International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office

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Jay Mazur was born in New York City on May 21, 1932. A graduate of the ILGWU Training Institute, Mazur began working for the ILGWU at the age of 18, beginning with organizing and educational work with Local 22 in New York City. He was Director of Organization and Education for Local 40, then Director of Organization for Local 23, before becoming Assistant Manager of the newly merged Locals 23 and 25 in 1964. From 1977 to 1983, Mazur was Manager of Local 23-25, the Blouse, Skirt and Sportswear Workers' Union. Elected General Secretary-Treasurer of the ILGWU in 1983, Mazur served in that capacity until he succeeded Sol C. Chaikin as President of the ILGWU in 1986. He served as President of the ILGWU until 1995, when it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers of America to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). From 1995 until his retirement in 2001, Mazur was president of UNITE. In addition to his work for the ILGWU and UNITE, Mazur served on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.

From the description of ILGWU. Jay Mazur papers, 1951-1995, bulk 1983-1995. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 489625650

Jay Mazur was born in New York City on May 21, 1932. Mazur began working for the ILGWU at the age of 18, beginning with organizing and educational work with Local 22 in New York City. He was Director of Organization and Education for Local 40, then Director of Organization for Local 23, before becoming Assistant Manager of the newly merged Locals 23 and 25 in 1964. From 1973 to 1983, Mazur was Manager of Local 23-25, the Blouse, Skirt and Sportswear Workers' Union. Elected General Secretary-Treasurer of the ILGWU in 1983, Mazur served in that capacity until he succeeded Sol C. Chaikin as President of the ILGWU in 1986. He served as President of the ILGWU until 1995, when it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers of America to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). From 1995 until his retirement in 2001, Mazur was president of UNITE. In addition to his work for the ILGWU and UNITE, Mazur served on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.

From the description of ILGWU. President's Office records, 1981-1985. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64058960

Louis Stulberg, union organizer and official, International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Louis Stulberg was born in Poland in 1901 and emigrated with his parents to Canada in 1904. After graduating from the Harborn Collegiate Institute in Toronto in 1918, he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a cutter and joined ILGWU Local 81. Stulberg moved around the country, working as a cutter and union organizer in Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, and New York City. It was in New York that he finally settled, working as an official and organizer in ILGWU Local 10. Later he held a number of executive positions in the ILGWU, including the vice-presidency, a seat on the General Executive Board, the executive vice-presidency, and the office of General Secretary-Treasurer. He was elected president of the union in 1966, succeeding David Dubinsky, and served until his retirement in 1975. He died in 1977.

Stulberg's term was an inward-looking time, after the long tenure of David Dubinsky. A demographic shift in ILGWU membership, from largely Jewish and Italian workers to more Hispanic and African-American workers, had begun under Dubinsky, but accelerated rapidly during Stulberg's term. During this period, the ILGWU focused more heavily on organizing, and membership reached an all-time high in 1968. But by 1970, it had begun to fall dramatically, as more clothing manufacturers moved their operations abroad. The union also shed many of its political connections under Stulberg's leadership. In 1968 he led the union out of the Liberal Party, which it had helped to found, and severed its ties to the Americans for Democratic Action.

From the description of ILGWU. Louis Stulberg correspondence, 1945-1977. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64755350

Files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' (ILGWU) President Morris Sigman during his tenure in that office, from February 1923 to October 1928.

Sigman was a Russian-born garment worker who emigrated to the U.S. in 1903. He worked in the New York garment industry and quickly became involved in union activities. He organized the Independent Cloak Pressers' Union and allied it with the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance. Sigman was also one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Morris Sigman held leadership roles in a number of garment workers' unions, including the Joint Board of Cloakmakers and ILGWU Local 35 (New York Cloak Pressers Union). He was elected Secretary-Treasurer and first Vice-President of the ILGWU before assuming the Presidency in 1923. He resigned from office in 1928. His health deteriorating, he retired to a farm in Storm Lake, Iowa, where he died on July 19, 1931.

Sigman's tenure as president of the ILGWU was a tempestuous one in which the union faced a long and bitter internal struggle with Communist members for control of the organization. A lengthy strike of the New York cloakmakers in 1926 proved to be another costly battle for the union during this period. But Sigman's term was also marked by some significant accomplishments, including a reform effort that made possible substantial union contributions to the restructuring of the garment industry.

From the description of ILGWU. Morris Sigman correspondence, 1923-1928. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64755351

Files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) president Benjamin Schlesinger during his second term as president, from June 1914 to January 1923.

Schelsinger was a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who began working in the garment industry in Chicago as a teenager. He became a union organizer soon after and rose quickly in the ranks of the Chicago Cloakmakers' Union. He served as president of the ILGWU for a brief time in 1903. Later, he was business manager of the Jewish Daily Forward in Chicago, and was elected to two more (non-concurrent) terms as ILGWU president.

