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International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Southeast Regional Office records

 Collection
Identifier: L1980-18

Scope and Content of the Records

The records of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), Southeast Regional Office (SERO), span the period 1945 to 1978. They include correspondence, financial records, activity reports, files related to the interactions of the union with garment manufacturers, clippings, photographs, and films, all documenting the work of this international union in the South. Organized in three series: Series I: Administrative Records, 1945-1977; Series II: Reports, 1967-1978; Series III: Companies, 1945-1974.

Dates

  • 1945-1978

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Biographical Notes on Southeast Regional Office Staff

Nicholas ("Nick") Salvatore Bonanno, born in 1927 (father Vito was Representative of the ILGWU New York Dress Joint Board and Business Agent for Local 89), a member of Local 89 of the ILGWU since 1947, is currently Director of the Southeast Region. He has assumed positions of increasing responsibility within the ILGWU framework for close to fifty years, and became one of the youngest Regional Directors and Vice-Presidents. After two years at the New York University School of Commerce (1944 - 1946), Bonanno worked as a dress operator in the New York Garment Center (1946 - 1950). Following attendance at the first ILGWU Training Institute (1950 - 1951), Bonanno became first an Organizer and Business Agent for the Southeast Region (1951 - 1955) in the Mississippi-Alabama area, and then a Supervisor (1953) in the Carolinas. Bonanno moved to Atlanta in December, 1955, where he was assigned Assistant Director. From 1966 to 1969, he was Associate Director of the Central Organizing Department in New York, and in April, 1969, was temporarily assigned Associate Director of the Upper South Department in Baltimore, Maryland. In October, 1969, Bonanno assumed his present post of Regional Director of the Southeast Region. At the International Convention in 1971, Bonanno was elected a Vice-President and was named a member of the General Executive Board. Several of Nick Bonanno's activities in the community during these records time period (1945 - 1978) included the: National Executive Committee, American Trade Union Council for Histadrut (1974); member of Atlanta's Community Relations Committee (1970); and Executive Committee, United Italian American Labor Council (1964).

Elmer Thomas ("E.T." "A1") Kehrer served as Assistant Director of the ILGWU's Officers Training Institute (1950 - 1953) following his work as a field representative for the American Federation of Labor's Worker Education Bureau. In 1953, Kehrer was appointed Associate Director of the ILGWU's Southeast Region and in 1954, became the Director. Kehrer remained the Director until 1964, when he was appointed Southern Area Director of the AFL-CIO's Civil Rights Department. (For further information about Kehrer see: AFL-CIO Southern Area Civil Rights Department, Records, 1962 - 1988 [89-17] and E.T. Kehrer, Papers, 1940 - 1989 [89-22], Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.)

Jack Glasel Handler was general counsel for the ILGWU's Southeast Regional Office c. 1964 until 1969. In January 1970, Handler became a law partner with Maynard Jackson in their firm, Jackson and Handler. At one time, Mr. Jackson had worked for the National Labor Relations Board.

Southeast Regional Office Staff:

1951
John S. Martin, Director, Southern Region
1953 - 1954
E.T. Kehrer, Associate Director, Southern Region
1954 - 1964
E.T. Kehrer, Director, Southern Region
1958
R.G. Towler, Resident Auditor
1960s - September 1963
Robert Cohn, ILGWU Attorney
mid-1960s - late 1969
Jack Handler, Regional Counsel, SERO
1968
Ken Allen, Office Manager
July 1969
William F. Roberts, Office Manager
1964 - June 1969
Martin J. Morand, Director, Southeast Region
October 1969 - Present
Nicholas S. Bonanno, Director, Southeast Region
January 1970
Ben R. Mullins, Assistant Office Manager
March 1970
Ben R. Mullins, Office Manager
1974
Dean Bearden, Office Manager

Extent

70 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract:

