ILGWU Mid-West Region Records

Collection Number: 5780/101

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU Mid-West Region Records, 1909-1996
Collection Number:
5780/101
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
Quantity:
3.8 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The collection contains charters, correspondence, agreements, printed material, and memorabilia of the office of the Midwest Region of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Two series of correspondence (one alphabetical, another chronological) and collective bargaining agreements constitute the bulk of the collection. Several Midwest Region local unions are represented in the records: 5, 18, 59, 76, 100, 191, 240, 261, 272, 303, 326, 336, 337, 355, 373, 395, 436, 442, 455, 488, 505, 527.
Language:
Collection material in English


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

From its earliest years, the ILGWU was involved in organizing women's garment workers in Chicago, and efforts to gain members in the city and throughout the Midwest continued throughout the union's existence. The Midwest Region represented workers in Chicago and much of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa.
Morris Bialis was the ILGWU's longtime representative in the Midwest, Manager of the Chicago Joint Board, and the Midwest Region Director from 1922 to 1976. Harold Schwartz served as regional director from 1976 to 1978. Schwartz was succeeded by Lou Montenegro, who held the post until his retirement in 1990. Stanley Gross was Midwest Region Director at the time of the ILGWU's merger with ACTWU in 1995.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The majority of the collection is composed of material that is of a political nature. The contents help to illustrate the role of politics within the ILGWU at the regional level. Much of the collection is organized by individuals, mainly Congressional candidates for House Districts and Senate seats within the locals of states from the Midwest Region, such as Michigan, Indiana, and particularly Illinois. The majority of the material includes campaign letters and correspondence from Congressional candidates as they reached out for support from labor within their districts. Often, the communication involves the political education directors, Evelyn Dubrow, executive secretary of the Political Department for the ILGWU, and Frank Klein of the Political Department for the ILGWU Midwest Region. Some of the subjects and topics contained in the records is material from the Governor campaign for Illinois; correspondence with Congressmen who opposed NAFTA; ILGWU funded campaigns; clippings from races in key legislative districts; mayors; fundraiser dinners and events; campaign contributions from the union; and correspondence regarding election results or legislation passed. Beyond regional and local political matters, information can also be found on a national level, including presidential campaigns.
Another component of the collection encompasses memos and letters that originated from the office of the Midwest Region Director, Stanley Gross. The remainder of the collection consists of collective bargaining agreements between locals and various garment shops and apparel companies, often for different years. Locals from the Midwest included in agreements are: 76, 261, 272, 120, 337, 382, 449, 455, 471, 499, 517, 336-K, 343, 488, 314, 186, 468, 543, 459, 529, 551, 443, and 317. Additionally, there are local handbooks and by-laws, as well as informational pamphlets.
The collection also contains oversize material of original charters for the following locals:
81 Cloak and Suit Cutters Union of Chicago, 1911
18 Chicago Cloak and Suit Pressers Union, 1914
59 Cloak, Suit and Dress Finishers' Union (Chicago), 1920
261 Blouse, Skirt, Pajamas and Bathrobe Workers' Union (Chicago), 1936
436 De Kalb IL 1946
240 Aurora IL, 1936
76 White Goods Workers of Chicago, 1933
Chicago Joint Board consisting of locals 5, 18, 59, 81, 100 on 1961
5 Cloakmakers Union of Chicago, 1909
Midwest District Council composed of locals 76, 261, 191, 240, 303, 336, 372, 436, 529, 272, 505, 5, 81, 100, 326, 337, 355, 395, 442, 455, 488 on 1980
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. -- Midwest Region.

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

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)


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 Mid-West Region Records #5780/101. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/101 AV: ILGWU Mid-West Region Audio-Visual Materials

