ILGWU Collective Bargaining Agreements on Microfilm

Collection Number: 5780/075 mf

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU Collective Bargaining Agreements on Microfilm
Collection Number:
5780/075 mf
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Quantity:
14 microfilm reels
Forms of Material:
Collective bargaining agreements, microfilm.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Consists of agreements and contracts between the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and associations of garment manufacturers. Also agreements with individual firms in Montreal.
Language:
Collection material in English


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.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Consists of agreements and contracts between the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and associations of garment manufacturers. Also agreements with individual firms in Montreal.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

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

Form and Genre Terms:
Records.
Micofilm.


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 Collective Bargaining Agreements on Microfilm, 5780/075 mf. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.

RELATED MATERIALS

5780. ILGWU records
5780/075. ILGWU. Collective Bargaining Agreements
5780/085. ILGWU. National War Labor Board case files
5780/145. ILGWU. Association Agreements. Out-of-Business Contracts
5780/146. ILGWU. Master Agreements. Out-of-Business Contracts
5780/147. ILGWU. Independents. Out-of-Business Contracts
5780/158. ILGWU. Out-of-Business Contracts
5780/191. ILGWU. Association Contracts
5780/202. ILGWU. Operations Department. Collective Bargaining Agreements

NOTES

"Permanent deposit"
COLLECTION ARRANGEMENT

Reels 1 through 12 are arranged in alphabetical order by employer; reel 13 and 14 contain only agreements with individual firms in Montreal, arranged in alphabetical order by employer.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Reel 1
Agreements. AandA - Bel
Reel 2
Agreements. Ben - Coh
Reel 3
Agreements. Coh - Ein
Reel 4
Agreements. Eis - Gol
Reel 5
Agreements. Gol - J.G.M.
Reel 6
Agreements. Jil - Lis
Reel 7
Agreements. Lit - Mia
Reel 8
Agreements. Mia - Per
Reel 9
Agreements. Per - Ros
Reel 10
Agreements. Ros - Sta
Reel 11
Agreements. Sta - Vog
Reel 12
Agreements. Vog - Zup
Reel 13
Montreal collective agreements. Individual firms.
(1397 images)
Reel 14
Montreal collective agreements. Individual firms.
(253 images)