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Finding aid to Sue Ko Lee Scrapbook on Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
larc.srp.0011  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Availability
  • Restrictions
  • General
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Biographical
  • Historical
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: Sue Ko Lee scrapbook on Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1938
    Creator: Lee, Sue Ko
    Extent: 1 album (44 pages); 26 x 32.5 cm.
    Collection number: larc.srp.0011
    Accession number: 1995/065
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Abstract: Scrapbook belonging to Sue Ko Lee, a button hole machine operator at the National Dollar Store garment factory in San Francisco's Chinatown, and member of the Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (CLGWU), Local 341.
    Physical Location: Collection available on site.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English, Chinese
    Material Specific Details: Scrapbook is unbound; some material has come loose from pages.

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and 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 and 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. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    General

    Though scrapbook contents are from 1937-1938, the cover is entitled: ILGWU Golden Jubilee Convention, Atlantic City 1950

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Sue Ko Lee scrapbook on Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, larc.srp.0011, Labor Archives Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Acquisition

    Donated by Sue Ko Lee in 1995, accession number 1995/065.

    Biographical

    Sue Ko Lee was a member of the Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. After working at the National Dollar Store/Golden Gate Manufacturing, Sue Ko Lee became a business agent at another garment factory, then secretary of the union local and the San Francisco Joint Board, as well as a delegate to the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union national convention.

    Historical

    In the 1930s, the garment industry was the largest employer in San Francisco's Chinatown and employees worked in sweatshop conditions, earning low wages. In response to these conditions, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) organized a campaign to keep work from flowing out of union shops to Chinese manufacturers and established the Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Local 361 in 1937. Under the leadership of ILGWU organizer Jennie Matyas, a successful union election was won at the National Dollar Store factory for better wages in 1938. The owner, a prominent Chinatown businessman, quickly sold the facility to Golden Gate Manufacturing, a supposedly new company, headed by the factory manager and another former National Dollar Store employee. This supposed change of ownership allowed management to disregard the hard won contract. Seeing this move as an attempt to break the union, the workers went on strike, picketing the factory and its three retail stores in San Francisco for 15 weeks before the owner finally negotiated with the workers to settle a contract.

    Scope and Contents

    Scrapbook belonging to Sue Ko Lee, a button hole machine operator at the National Dollar Store garment factory in San Francisco's Chinatown, and member of the Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (CLGWU), Local 341. Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, bulletins and photographs pertaining to the CLGWU, mostly concerning the strike at the National Dollar Store/Golden Gate Manufacturing in 1938. Contains a few images of Sue Ko Lee, and International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) organizer Jennie Matyas. Includes bi-lingual invitation to CLGWU dinner party celebrating the opening of its Chinatown headquarters.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
    National Dollar Stores Strike, 1938 -- San Francisco (Calif.).
    International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
    Golden Gate Manufacturing (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Strikes and lockouts -- Clothing trade -- California -- San Francisco.
    Women labor union members -- California -- San Francisco.
    Women clothing workers -- California -- San Francisco.
    Chinese American women -- California -- San Francisco.
    Scrapbooks.
    Clippings.
    Photographs.
    Lee, Sue Ko -- Portraits
    Matyas, Jennie, 1895-1988 -- Portraits