The collection consists of the records of the Southeastern Regional Office of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union from 1945-1980. Includes administrative records (1945-1977) containing correspondence to or from Jack Handler, Regional Counsel, Directors E.T. Kehrer, Martin J. Morand and Nick Bonanno; subject files relating to farm workers, the General Electric strike (1960), organizing activities in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and; the 1960 Presidential election; financial records; and departmental files. The reports series (1967-1978) consists of business agent and organizer weekly reports and membership shop reports detailing activities within various firms. The company files (1945-1975) contain materials relating to organizing, contract negotiation, arbitration, and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases. Includes information pertaining to a NLRB case involving Brewton Fashions, Inc.; a 1963 strike at the Oneita Knitting Mills and attempts to organize workers in the late 1960s at the Loray Corporation in Savannah, Georgia. The collection also contains photographs and motion pictures illustrating organizing efforts and women's fashions.

Acquisition Information

Donated by ILGWU, Nicholas S. Bonanno, June 10, 1983.

Online Availability

The photographs in this collection may have been digitized and are available online at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. E. T. Kehrer papers, 1940-1989 (L1989-22)
  2. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union contracts collection, 1955-1969 (L-contracts_ILGWU)
  3. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Southeast Regional Office records, circa 1950s-1970s (L1990-18)
  4. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Southeast Regional Office records, circa 1950s-1990s (L1996-14)

Separated Materials Note

During processing, pamphlets, photographs, and audiovisual materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives collections. For pamphlets, see the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). For photographs, see the Southern Labor Archives Photographs Collection finding aid. For films, consult Special Collections for access.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Pamphlets Collection

  1. Pamphlets added to or duplicated in the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection in the following subject areas: Benefits, International Ladies Garment Workers, Union, National Labor Relations Board, Organizing, Race Relations, Right-to-Work, Technological Changes

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Photographs Collection

  1. Two, 8" × 10" black and white photos of picketers at Parco Garment Co., owned by Ned Cohen, from folder "Atlanta Organization, c. 1954"
  2. Six, 3 ½" × 5" black and white photos of: 1. women picketing with "On Strike - ILGWU - A.F.L." placard, 2. two views of Fairfield Manufacturing - Cooper Motor Co., 3. three views of window with Cooper Motor Co. noted above. Photos from folder "Fairfield Manufacturing Co.: NLRB Case, 1954 - 1955"
  3. Three, 3 ½" × 5" black and white photos of a cloth-covered auto from folder "McComb Manufacturing Co.: Organizing Drive, 1956"
