United Garment Workers of America records
Scope and Content of the Records
This collection consists of the records of the United Garment Workers of America from 1893-1994. The Time and Motion Studies series (Series I) is made up of time study/ time and motion research files for the garment industry, as well as files relating to industry research and information from the first half of the twentieth century. Series II, Contracts, consists of union labor contracts, working contracts, and related correspondence. Office files relating to the functioning of the UGWA's central headquarters are found in Series III. Also included in this series are label ledgers dating mainly from the first half of the twentieth century, and minutes of the General Executive Board's meetings, which cover much of the period of the union's activity. Series IV contains local union files, including financial files, grievances, correspondence, agreements and minutes. Publications, photographs, an audio tape, oversize materials, and index card files are found in Series V through VIII.
- Creation: 1893-1994
- United Garment Workers of America (Organization)
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research use. Access to materials with personal or sensitive information in boxes 141, 151, 160-161, and 199-367 is restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.
History of the United Garment Workers of America
The United Garment Workers of America (UGWA) was founded in New York City in 1891 and affiliated themselves with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). They first used strikes and later promotion of the union label as ways to win gains in working conditions and wages with their employers. In 1914, a group of dissatisfied members broke away from the UGWA to form the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). After the break, the UGWA's numbers were much smaller, but they managed to retain membership levels until the 1950s when they began a slow decline.
In the early days of the union, the UGWA had no full-time officers. Charles Reichers became the first General President at the Convention in Baltimore in 1895; he served until 1897. Following Reichers in the office of General President were B. A. Larger (1897-1904), T. A. Rickert (1904-41), Joseph P. McCurdy (1941-75), Howard Collins (1975-1977), William O'Donnell (1977-87), and Earl Carroll (1987-91). David Johnson succeeded Carroll in 1991.
In 1994, the UGWA became a part of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). A year later, the UFCW also took in the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA). The UGWA and UTWA combined in 2000 to form the UFCW Textile and Garment Council.
78.39 Linear Feet (in 287 boxes)
Language of Materials
The United Garment Workers Union (UGWA) was established in 1891. UGWA lost membership when a group of dissatisfied members broke away to form the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in 1914. Membership levels were steady until the 1950s, when they began a slow decline. In 1994, the UGWA became part of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. This collection consists of the records of the United Garment Workers of America from 1893-1994. Its eight series contain time study/ time and motion research files for the garment industry; contracts, working contracts, and related correspondence; headquarters office files, label ledgers and minutes of the General Executive Board's meetings; local union files, including financial files, grievances, correspondence, agreements and minutes; publications; photographs; oversize materials; and index card files.
Organization of the Records
Organized into 8 series:
- Series I. Time and motion studies
- Series II. Contracts
- A. Contracts by Company
- B. Contracts by State
- C. Shipping Clerk Agreements
- Series III. Office files
- Series IV. Local union files
- Series V. Publications
- Series VI. Audio and visual materials
- Series VII. Oversize
- Series VIII. Index card files
Gift of United Garment Workers of America, courtesy of David Johnson. The first part of the collection, L1992-17, came to the Southern Labor Archives in 1992; the second part, L1997-08, arrived in 1997.
This collection has been have been digitized in full and is available online at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.
Audio-visual materials (photographs and an audio tape) and oversize have been separated into separate series (Series VI and VII).
Processed and finding aid created by Christine de Catanzaro and DeAnna L. Janecek at the file level, 2002.
- United Garment Workers of America:
- A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
- Georgia State University Library
- October 15, 2002
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description