International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 98.

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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.

Local 98 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), also known as the Rubberized Plastic Fabric Workers' Union, was based in New York, New York.

From the guide to the ILGWU. Local 98 records, 1938-1983., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith AFL-CIO. New York City Central Labor Council corporateBody
associatedWith Amalgamated Bank of New York corporateBody
associatedWith Amalgamated Ladies' Garment Cutters' Union corporateBody
associatedWith American Trade Union Council for Histadrut corporateBody
associatedWith American Veterans Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Central Labor Rehabilitation Council N.Y. corporateBody
associatedWith Chaikin, Sol C. person
associatedWith Daniels, Wilbur person
associatedWith Dubrow, Evelyn person
associatedWith Hispanic Labor Committee corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Educational Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Engineering Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. New York Cloak Joint Board corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Joint Board of Locals of the Needle Trades Workers Industrial Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Legal Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 10-22-60-89 corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 105 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 132 corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 155 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 1-S (Dept. Store Workers) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 20 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 23-25 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 32 (Winnipeg, Man.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 40 corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 600 corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 62 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 66 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 91 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 99 corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Political Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Research Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Union Label Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Jewish Labor Committee (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lieberman, Aronson & Rosenberg corporateBody
associatedWith Lipsig, James person
associatedWith Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company corporateBody
associatedWith National Trade Union Council for Human Rights corporateBody
associatedWith New York State AFL-CIO corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Board of Mediation corporateBody
associatedWith Pokodner, Hebert person
associatedWith Stulberg, Louis, 1901-1977 person
associatedWith Tyler, Gus person
associatedWith United States. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Plastics workers--Labor unions--United States
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

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