From the description of ILGWU. Benjamin Schlesinger papers, 1914-1923. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64755363

Files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) president Benjamin Schlesinger during his final term as president, from October 1928 to June 1932.

Schelsinger was a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who began working in the garment industry in Chicago as a teenager. He became a union organizer soon after and rose quickly in the ranks of the Chicago Cloakmakers' Union. He served as president of the ILGWU for a brief time in 1903, and again from 1914 to 1923. Later, he was business manager of the Jewish Daily Forward in Chicago. He died in office on June 6, 1932.

From the description of Benjamin Schlesinger presidential records, 1928-1932. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64092176

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.

Jay Mazur was born in New York City on May 21, 1932. Mazur began working for the ILGWU at the age of 18, beginning with organizing and educational work with Local 22 in New York City. He was Director of Organization and Education for Local 40, then Director of Organization for Local 23, before becoming Assistant Manager of the newly merged Locals 23 and 25 in 1964. From 1973 to 1983, Mazur was Manager of Local 23-25, the Blouse, Skirt and Sportswear Workers' Union. Elected General Secretary-Treasurer of the ILGWU in 1983, Mazur served in that capacity until he succeeded Sol C. Chaikin as President of the ILGWU in 1986. He served as President of the ILGWU until 1995, when it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers of America to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). From 1995 until his retirement in 2001, Mazur was president of UNITE. In addition to his work for the ILGWU and UNITE, Mazur served on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.

From the guide to the ILGWU. President's Office records, 1981-1985., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) president Benjamin Schlesinger during his final term as president, from October 1928 to June 1932.

Schlesinger was a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who began working in the garment industry in Chicago as a teenager. He became a union organizer soon after and rose quickly in the ranks of the Chicago Cloakmakers' Union. He served as president of the ILGWU for a brief time in 1903, and again from 1914 to 1923. Later, he was business manager of the Jewish Daily Forward in Chicago. He died in office on June 6, 1932.

From the guide to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Benjamin Schlesinger, President. Records, 1928-1932., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Sigman was a Russian-born garment worker who emigrated to the U.S. in 1903. He worked in the New York garment industry and quickly became involved in union activities. He organized the Independent Cloak Pressers' Union and allied it with the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance. Sigman was also one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Morris Sigman held leadership roles in a number of garment workers' unions, including the Joint Board of Cloakmakers and ILGWU Local 35 (New York Cloak Pressers Union). He was elected Secretary-Treasurer and first Vice-President of the ILGWU before assuming the Presidency in 1923. He resigned from office in 1928. His health deteriorating, he retired to a farm in Storm Lake, Iowa, where he died on July 19, 1931.

Sigman's tenure as president of the ILGWU was a tempestuous one in which the union faced a long and bitter internal struggle with Communist members for control of the organization. A lengthy strike of the New York cloakmakers in 1926 proved to be another costly battle for the union during this period. But Sigman's term was also marked by some significant accomplishments, including a reform effort that made possible substantial union contributions to the restructuring of the garment industry.

From the guide to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Morris Sigman, President. Records, 1923-1928., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

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.

Jay Mazur was born in New York City on May 21, 1932. A graduate of the ILGWU Training Institute, Mazur began working for the ILGWU at the age of 18, beginning with organizing and educational work with Local 22 in New York City. He was Director of Organization and Education for Local 40, then Director of Organization for Local 23, before becoming Assistant Manager of the newly merged Locals 23 and 25 in 1964. From 1977 to 1983, Mazur was Manager of Local 23-25, the Blouse, Skirt and Sportswear Workers' Union. Elected General Secretary-Treasurer of the ILGWU in 1983, Mazur served in that capacity until he succeeded Sol C. Chaikin as President of the ILGWU in 1986. He served as President of the ILGWU until 1995, when it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers of America to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). From 1995 until his retirement in 2001, Mazur was president of UNITE. In addition to his work for the ILGWU and UNITE, Mazur served on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.

From the guide to the ILGWU. Jay Mazur papers, 1951-1995, bulk 1983-1995., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Louis Stulberg was born in Poland in 1901 and emigrated with his parents to Canada in 1904. After graduating from the Harborn Collegiate Institute in Toronto in 1918, he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a cutter and joined ILGWU Local 81. Stulberg moved around the country, working as a cutter and union organizer in Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, and New York City. It was in New York that he finally settled, working as an official and organizer in ILGWU Local 10. Later he held a number of executive positions in the ILGWU, including the vice-presidency, a seat on the General Executive Board, the executive vice-presidency, and the office of General Secretary-Treasurer. He was elected president of the union in 1966, succeeding David Dubinsky, and served until his retirement in 1975. He died in 1977.