  4. One, 8" × 10" black and white photo of pickets at the Shirley Cloak and Dress Co. [located at 209 Pryor Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia] from folder "Shirley C and D Co. - Strike, 1957"
  5. Two, 8" × 10" duplicate black and white photos (exterior view of company) from folder "Happ Brothers, Inc., Macon, Georgia, 1958 - 1959"
  6. Three, 8" × 10" black and white photos (portraits) of unidentified women from folder "Elberton Manufacturing Co., 1960 - 1967"
  7. Five, 3 1/4" × 4" black and white Polaroid photos of Pine Mountain, Georgia; Clarksville, Georgia; and Duluth, Georgia factory exteriors, April, 1961
  8. Four, 3" × 4" black and white photos of 1. shipping and receiving; 2. front; 3. [] and parking lot; and 4. [sign] from folder "Thrift Dye Works: NLRB Case File, 1961 - 1962"
  9. Eight, 8" × 10" black and white photos of pickets (some identified) at Bennett Fashions, Inc., Miami, Florida and Monique, Inc., Hialeah, Florida from Local 415 [see also "Monique, Inc." folders]. Photos from folder "Bennett Fashions, Inc.: Financial Information, 1959 - 1962; notes for photos, 1962"
  10. One, 8" × 10" black and white photo of an unidentified banquet head table from folder "Oneita Knitting Mills, Inc.: Andrews, South Carolina Correspondence, 1963 - 1964"
  11. Three, 8" × 10" black and white photos of: 1. sign in Frisco Sportswear Co. Inc. lot including "NO trespassing" etc. sign; 2. close-up of above sign; 3. sign "NO PARKING THIS BLOCK" in foreground with structure in background. All located in folder "Marlene Industries: Organizing Drive, 1965"
  12. One, 8" × 10" black and white photo of Ronnie Gilbert from folder "Locals and Joint Councils: Miami, Florida Locals 415 and 475 Correspondence, 1965"
  13. Fifty-six, 5" × 7" black and white photos, unidentified from envelope "E-Z Mills story and pictures," c. 1968, from one of three "E-Z Mills, Inc." folders
  14. One, 3 ½" × 5" black and white photo of male in lot with placard, "THIS STORE SELLS SCAB GRAPES - DON'T SHOP HERE" from folder "Grape Workers, c. 1971"
  15. Fourteen, 3 ½" × 5" black and white photos c. 1974 of unit's interior from folder "Mobile Health Center/Unit, 1972 - 1974"
  16. Three, 3 ½" × 5" color photos (two interior views and one exterior view of unit) from folder "Mobile Health Center/Unit, 1972 - 1974"
  17. One, 8" × 10" black and white photo of twelve unidentified males with banner "National Committee for Labor Israel 50th Anniversary Israel Histradut Campaign [1974]" from folder "Histadrut, 1973 - 1974"
  18. Three, 5" × 7" black and white photos which "may be pictures of a trip to Israel sent to Nicholas Bonanno [1976]" [Lee Sayrs, NEH Archivist] from folder "Histadrut, 1975 - 1976"
  19. One, 8" × 10" black and white of twenty-three unidentified males and females before banner "National Committee for Labor Israel Greater New York Israel Histadrut Campaign" in folder "Histadrut, 1975 - 1976"
  20. Six, 3 ½" × 5" color photos in envelope "Pictures Taken in Israel [9/76]" with Joe Jacobs and Nicholas Bonanno identified from folder "Histadrut, 1975 - 1976"
  21. Seventeen, 3 ½" × 4 ½" color photos with Joe Jacobs and Nicholas Bonanno identified from trip to Israel from folder "Histadrut, 1975 - 1976." Photos sent by Pasha Gordon of Florida Trade Union Council for Histadrut to Nicholas Bonanno.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Audiovisual Collections

