.
Box 1 Folder 2
Includes signing Dress agreement March 1944 with Hochman, Antonini, Dubinsky, Zimmerman, et al.; Local 155 ratification with C. Zimmerman, Mendel Dornbusch, Luigi Antonini, Louis Nelson and others
Box 1 Folder 3
Includes September 1944, 1950, 1951, and 1954, including Zimmerman, Hochman, Dubinsky, Antonini, Israel Feinberg, Charles Kreindler, Grace [Sardegna], Max Danish, John martin, Moe [Falikman]
Box 1 Folder 4 1950
Box 1 Folder 5
Includes 23rd biennial convention May 1937; Local 22 recognition of DD leadership; John L. Lewis, Rose Pesotta, Antonini, Zimmerman, Hochman, Dubinsky, Sidney Hillman, and others.
Box 1 Folder 6
Includes Dubinsky, Feinberg, Antonini, Zimmerman, Hochman, ILGWU conventions, 1944, 1947, 1950, 1956, District 65, 1957
Box 1 Folder 7
Includes American History class, Gus Tyler instructor, 1935; Spanish School, Educational Alliance, 1956; Educational Conference, 1938 with Zimmerman, Edith Ransom, and others; Art Show 1940; Local 22 Educational Director Morton Wishengrad; Zimmerman teaching; tour with Zimmerman, Edith Ransom and others; Symposium on Soviet aggression, 1951; Dressmakers class, 1956; neg. Harlem Educational Meeting, 1934; tour to study production methods at te Cooperative Wholesale Society Clothing factory, Bristol, England, 1936.
Box 1 Folder 8
Includes Administrative Committee of the Deborah Jewish Tuberculosis Society, 1946; Jewish Consumptives Relief Society (JCRS) of Denver, 1938; Amun Israeli 1951 and 1952; Jewish Labor Committee (JLC), 1945; JLC, includes President Eisenhower and C. Zimmerman with others, 1952, Elmer Millerman Pres. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Union reports on Buchenwald; Histadrut luncheon welcoming the Kreindlers, 1954; Meeting of representatives of ILGWU, ACWA, Workmen's Circle, United Hebrew Trades, Hebrew Butcher Workers Union, JCRS, CIO, Furrier's Joint Council; ILGWU members at Deborah Sanatorium, 1943; Gift from Histadrut to William Green.
Box 1 Folder 9
Includes 47th conference 1952; 49th annual luncheon, 1954; 51st annual luncheon, 1956; 52nd annual luncheon 1957; LID award to Luis Munos Marin, 1957
Box 1 Folder 10
Includes scenes from Pins and Needles; slogans such as "Fight Against Race Discrimination", "Birobidgan, the Jewish Hope", "American Democracy", "Death to Fascism" "Forgotten Man" and "A Coal Miner's Reward"; Labor Stage 1937.
Box 1 Folder 11
ncludes women's basketball, 1938; men's basketball; men's baseball; a trip on the S. S. Liberty Belle,1956; social gatherings; mandolin class "Boost Anti-Fascist Drive"; P. G. Excursion, 1936; Harry Winter; Dressmaker's Liberal Party Club; Local 22 Ball, 1935; Dressmaker's Progressive Group, Local 22; at a cabin, 1946 or 1947; Rose Pesotta, Luigi Antonini and others, 1936.
Box 1 Folder 12
Includes Minkas reading telegrams after election, 1937; scenes from the 1937 election
Box 1 Folder 12a
Includes; First Executive Board, 1921; Executive Board, 1933 or 1934; Office staff; Membership Committee; Los Angeles Sanitarium, 1938; speakers at a podium; Harry Marrom contributing to the new library fund
Box 1 Folder 13
Includes AFL Convention, 1946 Jewish Labor Committee dinner, Dubinsky Green, Zimmerman, and others; Dressmakers greet Transport Workers, 1938; Zimmerman et al, AFL-CIO, 1955; Zimmerman at Seamen's meeting, 1936; Heads of local 25 early 1900's including Abraham Baroff, Charles Jacobson, Israel Horowitz and Spivack; Local 22 Dressmakers greet Steel Workers in SWOC (1940's?); CIO Masquerade chain shows member unions.
Box 1 Folder 13a
Includes prison photo and photo with Zimmerman and other, 1935.
Box 1 Folder 14
Includes C. Zimmerman at the head table speaking to the Negro Labor Committee Conference, March 1, 1952 (shows banner).
