ILGWU Local 62 Records

Collection Number: 5780/021

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU Local 62 Records, 1913-1971
Collection Number:
5780/021
Creator:
ILGWU Local 62;
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
Quantity:
3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records .
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The collection contains minutes of Local 62's Executive Board's meetings between 1913 and 1971, as well as issues of the local's publication, Our Union, from 1935 to 1970.
Language:
Collection material in English, Yiddish


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

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.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The White Goods Workers' Union Local 62, also known as the Underwear and White Goods Workers Union, was chartered in 1909, but was not fully organized until 1913. Rose Schneiderman and the Women's Trade Union League assisted with the early organizing efforts of the White Goods Workers. These workers consisted mainly of young immigrant girls. Early leaders of the local included Samuel Shore. On March 1913, 15,000 workers went on strike against the sweatshop conditions. A six week strike ensued in which many of the girls on the picket lines were attacked and arrested. Gains won included a 54 hour week, no Sunday, sanitary conditions and an 18 cent an hour minimum wage. This strike made the local.
The local and its workers were originally called white goods workers as they manufactured camisoles, chemises, cambric drawers with lace ruffles and drawstrings, and corset covers. Through the years, styles changed and production shifted to panties and slips. In the 1960s, the local became the Undergarment and Negligee Workers' Union Local 62.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The collection contains minutes of Local 62's Executive Board's meetings, as well as issues of the local's publication, "Our Union," from 1935 to 1970. The earliest minutes of the Executive Board of Local 62 date to 1913 and run until 1971. These bound meeting minutes are in Yiddish. Later copies of minutes were bound with reports and financial statements.
"Our Union" was the official publication of the local that began in February 1935. The bulletin was printed monthly and includes information on the industry, agreements, education, recreation, and culture. Later years include a section in Spanish.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 62 (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.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records.


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:
ILGWU Local 62 Records #5780/021. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/022: ILGWU Local 62 Correspondence
5780/074: ILGWU Mary Goff Schuster Papers
5780/079: ILGWU Local 62 Managers' Correspondence
5780/089: ILGWU Local 62-32 Agreements
SERIES LIST

Series I: Executive Board Minutes, 1913-1971
Series II: Our Union. Periodical, 1935-1970

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1913-1915
Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 2 1915-1919
Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 3 1923-1930
Yiddish. Fragile
Box 1 Folder 4 1930
Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 5 1963-1970
Box 2 Folder 1 1933-1936
Box 2 Folder 2 1937
Box 2 Folder 3 1938
Box 2 Folder 4 1939
Box 2 Folder 5 1940
Box 2 Folder 6 1941
Box 2 Folder 7 1942
Box 2 Folder 8 1943
Box 2 Folder 9 1944
Box 2 Folder 10 1945
Box 2 Folder 11 1946
Box 2 Folder 12 1947
Box 2 Folder 13 1948-1950
Box 2 Folder 14 1951-1955
Box 2 Folder 15 1956-1958
Box 2 Folder 16 1959-1960
Box 2 Folder 17 1961-1962
Box 3 Folder 1 1963-1964
Box 3 Folder 2 1965-1968
Box 3 Folder 3 1968-1971
Box 3 Folder 4 1935-1941
Box 3 Folder 5 1942-1944
Box 3 Folder 6 1945-1947
Box 3 Folder 7 1945-1947
Box 3 Folder 8 1948-1950
Box 3 Folder 9 1948-1950
Box 3 Folder 10 1948-1950
Box 3 Folder 11 1951-1955
Box 3 Folder 12 1951-1955
Box 3 Folder 13 1956-1959
Box 3 Folder 14 1956-1959
Box 3 Folder 15 1960-1962