  1. One, 16mm b/w film, 15 minutes 20 seconds, Fashions, USA, 1949, [plastic reel]
  2. One, 16mm b/w film, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1960, [metal reel in good condition]
  3. One, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  4. One, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [a little rust on the reel and the film has mold growing on it]
  5. One, 16mm color film, 29 minutes, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  6. One, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  7. One, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [metal reel with rust, film either has large amount of dust on it or mold]
  8. One, 16mm b/w film, 29 minutes, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1960 - 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  9. Three, 16mm b/w films, 29 minutes, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1961, [all 3 metal reels in good condition]
  10. One, 16mm b/w film, 26 minutes 59 seconds, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  11. One, 16mm color film, 29 minutes, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1961, [metal reel in good condition]
  12. One, 16mm b/w film, 27 minutes 15 seconds, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1961 - 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  13. One, 16mm b/w film, 27 minutes 01 second, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1961 - 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  14. One, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1961 - 1962, [a little rust on the reel]
  15. Two, 16mm color films, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1961 - 1962, [both metal reels in good condition]
  16. One, 16mm b/w film, 26 minutes 44 seconds, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  17. One, 16mm b/w film, 28 minutes, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  18. One, 16mm color film, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  19. One, 16mm color film, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1962, [plastic reel]
  20. One, 16mm color film, 28 minutes, Spring and Summer Fashions, 1962, [metal reel in good condition]
  21. Three, 16mm color films, on 400 foot reels, labeled c.1, c.3, c.4, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1962 - 1963, [all 3 metal reels in good condition]
  22. Two, 16mm color film, Fall and Winter Fashions, 1962 - 1963, [both metal reels in good condition]
  23. One, 16mm color film, Spring and Summer Fashions, no date [rusty reel and film has mold growing on it]
  24. One, 16mm color film, "Our Union - Local 91", 1948, [metal reel in good condition]
  25. One, 16mm b/w film on the 1950 ILGWU Convention in Atlantic City, [metal reel with a little rust on it]
  26. One, 16mm b/w film, "My Name is Mary Brown", January 1955, [metal reel in good condition]
  27. One, 16mm b/w film, ILGWU "Anthem", postmark date 1956, [metal reel in good condition]
  28. One, 16mm b/w film, "With These Hands", February 2, 1965, [metal reel in good condition]
  29. One, 16mm film [small plastic reel, approximately 3 inches in diameter] b/w film of Scramjet Workshop, July 13, 1965
  30. One, 16mm film [small plastic reel, approximately 3 inches in diameter] b/w silent film, "Decaturville" - ILGWU, 1965 [reels #33 and #34 housed in the same film can]
  31. One, 16mm color film, 29 minutes 26 seconds, "A Conversation at the White House", [President Johnson and AFL-CIO President Meany], 1968, [plastic reel and can]
  32. One, 16mm color film, AFL-CIO C.O.P.E. - "Nixon's Broken Promises", 1972, [plastic reel and can]
  33. One, 16mm color film, 14 minutes 30 seconds, AFL-CIO C.O.P.E. - "Victims of the Veto", postmark date 1974, [plastic reel and can]
  34. One, 16mm color film, American Red Cross Standard First Aid film, [2 plastic reels and can], 1978
  35. One, 16mm color film, American Red Cross Standard First Aid film, [4 plastic reels and can], 1979
  36. One, 16mm b/w film, project print, [c. 1945 - 1955] "Americans at Work" - AFL-CIO Garment Workers, [metal reel in good condition]
  37. One, 16mm color film, [c. 1971] "Count Down From Eleven", [metal reel in good condition] Talkshow/Panel format done by Channel 11 [WXIA?], two guests from the ILGWU: President Shoanwall [sp] and Regional V.P. Bonnano. They were discussing a bill that would limit imports and preserve American clothing industry jobs, "Buy American".
  38. One, 16mm b/w film, 30 minutes, [c 1950s] "Dany", [metal reel in good condition] "The story is about a girl in the ILGWU in Canada... Tells about Union Label. Tells of Union Benefits and Wages. Tells of outside interests Union people can have by working together. Special classes, hobbies, etc." Starring Isabelle Jan.
  39. One, 16mm b/w film, "The Inheritance", [metal reel in good condition]
  40. One, 16mm color film, "Marvin Has It Made", [metal reel in good condition]
  41. One, 16mm silent b/w film, film of Picket Line Setup by Local 451, [metal reel in good condition]
  42. One, 16mm color film, 30 minutes, "We Didn't Want It to Happen This Way", [plastic reel and can]. This "is a film that vividly and emotionally portrays the human hardships suffered by American workers when their employer decides to go overseas to produce its products. The film traces those hardships by using actual examples of IAM members forced into the jobless rolls when the Zenith Corporation decided to shut down its Sioux City, Iowa production facility and move it to Taiwan and Mexico. In addition to interviewing actual workers displaced by the Zenith plant closing, the film examines the entire problem of our nation's foreign trade policies. IAM President William Winpisinger and Zenith Chairman John Nevins and two national [sic] known economists also look at the details of the free versus fair trade arguments."
  43. Three, phonodisks, 33.33 RPM, "Two/Two for the Union", Side A: President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 and President John F. Kennedy, 1962: Side B: Pauline Newman and Judy Ackerman 1965
  44. One reel microfilm of ILGWU collection at the Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University, ILGWU Guide #5780

Processing Information

Processed by Robert C. Dinwiddie, Lee Eltzroth, Peter Roberts, M. Lee Sayrs, Jill Swiecichowski, Anne L. Tilden, November 1993.
Title
International Ladies Garment Workers Union [L1980-18], Southeast Regional Office:
Subtitle
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Status
Completed
Author
Georgia State University Library
Date
November 1993
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • May 2001: EAD finding aid created by Apex Data Services.
  • December 2005: Revised by William Hardesty.
  • January 2013: EAD revised by Hal Hansen.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2880
404-413-2881 (Fax)