International Ladies Garment Workers Union


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International Ladies Garment Workers Union

(ILGWU), former U.S. labor union, formed in 1900 by the amalgamation of seven local unions. At the turn of the century most of the workers in the garment industry were Jewish immigrants, whose attempts at organization were hampered by clashes between anarchists and socialists; this heritage of strife was carried over into the ILGWU, and in its early years many members were sympathetic to various radical movements. Despite these conflicts the union grew rapidly in its first years. However, the depression of 1903 and the open-shop campaign launched by the newly formed National Association of Manufacturers wiped out many hard-won gains.

By 1908 it appeared as if the union might be merged with the United Garment Workers, then the American Federation of Labor (AFL) union of men's tailors. At that point the union launched two spectacular and successful mass strikes (1909–11) in the garment district of New York City. As a result of the strikes, the dress manufacturers agreed to deal with the ILGWU and its affiliates. That settlement also embodied the famous Protocol of Peace, which was proposed by Louis D. BrandeisBrandeis, Louis Dembitz
, 1856–1941, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1916–39), b. Louisville, Ky., grad. Harvard law school, 1877. As a successful Boston lawyer (1879–1916), Brandeis distinguished himself by investigating insurance practices and by
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 and was based on the concept of perpetual economic peace in the union. Although that concept was in sharp contrast to the radical trade-union philosophy then prevailing among garment workers, it served as a model of cooperation between labor and management.

The Communists' drive for control of the union during the 1920s was defeated by moderates under the leadership of David DubinskyDubinsky, David
, 1892–1982, American labor leader, president (1932–66) of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), b. Brest-Litovsk, Poland. He was a baker in his father's shop in Lodz (then in Russian Poland), and after becoming active in the bakers'
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. Although the struggle seriously hurt the ILGWU, the union benefited from the labor policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and membership rose to 300,000 in 1942. In 1937 the ILGWU briefly joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO); it then temporarily became an independent union and finally rejoined the AFL in 1940. Under the presidency of Dubinsky, the ILGWU grew into one of the nation's most powerful and progressive unions, with a wide range of member benefits. The ILGWU gained the respect of the manufacturers by its willingness to assist employers in the industry with loans and technical assistance. Dubinsky retired in 1966. The following year a $1 million Dubinsky Foundation was established, with the goal of making grants to causes and institutions in line with ILGWU objectives.

From 1968 to the early 1990s the union lost more than 300,000 workers as a result of low cost imports and the transfer of factories overseas. In 1995 the 125,000-member ILGWU merged with the 175,000-member Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged in 2004 with HERE (the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union) to Unite Here. Five years later union officials largely representing the former UNITE voted to secede from the larger group and, as Workers United, affiliate with the Service Employees International UnionService Employees International Union
(SEIU), labor union representing U.S. and Canadian workers in health care (doctors, nurses, health technicians), public services (government workers, school employees), building services (janitors, elevator operators, security officers) and
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.

Bibliography

See L. L. Lorwin, The Women's Garment Workers (1924); B. Stolberg, Tailor's Progress (1944); M. D. Danish, The World of David Dubinsky (1957); G. Tyler, Look for the Union Label (1998).

References in periodicals archive ?
Conservative estimates provided by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union place their number at about 100.
Marty also served the ILGWU in several leadership capacities including: National Director of Associate Membership and Union Privilege Benefits and Assistant Director, Northeast, Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Department of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, which at the time was the largest department within the union serving almost 25,000 members.
That is also true of the Penn South garage on West 26th Street, where this reporter is aware of multiple leaks nearly since the International Ladies Garment Workers Union project was opened in 1963 with a dedication by then President John F.
Born in July 1995 when the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union joined forces, UNITE is swimming against some strong currents in the American economy.
One of the founders of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in 1936 was Angela Bambace, a seamstress who later became the union's first woman officer in 1956.
a New York City mortgage correspondent, has added to its Servicing Department the mortgage portfolio of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
The late Sol Hoffman served the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (now UNITE) in a variety of leadership positions, including Vice President in 1974.
LOCATION: International Ladies Garment Workers Union Hall
13-14 at the offices of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union on 4th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia.
To date, Yeakel has received the following endorsements: Council for a Livable World, EMILY's List, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers/Pennsylvania State Council of Machinists, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, International Union of Electronic Workers, League of Conservation Voters, National Association of Social Workers, National Organization for Women, National Women's Political Caucus, Office and Professional Employees International Union, Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Pennsylvania State Education Association, SANE/FREEZE PAC, Transit Workers Union Local 234, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, United Steelworkers of America, Women's Action for New Directions and the Women's Campaign Fund.
Hundreds of members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union -- in Miami for their convention -- will join members of the Communications Workers of America Local 3122 in a protest of AT&T's plans to replace 6,000 telephone operators with voice robotic technology.
Representatives of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) also participated.

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