Scope and Content
Title: International Ladies Garment Workers Union San Francisco Joint Board Records,
Date (inclusive): 1931-1947
Accession number: 1987/102
International Ladies Garment Workers Union
Extent: 1.5 cubic feet
San Francisco State University. Labor Archives & Research Center
San Francisco, California 94132
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Center's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing
to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Labor Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], International Ladies Garment Workers Union San Francisco Joint Board Records, 1987/102, Labor Archives
& Research Center,
San Francisco State University.
Noteworthy Individuals Connected with this Collection
David Dubinsky, President and General Secretary, ILGWU
Israel Feinberg, International VP, Pacific Coast Bureau, ILGWU
Jennie Matyas, International field organizer
J. B. McNamara, Trade Union "martyr"
Joint Council of Knit Goods Workers-Local 191
Cutters Union. Cloakmakers Local
Pacific Coast Labor Bureau
Litigation in the ILGWU
Sex Discrimination in the Garment Industry
Wages in the Garment Industry
These records are from the San Francisco ILGWU collection transferred to the Labor Archives under the direction of Frank Monti.
This is box 17 of a larger record group on deposit at Cornell University's, Martin P. Catherwood Library. The collection was
processed by JoAnne Firestone in 1987.
The ILGWU was founded in 1900 under the affiliation of the American Federation of Labor. A San Francisco local was formed
soon thereafter. Of the ten firms which in 1903 were using the label of the International, five were located in San Francisco.
The material in this collection dates back to 1931. At that time the president of the International was David Dubinsky and
the vice president in charge of the Pacific Coast Bureau with offices in Los Angeles was Israel Feinberg.
In 1934 the dressmakers Local 8 joined with the knitgoods workers Local 191 to form Local 101. A Joint Board was set up to
administer the new local composed of representatives from the Executive Boards of the two merging unions. It was headed by
Sam White from the knitgoods workers. White, a member of the Young Socialist League, was soon removed from his position during
a wave of anti-communist sentiment. Israel Feinberg then appointed Henry Zacharin to replace him. Jennie Matyas, organizer
for the international, and according to her own accounts, the token woman representative, was another important figure in
the union's activities. In 1937, the Cutters Union Local 213 merged with Local 101 thereby falling under the Joint Board's
Scope and Content
This small collection contains correspondence, minutes, wage information and financial records of the union during the thirties
and forties. Because of the abbreviated nature of the collection much of what is present in these categories is incomplete.
The bulk of the collection focuses on correspondence between union officials. Included with the correspondence are arbitration
reports and investigations of suspected employer violations and union official fraud. One noteworthy item is a letter to the
Joint Board written by J. B. McNamara and mailed from Folsom Prison where he was serving a sentence for charges stemming from
the bombing of the Los Angeles Times Building. The letter conveys McNamara's position on the class struggle and the need for
Minutes constitute the second largest series in the collection. Joint Board and Executive Board minutes predominate with some
papers from the three smaller locals (8, 191 and 213) which later merged to form the ILGWU local 101, the predominant chapter
during the years of this collection.
A third series consists of wage and financial information. Lists of job titles and wage rates and a number of wage adjustment
petitions of individual employees are included. Only a small sampling of financial material exists.
A final series groups together union bulletins published by the joint board.
International Ladies Garment Workers Union Pamphlets. Berkeley, Calif.: n.p., nd. Vol. I and II.
The Women's Garment Workers. New York: B.W. Huebsch, Inc., 1924.
Labor Archives and Research Center, SFSU. Print/Ephemera file.
Title: Oral history interview with Jennie Matyas, 1955.
Labor Union Collection, Business and Social Sciences Library, UC Berkeley.