ILGWU Governor Smith's Hearings and Arbitration with Various Associations Records

Collection Number: 5780/165

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU Governor Smith's Hearings and Arbitration with Various Associations Records, 1924
Collection Number:
5780/165
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
Quantity:
0.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The collection consists of the records regarding the hearings of the Special Commission of Arbitration on July 15, 1924.
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

Beginning in March 1924, the ILGWU and the Joint Board of Cloak and Dressmakers' Union began negotiations with the Merchants' Ladies' Garment Association (jobbers), the Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers' Protective Association (manufacturers), and the American Cloak and Suit Manufacturers' Association (sub-manufacturers). When no agreement could be reached by June 1924, New York Governor Alfred E. Smith appointed a Special Advisory Commission consisting of George Gordon Battle (Chairman), Herbert Lehman, Arthur Wolf, Lindsay Rogers, and Bernard Schientag (State Industrial Commissioner). Representing the union and associations were Morris Hillquit (ILGWU), Samuel Blumberg (Merchants' Ladies' Garment Association) and William Klein (Cloak and Suit Manufacturers' Protective Association). Public hearings took place between June 17 and June 25, and on June 27, recommendations were submitted. Accepted by the union, sub-manufacturers, and manufacturers, the jobbers refused until July 7, 1924 when the Merchants' Association agreed to the terms of the Governors' Commission.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The collection contains the typed transcripts from the hearings of the Special Commission appointed by Governor Smith to investigate and arbitrate the existing differences between the ILGWU and the associations of manufacturers and jobbers. Taking place at the office of the State Labor Department in New York City, the records contain hearings that date between July 15, 1924 and October 27, 1924. In the form of questions and answers between the Special Commission and the representatives of the ILGWU and manufacturers' associations, discussion focuses on the role of designers within manufacturing, conditions in the industry, the responsibility of jobbers and sub-manufacturers, and salary and wages.
For more information on the Governor's Advisory Commission, also see 5780/161 Governor's Advisory Commission on the Cloak, Suit, and Skirt Industry in New York records 1924-1959. This collection contains the first hearing of the Special Commission on June 17, 1924 to study the situation in the Cloak and Suit Industry and be able to offer recommendations to avert any impending strike. The hearings are in bound volumes and include June 17-19, 1924; June 20-23, 1924; June 24-July 11, 1924; July 15-August 1, 1924; August 12-October 2, 1924; and January 2-April 15, 1925.
The Hearings continue into 1925, and additionally, there is the final Report of the Investigation from March 10, 1925. There are also additional reports that were created as the result of the investigation including "Wages and Wage Scales, 1925," Final Recommendations from May 1926, the Meeting of the Special Mediation Commission in the New York Cloak and Suit Industry from March 6, 1926 (same individuals involved).
Much of the same information can also be found in collection 6036/009 Governor's Advisory Commission. Cloak, Suit and Skirt Industry.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Smith, Alfred Emanuel, 1873-1944.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Subjects:
Women's clothing industry -- New York (State) -- New York.
Women's clothing industry -- United States.
Clothing workers -- Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Clothing workers -- Labor unions -- United States.
Clothing workers -- New York (State) -- New York.
Clothing workers -- United States.
Arbitration, Industrial -- New York (State) -- New York.
Arbitration, Industrial -- United States.
Industrial relations -- New York (State) -- New York.
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 Governor Smith''s Hearings and Arbitration with Various Associations Records #5780/165. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/161: ILGWU New York Cloak Joint Board's Advisory Commission on the Cloak, Suit, and Skirt Industry in New York Records
6036/009: Governor's Advisory Commission on the Cloak, Suit and Skirt Industry

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1924
July 15, 1924. ILGWU and Various Manufacturers. pp. 704-851
Box 1 Folder 2 1924
July 15, 1924. ILGWU and Various Manufacturers. pp. 852-1006
Box 1 Folder 3 1924
July 15, 1924. ILGWU and Various Manufacturers. pp. 1007-1126
Box 1 Folder 4 1924
July 15, 1924. ILGWU and Various Manufacturers. pp. 1127-1238
Box 1 Folder 5 1924
July 15, 1924. ILGWU and Various Manufacturers. pp. 1244-1238