Stulberg's term was an inward-looking time, after the long tenure of David Dubinsky. A demographic shift in ILGWU membership, from largely Jewish and Italian workers to more Hispanic and African-American workers, had begun under Dubinsky, but accelerated rapidly during Stulberg's term. During this period, the ILGWU focused more heavily on organizing, and membership reached an all-time high in 1968. But by 1970, it had begun to fall dramatically, as more clothing manufacturers moved their operations abroad. The union also shed many of its political connections under Stulberg's leadership. In 1968 he led the union out of the Liberal Party, which it had helped to found, and severed its ties to the Americans for Democratic Action.

From the guide to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Louis Stulberg, President. Correspondence, 1945-1977 [bulk 1966-1975]., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf ILGWU. Jay Mazur papers, 1951-1995, bulk 1983-1995. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Benjamin Schlesinger papers, 1914-1923. Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Louis Stulberg correspondence, 1945-1977. Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. President's Office records, 1981-1985. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982. ILGWU. David Dubinsky correspondence, 1932-1966. Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. Benjamin Schlesinger presidential records, 1928-1932. Cornell University Library
creatorOf ILGWU. President's Office records, 1981-1985. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Jay Mazur papers, 1951-1995, bulk 1983-1995. Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Benjamin Schlesinger, President. Records, 1928-1932. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Morris Sigman correspondence, 1923-1928. Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Louis Stulberg, President. Correspondence, 1945-1977 [bulk 1966-1975]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
creatorOf International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Morris Sigman, President. Records, 1923-1928. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
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associatedWith Crain, Thomas C. T. (Thomas Crowell Taylor), 1860-1942 person
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associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 52 (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
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associatedWith United Garment Workers Union of America. corporateBody
associatedWith United Ladies' Tailors Trade Union. corporateBody
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associatedWith Untermyer, Samuel, 1858-1940. person
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associatedWith Vladeck, Baruch Charney, 1886-1935. person
associatedWith Vladeck, B. (Baruch Charney), 1886-1935 person
associatedWith Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940. person
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associatedWith Zwiazek Zawodowy Robotników Przemyslu Odziezowego w Polsce. corporateBody
associatedWith Związek Zawodowy Robotników Przemysłu Odzieżowego w Polsce. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
Canada
New York--New York
United States
Puerto Rico
New York (State)
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
Subject
Textile industry--New York (State)
Labor unions--Clothing workers--New York--New York
Textile workers--Labor unions
Clothing workers--Puerto Rico
Labor unions--Clothing workers
Labor disputes
Collective bargaining--Clothing industry
Labor radio stations
Wages--Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York
Postemployment benefits
Employee rights--United States
Trade-unions--Clothing workers
Socialism--United States
Industrial relations
Socialism
Strikes and lockouts--Clothing trade--United States
Clothing trade--New York (State)--New York
Textile industry
Strikes and lockouts--Clothing trade--New York--New York
Clothing workers--Labor unions--Organizing--United States
Clothing trade--United States
Clothing workers--Labor unions--Canada
Collective bargaining--Clothing industry--Puerto Rico
Clothing trade--New York--New York
Trade-unions--Clothing workers--United States
Wages--Clothing workers
Labor unions--Clothing workers--United States
Clothing workers--Labor unions--New York (State)--New York
Labor radio stations--New York (State)--New York
Insurance, Unemployment--United States
Unemployment insurance
Clothing workers
Communism--United States
Clothing trade--Labor unions--New York (State)
Clothing trade--Labor unions
Industrial relations--United States
Clothing workers--United States
Women's clothing industry--Puerto Rico
Clothing workers--New York--New York
Women's clothing industry--Canada
Clothing trade--Canada
Labor union locals
Minority labor union members--United States
Strikes and lockouts--Clothing trade
Communism
Trade-unions--Clothing workers--Organizing--United States
Labor unions--Minority membership
Industrial relations--New York--New York
Working class--Education
Clothing workers--Labor unions--United States
Working class--Education--New York--New York
Postemployment benefits--United States
Labor unions--Afro--American membership
Clothing workers--Labor unions
Collective bargaining--Clothing industry--United States
Civil rights
Clothing workers--Canada
Textile workers--Labor unions--New York (State)
Afro--American labor union members
Collective bargaining--Clothing industry--Canada
Industrial relations--New York (State)--New York
Clothing trade--Puerto Rico
Labor unions and communism
Clothing workers--Labor unions--Puerto Rico
Wages--Clothing workers--United States
Women's clothing industry--New York--New York
Clothing workers--Labor unions--New York (State)
Women's clothing industry--United States
Clothing trade
Labor unions--Local unions
Trade-unions--Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York
Women's clothing industry
Collective bargaining--Clothing industry--New York (State)--New York
Women's clothing industry--New York (State)--New York
Civil rights--United States
Strikes and lockouts--Clothing trade--New York (State)--New York
Labor unions--Clothing workers--Organizing
World War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief
Employee rights
Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York
Labor unions and communism--United States
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1945

Active 1977

English,

Yiddish

Information

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