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1986
Box 1 Folder 2 1994
Box 1 Folder 3 1993
Box 1 Folder 4 1992
Box 1 Folder 5 1993
Box 1 Folder 6 1995
Box 1 Folder 7 1992
Box 1 Folder 8 1981
Box 1 Folder 9 1995
Box 1 Folder 10 1993
Box 1 Folder 11 1995
Box 1 Folder 12 1986
Box 1 Folder 13 1989
Box 1 Folder 14 1987
Box 1 Folder 15 1995
Box 1 Folder 16 1992
Box 1 Folder 17 1994
Box 1 Folder 18 1980
Box 1 Folder 19 1992
Box 1 Folder 20 1980
Box 1 Folder 21 1994
Box 1 Folder 22 1989
Box 1 Folder 23 1996
Box 1 Folder 24 1989
Box 1 Folder 25 1996
Box 1 Folder 26 1989
Box 1 Folder 27 1987
Box 1 Folder 28 1982
June 7, 1982
Box 1 Folder 29 1995
Box 1 Folder 30 1994
Box 1 Folder 31 1985
Box 1 Folder 32 1990-1992
Box 1 Folder 33 1988
Box 1 Folder 34 1992-1993
Box 1 Folder 35 1981
Box 1 Folder 36 1992-1993
Box 1 Folder 37 1982-1992
Box 1 Folder 38 1992-1995
Box 1 Folder 39 1995
Box 1 Folder 40 1995
Box 1 Folder 41 1986-1996
Box 1 Folder 42 1992
Box 1 Folder 43 1996
August 8, 1996
Box 1 Folder 44 1986
October 1, 1986
Box 1 Folder 45 1983
Box 1 Folder 46 1992-1995
Box 1 Folder 47 1992-1994
Box 1 Folder 48 1994
July 21, 1994
Box 1 Folder 49 1982
July 12, 1982
Box 1 Folder 50 1994
Box 1 Folder 51 1984-1992
Box 1 Folder 52 1988-1995
Box 1 Folder 53 1989
Box 1 Folder 54 1996
August 8, 1996
Box 1 Folder 55 1992
Box 1 Folder 56 1992
April 27, 1992
Box 1 Folder 57 1988-1989
Box 1 Folder 58 1982
Box 2 Folder 1 1993-1995
Box 2 Folder 2 1992-1996
Box 2 Folder 3 1986
Box 2 Folder 4 1986
June 18, 1986
Box 2 Folder 5 1980
Box 2 Folder 6 1996
August 8, 1996
Box 2 Folder 7 1994-1996
Box 2 Folder 8 1994
January 27, 1994
Box 2 Folder 9 1982
May 7, 1982
Box 2 Folder 10 1987
October 28, 1987
Box 2 Folder 11 1980
September 16, 1980
Box 2 Folder 12 1991
April 16, 1991
Box 2 Folder 13 1992
September 9, 1992
Box 2 Folder 14 1980-1992
Box 2 Folder 15 1983-1984
Box 2 Folder 16 1982-1995
Box 2 Folder 17 1993
Box 2 Folder 18 1996
August 13, 1996
Box 2 Folder 19 1982-1996
Box 2 Folder 20 1992-1994
Box 2 Folder 21 1987
Spanish
Box 2 Folder 22 1992
October 19, 1992
Box 2 Folder 23 1982-1988
Box 2 Folder 24 1990
Box 2 Folder 25 1996
August 8, 1996
Box 2 Folder 26 1982
November 9, 1982
Box 2 Folder 27 1982-1983
Box 2 Folder 28 1982
Box 2 Folder 29 1977-1978
Box 2 Folder 30 1983-1984
Box 2 Folder 31 1984
Box 2 Folder 32 1984
Box 2 Folder 33 1993-1996
Box 2 Folder 34 1986
Box 2 Folder 35 1994
October 5, 1994
Box 2 Folder 36 1987-1994
Box 2 Folder 37 1995
Box 2 Folder 38 1993-1994
Box 2 Folder 39 1990
Box 2 Folder 40 1978-1984
Box 2 Folder 41 1982
Box 2 Folder 42 1992
Box 2 Folder 43 1993
Box 2 Folder 44 1980
Box 2 Folder 45 1984
June 26, 1984
Box 2 Folder 46 1993-1994
Box 2 Folder 47 1980-1983
Box 2 Folder 48 1987
Box 2 Folder 49 1984-1992
Box 2 Folder 50 1992-1993
Box 2 Folder 51 1984-1996
Box 2 Folder 52 1992-1994
