ILGWU American Labor Party News Article Scrapbook on Microfilm, 1937-1941

Collection Number: 5780/160 mf

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU American Labor Party News Article Scrapbook on Microfilm, 1937-1941
Collection Number:
5780/160 mf
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Quantity:
1 microfilm reel
Forms of Material:
Microfilm
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Language:
Collection material in English and Italian.


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

"Permanent deposit"
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
American Labor Party
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union

Subjects:
Labor unions--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Scrapbooks.
Microfilm.


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.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
ILGWU American Labor Party News Article Scrapbook on Microfilm, 5780/160 mf. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.

NOTES

"Permanent deposit."

RELATED MATERIAL

5780/127. ILGWU. America's Next Great Designer Award. Scrapbooks
5780/128. ILGWU. Women's Wear Daily. Scrapbooks
5780/170. ILGWU. People v. Benedict Macri. Legal transcripts and scrapbook

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Reel 1
American Labor Party Newspaper Scrapbook
1937-1941
Mostly Italian with some English. April 1937 - October 1941