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ILGWU in the News!

1909: According to a recent article by the Call newspaper, Louis Leirson is a friend of workers and has promised only to hire union workers at his modern factory on West Seventeenth Street. He attributes his sympathies with workers to his own Eastern European roots and to his early days as an overworked, underpaid, immigrant. Apparently, he found that his promise was too expensive to keep because he secretly opened a second staff shop with nonunion workers. a strike in the first factory, led by Clara Lemich has called on both man and women for support. This is just another example that you can never trust the capitalist pig. Never believe is faint attempt at sincerity, kindness, or support of workers. Stay strong workers!

1909: Clara Lemich has published an article entitled “Leader Tells Why 40,000 Girls Struck” in the Evening Jouirnal

Lemich’s article covers a range of grievances in explaining why we are striking. Some of the reasons are found in union demands, most were not. She speaks against piecework payment, the long hours, and the rationalization of labor that divides the work into small tasks and separates the worker from her work. She complains about the unsanitary conditions and that unless workers sit by the windows they experiences considerable eye-strain due to inadequate gas lighting. To read the full article, please contact your local union officer. She also complains that bosses treat us like machines and call us “names that are not pretty to hear.”


June 11, 1910A general strike of from 20,000 to 30,000 cloakmakers in New York City was authorized this afternoon by the Lady Garment Workers’ International Union in session in this city

Aug. 28, 1910: “Goff Will Enjoin the Cloak Strikers: Justice in a Sweeping Opinion Decides the Object of their Strike is Unlawful: NO PRECEDENT IN THIS STATE!”

Read about the Supreme Court decision, handed down by Justice John Goff, that determined that PEACEFUL picketing is unlawful. The decision was made as part of a suit against the ILGWU on behalf of cloak-makers. Note that this decision was made WITHOUT PRECEDENT.

Aug. 27, 1911: “Labor Parade of 50,000: Six Divisions of Trade Unionists will March Down 5th Ave. from the Plaza”

Fifty thousand people, including thirty thousand cloakmakers and ten thousand women, marched to demand better pay, better working conditions and shorter hours: “DO YOU WANT FAIR TREATMENT? ORGANIZE! EIGHT-HOUR DAY WITH MORE PAY IS OK!”

Sept. 5, 1911:
Army of 50,000 Workers Parade: Demonstration Made to Increase the McNamara Fund Brings a Coin Harvest

Read about the success of the cloakmakers’ march!