Box 2 Folder 53 1993
Box 2 Folder 54 1980
Box 2 Folder 55 1982-1984
Box 2 Folder 56 1980
Box 2 Folder 57 1983-1988
Box 2 Folder 58 1986-1989
Box 2 Folder 59 1981-1982
Box 2 Folder 60 1980-1993
Box 2 Folder 61 1992-1993
Box 2 Folder 62 1992
March 2, 1992
Box 2 Folder 63 1992
Box 2 Folder 64 1981
May 15, 1981
Box 2 Folder 65 1992
October 14, 1992
Box 2 Folder 66 1982-1989
Box 2 Folder 67 1986-1995
Box 2 Folder 68 1995
January 20, 1995
Box 2 Folder 69 1980
Box 2 Folder 70 1994
January 4, 1994
Box 2 Folder 71 1996
Box 2 Folder 72 1983-1993
Box 2 Folder 73 1980-1981
Box 2 Folder 74 1983
May 12, 1983
Box 2 Folder 75 1988
Box 2 Folder 76 1990
January 22, 1990
Box 2 Folder 77 1983-1996
Box 2 Folder 78 1983-1984
Box 2 Folder 79 1987-1988
Box 2 Folder 80 1982-1984
Box 2 Folder 81 1986
Box 2 Folder 82 1996
Box 2 Folder 83 1989-1994
Box 2 Folder 84 1982-1987
Box 3 Folder 1 1993
Box 3 Folder 2 1993
Box 3 Folder 3 1993
Box 3 Folder 4 1993
Box 3 Folder 5 1993
Box 3 Folder 6 1993
Box 3 Folder 7 1993
Box 3 Folder 8 1993
Box 3 Folder 9 1993
Box 3 Folder 10 1993
Box 3 Folder 11 1993
Box 3 Folder 12 1993
Box 3 Folder 13 1994
Box 3 Folder 14 1994
Box 3 Folder 15 1994
Box 3 Folder 16 1994
Box 3 Folder 17 1994
Box 3 Folder 18 1994
Box 3 Folder 19 1994
Box 3 Folder 20 1994
Box 3 Folder 21 1982-1990
Box 3 Folder 22 1980
Box 3 Folder 23 1983
April 6, 1983
Box 3 Folder 24 1992
August 28, 1992
Box 3 Folder 25 1979-1980
Box 3 Folder 26 1984-1987
Box 3 Folder 27 1982
Box 3 Folder 28 1989
Box 3 Folder 29 1993-1996
Box 3 Folder 30 1985
Box 3 Folder 31 1984-1989
Box 3 Folder 32 1986
Box 3 Folder 33 1978-1988
Box 3 Folder 34 1992
October 30, 1992
Box 3 Folder 35 1992
Box 3 Folder 36 1993-1994
Box 3 Folder 37 1982
Box 3 Folder 38 1988-1989
Box 3 Folder 39 1983-1992
Box 3 Folder 40 1983-1987
Box 3 Folder 41 1982
Box 3 Folder 42 1978-1982
Box 3 Folder 43 1982-1986
Box 3 Folder 44 1978-1982
Box 3 Folder 45 1981-1982
Box 3 Folder 46 1977
Box 3 Folder 47 1972
Box 3 Folder 48 1970
Box 3 Folder 49 1973
Box 3 Folder 50 1985
Box 3 Folder 51 1976-1979
Box 3 Folder 52 1976-1979
Box 3 Folder 53
Box 3 Folder 54 1967-1970
Box 3 Folder 55 1976-1979
Box 3 Folder 56 1976-1979
Box 3 Folder 57 1978
Box 3 Folder 58 1970
Box 3 Folder 59 1979
Box 4 Folder 1
Box 4 Folder 2
Box 4 Folder 3 1979-1982
Box 4 Folder 4
Box 4 Folder 5 1976
Box 4 Folder 6 1958
Box 4 Folder 7 1964
Box 4 Folder 8 1960
Box 4 Folder 9 1970
Box 4 Folder 10 1965
Box 4 Folder 11 1979
Box 4 Folder 12 1981-1983
Box 4 Folder 13 1987
Box 4 Folder 14
Spanish
Box 4 Folder 15
Spanish
Box 4 Folder 16 1994
Box 4 Folder 17 1984-1995
Box 4 Folder 18 1937-1970
Box 4 Folder 19 1995-1996
Box 4 Folder 20 1995
Box 5 Folder 1 1911-1946
Box 5 Folder 2 1936
Box 5 Folder 3 1933
Box 5 Folder 4 1961
January 13, 1961
Box 5 Folder 5 1909
December 20, 1909
Box 5 Folder 6 1980
March 3, 1980