Sidney Hillman correspondence, 1911-1929, 1914-1929 (bulk).

ArchivalResource

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Sidney Hillman correspondence, 1911-1929, 1914-1929 (bulk).

Sidney Hillman correspondence, 1911-1929, 1914-1929 (bulk).

Correspondence primarily documenting Sidney Hillman's activities as the ACWA's first president during its formative years. There is a great deal of correspondence with local and regional organizers, reflecting the ACWA's aggressive organizing campaign, undertaken after the formation of the new union in 1914. Organizing efforts in Chicago, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, among other cities, are well-documented. Of particular interest is the Baltimore campaign, in which the union battled not only garment manufacturers, but also the Industrial Workers of the World and the United Garment Workers. Letters from August Bellanca, Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca, and Hyman Blumberg document the Baltimore campaign. Another subject well-represented in this collection is arbitration. Correspondence between Hillman and John E. Williams, the arbitrator at Hart, Schaffner and Marx, highlights the mechanics of the arbitration process that the ACWA introduced into its contracts. The arbitration experience served the union well in its dealings with the Wilson administration's War Labor Board which was charged with keeping labor peace during World War I. Correspondence between Hillman, the Labor Board, and the War Dept. describes the processes that brought labor peace to the garment industry during the war, and that concomitantly increased recognition for the ACWA. Additional topics covered include union organizing in the U.S. and Canada; anti-Semitism in the men's garment industry; ethnic relations within the ACWA in the U.S. and Canada; the ACWA's role in the production of uniforms for the military during World War I; strikes and other labor disputes in the men's garment industry; wartime labor policy in the U.S.; women in the union; and working conditions. Notable individuals represented in the collection include: Clarence Darrow; Felix Frankfurter; J.B.S. Hardman; Bessie Hillman; Louis Hollander; Horace M. Kallen; Fiorello LaGuardia; A. J. Muste; and Joseph Schaffner. Major organizations represented include: local unions and joint boards of the ACWA; the American Clothing Manufacturers Association of New York; Hart, Schaffner, and Marx; Hickey Freeman and Company; the Journeymen Tailors Union; Kuppenheimer and Company; the National Consumers League; the Plumb Plan League, and the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations.

3.5 linear ft.

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