ILGWU Murray Gross Papers

Collection Number: 5780/199

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


ILGWU Murray Gross Papers, 1945-1982
Collection Number:
Gross, Murray;
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
0.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents).
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
This collection contains the papers of Murray Gross, including correspondence, newspaper clippings and other printed material.
Collection material in English


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.


Murray Gross entered the garment industry as a capmaker in 1925, and later worked as a tucker and a dress operator. A former student at the Brookwood Labor College, Gross was elected to the executive board of the Dress Joint Board in 1932. He was longtime manager of Local 6. In 1941, he helped found the Union for Democratic Action (later Americans for Democratic Action). After serving in the Army from 1943 to 1945, Gross served as assistant general manager of the Dress Joint Board. In 1961, he was appointed National Chairman of the American Veterans Committee, and in 1962, he was named Commission of Human Rights for the City of New York. Murray Gross passed away on July 12, 1981, in New York City.

Gross, Maurice
American Veterans Committee
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

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

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)


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 Murray Gross Papers #5780/199. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5780/199 P: ILGWU Murray Gross Photographs
5780/199 AV: ILGWU Murray Gross Audio-Visual Materials
5780/199 MB: ILGWU Murray Gross Memorabilia


Box 1 Folder 1 1956-1971
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3 1968-1972
Box 1 Folder 4 1955-1976
Committees on which Murray Gross served
Box 1 Folder 5 1965-1972
Box 1 Folder 6 1945-1953
Box 1 Folder 7 1958-1981
Box 1 Folder 8 1975
Box 1 Folder 9 1979
Box 1 Folder 10 1977
Box 1 Folder 11 1965
Box 1 Folder 12 1977
Box 1 Folder 13 1981
Box 1 Folder 14 1963-1980
Box 1 Folder 15 1980
Include "A decade of labor leadership, excitement, education and frustration," by Murray Gross
Box 1 Folder 16 1974
Box 1 Folder 17 1949-1954
Box 1 Folder 18 1979
Box 1 Folder 19 1951
Box 1 Folder 20 1956-1982