ILGWU. Local 75 Records,1950-1953.

Collection Number: 5780/133

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Local 75 records, 1950-1953.
Collection Number:
5780/133
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 75
Quantity:
1 linear foot
Forms of Material:
Records
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Contains agreements between Local 75 and area companies, as well as correspondence with those companies and union members. Also included are two ILGWU Education Department publications, The Story of the ILGWU and And the Pursuit of Happiness.
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.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Local 75 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Cloak, Suit, and Dressmakers' Union, was based in Worcester, Massachusetts.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Contains agreements between Local 75 and area companies, as well as correspondence with those companies and union members. Also included are two ILGWU Education Department publications, The Story of the ILGWU and And the Pursuit of Happiness.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 75.

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:
Records.


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 75 records. 5780/133. 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
The Story of the ILGWU
1951
Box 1 Folder 2
And the Pursuit of Happiness
1947
Box 1 Folder 3
Local 75
1950-1952
Box 1 Folder 4
Active Sportswear
1950-1953
Box 1 Folder 5
A. E. Jewell Company
1950-1953
Box 1 Folder 6
Barry Sportswear
1950-1952
Box 1 Folder 7
Central Labor Union
1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 8
Enterprise Cloak
1950-1953
Box 1 Folder 9
Goldman Cloak Company
1950-1957
Box 1 Folder 10
Goldman Cloak Company: Members Requesting a Withdrawal Card
1951-1952
Box 1 Folder 11
Gordons' Apparel
1950-1953
Box 1 Folder 12
Leder Manufacturing Company
1950-1958
Box 1 Folder 13
McInnis Company
1951-1957
Box 1 Folder 14
Magnolia Sportswear
1951
Box 1 Folder 15
Newton Sports
1958
Box 1 Folder 16
Nancy Howard Sportswear
1950-1952
Box 1 Folder 17
New England Sales Company
1950-1958
Box 1 Folder 18
Worcester Knitting Company
1950-1952
Box 1 Folder 19
Worcester Knitting Company: Seniority List
1951
Box 1 Folder 20
Worcester Knitting Company: Warning Letters
1951-1959