ILGWU. Local 117 Minutes,1934-1973.

Collection Number: 5780/034

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Local 117 minutes, 1934-1973.
Collection Number:
5780/034
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 117.
Quantity:
2.5 linear feet
Forms of Material:
Minutes, reports.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Records of International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union Local 117, Cloak, Suit, Infants' and Childrens' Coat Operators and Sample Makers' Union. Includes Executive Board and Membership minutes as well as Managers' reports.
Language:
Collection material in English and Yiddish.


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

Chartered in 1931, Local 117 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Cloak, Suit, Infants' and Childrens' Coat Operators and Sample Makers' Union, was created with the merger of Local 1 and Local 17 and based in New York, New York.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Records of International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union Local 117, Cloak, Suit, Infants' and Childrens' Coat Operators and Sample Makers' Union. Includes Executive Board and Membership minutes as well as Managers' reports.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 117.

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

Form and Genre Terms:
Minutes.
Correspondence.


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 117 minutes. 5780/034. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.

RELATED MATERIALS

5780. ILGWU records

NOTES

"Permanent deposit"

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1
Minutes
1936
Jan.-June, 1936. Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 2
Minutes
1936
July-Dec., 1936. Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 3
Minutes
1937
Jan.-June, 1937. Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 4
Minutes
1937
July-Dec., 1937. Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 5
Minutes
1938
Jan.-June, 1938. Yiddish
Box 1 Folder 6
Minutes
1938
July-Dec., 1938. Yiddish
Box 2 Folder 1
Minutes
1939
Jan.-June, 1939. Yiddish
Box 2 Folder 2
Minutes
1939
July-Dec., 1939. Yiddish
Box 2 Folder 3
Minutes
1940
Jan.-June, 1940. Yiddish
Box 2 Folder 4
Minutes
1940
July-Dec., 1940. Yiddish
Box 2 Folder 5
Minutes
1941
Yiddish
Box 3 Folder 1
Minutes
1942
Yiddish
Box 3 Folder 2
Minutes
1943
Yiddish
Box 3 Folder 3
Minutes
1944
Jan.-Dec., 1944. Yiddish
Box 3 Folder 4
Minutes
1945
Yiddish
Box 3 Folder 5
Minutes
1946
Yiddish
Box 4 Folder 1
Minutes
1947
Yiddish
Box 4 Folder 2
Minutes
1948
Yiddish
Box 4 Folder 3
Minutes
1949
Yiddish
Box 4 Folder 4
Minutes
1960-1961
Nov. 1960 - Dec. 1961. Yiddish. Incl. Correspondence in English
Box 4 Folder 5
Minutes
1962-1962
Jan. 1962 - Dec. 1963. Yiddish
Box 4 Folder 6
Minutes
1964
Jan.-Dec., 1964. Yiddish
Box 5 Folder 1
Minutes and Managers Reports from United Cloak, Suit, Infants and Children’s Coat Operators and Sample Makers Union
1965
Jan.-Dec., 1965. Minutes in Yiddish. Reports in English
Box 5 Folder 2
Minutes of Executive Board
1966-1967
English
Box 5 Folder 3
Minutes of Executive Board
1968-1969
Jan. 1968 - Dec. 1969. English
Box 5 Folder 4
Minutes
1970-1971
Jan. 1970 - Oct. 1971. English
Box 5 Folder 5
Minutes
1971-1973
Nov. 1971 - Nov. 1973. English