ILGWU. Local 38 Minutes,1915-1958.

Collection Number: 5780/019

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Local 38 Minutes, 1915-1958.
Collection Number:
5780/019
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 38 (New York, N.Y.)
Quantity:
1.5 linear feet
Forms of Material:
Minutes
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Contains meeting minutes of local 38's General Executive Board and several of its committees, including the Trial Committee, General Strike Committee, Investigating Committee, Membership Committee, and Special Committees. Also contains membership meeting minutes of Local 38's successor union, Local 124, as well as the local's publication, On the Avenue, and minutes of the local's Italian branch.
Language:
Collection material in English and Italian.


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union was founded in New York City in 1900 by mostly Socialist immigrant workers who sought to unite the various crafts in the growing women's garment industry. The union soon reflected changes in the sector and rapidly organized thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled women, mostly Jewish and Italian young immigrants. Exemplifying the “new unionism,” the ILGWU led two of the most widespread and best-known industrial strikes of the early Twentieth Century: the shirtwaist makers’ strike of 1909 in New York City and the cloak makers’ strike of 1910 in Chicago. The union also tried to adapt to the fragmented and unstable nature of the industry. It adopted the “protocol of peace,” a system of industrial relations that attempted to ensure stability and limit strikes and production disruption by providing for an arbitration system to resolve disputes.
The ILGWU exemplified the European-style social unionism of its founding members. They pursued bread and butter issues but provided educational opportunities, benefits, and social programs to union members as well. In 1919, the ILGWU became the first American union to negotiate an unemployment compensation fund that was contributed to by its employers. The ILGWU also pioneered in the establishment of an extremely progressive health care program for its members which included not only regional Union Health Centers but also a resort for union workers, known as Unity House. The Union also had an imaginative and pioneering Education Department which not only trained workers in traditional union techniques, but provided courses in citizenship and the English language.
David Dubinsky, an immigrant from Belarus who came to the US in 1911, provided strong leadership that led to unprecedented growth in the union during his presidency from 1932 to 1966. He led the union through successful internal anti-communist struggles, built on the ascendancy of industrial unionism by encouraging the formation of the Committee for Industrial Organization, and helped the union become an important political force in New York City and state politics, and in the national Democratic Party and Liberal Party as well.
In the period following the Second World War, the union suffered a decline in membership as manufacturers avoided unionization and took advantage of less expensive labor by moving shops from the urban centers in the northeast to the south, and later abroad. The ethnic and racial character of the ILGWU also changed as European immigrants were supplanted by Asians, Latin Americans, African- Americans, and immigrants from the Caribbean.
In July 1995 the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) at a joint convention, forming UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees). At the time the new union had a membership of about 250,000 in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Local 38 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Ladies Tailors' Theatrical Costume and Alteration Workers Union or the Theatrical Workers' Union, was based in New York, New York. It was chartered as the Ladies' Tailors' Union in 1909.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Contains meeting minutes of local 38's General Executive Board and several of its committees, including the Trial Committee, General Strike Committee, Investigating Committee, Membership Committee, and Special Committees. Also contains membership meeting minutes of Local 38's successor union, Local 124, as well as the local's publication, On the Avenue, and minutes of the local's Italian branch.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 38 (New York, N.Y.)

Subjects:
Women's clothing industry--United States.
Women's clothing industry--New York (State)--New York.
Labor unions--Clothing workers--United States.
Labor unions--Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York.
Clothing workers--United States.
Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York.
Industrial relations--United States.
Industrial relations--New York (State)--New York.

Form and Genre Terms:
Minutes.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
The ILGWU Records, except for publications and materials produced for publication, are restricted. Materials created prior to twenty years from the current date are open to researchers only with prior written permission from the Director of the Kheel Center; materials created during the past twenty-years are closed; the minutes of the General Executive Board are closed. For more information contact the Kheel Center.
Cite As:
ILGWU. Local 38 Minutes. 5780/019. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.

RELATED MATERIALS

5780. ILGWU Records

NOTES

"Permanent deposit".
SERIES LIST




Series I. General Executive Board Minutes, 1924-1958
Series II. On the Avenue. Periodical, 1939-1940
Series III. Committee Minutes, 1915-1958

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1924-1925
Box 1 Folder 2
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1924-1925
Box 1 Folder 3
General Executive Board. Minutes.
1927-1928
Box 1 Folder 4
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1931-1934
Box 1 Folder 5
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1931-1934
Box 1 Folder 6
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1937-1942
Box 1 Folder 7
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1937-1942
Box 1 Folder 8
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1942-1947
Box 1 Folder 9
General Executive Board. Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1942-1947
Box 1 Folder 10
General Executive Board. Minutes.
1947-1950
Box 1 Folder 11
General Executive Board. Minutes.
1950-1953
Box 1 Folder 12
General Executive Board. Minutes.
1953-1958
Box 1 Folder 13
"On the Avenue". Vol. I, No. 1
1939
Box 1 Folder 14
"On the Avenue". Vol. I, No. 2
1939
Box 1 Folder 15
"On the Avenue". Vol. I, No. 3
1939
Box 1 Folder 16
"On the Avenue". Vol. II, No. 1
1940
Box 1 Folder 17
"On the Avenue". Vol. II, No. 2
1940
Box 1 Folder 18
"On the Avenue". Vol. II, No. 3
1940
Box 1 Folder 19
General Executive Board. Trial Committee. Minutes: In the Case of Prager
1915
Box 1 Folder 20
General Executive Board. General Strike Committee.
1932-1933
Box 1 Folder 21
General Executive Board. Special Committee. Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1927-1937
Box 1 Folder 22
General Executive Board. Special Committee. Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1927-1937
Box 1 Folder 23
General Executive Board. Investigating Committee. Minutes.
1937-1956
Box 1 Folder 24
General Executive Board. Membership Committee. Minutes.
1928-1958
Box 2 Folder 1
General Executive Board. Minutes.
1926-1946
Italian
Box 2 Folder 2
General Executive Board. Italian Branch. Minutes.
1926-1946
Box 2 Folder 3
General Executive Board. Local 124 Minutes. [folder 1 of 2]
1944-1952.
Box 2 Folder 4
General Executive Board. Local 124 Minutes. [folder 2 of 2]
1944-1952