Rally with signs in Yiddish, Italian and English, circa 1910.

Photograph from "The Inheritance." ILGWU Archives, Kheel Center, Cornell University.

In 1900, 40,000 New York City garment workers produced 37 percent of the nation's ready-to-wear clothing, mostly in small shops. For much for the century the garment industry provided jobs for immigrants -- first Eastern European Jews and Italians, many of whom arrived with tailoring skills, and later to the more recent waves of Asian and Hispanic workers. It is no wonder the ILGWU was founded here.

Please consult our resource page for more information on the early history of the union in New York City.

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