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United Garment Workers of America records

 Collection
Identifier: L1992-17

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.

Dates

  • 1893-1994

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Access to boxes 141, 151, 160, 161, 190, and 199-367 is restricted. Consult Special Collections for 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.

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.

Extent

78.39 Linear Feet (in 287 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract:

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.

Acquisition Information

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.

Online Access

This collection has been have been digitized in full and is available online at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Separated Materials

Audio-visual materials (photographs and an audio tape) and oversize have been separated into separate series (Series VI and VII).

Processing Information

Processed and EAD created by Christine de Catanzaro and DeAnna L. Janecek at the file level, 2002.
Title
United Garment Workers of America:
Subtitle
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Status
Completed
Author
Georgia State University Library
Date
October 15, 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2006, 2007: Finding aid revised by William Hardesty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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