Box 1 Folder 15
Includes May Day parade, 1942?, marchers, film crew, a sign "Nazism is POISON for workers, and "..Dressmakers Local 22 on May Day remembers Tom MooneyLabor"; athletic division and others; group on bicycles and athletic division; marching band and banners; Joint Council Knitgoods Workers Union of the ILGWU and United Textile Workers of America; C. Zimmerman and others marching; 1934 May Day parade with Zimmerman in front of black and white marchers with local 22 pennants [including Edith Ransom, business agent]; union members in ethnic dress on horse-drawn float representing the globe; "Down with Fascism" sign; Zimmerman and others in parade car
Box 1 Folder 16
Includes Rose and another; Rose with bouquet sitting with mixed black and white men and women.
Box 1 Folder 17
Includes Zimmerman visiting a shop and speaking, 1934; Puerto Rican Committee, 1953; mobile health unit staff and civil defense officials of Aibonito Puerto Rico, 1956, shows Lazare Teper.
Box 1 Folder 18
Includes Garment Center street rally with Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson II addressing the crowd, October, 1952; Zimmerman addresses 1952 rally; large crowd in park rally; May Day 1936; May Day 1937; Trade Union Commission/Committee? For Civil Rights rally, Madison Square Garden, May 24, 1956;
Box 1 Folder 19
Includes snapshot of Edith with others on a hike (Riley, Ransom, Claus, and Eva Dalton); Portrait March 1937.
Box 1 Folder 20
Includes Zimmerman and others shows posters "Volunteer workers, 100,000 garments for Spain, Trade Union Comm"; group shots, 1937 and 1938.
Box 1 Folder 21
Includes "When we strike, we win, what we win, we keep" with Julius Hochman; 1948 garment district strike with arrested seamen; Mass demonstration by the dress Joint Board; many "racketeering" and "gangster" signs; Macys strike, 1956.
Box 2 Folder 1
Includes Zimmerman and International Solidarity Committee war relief care packages poster, 1946; Dubinsky and Zimmerman discussing Russian war relief with 2 others; Russian and Chinese relief, about 1943; Chinese war relief, about 1944; "Woks Kuibyshev USSR" Donations from Local 22 to British labor and the Jewish Labor Committee; "50,000 warm garments from Local 22 to Commissioner Maurice Davidson for the Russian War Relief Society to be given to Russian women; Dubinsky and Zimmerman et al. Launching the 284th Liberty Ship, SS Benjamin Schlesinger, January 1944; Rose Pesotta, C. Zimmerman and other with goods for war relief, Los Angeles, 1941.
Box 2 Folder 2 1930-1939
Includes Zimmerman with David Dubinsky, Julius Hochman, Luigi Antonini, Edith Ransom and others in official meetings; conferences; public locations; speaking for WEVD; in posed group photos; and on the Miami Beach docks after fishing.
Box 2 Folder 3 1940-1949
Includes Zimmerman with David Dubinsky, Julius Hochman, Luigi Antonini, Jacob Potofsky and others; with the General Executive Board 1947-1950; a family portrait?; at dinner gatherings, celebrations and meetings.
Box 2 Folder 4 1950-1959
Includes Zimmerman with Robert Wagner, at the Margolis luncheon, 1954; with Eleanor Roosevelt, 1956; at the Catholic Interracial Council Forum, 1950; at Breslow's election as vice President of the Workmen's Circle, 1953; Zimmerman and Potofsky with A. Philip Randolph 1954; with the Committee for a Shorter Work Week, Local 32B, 1958; Zimmerman donating to the campaign for a permanent Fair Employment Practice Commission in NY.
Box 2 Folder 5
Includes Zimmerman speaking at dinners and meetings; sitting with various groups in posed and un-posed photos; with Business Agents including Edith Ransom; at a funeral/memorial gathering; with Mrs. Belle Schlesinger Scolnik, and at Unity House.
Box 2 Folder 6
Includes Julius Hochman addressing Building Chairmen and UDC members at Unity House, 1939; David Dubinsky; Joe Schneider in a casket, 1933; group including Edith Ransom, Hochman, Zimmerman; "E & O Committee, 1935; Executive Staff, Ladies' Waist and Dressmakers' Union, Local 25, 1913.
Box 2 Folder 7
Includes the ship "Negbah" in Tel Aviv, 1948; man with bandaged head wound; formal groups; man signing a document with onlooker; young women sewing; young women under labor leaders' photos; George [Fiffer?] in military uniform; portrait of two women; a costume party/pins and needles gathering?;
Box 2 Folder 8